My Summer Decorating Projects: Before & Afters

lynninnewmexicoJuly 30, 2014

I've spent weeks and weeks this Summer hitting every thrift and consignment shop in the area for things to help furnish DD's new home at college. As some of you might recall, her sorority house had a major fire 2 nights after the girls returned from their Winter Break this past January. Many of her possessions were ruined. All the girls had to be relocated to furnished campus housing for the remainder of Spring semester. As their sorority house is still in the process of being rebuilt, this school year (her junior), she's renting a beautiful old home with 2 of her sorority sisters just a few minutes walk from campus. DH & I've just returned from following her back to college, with our pickup and her SUV totally (110%!!) packed with everything.
I wanted to share a few of our Befores & Afters with you. She and I redid things together, but DD made all the final decisions as to color choices, etc. I think that she did pretty darn good for a 20 y/o.

I got this great, very heavy, clean, and well-made slant-front (drop leaf) desk at a consignment shop for $55.

This was a PIA to paint, but worth it as DD loves it. She chose the color herself, Behr's Botanical Tint , which is a light turquoise bluish-green, to work with her PB curtains and bed linens. She also spray painted all the hardware herself.

I paid $20 for this wicker headboard at a thrift store. DD decided to paint it black, which we think works well with her comforter colors

Here's the After of it. As you can see, this daughter of mine loves her pillows (LOL)! Curtains and bed linens are from PB Teen.

Her desk chair was a gift from us. We bought it at the IKEA store while vacationing in Denver earlier this month. It's very comfortable! BTW, the nightstand behind it shows the true color (at least on my laptop screen) of it and of the matching dresser, shown here also.

While we were at IKEA, we also bought her this drawer stack, which you can see in her chair photo. It sits between her desk and the window.

Her deep peach-colored dresser and nightstand were found at a consignment shop near her university late last Spring. She loves how they pick up that same color in her comforter.
This pic of the dresser was taken at the shop when she bought it. It's actually the same color as the nightstand in another pic here.

She saw a mirror in one of my decorating magazines that she loved. I found this very similar one at a consignment shop for $20. It's 32" tall.

She repainted it black:

I found these storage cubes at Walmart to sit at the foot of her bed and store extra linens or whatever. They were $20 each and are a patent leather, embossed alligator look.

DD says that the look she was going for is "kind of a world traveler with a Forties slant". She found these copies of old travel posters and framed them to hang in her room (her configuration):

They hang above these 2 repainted campaign tables that she hopes will someday hold a tv.:

And last, she wanted an "exotic view" above her desk. I had an very old wood-framed window that I'd planned to do something with someday. We ordered a great Greek harbor print online, took it to a framer and had it cut to fit and mounted behind the glass. The frame color is original. DH had to hang that as it's quite heavy, but she loves it and got her "room with a view". Actually though, she has wonderful views of her shady tree-lined street (and a good looking frat house) from her two bedroom windows, but why quibble over details (LOL)?

This post was edited by lynninnewmexico on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 13:16

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Ooops, that last pic of the Greek Harbor didn't post Here it

I had fun helping with all of this. Last night DD called from college to thank me and tell me that it's like her own little private world up there and that it's the most beautiful bedroom ever. Well, I'm glad it is for her. I love that daughter of mine!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Wow! Love your creativity and work...really pulls it all together in a very cool style for a college girl.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Darling room, Lynne, just perfect for a young woman, and all the projects beautifully executed! The apple did not fall far from your tree!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:16PM
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Gorgeous! Love it. Such a sweet mom to help DD. :)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:32PM
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Those are great projects and sends a positive message to your daughter about upcycling and working on a budget.
Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:38PM
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Thank you!
Yes, I'm very into teaching my kids to upclycle. Nothing that comes easy and new, just bought for them whenever they want something else, is appreciated as much as the hunt for a bargain, redoing it themselves and/or earning the money for it themselves. I've told DD many times that her mantra is now, "I'm just a poor college student and need to look for ways to make do."

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:21PM
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Just realized that the white lights you see in that last "Greek Harbor" pic are a reflection from the star light that hangs over her bed.

