Here, my mom, Noreen shares some tips on how to upgrade (or in their case, renovate) a room on a budget:
1. Because this was the original kitchen, we knew we were in for a bit of a challenge. Once we removed the cheap, wood paneling, we discovered great tongue and groove wood walls – but underneath the paneling was 100 years of soot, cooking grease and aqua lead chipped paint. We had to scrub down the walls with vinegar and liquid soap, and then we had to sand and caulk. After two coats of primer, the paint went on like a charm! On the walls, the paint we used was a semi-gloss, pre-mixed white (N 333 01) Benjamin Moore Latex.
2. After we pulled up the carpet and plywood (we were determined to find those original wood floors!) we discovered at least 10 layers of old vinyl flooring. After researching how to remove the years of glue and muck, we discovered that the answer was again to use vinegar – only this time it was heated with water and liquid dishwashing detergent. Then came the scraping (fun!) and sanding, followed by two coats of primer. For the floors, we used an oil-based porch paint (again, the pre-mix Benjamin Moore) in high gloss.
3. I believe in inexpensive fixes wherever possible. The windows in the room were so long, that we knew custom blinds would be very pricey – but our guests need to sleep in while on vacation! Lowes custom cut vinyl white shades for us, and the final price was only about $30 for each window.
4. In keeping with trying to keep the project on a strict budget, we chose to go with a side table we found at Target and bedding in a high thread count that we found on sale at T.J. Maxx. We decided to keep the bedding simple and spend a tiny bit more on the throw pillows to add a bit of personality. Above the bed are cherry wood frames I found at Target and inside are vintage postcards of our town Quincy, Florida - my husband found the cards on Ebay for about $1 each. The pocket door to the bathroom is a vintage find and it still has the original "Office" lettering! The velvet loveseat is a flea market treasure that I just thought was so cool.
5. We did splurge on a nice mattress for our guests - but all in all, the project was done very inexpensively. We are extremely happy with the results - although I hope that's the last time I have to buy 15 gallons of vinegar!
(Thanks Mom & Dad!)
Images: Noreen & David Gardner