The Inspiration RoomHomeowners Cristina and James Dyer just moved into a new house. They've decorated most of it, but they are stumped when it comes to their living room. They're ready to change to a more dramatic, sophisticated look based on a design they found. It is an aqua-inspired room that combines nature with the colors of the sea. The only problem is that the $35,000 price doesn't float their boat.
The room is a perfect blend of mid-century modern furnishings with natural elements — beach-glass chandelier, shell boxes and coral motifs in the artwork and pillows.
The Double Take team — makeover designer Michele Addey, budget shopper Halili Knox, and carpenter Jamie Schmitt — pool their artistic expertise to re-create this seaside-inspired space for less than $3,000.
After: The Double Take RoomThey got the subtle sparkle in the chandelier and the lacquered finish on the buffet just right. The formal yet fun feel comes through in the clean, classic lines in the furniture.
BuffetJamie starts by building the body of the buffet out of cabinet-grade plywood then attaches molding around the edges. He then makes raised-panel door frames and cuts the wood for the decorative door frames. All the pieces are sanded, primed and painted with a semi-gloss enamel to give them a nice sheen.
Instead of using smoked glass, smoked acrylic is used because it is less expensive than glass and won't break. Mirror mastic is used to glue the acrylic mirror to the inside of the door frame. Finally, the detail pieces are fastened on top of the acrylic to create the decorative, patterned doors.
Tip: When gluing mirrors to any surface, be sure to use adhesive made especially for mirrors. Some adhesives can eat away at the mirror's coating.
Slipper ChairsThe contemporary custom-made, Regency-style slipper chairs in the designer room cost almost $6,000. The Regency period began in the early 19th century and was known for its simple, elegant lines.
Coral-Motif PillowsAn image found on the Internet is printed onto iron-on transfer paper and then laid face down on the pillow fabric and ironed for a few minutes. The transfer is given a few more minutes to cool off and then the paper is peeled away to reveal the image. The fabric is sewn into a pillow cover, stuffed and finished off with blue and green trim. Total cost of the project: $78.
Tip: Iron-on transfers are a great, inexpensive way to customize fabrics. Transfer paper is about $11 for a dozen sheets. It is best to use cotton or linen with iron-on transfers because you have to make the iron really hot to transfer the pattern. If you use synthetics, they can pucker or melt.
ChandelierThey found a nickel-plated chandelier in a hardware super store that has the same shape as the designer original. To achieve the sparkle effect, turquoise and clear beads are strung into long strands then hung from the chandelier.
Tip: Seaglass is glass that been sculpted by waves and sand to give it smooth edges and a distressed look. It is also known as beach glass or mermaid's tears.
Coral PrintsOver the couch in the inspiration room hang four etchings on matted ivory cotton rag (acid-free paper). To create the Double Take renditions, a large pool of India ink is placed on the center of a piece of aqua-colored construction paper. Using drinking straws, the blobs of ink are blown across the paper to create little tendrils to look like coral.
LampsA hole is drilled through the bottom side of the vase to accommodate the lamp's wiring. The vases are then primed and spray painted a sky blue color. Semi-gloss paint is used so they'll have the same shine as the designer originals. When dry, the lamps kits are assembled into the vases. Finally, the lamps are topped off with some crisp white shades. Total cost of the Double Take lamps: $118.