Trash to Treasure Mirror – Monthly DIY Challenge

Well, folks!  It’s my favorite time of month again… Monthly DIY Challenge time!

For any newbies, this is a monthly challenge where several bloggy friends and I are assigned a theme or item and must simply make something of it.  And in honor of Earth Day (which was on April 22nd), we chose….


Trash to treasure!!!

Before I get into my project, let me give you a little background on the space where this project will go.  Our master bedroom “atrium” as I call it, is an area that I’ve had some difficulty with on the decorating front.   This little hallway-ish area of our bedroom (which leads to both our closet and bathroom) looked like this when we first purchased the house…


Very purple and very dark with VERY little natural light.  Our master bedroom is pretty large and has only one window. Since our backyard is so shady, it’s often a darker space anyways.  Which makes the atrium REALLY dark.

After we moved in, I painted the bedroom a soothing grey color and I relocated our vintage Bassett tall-boy into the space to try and dress it up….


Clearly, it wasn’t finished, but even knowing this, something was still bothering me.  The space was dark and lifeless.  It just wasn’t doing it for me.  I tried painting the mirror white, but never ended up taking pictures because it still didn’t jam (Plus, I really wanted to use that quatrefoil mirror in our hang-out room instead anyways… post to come).

Then, out of nowhere, something random (and totally awesome) happened.  If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen this post about it….


And the stars began to align (as evidenced by this grainy iPhone shot that I excitedly sent to Joey as I danced with glee — which, in my head, was the most graceful thing ever, BTW 😉 )….


The mirror was the perfect size and shape for above the dresser.   The curved top was a great way to add some softness and interest to contrast all of the straight lines that were happening.  Plus, the huge size really helped bounce light around the room.   And all of the sudden I could see it.    A vision of a cool chandelier which reflected off the top of that curved mirror.  A linear, light-toned fabric brightening the wall behind it.   It ALLLLL started coming together in my head.


So, now that I’d decided on a location for the mirror, next came the question of color.   Obviously, I wasn’t going to leave the mirror as it was.  I’m personally not a fan of the sorta-matches-but-not-really-thing.  Which is exactly the description of this wood tone.  And I knew that I didn’t want it to be a light color as this would emphasize the braided detail seen below….

So, a darker color.  I wanted to tie it into the other side of the room (Which looks like this now minus that off-balanced bench in the corner… still lots to do.  pleasedontjudge)…




And I decided that navy blue was totally the way to go since I already had some navy accents going on around the space.  So, I purchased a can of this spray paint…

I taped off my mirror and elevated it on a few scrap pieces of wood, then applied several thin and even coats of spray paint…

This was taken after about two thin coats… there were many more after that. Once everything was dried and cured, Joey helped me hang it. Which left this…


Notice my little mirrored planter from last month?  Still going strong!

And here’s that entire wall now…

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Still far from finished, but a step in the right direction.  I really love how the mirror turned out, though I do think it could stand to be hung a little higher.  We’ve actually been meaning to do that but ran out of time before today’s challenge.

It just never ceases to amaze me what a little spray paint will do to change up a piece, though.  That’s what I love the most about DIY… it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard or time-consuming to be effective.  It just took a little good luck in finding the mirror and $5 worth of spray paint to take our little atrium from this…


To this…

See how much more alive the space looks now that the mirror is tall enough to reflect the lighting fixture?  Me-OW.  And speaking of light, you can see that another easy trash-to-treasure hack that I employed in this space was adding an old drum shade to our existing boob light…

I actually followed the same process that my bloggy friend Mary Beth used in this post (which includes the genius use of a simple rubber band).  I’m sorta jealous that I didn’t come up with that little tidbit on my own.  Lol!  I’m not gonna go into details, but you can read her post if you wanna see how I did it.

