The Big Redecorating Project



Creating Beauty in the Carolinas: 

Scenes from my redecorating project at our fab old house...


When we moved back into our old house in the Carolinas after living in southern California for six years, I didn’t fully appreciate just how long it would take us to get everything the way we wanted. Three years later, we’re still working, mainly on the yard.
For a good year and a half, I kept busy completely redecorating the entire house ~ living room, dining room, hall/library, two bedrooms, TV room, kitchen, breakfast nook, bathroom and sun porch. And when I say redecorating, I mean new paint, furniture, rugs, lamps, art, the works. I even designed the fabrics for the drapes. It was exhausting. And exhilarating.
Of course, there will always be things I keep playing with and changing, but I can safely say the interior decorating project is complete, at least until we completely renovate the kitchen and bathroom.
This is how I did it.



Living Room

Oh, where to begin. I guess I’ll start with what the living room looked like to start with. In the second photo, you can see the dining room in the background.



So I had a nice, great big room in need of updating. And furniture. And everything else. I always knew the room was going to be pink ~ I had found that piece of art over the fireplace when we lived in California and knew it would be perfect for this room (it’s actually a huge photograph that I bought from a photographer and had framed). The photograph was my inspiration, both in color and some of the patterns.
So here’s what the living room looks like now that it’s finished...



The great pink wall started out this cooler shade of pink...



…but after about a year, it changed. I liked the color but it never felt exactly right. So after quite a bit of hunting and many, many, many paint chips, I finally found THE perfect color. The wall went from that cooler pink to a lovely warm and bright pink called Pink Flamingo...


So here is the living room really finished, Pink Flamingo wall and all…






Here’s an in-progress shot of the living room, after the walls were painted but before the new furniture or much else was done. You can see I’m working on the configuration for the wall of women there on the floor:


Here are some shots of my living room while it was waiting on drapes, a chair and a few other final touches. It’s starting to come together at this point, as you can see.




I redid the fireplace insert to start our fireplace renovation ~ the black is so much better than the brass. Again, another look at the original insert:


An in-progress shot of the same area:


And now, here’s what the fireplace looks like completely renovated. About a year after I refinished the insert, we tore up the old hearth and replaced it with a granite slab in a marble pattern and recovered the brick with marble subway tiles. 


The living room with my fab drapes hanging at the windows. I created the fabric pattern myself.




The light in the room is beautiful; the room just glows pink.


The pillows on the sofa were made from my Pink Forest fabric:


After I thought the living room was finished furniture-wise, I realized another chair was needed. There was a gold and gray Suzani chair I had been coveting for months that I finally decided would be the perfect addition. And it was.


The living room in the aftermath of Christmas, still aglow...


And with some beautiful tulips...


I still need to paint the front door a new color in this photo...


And here’s the living room with the front door refinished, but before I repainted the great wall Pink Flamingo. I love the yellow and pink together.


And, of course, the living room just wouldn’t be complete without Emily curled up on her pink bed.


Dining Room

For the dining room, let’s start with the before photos:



And now, here’s the nearly-finished after, minus the drapes. And a big piece of fabulous art to go next to the sideboard. It’s also waiting for my mom’s antique secretary at this point.



The sideboard I found at an antiques mall, along with the china cabinet and dining room table and chairs. None of the pieces were from the same vendor but they all look like they could have been made for each other. I thought they were perfect for my bluish/gray dining room. Funnily enough, the walls were originally supposed to have a bit more green in them ~ the color had hints of jade in the undertone. But when I got the paint home, it dried much more blue. I thought about repainting but then everything seemed to come together so I left it. I’m so glad I did. 




A close up of the stencil I did on the main wall in the dining room:


And, finally, here are shots of my dining room with the drapes. I’ve found this nearly impossible to take photos of because of the light, but they really are very pretty ~ the perfect finishing touch.



After the old secretary arrived from my parents, I added some new art to this room. The bird canvas plays off the birds on the big stenciled wall. 




And then I decided the bird canvas wasn’t quite right after all. It was a little too informal and the shape was wrong ~ I needed a large rectangular piece to reflect the shape of the wall and this was square. This heron print is exactly what I needed. That, a new mirror and a chandelier makeover finished the dining room once and for all, a year after I started. (And the bird canvases found a home on the porch, as you’ll see.)





Bedroom

This is the first incarnation of one of the bedrooms ~ it’s still my favorite, so I am featuring it here. The lovely old bed and sage green walls are beautiful with my peachy/pink linens and drapes. It’s a peaceful, romantic and simple room.



