Monday, July 12, 2010

Makeover Mondays

Well, it's the first in our Makeover Monday weekly series and one I can't wait to share! Here are some great "Before and After" photos of my apartment that I hope will inspire you to embrace your spaces and make them your own. When you live in a small home and can't make structural changes, getting creative is essential.

These first two photos are the "Before" shots. A room isn't cozy unless it has a fireplace and when we moved into this particular apartment that favorite feature was missing...so I built one! Made from leftover wood, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), architectural pieces from an old headboard and tile from Home Depot, it anchored the rest of the room and provided architecture to a plain "box." The only problem was everything seemed to gravitate to the right side of the room throwing things out of balance.

To the right of the room you'll see windows...actually one window and a french door. To give a unified appearance, they were treated as one large window using sheers to blend the two together. The curtain rod over the windows was made from PVC pipe, wood brackets and finials for the total cost of $9...and that included the wooden drapery rings. If you were to buy these chunky curtain rods in the store, you'd be shelling out at least $40.

Now to the other side of the apartment. Even with my favorite blue on the walls, it still looks bland. The kitchen, living and dining room are all open to each other...I love an open concept, but "small living" can easily feel like "one room living." Dividing the space up visually can make a huge difference and tricks the eye to give the appearance of more square footage.

The sad slipcover on the sofa was the right color, but lacked a tailored quality. The dining room table could seat eight, but the leaf and six chairs made things feel cramped and uninviting.

This is what the apartment looks like now after a few tweaks...please forgive the puppies snuggled on their pillows underneath their cream blankets in front of the fireplace...it's "their spot" and I didn't have the heart to move them to take a photo (:

The fireplace was centered on the wall, a stand for the TV was built so the components could be stored underneath, the fireplace was flanked with bookcases (built with leftover MDF) and baskets from Target were added for storage. You'd be surprised how much stuff those little guys can hold!!

Each bookcase supports 2 windows purchased from Kirkland's that sit edge to edge to mimic a large window. They were originally a horrid burgundy, but for $15 each I couldn't pass them up. Sale+coupon = happy frugal gal (: A couple coats of white spray paint freshened them right up! I also mounted iron elements above the mirrors (purchased from Pier 1 for $8) to top things off and switched out the lampshades.

After my old sofa gave up the ghost, a slipcovered Vintage Vogue Sofa and storage ottoman were purchased from Ballard Designs (on sale, yes!). The ottoman is perfect for storing another set of slipcovers, blankets and extra pup pillow covers. The pedestal table between the club chairs will be replaced with a shorter set of white, square nesting tables once I build them (: They'll offer an expanding surface when more is needed, especially when company comes over.

I built the white bookcase unit several years ago for display space in my shop, but it looks as if it were made for the living room. It holds cherished momentos collected over the years and gives a nice balance to the fireplace on the opposite wall. The 8x11 ft rug was found at a Rooms to Go Outlet for $99, and yes, rugs can be used on top of carpet (: It helps to define the living area and gives a splash of color to otherwise drab, neutral flooring. It's all about the layers (:

(Now, the blue in these photos seems to be much brighter than it actually is...it's more of a soft, Tiffany Box blue) The dining room table was turned, the leaf taken out and 2 chairs removed to give the illusion of more space. The old lanterns were taken down and replaced with 4 mini chandeliers draped in crystals, each in a different style for an eclectic feel. I used $1.50 iron plant hangers purchased from WalMart and spray painted them in silver to match the chandeliers. Looks like they were bought together as a set!

The window in the dining room is actually a barn window I found years ago. Mirror paint was sprayed on the back of each glass pane to give it an antiqued mirror affect and then a design made with liquid lead Gallery Glass was added to create a stained glass look. So easy, yet people are always shocked when I tell them it's not the real thing (:

The architectural piece above the mirror was part of a headboard destroyed in a move. It was the exact size of the window and filled in the spot nicely. I couldn't resist decoupaging on a French olive oil label found in a magazine when I saw it was teal! Simply used the computer to increase the size and printed it out! The rest of the pieces from the headboard were used to frame the opening of the fireplace. Can't let anything go to waste (:

This is our lovely TINY kitchen. It's a galley style, but oh, so small (: That brown thing on the left side of the bar is a column that isn't quite finished yet. It, along with the kitchen backsplash that cost me $0, will be in the upcoming makeover for next Monday. For a better look at the kitchen see the post Adding Space to Your Small Kitchen.

So that's the makeover for this week. Because the apartment is so small, it's hard to take the best photos, but hope you were able to get some ideas for your own spaces. Don't be afraid to go bold! Allow your home to communicate your spirit. Have a favorite color? Add a splash of it on the walls! Afraid it might be too much? Then go neutral and have pops of color in pillows, drapes, wall hangings, rugs or flowers.

Not sure where to start? Flip through some of your favorite design/decor magazines and begin collecting layouts that speak to your soul. You'll begin to see a pattern emerge. The common elements in each space are the things that reflect your true style...the rest will fall into place (:

Be sure to join me next week for another Makeover Monday!



