Taking A Brass Chandelier From Ugly To Lovely


Only in the US have I seen the golden brass armed chandelier as a standard light fixture in almost all newer homes. (I think (or hope!) that the trend is almost gone). I am a pretty upbeat gal who likes most things but I can’t think of a more hideous chandelier. It is mass produced, yellow brassy and totally charmless! I’d rather have an unique light bulb on a pretty cord than this. (Even when we rented homes years ago, I took them down!)

And for those of you who still have one and don’t know what to do with it — I would normally have said let Salvation Army pick it up. Until… I recently saw this project and now I almost wish I had kept one of my old ones! Haha! Did I really just say that?!

Talented Victoria took this ugly duck (you can’t even see the details because of all that glaring brass):

And turned it into this — with the help of some primer (I suspect) and matte purple paint. I have seen makeovers like this before with white and black and even red paint but purple is a first for me. Didn’t it turn out great! It cost her only $10, people! And now all the details really pop.

I will forgive you for keeping your mass produced brass chandelier only if you turn it into something more unique!

Warm hugs to you all.


Images via Design Sponge.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Before & After |


Before & After – Lovely Room Facelifts

I am constantly fixing, re-doing and moving things around in my house. But sometimes I get stuck in my own thought processes and the creativity well is running mighty low. Thank goodness for the blog world, that’s all I can say! There are some ultra mega talented & creative people out there to learn from and get inspired by. Just look at these rooms with  updates/makeovers we all can do in our own homes without starting from scratch and bringing in the big sledge hammer.

First some images from blogger extraordinarie Brooke Giannetti over at Velvet & Linen. Her dining room went through some styling for a recent photo shoot. (And I hope she keeps the new look!)

The dining room went from this sweet and more traditional room.

To this. A much more clean and current look. A mix between traditional and modern – e.g transitional. I love how she incorparated a zinc industrial dining table and mixed chairs (she kept Grandma’s in the middle!). (People, furniture sets of any kinds are just, shall we say, not very personal). Her leather covered chairs are beautiful (really like the color and nailheads) and I love her new simple lantern and the Merida rug. (Brooke gets an extra star in my book because of her love for and knowledge about Swedish antiques!)

Another absolutely wonderful blogger Janell Beals, with Isabella & Max Rooms, based in my neighboring state Oregon, has me all hooked and drooling over some of her inspirational rooms. This was Janell’s family room before she decided to give her room a light facelift. Oh come on, we have all seen this look!

And here it is now. The fireplace mantel she felt was not in proportion to the built-ins (and she was right). So, a new mantel was built and then everything in dark wood was painted in a soft tan. With her color choice and updated furniture, this room went from ok to fabulous! You absolutely rock, girl!

Here are a few other room makeovers, via DesignSponge, that made me stop in my tracks.

A little bit more extensive work here (but handy people can most definitely pull this off themselves). A custom vanity was built and stained in a light blue-gray. The old mirror was reused (with a new frame) and a light was hung above a new sink and faucet from Lowes. The rubber floors were replaced with marble tile from a local stone shop, and the marble theme continued on the walls with inexpensive tiles which were cut in half and placed in a brick pattern. For more on this project go here.

Now to this kitchen re-do that is beyond lovely and created by rockstar designer/blogger Lauren over at the fabulous Pure Style Home.

She and hubby did this themselves with some elbow grease. I had to do a double take. People, it is not even the same room!

They started by ripping down the upper cabinets and  putting up beadboard & shelving. They replaced the kitchen floors, painted the cabinets themselves and added inexpensive nickel drawer pulls and knobs. They painted their dishwasher in the same color as the cabinets (did not even prep for it.)  And the best of all, they had the fridge PAINTED in chalkboard paint. My yaw just dropped! If this is not getting your creative juices flowing, then I do not know what will!. For more on this project go here.

And not so much a room makeover but rather a chandelier makeover that dear blog friend Erin recently wrote about on her lovely blog This Lovely City. I just couldn’t resist!

How cute is that! In time for Valentine’s Erin hung some antique (poetry perhaps?) pages in her chandelier. And the whole room gets a unique and personal lift! You know you already have a loyal fan here, Erin!

I feel I need to take a serious look at my own dining room, my cabinets (although I have had the family room entertainment center and fireplace mantel professionally spray painted in a darker gray/green (“Equestrian Gray” by Benjamin Moore) and it looks fantastic).  But please do not paint yourself if you are not an expert. You don’t want to ruin the look and see brush strokes all over!).

This is exactly the inspiration kick I was in need of. Thank you all creative people out there! I hope that I gave you some new ideas as well. Happy rest of the week lovely readers. You are the best!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Before & After |


Before And After

Before and after pictures are always so fun to look at! Don’t you think? Hope you find some inspiration here.

A wonderful move-in-ready living room without the stuff. A blank canvas to work with.

This homeower kept the traditional bones and the neutral color scheme but actually made some serious changes like adding all new Herringbone high glossed hardwood floors, crown mouldings, elegant mesh built-ins and a wonderful window seat with built in cubbies for the firewood.  (I would have added a rug though, to warm it up a little). Love the chairs!

This room gets my favorite makeover. Here is a fabulous room that with its hand-me-down furniture and neglected style needs some love.

Much cozier and more interesting!  The tall white bookcases with the bold accent color behind the sofa and the carefully handpicked furnishings really pull the room together. I don’t think that I would dare to go with that green wall color myself- but it works!

Here you have a white, stark dining room that I think would at least make my guests  nervous! Nice furniture but no warmth & personality.

The guests will not leave now! The same furniture but with a lot more texture and color. Love the new settee! The vintage dining chairs got new slipcovers and the window new coverings. I really like  how they took wall paper panels  and attached them to the wall. An easy & inexpensive way to add some color and interest to a room.

For being a guest room, this room feels pretty impersonal and not very welcoming.

A much cheerier  room and definitely more of a retreat. The striped rug gives the room a much needed punch and I like the 2 rug effect. Note how they wallpapered the ceiling.

Images via House & Home

Written by Splendid Willow in: Before & After | Tags:


Remodeling Inspiration

I read a lot to find inspiration from all corners of the world. There is one post in particular from the always super fantastic blog Desire to Inspire (a daily must read people!) that I saw a few weeks ago that so inspired me and I simply can’t get it out of my head.

Take a look at these ordinary rooms which the talented and creative Canadian architecture and interior design company McGill Design Group were tasked to remodel. Would you believe the transformations! I mean are they even the same rooms? Yes they are! These before and after pictures got my own personal design juices to kick into over-drive.

Dining room before in an older Victorian home.

Dining room after. Yep, the same single window now dressed up with the perfect window treatments to create an illusion of several tall windows. And people, most hardwood floors can be stained if replacement is not in your immediate budget. I have done it many times myself (to that exact dark color).  Note the dark accent color and the lovely medallion in the ceiling.

Living room before.

Living room after.

True, they put some real effort into quality moldings and a built-in fireplace. But what a great investment!

Bedroom before. (This is my favorite transformation! Are you ready?!)

Bedroom after. Mama Mia! I absolutely love the look & feel of this bedroom. Both feminine and masculine. The colors are perfect. So crisp and fresh. Yes, the have spent a lot of money on quality built-ins, but the rest can be copied for a lot less if you are on a tight budget.

Do you like it as much as I do? Don’t be shy now! Your opinion counts!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Before & After,Lovely Rooms | Tags:

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