The Inspiration RoomHomeowners Tricia Kaiser Ghalam and Joe Ghalam have no time to worry about decorating their living room — they're about to become first-time parents. After the baby comes, they'll be having lots of company, so it is important to them to have a place to entertain the baby's visitors. The furniture in their living room is old, and the room is rather sparse. They found a look they'd love to have for their space. It's a bright, airy room filled with French antiques, rich textiles and Asian accents. The problem is the price tag is a little too rich — it costs more than $33,000.
Everything in this space is a conversation piece — from the Old World coffee table and Asian screens to the silk taffeta drapery. They all come together to create a traditional, yet playful room.
The Double Take team–makeover designer Michele Addey, budget shopper Halili Knox and carpenter Jamie Schmitt–roll up their sleeves and get to work re-creating this international design for less than $2,500.
After: The Double Take RoomThe layout is a perfect match, as is the color palette and the luxurious sheen in the striped drapery.
Asian PanelsTo reproduce the screen panels, the carvings are inset into a pair of old door panels. Using a drill and a jigsaw, Jamie cuts holes in the panels to fit the carvings. The panels are then painted red and lightly sanded so the original brown shows through for an aged look. The metal plates on the original screen are mimicked with some silver metallic paint and stencils. Finally, the carvings are fitted into the holes and fastened onto the door panels. Total cost of the project: $212.
Tip: Finding carved pieces and creating your own personalized screen is a great alternative to purchasing an expensive antique screen. Salvage yards usually carry inexpensive panels that serve as your blank canvas. A little creativity and your own detailing will provide a custom look.
Coffee TableThey start off with a 36-inch round piece of pine wood, which then gets four legs screwed to the bottom. Replicas of an antique map found at an art store are adhered to the tabletop with decoupage glue. Pictures of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are downloaded from a computer and printed. Water-based inks are used on the pictures to mimic the antique tint of the original table. The pictures are then decoupaged onto the map. To complete the design, Michelle handpaints a leaf motif around the tabletop. Sandpaper is used to remove the excess map from the edge of table; it gives it a much cleaner cut then scissors or a razor.
DraperiesShe got a poly-rayon blend fabric with a soft, subtle striped pattern for just $20 per yard. The fabric has a similar sheen as the designer original. To give the drapery a professional look, she uses the invisible hem stitch on her sewing machine. The stitch setting only picks up a few stitches here and there, so there won't be a full row of stitches visible along the bottom.
Tip: Most new sewing machines have an invisible hem stitch. Check the manual to find out the proper setting and then give it a try.
Side TablesChinese Chippendale is a variation of the original Chippendale style that was popular in the 18th century. The pieces are known for their intricate, handcarvings and Asian-inspired details. Halili finds the Double Take renditions at a furniture liquidation sale. The set she finds has the same scale and color as the designer originals. The lip around the tabletop is removed to make the set a near-perfect match.
Tip: Hotel liquidation centers are a great place to look for quality secondhand furniture. When hotels remodel, they send their old furniture there and sell it at a steep discount. They usually have a wide variety of styles.
Brown ChairsThe dark wood and over-all shape make a great match. To get the upholstery to match, cushion covers are made with brown microsuede fabric. The cushions are stuffed with twin-size down comforters to make the chairs soft and fluffy.
A French provincial handpainted side chair that was purchased at an auction for $2,000 is positioned on the right side of the inspiration room. The chair provides a bright, feminine element to the room. The team creates their version for only $28. A chair in a similar size and style is purchased at a thrift store for $10. It is primed and painted. Michelle then uses acrylic paint to add the floral details. The seat is re-covered in a layer of muslin and a piece of yellow striped silk.
Tip: When adhering striped upholstery fabric to a chair or bench, make sure to start stapling the fabric in middle of each side. This way you won't start twisting fabric as you work your way around the seat. Stripes can be a little tricky, so make sure you keep your stripes straight from back to front so they don't end up being diagonal.