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69 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! It looks like something out of Ballard! Crushin' on that Vintage Vogue sofa!!! You really did a great makeover!

    heather

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  2. That looks so nice! What a cool idea on the fireplace. I never would have thought of that. LOVE the blue walls.

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  3. Love it!!! I am so thinking of making a fireplace for our house too!! I love yours, I never would've known that you made it! Oh and I just love that blue on your walls. I think I've told you that before, but it's just sooooo freakin fabulous!

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  4. Love, love, love it! I so want to build a faux fire place for my living room!

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  5. WOW! there's no other words that i can describe my feelings when i see the "after" pics. well done. wish i was talented as you.

    ~ash's mum

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  6. Very cozy n warm room to spend time with family!Love it! Thanks for ur post!

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  7. I really love the fireplace wall, it looks really homey,now...You did a great job! Lezlee

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  8. That living room looks so well put together... especially your Kirkland's mirrors. You have some potential as a home stager, for sure.

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  9. Everything, EVERYTHING about the makeover is just beautiful. I would kill to have that living room!

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  10. Great. What a nice idea for a fake fireplace. I think it almost better than a true because you could move the fire place as your news ideas for your appartement. Great job !

    Oh !!! and i love the blue that you have choosen.

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  11. Wow!! that's some transformation. Thanks for following. Your newest follower now:)

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  12. What a fantastic transformation...you are such a clever & creative person, love the fireplace & the windows either side .Well Done...I love it all!!!

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  13. What a dramatic makeover! I love the colors you chose in the living room. It's upscale but not stuffy, like you wouldn't be afraid to let your kid sit on the sofa. Great job.

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  14. Good morning, Michelle,

    I have to say, you are incredibly gifted. Really. You could do this for a living. You have an incredible eye for color, texture, layout and design. You'd be great!

    Your home is gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

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  15. Fantastic Job!! Love the colors! Soothing & Relaxing and that is what it is ALL ABOUT in your home!!

    Wonderful,
    Cindy

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  16. that looks great! i love the whole fireplace/bookshelf look - gorgeous!

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  17. Love it! Your makeover made all the difference!
    Thanks for the follow! I'm following back!
    Blessings,
    Wendy
    Faith's Firm Foundation
    www.wendygunn.net

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  18. Beautiful-love the fireplace. Thankyou for being kind enought to share!

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  19. Wow, you have done a lot of work here. I needed some inspiration and this gave me a good dose.
    Thanks
    Dana

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  20. Good Golly Miss Molly!! Well done Michele, well done!

    Many Blessings,
    M.

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  21. You need your own show!!! That is adorable! Hearting the puppies in their blankies!
    smiles!

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  22. It's FABULOUS!! You have done an amazing job with the space! And I love the colors! I love seeing what you're up to!!!

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  23. Beautiful! Dreamy actually! shows what you can do in an apartment! I am loving the windows from Kirklands...I so miss them and Hobby Lobby from when I used to live in TX!! Always shopped the sales...not too much of those type of stores here in Northern CA. I got so many wonderful ideas from your photos!! Can not wait till things get a bit better and I can again begin to work on our apartment. Thanks for inspiring me !

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  24. I really enjoyed this and love your makeover. It makes me look forward to seeing another! I have too many favorites in this post, but the use of the windows in both the dining room and over the shelves is great.

    I also like the frugal Friday below! I would love that little bicycle planter!

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  25. What a fabulous change, I love what you did on either side of the fireplace.

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  26. You have done an amazing job. I love your color choices and your dining area looks much bigger!
    Annette

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  27. I love the transformation you made to your apartment. You did a beautiful job!

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  28. Wow! Your livingroom looks so much more balanced now! Love the built ins...and your colors are so calm...love it!

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  29. Hey, :)
    Visiting all the way from Australia and am now following your blog. I just love it! Your house is so cute and cosy, a bit like mine. :) We live in a 2 bedroom townhouse, so space means everything! Mine is a little overcrowded at the moment though. Hehe ;) Hope to fix it! :)Anyhoo, I LOVE your new living room! Its gorgeous, and oh boy, how did you make the fireplace? How clever!
    Would love to get to know you better.:) Plan on reading some more of your blog when i get a chance. :) Take care, and hope to hear from you soon! :)
    Melissa

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  30. I love it!!! So relaxing! Thanks for following. I am now following you back!!!

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  31. Great job! Love the blue!! Following back!

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  32. WOW! What a beautiful room! And thank you SO much for the button code!

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  33. Hi!
    Oh my! Wow!!! Sweetness! I love the look!
    Thanks for following my blog. I really appreciate it.
    I look forward to getting to know you! I'll be back to read more soon! Have a great day!
    :) Jen

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  34. Oh my word it's GORGEOUS! I love the shelves with the baskets on either side of the tele. :)

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  35. FABOULOUS!!!You should try out for DESIGN STAR! I have never liked blue, but I love this! Following now.

