Friday, December 16, 2011

Decorating a House in 30 days on a tight budget

Could I decorate this house in 30 days so a newly wed couple
 in their new house could celebrate the holidays?  
And could I do it on a budget?
Around Thanksgiving I showed you all a bit of 
the first round of decorating I did while
we waited on ready made draperies and carpets to arrive.
Come along as I show you some before, during and after 
shots of how I turned this house into a home in 30 days.
My Inspiration Point
As with any decorating project like this you have to have a starting point 
that I call the inspiration point.  In this case it was the pretty glass tile
 back splash in the kitchen. The tile was colorful and splashy and I planned
 to pull out the blue, purple and amber tones.
 Luckily the open floor plan of the home had only two colors 
on the walls which were Putnam Ivory and Yarmouth Blue, 
both colors from the historical group by Ben Moore, 
so while there was blue and brown in the home,
 I planned to add a dusty purple as well.
 Here is the living room before with the view into the dining area of the kitchen. 
 I planned to switch out all the old flat tired pillows on the sofa and chair, 
remove the carpet and switch out the huge coffee table.
 Before:  This was the worst offender~
the tv cabinet in the corner with the big speakers. 
(Hint: it was not the wife's)
 It overpowered the room and took
 away from the focal point of the room, 
which was the fireplace.  
At this point there was nothing inviting in this room.
One last look into the old living room.  
Could I turn it into my version of a french cottage on a budget?
 A fabulous weathered wood cabinet from Home Goods
 was picked up for the TV cabinet and centered on the windows.
  A pair of linen matted hummingbird prints from
 the same place were hung over the mantle.
 A pair of Pottery Barn linen sheers in a beige and white stripe
 were hung on either side of the TV console. 
I cannot say enough just how pretty these curtains are!!
(I want some for my own home now...)
The husbands favorite keepsake, a lobster trap outfitted with a glass top, 
is now the coffee table.  Taupe and white toile pillows
 by Raymond Waites from Home Goods  freshened up the sofa and chair.  
The carpet is the Cove Area Rug from  
Home Decorators Collection mail order catalogue. 
 Decorating details included a french clock,
 ruffled pillow in lavender and a sconce with mercury votive.
 A great looking Belgian side chair, also from HG sits next to the console.
A cozy reading corner was created by adding a petite demilune table and mercury glass lamp. A plum colored cable knit throw repeats our accent color as do the table top accents.
A rustic miniature heart shaped birdbath filled with christmas greens and a romantic journal are sweet additions~all found at Home Goods.
The artwork cam be hit or miss when decorating with a time frame, 
so don't overlook the markdowns
where I found these lovely prints of hummingbirds in all of the right colors.
 Such an improvement!  Most of these items were sent packing, except the tall candlesticks. 
 You have to be able to let go of things that don't work, even if they are perfectly fine. Lots of little things tend to get lost so use less accessories and slightly bigger scale.
More pretty accessories for the coffee table 
were shown the first time I wrote about this home.
 Now before in the kitchen, all I could see was brown furniture, brown tile, brown cabinets.
 The little purple sparkle from the backsplash called my name.  
I was listening to those little purple guys. As I said before, 
this is where the purple in the other rooms came from~
right here in the heart of the home.
To combat the brown, the wife gamely painted the base of the table.
 A new blue and white damask fabric will soon be stapled to the
 chair cushions by the husband. This made a world of difference. 
 Another Cove Rug sits under the kitchen table as it is 
only steps away from the living room and I wanted to keep the flow.
 The kitchen is a nice size but needs the rug and the
 future window treatments to combat all the stone and tile. 
 Here you can see the tile and the counter tops. 
There were blacks, greys, silvers and beiges in this kitchen!

The bakers rack was moved to the other side of the kitchen~
you don't have to get rid of all of your furniture, honest!
Soon floor length curtains will frame the eating area and it will be very cozy.
 While at the kitchen island you can see into both the kitchen and the dining room. 
Here is the before of the dining room.  
No curtains yet, and for some reason the
 sideboard was setup in front of the windows.
  An extra free standing fireplace that the couple owned 
was put in a corner creating a very jammed up feeling. 
 I could feel the delete button urge calling me, 
and soon the rug and the fireplace would be history.
 Pottery Barn smocked drapes were ordered in the 96" length
 and hung up as high as I could mount them on bronze poles I found at Marshalls.
  You might not think to get curtain rods at Marshalls,
 but they have extreme discounts on great products. 
 The sideboard was moved to the proper location and outfitted 
with lamps and a mirror and two large urns on either side to match the scale of the furniture.
 An antique sideboard that belonged to the husband was a nice surprise~
I love mixing in antiques with newer furniture, 
always makes for a more interesting room. 
I suggested they prune some tree branches outside 
and stuff the urns and then add the glittery gold branches 
I found at Home Goods for some holiday glam.
 Waiting for a party!
The view towards the kitchen with the sun shining 
behind me shows the colors of the room off best. 
 Details include mixing silvers and beiges 
with more mercury glass accessories and damask fabrics.
 Simple smocked sheers give texture and 
interest to the room~I have these curtains myself!
 I hung these christmas ornaments from the
 branches in the urn to underscore the holiday mood.
Large lamps with burlap stenciled shades flank the 
homeowners mirror that sat unused. 
Details of crystal, white and silver decorate the top of the buffet.
The doorway over there leads to the powder room~
come check it out.
 Photographing a bathroom is a challenge!
 This room had the same beige walls and was screaming for some decorating details~
I added lots of dusky purples and a chocolate brown valance 
in a puckered fabric with amber crystals I found at Lowes for $17. 
 I added two valances for the fullness I prefer.
 Hi everybody! Decorator in action!
I am all decked out in my blingy holiday belt to do this job today! 
Anyway, more mercury glass...
see what is going on here~
repeat the colors and the detail elements.
 Ribbons in taupe damask and sheer gold and silver
 were tied onto baskets holding extra towels and potpourri. 
These work well for bathroom accents.
 Turned on the lights and everything looks pink! 
But it isn't, it is a dusty purple and very pretty.

