Thursday, March 10, 2011

It Started with a Lampshade!





I will be starting my tenth year in Mexico and in this house next week. I had lived with my lime green walls and pastel bedding and chair all of that time. I was ready for a change.
However, I didn't expect this BIG of a change.

It started with the fact that I needed another lamp in the bedroom.......and a new down filled comforter, which of course, would need a new duvet cover. Lordy, it just rolled on.

I found the lamp first. You can see it next to the newly upholstered chair in the photo. I loved the shade. But, it was not in any colors that I had ever used in my home before - ever. "Oh well", I thought, "I'll use white accessories and maybe it will blend". I was kidding myself. So I pulled in the background color of the lamp, the blue-gray color in a throw at the foot of the bed. Then decided to use that color for the walls.

Even I, the colorist, was astonished at the difference it made in the room. Calm, serene, tranquil was what happened, instantly. It is true that paint is the least expensive decorative element to gain the most impact. I lectured on that many times to groups when I was in the business of design.

The bookshelves had previously been stained wood which I had always disliked. They were a focal point, the wood, not the books, and they made the room seem smaller then it is. So, now everything is painted the same color. The room has expanded visually.

I also decided to redo the drapes. The previous ones were white and it was bright at sunup every morning. So, I bought a linen like drop cloth at Home Depot (the ones that painters use) for $32US and used the old drapes as lining. Labor to sew the two together and the drop cloth purchase - $92! Least expensive way to get the most fabric, other then bed sheets.

I had only intended to paint the bedroom. But looking out to the sink area and the bathroom with its yellow and blue walls was, the rest of it has been painted.
I'm thrilled with it. It's like I'm in a new house.

Total cost for the transformation - less then $500 - which included paint, labor, upholstery of chair and stool with suede fabric, drapes, lamp (the least expensive thing at $32!)and bedding.

Life is good - my spring cleaning is done.

It was fun to do - I haven't done any redesigning for myself or others in a long time.
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Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

very very nice! I like the drop cloth idea and I like the lampshade!

Anonymous said...


Your story reminded me of the woman who bought a little tiny blue vase at a yard sale--25 cents--and spent $20,000 re-doing her whole house to suit the color. LOL...


Dan in NC said...

Next Stop? HGTV - "Designing in SMA!"
Great job Barbara!
Dan in NC

Babs said...

Thanks Linda Lou - I've used drop cloths for slipcovers for clients, roman shades, and drapes. The fabric is heavy and good. Lowe's doesn't have the linen looking drop cloths, only Home Depot....and I get the large 9x12 ones.
Mexico Cooks, good story. I'm sure ya'll are having fun getting settled in Mexico City!
Dan, wouldn't that be fun? I still enjoy watching HGTV from time to time.

Matthew Smith said...

Wow,nice job! I really like your stone wall also. Your bed looks like it is from a boutique hotel. Jan in Mississippi

Babs said...

Thanks Jan - I too love the stone walls. I have them all over the house and in the garden as walkways and walls to hold in the gardens. Lots of stonework.

Jonna said...

Love the drop cloth idea, you got that at Home Depot in Mexico?

The color is fabulous! My favorite blue.

Babs said...

Jonna, no, in the USA........I've looked for them here but not seen them. Glad you like it.

Diane said...

Give a mouse a cookie!

Michael Dickson said...

Quite snazzy.

Billie Mercer said...

You are one talented woman.

Margo said...

A can of paint is an avalanche. In your case, your paint can was a lampshade, but still.... an avalanche. Looks good.

Babs said...

Diane, Felipe, Billie and Maja - glad you liked it. I've been so used to the bright Mexican colors throughout my house that this has been a huge departure from that...and I DO like it, a lot.