Here are some fun before and after pictures I found in some computer files I had on hand. These are just some small projects that we've taken on over the years.
This was our third house that we bought. There was this great little den off the kitchen that had been recently painted and recarpeted. It was fine the way it was, but I wasn't a fan of the paneled walls and everything all beige.
We painted all the trim white, as well as painted the brick fireplace white. Then my mom and I hung grasscloth wallpaper over the paneling. Everyone says wallpaper is such a no-no, but if done right, it can really add some texture to a room. I also painted the inside of the bookshelves blue to add a punch of color, and we added a chunkier crown-molding. We left the carpet, because it was so clean and new, but covered it with a wool rug to break up the space a bit. This total project cost us about $1200.
This was the fireplace in our first house. The tile hearth had been painted black. It never crossed my mind that there might be something better hiding underneath all that glossy black.
It was pretty the way it was, but one day, after a chipping the paint accidentally with the vacuum cleaner, I discovered there was a beautiful original checkerboard pattern hiding underneath! I immediately ran out the door to the local hardware store and bought paint stripper. I did this in one day. I love the vintage color combo of the peach and tan. I didn't care that it we didn't have an single peach thing in our house, it was original. And original is always better. Cost of this project: $8!
In that same house, we had a little galley kitchen that had some awful-looking cracked white tile on the floor. After about a year, we saved up a $1000 and had all the tiles ripped up, then a layer of linoleum ripped up. We took it all the way down to the original pine floor and refinished it.
It was a huge mess for about 3 weeks. Dust everywhere!
But in the end, I loved it! And we gained about an inch and a half of space from floor to ceiling. It was still very rustic-looking. The pine floor was not in perfect condition. But again, it was original. And I loved that the old floor was seeing the light of day for the first time since the early fifties.
Small projects can make a big impact. I think one small project a year is a great way to keep your space current, fun to live in, and always improving.
Have a great Sunday!