My motto is “you can never have too many twinkle lights” and I’m always looking for ways to incorporate them into my decorating. (You might recall my Easy to Make DIY Twinkle Light Jars I used in my bedroom.)
I’ve had this plain looking room divider for quite a few years and I decided to transform it into something less average, so I grabbed some white twinkle lights and some safety pins and went to work. It looks spectacular, especially with the lights dimmed.
Even if you don’t have a room divider, hopefully this idea will inspire you in more ways to use twinkle lights!
Twinkle Lights Room Divider Supplies
My old room divider.
Measure your lights and decide on spacing. Pin them carefully. Don’t pin through the cord!
See Them In Action
This post is part of our Whimsical Living Room Series.
You can easily create an inexpensive custom pillow cover using fabric and felt that is both beautiful and unique. Even small simple decorative pillows are expensive. By using thrift store pillows and making these quick covers, you can fill your home with amazing pillows that fit your own personality! Our daughter Jennifer created these for me as part of our Whimsical Living Room Series
Pillow Cover Supplies
Old throw pillows (I found mine at a thrift store for $1 to $3 each.)
- Fabric of choice
- Felt for decor
- Paint, buttons, etc. for decor
Measure your pillow as shown and cut your fabric as shown below. Sew up the seams and hem the pocket. Then glue or sew on any decorations you like. Or just use pretty fabric!
Free Download : Instructions & Pattern Kit
Download the Kit Shown Below (pdf)
Roy an entertainer so Jennifer made this special one for him using beads, felt and string. The pattern for the guitar is included in our free kit above.
Felt circles. The tree branches are painted on in a very simple pattern.
Jennifer had these metal flowers and decided to sew them on with felt leaves.
More Pictures for Sharing
I decided to do something extra special in my living room. I wanted it to literally feel magical to all who entered it. Now I’m pretty good at knowing how I want something to feel, but actually turning it into real life can be difficult for me. Luckily I have Jennifer. She’s my daughter who has helped me redo many a room in my homes. This time, however, she was not coming for a visit anytime soon. If she was going to help she’d have to do it all long distance. I wasn’t worried.
I wanted the room to be whimsical and have a lot of color. I also wanted to try and use mostly items I already had. So I told Jenny my general ideas and then proceeded with the standard drill where I email her a panorama shot of the room as it is. Then I take photos of some of my decor and furniture that’s available or in storage and send those so she knows what she has to work with. Below are her first sketch ideas and then a digital version of my living room she created completely using her computer and a graphic program.
HER INITIAL SKETCHES HAD ME PRETTY EXCITED.
THE BEFORE SHOT PANORAMA I SENT JENNIFER
JENNY PULLED MY PANORAMA SHOT INTO HER GRAPHIC PROGRAM AND WORKED IT OVER. EVERYTHING YOU SEE, INCLUDING THE WALL COLOR, WAS DONE BY HER ON HER COMPUTER.
Now MY work begins!
Even though the home is a rental we were allowed to paint the walls. I went with Jennifer’s suggestion of two walls a darker teal color and two a lighter shade of the same. Subtle but awesome. After the painting was completed my first order of business was that I wanted a fireplace, but the home didn’t have one. Minor detail. I’ve always had an attachment to fireplaces, most likely stemming from my childhood growing up in Arizona. Being a very warm state fireplaces were not common but at Christmastime my parents put up a cardboard fireplace. How I loved it! I searched and searched online but most were the type that actually simulated a fire by various means and were mega expensive. I finally found one for less than $100 that was just a facade with a mirror in the log area. It was thin and not quite tall enough but the best I could do so I was happy enough.
The mantle was also a bit too skinny for my needs and for the important function of hanging stockings at Christmas time. Roy said he could also fix that for me. He bought some wood and had my dad help cut and bevel it and then painted it a nice off white color and attached it on the top of the fireplace. He then did a little work on the back of it so we could set our TV on top without having the wires show.
He knew it was a little bit shorter than I wanted and he told me he could make a simple hearth for it so it would not only sit up higher but look more like a real fireplace. He used some bricks we already had at the house to do that. It was all fairly quick and easy and it looks great!
NOTE: This fake fireplace front is no longer available on Amazon where I initially purchased mine. If you’re suinterested in finding one you can do a Google search for “Mirrored Mantel Facade”.
I decided from the very start of my Whimsical Living Room Makeover to use mostly things I had on hand. I tend to like an eclectic look but it can be tricky to make that work. But with my daughter Jennifer’s long distance help I knew it was possible. Roy and I raided our storage unit which had a lot of things in it as we moved into a much smaller home. Photos were taken of the storage items and I sent them via email to Jennifer so she could see what things I had that might be incorporated into the living room. She had me grab several items, one of which was our very old loveseat that we’ve had since 1992.
I’m far from a hoarder and enjoy purging old stuff regularly but for some odd reason I’d not been able to let go of this one piece. The couch that matched had long since been tossed but I held on to the love seat for some sentimental reason I could not pin point. It’s been in storage for several years now but Jenny said she loved it and that it would work great for the look she was after. She also had us bring over two small cheap chest of drawers, a bright yellow coffee table and a room divider I’d not used for a long time. She assured me these things would all “go” together wonderfully. I have to admit I kinda had my doubts.