In any case, I’m so happy that this area is starting to come together.  I still want to add a light-colored, patterned fabric to the wall behind the mirror to brighten up the space and add interest.  It’s really just a matter of finding the fabric.   And then I want to change the lighting fixture out for more of a chandelier-type aesthetic (The drum shade is a great way to camouflage the boob light in the meantime, though).  And I would LOVE to get that weird outlet in the middle of wall beside the dresser (aka: The zit on the nose of our atrium) moved to a normal location behind the dresser.   I have no idea why it’s so high.  It makes me wonder if there was once a built-in against that back wall or something.

**Update: Wanna see our atrium area now?? Click on this post!**

So anyways, that’s my Trash to Treasure story, now check out the other awesome projects created by my other bloggy friends…

Lucas’s Room Swap

So, Lucas’s room has definitely experienced some growing pains along the way, but I think we’re finally on the right track.  Hallelujah!!

When we last left off his room looked like this….


If you remember from this post, I’ve had some difficulty keeping my valiant decorating attempts in his room intact.  First, half of the license plate wall went kaput, next the bicycle print over the bed went away, then his wall lamp was a goner.   The final straw came when I was forced to remove the curtains.  Every time Lucas climbed up the end of his bed to go to sleep (which happened an unfortunate number of times per bedtime) he’d tug on them. Or hide in them.  Or curl up in them.  Oh, no… they weren’t just curtains.  They were a fort.  Boys.  Give them anything and I guarantee they can find a way to build a fort with it.

One morning I walked into Lucas’s room and the curtain rod was hanging on by a thread.  I had horrifying visions of the metal rod plummeting down and konking my sweet baby boy on the head, so down it came.  Dunzo.

And every time I walked in there, his room proceeded to mock me with it’s strip-tease.  More and more naked it became despite my best efforts.

I searched for different window treatments that Lucas would be less likely to pull on, but came up empty-handed. His window was so close to the corner of the room that it eliminated many options, including the cool panel curtains at Ikea that I’ve desperately wanted to use somewhere. I didn’t think roman shades were right for his room.  And roller shades didn’t feel right either.

Then, I realized the solution was so simple (and free).  Duh.  Move the bed, smartie-pants.

So, we moved it to this orientation…..




The curtains went back up (after being reinforced with heavy-duty anchors) and he hasn’t touched them since.  

I have to say, it absolutely amazes me when I’ve been at a decorating stand-still with a room and can’t quite determine a plan…. Then, one simple change opens a world of possibilities. Kind of like our sofa switcheroo.  Suddenly, I had a clear vision of the direction that the room needed to go.  Finally!! I think I just need to play with furniture layout more in general.  That seems to be the recurring theme here, huh? 

Also, pay no attention to the license plates. They’re left over from my previously failed attempt at a license plate headboard/wall.   I’ve actually acquired 20 more license plates since then (thanks to my glorious friend Sara) and have a plan for them, so the current arrangement that you see before you will be relocated and expanded upon at some point soon.

Anyhoo, next, I measured and realized that the chest of drawers in our room (we finally found a long, low dresser to replace it… Holla!!) would fit perfectly on his angled wall….

Here’s the before…


And Now…

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Hello again, dear bicycle print!!!  And note the cool car built by Pop!   This change now opens up this entire wall…

Which looked like his before…


…for his toy chest, shelving for books and other playthings…


A localized play-zone, if you will. which could never have happened with the previous layout.  I’m thinking shelves around his toy chest for sure. Maybe a little built in desk? Or an organizational unit of some sort?  Lucas is asking Santa for a race track that gets mounted to the wall.  If he remains on the Nice List and Santa brings the goods, maybe we can work that in somehow. Hmmm…. Possibilities. And excitement!!  No, excitement(squared)!! This is the part of decorating that I love the most. When it clicks.

But, now I have a small dilemma. The dresser is a dark walnut-toned wood.  Part of me really likes it that way up against the navy walls.  But another part is considering painting it a lighter color.  But it’s a really great dresser in perfect shape. The thought of painting good wood makes me feel green (with illness, not envy).  So, paint the dresser?  Leave it au naturel??  What’s your take on this subject?  Tell me.  I wanna know.