ambush makeover

Those of you that follow Circa Dee on facebook probably recall my status update last week about doing an ambush makeover at my parent’s house while they were away.  Well, today is the day for the big reveal.  Let’s first walk through the before so you can see what I was working with.

The “brown frown”.  As I like to call it.

See? Brown furniture.  Brown wall.  Brown floor.  Frown.

That room that you are looking at is their living room.  At least it was.  And it was seriously lacking color and character.  It needed to be injected with some life!  This side of the room had the most color.  A wall color that I am fond of however do not know the name of.  The least amount of changes happened over here.  In fact, the furniture configuration did not change at all.

More brown paneling on the banister.  And dark furniture.  And yes the Soprano’s always seems to be on in this house. 

Ok so honestly this is not some epic makeover where the room gets turned upside down and inside out in 24 hours.  I just can’t operate like that plus I didn’t want to give the ‘rents a heart attack upon their return from vaca.  The plan was to paint that god forsaken paneling.  I know some of you out there will cringe at the thought of painting one of the original characteristics of this mid-century home but if you’ve lived with it for the past 40 some odd years, you’d want it gone too.  Time for a change! 

Side note for those of you that don’t know: my mom grew up in this house and then it became her own house with my dad where they raised our charming family and now my niece is a regular in the paneled room.  It has been around for 4 generations now and that paneling has been the backdrop for many holidays, family parties and birthdays.  Although the paneling may sound iconic, it was just time for it to go.  But don’t fret, I didn’t just paint over family history that easily.  I have to admit that my mom knew the paneling was getting painted.  My dad, however, just knew they were flying off to Jamaica for the week.  uh-uh-uh (que creepy laugh)

So now that you know the background on the casa let’s get to the makeover, shall we?  Drumroll…

Like I said, it isn’t gonna knock you over but it is a much-needed change.  Whew!  No more brown on brown on brown.  Color and texture!  The room seems so much bigger and brighter with the painted paneling.  (Ahem, ignore the cords.)

The paneling got a coat of primer and 2 coats of Valspar Allen + Roth vintage.  Can you believe the paint color was called vintage?  No brainer choice for me, obviously.

The gallery wall tells a story.  Each piece of art was bought from local artists when my parents were traveling.  Looking at each piece can easily bring them back to that day and specific trip.  These paintings were scattered all around the house.  Some were never even hung so I thought it would be fun to have a statement wall that is like an album of their travels.  BTW I love how I’m making the ‘rents sound like world travelers.  They’re not.  They’ve been collecting these for a very looong time!  I left some holes in the lay out because I was sure they’d bring some new art back from Jamaica and do you know they didn’t? Shocking!  Oh well there is always next time.

Then I took it upon myself to accessorize the room with more color.  I really had to restrain myself when it came to pillowing up the place.  I would have at least doubled the amount of pillows but I knew they’d hate that.  So I went with these ginormous blue textured pillows found at Home Goods.  They look like they are part of the gallery wall.  The colors and size.  It’s like the art comes right down onto the sofa.

Cool blue is the main accent color throughout the room to contrast with the warm brown furniture.  The floral motif on the pillows is perfect as it pulls in red accents which are subtly every where and also some green, white and gold.

They had been talking about getting an area rug.  Naturally I shopped the home and came to the realization that we each had a burlap coffee sack with bold red and blue graphics.  When layinglengthwise next to each other they make a neat little throw rug that packs some punch.  I put a slip pad underneath and we’re still working on getting the creases out.  Honestly this accent may just be a little “too Dana” for them and may not make the long-term cut in the room.  Bummer because I love it!  It provides so much texture which the room needs to balance out all of the dark leather.

Next up, some funky furniture to add to the color palate and overall “lived in vibe” of the room.  I love this chippy green nightstand for a side table because it has drawers and corrals “stuff”.  Plus there are pops of red showing through.  You may remember me posting about it after scoring it at an estate sale.  It’s chippy in all the right places.

Next is a Phantastic Phinds find…and old farm bench turned side table which also has some fabulous red paint peaking through.  Again, subtle red.  Subtle farmhouse.

How fabulous are those modern lamps?  I never really noticed them until the makeover.  They pop off of the white wall.  And the shades, although brown, coordinate with the new colors just right.

And I brought in this old painted oak school chair that I’d previously been using as a prop.  It works well as a catch call.  The patina matches with the rest of the furniture .  The pale yellow also recedes into the white so it is not a big focal point and avoids creating a cluttered feel.  The orchard basket adds some more farm style flair while holding keys and things near the door.

They already bought the new media console.  We just set it up.  It was made in Lancaster county from reclaimed barnwood by the wonderful Clover sellers Reclaimed Crafts.  There’s that pale blue accent color and farm style again.

Oh and some pale blue cushions to give the hope chest color and purpose.  And de-browns it a little.  We always seem light on seating when gathering in this room anyway.

The once too high artwork behind the hope chest seems at just the right height with the tall lamp helping to put it in proportion.  The height of the painting works now that the chest will be used as a bench.  You can sit and lean back without hitting the frame.

To recap, here is how they left the room.

And here is what they came home to a few nights ago.

So there you have it.  A successful ambush makeover!  My dad seemed unphased by the changes.  In under 10 minutes he found his beloved sofa and crusty blanket and pillows in front of the tv.  Reality set in.  As predicted he moved the lovely new pillows.

So what do you think?  We’ve still got a list of things to do in this room like putting up shoe molding, new window treatments, paint the door, paint the banister (I wanted to see how it would look with a wood top – not a fan), paint the wall behind the banister so the mid-century cut outs are less noticeable, and the list goes on.  Is any room ever really finished anyway?

And Tank likes the new space too…

Linking to:

Vintage Inspiration Friday

A Diamond in the Stuff

11 thoughts on “ambush makeover

  1. I love the pillows all stacked at the end of the table…so “dad”. He looks young as well…expecting a total grandpa…NOT!

  2. It’s amazing what a difference painting has made in that space… I can only imagine how excited your parents are! Very Nice!!!

  3. yikes, ok, that dog is aptly named. the makeover is great! i love that you painted the panelling-it was something we started in my sunroom, but ultimately ripped it out. we had a longer timeline than you, lol. love these changes!

  4. Dana,

    I think you did an incredible job painting the paneling….what a difference it makes! Your parents must have been so excited (and your dad looks like he settled in)!


  5. You did a good job on the room, BUT, that burlap coffee sack with bold red and blue graphics rug has got to go. It is a hazard to moms and dads. And your folks are not aging younger, they are aging older. Falls are one of the worst things that can happen to people as they age, leaving them with health issues that boggle the mind. I fell, tripped over something my son left on the floor; three years later I am still not at work, and that wasn’t even a flimsy burlap rug that doesn’t lay flat. I say, do yourself a favor, and save yourself countless hours helping mom or dad because of injuries they sustained, and get rid of the burlap rug. And DO NOT replace it with rugs that have tassles, etc. etc. etc. Good luck.

  6. Hi, Dana. Popped over from Better After to enjoy this great post with my morning coffee. Your parents are really lucky–great job!
    best from Tunisia,

    1. Hi Martha! Thanks for checking in. Honestly, no we removed the rug after a week or 2 because it was a little slippery even with the non-slip pads. I loved how the burlap looked but the fabric wouldn’t agree. I’ve been passively looking for an area rug that has the look of a burlap sack with the graphics, etc.

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