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Thrifty Weekend Makeover: Part IV

Welcome to Part IV
of my Thrifty Weekend Makeover, 
where we're Re-Styling Rooms using items found in the house
and adding some thrifted elements!

 You've seen the backyard patio, the family room, and the wine bar and guest bath...
In this final of four installments, you'll see the
 Living & Dining Room Reveal!

Let's start at the front door...
The grapevine wreath that was hung on the family room fireplace is now on the front door.
I left the greenery on it, and embellished it with some easy accents:
two small bunches of faux orchid flowers, a little pair of zorie sandals
and a small beach sign [all from Dollar Tree
introduce the turquoise/brown/green color scheme and the tropical theme.

Talk about 'Fast, Cheap, & Easy'TM - this cost four dollars and took all of five minutes!
continue reading to continue your tour...
As you walk in the front entry, you see.... 
A tall hutch inside the door adds color and height to this side of the room.

Removing the heavy baskets beneath the hutch shows more of the floor, so this area feels less bulky -
replacing the baskets with a plant & beach basket add interest without adding 'heft'.
Note the turtles... part of a collection!

The shelves of the unit display beach-themed accessories,
from jars filled with shells [Dollar Tree] to a potted faux orchid [thirfted]
and some personal treasures...

A large brandy snifter holds a candle and turquoise glass beads,
a heavy crystal ashtray holds another candle and shells.
Remember to use things you have differently than they were intended!
Both sit on top of a bamboo placemat [Dollar Tree].

The brass bookend is one of two that my uncle made in high school shop class.
My mom had them sitting on a shelf by the tv, and you could barely see them.
I brought them out and up to eye level and placed a votive candle holder behind them...
now they really shine!

Behind the jar of shells [Dollar Tree] there is a wood serving tray, that I found in the kitchen cabinet.
The little crystal turtles are part of Mom & Dad's large turtle collection.
which you'll see sprinkled all over these two rooms...

On the right inside the entry door is the living room seating area.
The modular sofas were arranged in a giant 'L' originally -
effectively blocking off the whole room except for a tiny passageway.
I rearranged that last fall and moved one end unit across the room,
so it's been more of a 'J' configuration. But it still blocked entry to the room.
A few months ago I added the table lamp, because it works better than that brass lamp.

I broke up the modular unit and created two love seats and a quarter-round sofa.
Here you see one end of one loveseat, placed on angle near the entry.
The faux magnolia tree came from another part of the room, just to soften this corner.
(Would rather have real plants, but used what was already here!)

More explanation in the next photo...
Here's a shot of the big ol' sofa unit in the J configuration.
Sitting behind it facing the window is a walnut sewing machine cabinet/credenza.
(sewing machine isn't even in it - it's just being used as a table)
This was my main goal with the rearrangement of the sofas:
Getting some LIGHT into the room!
By splitting the sofa up into 3 units, two of them can flank the table
(instead of a wall of sofas blocking the window).

The table is actually the former coffee/cocktail table -
its open legs and glass top don't block the view out, or the light coming in.

And the brass overhead lamp was moved to the family room.
 Another problem with the former furniture placement
was that it was all basically pushed back to the edges of the room.
Seating was too far apart for a decent conversation, and the squared-off lines were boring.

You can just see the corner of the third sofa unit in the lower left of the after photo...
the seating is now close enough together to create a conversation area.
The baskets that were below the tall hutch in the entry now serve as ottomans,
and with the addition of a tray on top, they work as a coffee/cocktail table.

The emptiness of the corner behind this loveseat bothers me.
I'd love to have a 3' tall schefflera plant to put here to add interest...

Here you can see the angles of the loveseats, the new glass table placement,
the basket ottomans and the front edge of the third sofa unit.
The loveseat section that I moved a few months ago angles across the room,
in the location where the living room transitions to the dining room.
It's pretty much crammed up against the shelf unit on one edge.
I never actually liked it there, yet it was better than the original placement in the 'L'.

 Now the shelf unit is totally visible, with nothing up against it.
That's because the third sofa unit is sitting in the middle of the room!
Yep, it's floating out in the center, with room behind it for passage from one room to the other.

I'll admit I was worried about this arrangement.
I thought my parents would hate it.
To me, it is the perfect way to create a conversation area in this room,
and it also reflects the feeling of a hotel lobby - which is what I was goin' for.

The shelf unit (another piece I picked out for my mom when I was in high school!)
holds most of the turtle collection, family photos, and crystal/glass accessories.

Accents like the flowers, small tiki (barely visible here, sorry), shells, sea turtles,
and the framed palm tree print [thrifted - FIVE BUCKS!] continue the tropical theme.

The photos were in mis-matched frames, so I found wood-grain frames for all of them.
Some aqua glass candle holders from the patio bar stash bring a touch color here - but not too much.

In this show you can see how pieces like the shelf unit
contributed to the Tommy Bahama tropical theme...
it has woven bamboo detail under the glass!

