Interior Design Trends – Thrifty Green Makeover Part 3

image via homedesigncollectedinfoblog

So, what kind of a designer comes into a home, and does it all herself on a low budget?

Essentially, no designer! So who is this for? Everyone who loves style, and wants to leave a minimal footprint on the planet for generations to come.

Re-Do it Design is a blog that continues to swell with numbers and the pride of its diverse readership. Those of you with ample budget to hire qualified contractors, can use the ideas shared here to inspire your style. Those of you who come because you love color and trends but are challenged by budget and time constraints can utilize The Green Basement Makeover series to learn cost-cutting tips for refreshing your space.

I hope to teach you how to make the most of your budget, and provide the resources that help you do it! To accomplish this, I decided to roll up my own sleeves on this project, to show you want can be done right.

No, the room above his is not the finished basement project – although I would not be at all adverse! But it’s a great example of a space that communicates a great deal of color. The vivid peacock wall color is broken up by framed fabric remnants matted in crisp white, which is along the lines of the art wall I have in mind for this Green basement re-do.

I don’t know the specific paint or color used in the room above, but it reminded me immediately of this ktcolor paint (left) cerulean-teal shade. Allot of color is discussed on re-do it design, but this color made a lasting impression – so I called the suppliers at

Blue Ceruleum Moyen 32020 by KYColor

Aronson’s in NYC to get a sample and the skinny on this gorgeous paint. Like so many coveted materials, this flawlessly Green Swiss paint does come at a premium. Painting the walls with this sultry and complex blue would be a real budget buster. Color is to me what Louis Vitton bags are to consummate lovers of iconic fashion, so it was a more tortured excersize in discipline turn my back on my color statement of choice to stay to remain faithful to the budget ….but the rep at Aronson (the exclusive North American Distributor of KTColor Paints) had a great idea that might have occurred to me spontaneously were I not engaged in color-pout; once again, less is more…

The 250 ml sample pots of colors are $45. You get  8-10 square feet of coverage (with 2 coats). Most colors are available in flat and satin finish; satin being more durable. Larger quantities are sold by the kilogram.

The colors are so rich, that they lend themselves perfectly to reinventing accents or furnishings into accent jewels for any space – remember our green commitment – something borrowed, or in this case something blue? There are some great vivid colors I can save for up-cycling, like this antique tea table with water damage that I have in storage.

Sad tea table top with potential!

I would like to make this table allot of fun, and this color source gives me a great idea to add to the changes taking place currently.

My Shore-Mural Inspired Color Pallet

To recap, if you tuned in yesterday, you saw that we changed course with the color palette, based on the plan to start with the fireplace and its designated flashy finishes as the room’s focal point. I won the battle of function over aesthetic, but lost the color war…without the focal reference points, the palette (above) would lack cohesion in a basement family room.

So I turned instead to “Something New” for inspiration.

new inspirational color palette

I love all the light and negative space in between the pattern, but there’s a lot more to love with this palette. One of the things I liked best about the fabric, was that the minority red tone that bares a resemblance to Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango.

tangerine-tango and our palette color.

When you use the minority colors of a fabric that are of a similar color family with some distance in between their placement, they appear to be the same – at least in smaller increments. The youngest family member has a penchant for red – these bookcases, resident amidst ancient dark stained wood paneling (with backing made from masonite turned around backwards) are roughly-hewn and rustic to say the least.

refreshed and up-cycled built-in book cases in the basement family room

Tearing it all down was not an option for the budget – so I sanded it back; that area at top of the image will have a crown-molding applied to enclosed that wire that runs the length of the hallway. The masonite shelf- backing has received a fresh coat of paint in a Tomato Tango from Benjamin Moore’s Fiery Reds Paint Collection.

I chose Aura paint for its green zero VOC’s.  Because it’s a red, it’s transparent – so it comes with a jail-suit orange primer. I loved the primer, and the paint, but this is the thinnest red I’ve seen since Rose Madder Lake oil paint (so named for the origin of that color’s pigment). It needed 3 coats by brush.

I chose the more durable semi-gloss finish for this area, designated for toy storage and let it set for 24-hours before dropping in some simple and  low-cost white laminate shelves. Lined with inexpensive storage bins from Target, smart colorful storage will help keep this family zone stay family-friendly and stylish!

Something Borrowed

All that wood was meant to have a branch motif complete with a very crisp owl silhouette applied in the form of a larger scale hand-made decal running the length dead-center across the built-ins’ ugly matching doors. I planned on then white washing over the decal and peeling it away to reveal the sanded down wood – but when I removed the ugly doors to sand them down without harming the hardware, I received my first happy surprise…

Something borrowed “barn doors”

When I flipped the doors around, they had the handles on the reverse, and look very much like barn doors! I removed them from the shelving area (thus the attention to the Tangerine shelf-backing) and they are going to become focal points of their own.

I plan on mounting them on the wall opposing the fireplace to infuse some much needed balance. The doors will be mounted on sliding hardware, offset from the wall by about 6″, and will open (and close) to reveal (and conceal) the TV. The hardware can run up to $800 – so I will go to the local tractor store, and finesse their sliding hardware and bar track.

I am still playing with ideas regarding the finish of the doors – as you can see those LED Spots are very bright! That was the good news…

But no reno is complete without revaluations of mistakes made before you arrived.

Tile sub-floor on the tile surround – thank God this house never burned down!

When we tore out the contractor grade black tile hearth surround, we discovered that the thin-set was applied directly to plywood!! This would be a big no-no, even in an area not surrounding a fireplace – but this could have been quite dangerous.

But take heart – it looks bad now, but easy flooring fixes are next!

If you love Green, check out this year’s HGTV Green Home! Love the kitchen!

Find all sorts of inspiration to re-design your space at