Living Room Make-Over

Another 1K Creative Challenge – a bunch of small face-lifts that make a HUGE impact for under R1000 (USD100).

b&fThis time I tackled our living room. It functions as both the main entertainment area of the house as well as my home office but it was very boring and in serious need of some personality.

IMG_3177 (450x338)The fire-place in this room is a major focal, but it wasn’t what you might expect from an old farm house’s hearth: it was just a solid block of clay with a hole in it. And while it works like a dream after we made some structural adjustments to it last winter, there really was nothing else to it.


  1. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint       R 110
  2. Black Foam Frame                  R 150
  3. Fabric (curtain & ottoman)    R 180
  4. Mouldings                                R 222
  5. Blind                                         R 180
  6. Haberdashery                         R   23
  7. Stencil                                      R   94
  8. Yellow Paint *                         R  32

 Total:                                            R 991

IMG_7188 (300x450)I gave in to my recent obsession with black and painted the lower half with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Graphite. It is very inexpensive and I got great coverage. I did have to chip some flaking paint off first – and then decided to leave it like that!IMG_7194 (450x300) I really wanted to have some yellow geometric wallpaper above the fireplace, but the small area didn’t justify the cost of a roll. So I bought an inexpensive trellis stencil and did it myself! The background is a single coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint which ended up having a lovely uneven, mottled effect. The stencil took some patience and a spirit level to apply – I did one horizontal row at a time which then had to dry before I could do the next row – but I am really pleased with the result.IMG_7211 (450x300)I found the oval frame at a thrift store and immediately knew it will look stunning against the stenciled wall. IMG_7598 (450x300)I painted it with some more chalk paint to get that lovely matte black effect.

fp 1After looking at some images of fireplaces, I realized that this one seriously needed some depth. I painted the simple timber moldings in white and stuck them on with my hot glue gun. IMG_7654It really was super easy and the impact is amazing. I took my time to measure and cut the moldings to make sure that they fit properly – you don’t get do-overs with wood! I finished it off with Painter’s Mate (white acrylic) which is an amazing product that covers all manner of imperfections!

IMG_7515After I finished the fireplace, the wall next to it looked very pale so I ended up painting that as well, using a few more coats to get a much deeper colour. The curtain is a simple length of fabric that I hemmed and used with an old Ikea curtain pole. The window is west-facing so having a blind here is essential – this bamboo one was on special at Mr Price Home.

20140218_094824 (600x450)The last thing to fix up was the ottoman. I bought the fabric with the curtain fabric a few years ago on sale, not knowing what I was going to do with it! I loved the shape of my ottoman but the leather was worn and pealing so I decided to make a loose cover for it. I am so happy with the result – I think it really pulls the room together!IMG_7538 (300x450)Aside from the 2 gold tin buckets that I bought at Pep Home, I had everything else around the house and it’s amazing how you can create a whole new look by just moving some of your accessories around.IMG_7565Hope you like it as much as I and that you’re inspired to take on a 1k project of your own and share it here on Playing House!

Feature 4Next month I am FINALLY doing something with the playroom. And it’s going to be AWESOME so come back to have a look!

* I had some yellow paint left over from another project, so I didn’t allocate its full value to this project.




Comments · 6

  1. What a great reno – your stencil work was very neat – looks like wallpaper from the photos. My friend told me about Annie Sloane chalk paint just the other day and how easy it is and covers almost everything. Got to get me some. The fabric is lovely and fits in nicely with the striking yellow, black and white colour palette.

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