The Staged House | Dining & Sitting Room Reveal

The dining room at my mother-in-law’s house was always going to be a bit of a tricky area.

Dining Table

Although it’s relatively large, it is divided in two by a natural thoroughfare to the kitchen. Plus there are storage doors beneath the split-level landing which limits options for that side of the room. Of course, for staging purposes furniture placement doesn’t always need to be practical, but after playing with a few different options in here (my initial plan was to have a long dining table positioned horizontally) it actually worked best to retain the passage to the kitchen and allow relative ease of access to the landing cupboards.

So, here’s how the room looked before…

Before

Before

Before

As per usual my before pics are a crappy mix of progress shots. Sorry!

As you can see, my mother-in-law had a petite dining table and buffet to the right, with a small desk and kids’ setting to the left.

Aside from lightening things up, my main priority was to include a larger dining table so prospective buyers could see that the space could accommodate one.

Dining Room After

Artwork

I found this great eight-seater table on Gumtree for $80 which is perfectly proportioned and lends a modern farmhouse feel which also imparts some much needed freshness.

To further the fresh vibe, I paired it with these white bentwood style chairs from Fantastic Furniture.

Chairs

They’re only $25 each brand new, but I was also lucky enough to pick up a set of four second-hand ones from Marketplace for just $50 in total.

Because the room is so dark and also a little bit “cold” (despite all the timber), I always planned on putting down a rug to break-up the slate and add some softness. My preference was for the IKEA Lohals rug – which has a lovely warm earthiness – but when I went to buy one, the size I needed was sold out…Australia wide! Instead I went with the Vokslev, which was a little more expensive and a tad greyer than I wanted, but it did the trick.

Dining Room After

Although the kitchen bar only has a shallow overhang, I added some stools anyway just to demonstrate that it can be used for casual seating. I could have used the generic Kmart/Target/Big W stools (which, truly, would have been fine) but with just a bit of searching I managed to find these more unique, and better quality, ones on Marketplace for just $30 each. I honestly don’t have a problem with using common department store products, but where possible it’s nice to deviate.

Overall it’s quite a simple and neutral room so to provide that bit of memorable punch I included this stunning pelican artwork which I was lucky to be gifted from Urban Road.

Urban Road Pelican Artwork

Dining Room After

He just adds so much depth and personality!

For quite a while I wasn’t sure how to best use the left side of the room.

Before

I considered retaining the desk, but decided that it might not be wise to give buyers the impression that this was the primary home office space in the house. I also contemplated leaving it bare though it just felt barren, so in the end I took a cue from some pieces I already had on hand and settled on a little sitting nook – which actually makes a lot of sense because people always seem to congregate near the kitchen.

Cedar Antique Dresser

The antique chest of drawers was originally in the entry (you can see it in some of the before pics from the living room reveal). Although I didn’t really need to use it in this space, it offers a nice hit of character and also provides a good surface for displaying decor in order to add interest.

Cedar Dresser

You may recognise the wicker armchairs from my friend’s flip house, and the round pedestal table is simply borrowed from my parents.

Sitting Room

It would have been nice to use some lighter pieces in here but the drawers and table weren’t candidates for a paint job, so it was just a matter of making the most of them as is.

All of the decor items are things I already owned, aside from the potted fishbone fern which I found in my mother-in-law’s garden. And don’t tell anyone, but the white lumbar cushions are actually naked because I totally ran out of cushion covers!

Dining Table

Here are the side-by-sides…

Before

Dining Room After

Before

Artwork

Before

Cedar Antique Dresser

I know this room isn’t anything particularly special on its own, but in conjunction with the adjoining spaces in the house it gets the job done.

 

Signature

 

PS I’m sure some of you might be wondering why we didn’t update the kitchen at all. Aside from the fact this house preparedness project was purely about staging, the kitchen is actually ripe to be fully replaced so any cosmetic work would have been a bit wasted anyway.

 

Catch up on all the previous posts about ‘The Staged House’ HERE.

 

The Staged House | Living Room Reveal

Time for another before and after from my mother-in-law’s house. And this one is a favourite!

Coffee Table

The front door opens straight into the large living room so it’s the area you first step into upon entering the house. This makes it especially important in terms of creating impact. You know what they say about first impressions, right?

