Remodel in Arizona Part 1

Well, this is going to have to be a series because there are far too many pictures, purchases and tips to squeeze into one post.

Recently I spent time with my best friend in Arizona and while she was away at work lawyering I was working from her two bedroom apartment. Of course I couldn’t just sit still, behave and do my work. Oh no.

The deal was initially to revamp her guest room as her sister will be moving in a few months from now. But I started with the living room. Here are the before shots:

Corner of the Living Room


Chaise & tables

And the other side of the room…

Living Room alcove by Guest Room

The biggest change was moving the desk across the room to create a small study area in the alcove shown in the picture above. Since the desk was rarely used in relation to watching TV, the new reading corner both contains all the books and papers but created more room for seating.

Now, I embrace my organizational tendencies and I even appreciate them. So using the bright yellow dishes I brought I started picking up stray coins, hair pins and buttons.

As I worked, I threw away any obvious trash and collected the papers in a single box. Camera and film went together, clothes to the bedroom, shoes to the shoe organizer. It may seem like I threw everything away but most of the items in the pictures above are in the pictures below.

Then I found the vacuum. With all of the stuff off of the floor tables and the couch could be moved and the floor was cleaned. Happy with the progress so far, I went out scouting for some storage and decor solutions.

Before I show you what I bought here’s the after:

Notice the rehung curtains. And Saved by the Bell on the TV.

Before the day was up, however, we solved the limited seating problem with another chaise. Here’s my favorite shot:

New chaise, new rugs, clean living room!

It’s worth noting that while the dollhouse was in this corner in the first pic we scored an amazing leather tufted chaise lounge for only $150, bumping the dollhouse across the room in the last shot. Doesn’t it look cozy? And here’s the new study alcove:

Desk & bookshelves

Here’s the Budget Breakdown:

Some of the items were utilitarian only. This  slim step stool from Wal-Mart was great for hanging curtains and fits in the small gap next to the fridge:

$19.00 at Walmart

These two rugs were great to catch stains and blend in well with the existing carpet (I got lucky there!) . My rule is if the rug is less than a carpet cleaning get a new rug and recycle the old one.

$30 at Big Lots for 2

I knew the room needed a little bit of storage so I picked up a basket for mail:

Basket $2 at Goodwill, Green tray $2.50 at Target

for cables and the modem:

$2 basket at Goodwill

and for Wii games and controllers:

$2 basket at Goodwill

This plant has survived despite all odds so I picked up a little tin for it to sit into (making it easier to water since it won’t leak all over):

70 cents at Goodwill

Although the colors in the room are primarily turquoise in various shades I liked this green tray for a pop of color. Inside I have a yellow cup with spare coins, a white canister with buttons and some matches.

Target $2.50

Finally in here I found this great little candy dish and used it as a bookend:

$8 at Big Lots


90% of the transformation came from cleaning. It took a good amount of work to just clear out papers (which all went into a box to be sorted and filed later), toss the trash and put like items together.

You don’t need to spend a lot to make a big difference. Rearrange the furniture, place a plant in a new tin, rehang the curtains.

When you find a leather chaise lounge in good condition for $150 sit on it and do not get up.


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