Monday, April 26, 2010

Quick & Easy Mini-Makeovers

While I'm a huge fan of the monumental DIY projects that many of my fellow bloggers tackle on what seems like a weekly basis, I'll admit that sometimes after a long week at the office I'm just not up for that. Instead, what I'm after is the kind of quick and easy project that gives you a big pay-off for minimal time (and monetary) commitment. If you're anything like me, you don't have each and every weekend to devote to big time decorating projects -- and besides, the discretionary income necessary for those larger projects can dry up faster than you can say "last month's Nordstrom bill". And so, in the spirit of tackling some smaller, mini-makerovers this weekend, I set about to perk up a few items in my study with some customized details to really give some ordinary, inexpensive items a bit more personality.

Mini-Makeover #1: Paint the back of your bookshelves. I bought this cabinet from Overstock (which is actually a bath cabinet that's no longer available but other items in the same style can be found HERE) for under $100 just to give me some temporary shelving and storage in my office until my budget can afford a larger piece. While I loved the Greek key detail and the combination of open and closed storage, I wanted to bring just a little bit more color and life to the piece, so I decided to paint out the shelves a lighter shade of purple (Waverly Home by Valspar's Purple Gray), which coordinates with the plum wall color (BM's Purple Lotus) without being too strong a transition with the stark white cabinetry.

Mini-Makeover #2: Tjuz up a blah lampshade. This crystal lamp was an $80 Home Goods find and, while the sleek crystal base was exactly what I was looking for to bring some more sparkle to my desktop, the plain vanilla lampshade was not. Certainly, it's inoffensive, just nothing special -- and since this is the one room in the house that I can go full-out girly glam in, I wanted it to sing. So I added a fabulous 1/2" Chinese braid (adhered with fabric glue) and a lavender tassel (which are very much back in vogue) and -- voila -- a fabulous, customized lampshade for a fraction of what you'd spend to have one custom made.

Mini-Makeover #3: Fake a contrast welt. I adore a contrast welt on upholstery and pillows, but not enough to pay for new covers for my daybed and bolsters. Sure, you can use fabric paint and paint it out (see Little Green Notebook and It's Great to be Home), but if you're like me and a little concerned about the steadiness of your hand, why not just fake it with some ribbon? Here, I used a few yards two very narrow velvet ribbons in lilac and plum and glued them just underneath the welt. The process took all of 15 minutes.

While I can't say for certain if the devil is in the details or if God is, I do know that a great designer is in the details and it's these small, personal touches that can take a room from ordinary to extraordinary. So what about you? Do you have any mini-makeovers you've recently undertaken that you can share with us?

33 comments:

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

These are great. I couldn't agree more that it's the finishing touches like those you added that make things special. This weekend I added ribbon trim to some lamp shades that I plan to replace but haven't found the perfect replacement for.

I love the idea of faking a contrast welt. I'd never be able to pull off painting one. The velvet adds a nice element of texture as well.

Nichole@40daysof said...

I love your mini makeovers. Definitely some good ideas I can use. I also posted one today. If you get a chance to look at it, let me know if you think I should paint my lamp. I've never done anything like that before, but a DIY blogger suggested it.

http://40daysof.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/its-spring-in-the-family-room/

the red bungalow said...

ooo I love this idea. thank you for sharing. my biggest "mini-makeover" lately has just been doing Spring cleaning! lol. It really makes the place freshen up. :)

Bre @ http://theredbungalow.blogspot.com

Poindexter said...

cute ideas that look great in your home!

ashlina said...

amazing! i too did the ribbon border on my lucite lamp shades. we have a similar look on those. i also love the purple, of course...so beautiful and clever!
hope you have a beautiful week, doll! xo

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

I love the changes you made - I think the fake welting is my fave - such a great idea (and thanks for the shout out!). I'm definitely going to have to give that a try. Your girly glam office is looking quite snazzy, I must say. :)

Kathysue said...

Great little make-overs Averill. I just did some trim on a plain lampshade and it sure can make a difference. If you get a chance come by and see the makeover I did on my footstool. I gave you a shout out in regards to your great makeover on your stool in your master bathroom. I like the ribbon idea under the welt, what a good way to add a little color, Kathysue

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

A good design is made up of many parts, often small! You've made some wonderful improvements with smaller gestures! Janell

Karena said...

I love the trim idea, I have done the others and they make a very nice design touch!!

Karena
Art by Karena

Kellie Collis said...

You have been busy! looking so stylish too! VEry clever! xx

Emily A. Clark said...

I like the contrast welt idea. . .It's definitely the little things. Even if no one else notices, it makes you feel better.

Dallas Decorum said...

I painted the the back of some bookcases and they were instantly updated - great inexpensive way to take things up a notch!

Couture Carrie said...

Such beautiful ideas, darling A!
You are awesome!

xoxox,
CC

Sarah said...

Nice, Averill! I can't even find time to do these little projects in a weekend, so I'm impressed!! I definitely want to get around to sprucing up the backs of our entertainment center someday, can't decide if I'm going to use paint or wallpaper/patterned paper. No worries about Mood Board Monday, life always comes before blogging!!! Enjoy your sister's wedding this weekend, congrats to her:)

Kara said...

Love the details. It's amazing what a difference one little thing can do.

SogniSorrisi said...

How fun! I really like the bookcase with its Greek key design and love the mirror you have over the daybed!

Bromeliad said...

Great ideas. I love little projects.

The Zhush said...

I am so not a DIY girl, so in my book these are major deals, not mini! And I love them! Even if you are spelling zhush wrong... :)

Averill said...

Z - Tjush is the alternate spelling of Zhush -- and I'm a big fan of the weirdness that is a "Tj" consonant. ;)

Laura@JourneyChic said...

Great little projects! I love the greek key detailing on the cabinet, and I'm a big fan of purple. Love the girlie details!

Kathysue said...

Averill, I just finished writing my post on my lampshade makeover I will post tomorrow or the next day. I am referring readers to this post. It seems as if I refer to your blog a lot. I hope you don't mind. I love your blog and your taste so it is easy for me to suggest reading your wonderful blog. Soooo You are getting yet another shout out on my blog!! Kathysue

Design Darling said...

i love your tips! i know what you mean... sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to tackle those big projects! yours are lovely quick fixes that could be done on a budget — LOVE that!

pve design said...

it truly is the little details that can make such a difference!
love your little touches, which for many are HUGE things!
pve

This Photographer's Life said...

These are such great tips! I think I will try out the painting the bookshelves one myself. very cool.

VictoriaArt said...

I so love your makeover, not only the colors but the book ends and what's inbetween....
Check out my desk! This is fun!
http://victoriainteriors.blogspot.com/2010/03/friday-flowers-and-then-some.html

We obviously love these books!

XX
Victoria

VictoriaArt said...

PS: While looking over that post I of course realized you actually said you've got the book ends for X-Mas from your SIL!
I adore them! Did you see that JA made also a paper weight in the same fashion for B&N? A small dachshound like the book ends...

XX
V.

pk @ Room Remix said...

I love all of your little changes! The fake contrast welt is my favorite - so simple and adds such a custom feel.

walrus studio said...

You are my hero!! The cabinet is gorgeous!!

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

love your projects! the cabinet is fab, and so are those bookends.

maureen @ The Inglenook Decor said...

so true Averill! I'm so busy... I hardly have time to do DIY's {and I'm impatient &I'm not very crafty :(} but these are small but amazing DIY's.

Kathysue said...

Hi Averill, I gave you another shout out on my blog post. I am showing my lamp makeover I was telling you about and thought this post would also be perfect for my readers to see. I hope you don't mind that I keep referring to your blog but we seem to be on the same wave-link so much of the time. Have a great day and thank you for always having such wonderful blog post, Kathysue

Jami said...

Love the bookshelf! It really made a difference! Love the colors in this post!

Dianna said...

Easy and simple changes are a fun way to give a room a new look. Your changes are simple but noticeable.

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