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      Hello-I'm Layla!

      I enjoy writing and taking pictures, and adding pages to this place whenever inspiration strikes. My
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  • $300 Cinderblock Cottage Bedroom Re-design

    Last week I blogged about a local re-design I was working on, and today, I have the “before and afters” to prove it! :-)

    The makeover took place inside a small three room cinderblock cottage.
    Just inside the front door is the bedroom, which is the room we worked on:

    This is a rental, and my client doesn’t know exactly how long she will live here, so she wanted to keep the budget under $300, spending the largest portion of it on things she could take with her if she moves.

    Right off the bat, I didn’t like how the TV Unit blocked one of the only two windows in the room:

    …and the old, wobbly TV Unit really didn’t offer any concealed storage space. Sure, she could have filled every single shelf with a million baskets. But I think that would have been just a liiiiiittle visually overwhelming in this small space. And it definitely wouldn’t help our problem with the window being covered up.

    So to make the best of the way this wall works, I visualized a set up more like this:

    …so that we could let that window “do it’s thing”. I’m a hardcore natural light advocate, and I love to try and capture every single bit of it I can. It does wonders for the soul.

    Our desk and bookcase search began at the Salvation Army. Where we spotted this bad boy, priced at just $5.00:

    It doesn’t look it, but it’s probably the single heaviest piece of furniture I’ve ever attempted to lift. And my client and I shared moments together that no woman should ever have to experience while loading it in and out of the bed of my pickup truck.

    After some light sanding, priming and a couple of coats of “Natural White” paint by Behr, it cleaned up pretty nicely…

    …and new satin-nickel pulls on the drawers really freshened it up too.
    I used faux grasscloth wallpaper as a liner on the bottom shelf to add some texture and durability to the piece.

    The cute little baskets, with the navy and white stripes are from TJ Maxx. They offer so much bang for the buck. At $9.00 a piece, they add a huge amount of “coastal cottage” charm…

    The two long baskets, on the floor underneath the desk, came from a flea market. They were $7.00 each, and work perfectly for holding CDs…

    Some fresh flowers, purchased for $2.50 at Walmart, added a nice little pop of color to the desktop…

    The lamp, purchased at HomeGoods for $29.99, helped reinforce our “stripe theme”, and the little navy blue linen-covered box came from TJ Maxx for $3.99…

    The effect a handwritten note can have on someone can be hugely therapeutic. The phrase on this one I left for her makes me smile every time…

    The over-sized paperclip is from Pottery Barn.

    Off to the left side of the desk, sitting on the floor, I placed this $4.00 wicker hamper, to hold a $2.50 navy blue throw blanket from Target, and my clients umbrella.
    It’s covers up an unsightly outlet…pretty sneaky, eh? :-)

    On the window above the desk, we used a $7.00 bamboo blind from Target. We hung it way above the actual top of the window, to create the look of a taller window. We cut a $9.00 Walmart brand, king-sized bed sheet in half to create two curtain panels…

    Right after we spotted the desk at the Salvation Army, we were fortunate enough to spy this guy, for $20:

    It was hard to get one great shot of it, so I pieced this one together…

    It fits so nicely behind the front door!
    I filled it’s shelves with some of my clients things, some “feel good” accessories, electronic equipment and a couple more of those baskets with the navy and white striped liners…

    By the way, the Pottery Barn “Bathrooms” book is on clearance over at their website right now for $4.99. :-)

    The old headboard and footboard were pretty much just taking up valuable inches in the room, and I thought we should take them back, pronto…

    To create better symmetry, we covered the off-center window with a pair of old shutters my client bought for $20 at a Flea Market, flanked by another king-sized bed sheet, cut in half, as curtain panels…

    Ideally, I’d love for her to go back to the Flea Market these came from, and buy another pair so that they can sit, side by side, in front of the curtain panels. Four of them would be the perfect width to act as a queen-size headboard. Maybe I can twist her arm. :-)

    All of the bedding was pieced together from Target, Walmart and HomeGoods. We bought new sheets, throw pillows, pillow inserts and a duvet. Total cost: $74. Fresh, new look it gives the room: priceless.

    The closet used to be a total eye sore…

    But with the help of another king-sized bed sheet and a shower rod, all that visual chaos went bye-bye…

    Some cheap frames from Walmart, showcase some of my clients black and white photos and give this place a pulse. Before, it was hard to tell who even lived here.

    And on the last wall in the space, well, it was pretty non-descript before…

    But there wasn’t any more room in the budget to deck it out with shelves, or a bunch of art or accessories. So I mixed up some left over paint I had and created a huge amount of visual interest through vertical bands of two different colors of paint…

    A $12 flea market find mirror was the final touch…

    It was a whirlwind 2-day makeover, and I became best friends with my heating pad in the process, but I’m really happy with the improvements. I hope my client is too, and finds the space to be a more refreshing place to wake up, and a more calming place to end each day!


    PS…My local one hour consulting fee is $95, so if you live close by and need some help- I’ll be there in a jif! :-)

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