A shot of the beautiful vanity I found at an antique’s market in Charlotte ~ it’s perfect for this room:


Kitchen & breakfast nook

Here’s our old galley kitchen, which at first just got a little bit of paint on the bottom cupboards and some new curtains made out of fabric I designed. 



In the summer of 2013, after pretty much every other room in the house had been done, I decided it was time to give the kitchen a proper makeover so it fit better with our style. While we plan on completely renovating it one day, that’s a few years off. In the meantime, it was worth the paint and work.
Here’s what the kitchen looks like after its makeover:





I love yellow and red in an old kitchen. Since I have plenty of red accessories and I wanted to use the same curtains if possible (I did design the fabric and make them, after all), the walls needed to be yellow. I decided to use the same yellow in the kitchen and breakfast nook that I chose for the front door because it has a lovely warmth to it (it’s called Cork Top). I wanted the cabinets to be lighter, too, so I painted them my favorite neutral color, Sandstone Cove, which is a lovely warm beige/gray. The wood trim got a coat of bright white for the first time in years and it was surprising how much of a difference that made.


Since I had a black rug up in the attic that I thought would be perfect for under the old door table in the breakfast nook (that area has hideous old linoleum that must be covered), I decided to use black as a subtle accent color. I painted the little shelf over the stove black and put a little black rug in front of the door to the mudroom. 
The rug in front of the sink is actually a chocolate brown, but it’s so dark most people can’t tell the difference and the pattern plays well with the rest of the kitchen. I found a lovely red runner for the old door table and rearranged and put away some things to make cooking easier (more on that later, when I show you the mudroom).



I love how it all turned out. The kitchen and breakfast nook feel brighter and warmer, and the look is much more cohesive and more in keeping with the rest of the house.


I thought that would be the end of playing in the kitchen until we could renovate. But then a few things happened that prompted me to consider painting the bottom cabinets red. I went ahead and tried it out and loved it. This is what the kitchen looks like now:



It’s amazing what you can do for an old kitchen with a little bit of paint and a few new accessories.

Hall/Library

My deep purple hall/library is fab, but far from finished in these first photos. We need a couple more bookcases, which have to be custom made because they must be narrow in width, and a chair to sit in for when you’re thumbing through books. And I decided I needed a different rug. I painted this room, which is really the central hall but doubles as a library (what else can you do with a room that has six doorways?), that lovely purple color when I lived here before and still absolutely love it.


Here’s a before shot, in which you can also see the dining room to the left and the living room through the other door:


And the after shot:


I’m really thrilled with how it turned out. And now, here’s a panoramic view of the central hall. Be sure to click on it to blow it up:


A close-up of the fab old dresser I found for a steal at the Salvation Army works perfectly in this room:


And then just when I thought the room was done, I had to find a spot for this fabulous old teak desk. It went where the black dresser was, and the black dresser moved over where the small black bookcase was. As these things sometimes go, I like the hall better with the desk. It feels even more like a real room ~ a difficult thing for a pass-through with six doorways.



The fab old black dresser in its new place. The door closed behind it is the bathroom. The dresser sits opposite the dining room doorway, which you can see in the photo below this one:




Bathroom

Like the kitchen, the bathroom is in need of a complete renovation. But since that isn’t in the budget for another few years, I settled for a makeover. And, I’m grateful to say, it made a huge difference. Here's what my bathroom looked like before: blue walls that didn’t go with the floor, a dated sink and fixtures and a storage dresser in need of a new coat of paint. You can see the new pale gray paint starting to go on the walls and the first coat of paint on the dresser. You can also see the sink and a glimpse of the too-small-for-the-space mirror. 



And here’s another shot ~ you can see the old fan and shower head are in desperate need of updating, along with the paint.


Here’s the same space above the shower now, with new light and fan fixtures, lilac paint on the ceiling, gray on the walls and a fresh coat of white on the wood trim. 


The room looks much better with that blue gone.


A proper-sized mirror over the sink makes a big difference in opening up the room.


Since putting in a new sink wasn't in the budget this time around, I decided to skirt it to hide the dated look. The curtain splits in the middle for easy access to the cupboards underneath.


The old storage chest, which is perfect for holding towels and other toiletries, was painted a bright glossy magenta to help add a pop of color to the room.


And there you have it. With some new paint and fixtures and a few new accessories, my very old, dated and fairly ugly bathroom is now light and cute and sort of funky vintage.


And then I decided some time later to paint the dresser gray ~ I wanted less of a jolt to the eye.



TV room

Our TV room took me a bit longer to finish this room than the others, for a number of reasons. But, I have to say, I’m really happy with how it all came together.



