Hello, lovely readers… if there’s anyone left out there! You may have noticed I haven’t posted for awhile. I intentionally took a break from this blog after experiencing a sudden tragedy in our family shortly after my last post. During the week of Thanksgiving, my mother suffered an accident that took her life. I was very, very close with my mom, and she lived a mere 0.8 miles from our home (yes, we actually measured it on the odometer once 🙂 ). We talked every day and saw each other most days, even if it was just a quick visit.
My mom was my BIGGEST supporter in my design endeavors, wanting to get updates on all of the projects I was working on and going antiquing with me every chance she could. She was likely the only person who regularly read this blog too 🙂 . Because that’s what mothers do, they support their children no matter what!
We had recently been working closely together on a makeover for her guest room which she was really excited about. We were almost finished making an upholsterd headboard for her bed and were heading out to buy an armoire off Craigslist for her new room when she suffered a mild fall that would suddenly take her life a few hours later.
She was healthy and active and it was a shock to all who knew her. She was a two-time breast cancer survivor, and yet a small accident took her life. It doesn’t seem to make sense! But in the midst of my sadness, shock and regret, I hold onto the hope I have from knowing that she was a Christian with a strong faith in God which means she is in heaven. She is now filled with peace, joy and healing, and my heart can rest in that assurance!
Since her passing, my time has been busy trying to help my dad learn how to live on his own after losing his partner of 45 years! I have also been hesitant to move forward with my design projects since I was right in the middle of working on one with my mom at the time of her accident. For awhile, every time I thought about it I was filled with sadness over the reminder that she is no longer here to discuss it with me.
But I am grateful that I’m now ready to pick up where I left off with my design plans! I had been planning a redo of my closet right before my mom’s accident, and I finally finished it last week. Here are the before photos…
And here’s my new closet…
It’s been almost a year since I started planning a makeover for our home office and two and a half months since I started the install, and I am happy to say that I am finally done!!
I have redone dozens of rooms over the years, but I’ve got to admit that I have NEVER encountered as many setbacks as I did with this room. It was surprising and frustrating!!! But I believe in doing whatever it takes to get the job done correctly, so I spent a lot of time changing parts of the design and redoing projects until they met my standard of quality. I am glad I did because I am happy with how the room turned out!
So let’s get to the photos!
Here are the BEFORE photos…
Can we talk about how dated this room is for a second? From the beige and red color scheme to the silver accents to the damask print to the overabundance of light colored wood, can you tell that the last time I decorated this room was circa 2008? It makes me kind of nauseous.
So let’s look at the AFTER photos then…
Looks much better in my opinion.
Here’s a breakdown of the changes I made…
Years ago, we purchased a new dining room suite that included six dining chairs. I recently decided that I no longer wanted to keep the chairs because they were quite dated looking now, and I wanted to go with more comfortable upholstered chairs for our dining room table instead.
I decided to donate the old dining chairs, and just as I was getting ready to drop them off at the donation center I chose to keep the two end chairs and only donate the four side chairs. As I looked at those end chairs, I was reminded of why I purchased them to begin with so many years ago. I really loved the modern shape! Plus, these were well made solid wood chairs. The fabric had definitely seen better days, but I knew that if I kept these chairs I could likely find a way to repurpose them at some point down the road.
Well, I’ve figured out what to do with one of them. I realized that it would make a great looking desk chair in my new home office, and would also save me the money of having to buy a brand new one.
one of my old dining room end chairs
But in order to make this old dining chair work in my office it was going to need a makeover!
I have been busy gathering items to display in the built-in bookcases we recently installed in our home office. I really wanted to have a couple decorative boxes on the shelves in order to be able to store some small items in a pretty way.
There are some gorgeous decorative boxes out there, but I am big fan of Z Gallerie’s Ming boxes because I love the geometric emblem on the front as it really glams up the look in a modern minimal way. They also come in an aqua color that would match my office.
But, of course, these boxes sell for $59.95. I’m really trying to limit how much I spend on all of the decor for the bookcases since these decorative items are the types of things that are easy to save money on. So $60 was over my desired budget.
I figured I might be able to make something similar to the Ming boxes myself for much less, with emphasis on the word “similar”. The boxes I ended up making are not Ming box knock-offs, but rather they are inspired by the Ming box.
Personally, I think finding a piece of decor you love and using it as inspiration to make your own unique item is a great way to create affordable custom interior design in your home. Knock-offs are nice, but it’s hard to achieve the exact same look and quality as the item you’re trying to copy.
I’ve also learned that simply using something you love as inspiration can allow you to create a product that works better for you than the original item you were shooting for. My “Ming-box-inspired” decorative boxes are a better size and color for my office than the original Ming boxes would have been, and they are also made out of more durable materials.