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Thread: How to create a cohesive room from hand me downs

  1. #1
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    How to create a cohesive room from hand me downs

    Hi,

    My sewing room is in my basement and it's a crazy-a** mixture of stuff. I have my grandmother's sewing cabinet from the '40s (which I hope to retrofit to my sewing machine), my mother's vintage china cupboard from the '60s, a Joann cutting table, an executive desk I got when my office moved and gave away furniture, and a mixture of little tables and filing cabinets.

    My problem is how to combine all these different elements into one look. I love the shabby chic/vintage look, so the older items aren't a problem. How do I incorporate the newer/laminate stuff into the mix? I saw some super cute filing cabinet makeovers on Pinterest, but the executive desk is dark and very plain (it also weighs a ton so no chance of moving it out of the basement).

    Ideas?

    Karen

  2. #2
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    Arrange it so it is as functional as you can get it.

  3. #3
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    When I put my sewing room together I did it based on how I move around the room. Since I usually have the TV on, the sewing machine I use the most is across the room but it faces the TV and my back is to the wall. My window looks right into the side of the garage so not a great view but it is natural light so I have my embroidery machine up against the wall with the embroidery machine - next to the EM on the right is the cabinet that holds all the embroidery thread and various items I intend to embroider and next to that on the right is my treadle. (It opens up over the cabinet.) My cutting table is a full length mirror that folds out to be a 6 ft table. But it stays out of the way until I need it. And all my bins of fabric are kept in the closet with labels to help me remember what is in each one.

    So what I am trying to say is you need to see what flows for you. I have had my sewing room about 8 years now and I am just now feeling that I have it right. But that is because I keep adding and changing things.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, those are great ideas!

  5. #5
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    Paint can be your best friend. If all the pieces are the same color it will look very cohesive and pretty too.
    aka Gale

  6. #6
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    Paint, paint, paint. It can take something from "ho hum, to wow" in no time. You can paint anything into being "Shabby Chic or Vintage" in about an hour. My sewing corner is ALL hand me down or thrift store finds ($20 and under), paint turned them all into a complete sewing area. That looks like it was always meant to be together. The same goes for any covers you need (recovered my sewing chair $10 find, but looked tired), made a skirt to cover the opening of my sewing cabinet (sewing chair and skirt are the same, so is the dog bed). You can have fun turning your sewing area into a place you love to be, and have fun doing it.

  7. #7
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    I too love shabby chic. You can get alot of idea's from pinterest. I would paint that ole desk first. Your lucky to have so many vintage pieces!!

  8. #8
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Paint....yip, that's a good piece of advice. I had a sewing room that I "collected for". I had 2 legal file (2 drawer) cabinets that were ugly (wood). Painted them yellow and then hubby layed a sliding closet door on the top. Wasn't tall enough for cutting, so he built a framework out of 2x4s and but them between the door and the files. Got the file cabinets for $5.00 each at garage sale. Then I used the sewing cabinet from my first MIL -- eventually painted it. On the left I had a big desk my folks gave me.....about 4 feet long. I used it for an ironing pad......and junk. Worked for me!!!! Oh, bought some cheap shelving off Amazon.....$15.00 each and free shipping. Now I'm trying to figure out the best set-up in our RV.....limited space....whew!
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  9. #9
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    They now make spray paint for plastic, so you can pick a color you like, and make all the laminate work with the curtains and carpet. Use them as pops of color, like accent pillows in a livingroom. Paint the lamnate a gloss black and pretend they are laquer ware? Go to you tube and watch the video on painting a sewing machine, and borrow her ideas to work on the laminate? I hope all of this kick starts your imagination. Lol! Let us know what you come up with.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  10. #10
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    Arrange it so it is functional for you then assess the look and change it up to meet your taste with paint, doilies or anything else that works.

  11. #11
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    Choose a main neutral color for your walls if you can paint them. Then 1 or 2 accent colors to use in curtains, toppers,
    frames, etc. Color will bring the mish-mash together.

    I painted my walls pale yellow. My furniture is white except for one brown dresser (yet to sell). Accents are turquoise and black. Since a sewing room, by its very nature, seems to look cluttered with all the "little" things, keeping the decor coordinated is easier on the eyes.

  12. #12
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    My sewing room has raspberry carpet, so I used some old daisy kingdom burgundy and white striped, with floral border, fabric for curtains which were lowered to give the effect of skylights, I used the deep green from the floral part to paint the base of an old teachers desk that had been well used, and painted the legs of the table I use for cutting the same deep green, since the top matched the teachers desk. The walls are a pale tan, and the walls are slowly being covered with quilts of all colors. I love it!
    Last edited by madamekelly; 04-26-2015 at 12:57 PM.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  13. #13
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    Those older pieces...are they dark? If so, I'd sand them down and paint them all white with a hard shell high gloss finish. Make everything the same color so it doesn't look so choppy. Use a bit of fabric and mod podge to cover all drawer fronts in a bright pattern. You can even mod podge over the laminate! Lighten the walls, bright curtains and keep rearranging things until it fits your needs exactly. It took me a couple of times, but I finally got it right! You will end up with a bright, fun creative space to spend your quilty hours!

  14. #14
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    Lots of great suggestions here. I'm trying to use as much white for my new sewing space but will have to consider mod podging a little book shelf after reading that last suggestion.

  15. #15
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I agree. Paint!!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  16. #16
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    Not knowing the size of the executive desk maybe after fitting your machine to your desk, You could have it up against the desk for extra room if you decide to DSM quilt. Maybe filing cabinets would fit under the desk for extra storage. Possibly add casters to the bottoms for mobility.. I personally would have to see the layout of the basement. especially if you have the HVAC and appliances in the basement. And amount of lighting would be a factor. As others have stated, though check out Pinterest and the different photos members have here of their rooms.

  17. #17
    Junior Member acesgame's Avatar
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    Paint is the obvious answer. Not so obvious is upholstery. If you need a nice large pressing table you could upholster the top or just cover with quilts or table clths.
    Just my 2 cents and probably not worth that much but I ALWAYS have an opinion!

  18. #18
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    [II would sand the desk and paint it a color tat I like. Like bright yellow and make it a statement piece
    Patski
    always learning

  19. #19
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I made a big discovery when putting in my two big tall cabinets ...I had wanted the brown wood look, but all I could find was white.........but wow, when I put them into my not huge sewing room, it really lit the place up......it seemed so much brighter, lighter, bigger that I could not believe the difference.............do when thinking on the colors to paint your collection of items, this might help to know........that white really did light it up so much more than I would have thought...........
    Judy, retired RN, alias 4 dogs and in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    Someday you will be a memory - try to make it a good one .

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