Monday, April 26, 2010
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?