Okay, so they weren't that bad. But I digress.
Hawke thought it would be fun to take one of the rooms and create a small library/sitting room/guest room. All it would need would be a quick slap of paint and moving around some furniture. A day or two at best, Hawke thought, and then—voila!
The room took five days to paint, partly because my color choice (Benjamin Moore’s Newburyport Blue) took three coats to match the swatch, and partly because the muscles in my back decided they’d rather punish than participate. So did the insanely heavy hide-a-bed (which at first wedged so tight in the doorframe that in a moment of frustration and hysterics I actually wondered if leaving it there might be considered modern art), the wall unit, the table, and the oh-so-innocent-looking wingback chair.
Back in the day, folks reused what they had to create what they needed. (Talk about Green!--they were way ahead of their time.) Now I'm not talking DIY here, as in sawing the tops off broken lamps, pulling out the wiring and painting them to make candlesticks, or revamping a broken-backed kitchen chair into an entrance stool or plant stand, or taking a crystal-less wrought-iron chandelier and turning it into a hanging pot rack... although those are pretty good ideas! What I'm talking about is double duty.
My wall unit and small 1950’s china cabinet could house books. The sofa table could be a reading desk. Old suitcases could be used to store throws (or anything, really). Mismatched area rugs could "become friends." The hide-a-bed could offer comfortable seating and a bed to guests. In fact, if a lot of things too good to throw out but didn't have a proper place in my home were put together in a certain way, they could work as an eclectic collection of sorts with a “This room is owned by a world traveler” (which I am not) feel. They might also inspire this writer’s imagination, as well. So I did. And they did. And everyone who’s been invited into this room has given it glowing reviews, including several admittances of jealousy, inspiring them to go home and create their own DD library/sitting room/guest room.
The total cost?
Admittedly, I purchased a few things. The light fixture from Canadian Tire was $35. Two sets of kijiji-found buffet lamps were $50. The hide-a-bed slip cover purchased at Walmart was $40. Those, plus the paint, put the room’s makeover at just over $150. You can't beat that with a stick.