February 18, 2010

To all Design Divas who happen to be reading: HELP!

Okay. So I need help. I need ideas.  Please help me redecorate my house for free. (As in you tell me how to redecorate without spending any money.)  Please? Okay, maybe a little bit of money. But not Better Homes and Gardens "little bit of money." (Because their version of a little bit of money is like $1000.  My version of a little bit of money is like $20.)

Let's start with the kitchen.
Here we have the cabinets. All 5 of them. In all their 1980's faux wood glory.  Notice that there are things along the top up to a certain point. That used to be the home of the CD player.  Well, it broke.  So now there is just a bit empty hole. Suggestions?

Also, I hate the cabinets. I have 2 options:
1. Paint them.  Color?  The walls are almost gray.  Don't know what color would work.
2. Take the doors off, paint them and just have open shelving.  Except that I don't have pretty dishes.

Then we have this little area, that really needs no explanation. It just needs a better system than the one that I have right now. Obviously.
*Post edit: This is not a desk. This is a little corner of my kitchen counter.

On to the bathroom. . .
So, do you see the problem? Fixing the towel rack will require putty and paint.  And fixing the the paint that was picked of by a little girl while using the facilities will also need paint.  Here's the kicker. I have hated the color of the bathroom since we moved in.  I kind of want to just paint it a different color. But what color? The counter is black granite and the floor is black slate. And there are no windows, so I want something light to make it less dark in there. Any suggestions?

As for the living room . . .

This is one wall.  The wall immediately next to it looks like this: 
Complete with a thermostat right in the middle. Don't you love it? So, any suggestions?  


Emily said...

For the bathroom, I would do a green apple green or a light greenish blue. I think either of those would look really good with the black.

I also like the idea of painting the cubpoards, because if you take off the doors but it doesn't look like a nice display in the cupboards, you're going to hate it even worse. Maybe black? That's what I would do. And you can get some handles or knobs pretty cheap at Lowe's or on E-bay. There are tons of cheap ones on E-bay.

When we were moving in, I put things above the cupboards that I didn't want in my child's reach, but it ended up looking pretty so I left them there. I have a little clock, some pretty platters that don't match (but I think they look pretty together) and a red picture frame with a poem in it that you can't even read when it's up there.... but it looks pretty. :)

As far as the organization part goes.... I'll have to come back and read the comments because I have the same problem.

Are you wanting to paint your living room or just have something pretty on the walls? I like your photo arrangement. I could make you something pretty that you could print out and put in frames or something. For instance, if you go to my blog and look at the top image on my sidebar, that's something that I made. I could make you something similar if you like it. For my bedroom, I printed each square and then mod podged it to a canvas that I got at Hobby Lobby for $5-ish. Just an idea! :)

Barbaloot said...

I so wish I could offer advice on how to decorate cuz that would mean I knew how to do things like that. I'm clueless---my house is still pretty bare. But good luck! And if you do it, show after pictures:)

Linds said...

Hmmm...Maybe for the cabinets you could buy some simple molding to frame each cabinet to give them some dimension and then paint the whole bunch. You could do an antique white and then distress the edges. Lots of work but not too many cabinets to do. The space above the cabinets is fun. You don't want too much stuff up there 'cause it looks cluttered. Maybe some greenery and a stone pot or wood bowl that offsets the white nicely.

For a cluttered desk I've found that the trash can is an acceptable location for most stuff (not the bills though) then invest in a cute basket or decorative box with a lid for the remainder. Make sure it's tall enough to hide the cords.

I love the photo collage and have something similar in my house. Since that wall is so busy you may want to consider leaving the other wall blank. Or maybe give it a splash of color. I've learned that not every wall HAS to have something on it.

Have fun! DIY projects are great so long as you FINISH them!

Sher said...

Your before pictures look frighteningly similar to what my house looks like right now.
I have turquoise paint stripes on my bathroom wall, courtesy of the boy, plus a broken towel rack, holes all along the wall in the kitchen where the boy thought it would be a good idea to stick in a corn holder and twist, all the way down the wall.
So, if you get any luck on finding someone to help, let me know, I just might have to follow suit.

Wonder Woman said...

I've got gaping holes in my bathroom, too. And I was going to say just what Emily said -- apple green in the bathroom. Do you get HGTV? I've seen so many cute and CHEAP ideas there....

I would do the kitchen with white cupboards and pewter knobs. (Thinking resell, here.) Or you could just get new knobs. If you want something a little more eclectic, you could get hand painted knobs from Color Me Mine. You could even make your own, I suppose.

For the desk, I'd look for baskets or something that you absolutely LOVE. If you love them, you're more likely to keep them tidy. Look for ones that would be easy to place things in. Your current magazine holder is cute, but I would probably end up just putting the magazines on top of the mail because it *might* take me 5 extra seconds to put them in the holder. (So lazy!) Find something that the mail can stand up in, maybe even something that has dividers for bills vs. ads. Ross and TJ Maxx sometimes have cute and cheap things like that.

