Monday, January 14, 2013

A little decluttering and before and after

Do you know how hard it can be for a junker/picker/collector to declutter? Every singe thing is a treasure! Right? I've carried items around and around the house looking for a better place for them so they wouldn't have to go to the garage, which is the first step in going to the booth.

So I spent a couple days roaming the house, carrying things from one room to another and it worked. The living room looks fresh and new, and that's all I wanted. 

Some before and after ....... way before.

This was my Hutch at First Sight.
I would have never noticed this monster if not for feeling its big, looming presence as I walked by. It's the kind of hutch that swallows people whole. I found out later that friends and family thought I had lost my mind when I brought this giant home. It's so big we had to remove a finial to stand it up in the dining room. (I removed the others shortly thereafter.)

Some rooms can carry a huge black hutch. Not my dining room. It just wasn't a good look. That hutch started me on my furniture painting journey. I sanded the paint off all the raised panels and from the inside and lived with that look for a while, until I just had to do something more. We had the ugliest dining room in the history of forever. Big and dark.

In the shot above I was trying out a new light fixture. It was my first step in redoing the house. See the wallpaper? More on that in a bit.

Has anyone else done this? I cut potential light fixtures out of cardboard and taped them to my existing light to see how they'd work. It actually worked to a point. But I had scraps of cardboard all over the place. 

This is so pathetic and sad: I was thumbing through a decor magazine one day (TEN! years ago) and saw a "before" picture with our exact wallpaper! Good grief. Between the Black-Hole-to-Mordor-Hutch and the embarrassing wallpaper, I had a fire lit under me. I painted everything except 4 chairs. Buh-bye wallpaper.

Today the room is lighter and softer. All the furniture is painted different shades of soft blue-green made from mixing chalk paint until I had what I wanted.

Here's a snippet of how it evolved. First everything was all dark with that oh-so-special wallpaper.

That first burst of Oh Geez I Gotta DO Something got me some nice color but still the room looked a little 'thrown together.' I used to put homeless pieces in this corner so it's always been a mish-mash.

Currently, everything's a bit more 'pulled together.' But still subject to change.

I don't have a before shot of the dining room set but this is what the table looked like, except super shiny. The chairs are a random collection of vintage finds.

For years I wanted to strip that shiny table but it seemed too daunting a task. Then along came Annie Sloan and I only had to strip the top. Yay. I stained it with Dark Walnut then waxed. The legs are Duck Egg Blue and some Sage milk paint. Then light and dark wax.

I recovered all the chairs with feed sacks.

The dining room is now airy and light which is what we needed. We live on the north side of a mountain so we are in shadow a good share of the time. Like all winter.

Then and now.The grate on the left was to cover an unsightly electrical outlet. I think the frames on the right do the job much better. Oh, don't ask me how many million frames I have stuffed in every corner.

 I leaned a few of my old mirrors where I'd had the desk last week, opening up the area between the kitchen and the couch. I have a mirror problem. I can't stop buying old, foxed mirrors. I. Just. Can't.

And who doesn't have metal baskets in the living room filled with door knobs and casters? Right?

My Wonder Horse and two old boxes found a home. That leaves 7-8 old boxes still looking for a spot. 

If, 5 years ago, someone had said "crusty old boxes will be your most prized possessions"  I would have replied 'Wait. Didn't you mean to say Louis Vuittion Damier Azur Speedy? I'm sure that's what you must have meant."

Ahhhh, how we change and reevaluate and reprioritize.

See that brick wall back there? I want to put a floating mantel across there. I just have to figure out what will be safe (and fairly easy) since it will be behind the wood stove. I need something that won't burst into flames.

This is a Wild West classic - a window with a bullet hole in it.

I brought in 3 of my cool old windows, two of which are going into our guest bath.  I was never happy with grouping of mirrors, old signs and metal goodies I had up there. Yesterday I took everything down, spackled and painted the wall. Today we started over.

Chippy perfection.

Check out my scaffolding. Sweet!
I needed to see what the windows would look like and where to position them. Necessity being the mother of invention and all that.

There it is, the work in progress. I carried a hallway full of stuff out to storage so some decluttering was actually accomplished.

I have to get the bathroom done before guests arrive tonight. YIKES!

I'm back to work. Happy Sunday! 

Linking to:
nifty thrifty things
Under the table and dreaming
diy show off
elizabeth and co
home stories a to z
kammys korner
a diamond in the stuff
my repurposed life
funky junk interiors


  1. Just gorgeous - loving all the elements you put in the room - and the furniture makeovers are fabulous ( like always )

  2. Love the look of the dining room now.

  3. It's so interesting to see how your style evolved!

  4. I noticed you are a expert in your web site! I am just starting a website soon, plus your tips can be really ideal for me. Many thanks for all of your help and also wishing you all the actual being successful inside your company.
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  5. Love this post! You are so creative and I love the new dining room color. Thanks for the declutter if I could just do it. BTW I do have door knobs stacked in wire racks...they are on the back porch.

  6. Love your scaffolding photo. Always fun to drop by your blog.

  7. Nice before and after pictures. That will surely motivate me to do even more with my designing. I too hate clutter, it is probably the biggest thing that contributes to a dirty room. I love to hide my stuff inside cabinets and drawers instead of displaying them out in the open because that's also clutter for me. Anyway, you guys should check this out: