Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Bedroom Renovation- the Before edition

As promised on Friday, it's time for another installment of This Dilapidated House.

According to Tommy, this was the least ugly room in the house when we moved in.  And he's right.  Which should tell you a little bit about the state of the rest of it.  

Some of you may even be saying "Well, that doesn't look so bad.  Maybe a little outdated, but still...."

No.  No, no, no, dear reader.  The stench emanating from that carpet alone was enough to make even a seasoned flipper gag.  It had been saturated in cat pee for sure.  And the curtains.  Whew.  They were not only filthy, but so old that if you touched them with too much force, they would disintegrate.  They actually did disintegrate.  It made me wish I was wearing one of those bird flu masks.

The very first day we started tearing off the wallpaper (because we had no electricity and it was hung so poorly that some of it came right off the wall.  Praise God.) but then something happened and we got distracted by the snakes in the kitchen wall or whatever and we decided that since it was the least bad room in the house, we'd stop thinking about it and move onto the bigger fish that were waiting to be fried.

So since then, the room has been like this:

Oh, did you notice the floor?  Yeah, we rolled up that pee-soaked carpet (I say "pee" a lot, huh?) and found this underneath.
It needs some tlc (which it won't be getting on this round. Sorry floor) but my goody-goodness, thank God for small miracles, right?

And the ceiling looks like this:

Don't worry.  The water spots are from when the roof used to leak.  It's all fixed now, but the evidence is still there.  All ugly and stuff.

Oh, and I was in such a hurry to put up different curtains way back when that I didn't measure the windows carefully enough.  The curtain rod just barely extends far enough to cover the larger of the two windows, which means that the curtains are always covering a portion of the window, making everything looks smaller and darker.

All those holes in the wall up there from the various window treatments are pretty chic, I know.  And the way there's a big, gaping space between the two pieces of paneling?  Love it!

Don't forget the trio of mirrors, one of which is, of course, broken:

Anyway, at the start of the project the least-bad room in the house looks like this from the doorway...

And the wall o'closet looks like this if you stand with your back to the east facing window...

Everything is just so brown.  And sad and depressing

See, I'm planning on having a baby in this room.  There is no WAY I am going to be in labor at 6 centimeters and looking at half-removed, grimy wallpaper.  It'll drive me crazy!  Every little jagged edge will be indelibly etched into my memory.  I'll be trying to escape for sure.  And no one wants to have their baby in the kitchen.  Okay, fine.  I don't want to have my baby in the kitchen.  So a cheapo re-do it is.

The plan is to use just the materials we already have on hand plus the Amazon Christmas gift card from An Old Friend to make a happy haven for mommy and her brand new baby.

And maybe I'll let the other humans in our house enjoy it, too.

So, what would you do with a super limited budget to make this room warm and happy?  What are your favorite bedroom colors?  The windows are north and east facing and we live in Michigan, so keep that in mind.  And what about furniture arrangement?  Yes, there's a toddler bed in there.  It's a long story.



  1. the house we currently live in is ugly. pretty much everything about it, BUT!! paint is a wonderful thing. We have a blue-gray paint in our room that transformed the ugly 25 year old dingy walls. I think paint, a nice plush rug, and some updated lighting would really make it better. A nice framed mirror above your dresser would look good, too. Good luck!! I hope you have a lot of fun updating it!

  2. I can see where you would want to jazz that up before the big push!
    I would stay away from disco balls, strobe lights and neon colors. *hee hee*

  3. I love the idea of redecorating frugally - you can get so creative!

    To make the room look bigger and brighter, I suggest some element of white. White walls is a great blank canvas for the rest of the room. You can do pops of color (I love yellow + grey!) with the bed linen and curtains.

    For the white walls to look less stark, may I suggest art projects for the kids? Get them to draw something, and get dollar frames which they can too, decorate!

    Can't wait to see what you do!

  4. Hey D, I am a green color kinda gal. Any shade of green...except maybe puke green...And maybe some new light fixtures and lighter color curtains. Make some new throw pillows...I like the rug idea too,

  5. Ok, here's my tips from many a "if I don't redo this room NOW, I'm going to kill someone" freakouts.

    BONUS, because I love you: all these suggestions have been run by/created by Ken, so they're doable, and not harebrained schemes like I come up with.

    1. Get thee to Meijer and buy three or four bottles of "Holloway House Quick Shine" and a cheap sponge mop. It will make your floor look like a million bucks until you have a million bucks to make it even better. Even better, Ken says if you can rent a sander, THEN Holloway House your floors, you wouldn't have to do anything for years. Barring that, just the Holloway House will be amazing.

    2. Ken says to just Kilz over the whole ceiling until you can replace it. Roller brush that baby, and bonus(!) Kilz is one of those paints you shouldn't be around while pregnant, so someone else has to do it.

    3. Take down the medallion around your light fixture and spray paint it either white so it disappears against the newly painted ceiling, or spray paint it one of those hammered treatment finishes. If you can find inexpensive, pretty glass light shades, swap them out. It'll look fresh and new until garage sale season starts up again and you can find something better.