This post was edited by lynninnewmexico on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 23:21

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:18PM
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Holly- Kay

Wonderful room and what fun for Mom & DD!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:28PM
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Fun,fun and absolutely delightful results! Most fun I ever had shopping was decorating dd first apartment after college: thrift stores and paint: Good Times! Your dd must be over the moon with her new digs.... Good job!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:35PM
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Great colorful and fun! I love all the painted furniture...inspires me to hit the thrift stores and give it a whirl.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:37PM
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Your daughter has great taste! Love her room!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:42PM
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She'll always remember both the fire and the following summer with you thrifting and transforming furnishings. Good job by both of you.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:46PM
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Very nice job. I bet you had a blast shopping. I LOVE a good deal.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:46PM
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You're right, it's been fun and good bonding times for us, too. DD also painted all the plant pots and made the terrarium on the campaign table over the Summer. She is so proud of them! She bought the many pillows on her bed, her PB bed linens and curtains with her high school graduation gift money two years ago. Thankfully, they were all ok to use after the fire, once they'd been dry cleaned a few times and then ozoned. The only problem was that the furnished apartment she got moved into right after the fire had a full, not a single bed. And no linens! We had to quickly buy all new sheets and comforter. Poor kid was so traumatized from it all, and just wanted her "old bedroom back again". The folks at the Pottery Barn Teen online call center were incredibly kind, beyond thoughtful and went out of their way to get everything to her in just a couple of days once they heard about the fire. That really touched my heart.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:21PM
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We spent the last few months in a similar manner! My 20yr old is also moving into a very old home with a few college friends. She upholstered a head board hand me down that was mine back when I was in Jr. High. It began life bright yellow with yellow daises. She painted a desk (also black), made a "pouf". Just yesterday she found a white bed skirt at a local thrift store and also has a mirror project in mind. It is so much fun watching them make something out of nothing. She was given a stash of embroidered Irish linen and has been so excited finding ways to show it off. She and her sister took a load down last week, painted the room and decided what else was needed. Oh to be young again and full of dreams!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:11PM
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That's a very sweet room. When I think back to my college days . . . it was a box spring and mattress on the floor and a couple ugly pressed board cabinets that were my "dresser". I think I had some stacked milk crates for a night stand. I clearly didn't grow any creative bones until much later on!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:51PM
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I'm so glad to see she is all settled in again,what an experience!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:20AM
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After what you've been through with your injuries, it must have been so much fun searching for items to revitalize and they came out super. Your daughter has inherited your love of color and creativity. She should be proud of herself, there's no question that you're proud of her. Wonderful job.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:53AM
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Lynn, I remember on another board and your talking about your 'little girl' when she was 7! They grow up wayyyyyy too fast, but then become your best friend also!! I 'm so blessed with my 3 DD's.

It's obvious she loves what she's doing~love all,the color. She was lucky to find such great furniture pieces, as well as things she can give a second life. When she leaves college she'll have the option to paint another color, and there will always be the memory of that first space, nasty fire included!

Youngest DD recently moved into a new home and is 'allowing' me to do my GD's bedroom. The colors in the comforter are exactly what I've been looking for since I want to bring in some black~is it PB also? Looked on the website, but didn't see it. Hope you will share. TIA

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:50AM
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Lynn, what a fabulous room she has! Your projects turned out just wonderfully.

Arcy, that headboard is gorgeous.

What talent both of your daughters have shown!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:02PM
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You are not only hard working but extremely talented and nice as an extra.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:20PM
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What a talented young lady you have, and how lucky she is to have a mom who enjoys decorating!

Couple of questions. What type of paint did she use? Wall paint? Can you tell I'm a novice about paint? lol. I'm so sick of the Annie Sloan type paint colors that I've been wondering what type other paint to use on furniture. There are so many colors to choose from!

