Monday, June 13, 2011

Family Room Makeover!

Makeover posts are a little wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am style over here while I wrap up the Durham house blog posts before we hit the road.  We're jumping from the front yard to the family room today, which is actually the living room (we pulled a switcheroo! here's the room we're using as our living room/parlor) and just off the dining room which you saw here.

A quick refresher, the renters living in our house before were using the family/dining room as a day care.  We started out with crayon on the wall, beaten down hardwoods and an overall absence of tender lovin' care.

Yeah, that's an open electrical outlet right within the reach of the baby swing.  DOWNRIGHT SCARY!

The taped up posters left a lot of surface damage to the dry wall and the crayon required heavy duty Killz primer to cover.

Just to emphasize the amount of crapola covering the house, here's a picture of the air filters which probably hadn't been cleaned in the past decade.  It literally breaks my heart to think of babies crawling on that floor, sticking their fingers in electrical sockets and breathing that filthy air.  I wouldn't have believed it unless we had the photographic evidence.  While I couldn't save the babies (not even sure who we would report this to if we could), we did save the house.

Like the living room, the first bit of work was refinishing the hardwoods before our furniture arrived.  A close second project was painting all of the trim a bright, glossy white.  We primed and painted and suddenly the room looked fresh and inviting.

We didn't want to break the bank with furnishings so we mostly used what we had.  The couches were hand me downs from Mr. Palindrome's parents, the tables were hand me downs from his aunt and the floor lamp was previously owned as well.  Adding a few pillows, wall art and table accessories finished off the room.

Here's the Budget Breakdown:

Paint and Primer (Home Depot, Behr - Vanilla Custard) - $25
Couches, Coffee Table, Side Tables (inherited) - $0
Bookshelf, Magazine Basket, Candles (previously owned) - $0
Small Painting (HomeGoods) - $39.99
Bronze Accent Platter (HomeGoods Clearance) - $7.99
Tall Vase (HomeGoods) - $8.99
Leaf Platter for Candles (Target) - $6.99
Woven Placemat (World Market Clearance) - $2.99
Lamps (I wrote about them here) - $90
Rug (Overstock) - $150
TV Stand (Actually a fish tank stand from PetsMart!) - $79.99
TV (already owned) - $0
Total: $411.94

We spent a lot less in other rooms, but since we spend the majority of our waking hours in the house parked right on ye ole couch, we didn't regret a penny.  Take a look at how it all came together:

Looking at the pictures, can you believe this place didn't sell this spring?  We sure can't.  Thank goodness for a strong rental market in the area and here's to hoping that the market turns around in the next few years or that we're able to retire in Durham. :)

Anyone in the market for some solidly built, Italian leather furniture?  Our Craigslist sale fell through.  How many times do we have to learn the lesson about needing to sell it to the first person with all the cash????


  1. Wow, what a transformation!!! :)

  2. I would buy your house in a heartbeat (and your Italian leather furniture) if we were anywhere nearby.
    It kills me to think of the tripod lamp having to go - I loved your post about finding it for less!

  3. that simply can't be the same room. it can't. you two worked some serious magic.

  4. whoa, looks SO much better! that's fabulous!