Some faux bamboo vases with ti leaves [ReStore] hold orchid stems [Dollar Tree]
The wood bowl has a very Hawaiian vibe! [thrifted]

On the lowest center shelf, I placed the two Tommy Bahama store bags
that were the beginning of the inspiration for this room...
you can see the deep turquoise lining against the soft brown exterior.
The bags hold crystal candlesticks that don't really fit the room now.

Skipping the dining room for a moment, the living room area includes this wall
(which backs the kitchen).
It's a great place for the buffet and a large painting for impact,
as it is straight in front of you from the front door.

I changed out the painting for an orchid on a tan background (I know, you can't see it....)
and replaced the tiny lamp with a larger one with palm tree accents [thrifted]
The sofa arrangement allows space for passage into the dining room.
(and you can't tell from this shot, but the sofa back here is rounded)

On the sofas are accent pillows - which are the old pillows with new covers,
made from dishcloths ans an XL men's Hawaiian shirt [thrifted]

Notes on my fabric choices:
I knew I needed a SMALL shot of yellow in this room,
to coordinate with the yellow flowers in the family room fabric.
The dishcloths have golden yellow, tan, turquoise, green, and a deeper teal blue.
The Hawaiian shirt (XL, because you get more fabric that way!) has tans and teal blue.
The deep teal in the shirt print is an exact match to the color of the tall hutch in the entry -
which always looked green before. Who knew?!
I wasn't about to move this heavy oak buffet - fully loaded with china and flatware!
So re-accessorizing it was the best option.
(Door to kitchen is on the left)
The framed orchid print was hanging in an upstairs bedroom
(and it coordinates with the small print on the tall hutch)
A larger plant and floral arrangement adds more presence to this piece.

Here's the new [thrifted] tropical lamp, and larger floral arrangement -
just a potted silk plant with stems of orchids [Dollar Tree]
and magnolia blooms [from a thrifted wreath] stuck into it. EASY!
They sit on three blue bamboo placemats - that function as a runner when overlapped.
Do you see the turtle?!

Just to the right of the buffet is the dining room...
Note the swagged sheer fabric on the window.
I changed that.
You can't see it here but a large plant sits to the left of the window.

The sheer fabric swag has been removed,
replaced by two sheer panels in the same color as the living room drapes.
This makes the dining room window a reflection of the living room window - 
as they are straight across from each other.
The sheer fabric here keeps this smaller window from closing in too much.,
and it's also what was already in the house.

That large plant you couldn't see is now in full view, on the right of the window.
It sits inside a bamboo pot found on the side of the house,
elevated on top of a barstool to give the plant even more presence in the room.


The multiple frame on the wall continues the wood-grained frame idea from the living room shelves.
I found several photos of the views my parents see in Kauaii when they are there,
and filled in the other spaces with leftover fabric remnants from the pillow covers! 

The top of the sewing cabinet now under the window is similar to the buffet in the living room:
an arrangement of greens, magnolia blooms, and orchid stems 
sits on two bamboo placemats functioning as a runner.
The walnut sewing machine cabinet sits behind the sofa, functioning as a sofa table. Bulky.

The sewing cabinet is now functioning as a credenza/buffet.
The dark walnut color helps add some visual weight to this end of the room,
and also provides a handy storage place for all of the games that are played on this table!

I put some faux greens into the pot with the tree, to fill in the empty space.

 The table is set for everyday use, and the centerpiece is a collection of items that can easily be moved:
another turtle from the collection, a small votive, and a vase of flowers.

But there's more than meets the eye here:
The grouping sits on a lazy susan / turntable, covered by two bamboo placemats [Dollar Tree].
That lifts it up above the surface of the table a bit,
and also makes it easy to move. (a tray would work, as well....)

The vase and votive cup are actually a carafe' and drinking glass!
The buttoned wrap around the carafe'/vase was on the bundle of dishcloths -
it's a perfect way to pull the pattern from the living room into this room.

Here's the view of the living room from the door to the kitchen:

And from the dining room toward the front door:
I know it's unusual to use a modular sofa in a configuration like this -
but sometimes, 'out of the box' thinking is the best solution.
It's a perfectly welcoming and comfortable conversation area now,
and my parents LOVED it!
I think it was actually their favorite thing about the makeover!

So the story of the real reveal is:

I had told my Dad that I was going to repaint the guest bath mural while they were gone.
He didn't know about the house re-style. Mom didn't know anything at all about what I was doing.
I got everything done in the first three days that they were gone.
And when they arrived home, it was all a huge surprise...
and they really enjoy it!

Mom says 'It's like we didn't even leave Kauaii!'
exactly my intended effect....
Read all four parts of this makeover project (and more!)


  1. An anonymous commenter left a comment that made me smile - so although I didn't publish it as 'anonymous', I'm going to share it anyway:

    "wow, i just read all parts of your makeover. i started with #1 and it was better than most mystery novels! what lucky parents you have absotootly !"

    now that's funny! (and if you want your comments to be published, ya' gotta' have a name)

  2. Ur parents are just gonna flip over all you've done!! Great job!