midcentury modern inspired makeover


I'll blame this itch to redecorate our bright little dining room on our pets... yep - stay with me.  My husband and I recently reached Year 5 in our happy home, which marked a pretty large milestone for me - it's the longest I've stayed in one house since I was ten.  Moving often never bothered me; it gave me the chance to design a new and exciting room for my ever-changing personality time and time again.  Our pets seemed to be on board for a change of pace - our cat kindly clawed our curtains to oblivion, and our potty-training pup made our dining room rug less than lovely.  It was time to take the plunge and replace some items... which quickly spiraled into a full redesign.  However, I was determined to spend no more than a minuscule amount.  And so the creative hunt was afoot.

I'll start by admitting that I somewhat cheated. I had stockpiled old birthday gift cards to Crate & Barrel and Amazon, and I had Home Goods store credit from a project last year. I also have a close relation who works for furniture wholesaler and hooked me up with some leftover chairs, and I recently inherited a number of vintage items from family. However, all of these great benefits left me a hodge-podge of puzzle-piece selections that I had to make fit. Once I decided on the design aesthetic of my beloved midcentury modern, I hit the ground running while finely tuning each piece.

Our kitchen and dining room are actually one large room - the first to greet you when you enter. When we first moved in, my brother put up the chair rail for us and I adorned the room with our wedding photos and colors.



I had fallen in love with the busy tile-like pattern of Chasing Paper's peel-and-stick temporary wallpaper, so I knew the rest of the room had to be solid color blocking. A creamy white paint replaced the gray, and I used my Crate & Barrel gift card on a chic and modern fireplace screen that would play off of the stone work (fun fact: I made the old one out of leftover MDF!).

I switched out the rug with affordable 12"x12" FLOR carpet tiles which can be singularly replaced in case of puppy problems. Speaking of pups, the Home Goods gift card purchased Charlotte's very own fuzzy bench (complete with gold mid-mod hairpin legs) for optimal people-watching. The low-profile of the mismatched chairs instantly made the room appear bigger, as did the insanely inexpensive Amazon curtain panels, which I rehung at ceiling-height to draw the eye up.



The entry alcove also got the white paint treatment, as did the existing hall tree. Adding sleek gold-bronze hardware modernized the piece, and I printed out some downloaded photographs to mount in frames I already owned.

But perhaps my favorite transformed piece in the room is this little cabinet. Replacing it with a vintage midcentury piece wasn't in the budget, but 2 cans of spray paint and some inspiration sure as heck were. I hit the top with a coral to make the curtains pop, changed out the hardware to match the hall tree, and found some tapered legs (that didn't quiiiiite want to screw in). One vice grip, a tube of epoxy, and some elbow grease later, those babies are a match made in mid-mod heaven.

A ceiling fan replacement was also beyond budget (and my husband loooves him some ceiling fans), so I simply unscrewed the ugly existing glass light dome and replaced the bulbs underneath with oversized Edison bulbs.

To fill in the gaps, I shopped my own home. I gathered my bounty of fake plants I've collected over the years (plant killah 4 life) and an old tray, spray painted a vase, utilized my vintage hand-me-downs, and moved around my exisiting lamps. The coup de gras on the mantle - an anniversary gift of The Night Sky on our wedding night - helped to break up the busy wallpaper and create an anchor in the design.

So what's my best advice for budget-redecorating?

1. Don't exclude what you already have (or can pick up at low cost at a thrift or antique shop)! Simple fixes like paint, fabric, hardware, and furniture legs do wonders to revitalize old items.

2. Choose one focal piece (in my case, the patterned wallpaper on one half of a wall) and build around it.

3. Pick an accent color, buy a can of spray paint, and paint 3 items of varying sizes in the room.

4. And finally, go for the DIY approach! This entire project only took me about 5 broken-up days to complete by myself. I have total faith in you (and your ability to You-Tube)!

Thanks so much for reading! Until next time -