For the blank wall......I have no idea. I think something big but simple. Here's what on my living room wall: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/photo.php?pid=357337&id=672148572

I've since added stuff to either side, but it was relatively cheap. Vinyl lettering, wedding pic, and another that we got as a wedding gift.

Honestly, I almost want to drive up there and see what kind of stuff you have to work with.

Linda @ My Trendy Tykes said...

Let me go look through my magazines and get some inspiration. I will be back to post.

Kristina P. said...

We have very similar cabinets, but more of them. We had someone come in an paint them. I got nothing else.

Liesl said...

I'm no design diva but as someone who has done a lot of DIY projects similar to what you're trying to do I will give you a few pointers.

1. A little paint can go a long way in changing a room. BUT careful with your color choice. Don't trust those swatches in the store. Get paint samples and put it on your wall at home. It might look totally different on the wall in your own lighting and one shade off can be a killer. I went through 12 samples before I found the right shade for my house.

For patching up you can peel off a little piece of paint and Home Depot can color match pretty darn close.

2. For painting your cupboards, us a fine sand paper to rough it up, then a semi-gloss paint with a foam roller for a super smooth finish. They'll look brand new.

Lastly, do one thing at a time, one room at a time. Finish before you move on.

For everything else I find inspiration in Design mags. I like Domino and House Beautiful.

Best to your decorating/repair endeavors.

Melissa Bastow said...

I also like the idea of green in the bathroom. But the rest of it....? I'm a horrible decorator (my sister reminds me of this frequently.)

heather said...

Paint, paint, paint! I like the idea of apple green in the bathroom too.

And -that is a strange place for a thermostat.

just call me jo said...

I'm just comforted to see your house looks like mine--normal--and not one of those out of House Beautiful all monochromatic and flawless.
I painted my one kitchen wall green apple and love it so that might work in the bath too.
I'd paint the cupboards. I took the doors off some in another house and painted the inside a contrast to the outside but you're right. To to that you need cute dishes.
I agree that decluttering involves tossing much and putting the rest in baskets or cute containers.
Let us see how this progresses. We care!!

Lourie said...

I would say sand down those doors and paint them a bright vibrant color. Give them a nice finish. Put in new shelving paper. (I don't have show off plates either) No sure how much they cost, but they make little cubby's for the chargers. The phone,ipod, mp3 lean into its place and all the cords are behind the cubby thing. If you are going to fix the wall, go all the way. make it any color you wish. I believe it is Lowe's who has the "oops" pile. Where they sell cans of paint that were not the right color for a customer. And they are like $5. Back to the kitchen...you can also buy border, cut it up and put it on the doors. We did this with an old beat up dresser. We sanded it down, painted it white. Then we put put Winnie the Pooh border on it. It came out really cute. Good luck.

Emmy said...

For some reason I am just finding this post now.. I swear dashboard is only updating half of my blogs I read lately..

I definitely like the idea of white cupboards with the crown molding, espeically if you get some color on your walls, that alone will totally make it look like a totally different kitchen.

Go to ABC distributing.com they have some really cute baskets/storage materials for your magazines and it has GREAT prices, even after you pay shipping still often the best deal.

For the other wall in the living room, since you have so many little pictures, maybe get some big picture or a big picture and a couple of small ones on either side.. or even three tall and skinny pictures. I have seen some great ones and places like Big Lots or other stores like that.

Have fun!

Emma said...

I love to decorate... and I hate to spend money to do it!!!!

All your cabinet's need is some TLC.. or paint... I say something light. Some hardware to complete the package.

On top of your cabinet's you need to put things in groups, so your eye can rest on things. Not to much greenery it can be to much and look dirty over awhile. maybe some nice plates bowls something with color to give the kitchen some pop!!!

As for all your pictures, you need to group them together to make them work better for you... you can do this a couple of ways.

1. buy a few shevles to put your frames on and hang above some of the shelves.

2. you could build yourself a back ground with some ply wood put some great fabric to cover the wood and then hang your pictures on the wood so they don't move and become un straight. I would do two of these and put them side by side.

Or get some bigger frames and put more of your pictures together to give your eye some where to rest!!!

As for your other wall You need a bigger clock, but I'm sure you already know this... go to some discount stores and find the size you want and if the color does not work just spray paint it!!!

Also I live in your area I think if you want me to come over I would love to help you.. other wise I hope I helped and made a little sense.


Omgirl said...

Well, I'm obviously a bit belated on this post, but I love the idea of the apple green with black cabinets. It will be so cute! Or white cabinets. And new knobs goes a long way to bringing cabinets up to date. I can't wait to see the results!

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