Intentional Design

2017 Home Makeover!
Posted 7/1/2017 by Ms. Joyce, Blogger & Attic Co-Owner

On April 15th of this year Melissa Capesius’s name was drawn out of the sign up box to win The Attic’s $500 room makeover contest for 2017.  And wow, WOW!  We really did have so much fun planning and putting together the design for her spare bedroom.  It really is amazing how you can transform a room on such a low budget using some good ol’ elbow grease and something of inspiration to get the ball rolling.  The key to the giveaway game is The Attic provides the labor for free, which allows us to stay within the $500 budget, however, you can do the same in your own home and we will show you how.

On our initial meeting, we toured Melissa’s beautiful home in Ankeny.  Melissa, an Ankeny teacher, is a loyal customer at both The Attic and Calico House and I noticed right away quite a few awesome things she had previously purchased from us.  Her home is very spacious, neat as a pin and has lot’s of cool things that could be used for inspiration.  We talked about the things Melissa likes and what direction she wanted the design to go.  As we all know the Chip and Joanna farm style is so popular right now.  She was looking for that simple homey feeling as we were redoing her son’s room (he just left for college) and making it a guest bedroom.  As we walked around the house, Melissa pointed out a blue and white vase and stated she really likes the coloring in that piece and right then and there, the inspiration for the coloring was decided.

I asked Melissa to find something similar on Pinterest or in a magazine to help imagine the look she was hoping for.  Simple, neutral, a bit cottage like and comfortable was what I interpreted her vision to be.  The room was a blank slate with fresh paint and new wood flooring.  She had a couple great furniture pieces in the room that could be used, but they matched her master bedroom furniture so we decided to start fresh.  I tell people up front, we may pull items from different rooms in the home to complete our look and stretch the budget without spending the extra money.  So that does help with the end result of keeping the spending on track.

Melissa really liked the idea of ship lap on the wall.  Ship lap was too expensive so I showed her the idea of using a board and batten application for a fraction of the cost.  It was actually about $30 for material and we used her leftover wall paint to paint our pine 1x2’s which were attached vertically to just one feature wall.  We only nailed them (as opposed to gluing) so in the future they could be removed without damage to the sheetrock if someone wanted to change the look.   She also like the idea of a tufted, fabric headboard.  So we started with a great oak headboard that we were going to put fabric on, but once again, we had to get creative to keep the money on track.  I applied a paintable wall paper on the front of the headboard to give it some character and gave it a couple fresh white coats of paint and then distressed it.  The cost was $125 as it was a used queen size headboard from The Attic.  The blue and white coloring really had to come in the bedding and accessories, so I began to search for things in budget that would fit the look.  Wayfair, Overstock, Amazon and Ebay has lots of comforters, quilts and other linens that were perfect for the style we wanted.   For $85 we settled on a beautiful Kantha quilt all hand stitched in the perfect combination of blue, white and gray tones.  Simple and comfy that can be beefed up in the winter with some extra blankets.

Originally I wanted 2 nightstands and a desk in the room, as the closet was huge and had plenty of storage.  In my searched, I stumbled on a vintage dresser and matching desk with a mirror for $100.  I also found a solid maple Ethan Allen chair for $3 that could all be painted and made to match the rest of the furniture.  I didn’t want it all too white so I opted to strip and stain the top of the furniture to pull in some wood elements.   After adding some adorable blue and white knobs, everything flowed nicely together.

I saw a really cool stenciled sign on Pinterest a while back and have always wanted to duplicate it for the right application.  This was the right application.  Capesius is the family’s last name and since this was their guest bedroom, how perfect to make a Capesius Bed and Breakfast sign adding established in 1986 when Melissa and Barney were married.  Stenciled  in white, gray and blue shading on a thin board with painted pine framing and a piece of glass from an old picture, the cost was about $15 in materials which was just nothing for this large piece.  Another great find was a small cupboard door which I mounted a metal flower cone to for greenery.  Again, a little imagination for just $10 added another great addition to the wall décor.  Our last piece for the wall was a large window frame which was on it’s way to the old window grave yard.  We painted it blue, distressed and waxed it for a nice pop of color on a huge wall that needed something with character.  Added a white hydrangea wreath I found at a garage sale for a cost of about $15.

The last piece of the puzzle was window treatments.  I found a set of long white curtains at TJ Max on the sale rack for $32.  I couldn’t believe how perfect these fresh white curtains were for the room.  We added a white bed skirt, three beautiful pillows for about $50 and the only thing left was a few decorative details.  

I love greenery in a space.  A nice artificial plant, a cute silver bird to match the pretty silver lamp from The Attic rounded out our budget right at the $500 mark.  Perfect!  With the money all spent, we still needed something above the bed so we pulled in a set of bird pictures Melissa had in her living room that added another nice wood element as well as a beautiful rustic bench we put at the end of the bed. Both of these pieces brought out the colors of the new wood floor which was a huge bonus to us as we had to do nothing to the basics of the bedroom in the beginning.  That allowed us to focus on all of the decorative finishes and furniture which really transformed the room.

It was not only fun, but it was really an honor that this great family trusted us in their beautiful home to transform a space that their guests could relax and enjoy for years to come.  Thank you Capesius family!! 


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