The chocolate brown valance brought the color
of the dark cabinetry  up to the ceiling level.

Makes for a dressy powder room, 
just in time for their holiday party to show off their new home!
Thanks for taking the tour on this home
 that was decorated in less than 30 days! 
Use the power of online home decorating catalogues and
 the fabulous Home Goods and Marshalls and you can get the job done.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did~
Visit Maison Decor at 150 Main Street Reading Mass
or shop inline at


  1. You did it Amy! This couple was lucky to have you. There home looks beautiful and festive, with some great creative touches. Enjoy your time with the boys.

  2. I love it all, but that coffee table is my absolute fave!

  3. You are totally amazing. This home looks fantastic. I love every one of your changes, such a great transformation. Now do you want to come do mine? Hugs, marty

  4. OMG Amy!!!! You have transformed their home into a very lovely, warm and welcoming place. I love it all. It's amazing what you can find at Home Goods....I love that place. The sheers just add so much to the rooms.


  5. It all looks great, Amy! I'll bet this newlywed couple loves it, too! I used to love to hit Home Goods for clients. I could get pretty much everything I needed there. I haven't seen one here yet, although I have seen Marshalls and TJ Maxx here.

  6. Amy awesome job!! You did such a beautiful, elegant and wonderful job on this house and it feel so inviting and cozy at the same time. BRAVO TO YOU!

  7. You did an amazing job! I think the biggest improvement was changing the location of the tv and the new stand you put it on. That really brought the room up to date! I agree about accessories. Sometimes, less is more and not to use too many little items in one spot. It just looks cluttered. I love those new smocked shears in the dining room too. They help soften the room and give it more light. I think all dining rooms should have some sort of drapery to soften all the hard lines of the furniture in there. I bet your clients are very happy with the outcome. Looks like you made it happen in a timely and budgeted manner.

  8. BEAUTIFUL job Amy!! I love it all but my favorite update was the living room!

  9. Fabulous makeover on a budget! Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Pretty job. HG does carry some more in style pieces now. You probably just sent them a lot of business.

  11. Amy- You did an amazing job on a budget that was not excessive. I love finding things at HG and unexpected places, too. I did home staging for several years and loved every minute of it. It is so satisfying. The worst part sometimes is convincing people to "give up" certain things from rooms...even if it means using them some place else.

    You worked wonders there, girl! xo Diana

  12. UNBELIEVABLE! I love the dusky purples added around the house... I would never have thought to pull the purple into the mix, and it just really offsets all the browns... the living room is totally transformed, the sideboard looks fabulous... the prints over the mantel, in fact the whole mantel is gorgeous now... holy moly! every time you start doing things with purple and lavender, i start looking around my house wanting to incorporate it somewhere!


  13. I bet that was sooo fun, what a great job!!!


  14. I am sure they are loving what you have done to make their home so lovely and inviting!

    Please come to my house next!

    bee blessed

  15. Amy, Great job! I love the new furniture arrangements and accessories you added. And the color scheme you picked as well! I especially love those stenciled burlap shades!

  16. WOW Amy!
    You did an amazing job it looks gorgeous the owners must be so happy,i loved seeing how you pulled out colours and existing furniture and re-worked it into their new look,you are really talented,if i had to grab two things it would be the lavender round pillow and plum throw they are so pretty,
    Ps it's time you had your own tv show x

  17. Amy, that's amazing! I especially love the tv room transformation. I'm like you...don't know I'd do without Home Goods, Marshalls, etc. your clients must be so thrilled!

  18. Beautiful what a transformation. I love your work. I am so happy I happened upon your blog.

  19. Amy, this transformation is so impressive. The couple must be thrilled with what you've done. I swear, Home Goods, is an amazing treasure trove. I love the colors you've used.

    Every time I see those smocked curtains, I fall in love with them all over again!


  20. Beautiful transformation Amy! I'm sure these folks are so happy with all you've accomplished for them...and on a budget!!! Wish you were closer to me!!!

  21. Love all the bits of mercury glass sprinkled throughout. It adds such a fun and festive touch for the holidays! I'm sure they absolutely loved all you did.
    xo E + J

  22. Bravo Amy! I know they are so happy to have all of your talent!!

  23. Amy, you did an incredible job! Your clients must be, undoubtedly, thrilled with your amazing vision and creativity! Well done!

  24. You did an amazing job! Love the infusion of purple. The happy couple must be ecstatic!

  25. Fabulous! I keep saying I want someone like you to come and overhaul my house!


  26. Thanks for this post. You did a wonderful job of explaining how you did it on a tight budget, and that's exactly the kind of info I need. It certainly looks more expensive! You made dramatic improvements at no cost - rearranging furniture and editing some of their items. This was a great lesson for me, thanks. It's gorgeous.

  27. This is really nice! I love how you made the fire place the focal point of the room, and the TV still fits nicely. Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Amy, this post from last year was SO inspiring to me! I was hoping you might consider linking it up to our Christmas Inspiration Linky Party? Plus a couple more, too! You are so talented, I'd love for (even) more people to see your work.



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