    4. With the paneling, if you're planning on painting it, you can nail the section by the window/curtain rod back up, mud it, sand it, and paint over it. If you're REALLY feeling energetic, you can fill in all the lines, so when you paint, it'll look more or less like drywall, rather than painted paneling. I don't mind painted paneling. It's what we've got in the family room, and it looks fine painted.

    5. For the color, while I'd usually shy away from the whites- even warm whites- in Michigan (brrr!), with all the wood in the room, I think a warm white would offset the "woodiness" of the room but not be too cold. Lowe's has a great color called "Caribbean Walk". The flatter the finish you can stand, the better, since glossier paints will show off all the imperfections on the paneling.

    6. Liquid Gold on the closet doors and trim will make them look nice and fresh again. Plus, it smells nice.

    7. For the love of God, take those mirrors down. Take them down, if they can be salvaged, great, if not, oh well. Those that make it, if you have any spare trim/wood lying around from previous projects, paint it (I like the hammered spray paint I referenced above), and make a rustic frame for the mirror.

    I can't wait for updates!

  6. liquid gold is an easy spruce up for wood. we had a bedroom in our old house that was north/east facing, and we painted over the wallpaper (it was still intact)with a deep flat blue. it made it like a cozy cave, perfect for a new mom, which i was at the time. also, it looked amazing with wood. you'll have to prime the paneling or use a paint with primer added. paint the whole room - ceiling included, and maybe a new light fixture - doesn't have to be pricey - and it will seem like a new space! and our 4th kid still sleeps in our room - no story needed. :)

  7. Cari, can you come to my house? :)

    I can't wait to see what you do with the room. Your other updates have been very inspirational to me!

  8. Paneling looks great painted white. I like behr paint and primer in one, heavy cream. Mirrors can create the illusion of a bigger room, but maybe just one. Maybe you (or hubby) could make one from scrap wood. Dark wood looks great with cream colored walls, so maybe paint the furniture. Spray paint works well, but obviously not a job for a pregnant lady. Definitely paint the ceiling, and the light fixture. My favorite trick for making a room look bigger is to remove the closet doors, and put up a nice pair of curtains to match the ones on the window. Easier closet access,And it looks like another window. A good clean and polish on the floor, and wallah!

  9. I really like blue so my bedroom is a pale, pale shade of blue. It almost looks white but has a sort of calm crystal quality. But for your room I think I'd go for a shade similar to the one we painted out living room, a pale creamy yellow. Like a lighter shade of the background color in your sidebars. You don't want it too yellow or it could be opressive, but I'd want it a bit warmer than white.

  10. The wall next to the closet looks like a perfect family photo gallery spot. Cheap black frames with white mats in a mix of 8x10 and 5x7 with black and wife family photos looks clean and beautiful, and would be a great focal point.

  11. Don't know much about interior decorating, but I think I can safely say the remaining wallpaper will need to go and definitely new window treatments.

    Cari is right on target. Do with the floors what you can afford - cozy area rugs will be nice in winter; paint that ceiling and I'd "white-wash" the wood panelling. I'd choose a warmer antique white than than a really crisp, stark white. It would go better with your wood furniture.

    I love the look or grey and yellow - especially with darker furniture and lighter walls. It is just mellow enough for a winter house, but the yellow accents are a warm touch.

    I love how this couple changed their dreary master bedroom.

    scroll down to end of post for After pic

    Can't wait to see the final result!

  12. hysterical commentary and great capture of the "before." I cannot wait to see the after! Please don't make us wait too long. ;)

  13. Nina's Super Official Advice, as a fellow dilapidated house owner and cheapskate.

    1. Pull off all the wallpaper and paint it a creamy white or neutral. Paint the ceiling, paint the trim, paint everything.
    2. Use the two unbroken mirrors and hang horizontally above dresser. If you had any distressed wooden planks from the barn you could make frames.
    3. Cover the closet doors in fabric(s). All you need is a staple gun - and fabric, LOL. I had a wall of doors in my old bedroom and used two different patterned fabrics to cover them. I'll see if I can find a pic for you.
    4. Just scrub the floor - and keep your eyes open for a cheap rug - OR make your own floor covering out of canvas if you can't stand to look at the wood. http://addicted2decorating.com/painted-floor-cloth-two-three-of-many-design-options.html
    5. For your window rods - use sticks! Find some that are relatively straight, sand and paint them a contrasting color http://www.bhg.com/decorating/window-treatments/budget/curtain-rods-you-can-make/

    OK, now hop to it ;)

  14. PS, I'd save the light fixture for last. After you get everything else fixed up, buy a new one from menards that matches the feel of the room - they're cheap. Or like Cari said, paint it (I'm loving the oil rubbed bronze metallic paint - that's what I did to my bathroom fixture). And just buy new glass cups.

  15. PPS - tell me what color your bed linens are and the color of your curtains. I'm gonna make you a Dweej's Bedroom Pinterest Board. ;)

  16. I'd have the ceiling done with kilz like already suggested, with the white paint on the light fixture. I loved the suggestion for fixing the floor and the suggestion to add some area rugs.

