Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Fresh Face

With clean chapters on the brain, I thought it might be fun to share a big project I completed recently for my aunt, (I'm apologizing now for the photos, since it's a basement, the lighting wasn't great and they were all taken pre-blog.). My Aunt bought a new house several years ago and it came with a great basement. She had the floor re-tiled when she moved in but the room was wall to wall rough wood paneling, and very dark. It was used mainly as a storage area. Then she came to me a few months ago and asked about giving it a makeover.  I was really excited because it is actually a pretty cool space, with a neat corner bar and a wood-stove in the center of the room. Here are some before shots:
It took me 3weeks to complete, and I was pretty proud because I did it all by myself:) I patched a few holes in the ceiling,sealed all the cracks with caulk, painted all the paneling (3 coats, the raw wood really sucked up the paint), painted the ceiling and refinished the bar. All the furniture was stuff she already owned, but I purchased a few throw pillows, made a couple pillows myself( You can see how I made one of them here) some accessories for the bar, new rugs, coat hooks, etc.
 These are the paint colors I chose. My Aunt loves bright colors, she wanted something that really popped. Because it's a basement I felt I had to be really careful with color, or run the riskof it looking super cheesey. These are the colors I chose, a warm honey white, with accents of teal, mustard and "coconut shell". I threw in the orangey red pops of color in the end with the rug and some pillows
 The up-cycled window frames on the wall are from the skylights of a historic Hudson Valley home that N was working on, he salvaged the frames for me (go N!) and I used some thick decorative paper in alternating squares to fancy them up.
The two brightly colored pillows on the couch I picked up from the Christmas Tree Shop, and the teal pillows were pillows cases I had left over from my curtain project for Sunny. I folded the fabric over and secured it with vintage brooches for a little shimmer shine:)
 I refinished the cute corner bar, hung a gold mirror, and added some of the awesome silver pieces (the cigarette holder and tray) that my Aunt had from my grandparents. I also kept the little side shelf, and repainted it to hold those two sweet blue floral glasses I grabbed at Ikea. I added a small dowel rod underneath the shelf  for a bar rag (teal dish towel).
This nifty little bottle opener was already there, screwed on under the original bar. I dry brushed it with the blue paint and repositioned in next to the shelf .
I found this vintagey looking "No Smoking" sign somewhere amongst the boxes in the basement when I was cleaning and organizing, and thought it was just too cool not to reuse. (I totally get the irony of the sign below the silver cigarette holder. duh:)
The stairs got sanded down, seams caulked, and a fresh coat of paint. Then I added new carpeted treads. I also salvaged the iron railing by spraying it with a metallic can spray called "Hammered Rosemary". The new coat hooks I hung on a piece of baseboard, capped with a freshly painted picture ledge turned decorative cap.
I made the coffee table using an old wood pallet. I sanded it, painted it blue and screwed a piece of plexi-glass to the top so things wouldn't fall through.  I also attached wheels to the bottom because it's in front of the futon, I wanted her to be able to roll it out of the way if she wanted to open the futon for sleepover guests.
 This is the back wall behind the futon couch. I hung this little arrangement of frames from my Aunt's childhood bedroom. I found them in a storage box and felt they were very personal and special, so I decided to hang them in a fun way, along with some of her other mementos from growing up. My Aunt has always been a great horseback rider, and still is. I got a sweet message that night, she loved it.
And that's the story! I had so much fun doing this, and although it was a lot of work (probably the biggest project I've ever taken on alone) the final outcome and my Aunt's reaction at the big reveal was totally worth it:)

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