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  36. I love those blue and black pillows. It all looks so great! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I'm following you back now!

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  37. I love blue on the walls too! My whole house is blue lol. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I love the name of yours by the way.

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  38. Thank you for becoming my newest follower! I am delighted that you found me because I could use some makeover tips! I am a thrifty decorator just like you and I could use some inspiration!
    I love the white slipcovers and your choice of blue paint! Very cheery and inviting apartment!
    I am your newest follower!

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  39. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and becoming a follower. I love the after!

    Tracy
    www.cutorcopyandpaste.blogspot.com

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  40. Beautiful! I especially love the couch - but I want a raspberry red one! Thanks for following my blog, I really appreciate it. I was having trouble with my net being really slow at home and finally shut it down and went and read a book!

    Thanks again!

    Tina "The Book Lady"
    http://www.familyliteracyandyou.blogspot.com
    http://www.givingnsharing.blogspot.com

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  41. Oh my gosh! I'm in LOVE with the mirrors on either side of your fireplace - they are perfect!

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  42. It all looks Fantabulous! Great job, I see that you are a follower of mine so I wanted to stop by and say "Hello" I love your blog design I am looking for a new look.I look forward to blogging with you.Stop by I am holding a giveaway and another coming soon.~Cheers

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  43. It looks great, I love those windows. What a great find. Amazing job!

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  44. Wow you did a great job! I'm so inspired - I'm closing on my first home in 6 days so I have lots of work ahead of me!

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  45. I love the windows over the bookshelves in the living room.

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  46. What a transformation! It's beautiful!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment about my screen door.

    I believe in God wink's, too! :)

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  47. It looks amazing!!! I love what you did with the windows from Kirklands.

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  48. Wow that is awesome! I love it, especially cause you live in a smaller apartment like I do!. I want some of that mirror spray paint, but I can't find it anywhere. I love the blue it is fabulous, really great job.

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  49. wow! I love what you've done! I love the colors and that you've done a lot on your own!
    Just wanted to let you know I'm featuring your blog tomorrow on Featured Followers Friday.
    gail
    thanks for being a follower!

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  50. Beautiful home...you've done a wonderful job. I love all the white! Makes me want to makeover my living room.

    Blessings,
    Nicole

    Thank you for following Simply Created!

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  51. What great ideas! I love what you have done!! I understand small... We live in a 1250 square foot, 3 bedroom home w/ 3 children (2 teens, 1 6th grader), and a HUGE dog (she's around 85 lbs!). Not as tiny as your apartment but still crammed due to number of occupants!

    Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing more great ideas!!

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  52. Your home looks wonderful. That's my kind of fireplace. Love it!
    Monica

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  53. You did a wonderful job rebalancing the room and adding lots of mirrors and interesting shapes, and colors..it really looks terrific!

    thanks for visiting and following my blog, I appreciate it so much!

    Kit

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  54. Wow! I'm amazed. This is just like a furniture showroom or a show on HGTV. How beautiful and cozy! I also love how the color palettes work together. We've wanted to set up the TV on our fireplace mantle to make our family room more open, but what really worries us is that the TV may be too high to watch.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm following you back. :)

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  55. What a lovely apartment makeover! I am looking at my upstairs and thinking about ways to change it for the better. Thanks for the motivation. And thanks for joining my blog. I am your newest member!

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  56. hello michele! beautifully done. it is great to be back to enjoy reading your posts, lots of catch up to do, and sorry for the late return. thank you for your sweet messages. have a great weekend! verbena cottage

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  57. WOW! This looks straight out of a STLYE AT HOME magazine. Amazing. I love the colors you've chosen and I love all the storage you have incorporated with shelving. Beautiful!
    Accidental Gardener

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  58. It looks so wonderful! Have a sweet day!

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  59. WOW what a big difference. I love what you did in the livingroom with the fireplace,bookcase and mirrors. Looks great!

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  60. Your apt looks amazing!! Love everything you've done!!! The PVC curtain rod idea is awesome!!

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  61. Um, Are you for real??! THis is so beautiful! I can't believe all the thrifty things you have done to create such a wonderful and inviting magazing-worthy makeover!!! Love the colors you chose, I am SO wishing I had a bigger wall for my tv to sit on so I could do the whole mantle thing!
    Terrific job, this is getting saved to my 'inspriation folder'.

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  62. Hi Michele. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your before and after pics here are SO impressive. Takes my breath away...you are one talented lady!

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  63. wow, great makeover! wonderful ideas!

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  64. I love it all! Great colors!

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  65. I will take that room boxed up and shipped to me! Well....since that is not possible I will just tell you that it is FAB-U-LOUS! That living space is dreamy. How has the sofa held up? That is my dream sofa. Visiting from My Repurposed Life.

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  66. VERY lovely makeover. Great ideas.

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  67. this post is just full of great ideas on a budget! love that you built your on fireplace and cabinets, michele:) beautiful home!

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