Also, is your daughter moving back to the House, and if so, does she want me to keep her furniture? :)

My oldest son moved out of the frat house his SR. year (he had to study!) when his little brother moved to university, so I got to "decorate" an apartment for males. No comparison!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 6:42PM
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Fantastic job ! She definitely got your decorating genes :) What a great time you must have had doing it all together. Thanks for sharing the projects. c

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:28PM
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What a fun project and it turned out fabulous !!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 4:41AM
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How cute is this? Good job, Lynn!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:00AM
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Great finds! What a fun project this must have been for both of you, and the end result is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 7:07AM
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Thank you all for your kind words. It's always fun to show our Before & After project pics here. You get inspired and work so hard creating something new. It's nice to be able to share it . . . even if the end results don't end up in your home (LOL)!

Oakley: Haha!! I don't think DD is going to want to give up all of her new (old) furniture and decs to move back into a shared, already-furnished bedroom at her sorority house next year when it's finally redone. She'll be a senior then and is already loving her home only a couple of blocks from campus. Although she definitely IS missing having someone else plan, shop for and cook all the meals (LOL)! The wall's of DD's room were already painted that color by the previous tenant and I don't have a clue what the brand name or color of it is. Sorry. Is your son going to OU? I agree, decorating a son's place is (usually) a lot less fun than decorating a daughter's. My own son's place made me cringe during his six years at OU!

Arcy: I LOVE your DD's headboard. How beautiful!!! The fabric is wonderful and looks beautiful with that dark wood. This is a fun age for our daughters, isn't it?

Jake: that sounds a lot like my son's rooms when he was in college.

Yaya: yes, it drove me to distraction not to be able to do much of anything while my hands were healing. Although I've developed significant arthritis in both hands as a result of the surgery, the fracture and the subsequent long immobilization periods, I love being able to work with them again!

Patty: DD was seven? My goodness, it HAS been a long time, hasn't it? Her desk color? Yes, It wouldn't have been my choice, but she does love it and, yes, she can paint it again someday if the mood strikes her. (Shudder) That desk (and all of it's drawers and cubbies) was very tedious and hard to paint. I wouldn't want to do that one again ever!
What fun to be able to do your GD's bedroom! You'll have to share that with us when you finish it.

Well, thank you all again for allowing me to share my Summer's decorating projects. DH & I have just started redoing his study yesterday. More grunt work and a lot less fun than DD's but the results will be good . . . once we ever finish!

This post was edited by lynninnewmexico on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 23:27

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:44PM
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Lynn, I was talking about the paint on the dresser. Can wall paint be used on furniture?

Unfortunately, we're a house divided. DH and I went to OU, lived there for years, and our boys graduated from OSU. My husband darn near wouldn't pay their tuition! lol.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:38PM
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Oakley: Ooooh, very painful for Sooners (LOL)! Thankfully, in our house, DH, DS & DD all graduated from/ are attending OU. DH tells everyone, "We may live in New Mexico but we raise Sooners!". I married into it, but I'm still a diehard Sooner fan.
As far as the paint we used on the desk and campaign tables, I talked extensively with the head guy in the paint department at our local Home Depot about what to use on them. He recommended "Behr Premium Plus Ultra/ Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer in One". The desk was pale yellow. The paint was a pale turquoise, but we still felt we needed the 3 coats we put on them. I'm not convinced the claim meets the actual coverage.

This post was edited by lynninnewmexico on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 10:08

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Great job! It looks so nice! And how happy were you spending all of that time helping her?! I can't imagine how difficult painting that desk was. Oh, wait, yes I can. You are very determined!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:19AM
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Thanks, FoxesPad. Yes very determined.

Patty: you'd asked me if the duvet cover, etc. was still available from Pottery Barn Teen. DD bought her original set the Summer of 2012, as she was getting ready to head off to college. At that time this set was prominently featured in their PBT catalogs. When I called them this past January, they had no problem getting a replacement set to her in just a couple days. I've just searched their website and I can't find it there anymore, but they do have many other new designs that are wonderful. I love how their sheet sets, curtains, comforters and duvet covers all coordinate so beautifully.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:33AM
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Lynn, thanks for sharing all the befores and afters. It all looks so great and it shows how hard you both have worked on these projects in that cute room. How fun it must have been to work together and to see your DD taking such interest in it too! Sorry you have some lingering arthritis but happy the worst is behind you.

Arcy, that headboard is gorgeous! You must be proud!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:49PM
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