It’s a generous space with soaring vaulted ceilings and lots of timber accents.

Before

I’m sorry but my before photos are really crappy. I took some of them after I’d already removed all of the wall art and general decor to significantly neaten things up. I then took some more after we’d begun shifting furniture around. Remember, I never intended to share this project so they were just impromptu snaps. Sorry!

Originally the room was quite dark, despite having two large windows, due to all the timber accents plus heavy curtains which greedily consumed much of the light. There was also a lot of big bulky furniture randomly scattered about which didn’t exactly help the situation.

We didn’t have the budget, time or inclination to completely overhaul the space (I know, I know, painting the wall panelling would have been a welcome change), so for the most part it was a matter of working with what we had. My main goals were to optimise the layout, make it feel brighter, and add some punchy pieces to provide a bit of ‘wow’.

Living Room After

Living Room After

After

Living Room After

The first step was to create a blank canvas, so I cleared out the furniture (we sold any pieces we didn’t need), removed the bulky curtains and took down the long shelf (which was in an awkward position) before patching any holes and spot painting the walls as needed.

Although they weren’t exactly ideal, I decided to keep the leather sofa and pine sideboard because replacing large items often isn’t easy – it takes lots of patience browsing through second-hand sites to (hopefully) find the right piece, in the right location, for the right price.

Sofa

Thankfully they were both well-scaled and neutral enough to be made to work. Yes, it would have been nice if I’d had time to paint the sideboard, but clearly that never happened.

Sideboard

One of the trickier items was the rug. I knew this room needed a really large rug to anchor the furniture and help cosy things up, but affordable large rugs are almost an anomaly! I scoured second-hand sites for a while with no luck, then one day this brand new 3 meter x 4 meter one came up for just $350.

Coffee Table After

It wasn’t as cheap as I would have liked, and the style differed from what I’d had in mind, though beggars can’t be choosers, right? If anyone is interested, it’s called the Mayfair Caitlen in ‘Natural’ and the standard retail price for the size I used is actually around $650. So I guess it was a bit of a bargain after all!

Wall Chart

The first thing that grabs you is the over-size wall hanging which I used to take advantage of the high ceiling.

Living Room After

I made the hanging a few years back (from an out-of-copyright digital image I found online then had printed onto fabric through Spoonflower) but haven’t really had anywhere to use it, so I was a bit excited to bring it out!

The coffee table was a $15 Marketplace find. I actually bought it last year for a different project though never ended up using it so thankfully the scale was just right for this room.

Coffee Table After

It was originally stained a deep black-brown which wasn’t exactly going to help my endeavour to brighten the space up!

Table Before

Initially I planned to sand it back to natural, but there were a few penetrating oil stains which I couldn’t get out without going through the thin veneer, so white paint was the next best option. I also added some brass corners just to dress it up a bit.

Coffee Table

I’m sure some of you will recognise the gorgeous rattan butterfly chairs and trumpet floor lamp from the living room in my friend’s flip house.

Rattan Chair

Lamp

The bamboo gypsy table is from my own living room, and the little timber stool was a Kmart hack from a few years back.

Living Room After

There is a bit of an awkward nook where the stairs and landing protrude which I always wanted to fill with plants.

Plants

Two of my sister-in-laws came to the rescue here, offering a lovely avocado tree for height, and a totally kick-ass monstera for volume!

Most of the decor pieces are items I already owned but feel free to ask about anything in particular. The only new additions were the rust cushions (from IKEA) and the faux leather lumbar pillows (from Target).

After

Of course, it’s still far from a perfectly designed and curated room, but for sale purposes it did the trick.

Here are the side-by-sides (or, more accurately, up-and-downs, but that doesn’t exactly have the same ring)…

Before

Living Room After

Living Room After

Before

After

Before

After

 

Before and After Living Room

 

Signature

 

Catch up on all the previous posts about ‘The Staged House’ HERE.

 

Wall Chart

A Quick Master Bedroom Refresh…plus a new family member!

Bet I got you going there!

Nope, I haven’t been secretly pregnant for the past nine months (although, it would have been a good explanation for my tardiness around here).

But we do have an inherited fur child in the form of this curly beast…

Rose

Meet Rose, affectionately known as Fluffle – when she is at this point of pure shagginess (being clearly overdue for a hair cut!). Yes, I realise she has a hipster-grade beard, but trust me, she’s a girl dog.

