It is Week #4 of the One Room Challenge, sponsored by the amazing Calling It Home blog. Twenty designers are going through a six week process of renovating a room, and YOU can follow along with their progress the whole time! She also invited anyone at home to join in for this six weeks of fun, so I jumped in to remodel our plain hallways into a homework area for our kiddies!
As a re-cap, this is what we started with: a plain white room with stained carpet, track lighting, and a LOT (count ’em…29) glass shelves. However, this didn’t fit the needs of our family at all (and I SO don’t have time for dusting those shelves), so I decided to turn this oversized hallway into a homework center for our three bambinos.
And this is what I had planned out for the space. We are doing a mix of the farmhouse and industrial styles. So we have added wideplank, hand-scraped hickory floors, shiplap walls, and we are putting in a triple desk area, graphic rug, and some new curtains. And most importantly, it is all being done on a budget. I want this to be a room that anyone can replicate: I’m a strong believer you don’t need to spend a fortune to create something beautiful!
One big part of this room is a swiss cross patterned rug. This pattern has recently overtaken as my latest addiction! However, I couldn’t find an actual rug that came in a neutral color AND fit the budget. Besides, I’m always thinking of ways to replicate what I find in the store for a fraction of the cost with a little DIY action. I’m not a stranger to painting rugs, I did a Union Jack pattern on a rug in my son’s room for $20 (check it out HERE if you want to see it!). So I decided to try it again! I was looking for a low pile, neutral colored rug. I took my four-year-old to the store looking for a rug, and she joyfully pointed out all of the pretty patterned rugs. She was so confused when I kept repeating we wanted the most boring, plain colored rug we can find. Try explaining that to a Fancy Nancy little girl! So this is what I snagged for $20 at Home Depot:
You want to look for a low pile rug (much easier to paint). An outdoor rug would also work very well. Much to my daughter’s dismay, this was the one we came home with. I made sure I had some leftover white paint from painting my ship lap wall (see Week 3 for the tutorial on installing it), and waited until naptime. Once baby girl was in dreamland, I mapped out the pattern of crosses I wanted to paint onto the rug. Then I drew a cross shape on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. I created one that was 12″x12″.
I am using a 5’x7′ rug, so when I mapped it out, I figured about 2 3/8″ space between each cross both horizontally and vertically. Then I left about 8″ of extra space on the top and bottom of the rug. I used a piece of chalk to trace the cross shape onto the rug, mapping out four horizontally and five vertically.
Once I had all of my chalk marks, I outlined each cross with white paint, using a small craft brush. Then I filled it in with a larger craft brush. Like I mentioned above, I used a standard interior latex paint. On my last rug painting project, I used a similar brand paint and that has held up great for over three years. One thing to be aware of: these carpets just SOAK up the paint! It takes a LOT of paint to really fill it in for an opaque look. Once this paint dried, it ended up having a slightly distressed, faded look to it that I actually ended up really liking! But if you want a solid white color, it will take 2-3 coats to give you that look.
And here it is all done! All in all, it took $20 of material and about two hours of time. If you look closely you can see that the paint isn’t perfectly uniform and perfect. Like I mentioned above, I liked that look in this case, but another couple of coats would get a more solid look. And best yet, since I only spent $20 I don’t feel like I have to be paranoid about suspicious kid stains (you know what I’m talking about…the random purple blotch that NO ONE will confess to!)
So there we go! My swiss cross patterned rug, for just $20 and a little bit of time:
Another project that I tackled was the curtains. If you follow along with me on Instagram or Facebook you already saw a sneak peek of these! There is a large slider that leads to a balcony off of this room. Because it is an extra large opening, I knew standard curtains wouldn’t work, but I wanted to stay away from something custom (to avoid the custom prices!). I had planned to buy this Kaufman Classic Seersucker in Gray, and at less than $8/yard, it is an inexpensive choice.
But then I stumbled across something wonderful. I have been LOVING Target’s Pillowfort Kid’s line, and was on there trying to find some basket for the desk area. And I stumbled across this:
It was the exact pattern I wanted… in a duvet! (Jump up and down excited!). This is because while I can “techincally” sew, and have sewn my own curtains before, I knew it would end up in a grumpy mama staying up WAY too late (I’m sure if you are a sewing whiz you could pop out a couple of these as quick as can be though!). But with these duvets, I can get a couple of evenings back since I don’t have to sew these from scratch. If you have never done it, I have used this trick several times now. You can use a duvet and curtain clips to hang these just like high end curtains. Because they are double thickness, they look (and hang) like custom lined curtains. They give such a nice substantial look. In the past I used twin duvets, but beause this slider was so big, I bought two sets of QUEEN duvets. I bought a set of polished nickel curtain clips off of Amazon and they were ready to hang!
One minute later….
I did make a MAJOR change with my desk area…check back next week and see what we are doing instead (and loving!)
And like always, come and play with me in the meantime as I share free design tips, ideas, Real Postbox Projects (and more!) at: