Tag Archives: Makeover

Fairest mirror on the wall

In the vein of my continued fascination with paint and its transformative effects, here’s a look at the dresser mirror I upcycled for my Adored stepson’s bedroom makeover:

dresser after

You can see the matching nightstand across the room in the mirror reflection (you can see a little picture-taking hand, too).

mirror close upThe first three coats of the mirror were in Shalestone (same shade at the dresser drawers). The final coat came from a bit of leftover Pumpernickel from the dining room downstairs (remember that makeover? here’s a peek). I brushed it on and then immediately wiped it off with a paper towel. I was attempting to replicate the look of the floor lamp in the room, and I’m not sure I completely succeeded, but I like it a lot better than it looked before. The finishing touch was three coats of polyurethane, so the mirror is a bit shinier than the dresser, which received only a wax coating.

Here’s how the dresser and mirror looked before (no, I take no ownership of the empty Fireball bottles on the dresser in the before shot):

How to turn a teenager’s football fantasy into a young man’s cool retreat

The obnoxious orange walls and cartoonish Fatheads are gone.

My Adored stepson’s bedroom decorated in all things Chicago Bears was perfect for a teenager, but I wasn’t so happy with it after he started college last fall.

Yesterday, I shared how I transformed my Adored stepson’s nightstand with paint (missed it? Click here). Today, here’s a look at how his bedroom looks now. (No, I didn’t manage to get any before pictures; I was in that much of a hurry to change it.)

First we painted the very dark blue wall behind the bed in a slightly lighter dark blue, Pittsburgh Paints’ Calvary. The other Chicago Bears blue wall and the two orange walls were covered with Silver Blueberry:

bedroom 1

I like painting the wall behind the bed in a bedroom a different color; it’s sort of like creating a huge headboard for the bed. In this case, the existing headboard needed a coat of paint, too, to transform it from wrought-iron black to white so it popped against the Calvary. The Chicago Bears bedspread, made with love by Caswell’s grandma, will be used to keep him warm, maybe at a brutally cold Bears game. It was replaced with a neutral gray comforter.

bedroom 2

My Adored stepson’s old lamps were black with orange shades, which simply wouldn’t do in the cool room I wanted to evoke visions of “seaside vacation.”

The perfect floor lamp I found was too short, so I used fake books with hidden compartments to boost its height:

bedroom 3

Here’s a close-up:

floor lamp

I found the perfect lamp for the nightstand at, of all places, Menards (“for all your home improvement projects, save big money at Menards”). The body is brushed chrome (to match the nightstand’s new drawer pulls) and the lampshade has “French print” to echo the fake books on the other side of the bed.

bedroom 4

The walls now need all new decorations. The Chicago Bears Fatheads and posters will find a new home in my Beloved garage (aka, man cave). I have grand plans to showcase beautiful things while making a young man feel at home (since Stepson sleeps here most weekends and will be living with us this summer); I’ll share as I complete them.


bedroom 5

Let there be light: Nightstand transformation

As happens with home improvement projects, one thing leads to another and a single project turns into a dozen projects.

Longtime readers will recall the project my Beloved and I undertook two years ago that began with a wish for new curtains and ended with six colors of paint on every wall on the main floor, new carpeting and a new sofa (read about the beginning of that project here, and for your complete satisfaction, check out the before-and-after shots here, here, here, here and here).

So it went with repainting my Adored stepson’s bedroom.

His grandmother painted his bedroom when we moved in 2007. The room formerly belonged to a 3-year-old, and baby blue was not what my then-13-year-old stepson wanted, so Grandma repainted it in Chicago Bears blue and orange. Very dark blue. And very bright orange.

Alas, I don’t have a before picture, so you’ll just have to imagine its perfect garishness.

Adored stepson now attends college, so we decided a new paint job was in order. Well, I decided. My Beloved adores the Chicago Bears, so he probably would have tolerated it, but me? Not so much.

Still, Adored stepson comes home often so I couldn’t convince anyone to repaint the room in a nice coral (orange-ish, see?). Oh, well. So we repainted one of the very dark blue walls a slightly lighter shade of dark blue (Pittsburgh Paints’ Calvary if you must know). And the other dark blue wall and the two orange walls were transformed with Silver Blueberry, a smoky medium blue.

And as along as we were repainting the walls, well, the headboard would really pop against the dark blue wall if it were white instead of black, right? And, gee, the nightstand was just too dark, too, right? And if we brightened up the nightstand, we better repaint the dresser, too, huh? And get new lamps?


Today, I share with you the results of the nightstand makeover. I’ve discovered I love painting furniture. When one starts with a beat-up, unloved piece of wood, the payoff is enormous. Very satisfying.

Here’s the nightstand before:

Nightstand: Before

Nightstand: Before

The top is formica, not wood, so that required a coat of primer first and a couple of coats of Milk Paint (regular readers may recall I painted the body of another piece of furniture in Milk Paint, and if you’re interested in seeing that incredible transformation, click here).

I settled on painting the body of the nightstand in Ashen, sort of a grayish cream. The drawers are a bit lighter with Shalestone. Going from dark to light makes for a dramatic transformation. Here’s how it looks after:

Nightstand: After

Nightstand: After

I hated those clunky drawer pulls, so I invested in sleek new ones in a wavy brushed chrome. It required filling the old holes, with which I had uneven success, but I’m still happy with the results:

And check out those legs: A little Milk Paint accents the embellishment that was already there:

Nightstand leg: Close-up

Nightstand leg: Close-up

As long as I was already painting the nightstand, I also painted the dresser (twice as wide) in the same colors. And the mirror that hung above it now needs a shot of paint, too. I’ll share the dresser transformation as soon as I finish the mirror (later this week, I hope). And tomorrow, I’ll share the after photos of the repainted bedroom. Stay tuned.

Shampoo is so yesterday; now is WEN

When you run into a WEN devotee, you’ll know it. Compliment her on her hair, and before you know it, you’ll be throwing out whatever overhyped “soap” with which you’ve been supposedly “washing” your hair and trying Wen’s product on your own tresses.

wenI know of which I speak. It happened to me. I met a WEN user, I complimented her hair, and now WEN is in my shower, too.

The land of WEN is a no-shampoo zone. WEN is a “cleansing conditioner” (five products in one, to be accurate: shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner). It is a “combination of natural extracts and botanicals to hydrate and cleanse your hair without the use of harsh detergents and chemicals.”

I was a little predisposed to the WEN message after hearing a news story about the no-shampoo movement. I even wrote a blog post about it, scoffing a little bit about how greasy is green.

But I’m also a bit skeptical of all things Proctor & Gamble. We are not nearly as stinky, unclean and covered in bacteria as the those companies making profits on our insecurities would have us believe.

So two weeks ago, I gave WEN a try (thanks Kathi and Marilyn for your ardent testimonials). My hair stylist (herself a seller of hair products with “harsh chemicals and detergents”) said she’s seen hair color last longer with WEN users.

It’s weird stuff. If you insist on having lots of lather, don’t look here. WEN feels like conditioner, and all instructions demand liberal use of the product. Once you get past that, it feels great to massage your own scalp, and combing out your wet hair is a cinch. Once dry, my hair feels clean and sports plenty of volume. It stays clean, too. I’m still washing my hair every other day, just as I was before. I have more volume on the off days than before.

If you’re fed up with your current hair routine, WEN is worth a try. If not now, WEN?