The loveseat was a little worse for the wear and I had to sew a few seams and stick in a little extra stuffing here and there. This picture shows it right after we brought it over to the house. In the smaller photo you can see my son Adam sitting on it back in 1992 on Christmas Day. That’s Roy to the right.
Two things Jennifer thought the room needed but I did not own were sofa tables. I wasn’t even sure what those were till she explained they are long skinny tables that sit behind couches to hold various decorative items. Because of the style we were after she said they could be rough cut or even made from pallets. Unfortunately pallets were hard to find where we live. I had an old long blue chest of drawers in the storage unit that you can see in the above photos. I decided it would serve as one of the tables as it was the exact right height and length because it would sit mostly hidden behind the love seat in the corner. I’d just cover it with some cool fabric I had. The other one would sit behind our couch in the middle of the room so I asked my dad if he would build me one. I showed him a few photo samples I found online and he made me the one below. I painted it to match the lighter colored walls which you’ll see in the next posts.
Dressers in the living room? Definitely, at least according to my daughter Jennifer. I’ve had these cheap dressers in storage for a while. They are the kind you put together and can’t hold anything heavier than a few pairs of socks or the bottoms fall out. I never dreamed of using them in my makeover. As it turns out they are one of my favorite pieces. Per Jenny’s direction I pulled them out of storage and for next to nothing turned them into two unique furniture pieces. My only cost was the spray paint.
I also have a Silhouette Portrait Cutting Machine which I love more than words can say. It has saved me its initial cost quickly as I was buying quotes and things for my walls. Now I can make them for pennies! Though I used a quote cut out with my machine on my dressers you could hand paint quotes or designs if you have that skill, which I do not, or use any designs you like.
Steps for Dresser Makeover
1. Removed the knobs on the drawers.
2. Spray painted three coats on drawer fronts, allowing to dry in between.
3. Attached knobs.
4. Decided on a quote and did some measuring and planning to decide how to lay it out.
5. Cut out my quote on my Silhouette Portrait. I had no sticky backed vinyl the right color so I used cardstock.
6. Lightly spray glued the the back of my quote letters and placed on the drawers.
7. Used Mod Podge to paint over the front. This gave it a sheen and held the letters on.
NOTES: There are other steps you can add in depending on your dresser and how resilient you want the paint such as sanding and priming. These pieces were mainly for aesthetic purposes so I just spray painted them and used the Mod Podge as the finish.
Yep I’m a full fledged tree hugger. Because of this I like to surround myself with them even when I’m inside my home. I ordered this large vinyl tree on eBay. It was quite a bit of work putting it up, most of which Roy did. But it’s perfect! This tree can be found on Amazon here.
When I step into a Thrift Store I always feel like I’m embarking on a treasure hunt. No where else can you find such an array of the strange and unusual. I came across this small old accent table at one for $5.00. It was kinda rough looking but I try hard to never judge a book by its cover. A tiny bit of sanding and paint would it fix right up. I actually didn’t know where I was going to put it when I found it.
This was a pretty simple makeover. A little sanding on top and spray paint on the legs. I painted the bottom an orange tone, which was part of the colors in my living room. Then I painted the top a contrasting cream color. I had finally settled on placing it below my Family Time Zone wall (post 8 in this series). Because of this, I decided to print out a compass image for the top of it. I attached it to the top with a little spray glue. Normally I would coat it with Modge Podge but as I wanted the option to possibly do something different at a later date, I didn’t coat the top. Its mainly for show anyway.
I had a rogue wall in my living room. It was a spot that nothing seemed to fit well. It was also left out of the original makeover sketches my daughter Jennifer had sent over and hence it was the last thing to be completed. I had a big mirror hanging there but that seemed pretty blasé compared to the rest of the room. Jenny had an idea come to her and sent me yet another sketch. It was a clock for each child set to the timezone where they lived. Score! I printed some fun photos of all of us, bought some $1 frames at the dollar store, spray painted them then hung them up. I printed names and states to put under each. This wall gives me a feeling of connection to my kids, none of which are currently living close to us.
Roy and I are at the center… of course.
This is my favorite part of redoing a room: adding the finishing touches. I’m talking about the photos, wall hangings and knick knacks or “Dust Catchers” as my mom refers to them. As I’ve been a collector of odd and unusual items for a few years I had plenty to pick from. Some I kept as is, some I repainted to match the new colors and a couple of new things were added into the mix.
I’m also a fan of quotations and I usually have several in a room either printed and framed or as vinyl stickers on the wall. I’ve tried to make notes as to where I may have purchased some things assuming I could remember. We’re almost done with the room!
Finally we come to the big reveal! Below are the overall photos of my new Whimsical Living Room. It is indeed a magical place to step into which was my goal from the start. Thank you for joining in on the journey! There is one last post after this one for those of you who enjoy “before and after” shots. And really… who doesn’t?
Remember the digital mock-up from post one that our daughter Jennifer created all long distance? Compare it below to how the room turned out in real life. Pretty close!
Grande finale photos!
(See all 12 parts to this series here)
This wall below was already done. All I did for the makeover was paint it.
To See More Photos & Read More About It Click Here
I don’t care what the topic is… furniture, rooms, weight loss…. whatever. There’s something about dramatic positive change that is so appealing to the senses. So here are my Whimsical Living Room before and afters side by side!
WHIMSICAL LIVING ROOM BEFORE & AFTER SHOTS