A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about reclaiming our front room after using it to store everything and anything during our addition/renovation. Part of the process was revamping and styling an antique hutch that had belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I was very pleased with the results. Of course I did not stop there. I decided to keep going. I ended that post with a promise to revisit the front room when I was finished redecorating.
Like with the china cabinet, I wanted to update the mantle and built-in shelves. It had been the same style for a long while and I was ready for a change. Of course, as anyone knows who has done remodeling, when it is nearing the end, so too are the funds required to make more changes. With a very tight budget I took the challenge. First, I shopped my house, then I hit the road to find some bargains!
What we were using our front room for during the addition/renovation.
Starting to put it all back together.
The reimagined shelves and mantle unit.
I moved the large urns from the top of the mantle to the shelf. These urns were a Pottery Barn purchase. I make it a rule to never pay full price for anything I buy at Pottery Barn. I check Pottery Barn clearance items regularly. It took two years, but these urns finally went on sale. Lucky for me, our mantle and shelves are wider than most. Because of this, I was able to purchase the larger urns which happened to be an additional twenty percent off!
To replace the urns, I moved the candlesticks from the floor in front of the fireplace, to the top of the mantle. The candle sticks were also a Pottery Barn purchase. I found these a few years ago on a reduced price shelf. I picked them up (very heavy solid pieces) and could not believe the price. I was not the only one who thought so. When I got to the register the sales person looked at me and said, “Wow, these are a great price at eighteen dollars a piece”!
I now needed something that would balance out the large urns. I hunted around the house trying a myriad of items. Everything I tried was dwarfed by the urns. It was time to shop!
When I shop for bargains, the first thing I do is change my mindset. I start perusing the aisles looking in every section. I open my mind and look at the color, shape and size of an item rather than what is was meant to be used for. I’ll give you an example of what I mean. Every time I go shopping, I pass the pet area and think, wouldn’t a dog bed make a perfect floor pillow. I know your laughing, but why not? They are made for the floor, come in a variety of shapes and colors and are very comfortable ( if my kids were younger I would totally use this idea). Best of all, the price is probably a lot less than an actual floor pillow. Do me a favor, next time you are shopping check out the pet section and see what I mean.
Back to shopping! First stop, Good Will. They had some very nice items, but nothing large enough. Next, Home Goods. This is a great place to think outside the box. They have a wide variety of items to choose from. When I shop, I walk around and touch things, often picking them up and imagining it in my space. I was doing just that, when I found a large outdoor tray. It was made of woven rattan with melamine shell on the inside. The design of the melamine was beautiful. The size and color were right and it did not look like an outdoor tray. It looked like a high end piece of décor. The cost was just $15 each. I picked up two and headed home to try them.
Woven rattan base.
Melamine shell inside.
I love it! Look how it picks up the color in the little girl’s hat in my Mary Cassatt print (I purchased the print for a dollar at a rummage sale and had it framed at Michael’s ).
Two more bargains. First, the large crock. I found this on the side of the road in our neighborhood. I asked the neighbor if they were throwing it away. The answer was yes! I immediately picked up this very heavy piece and toted it home. So worth it!
The clock which is actually two pieces. The lantern I found at Good Will for five dollars and the clock was purchased at the At Home store in Henrietta N.Y, for $10. I originally had the lantern on the sofa table. It looked okay, but it needed something else. I thought of a candle, but the lantern was too narrow. I kept looking and that is when I saw the clock. It fit perfectly. The only thing I had to do was paint the clock with a gray wash paint to tone down the gold.
See how narrow it is.
Just a touch of gray wash toned it right down.
I know I showed the hutch in a post a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to show you how I added light. I loved the way the hutch turned out, but it was dark inside the shelves and made it difficult to see the items. I looked at adding lighting, but you would have to cut the hutch to install and that was not an option. Someone mentioned puck lighting to me. I researched it and it seemed like the right answer. I ordered a pack of six black puck lights.
The pucks run on three AA batteries and come with a remote to turn them on and off.
The pucks have three different light settings.
How cool is that!
I accomplished everything I wanted too. Put the room back together and gave it a refresh at the same time!