Thursday, July 19, 2012

From shabby to chic~ My $18 makeover on our garden shed

Our Seattle summer house is busting at the seams! We are enjoying every minute of the cooler weather, great outdoors, catching up with old friends (many of whom have new babies!), and working on our little house.

I painted our front porch a bright and welcoming RED~ as in fire engine red!

And in the backyard, I did a major transformation on a minor little forgotten space.  Our garden shed has been home to spiders and dust, old pots and unused junk for the last six years.  It's the catch all space for stuff that needs a quick home.  But last week I got the sudden urge to gut it and turn it into a sweet little cottage for my three girls.

I should mention that when I was growing up, in a small Napa Valley town in California, we had a shed in our backyard. It was a perfect space for play~ making mud pies, playing office or house, pretending to be the "vet" for my sweet and forgiving black lab.  I would have LOVED if my dad would have made it into an actual playhouse or cottage.  But it was just a dirty little shed where I was free to play and imagine.  And that's what I wanted to create for our girls~ but with some beauty and fun!

Here's the before.....

my husband thought I was crazy for taking on this project.

I vowed to use only items that we had stashed in storage, closets or our garage 
(that worked until the very end, when I spent $18 on two items).

I worked for four days and nights, during the twins' naps and after everyone went to bed. 
Here's the result.....

A little girl's dream! 
Come on in!

The yellow armoire was formerly white, and stashed on its side in our extra garage. 
I offered it to Salvation Army to haul away, but they refused it. It was dirty but in 
perfect shape otherwise.  I am so glad they didn't take it!  After a coat of fresh yellow paint, it is just like new. But better because it's old and shabby too.

Our Betsy (age 4) did the artwork.  
It says,
Our Cottage
Est. 2012
and has a drawing of Betsy, Emily and Margo

The frame came from a penny sale at Aaron Brothers and was still wrapped, brand new, sitting in our hall closet.  I think I purchased it a few years back (because when there's a penny sale, we always get the BIGGEST second item we can find for a penny!).  I didn't have anything to put in it at the time, so I stashed it away.  We used a piece of poster board for her artwork that we had in her arts and crafts closet.

Here's the reading nook.
I used Betsy's old toddler bed to create a cozy little area just for the girls to chill out and read books.  

Welcome to the kitchen and dining room! 
I found the curtains in another closet and had the rods in the garage. 
The black and white fabric was found at Ikea (as remnants) a few weeks back. I paid three dollars for it, knowing it would come in handy one day.

I painted the shoe about 10 years ago.  
The armoire is stuffed with old blankets and throw pillows. 
And here's where I spent my $18.  The black and white rug was on sale for $7 and the 
blue hanging balls were on sale for $11 after I used a coupon. 

The bistro chairs are a favorite of mine.  I found them at a yard sale (?) a few years back.
I painted them the same yellow as the armoire.

I stocked the kitchen full of groceries (all empty boxes of course).

The Paris drawing (pencil) was found at a flea market 15 years ago. 

another view of the finished product.  The cottage opens up onto our patio,
so we can spend evenings together outdoors.  There are vintage string lights hanging above the cottage doors.

relax and stay awhile!

photos, books, pillows. 

We can't kill this little birdie. He's just right for our family!

Betsy serving up dinner to Emily

She patiently waits.

All three girls enjoying story time

Thanks for stopping by!  

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