Reader Design: Lindsey's Paint-Perfect Updates

I am particularly tickled over today’s #stylemuttspaces feature.  A while back, fellow CNU alum Lindsey asked me over for a re-upholstery consult by sending me this photo:

Obviously I knew I just HAD to share her home with you and boy-oh-boy are you all in for a retro treat!

From Lindsey:

Andrew and I bought our first home in June 2014. We got a great deal on a lovely 1970s townhouse because, well, it didn't look dramatically updated past then. Carpeted stairs, carpeted bathrooms, gold glitter seashell sinks--oh my! We have lots of down-the-road dreams for our new home, but for the time being, paint is the upgrade we can afford. And paint alone brought things a few decades into the future :)

The Before

The After

The Lounge [is] the small room adjacent to the kitchen is the dining room. The living room at the front of the house is spacious and sunny, and was a much better size our grandparents' dining table. We swapped out the wooden chandelier in the original dining room for the ceiling fan from the living room to better suit our sitting room. But as we compiled our hand-me-down lamps, chairs, and turntable, the room became an undeniable retro lounge. 

Before & After


Lindsey’s house is full of authentic-retro personality and she is constantly evolving it’s retro-liciousness.  Since setting up when the family (Lindsey, husband, and dog Hannah) moved in, she has cleverly swapped out her lack-hack coffee table for this awesome West Elm clover one and updated her IKEA end table and couch with custom tapered legs from  Brilliant!  She’s completed the room with unique family pieces: a brass record stand (Lindsey’s mom’s from childhood), her parent’s original Stiffel lamps (circa 1970s), Grandma Peggy’s mod green lounge chair, and Grammy’s orange and aqua succulent planters.

I love the high end look of the white eames-inspired chair and acrylic side table juxtaposed with the mod green lounge chair.

Both Lindsey and her husband Andrew are fans of Henri Matisse, so when they found “The big Parakeet and the Mermaid” Matisse print in antique store in Delaware it was a no brainer.  Plus it was framed in Belvedere Square, Towson, Maryland (just near where Lindsey and Andrew got hitched!) and it was only $20.  BOOM.

Lindsey’s other art is a combination of other Matisse prints from the Moma exhibit, prints from used art books, postcards from vacation and quirky prints that make her smile like this Etsy find, “The Houseguest” by Janet Hill.

A record collection to swoon for wouldn't you say?

That slate blue wall color really plays up the sunlight (and Hannah Girl’s intelligent icy blue eyes).

I love the combination of the Crate&Barrel Bucato Yellow Rug, warm wood tones, olive upholstered chair, and little pops of redsy oranges!

Every corner has a story: Lindsey bought this “Wild Thing Your Make My Heart Sing” wooden clock from a whimsical clockmaker in Kalispell, Montana when she was 15.  

I asked my parents to hang onto it for me for when I got married and had a house one day. Grateful my taste has not changed too much! Sure enough, they held onto it for me and Andrew and I adore it. It's such a fun pop of red in the lounge.

The iron plant stand in the corner is an antique find which Lindsey updated from a white worthy of “Grandma’s porch” to a sleek black.

And the transformation doesn’t stop there.  Lindsey deploys her secret weapon (a coat of paint) in the basement powder room for amazing impact.

The Before

You can see the before, carpeting on the floor, medicine cabinet protruding far into the room, full length towel bar (why??) and porcelain toilet paper holder. We pulled up the carpet (Which, it turns out, had not been glued down) to find simple tile in decent shape. 

The After

A little paint plus some Andy Warhol art of my childhood boyfriend (Elvis, I'm an old soul, what can I say?). The bathroom has a very low ceiling, which stumped me, since I dreamed of a bright red bathroom next to our basement movie room. I found a creative compromise by painting the low ceiling a soft white. Though we still have the same sparkly sink, the fun pop art is a nice distraction in the meantime ;)

 Paint Colors: Behr's  Ballet White & Allure || Andy Warhol's Double Elvis Poster || Double Han Solo Print || Poster Frames: Michaels

Rug: Target  ||  Freestanding Toilet Paper Holder: Target

Guys this doesn’t even cover half how awesome the rest of Lindsey’s house is.  Give her some extra love and maybe, just maybe, she’ll let us share some more ;)  Thank you Lindsey for opening up your home to us and showing us the amazing wonders a little paint can do! 

