Saturday, June 28, 2014

Whole house reveal

I love makeovers! The before and after photos, the back stories, the DIY tips: it’s all just thrilling. So I thought it was high-time I did a makeover on this blog. I decided to tackle our whole house in one week and I’m here to show you the amazing results! You too can take this dramatically different approach to decorating and see a radical difference in your decor. It’s practically FREE although making the results permanent is still largely a work-in-progress at our house.

The entrance

This area was drab and uninviting. The door was largely functional only and sometimes prone to slamming on school mornings.

We decided to keep the paint work and the bricks largely the same. We added in some highlights of hospitality and welcoming. By re-working the aspects of patience and brotherly kindness, we hope we’ve reduced the door slamming. We brought in several pots of generosity and giving and the whole area seems much lighter now! It’s amazing what some small changes in detail can do.

The lounge room

It’s been a long time since this area has been redecorated and it was really quite dated and dreary. The couches were still working well as places to sit but the lack of good conversation was really evident. We needed something new and hip to bring this into the modern world.

We started by stripping back some layers of covetousness and one-up-manship in the entertaining sections of the room. After that, we painted the whole area in a warm tone of kindess and added several repurposed listening ear lamps to better balance the couches which tended to dominate the conversation. The old throw cushions of keeping-up-appearances and glossy façade were just not working with the new colour scheme so we replaced them with some bright new pops of honesty and authenticity. We also repeated the patterns of hospitality and generosity from the front entrance to make the space flow better. The carpet was really threadbare in places, worn thin from worry and anxiety, so we pulled all of it up and laid down brand new floorboards of trust and contentment. I can’t believe the difference that’s made: it’s almost like walking into someone else’s house!

The kitchen

We were reasonably happy with the old cupboards and the sink full of dishes but the large and cumbersome profile of the complaining and whinging really had to go! There was a strange smell in the fridge which could point to hording and it was difficult to get around the critical remarks and short-temperedness that sometimes piled up on the bench. The bland walls of drudgery were very uninspiring and lacked that freshness that would pull others into the space.

First job was to pull out all of the accumulated sense of martyrdom and repaint the walls of drudgery. We choose a beautiful shade of servanthood which contrasted gently with the finish we put on the cupboards which was a deep tone of care and kindness. The oven was updated with a new sense of the joy of helping others and the fridge checked for hording and waste. The bench tops were updated with a durable all-purpose Patience top and we added some dazzle with a bowl of self-control and gentleness. The light-fitting was also replaced with a new gospel shade that will help the workspace be lit with purpose and enable grace to be better seen when working under pressure. We kept the dirty dishes in the sink as they added a gritty retro touch to the final presentation.

The bathroom

This room is frequently used in rushed situations and so a grimy build-up of unkindness and impatience was evident on the tiles, and parts of the grout of self-control were definitely coming away. The mirror had been overused for vanity and discontent and seemed to be warping at the edges to make everything look like it was all about the individual using it. Along with a serious mould problem in the area of self-interest, this room was in desperate need of rescue!

Having stripped away the grim, we repainted the tiles in a brilliant white of peace and replaced the tap-fittings with double-mixer of patience and kindness. The door handles which had been subject to much jiggling were updated to a sleek model of consideration for others. We ripped out the old mirror and hung a new one gilded around the edge with wisdom which now looks out towards others instead of constantly reflecting on one’s own problems. We added super new storage solutions so that concern about outward appearance and the need to be presentable is now housed in its proper place and contained instead of spilling out all over the place. Under the sink we’ve installed a handy caddy full of tools like regular prayer, reading God’s Word, humility and repentance to help keep this room in good order.

The family room

This was definitely the room that needed the most TLC. In fact, the homeowners can testify TLC has been noticeably lacking of late. The self-serving colour on the walls was definitely bringing down the tone of the room and there were also several holes that seem to have been made by anger and harsh words thrown hastily. The couches were falling to hold up good manners and were stained with a lot of unwholesome talk that had been split instead of being used to build each other up. Toys were not being properly managed owing to lack of good sharing solutions. The windows treatment also needed updating as they had a funny sheen on them that reflected self-absorption rather than a genuine interest in others.

The walls were repainted in a stunning harmony cream with a feature wallpaper of encouragement. The couches were steam-cleaned to remove bad language and we bought new storage crates of unselfishness to handle all the toys. Instead of the old curtains, we hung new blinds which reduce noise from the world around us and help refine and focus the listening being done inside the space. To help everything blend better, we added accent cushions in whimsy, laughter and a bold pattern of forgiveness which should enable people to better enjoy the space and overlook small wrongs.

The master bedroom

We saved the best for last. Looking around the space we could see that it was well-decorated originally but that it needed refreshment to continue to make it a valuable and vibrant part of the home. The walls had originally been painted in an orange tone of excitement but that had faded over time and needed reinventing. Clutter and busyness was evident in every corner of the room and was threatening to become the focus of the space thereby pushing the important things aside. Time to restore this old room to its former glory!

After taking out all the clutter and careful considering what should be kept and what would be best thrown away, we were able to see more clearly what was really important in this space. The curtains were showing signs of pickiness along the hem and were simply catching so much dust of criticism at the top that they weren’t worth keeping. Instead, we installed new curtains with a heavy block-out lining to keep out unhelpful intrusions and maintain the privacy and intimacy of the room. We repainted the walls in a beautiful shade of faithfulness with loving kindness as an accent trim. The new bed linen is a deep shade of passion with flecks of purity sprinkled throughout. We added baskets on top of the chest of drawers to hold the clutter and keep the worries of the day from spreading all over the room. To finish off, we added a number of shared experiences and memories that we had thrifted from around the rest of the house to help draw the room together and provide an ongoing reminder of why the room was there in the first place. Truly beautiful.

The conclusion

The new house will take quite a bit of maintenance to keep in its current condition and for many of the rooms the work is barely begun. Some designers might notice that the colour-schemes are still falling well below the standard of Better Homes and Gardens. However, the occupants now find that they have very little interest in redecorating because they are too busy enjoying each other’s company.

* I hope you've enjoyed this little tongue-in-cheek tour of my very real house.  I can assure you that no rooms were tidied up in the making of this blog post. :)


Catherine said...

Ha ha love it Deb - made me smile! Very clever - and a good reminder to me too about what really matters...

Julie Giovannini said...

A Facebook friend linked to this post and I loved it. Some times we need that gentle reminder of what is important.Many of us just cannot afford the House and Garden make over but we can pour our energy into creating a calm, safe and loving environment for our loved ones. Thanks.

Deb said...

@ Catherine and Julie: thanks so much! I had fun writing it and thinking through the ideas. Easier to think than implement, I'm afraid, but we're working on it!