Sunday, November 8, 2009

Time for Some DYI

I recently made some changes in our financial situation to more easily eliminate some of the debt we've incurred from our fertility treatments. The ultimate goal is to get out of debt, of course, but eventually (sometime in the next 2-3 years) we want to position ourselves to purchase a new home. We have outgrown this little house, and I'm looking forward to getting into something bigger. In the past, we've always thought we'd purchase another single family residence, but now it seems like a townhome would be a better choice for us. The advantage would be that we could have more living space, but less yard space to care for. There are some nice developments in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, and Long Beach that I've got my eye on. We're not ready to begin shopping, but I'm getting a lay of the land because I had not given much thought to townhome communities in the past. At this point, I do know that I want something with at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1600+ square feet. In addition to that, it needs to have a small yard space because I plan on having dogs for a long time to come.

So, in having that as a goal, I've been thinking about some of the things we need do to prepare our house for its eventual entry into the market. I've got a mental list of improvements for each room of the house, and I will try to accomplish them on close to a shoestring budget. No sense in spending lots of money on things that won't give us a return on our investment. We will be having the bathroom redone, but we think that can be done relatively inexpensively. The kitchen needs quite a lot to bring it up-to-date, but I don't know how we're going to accomplish that without spending some dough. I'll keep watching HGTV and see what I can come up with.

Anyway, I'm going to start in our bedroom. I suppose we should refer to it as the master bedroom, but it's so dang small - I'm guessing 12' x 12'. These little houses were built in 1943 during WWII for the workers at McDonnell Douglas which used to be just down the street.

Here's what it has been looking like for the last couple of years:

Recently I purchased a headboard from Ballard Designs. I like it, but now I kind of wish that I'd purchased the tufted version instead. Oh, well. Here's a picture:

I chose the Sage Green Linen because I thought it would go well with our bedding which is a Liz Claiborne quilt that I found on clearance at Linens 'N Things a couple years ago. I chose it because it complimented the color on the walls, and because it didn't deviate too much from the red, yellow, and cream colored palette I had going on in there already. What with planning a wedding and then fertility treatments, the last thing I wanted was to redecorate the bedroom, too. As for the previous color on the walls (Benjamin Moore Hawthorne Yellow), I've always loved it because there's nothing like waking up in a warm-yellow room on a sunny morning, or taking a nap in a warm-yellow room on a late summer afternoon. Even on a cloudy day it's very cheerful and uplifting. However, once I got that headboard in there I just didn't think they went that well together, and the idea to change the wall color began to nag at me.

So this weekend, I borrowed my mom's Benjamin Moore paint-color-thing-a-ma-bob, and started looking for just the right color. I knew I wanted to find something sort of yellow, but not as dark as the current color. On Saturday, I went to the nearest place I could get Benjamin Moore paint and brought home three samples of paint to try on the wall.

Here's Simply Irresistible:

However, I resisted it because it's too pale, too much like white on the walls.

Here's Cream Yellow:

That's the wall color. It is a warm, but paler yellow than what I've got now, and it looks good behind the headboard.

Here's Ylang Ylang:

I hesitated to bring this one home, but I'm glad I did because I think it will look good on the ceiling. It was too white to be what I wanted it to be for the walls.

So, the paint colors are chosen, and since I have a whole week off at Thanksgiving, I will be slapping some paint on the walls then. My sweet husband is even feeling well enough to install some crown moulding in that room then, too! So, I'll have some mouling to paint. That's okay because the baseboards are also in need of a paint job. Boy, am I going to be sick of painting by Thankgiving!

We also need to replace the ceiling fan. The one in there now was purchased at Kmart in 1991. It's too small for the room and doesn't put out enough of a breeze when we use it. I don't want to spend too much on something we'll leave behind when we move, so I'm thinking something like this:

Lamps Plus ceiling fan
or this:

Lamps Plus ceiling fan

will look great and not break the bank.

I will also be looking for some new beside tables. If you'll take another look at the picture I posted of the room, you'll see a couple of small tables next to the bed. They don't match, not that they have to, but in addition to that, they are too small to be very functional. I'd like something with a drawer, and a lower shelf to hold books.

Here's the one from Pottery Barn that I've been thinking about for a while:

And something from IKEA that is a bit more budget friendly:

We'll need some better bedside lamps, too. We just don't have good lighting in there for reading in bed. I haven't even begun to think about what those should look like, though. The blinds also need to be replaced, and I would like to install some floor-length curtains. I have thought that some vintage parrot prints would look nice above the headboard. I'm not really into parrots, but one of the fabrics in the quilt has parrots in it and I think they are really charming. So, maybe something like a grouping of two or three of these from

Lastly, in trying to find inspiration from what I already have and what I'd like to have as an end result, I found these two rooms to guide me a bit:

The colors are similar and I love how bright and cheerful these rooms are.

I'll post as we make progress, but this is going to take some time. So, be patient with me. If you've managed to read this entire post, then you are very patient indeed! It just feels good to blog about something other than cancer, infertility, or work for once!


AprilMay said...

How fun! I can't wait to see what you do with the room and I love all of your choices!

Michelle with a K said...

Loving the raspberry accents in the first room!

Julie said...

Joannah, I have a 1945 bungalow so I know exactly of which you speak.  I am likely going to put my house on the market next summer so I can move to another school district - I want Tess to attend a school with a Chinese Immersion program and though we have open enrollment, the commute would be too much.  I am also considering a move back to a townhouse - but for different reasons than you - well yes, less yard maintenance which I cannot keep up - and also no shovelling in the winter.
I wish you the best of luck - it is so hard to decide where to spend your money to help you sell it.  I likely will be doing work on the bathroom too.

Swampgirl said...

I love decorating on a shoestring! I have had some great luck on lamps at the local thrift stores. They don't always come with a shade- and they don't always match, For the price of a can of spray paint you can at least make bases with good shapes look similar. It is much cheaper to buy new shades than new lamps. I have paid less than $5 for most of my lamps so I can buy the nicer shades! Have fun decorating!

Calico Sky said...

Can't wait to see the end result! I was going to suggest a townhome would be great because they would shovel the snow but then I remembered where you live! LOL!

Marla said...

Joannah-Love the ideas that you have come up with-I did have to chuckle though at your wish as to the size for a new home or townhome you would like to buy-Our home has 975 sq ft and 1 bathroom! Raising 2 kiddos in it; worked out fine-plus all of their friends that were here constantly! Smaller can be better-who wants to clean all the time!Love you and Michael-Cousin Marla