- This topic has 5 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 3 months ago by imported_refuge821.
August 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm #20230imported_blackeyedsusanParticipant
My laundry room is really small. Its long and narrow with no window. When I decided to decorate my house with a Tuscan decor a few years ago, I decided to paint the laundry room a sunflower yellow color. It's an orangy-yellow. It really brightened up the room! Since the metal shelf that runs along the top of the washer and dryer is hung very high so it can be used to hang clothes, I decided to put a baker's rack on the other wall to have easy access to laundry detergent, my iron, fabric softener and all those things. I also have a roll out cart between the washer and dryer.
On the short wall at the end of the room I hung a metal sunburst (from the dollar store). Beneath that is a wooden rack with knobs that I painted a few shades darker than the wall. I found a tapestry tote bag at a thrift store that is a dull red/sunflower colors and hung that on the rack. I took the antique washboard that was hanging on the wall from when the house was done in a country look and modge-podged a picture of the Italian countryside into the part at the top that had advertising on it. I found this picture at a thrift store and cut it to fit the washboard and then decoupaged it on there. The picture has the sunflower color and a sort of faded red color in it too.
I used to have lots of baskets on top of the rack over the washer and dryer including one with silk sunflowers in it, but I recently got tired of that and decided to put all my picnic items on that shelf. I have two cute wicker picnic baskets with the red and white lining showing (found at a thrift shop, of course!) and an old fashioned metal plaid round picnic cooler, and a blue and red small quilt for picnics on the shelf now. They had been sitting on my pantry floor and I wanted to get them out where I could see them. I love it because I go through my laundry room to get to the garage all the time and I feel like I'm living in a lake house , just ready to go on a picnic at any time.August 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm #21847imported_refuge821Participant
Thanks so much for sharing your info and painting a picture to help others. It's not a room that's often given much attention, but it makes a different when it's a happy spot in the house since much time is spent there :-)August 11, 2009 at 10:04 pm #21850imported_blackeyedsusanParticipant
Thanks for you kind words about my posts, refuge 821. I have to add that I love to redecorate but that doesn't mean I throw out furniture and start over. Far from it. I have a Tuscan look going in my house, but my dining room furniture is a medium golden oak., not what you would consider Italian looking. However the china cabinet is curved at the top and sort of formal looking which sort of looks that style.
I've found that what furniture companies label Tuscan or Country French or whatever is just their interpretation of that style. (They have to keep changing it so they can sell more furniture LOL) I have looked online at Tuscan villas that are for rent and a lot of different furniture styles are used in the 'real thing'.
I was surprised to see my exact china cabinet in a furniture store being shown as Country French and the only difference was the front of the cabinet was painted green! (my husband would kill me if I painted the china cabinet, so that idea was out!)
Anyway, I would say the furniture style is a country version of a formal style. The chairs are Queen Anne style which aren't Tuscan looking either (although those pics online of real Italian houses had Queen Anne chairs sometimes). My solution was to re-upholster the chairs myself, something I've done about 4 times since I've been married. It's very easy, just unscrew the seats, pull off the old fabric and take a staple gun and staple the new fabric on. You pull the corners tight and staple the material in place. If you examine the original upholstery you can figure out how to do it. I used an Old World looking fabric. Another thing you can do to make chairs look more the Tuscan style is to cover them with those fabric chair covers that tie in the back (like they use at weddings).
Then I took the American country looking handles off the china cabinet and sideboard and put something more Tuscan looking on. The rest was done with tall candle holders on the table, textured paint, and pictures and accessories and the dishes I have in the cabinet. I actually like the lighter wood furniture better than the dark Mediterranean woods they are showing now because that room is sort of dark for half of the day. With my apricot paint and light wood the room reminds me of sunny Italy, which is what I was going for.
Accessories can really change the whole look of a room. I get lots of things at thrift stores and antiques stores (not the expensive stuff though) and T.J. Maxx is a great source too.
Not saying my stuff is all that great, but hey, if it makes me happy and sometimes I get compliments, then I'm just saying—you don't have to spend a ton of money to get the look you want.
P.S. My bedroom furniture is 32 yrs old and was called Italian Provencial back when I got it. My sister asked me a few years ago when I was going to get new bedroom furniture. I told her it was so far out of style that its back in again- which actually is true. It wasn't 'In” when everything was country furniture but I kept it because it was a wedding gift, Thomasville, and I think, very pretty. We took good care of it. Her question annoyed me, so I decided to do my whole house in an Italian look to go with my bedroom furniture!August 12, 2009 at 1:47 am #21854imported_refuge821Participant
What a hoot! You sound like a fun person to be around. I like your “style” in many ways.
