In July 2010, Mandi Gubler, wife and stay-at-home mom of two, founded the blog Vintage Revivals (www.vintagerevivals.com) as a place to talk about some of the decorating
approaches she used in her own home. “I needed a creative outlet,” she explains, “something that was new and non-repetitive.” As her readership grew and two TV appearances on The Nate Berkus Show followed, she began helping both friends and neighbors with their own decorating
projects, including her friend Hailee, who had just purchased new couches and asked Gubler
to help rearrange some furniture. “My friend had no idea what she had gotten herself into,” says Gubler. “Ten days of nonstop work and about $1,500 later, the whole living room was
changed into a fun, happy, Hailee kind of room.”
Mandi Gubler, Author of the Blog Vintage Revivals and Do-It-Yourselfer
Extraordinaire, Utilizes a Bevy of Creative Projects in This Living Room
The 1,700-square-foot home, located in St. George, Utah, had dark-stained floors
and beige walls. The floor and couches had a heavy, serious feel, Gubler says,
but she knew that Hailee’s personality was more cheerful and upbeat. So she decided to bring in some
bright color and lots of white to balance the darks and give the room freedom. “First, we painted the upper wall a grayish-taupe color called Hopsack, by Ralph
Lauren,” Gubler says. “Below the paint, we installed strips of board to create wainscoting. We used
medium-density fiberboard, MDF, to create the board and batten.” They spray-painted the wainscoting an ultra-pure white color to complete the
Southern Utah doesn’t have a lot of “designer” boutiques, Gubler says, so she depends on thrift stores, garage sales, and some
warehouse stores for her creations. “This rug was a plain sisal one from IKEA,” Gubler says. “I designed a stencil working with the folks at Royal Design Studio in Chula
Vista, California, and used that to add the houndstooth pattern.”
The cabinet-turned–TV console was an old dresser with recessed drawers purchased at a garage sale.
Some PVC pipe in one of the home improvement centers caught Gubler’s eye, so she bought about eight feet of two-inch pipe, added it to the drawer
fronts, and the dresser took on a whole new character.
After creating a canvas of taupe, tans, and white, Gubler wanted to punch up the
room with bright-yellow and teal-blue touches. “We spray-painted the thrift-store end-table lamps a cheerful yellow,” she explains. “The chairs were an exciting find in Pier 1 and worked perfectly in the room. The
mirror over the loveseat was Hailee’s and we painted that yellow, too.” The lamp hanging from the ceiling near the loveseat was purchased from a
Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Gubler painted the base white gloss and then
wound yarn in an ombre pattern on the shade.
Shelves now fill the open space between the dining area and living room. “We purchased one-by-eight-inch lumber for less than $30. Then we stained and
polyurethaned it,” Gubler explains. “It was a big, open, empty space before. Now it still has that open feel but
holds lots of decorative items that we found in thrift stores. They add color,
interest, and personality.”
The new living area has a mature, well-thought-out attitude, says Gubler, but
also captures Hailee’s free spirit. “Hailee is so organized and competent,” she says. “But she also is sweet and always cheerful and just in love with life. Her home
had to show all the sides of her wonderful personality. And this living room
was the perfect place to start.” Written by Carolyn M. Runyon.
Gubler advises adding a little water to craft paint to get the right consistency
for rug stenciling. In this case, she diluted the paint even more in the middle
to create a faded look.
The mass of windows was treated to long, lush drapes made of drop cloths! Gubler
hung them on a thick rope and suspended the rope from eye hooks. She placed a
simple cleat on the wall to tie the drapes in place.
PVC Pipe Embellishments
The two-inch PVC pipe was cut into -inch pieces, and then Gubler fit them into each drawer with a touch of glue. She primed the entire cabinet exterior
with KILZ Spray Primer and then used Krylon’s Classic White spray paint.
Virginia Gardner, CRS
As featured in
Your Home and Lifestyle
Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
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