Some of you may recognise Rose from a brief appearance in one of my posts from just over a year ago. At the time we were minding her for my mother-in-law whilst she was in hospital undergoing treatment.

Those who follow me closely will probably know that my lovely mother-in-law didn’t recover, and when she passed the question of Rose’s future was posed.

Although we weren’t exactly looking to take on a second dog, it just made sense for her to join us. She and our old boy, Cooper, get along well (in their own aloof kind of way) plus she is a real sweetheart.

Dogs

Soooo, what do you do to make a new family member feel welcome…well, lavish them with cosy colour co-ordinating bedding of course!

Bed After

In all seriousness, I don’t intentionally match my decor to my dogs, but for whatever reason it does tend to work out that way more often than it organically should! Maybe it’s a subconscious thing? Or maybe it’s just because I love warm neutrals which naturally blend with caramel-toned fur.

Autumn Bedroom Styling

The previous adaptation of our master bedroom involved pops of green to marry with the green bench I usually have sitting at the foot of my bed. But as I’m currently using that bench in another house for staging purposes, I decided to try something different with monochromatic autumn shades.

The new blonde bench, which is just a cheapy from Kmart I already owned, is only temporary as it’s a bit too petite, but after having something at the foot of my bed for the past ten years it just doesn’t feel right leaving it completely bare.

Bedroom Refresh

If the tan tufted throw looks familiar it’s because I also have it in mustard! This colourway is ‘Biscotti‘ which is more neutral, giving it the flexibility to work with a wider range of schemes (and allowing Rose to camouflaged with ease!).

Bedroom After

Moving into winter I added a second throw in the form of this versatile knitted blanket, which I’m sure will also be secondered for snuggly movie nights on the couch.

Bedroom After

I usually keep my accent cushions quite simple and symmetrical, but this time around I’ve gone for something more interesting and relaxed.

Bed Cushions

The solid rust cushions are just cheapies from IKEA, with the three ‘special’ ones being from Manchester Warehouse.

I was trying to pick out a favourite but think I love them all equally!

Blog Cushions After

Our bedroom has always had an eclectic transitional vibe, which is the style I love, so I find it amazing just how much more vintage this over-arching autumn palette has made things feel. I know to some people it may potentially come across as old-fashioned, however for me it’s just so full of warmth and soul.

In her previous home, Rose wasn’t allowed up on any furniture, let alone the bed (which is a totally fine personal pet ownership decision I respect and understand), so at first I wasn’t sure if she was ever going to feel comfortable with the idea.

But clearly that was naive of me because it probably only took two weeks for her to completely own the house!

Bedroom Refresh

If I’m not out of bed early enough in the morning then I can count on her jumping up to wake me with eskimo kisses.

 

Signature

 

Dogs

 

Some products in this post were partially gifted by Manchester Warehouse.
All ideas and opinions are my own.

 

Budget-Friendly Airbnb Bungalow Makeover | Living & Dining Room Reveal

Yep, I am publishing two posts in the same week – I hope you were sitting down! But in a departure from the recent room reveals from my mother-in-law’s house, today’s content focuses on an entirely different makeover I’ve been keeping under wraps!

One of the client projects I’ve been working on over the past several weeks is a budget-friendly update to an Airbnb bungalow located in Warrandyte, Victoria.

Although it’s a traditional mud-brick building, the interior had been renovated in a somewhat modern style with a contemporary kitchen, white plastered walls and timber-look floor tiles. But it’s still afforded character through exposed steel beams, a planked vaulted ceiling and large windows. For my purposes it offered a relatively clean and neutral canvas to build upon which is always a bonus when you’re concentrating on a cosmetic refresh.

My client wanted to re-decorate in order to make it a more stylish, and hence appealing, place for her guests, in turn providing an avenue to capitalise on revenue.

Here are some photos of the living and dining area from when I first visited…

Before

Before

Before

Before

And here it is now…

Bungalow After

After

After

After

With the exception of the new leather sofa bed, which my client decided to splurge a little on, everything else is quite budget-friendly.

In the dining room I switched out the bulky timber setting for something lighter and fresher.

