Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Extreme Makeover Strikes Again!

While the men in my life headed out for a weekend of building deer stands and sighting-in their rifles, I stayed behind with one objective--okay two, but the second never even blipped on the radar screen. The plan for this past weekend was to completely overhaul my two sons' bedrooms. No easy task. One is a pack rat, the other a collector of anything he finds appealing or interesting. Both rooms needed some serious decluttering. Four contractor-size trash bags later, I'd at least made a dent.

When we moved into this house, four years ago, everything was white. Problem is, I love color. Not just like, LOVE. I was determined to put my mark on things. With each room I'd paint, I'd promise the boys that their room would be done. Eventually.

Son number two got his painted about two years ago. I let him pick the color he wanted. A relatively bright aqua color. Quite a contrast to the richer tones I had throughout the rest of the house, but hey, it was his room. However, that's where the decorating stopped.

Here's what I started with. Sorry the photos aren't so great. The camera was just so overwhelmed it couldn't handle it :-)

This one belongs to the pack rat. The walls were still white and the room left a lot to be desired.
Too much childhood stuff that a twelve year old really doesn't need anymore. I carefully boxed up mementos and once-treasured items.

The collectors room, while it had color, didn't have much else. Aqua is a hard color to coordinate. Red looked good, but I was a tad worried that too much red might have a psychological effect on an eight year old boy. Especially one who has enough energy of his own. Finally, a light bulb moment.

Okay, so I decluttered and basically gutted the rooms except for the furniture. Room number one had to be painted. Boy was I excited when I realized the new bedding I bought for him matched the main color I've got throughout the rest of the house. That meant I already had the paint. Add that with the fact that I got his really nice bedding on clearance for $25 and I'm getting excited.

Now it was time to rearrange the furniture and bring items back in. This is where it got tricky. I had to be sure I incorporated the things that were important to them, while adding a few new twists. This was the finished product.

To each boys' room, I added a little reading nook. They'd bought these great little chairs from Target just last week. I added a soft, colorful pillow to them and they loved it.

I wanted the older boy to have a room that would carry him through his teen years. One that felt more grown up. And, hopefully, one he would take pride in.

Believe it or not, even with the painting, the first room ended up being the easiest. I guess because changing the wall color made such a drastic change, I felt I wasn't doing justice to the second room.

A nice chocolate brown ended up being the perfect compliment to the aqua walls. And with small red stripes in the comforter, I was still able to add a few red accents. The curtains made a world of difference. Fabric always softens and changes the look of a room.

When I decided to take on this endeavor, I never dreamed it would take so much time or be so labor intensive. Not just physical, but mental. Knowing the attachment the boys had to certain things made it difficult to dwindle things down. Come mid-day Monday, I was exhausted. Thanks to window treatments that refused to cooperate. Now I know how those people on Trading Spaces feel when they're working against the clock. My boys had no idea what was going on at home. Hubby knew, but we wanted it to be a surprise.

And surprised they were. The looks on their faces were priceless. They went on and on, taking in every detail. Especially my younger son, who is very detail oriented. Of course the best way to gauge how they feel about something is if they want to share it. In less than fifteen minutes, both boys were on the phone calling friends to come look at their new rooms. My heart swelled. The pain and agony were worth it.

When all was said and done, I think I'd spent about $250 for the two rooms. Considering that included new window treatments and bedding for both, I think I did pretty well.

If you have a room you've neglected or contemplated redoing, what's holding you back? Time? Yes, it's one of those things you have to make time for. Money? Plan things out. Get creative. Look through magazines or watch HGTV. Even if you don't have a creative bone in your body, you can copy someone else's work.

Bar none, the biggest bang for your buck is going to be a gallon paint. Adding a luscious color to the walls can change the look of any room. And don't give me that stuff about not knowing how to choose a color. Paint companies have loads of brochures out there to give you ideas. If you're still stumped, talk to people in the paint department of a Lowe's or Home Depot. Heck, drop me a line :-) I love to bring color to people's worlds.

So what are you afraid of? Get out there and decorate!


  1. looks like you enjoyed yourself mom! i can't wait to come home! let's see if the boys keep their rooms clean now! ^.~
    i love you!

  2. We can hope. I can't wait to see my granddaughter. You too, of course.

  3. So mom, when can you make time to help me transform my living room?

  4. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have posted this where my grown children could read about it :-) I'll help ya, Am, but first you gotta talk Jason into a little color. Nothing drastic, just not off-white.

  5. Hey Mindy~ You did a great job! Amazing how good brown and aqua/teal look together.

    So what was the other thing that never got done - was it your writing? hmmm... betcha it was!

  6. Mindy,
    Great job. When are you coming to Atlanta. Me and Missy and Christy want you to visit.
    All our rooms!!

    I know the boys were excited. I would be.

  7. Amy and Rachel,

    Thanks for visiting.Come back more often.

  8. Mindy,

    Ignore all of those other comments and come and visit me ! Purple is my color and I use it well !!!! (Well except for all of the Mickey Mouse nostalgia that haunts me, which covers two rooms here....
    ......... I am getting tired of the red and black as we have a Coca-cola room too.
    Honestly, though, I just love those impulse, wild, cleaning and decorating days/weekends, I think we are at our best in these times !

    Lindi and Christy - ENOUGH - you two have writing to do ! Go for it !

    Cousin Wendy

  9. Wendy, I loooooooooove purple. However, no one else will let me use it. Sigh.
    BTW, don't you live where they have some fall color? Hmm, does mid-late October work for you?
    Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Mindy,

    Yes. the colors are awesome at that time ...........I will have to send you some pictures of the ranch (well, ok, 2 acres) before long. As a matter of fact, I live in the largest county in Ohio, and we have the most covered bridges that anyone else in the states ! Perhaps ( I love that word) I will send you some REAL pics about the change of seasons, the colors, and last but not least, the flooding that has occured here recently. I DO live in a glorious area, 3 miles from the lake, (Erie), and 5 miles to any civilazation ie:grocery, post office, gas, etc.... This time of year it is great, but I really think there should be a F.A.I.T.H. convention here in January..........I would love to break all of you southerners in as far a different type of lifestlye....... Ive got room for you all, but lets leave Lindi at home since shes too busy to do family things !!! (hehehe...sorry, I love you Lindi !) But trust, This is a great inspiration area, so many ideas, feelings, thoughts, .....and besides, Im one heck of a good cook !!!
    Lindi and Christy .........STOP reading and go write !

    Cousin Wendy

  11. Ah, but you are wrong, Cousin Wendy. We are not all southerners. Of course, Angie is from Montana, but I grew up in Michigan. I know all about those hard winters. Miss them, too. Although I'm sure it would only take me one to long for the gentile Texas climate :-)
    I'll be looking for those pix!