Bonus Room on a Budget

Does anyone have that one space in their home that just feels “thrown together”? You know, the space that collects all the décor that you didn’t have a proper home for. Well believe it or not, we had that room in our house – our catchall bonus room. When my husband and I purchased our first house together, we both came with quite a bit of furniture and the previous owners left a bunch too. I was incredibly grateful for being able to fill the space, however the nothing matched and I am more of a light and bright décor kind of person.

This room is probably one of the last ones on our list to revamp. We had the TV mounted and tried to hide our abundance of cords with some faux plants. It certainly wasn’t my proudest décor moments, but it was on the tail end of our list of things to fix. Here is a before picture:

This bonus space was probably the hardest room I have yet to work in. As an Interior Decorator, this makeover should have come easy, but I was blocked. Maybe because I dreamed of a nice light grey sectional and I couldn’t vision falling in love with anything else – especially our current couches. I am all about a budget friendly makeover, so we opted to keep the leather couches and make them work in the space. It turned out, with the light pillows and the matching décor, a light couch probably would have looked a little silly.

Now this is one of the neatest feature walls I have done. I remember coming across a photo on Instagram of a shiplap bathroom and low and behold, it was a painted wall with lines drawn on with a Sharpie paint pen! I couldn’t believe how great it looked. I was pretty determined to try this method and what a great wall it would be behind the TV. I contemplated between doing straight lines or more of a herringbone type pattern. Straight lines would have been 1000 times faster and easier, but I love the look of a herringbone pattern – so I went with the challenge.

The color of the wall came by surprise. I was trying to find the perfect dark grey or brown to complement the new mantle / TV stand we purchased, but none of the colors were really jumping out to me. It wasn’t until I was staring at a fall centerpiece that was sitting on the coffee table, that sparked a light in my head, actually it was more like fireworks! I was in love with the minty greenery and the cream pumpkins sitting in the dark brown base. So here I was flipping through my Benjamin Moore deck and found the perfect minty green/grey – HC-163 Duxbury Gray.

Between coats of paint, I took a few of the older faux plants that were in that room and I spray painted the leaves. I wanted to stick with the minty greens instead of the original bright colors. I first sprayed them with Tremclad Gloss Grey, then lightly misted them with Rustoleum White, and finally finished them with Rustoleum Frosted Glass finish. I did the frosted glass because both of the colored paints were a gloss and I wanted more of a matte finish. This seemed to do the trick!

This was the combination of paint I used.
Light green BEFORE on the right and misty mint green AFTER on the left.

I was pretty much able to finish the feature wall in a day – it took two since my day was broken up with work, but seriously it was the quickest and most affordable feature wall to date! The longest part of the whole process was measuring the lines. They weren’t perfect either, since I didn’t have reference points to use with the windows on that wall. Nevertheless, it’s hardly noticeable and the lines gave some interest to the wall!

I had some of my family members come over and told them to look at the feature wall (not telling them it was a Sharpie paint pen). They both were in awe by the wall and my Mom thought it was a tiled wall, and my brother thought it was wood! It wasn’t until they went to touch the wall that they realized in was a drawn line. I call that a success! I have so many people ask what it looks like close up, and no joke you almost need your nose on the wall to tell that it’s Sharpie.

The last part of this makeover was the bookshelves. These were originally from Ikea and again, the wood was quite a bit darker than the mantle below the TV. Instead of purchasing new ones, I decided to use peel and stick wood wallpaper. This was a blend of light and dark woods and tied in the colors of the room much better. This project probably took longer to finish than the feature wall itself. Lots of measuring and cutting, but worth it in the end.

So, there you have it! A bonus room on a budget. It’s finally a space that is coming together and a space I can be proud of. As is turns out, I too can love some dark leather furniture with a little bit of work.

The inspiration behind it all.
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