After

I had virtually no money to work with here, so I did contemplate retaining the original setting, but I just couldn’t shake the idea of using something softer, and a round table felt so right for the space. After searching high and low for quite some time, I eventually had a light bulb moment…what about that table I built for my sister a few years back?

Budget Friendly Dining Room Refresh

My sister is actually about to begin a big home reno and won’t be using the same table moving forward, so I posed the question and she was happy to give it back to me! Of course, after three years being used by a busy family of four I had to give it a bit of a refresh but that was easy enough.

Dining Room

I paired it with some simple bentwood chairs from Fantastic Furniture.

The gallery wall uses a mix of thrifted frames (some are mine from past projects) and free printables, most of which I found on the Rijks Studio website. 

Frames Before

Gallery Wall

Some of the works are merely cosmetic, but three hold local significance: there is a print of a map taken from an original 1893 geological survey featuring several local parishes, there is a wattle tree image which is taken from a painting of trees in Warrandyte by local artist Penleigh Boyd titled ‘The Breath of Spring’ (1919), and finally, there is also a print of the town of Warrandyte from 1945 taken from the personal sketchbook of artist Charlie Hammond. The thing I loved most about this one is that I’m pretty certain the property location is visible!

After

Because the vaulted ceiling gives so much height to the living room I wanted quite a substantial statement piece over the sofa. Again, I didn’t have a heap of money so most off-the-shelf products were not an option here. But that was okay, because I wanted to create something custom with meaning anyway.

After

After quite a bit of research I settled on this landscape work which is taken from a digital image of an out-of-copyright painting by local artist Clara Southern. It depicts a bend in the Yarra River in Warrandyte itself!

Bungalow After

The digital image I had to work from was very low resolution so I decided to treat it as an abstract of sorts. Upon close inspection the piece is quite mottled and painterly, though from a short distance away the subject becomes vibrant and apparent.

After I had edited the image as needed, I had it printed through AJ Wallpaper onto peel and stick canvas. This is the same company and product I used for the wallpaper in my parent’s bathroom.

I didn’t document the framing process sorry, however it was very easy. I simply attached the wallpaper to a sheet of MDF before boxing it out with some mitred timber trim.

DIY Large Canvas Art

Here’s one pic my daughter took of me attaching the paper to the MDF sheet.

For obvious reasons my client didn’t want a “fussy” rug. Unfortunately none of the photos capture it very well, but this is the Oregon from AU Rugs which I picked up on sale for half price! It’s a transitional style rug which has a distressed ivory and beige pattern which hides marks super well. It’s also polypropylene which is easy to maintain and very hard-wearing.

Bungalow After

The original floral armchair was kind of cool, but it was old and a little worn so my client wanted it removed. In fairness, it was also too large in scale for the space anyway.

I replaced it with this stunning Desmond Armchair from Castlery which is just so perfect in the space!

Castlery Desmond Armchair

How awesome are the brass tipped legs?

Castlery Desmond Armchair

The charcoal fabric adds depth to the room whilst being forgiving in terms of general use, and as a bonus the seat cushion is even removable for washing!

Along with being just plain gorgeous, I also love the way the lines of the armchair play off the new wall lamp.

Bunnings Wall Lamp

I’d been eyeing off this lamp at Bunnings for at least two years but never really had a good place to use it. Thankfully it’s absolutely ideal in here to add that bit of architectural interest. In many ways I feel like it totally makes the space!

I’m sorry, though I can’t find the lamp on the Bunnings website anymore, but my local store still had some last week. It’s called the Verve Tori DIY Wall Light if anyone wants to try and track one down.

Obviously we retained the existing coffee table, which fits well in the space, and I brought in some simple side tables which can be moved around here and there as needed by guests (the cube tables were a Marketplace find, the oval stand was from Aldi).

I also added some new decor touches, including an array of coffee table books (some from Amazon, some simply from Kmart) so guests have reading material at hand.

Coffee Table

The cushions are a mix of IKEA and Kmart, with the embroidered lumbar one being from Manchester Warehouse.

So, here are some comparison pics…

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Before

Bungalow After

I hope you guys like it!

Sorry to interrupt the room reveals from my mother-in-law’s house. As part of this bungalow makeover, I told my client I would provide her with my after photos so it was a priority to get them all ready. And once they were I just couldn’t wait to share them with you!