Don't forget we are always looking for more readers to feature on Fridays.  You don’t have to be a world renowned designer to get some real estate on our SPACES page – you just have to love your home and want to show if off.  Post your proud pics to our Facebook wall or tag #stylemuttspaces on Instagram. 

Before + After ||Warning: Graphic transformation details ahead||

Guys. (well, mostly gals). When I saw this piece on Craigslist recently I tried to do a handspring and almost twisted my ankle. No joke. That's how much I loved it, had to have it, wanted it yesterday.

Please note that is NOT my garage, it's the seller's pic. Not that I have any right to pass judgement on a messy garage... Anywho, pretty epic piece, right?!

And after some TLC and socialization with the world outside of a garage, here's our beauty after!

This makeover had it's highs and lows and I'm not going to spare you any graphic details. Consider that fair warning!

To start, I texted my go-to-gal, Cate, and shared an up close pic of this piece's freckled veneer. That is, indeed, veneer - but it's in SUCH amazing condition that I knew it could stand its own. However, it had freckles! It looked like my arms and legs in July - COVERED in freckles! Fine on people, not furniture. Cate suggested dulling the freckles by rubbing the piece down with a gel stain, and it worked!! 

That Cate; she's one brilliant chick! Love running things by her for her opinion and advice. She never fails. Seriously, I think she's batting 1,000 - every pitch I throw she swings a home run idea!

After I stained the body, I was ready to tackle the shelves and cabinet door. I wanted glossy white but was really not interested in using my highly praised Glidden Trim Door Furniture paint. I love that stuff but it's seriously thick, and trying to get it inside every corner and crevice was going to take a lot longer than I have patience or time for. So I tried this:

Gave all drawers and door a coat of Rust-Oleum Paint & Primer In One. Worked beautifully as a solid first coat.

Here comes my favorite part - I tried for the first time Rust-Oleum's Gloss Protective Enamel, (in white), and it's like the SPRAY FORM of my beloved Glidden paint! It's oil based, sprays even and lays thick. When all pieces were dry, they were so smooth and solid - you couldn't scratch if you tried.

Luckilly, I had an opportunity to test this most amazing paint after this happened:

Some bird out there is patting the feathers on his back for this near bullseye. Don't set pieces out to dry under a large tree, folks. Lesson SO learned! To clean, I ran a high pressure hose over this while simultaneously scrubbing with a thick bristle brush. I figured I would have to start from scratch and re-spray this piece. What a pleasant surprise when the water just beaded up and trickled right off and the bristles made absolutely no damage to the finish at all! I am so pleased to say it is now squeaky clean and Rust-Oleum has made me a die-hard fan for life! Amazing product, Rust-Oleum; bravo!

Last to tackle was the awesome custom hardware. This piece would have no other hardware. There are wooden 'notches' made just for these pulls to fit around, so it's already a perfect marriage. They were pretty dirty and dingy, so I cleaned them up and gave them all a coat of Rust-Oleum metallic gold spray paint. They looked a little plastic-y afterwards, though. So, I grabbed a can of dark wax, (by Annie Sloan, but you can find dark wax in most hardware stores now), dragged a thick artists brush around in the wax, and dabbed it into the crevices on the hardware. I covered each piece thoroughly, then took a paper towel and just 'blotted' to remove any excess wax. I let the wax cure for a day before adding the hardware back on the piece

Love the authentic look that the wax adds! Beautiful, isn't it!

Cleaned up nice didn't it. ;)


So excited with how this piece turned out - it made a marvelous journey with a little crap along the way, but all the best journeys have their fair share now don't they.

This pieces is now available for sale in the DC metro area!
69"L x 30"H x 17.75"D
You can email me at if you have any questions or want to snag it!

Thank you all for stopping by!