Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter Perk-up

A couple of weeks ago, cabin fever was really setting in, and I needed to do something for a little relief.  Our living and dining rooms were seeming a bit stale, so I decided that a little revamp might be just the thing to perk up our winter weary spirits.  Simple changes can go a long way, and you can easily get a whole new look with what you already have in the house.  Yes, that means you don't have to spend any money. (Unless you've been waiting for the perfect excuse to buy that cool lamp you saw-then, by all means, go for it!)
I started by getting rid of a coffee table and side table that were past their prime.  The casual wicker and bright color were fun when we first moved in, but they were slowly caving in and dropping bits of wicker and pink paint all over the floor.  This freed up my color palette quite a bit, and I quickly made the decision to add some bold color with the window treatments.  I had one other set of four curtains stashed in my linen closet, and I was hoping that they would work.  The bright red background and cowboy print of these vintage beauties are just what the rooms needed to break them out of the winter doldrums.  A hefty dose of red really livens up the joint, and the bright color reflects more winter light into the rooms. 
I was a bit stumped as to what was going to replace the missing tables.  I kept circling our house and garage convinced that something would speak up and say "pick me, pick me!"  Finally, I realized that the table and footstool from the front porch would be make a great two tier coffee table set-up.  The height of the table and metal tripod legs really open up the room, and the stool does double duty as footrest and a second table surface.
(Don't worry, our sunporch is too cold to use in the winter, so I have plenty of time to shop for new pieces to replace the ones that I stole away).  The side table got replaced with a small bookcase that I dragged up from the basement.  It is not quite as deep, and higher than the previous side table, again making the small room feel a lot more spacious.  As an added bonus, it provides more space for books and magazines.
To complete the transformation, I swapped chairs between the living room and porch for a new color, then added punches of red throughout the rooms.
This picture has been hanging in our basement because we just didn't have the right spot for it in this house.  It is one of my very favorite pieces, and I am delighted to be able to use it in our "new" dining room.
Instead of removing the existing wall arrangment, I chose to layer the big picture on top.  Yes, that is allowed.
The last piece of the puzzle was something to give some color to the top of our sofa table (the top is kinda scuzzy, but I can't bring myself to paint it because I don't want that new paint look).  I scoured every drawer and closet for possibilities-a runner, a scarf, a blanket?-but came up empty-handed.  So, I decided to just live with it bare for awhile, and hope that something would turn up, or I would come across the perfect thing while out shopping.  The next morning, I went out to the garage, and found a rag rug on the worktable.  Hmmm, I thought, that seems like the perfect dose of color, texture and weight for the sofa table.  Seems it had been riding around in my hubby's van for a few months, and he had finally taken it out that morning.  See-I knew that the perfect thing would present itself.
Spring still seems a long way away, but our new rooms have brightened my days and re-energized my creative spirit.  I already have my sights on the guest room, oh, and then the bathroom, and the kitchen, and really by that time it should be spring, and we can start on the deck, and the gardens, and the garage......


  1. It all looks beautiful! I`m a fan of primary colors and red is a favorite.

  2. This looks great, Christine! I love the color combination and the great retro feel! It DOES have a fresh new feel...I need to do a few rooms myself!

  3. I really like your not know if I could pull it off but you do it well.

    The pin~ups and elves..who would have though? I would have went straight for the pinups..I like how you added whimsy with the elves and it works!

  4. such talent! love it when you break it down for us:)

  5. thanks all-hope this inspires a few tweaks to your rooms as well! spring will come, it will......