Paint Before and After – Part 2
In my life when we’ve house hunted I’ve always been “house blinded” by how houses are decorated on the inside. I wasn’t able to see past the terrible paint or crazy decorating. I hope these Paint Before and Afters help you.
Eventually you have to pick a house based on budget, neighborhood, layout and whether it just feels right. So then – maybe you end up with a house that meets all of these requirements, but guess what? It has purple walls and dead animals mounted to the walls (true story for me on both!) These paint before and afters will help demonstrate how I was once in the same shoes.
Examples of my home BEFORE:
I remember finding our home. We fell in love with the location, school district, backyard, and the floor plan. It was all perfect, except the interior decor. I called my Interior Design friend asking – can this be saved? She said yes.
I have been taught to stop decorating for what’s there. Don’t decorate around what you hate. Decorate for what you eventually want.
No one, or almost no one, can re-do their house at one time. It’s fiscally impossible for almost everyone. We didn’t decorate our dining room until 5 years living here, I still haven’t done the guest rooms and my daughter’s room hasn’t been done. Decorating is expensive!!!
BUT! Paint? That’s affordable. And it’s the biggest way to make a change without breaking the bank. BUT! BUT! BUT!
Look at your house:
- Do you hate the drapes?
- Do you hate the light fixtures?
- Do you hate your couch?
SO WHAT. Ignore those. In fact – do this.
- Take the drapes down.
- Buy inexpensive table lamps so you see those instead of the light fixtures.
- Put pretty throw pillows on the couch and a nice throw blanket to cover it up.
Here are Paint Before and Afters of my Sunroom (note the drapes, paint and dark fan)
The paint. The drapes. The light fixture. That’s it.
Since this photo was taken I have updated the floor lamps and pillows and changed out tables as I came across them personally. But at the time my Interior Designer and I did the room, all I could afford was paint and drapes (this was furniture my previous Interior Designer helped me pick out.) Two years later I found a store where I found lamps, pillows and accessories I liked to complete it.
Here’s what it looks like today, a few years after the previous shot:
My advice on where to start.
Go to the Grocery Store, buy magazines like Veranda, Traditional Home, Coastal Living, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles and Architectural Digest (all my favorites.)
Try really hard not get a case of the “I want I want” (so hard.) See them as Study Guide books, not a magazine full of the “I’ll never have, or I don’t know how to do that” projects.
Study it. Look at the rooms that catch your eye for whatever reason. Put bookmarks on those pages or rip them out. Make a file of these things. It may be just the overall color of the image you like. Or the paint color you think is pretty. Or the furniture. Take a gut reaction and book mark it.
What you are doing is discovering your taste; your style. I laugh when I look back at my pile. Almost every single one has the exact same foyer entry, dining room and house feel. I’m very consistent in what I love. Which is why when I buy things, I consider it an investment. Because I’m fairly certain I’ll love it for the next 10+ years.
Important to Remember
Once you’ve identified a style, ignore the things in your house you hate. DO NOT decorate around them. Decorate for where you are going.
Like blues? Have a brown couch and red drapes? OK. Take down the drapes, paint the walls a pretty pale, neutral blue and get some throw pillows from Homegoods.
Like neutral? But have black wrought iron light fixtures? OK. Paint the walls a pretty neutral, buy a new throw blanket or rug for the house, and maybe a few pretty lamps to put on the tables so you see the lamps, and not the ugly light fixture.
Favorite advice I’ve been given
Decorate in the direction you want to end up. Not around what you have and don’t like. I’ve learned over the years to get selective vision. I had a giant empty dining room in the center of my home that sat empty for five years. It was filled with a trampoline for the kids, cardboard boxes they drew on and played in and 25′ bare walls. It was like we were squatters who lived in boxes, ha! But it was painted the blue color I loved. Five years later when my husband said we could finish it, we did and it turned out beautifully.
My Dining Room Paint Before and Afters. This is how it sat for 5 years.
Dining Room after we had budget for it.
Look past what you have and don’t like, but can’t afford to change at the moment. I walked passed my dining room every day all day and had to just ignore it’s emptiness.
So homework! Buy magazines! Start bookmarking! Start project planning! When you’re ready paint can make all the difference in the world. Take my word (and pictures) for it.
Have a great weekend all. What are your Paint Before and Afters? I’d love to see!