It is all about what WE like and not what anybody else thinks. Far too many people make decisions based on somebody else's tastes and it means nothing to them, but takes away from the value of your own likes and desires.
Stick to being YOU! :-)August 12, 2009 at 7:52 pm #21857imported_blackeyedsusanParticipant
Hey, refuge. I agree, a lot of people feel like they have to have whatever is the latest 'in' thing and there is no originality to it. It's just a lot of being the first on your block to get the latest new trend and it doesn't express anything about you.I really think some people buy stuff they don't even like just because it's the in thing to have. Then something else comes along and you're supposed to get rid of the old and bring in the new. Some people spend their whole lives pursuing what society tells them they should have. It's really the biggest scam.
My relatives think it's funny that I hate the L'Oreal commercial that says, “It costs a little more, but I'm worth it” I say, what a con job! It's so obvious they are playing on people's insecurities. Advertising companies are paid a lot of money to come up with these slogans to get people to buy products. We all know that, but still people get taken in. It's really a statement about our society when people base their self worth on how much they spend for hair color and get conned into spending more. Besides, I don't care for L'Oreal anyway. The funny thing is that even though I've explained my reasons to my relatives, they still don't believe me. Their interpretation is that I don't think I'm 'worth it” and that's why I don't like that commercial (and why I'm so cheap LOL!.) Haha Sometimes you just can't win with other people who have a certain mindset, so you might as well please yourself. I think they are the ones who deep down feel worthless and that is why they strive to gain status through material things. ( Sorry if that sounds judgmental, but I do think it's true- I will, however, keep that feeling to myself and the 17,000 readers here who don't know them anyway- heh!).
. It's actually a lot more fun to be creative and express your personality by your surroundings. And it's fun to find bargains! I enjoy creating my little 'fantasy' decors that make me feel happy. I have been having lots of out of town guests lately and the main thing I want is for people to feel welcome and at home. I try to have everything immaculate when they show up but I don't care how things look by the time they leave. I never want people to feel uncomfortable or afraid to drop or spill something. It can be cleaned up or replaced- no big deal. My ideal would be to have people think things are pretty but feel like they can kick their shoes off, put their feet up and help themselves to the refrigerator – and just have a good time.
Lots of people have beautiful homes with nice things, but the houses I like best are ones where you get a warm and comfortable feeling. There are a couple of friend's houses like that and although they have nice things, you still get a relaxed feeling that their stuff isn't the most important thing to them. You can also feel their personalities expressed by their houses.
What I want to add about redecorating and updating your house to people looking for ways to be frugal-
You can really update the look of your older house with small changes like new faucets, new hardware on cabinets and new light fixtures and light switch plates, even new air vents, and of course, paint. Here's a tip, though – just don't do it all at once. You have to be patient. I know people who have thought that since they are not spending thousands of dollars to remodel and are 'saving money' with do-it-yourself smaller changes like painting their old cabinets and changing light fixtures that they should just run out and do it all at once.
No, no….then you run up the credit card to where you can't pay it all and let it slide until the next month and have to pay a lot of interest, then another project comes along…if you do that long enough you will find you have a beautiful house to turn over to the bank!
Just do what you can comfortably afford each month. Look for bargain sources too. You'll get it all done eventually.August 14, 2009 at 8:41 pm #21860imported_refuge821Participant
Yikes! L'Oreal! That brings awful visual images to mind because of the animal cruelty they're involved with in their product testing … which is no longer even necessary with the scientific advances that other companies have switched to. Nobody is “worth it” when it means animal torture to have it. For those uninformed read here:
If can relate to the perfectionism – I'm a recovered perfectionist. And it's such a wonderful free feeling not to wonder if I have makeup on when the doorbell rings. I can focus on who is wanting to spend time with me …. well, okay, the thought still flashes thru my mind after all those years of thinking I had to have makeup on … but it's great to smile and know I'm a different person now.
Warm and comfy is inviting. You don't feel like you need to sit up straight and lift your pinky finger, eh? LOL To each his own though. I like to be able to live my life the way I want and definitely want others to do the same.
Life should hold more for us than what the insides of our house look like. I love decorating, but I just move things around. I don't buy new because I fall in love with what I have and just change it up. Moving pictures around (on walls) really makes me feel like I'm in a diff. place since I SEE things I hadn't seen for awhile.
Life's too short to get hung up on the 'have to's' – I like this quote that's on The Frugal Life News website:
“We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.” – Mary Ellen Edmunds
How true :-)
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