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FREE Weekend Makeover: Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my FREE Weekend Makeover!

How to refresh, restyle, and redecorate 
without spending a CENT -
by using what you already have!

We're at the halfway point!
You've seen the deck and patio, and the living room in previous posts,
and now it's time for
The Dining Room!
The dining room is located to the right as you view the house from the front entry,
but it's actually part of the main living space.
That large modular sofa was blocking it off from being used to all of its potential, though.
[You saw in this post how I rearranged the sofa sections to open up the living area...
and you were probably wondering 'Where's the other sofa section?']

Here's the other sofa section!
The armless unit [from the center of the old 'U'-shaped sofa] has been moved to the dining area.
Why? Because it helped open up the living room to get it out of there.
And because this wall was screaming for something on it.

And because this piece of furniture here gives the dining room more uses:
*You can still see the television from here, so it's a great lounge space.
[Ask my brother. He loves it!]
*You can participate in conversations in the living room.
*You can move the table over and this section creates two extra seats -
so the table seats six instead of just four -
which also works well for working on home work or a laptop.

And  because by putting it here, I've created another area
where one of two preteen girls can sit with a book, a Kindle, or an iPad
and not be sitting right on top of her sister all summer long
[one on the chaise in the living room, one here -
WAY better than fighting over corners of the old 'U'-shaped sofa!]

That's a LOT of value added 
by simply scooting one four-foot sofa section across a room!
Remember, you have to SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY!

continue reading to see MORE of the dining room - and kitchen!

Looking from the kitchen into the Dining Room, it's just a view of a table. And it's long.
It's taking up the whole room, but doesn't really fit the space.

And to be honest, I looked at it and thought
"When they eat at this table, they are AWFULLY far away from each other."
With pre-teen girls in the house, family time is important. So I wanted to help with that.

With the four-foot sofa section up against the half-wall, the table had to move down.
Rather than just shove it down toward the glass doors, I angled it a bit.
As in the Living Room, the angles reflect the fireplace wall angle
and bring an energy to the space.

PLUS this angle allow the chairs to be placed two per side -
which draws the family closer together at meal time.
And there's a space between the table and the far corner by the door
for the family dog to tuck herself into her second favorite place to lay.

Now, you may notice that the light fixture in here is not quite right...
it's hung too high, and the black metal kind of stands out a bit too much in this decor.

 All on her own, my sister in law decided that she is is going to
spray paint the chandelier
gloss AQUA
and lower it by a foot, so that it hangs down closer to the table...
which will make the lighting more effective, and the mood more intimate.

Since I am going to go RE-STYLE this home AGAIN for FALL,
you'll be able to see some 'AFTER After' photos of that chandelier - coming in September!

Now, for some of the tabletop details:

These white gladiolus stems were the ONLY thing I purchased for this makeover.
I spent $3.99 for ten stems at the local grocer!
What that means is that my sister in law can go back to the store and pick up more white glads
to keep her table [and mantel] looking like this every week. On the CHEAP.
[Or she can cut blue agapanthus stems from the flowerbed in front of her fence,
which is what I did for some of the photos shown here BEFORE I went to the grocer!]

The table setting is
* patterned fabric placemats that I found in a drawer of the buffet -
brand new, still in the package
* linen napkins folded up in that same buffet drawer.
* white everyday dishes from the kitchen cabinet
* glass water and wine glasses from the kitchen cabinet
* and those blue-accented bowls were brand new, still in a box, in the garage

The centerpiece is
* three tall jars of sand & shells, found in a box in the garage labelled 'party decor'
* sitting on a white wood shelf, found leaning against the wall in the garage
because there were no brackets to hang it up.
It creates a pedestal for the shell jars, to make them POP on the table!
and the perfect shells in the center of each bowl
were in a bag of shells in the 'party decor' box in the garage.

I love the way the table turned out.
I love it so much that  I just entered these photos in a tabletop decor contest
held by a major tableware designer
If I win, I'm taking my sister in law out on a shopping spree!
...and that designer has some CUTE stuff in white and aqua and brown. I'm just sayin'.....

OK, now let's move on over into
The Kitchen
OK, this isn't really what it looked like 'before'.
There were baskets of papers and envelopes and mail and coupons on the counter 'before'.
I cleared the space before I started taking photos. Sorry.
[I moved all of those baskets into the office, which is just on the other side of the living room -
literally ten steps away]

The kitchen was functional. And clean. But it needed personality...

How do you get personality in a kitchen? Use your kitchen tools as decor. uh huh.
Glass canister jars found in the garage come in and are filled with pretty but necessary items
like wooden spoons, dishtowels, and cookie cutters (see detail shot below)
Two beautiful wooden salad bowls join forces on the countertop to hold fruit - or popcorn!
The dish drainer holds a few white everyday dishes, just to look pretty.

In this wide view, you can see a bit more:
On the left, the large coffee maker (that was brought out just for me!) was put back in the garage.
That opens the counter up and lightens the look.

On the ledge in the center, the family fish have taken up residence.
The blue faux plants in their bowls coordinate with the decor, and so do they!

On the right, there's a small white tray holding a silver cup of pens and a notepad under the key rack,
for messages as family members leave through the garage.

More Details:
On the left, you can see the glass canisters
[minus the cookie cutters, which I couldn't find - but my sister in law did when she came home!]
You can also see a simple glass vase sitting on the ledge, with grasses from the front yard -
these echo the ones used on the mantel in the living room, and also the brown sofa color.

On the right, the pegrack at the end of the counter holds a canvas & straw tote bag
for quick trips to the market or pool,
and a softball glove - just because.

In the background,  a white ceramic platter
sits behind the iPod docking station and a plant, adding interest without taking up space.

Even in a kitchen, you can add decorative touches...

Just think of storing and displaying kitchen tools and implements in new ways.
You gotta' use this stuff - but it can still be pretty!

Catch up with parts 1 & 2 of this makeover here
View Part 4 of this makeover

shared online:

The Better Half  | One Project Closer


  1. I love your after picture! What a change moving in the section from your couch, it now looks so warm and inviting. I hope your family likes it and this look will stay, you did a great job!

  2. Deb, I've really enjoyed this series! We are going to be moving and rebuilding, and I have the pleasure of fine-tuning the houseplans. I'll be losing my sweet little front room/sitting room. But now I think I have a solution. Add just a little more room to the one dining area and I'll have room for my two petite wicker chairs and a small tea table in front of the windows! They can be moved out of the way when we need to extend the table for groups, but will be a cozy area to sit and visit with a girlfriend. Thank you for the inspiration! {hug}

  3. What?....this is GENIUS! Only YOU would think of dividing up a sectional like that Deb and I love the idea!

  4. wonderful use of small space and great fillers!! love it!!

  5. what an incredible change, i love that you used pieces from all different spots in your house. sometimes it does just take a fresh look at something old to find a new spot for it. thank you so much for linking up to the before and after party!