The “before” picture is directly below, followed by the “in-progress” photo. You can see the walls went from pink to a nice gray while the awful scratched floor waited to be handled. And that set of curtains didn’t make the cut.



Someone years and years ago put linoleum tile down over the hardwood floor in this room. If I take it up, I’ll most likely end up having to replace the hardwood, so for the time being, it’s sticking around. The tiles were a dull white and then painted brown when I lived here before, in an attempt to help them blend in with the other hardwood floors throughout the house. The color wasn’t quite dark enough, however, so when I repainted them this time, I decided to just go really dark since I was covering the floor with a large rug. The darker color actually works much better ~ you don’t notice the difference when you look through the house.



Since the sole purpose of this room is to watch TV (I dislike having a television in the living room, so this small room near the back of the house works perfectly for that purpose) and I’ve always loved movie posters, I decided to use them to decorate. I went with a mostly British/French tie-in on the movie posters, with the obvious exception of Marilyn ~ that was a request from my fiancé. Since I was under orders to keep the room from being overly feminine, I found a graphic, brightly colored rug that he liked and some nice dark purple curtains. We ordered a small sectional for the room ~ comfort was of the utmost importance ~ in a fabric that worked well in the room. He picked out the television, of course, and the chest for it. A few throw pillows, a new ceiling fan and the room was complete.




I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. The room is warm and cozy, and with the curtains closed, it’s quite dark ~ perfect for watching television.

Sun porch

The porch on the front of the house is enclosed in glass windows, which open in the summer to screens. It’s really a great space to sit in and talk the night away. But since I’m not an orange person, I had to change the floor. I made it a nice neutral color and added some new rugs, accessories, flowers and furniture. Since it’s a popular spot for visitors, I need as much seating as I can get.


Here’s the porch with the floor repainted and some additional furniture...


And here it is with the addition of a new rug, accessories and my bird canvases mounted on old window frames...






And, finally, here it is finished ~ a bit more color and comfort, and the addition of a fabulous old mantle made all the difference...







Front Yard & Entryway



Our latest project has been our yard and front entryway. We started by redoing the front door and step and painting where needed. My husband then built new pathways and a white picket fence for the front. I tore out old plants that were worn out and replaced them with new gardens. We have also had to cut down a couple of trees so far.
Here’s what the yard looked like when we started:


And here it is after we finished:







The side yard in the front has been completed now, too. Here’s what it looked like before:



And here’s what it looks like now that it’s finished, minus a few stepping stones I’m going to add coming off the path:





All photos by The Art of Living Beautifully & The Pink Home

Posts you might enjoy about this ongoing redecorating adventure...


Some of these posts may take you to my other blog, The Pink Home. Newest posts are listed on top.

The beauty of a cottage garden...
A kitchen update...
A sun porch redo...
The beauty of being busy...
One last walkway...
April flowers...
Autumn pathways...
Pretty garden gates...
Front yard makeover: Part 1...
Porch projects reveal...
A sun porch makeover...
The beauty of Pink Flamingo...
Fireplace makeover 2: The reveal...
Fireplace makeover 2, Part II: Progress...
A chandelier makeover...
Blue birds, smiling at me...
Fireplace makeover 2, Part I: The mess...
The beauty of being inspired again...
A major mudroom makeover...
A kitchen makeover...
Front entryway makeover reveal...
Room reveal: Our TV room makeover...
Front door makeover reveal...
Choosing a new front door color...
A little bird told me...
Before & after: Time in the bathroom...
Making the best of an old kitchen...
The beauty of new arrivals...
Center of attention...
Pink Forest pillows...
Drapes: the final touch...
A dining room transformation...
Adding pattern to the dining room...
Time to sit on the porch...
The beauty of a pink living room...
Creating new kitchen curtains...
Side table makeover...
Fireplace makeover...
A little retro glamour...
Drapes for the dining room (and a sneak peek)...
The story of The Magic Shed...
New furniture anxiety...
The Wall of Women...
A fabulous find...
The thrill (and agony) of furniture shopping...
Creating a blissful bedroom...
Pink to sandstone: an armoire makeover...
Progress and problems...
A little time on the sun porch...
Home sweet home...
Living room inspiration...

2 comments:

  1. You have a great eye for style, I particularly love the combination of cream fabric and pink décor. My wife and I are renovating our caravan in Britain right now and besides a quick zip to UK Tool Centre and gathering some old photo frames, we don't know where to start! I don't know how you do it with an entire house.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your kind words. :)

    ReplyDelete

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