Since I’ve been talking about the makeover I’m doing on the guest bathroom, I’ve gotten some questions from you about room makeovers, both specifically about this bathroom project and general questions. Today, while I’m working on the bathroom and don’t have too much to report on that yet, I thought I’d answer some of those frequently-asked questions (FAQs).
How do you decide when to makeover a room?
I usually decide to makeover a room – whether that’s painting it or just rearranging it – when one of two things happens. First, if the room is annoying me for some reason. For example, in our kitchen, the upper cabinets were driving me insane, because they were weird sizes and hung way too high. Once I took them down and replaced them with open shelving hung lower, I was much happier!
The second inspiration to get me started on a room makeover is an idea that pops into my head from reading or seeing something that works in someone else’s space. That’s what got me started on the guest bathroom makeover: I had seen a bunch of pictures of navy blue walls in rooms and I was in love! Since the guest bathroom is small but has high ceilings, I knew the navy would work. That’s what got my wheels turning!
Makeover v. full-scale reno?
This is a question that is always something I consider: whether to do a makeover of a room – just dealing with cosmetic fixes like paint color and decor – or whether to do a full-on renovation of a room. In other words, if a room isn’t working, is it better to do a smaller-scale makeover or spend the money on a full-renovation of the room?
Honestly, usually this depends on what I can spend. For our kitchen reno, I knew that I couldn’t spend a lot of money on it. We had had so many repairs to make to the house that we just didn’t have a budget for a full-on renovation. So, a mini-renovation was right for us. Do I love our kitchen? “Love” might be too strong a word for it! But I like it and it works much better than it did before, so that’s a win.
This is a question whose answer will vary depending on your budget and tolerance for mess. If I had unlimited funds and a room wasn’t working, I’d tear it out and start over, doing a full-scale renovation. But since I don’t have unlimited funds, I just do what I can with the budget I have.
That said, I always keep a running list of what I would change about any room, so that, if I ever do get a chance to do a full-on renovation, I remember what I want and what I need in that room.
Where do you get your inspiration for makeovers?
I find inspiration in many places. I read lots of design books and magazines. I read other design and home bloggers’ blogs. I get inspiration from other people’s spaces, whether it’s their home or a business. For example, I saw a picture in a magazine of someone using a dining table as a console table, and I decided to try that in our living room:
I also get inspiration from shopping! Going to HomeGoods, an antique store, or another home store, or going to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore or a thrift store gives me inspiration for projects I can do in our home. That’s how I came up with the idea for the daybed made from old doors (which ended up in This Old House Magazine!)…
…and the trowels as curtain holders in the guest room. When I was looking for an interesting, repurposed way to hang curtains, I went to the ReStore. I found two trowels and knew they would work.
Inspiration is everywhere!
Are there any DIY projects or makeovers you regret?
I loved the laundry room pedestal that I built. It was a relatively easy build and a great solution to stooping over to do laundry.
But when I called the store to fix the washer when it broke, they told me that they couldn’t work on it on the pedestal. So, I took the machines off the pedestal.
It turned out that this was not correct information, but I realized, once the pedestal was gone, that the machines either needed to be on the floor or on the manufacturer’s pedestals. The washing machine just moved too much to be stable on the DIY pedestal (whether this was unique to our washer or generally true, I don’t know – I just know it was true for our washer).
I have had plenty of painting “oops” moments, like the time I accidentally painted my living room pink (it was supposed to be a terra cotta color), or when I had to go back to the paint store to get more paint and they gave me a different color, and I ended up with two colors on the wall.
These room makeover regrets happen. The important thing is to learn from them and be a better DIYer later!
I hope these FAQ answers help you in planning your room makeovers! What other questions do you have? Leave them in the comments below and I will answer them!