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Monday, May 23, 2022

Bargain Bedroom and Deck Makeovers

The best way for me to get a fresh look to my home or outdoor spaces is to clean and tidy what I already have. 

I was thinking about this two weeks ago as I was cleaning up the bedroom. Then I thought about this some more yesterday as I was cleaning up the deck. Over the weekend, I'd been browsing real estate online in another city. (My husband had mentioned a job possibility in this other city.) We're not likely to move, but I was curious what was on the market right now. Anyway, I was "touring" one home in particular and asking myself what I'd change to make this house more to my liking. 

The first thing I thought of was I'd want to create a spot outdoors just outside the kitchen for having breakfast or drinking my morning coffee in the summer. Then I realized that I could create that space on our own deck right here at home.  A few years ago, one of the trees that hangs over the deck had grown too bushy to have our patio table just outside the kitchen door. This past year, I've done some needed pruning of that tree. Now, there is some space for our table. I just hadn't thought to move it back to its original spot. 

So I worked at cleaning up that area of the deck, cleaning up my potting messes, organizing the portable greenhouse, sweeping the deck, wiping off the railings, potting some flowers that I started from seeds, and rearranging the deck furniture (including moving the table over near the kitchen door). Earlier this spring, I had been looking at catalogs with patio furniture and was dreaming about what I could buy. How silly, when we have patio furniture already.

Two weeks ago, after returning from our sojourn to Arizona and staying in multiple hotel rooms as well as visiting my stepmom in her house, I felt dissatisfied with our bedroom. It just looked frumpy to me. One day I set out to organize, make slight adjustments to furniture and decor arrangements, and give the room a thorough cleaning. Wow! It made such a difference. I love our room again. The furniture might not be what I'd choose if I were shopping for bedroom furniture, but these pieces have meaning to me. Our bedroom set was my parents set. I won't ever replace them because they have sentimental value to me. The various knick-knacks that I have displayed are also dear to me. Many of the items were gifts to me by some special people in my life. I wouldn't want a magazine perfect-looking room, as that would mean that I would be putting away some of these special belongings.

So I was thinking today, twice in this past month I've been dissatisfied with my surroundings, originally thinking the problem was in the belongings themselves. But all it took was cleaning and tidying those items that I already own. There's a reason I keep all of the belongings that I do. Sometimes items are functional, and I need to have them for their use. Other items are things I selected because I liked the way they looked, and even now I still like them for their aesthetics. And, as mentioned, I also keep some of the things I do because of sentiment. All of the belongings that I keep are either useful, attractive to me, or remind me of special people. I like my belongings. So, when I want a fresh look to my surroundings, the answer isn't to replace what I own, but to clean, organize and sometimes rehab what I own. It's pretty rare that I replace items that still work. Occasionally, something doesn't work like I think it should, and those items I do replace. But for the most part, I use what I have, and consequently, my bank account is never depleted because of a shopping spree at the stuff-mart.

Cleaning and organizing -- the cheapest home makeover out there.

17 comments:

  1. I agree that cleaning and organizing is the best makeover one can do. When we clean up for when company comes, I am often surprised by how good things look. I have been thinking about rearranging our bedroom. We arranged the bed so we could see out the windows in the morning like at our old house. However, we don't have the same view and have blackout curtains in there because the room gets so much sun. So it's not working the way we thought it might. Five years later, I think it's time to try something else.

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    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I always have the same feeling when cleaning up for company. A clean house is an attractive house. Good luck with your bedroom furniture placement. I hope you find just the right spot for everything.

      Delete
  2. We also did a bedroom pick-me-up this weekend. We have all mismatched furniture and that's ok but I had and old coffee table as my bedside table (husband also has an old three tiered thingy as his bedside table). I didn't like the look of everything being exposed so we went to an estate sale and bought a 3 drawer bedside table for a very reasonable price. We swapped it out and does it ever make a difference! Now my husband wants one. So, we'll be looking for a matching set at another estate sale and then moving this one to the spare room that will be vacated when our daughter returns stateside and then moves out to her new place of employment. So everything will still get used. I also purchased a new summer quilt for our bed and moved our "old" one to a guest bedroom.
    Just a little change and the room looks so much nicer to me.

    Another big thing to keep things clean is that I purchased a Roomba vacuum. I was skeptical but after using it several times I have decided it was a wonderful addition. It seems to clean so much better than my central vac system. It gets right up against the wall, under beds, and just plain makes everything look very clean. It was rather expensive but worth every penny.

    Alice

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    Replies
    1. We bought a Roomba several months ago on impulse when I saw a good sale, and we love it. It works better than our old vacuum and gets under things that we couldn't reach before, as you mentioned. And one of the reasons it works better is that we use it more often because its not so cumbersome. :)

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    2. Hi Alice,
      Thanks for sharing your experience with a Roomba. I've wondered if one would work in our house. Although it was a big investment to purchase, it sounds like you feel it was a worthwhile splurge. It sure would be nice to have under the beds vacuumed regularly. I'm glad you're little changes to the bedroom made such a dramatic difference. I hope you find a matching nightstand set soon.

      Delete
  3. I absolutely love the stuff-mart comment! Funny but oh so true! You sound like me in that you have things people have given you that mean lots to you. My MIL was very crafty and my husband is also. We have lots of those types of things adorning our home. However, freshening things up and rearranging just gives a new perspective. I need to be thinking about how to best do that here. Just switching things around can do wonders. Another Lili Inspiration to the rescue.

