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From Teenage Pad To Calm Guest Room

Now that our oldest left the nest and our youngest moved into the barely vacated basement bedroom, the walls in her old room are as loud as the music that once blasted from it. Time to transform this space from a teenage pad to calm guest room.


The captain's bed has been in my family for over 40 years and it now resides in our backyard because we repurposed it into a Twin Headboard Outdoor Bench. The desk unit was my husband's growing up and after painting it solid white, it now resides in my home office.

That left a completely blank slate to work with and the first thing we did was paint the walls a light taupe with a dark Iced Espresso feature wall.

Guest room makeover After

Big difference in this space. Now the challenge of filling it and so the mad dash began to makeover some furniture to place in this room. Starting with a simple upholstered headboard that we made.

Guest room DIY upholstered headboard decorative tacks

It was our first attempt at making a headboard and I think it looks pretty good.

Guest room makeover After View A

I found the pretty glass lamp on clearance for under $40 at Homesense (Canadian retailer). Doesn't the wall look so much better painted Iced Espresso? Such a nice contrast with the headboard and bedding.

The room is quite small and a double or queen size bed would take up most of the space so we opted for a twin instead.

You can see tucked on the left side of the bed is the From Curb To Francais Table Makeover. That poor table has since had a few makeovers as it's shuffled from room-to-room and the most recent being this Old World Clock Face Table.

Guest room makeover DIY cushion bolster

The bolster on the bed was a dud project meant for another room a few years ago and sat in the bottom of the fabric bin ever since. I found some pretty ribbon that I bought last year in my stash and after 15 minutes at the sewing machine, the bolster is perfect for this space.

Guest room makeover After View B

On the right of the bed is a tall boy dresser that was once part of my parent's first bedroom suite when they got married. We repurposed the 4-drawer dresser into a Faux Secretary Desk. The Antique Balloon Back Chair we paired with it was our first upholstery project and it was one hot scary mess. Have you ever seen the inside of an antique chair?

To welcome our guests I painted a small picture frame and added scrapbook paper and embellishments to sit on the desk.


Guest room makeover DIY welcome art

Guest room makeover before and after picture


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From Dated 1970's Basement Rec Room To Home Theatre

We lived in this house for over a decade with an ugly dated 1970's Basement Rumpus Room (remember those) with flower power carpet and mismatched wood paneled walls. It was hideous and embarrassing and used mainly by the kids.

Now that the kids are in their teens, it was time to give them a room they would not be embarrassed to bring their friends over for movie night. Instead of building another Rec Room/Family Room, we decided to pull out all the stops and build a Basement Home Theater complete with built-in surround sound and a movie style popcorn makeover..

This is what the room looked like before... 

A dated basement rumpus room

I can't believe I hosted Christmas dinners down here. See that lovely carpet and don't get me started on that beautiful mismatched wood paneling!

1970's Basement Rumpus Room


In the picture above, on the right hand side, you can see an IKEA shelving unit we were using for the television and audio visual equipment. Unfortunately I couldn't find a better picture.

Here it is again after our IKEA Hack. We added sides and doors to the unit on the left that used to be open shelving Both were painted white and pewter feet added to the bottom. All the audio/visual equipment is housed in the unit on the left and with glass doors, the equipment can be turned on and off with the remote controls.

The unit on the right stores the kids movies, DVD's, CD's, video games and gaming equipment.

DIY Basement Home Theater

Here is the other side of the room. The leather home theater style seating I got for a steal of a deal at a local furniture wholesaler. IKEA frames with movie posters are a great for inexpensive art work on the walls.

DIY Home Theater Room

We made a snack station by recessing a cupboard, microwave, and bar fridge into the wall, adjacent to our storage room. Everything you need for movie night is at your finger tips.

DIY Home Theater with snack station

The paint was barely dry on the walls before our daughter hosted a movie night with her friends. Now the kids are fighting over this room! Once in awhile Mom and Dad get a chance to enjoy a movie when the kids are out of the house.

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70's Dresser & Hutch Makeover

From Drab...
Dresser Makeover Before

...To Fab

Painted Dresser Makeover

These were one of my first purchases in the late 70's. I removed the big bulky mirror that was attached and stripped the high gloss finish during a makeover in the late 80's. Being of solid wood construction they warranted another makeover. For a touch of glam I installed glass hardware that echoes the crystal lamp (Lee Valley Tools).

Bedroom Hutch Makeover Before

Painted Bedroom Hutch Makeover

Painted with Benjamin Moore Aura Paint in Cloud White. Oops, just realized the top is missing from the glass vase! What can I say, it was being repurposed on another in the dining room during the holidays!
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China Cabinet now Island & Pantry

Our small kitchen desperately needed more storage and somewhere to sit and enjoy our morning coffee. The obvious solution would have been to remove the china cabinet and add a bank of cabinets to the wall. Realistically however, that idea was not in our budget.  Besides, this little china cabinet had sentimental value. A few days before Christmas in 1990 I was out for the afternoon and when I returned my nine month old son was sitting in the middle of a brand new dining room table wearing a Santa hat.  This was the hutch that went along with it.  Our son is now 23 years old and this honey oak hutch was showing it's age!  It would have looked amazing painted with milk or chalk paint.  But I had other ideas...

I spent months trying to come up with an idea on how we could keep the cabinet, gain more storage and have room for a small eating nook. Oh, and all this had to be accomplished on a tight budget.


DIY China Cabinet to Small Island-Kitchen Pantry Before

So this is what I finally came up with!

Before and After picture of china cabinet makeover

We separated the top and bottom pieces of the china cabinet. Then we built a melamine base cabinet with three cubbies that would accommodate the top of the china cabinet. We screwed them together and added oak veneer to the sides of the entire unit. Custom oak doors were ordered to match the profile of the existing ones.

I love our new pantry! It has provided ample storage and the upper section is great for displaying serving bowls and crystal.

China Cabinet repurposed into a pantry

This project was completed only a couple months before I discovered chalk paint. Otherwise, this baby would definitely have been adorned in chalk paint goodness!


China Cabinet repurposed into a Small Kitchen Island

The base of the china cabinet was repurposed into a small island. We attached four feet, added some wood brackets and recessed a small 6-bottle wine fridge into the side. The granite slab was found hidden in the back of a custom cabinet yard in the dead of winter...I'm talking -20C! It was a perfect match to our existing granite counters.

To finish it off we added pendant lights above. That happened several months later because the electrical box had to be moved.

China cabinet makeover to island and pantry

This little island has become the heart of our kitchen - I just love it!
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