    I'd remove the wallpaper and paint the walls a bright cheerful light reflecting yellow. It'll warm up the space and make the room bright. All trim can be a nice shiny white. I'd get a new longer rod and wider window treatments, something cheerful that looks nice against yellow.

    I'd paint the closet doors white or some color that you like with the yellow.

    I had a bedroom that with white walls was rather dark and when painted the bright yellow it just brightened up. It made me a fan of yellow in a bedroom.

    Make sure you like the colors of the paint.

  17. Dwija, is your house on a concrete foundation or pier and beam?

    The very first thing I would do, because they are so gosh awfully ugly is take down the mirrors and take down the wooden doors. Yes, take down the doors. Replace with a nice curtain or something cheerful. I know that means you dont have doors, but really no doors night be better. I agree with painting the rest white and then hanging color in various places. Those floors are beautiful. In fact, the picture from he doorway is 100% better when I can see the floors under the bed. Real wood? Are you kidding me? Awesome!

    Saw this on IKEA's site (instead of closet doors). I know you want to be more frugal but maybe Amazon has something similar... http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/hallway/tools/hallway_rooms_ideas/#/20114_hors02a_01/436629

  18. I have no idea. But I love the freaky baby hand in the last picture : )

  19. ML, I didn't even notice that until I had already published. Little Cecilia was tagging along during my photo session! And that is her really real hand (despite its doll-like appearance).

    Thank you, everyone, for all your awesome advice and input! There's still plenty of time for us to change our minds, but I think this is what we're leaning towards:

    1. removing nasty mirrors (already in process!)

    2. removal of remaining wallpaper (done!)

    3. painting ceiling white

    4. new or refurbish light fixture (depending on $)

    5. Wider curtain rods with happier (read: not brown) curtains to actually frame windows

    6. painting walls a very pale yellowish/creamy white color (for that warm, sunshiny feel)

    7. painting all trim and doors (closet and bedroom) bright white. Tommy nixed the fabric on closet idea due to the fact that the doors are real wood and they're "actually nice". Unlike the walls, which are fake.

    8. Cheaply spiffy-ing the floors, probably using Cari's magical shiny floor goo.

    Undecided as yet:

    1. rug?
    2. bedding?
    3. decorative accessories?

    I think we'll have to wait until we price out everything else before we can make those decisions...

    So there it is so far. I am SO EXCITED! Can't wait to be able to share another big reveal with all of you :)

  20. I grew up in a town where my dad worked at a factory that made paneling. Our entire house was paneling and I cant stand it. What color are you going to paint it? White seems so go well over paneling.

    Oh and you're laboring at home? You're my idol.

  21. Oh my gawsh, love those floors. They are so charming!

    We painted over some fake wood paneling in a nice cream color, and the effect was actually pretty nice. Although I do like greens for the bedroom, as it is a very soothing color.

    Curtains are a great place for a punch of color:)

  22. Hahaha, ok, just picturing you fighting through a contraction and yelling at the wall paper being peely. I can't wait to see the after. Ya'll have done some amazing transformations to this house. Hope you had an amazing Christmas and a fun NYE. Looking forward to catching up with your always fun adventures!

  23. Can't wait to see the After pictures! And I would Pinterest the crap out of the bedding and decor after all the painting is done, if I were you!

  24. Wow! You've already got some great tips from everyone up above! I'll just say good luck! ;)

  25. Ooo, what a fun blog! And some great decorating advice. This is only my second short visit, but I'll check in again soon...

    I've given birth twice in an ugly, unfinished room; it's having to recover in an ugly, unfinished room for the week after that does me in. BTW, have you considered a waterbirth? My five all were, in a simple pool built by my husband, and it's the greatest.

  26. Begin with bedding. Buy something beautiful and affordable. Maybe just a duvet cover or decorative pillows. Maybe the whole shebang. Then pick your favorite color in the bedding and get wall paint to match. You can spray paint your brass light fixture to look like rubbed bronze or wrought iron. Spray paint that curtain rod while your at it. It's getting dark around 4, you don't need more darkness. Get some white or ecru curtains. Lace or muslin. If the drapes are heavy for insulation, for a few bucks you can do the hairdryer/shrink-wrap window insulation kit. I dont know that you have to paint the whole ceiling. My hardware store sells a spray paint just for ceiling leaks. For bedding: thrift stores, eBay, Marshalls Home Goods, or Bed, Bath and Beyond (You know they take expired coupons there.).

  27. Jessica, I did not know they take expired coupons there! Wow, bloggy land is full of the cleverest people.

    I'll have to look into the spray paint for the stained ceiling. The whole thing is dingy, though. If I do the whole thing, it might just brighten up the room a bit.

    I need to shop around for bedding then. Yep. That's what I need to do. Or go "shopping" in my fabric stash :)

  28. Those curtains make me shudder. I also can smell cat pee after reading all that. Ugh.

    Definitely paint with kilz to get rid of some of the grossness and then use a pretty color. You could paint the room but wallpaper the closet doors only for an interesting pop. Also, I love unusual ceiling colors like pale blue or pink so there is something to look at. A comfy room needs lots of cushy throw pillows which are easy to make from scrap fabric.

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