Monday, July 21, 2008

Design on a Dime

Many of you watch HGTV and have seen this particular program. I also have seen it, but must admit that I get frustrated with it. I don't think they finish their projects all the way and kind of do a shoddy job. Just one persons opinion. Just because you are on a budget doesn't mean that you can't do a job whole-heartedly and get it done the right way.

Yes, I know they are on a time crunch with the one-day makeover and all, but I hope it doesn't put stars in your eyes and make you think it is possible. A good job takes a little more time, especially when we don't have the kind of crew those tv people do.

Enough ranting for the moment. I am on a very strict budget now that we are homeowners and we have had to cut back drastically. Todd said I could continue to make our house into a home as long as I could be creative with the funds given...virtually nothing. I mean, under $20.

A friend of mine, let's call her Wendi, because that is her name. Tipped me off to a great store to pick up the paint. It is called The Trans Jordan Landfill, a.k.a. the dump. Yes, the dump. We all know that when you have those leftover buckets of paint, you can't just chuck them in the garbage, they have to be disposed of properly. Where does the dump put them until that time? A nice little shed labeled and organized (also with lawn care and other hazardous chemicals). The cost to you to go and pick these things up? The gas in your car (which, sadly enough, is a whole lot nowadays).

How cool is that!!! It gets even cooler!!!

For the kitchen and living room, I actually scrounged up enough paint amongst family members to not need to use any paint from the dump (dump paint to be used in the kids room, pictures to come once job is completed). This next part has to be my favorite part of my whole decorating experience in these two rooms.

Let me give you the list of cans I gathered:
5 gallon bucket of Exterior White paint no longer needed by Sumo Printing
1 gallon Ralph Lauren Chocolate Brown Interior paint (Sistah Suzy)
1 gallon Ralph Lauren Soho Loft Interior paint (Sistah Suzy)
1 gallon Ralph Lauren Soho Loft Primer (Sistah Suzy)
1 gallon Dark Brown Exterior paint (Tonya)
1 gallon Ivory Exterior paint (Tonya)

Each of these had been used so there were various amounts left in them. I went to my local Home Depot and met the most wonderful paint person ever, Julie, and she helped me with my experiment. I showed her the swatches of the colors I had hoped we could come up with to paint the living room and kitchen. I wanted the whole of the kitchen to be Dark Brown and the whole of the living room to be a mushroom color and one wall dark brown. See pictures below for what I was aiming for:

So Julie and I talked about our options and she said that she would take the 5 gallon bucket of white and mix it for FREE to make the mushroom color. Then I purchased an empty 5 gallon bucket ($5) and went into the parking lot to dump the remaining paint (except for the primer) into the bucket. I returned it to Julie and she added some more color and we got exactly what I was looking for!!! She assured me that it was okay to mix the exterior paint with the interior paint.

I got home and the following day my mom and my sister-in-law Jeanette came over with her boys and they all helped paint. I taped off shapes on the walls to make it more entertaining for the boys.

Julie had told me that she was worried there may not be enough of the chocolate brown paint to do the whole kitchen and the wall in the living room, so she recommended that I use the primer to help stretch the paint. Once I got the primer on the walls in the kitchen and near those cabinets, I fell in love with it! But I had used the gallon of Soho Loft in the dark brown!!! AAUUGGHH!!!

I went to my basement and discovered a full gallon of white paint. It was 8pm, I ran to Lowe's and asked the guy at the counter to help mix it to match the dip stick of dark umber I wanted. He wasn't very social, but walked away and did it. The couple next to me was a little disgruntled because he had mixed their paint wrong...and it was one of Lowe's paints with a Lowe's swatch. I wasn't worried thought, mine didn't have to be dead on. The guy opened my can of paint and said, "Don't worry, it will dry darker." It was PEACH!!! You can't make that shade of peach dry to a dark orange lamo.

I went to my moms to pick up a few things and vented my frustration. She came up with a gallon of paint, but it was pale yellow. At 9pm I took it to Home Depot praying that Julie would be there, but she wasn't and the guy in front of me had 15 gallons of paint to mix. He told "Buck" to go ahead and help me first. So Buck did, but it didn't come out right. I was not going to give up on my new favorite color. I asked Buck how much a gallon of the Ralph Lauren Soho Loft paint was, he told me $37. EEEEKK! I ran to the mis-match shelf and grabbed the closest thing to white he had and asked him to try again. I would pay the $5 for the used can of paint. Buck told me to go and shop around and when he had finished the 15 gallons he would work on mine. I came back to him at 10:15 and he handed me a gallon of Ralph Lauren Soho Loft and told me it was mine for $5. He thanked me for being so patient with him. WOO-HOO!!! I love Home Depot. I failed to mention that I had Connor with me the whole time, the little trooper never even complained once.

However, changing the color in the kitchen, meant the valances I got for my birthday to go in there would no longer match. Not to worry! A box of RIT dye and the current Living Room Valance became the valance in the kitchen and I think it turned out fabulously! Now I will just sew the valances meant for the kitchen together to fit in the bay window in the living room!

So the end results are shown below. Not to worry, the decor and such will come later, but very slowly. These things take time, but are worth the wait and it's always fun to discover how the next affordable project will come about
(free frames + printer dad = great artwork).


Heather B said...

WOW, Mel, you are sooo good...YOU need to do the show! Amazing what you got for so little money, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE those colors made! I never would have thought.
Love you.

Emilee said...

I LOVE it!! Way to go- you interior design diva! I prefer your couch to the one of the previous owner & I like the piano.

Live everyday to its fullest said...

I love it!!!! I can't wait to see it tomorrow!!!!

Nik said...

When are we getting together? I can't wait to see your house!!! What are you guys up to for the 24th?

Besser said...

Looks great Mel. I will definitely need to try this. I also try my best to "design on a dime." Needless to say, it has taken me almost four years to remodel my bathroom using one "dime" at a time.

Miranda said...

I'm lovin' it! i can't wait to see it when we come in September.

The Potter Pack said...

Looks good !! nice job ...