Hello – and welcome to our temporary home! We’ll be living here for a year while we build our dream home on our dream lot two miles up the road. Come on inside and I’ll show you around and talk some quick and easy ways to make your temporary home feel a bit more like a permanent home – and do it as inexpensively as possible.
First of all, let me explain that although this temporary home we’re in is lovely in its own way, very comfortable, and has incredible natural light from all the beautiful windows, it is not my favorite in terms of style of finishes. Today I’m going to show you quick and easy things I’m doing to make this home suit my style as much as possible – while spending as little money on it as possible! Maybe you can glean a few ideas for frugally adapting your own home or temporary space to your taste.
If you’ve been around my blog or Instagram page for a while, you know that I love bright, light interiors – especially kitchens. This was the kitchen I designed in the home we just sold:
In contrast, this temporary home has a lot of stained wood in the kitchen, and while I am incorporating stained wood finishes into our new build, they will be white oak with a soft patina of age and use, and the wood will be offset by bright white walls. By comparison, the wood in this house is mostly knotty alder, and is finished with a medium brown stain with a little red in it, which I definitely do NOT love. Here’s the kitchen in this temporary home:
Yeah – although perfectly functional and in great shape, it is definitely not my style.
Let me clarify here – we own this temporary house. In fact, we’ve owned it for more than 10 years, and it has been rented out most of that time. At end of our this one year tenure for us here, we’ll be putting this home on the market.
So although it does belong to us and we could technically do anything we want to change it, we know that we’ll be selling in a year, so we don’t want to pour any more money than we have to into it. Believe me, I would much rather spend that same money to get the finishes I want in the home we’re building! 😉
We’re making sure that it is clean, in good repair and styled attractively, but we’re not spending loads of money on upgrading finishes.
So let’s talk about what I’m doing to style this temporary home to help it mesh a little better with my personal tastes:
I don’t want to go to the trouble and expense of painting the cabinets white or changing out the granite countertops. But by simply adding a measured amount of white accessories (the vintage enameled canister set and the milk glass vase holding wooden spoons, I’m upping the white factor in the kitchen.
I also added some lighter lamp shades to the pendant lights over the island after this picture was taken.
Here’s what it looks like with the new shades on the pendant lights.
It’s a little bit of an improvement, right? I bought all three lamp shades at Ikea for $24, so I feel like that was money well spent. They’re just hung right over these original pendants, so they can be removed if the next owners like the dark brown ones better. I thought for a moment about buying the white shades rather than the beige ones, but I felt like they would be too stark of a contrast against all the brown in the kitchen.
You might notice that I also switched out the green artwork over the dining table to something with more of a white background. I think that helps lightens things up too – it’s a quick and easy fix to make it a little closer to my personal style.
The one thing I’d really love to do is repaint every single room in this house. The gold/yellow wall color is definitely warm and cozy, but it’s also a tad overwhelming. As much as I’d love to paint the whole house a pretty bright white, a total paint job would be thousands of dollars. For about five minutes, I entertained the thought of painting the whole thing myself to save some money. One look at these vaulted ceilings (especially over the stairs), and I quickly realized that there was no way those walls were getting painted by me. So it looks like I may be living with yellow walls for a year, although I will tackle painting some of the smaller rooms (with regular ceilings).
The windows in this living room room really are pretty, and the wood floors are nice. So I’m trying to take advantage of the pretty windows by making them a focal point of the living room seating arrangement. I’m keeping the wood floors simple with just a natural sisal rug. The sheepskin rug layered on top helps things feel a little lighter and brighter in here as do the white slipcovers.
I really don’t love that fireplace or the stone, but hey – the next person who owns this home may really dig it, right?, so I don’t want to mess with painting it or anything permanent like that. I am thinking that I’ll brighten up those builtins on either side of the fireplace though with a light-colored temporary wallpaper on the backs of the shelves. I’ll be a quick and easy fix, but I bet it’ll make a meaningful difference.
A little niche in the hallway holds this cute vintage cabinet painted white. I intentionally used a lot of my white painted furniture in this home to help brighten it and take some attention away from those gold/yellow walls. Another trick you might try in your home: shop your home and cull out those things that most easily fit into the style you’re going for. Then put those things front and center for the most impact.
This painted dresser was in our dining area in our previous home. In this house, I moved it to the entryway. It’s decked out with some copper for fall and a few baby boo pumpkins. Again, the large white background piece of typography helps neutralize some of the yellow walls.
One of the rooms that I have already tackled with paint is a small guest bedroom downstairs. This room got a coat of creamy white paint to cover up the yellow. And believe me, it feels so much fresher and brighter in there! I stuck with a creamy shade of white so that it would blend in better with the other rooms that stay yellow toned.
Ghost looks concerned about the white paint. But then he’s a Weim, so he looks concerned about everything 😉
Another little white pumpkin finishes out the dresser vignette.
Colorful bedding helps keep the room from feeling too white.
And a cozy seating area rounds out the space in this room.
That’s it for today’s tour, friends. Thanks for popping in to see our temporary home. I’ll be back to show you some more simple and inexpensive ideas for lightening and freshening up your home later.
I’d love for you to leave a comment about ideas you might have for inexpensively styling your home (or mine ;-))
Also, I hope you’ll stop by on Friday because I’m going to be sharing info on a great source for some awesome vintage rugs and cushions for your homes. See you Friday – have a great day!