Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Make Do or Do Without

Remember the old philosophy, "Make do or do without"? Why is it when we hear that term, it seems to bring negative feelings, like we are sacrificing what we really want? Is it because we are bombarded with the ideas that we have to have abundance to be happy?
Almost every improvement I have made in my home has been done "on a shoestring." The majority of my furnishings and decorations have come from thrift stores or bought on sale. Do I feel that my home is lacking anything because of that? NO! Not at all! In fact, because I've done everything with a limited amount of money, I've become much more creative. My home reflects our talents and abilities---not just our income. Case in point:
I hated the flooring in my entry. It was tile that one of my neighbors described as a brown honey comb (do you have that picture in your mind?). I looked into painting it and decided that because it is such a high traffic area, the paint would likely wear off and I would still have honey comb tile, just a different color. Then I came up with this inexpensive solution of "making do & doing without". . .

We tore out the hideous tile, replaced the sub-floor, and then I painted, glazed and polyurethaned. We have lived on this solution for three years now, and I enjoy my floor. It's easy to clean and I don't get all upset when my boys do crazy things on it. When people first see it they think that it's stained concrete.
(You can enlarge the picture to show more detail. Sorry, the floor is dark so it doesn't photograph well)

We learned the important lesson that "Make do or do without" can actually be positive AND pretty.

10 comments:

Mrs. B said...

Wow, that really does look like stained cement! I think making do can be fun and encourage creativity. We just have to remember that "making do" doesn't mean you can't alter and improve the things you have.

Taddie Tales said...

OMG you are SO talented. I thought that was concrete when I was grazing your post prior to reading. WOW! Nothing wrong with 2nd hand furniture - make do and reuse. Last I heard old furniture was sometimes called antiques - very coveted.

Shirlee said...

You have a nice sized entry. We have a porch but once inside, you're instantly in the livingroom. I've never liked that fact.
Great job as always on your floor. You definitely know how to handle a paintbrush!
I forgot to leave a note on your chair post. All of the chairs are great finds. I'm looking for a side chair for the livingroom but no such luck at the thrift stores...yet.
Did you have any of them re-upholstered or are those the original fabrics? :)_utavztk

Joy said...

Shirlee, I recovered the wooden chair but my other thrift chairs are in the original fabric. I kinda like the worn look. I made a slip cover for the wingback when it didn't match my other furniture, but now that I've changed colors it works, even with the faded fabric.

The Nester said...

That floor is eyecating and looks fantastic! Nice job! It's so true that the best ideas come from being restricted in some way!

Do it yourselfer... said...

You're a girl after my own heart. I am just waiting for my husband to leave for a period of time...so I can rip up the yucky carpet and linoleum. Then I think I'm just going to paint the subfloor...would love hardwoods, but in the meantime...What do you think?

Joy said...

do-it-yourselfer-I love my painted floors. My entry, hall and family room floors all look like the picture. I've also painted my bedroom floor a creamy white. It's cheap, it's easy and with the addition of a nice area rug it's beautiful.

Gail said...

The floor looks great! When you said you put down the sub floor... do you mean that the paint job is right on the sub floor? Luan? or plywood?
It looks fabulous!

Trey & Tracey Kimball said...

Can you share a little more about what you used to do your painted floors? I love the idea. I'm in the yucky carpet stage and can't afford new carpet. What type of wood did you use for the sub-floor? What type of paint and poly did you use. Did you use a roller? How big of a nap on the rollers? Any other instructions would be great. I really love your blog!! You inspired me to make some changes in my house that have needed to be done for a while. Thank you!!!

Jen T said...

I'm with the others here..Joy PLEASE detail that floor. It's beautiful AND affordable!! You are so clever!

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