Bayhouse AFTER pics & Tying up Loose Ends

It happens every time I travel to the States: unfinished business. I know most of you can't relate to this kind of overseas life. It's somewhat exciting, mostly challenging, and for someone like me, full of home decoration itches I rarely get to scratch. Consequently, I tend to load up on projects I hope to accomplish (usually in other people's homes) when planning a good chunk of time Stateside. My goals are usually lofty, and more often than not, time and budget limitations nip them short of fruition. This last visit was no different.  There are a few things I wish I had been able to see to finish, but in the meantime, I can check off this to-do.
As I've mentioned in the last couple of posts, my main target this trip was my 'rents bayhouse.  In all honesty, they were mostly content with the style of the home.  I, of course, came in like Frank from Father of the Bride, "Oh, it's wonderful, lovely, we change everything!"  I just saw (see) so much MORE for the place.
Takes time, though.
And cash.
But, where there's a will, there's a DIY way.
And it tackled the living room this go-'round.

Before:
A Vision in Beige.

After:  On its way to being the bright, fresh place it's begging to be.

What we did:
1)  Stained the media cabinet and wet bar (out of frame) using a ridiculously easy product called General Finishes gel stain in Java + their water-based poly finish.  Can't get over the new rich, contrast.
2)  Had white slips made for the couches.  Note: These couches hail from the Cindy Crawford line from Rooms to Go (came with the house), and they are crazy comfy, so tuck that away for some non-biased sourcing.
3)  Bought a $30 coffee table from our local Habitat store, and had it made into an ottoman using a zebra-stenciled cowhide.  Not bad for saving about $1500 on a "trade" original.
4)  Replaced the too-small indoor/outdoor rug with a large jute from Overstock.
We still need to recover the armchairs that sit to the right of the couches, and of course, tend to all those little finishing touches (like original art), but the room is such a breath of fresh air, and really does allow me to feel like I left with a sense of accomplishment.

We also undertook a refresh of the kitchen, which came outfitted in the same honey-oak.  And, of course, there's my bedroom situation left in mid-design crisis mode.  Good thing is, it forces me to take time to think things through, and decide what I really like versus just "get it done."

So, until next time...

See this post, as well as other good examples of Working With What You Have at Emily A. Clark