Along with the living and dining space, I also refreshed the bedroom so will share that area soon too!

Signature

The Staged House | Master Bedroom Reveal

Thanks so much for the lovely response to the Guest Bedroom Reveal I posted last week. You guys are just the best! I’ve been trying to reply to all of the comments, but have been a bit pressed for time, so please bear with me.

I’m popping back in today to share the master bedroom.

Bedroom Before

Before

Sorry for the crappy phone snaps. I don’t have one of those fancy new phones which takes decent wide angle pics. I’d already taken down several pieces of wall art and started clearing things away when I remembered to take these.

Although this is the master, it’s actually not as large as the guest bedroom due to the space the attached ensuite occupies.

It was overwhelmed by bulky furniture and made dark by heavy curtains (I’d already removed some of them when I took the before shots – there is another large window just out of shot to the left).

My plan was to simplify, brighten and modernise things for a fresher and more spacious feel.

Bedroom After

We used the existing double-size mattress and base which I added a bedskirt to using the curtain trick I mentioned in my last post.

The curtains I used to make the skirt were “borrowed” from the guest bedroom…

Curtains Before

Here are a few (very bad!) progress pics of that project…

Bedskirt from Curtain Panels

Please refer to my original post about making bedskirts from curtain panels for the full tutorial.

The bed was initially off-set in the room to accommodate the large dressing table, but for staging purposes it just made sense to remove that piece entirely in order to center the bed on the panelled wall, and generally make things feel more open and spacious.

Bedroom After

Because the bed is flanked by tall windows which extend from the floor, I chose to switch-out the existing mid-century side tables in favour of something visually lighter (if you caught the guest bedroom reveal last week, then you will probably know that I decided to use the mid-century side tables in that room instead).

I already owned the cube tables, which you may remember from The Flip House. For that property I painted them a deep green but this house was all about warm and earthy tones so I repainted them a rusty terracotta (colour is ‘African Ambush’ by Dulux).

Bedside Table

The rug is one of my all time favourites: the IKEA ‘LOHALS’. I use this often because it’s lovely and neutral yet still textural and interesting, plus it’s soooo affordable! It comes in two sizes and for my purposes I have used the smaller one which is 160cm x 230cm.

Bedroom Makeover

I wanted a bench at the end of the bed but knew that my go-to green one (which normally resides at the end of my very own bed) wouldn’t work with the colour scheme in here. I had a quick look around online for a new alternative, but never came across anything affordable enough, even on the second-hand sites. Then one day I was at my parent’s house and noticed this rudimentary bench sitting behind their shed.

“Hey Dad, where did this come from? Can I take it to Lorraine’s house?”

“Yeah sure, if you want. I just built it from some scraps I had lying around but I don’t really have anywhere to put it!”

Bench sorted!

Bedroom After

It’s not exactly the rustic-refined elm seat I was envisaging, but for free it would totally do!

All of the decor, and most of the bedding, are items I already owned.

Bedside Table

I could have used a statement piece of art over the bed, which in the context of this room alone would have looked very impactful, but given I’d already used several large pieces throughout the house I decided to keep things sweet and simple in here, especially due to the panelled wall which is a feature unto itself. The mirror is one I already owned (from Spotlight).

Bedroom After

Lamps are from Big W, originally purchased a few years ago to use in The Flip House guest bedroom.

Bedside Table

To dress the bed I bought a new basic doona, along with a white quilt cover set, from Target. Although the bed is a double I opted for king-size so it looks and feels generous, plus is more flexible for future use.

The tufted mustard throw is one I already owned (originally gifted by Linen House).

Bedroom After

Cushions are also ones I already owned. The faux leather one was from Target, the others were from H&M.

Along with dressing this room, there were also a couple of small jobs needed to bring things up to scratch.

The panelled wall was dotted with multiple nail holes and some decent gauges, so I filled them then gave it a fresh coat of paint.

I also had the carpet re-stretched. You can see in the before pic that there was quite a notable ridge in the carpet (looked even worse in person). I tried to pull it up and flatten it out myself but it’s a job that really needs proper tools. It only took the layer about ten minutes and cost just $60.

Here are the comparison before and after pics…

Bedroom Before

Bedroom After

Before and After Bedroom

 

 

Signature

 

Catch up on all the previous posts about ‘The Staged House’ HERE.