As promised, here’s the post (with pictures!) of a couple of the simple spruce-up projects that have been happening here this summer. It’s amazing what a little fabric or a fresh coat of paint can do for a room, and in turn, the whole spirit of a home. All those little make overs and improvements really do add up!
This first one I can’t take credit for at all – I am just not the seamstress my mother in law is (yet, anyway). When we first moved into our apartment, we had decrepit white plasitc mini blinds in our bedroom. Much like the ones we still have in the living room, only in way worse shape. Tons of the slats were broken or missing, making them incredibly ugly as well as completely ineffectual. I hated them. Our first stop on the way to the permanent fix was putting up proper curtains – my husband picked out simple brown panels (as you’ll see below) to hang up.
We kept meaning to replace the blinds all winter, but with the curtains doing the job for them other projects and things took precendence (you know how that goes). Well, apparently our busted mini blinds were driving my mother in law nuts too, because little known to me for awhile, she started a Great Endeavor sewing project earlier this summer – hand-sewn fabric blinds! Here’s a shot of them from afar, with the curtains (and the baby items peeking about here and there) –
I really love how the fabric she chose brightens the brown panels, and unifies all of the colors that would otherwise clash in our room – our bedspread is red/white and the crib bedding’s predominant colors are green/brown. Here’s a close-up so you can see the colors more clearly –
They turned out awesome and work like a charm. The keep out the light really well, so we don’t always even close the panels over them.
This second project I can’t take credit for either! It’s something I’ve been meaning to do, and I was talking about my “wish list” for making over my sewing table/vanity to my mother in law earlier this summer, and boy was she paying attention! They’ve been doing a few home improvement projects at their place this summer, including repainting the balusters in their staircase. So they offered to repaint the vanity for me since they planned on painting the balusters one weekend anyway – my father in law was going to have a spray booth set up for it, so may as well add an extra piece, right? For those of you who have never repainted wood furniture, you can’t appreciate how much work a “simple” repainting job can take. You can have to remove all the hardware and drawers, sand the whole thing down (which can be the longest, most tedious part) and then you still have paint it. So it was great of them to offer. But they didn’t stop there! But before I get to the awesome details, here’s a before shot of the table so you know what they were up against –
The paint was dinged, scraped and scuffed all over it. And see those hideous “brass” knobs? The two side drawers are functional, but the middle panel is decorative – the middle section of the top lifts up to reveal a divided tray, which had a piece of warped cardboard covered in green plaid contact paper (that I could never quite get clean) stapled precariously to the frame to serve as the bottom of the tray. And the fold up section of the top has a large mirror on it, which was framed with a poorly-painted brown frame. I bought it for $100 at an antique store a few years ago because I fell in love with it’s utility and clean, classic look and the fact that I knew it had good bones. But it’s been needing some love for a long time.
But enough blathering about the before shot. Here’s a shot of the table after it’s paint job and upgrades –
Will you look at that!? A nice, smooth, flawless coat of white semi-gloss can really do wonder can’t it? And you’ll notice that they went ahead and replaced the ugly brass knobs with the vintage-looking ones I told my mother-in-law I’d like to find for it. Here’s a close up of the knobs so you can see them better –
They also replaced the dingy cardboard bottom of the center tray with proper wood, and papered in an awesome vintage-style Valentine’s print (my mother in law said it’s a piece of scrapbook paper!). And they repainted the ugly brown mirror frame in white to match the rest of the vanity –
The same paper is on the bottom of each of the side drawers as well. Before the makeover, I wasn’t storing anything in this tray because the sewing machine sits over it while it’s in use, so it’s not easy to get into unless I want to move the machine aside. But with space this ready for stuff, I can no longer resist. I figure it’s the perfect spot to store sewing supplies I only need to get at occassionally, such as extra spools of thread, buttons, and a few other little things –
And a bonus of using this space for storage is that I was able to free up three quarts and one pint jar that I was using in the craft cupboard to store this stuff. Back into the canning rotation they go!
I really love how both of these projects turned out and complement our home. And thanks to my in laws of course for the hard work you guys put into these projects for us – they’re much appreciated!