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    1. Hi Linda,
      What lovely treasures to have made by both your MIL and husband. My husband took some ceramics classes many years ago, and we have a couple of pieces he made then. It's nice to have those things.

      Delete
  4. This is definitely true for me, as well. Last fall I was hankering after a new quilt for our bed. I finally realized that our current one can be flipped as the pattern is different on both sides. A freebie transformation!

    I think it's funny that "grandmillenial style" is trending with young people right now. It's about nostalgia and from what I've read, was fueled by the shortages we are experiencing with covid--new furniture and other home goods have been hard to source or crazy expensive so young adults are re-using/rehabbing old items. Hmm, this sounds familiar (says the woman who definitely has more hand-me-down furniture than not in her home).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Kris,
      I love your freebie quilt transformation. I have a comforter cover like that. I'll have to try out the flip side for a change.
      I hadn't heard of that phrase -- grandmillenial style. Interesting. I'll have to search out some articles and posts. Thanks fro enlightening me. Me too -- I own more hand-me-down furniture than purchased by us.

      Delete
  5. I am definitely guilty of being a slob, just barely keeping floors and frequently used areas sanitary. I wish I had an eye for beauty, but it is lost on me. So our home is the most unadorned, unstylish embarrassment, but it is practical and tidy at the least. As a crafter, dabbling in textiles, yarns and papers, I don't have enough storage for all my supplies, so our house is one big storage locker. We don't have guests come over, usually prepandemic we met at restaurants. Our grandkids come over, but they just think it's a granny thing and in fact would be suspect and shocked if we upscaled and decorated our home. I hope I'm commenting last, so it doesn't ruin the blog atmosphere for everyone here. My husband is fine with it, fortunately I think culturally we both don't put too much emphasis on home decor. Both of our parent's homes were pretty much just practical and functional being Japanese.

    Laura

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    1. Laura, I'm much the same, as far as not much into decorating. I try to keep things clean and tidy but live with (now) 5 other people and multiple pets. But, same as you, my husband is fine with it and I don't like a lot of knick knacks to dust and deal with, and would rather spend any extra time on hobbies (gardening, hiking, etc...). So I think it's okay for us to be different, as long as it's working for our household. I can appreciate a nicely-decorated home when I visit one, but usually leave thankful I don't have to dust it, lol!

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    2. Thank you for your comment, Cat. I've been feeling like the only one who prefers to live this way. Whenever a repair person has to come into our house, we worry what they must be thinking. Once someone asked if we just moved in!! For a televisit with our doctor,, we had to find a wall that was not filled with stuff.. Yet, we don't do anything about it except hope it doesn't happen too often. I don't have a single furniture in the living room because I want the floorspace for making blankets. Like you, I do admire how others beautify and decorate their homes, wishing I could do tthat too, but I'm not willing to sacrifice to do it.

      Laura

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    3. Hi Laura,
      Your home sounds like it works well for you. And that's what matters. There isn't one right way to make a home. It's all about what works.

      I have a cousin who makes quilts. Her dining room furniture consists of a quilt stretching rack and nothing else. It's what works for her. And she gets to create to her heart's content with this room dedicated to quilting. I've envied this, as when I want to sew, I have to drag out my portable machine and work on the dining room table. But then before dinner, I have to clean up my mess so we can eat. It would be so much easier to have a space just for sewing. Maybe some day I will.

      I'm glad you have made your home workable for you.

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    4. Thank you Lili for your kind support. I always cringe after I post because I know I don't go with the flow. Truth be told I'm always never in the norm.

      Laura

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    5. Laura, normal is boring! Thanks for sharing more about yourself.

      A couple of years ago we vacationed in the boonies in Wyoming. We rented the upper floor apartment of a "berm house" (it was built into a hill) and the owners lived on the bottom level. The wife loved quilting and has won international competitions for her quilts (truthfully, one of the reasons we chose to stay there was because the pictures of the property showed all sorts of quilts in the rooms as decoration). My daughter loves to sew and the woman discovered that and invited us into her home (this was in the first wave of covid, so I was nervous about that but we truly were in the back of beyond and I know they were careful about limiting their interactions with others). Her home was filled with all sorts of sewing machines and sergers and embroidery machines and all the additional things you need to do that. She had tons of quilts on her walls as well. All to say .... her home was not a showpiece but it worked for their lifestyle and I appreciated her graciousness in letting us get a peek at her home. It's very different from how I live but if we were all the same, what fun would that be?

      Delete
  6. I do agree with this, highly. And sometimes, in addition to the cleaning and organizing, I (or my husband) think of a different way to use the furniture, which might end up being more functional for our life currently. For example, when our oldest got married, we took over her bedroom as a hobby/storage room. Much of my backpacking gear needs to be stored in a climate-controlled area for maximum durability and lifespan (waterproof coatings can degrade with excess heat, for instance), and we also moved our seed starting shelves in there as well as our printer, which helped tidy up other areas of the house.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Cat,
      It sounds like you've found the perfect uses for your daughter's former bedroom. And as you point out, by having this room house several different (but necessary) items, the rest of your house can look tidier by default. I think that's a win-win!

      Delete

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