Five steps to the perfect interior design makeover. Learn how to give your home a charming and finished look, in the style that best fits you.
For today’s post, I invited my sister, Evelyn, who has an excellent eye for design and the most charming home decor, to share her tips and ideas for giving your room a design makeover:
A Design Makeover: Evelyn’s Home
When I was looking at our house as a buyer, I knew it had good bones, I just had to look past the beige walls and dingy carpet. With the high ceilings and large, spacious rooms, I knew this was the one, but it needed a design makeover.
Start with the Floor
The first thing that needed to be done when I moved in was flooring. My mom, who was an interior designer, always told me you start with the floor of a room and work your way up. So, I got to work finding a new carpet that would fit my expectations. I found a store called The Carpet Barn that had just what I needed – a designer second, low pile carpet with a fun pattern in it to help hide high traffic areas, and all for a great price per yard.
Update the Walls
Before I got my new carpet installed, I painted my walls – with the old carpet still in, I didn’t need to lay down any drop cloths. I used all Sherwin Williams paint, high quality, and expensive paint. Using good paint like this made such a big difference when painting almost my whole house – fewer layers needed, less mess, and goes on like butter. I definitely recommend paying more for higher quality paint, especially with such a big project. The color I used in my front room was Comfort Gray. I love watching Fixer Upper, and this is one of the colors Joanna uses in her houses. In my kitchen, I used Sea Salt, and in my family room, I used Halcyon Green. Each of these colors can be seen from the other room, and I wanted my house to flow and feel calm.
Create a Focal Point for the Room
Now that I had a great carpet and beautiful walls in my front room, it was time for the furniture. I started with my Pinterest board. I was sure I wanted a farm-house look—a more simple look with clean lines and white sofas—but that idea completely changed when I bought my piano.
I suggest getting your most expensive piece in your room first, then designing around it. For me, that piece was my piano. I found this beautiful piano second-hand. It was a great price and had beautiful detail, so I snatched it up and decided to make a DIY project out of it. You can read how I refinished the piano here.
It was important for my front room to keep the focus on its architecture, the bay window, but I also wanted focus on my new piano, so I placed the piano directly across from the window and put the other furniture around that, again using my Pinterest board to help me get the look and feel that I wanted.
Add the Large Furniture
When the piano was finished, I knew that with all those beautiful scroll details it wasn’t a simple farmhouse piano. No, this needed French Country designs around it. So back to the design drawing board, or in other words, Pinterest, to find French Country Fixer Upper looks. I knew my go-to store for furniture was out—Ikea wouldn’t work for this look. I found a cute boutique store called the Furniture Lady. It had just the Chesterfield sofa I wanted. It was very comfortable and under $600, so I bought two!
I already had a cedar chest, a previous thrift store purchase, and the bookshelf from Ikea became my reading nook with my grandmother’s rocking chair.
The next big piece of furniture I needed was a sofa table. I looked at so many stores and found furniture that was almost the right thing, but nothing was quite right they were way more than I wanted to pay for a sofa table. I finally found one at my local thrift store. It was red, but it was just the right height and had the style that I wanted. So I mixed up some chalk paint with Halcyon Green that I already had and painted it – perfect! I was having so much fun with chalk paint that I painted my clock with it and my globe too.
Place Smaller Decor Pieces
Adding in all the fun decorations was a little more stressful than I thought it would be – making everything match and not look too cluttered, but luckily, I can change those up all the time to fit my mood. You can read how I refinished a globe with chalk paint to make a fun decor piece here.
My front entry got a black bench for putting on shoes and a tri-fold mirror to check yourself out before you walk out the door. I used a mirror in the entryway and above my piano to add in extra light.
After all this work, I wouldn’t say this room is done by any means, but that’s what’s great about interior design—things can keep changing and progressing as you change your mood, or you just get more money for your house! Eventually, I’d like to put curtains up to replace the nasty shutters that I took down and maybe even a new bookshelf to replace my Ikea shelves. I’ll keep you all posted!