Feel Good Makeover Reveal – LaTanya’s New Home
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Amazon Home. I’m so grateful that Amazon Home helped us bring this amazing Feel Good Makeover to life. We couldn’t have done it without their support.
Two weeks ago, I had one of the best/craziest/most overwhelming weekends of my life. We spent two long days transforming a living room and a dining room for the loveliest woman you ever did meet.
I first introduced you to the amazing LaTanya back in this blog post. If you missed it, I urge you to read that post to learn more about LaTanya’s incredible story and hear about the important work she is now doing to give back to the community of Chicago.
The Design Plan
To review, LaTanya moved into a new apartment back in April with only a few possessions – a couch, TV, mattress, and a few boxes. Kim and Scott (from the blog, Yellow Brick Home) and I wanted to do anything we could to give her a special place to call home. We spent a good six weeks designing, planning, and ordering everything from Amazon Home. Here’s a look at the design plan for each space…
You can find more details about the design for each room in this blog post. We placed our orders at the beginning of April and then everything started to arrive at LaTanya’s home in full force. Every day more and more boxes flooded her home and garage, (What a trooper she was to live amongst boxes for over a month!) I think we were all counting down the days to the big makeover weekend!
During that time, we hired professionals to paint the walls (Sherwin Williams “Dutch Cocoa” using the Prestige paint line), revitalize the millwork with gel stain, and refinish the original hardwood floors in the bedrooms. (We went with the color “Early American” for all of the wood.) That left us ready for the big makeover weekend.
The Makeover Weekend
About two weeks ago, we kicked LaTanya out of her apartment and sent her to my mom’s condo for a relaxing weekend away. While she was gone, we got to work. The first order of business was opening up the mountain of boxes in her garage. Holy smokes, it was wild opening up all of those goodies, and it took us a few hours to just get everything out in the open.
Luckily, we had some amazing helpers for our two-day makeover. I put my family and friends to work each day and my incredible assistant, Lindsey, even flew out from Kansas City to help with the project. She was by my side all day long and we really couldn’t have done it without her. Lindsey was our master builder and she put every single piece of furniture together. What a gem!
The days were long, hard, and sweaty…but also so freakin’ fun. We played music, discussed our thoughts on how LaTanya would react to her new space, ordered lunch, and just made the most of the time working on this rejuvenating project.
On Sunday, we brought LaTanya back for the big reveal. We were all giddy and nervous to see her reaction. Throughout this entire process, every time we got together with LaTanya we would all be crying. She is just such a special person and being with her would bring on the waterworks for all of us.
When she finally opened the door, there were tears all around! She just kept saying “Oh my goodness” over and over with her hands clasped over her mouth.
It was A LOT to take in and I think we overwhelmed her as we quickly showed her all of the features of her new home sweet home.
Lots of hugs, lots of tears, and lots of joy filled the room, that’s for sure.
The New Living Room
For seating, we chose this large leather couch. Holy smokes, it’s just about the most comfortable sofa ever and that leather is like butter. The cutie velvet chairs brought in the perfect pop of color with the blue.
Over the sofa, we originally planned to hang a fiber art piece. When it arrived, the dimensions didn’t quite work for the space, so we switched gears and went with this triptych art. It was the best call because it really brightened up the room and popped off of the pretty mauve walls.
Flanking the wall art, we hung two of these globe sconces (we got these at a really good price!). We knew from the start that we weren’t going to hardwire them (an old home with plaster walls makes electrical tricky), so our plan was to use my puck light trick to bring in some light. The pucks ended up being too big and we quickly ordered these battery-operated light bulbs. We struck out yet again because those didn’t quite fit in the small globe shade either. Oh well, the sconces still look beautiful on the wall.
Now, LaTanya has a place to hang her coat and check herself out before she leaves the house.
On the other side of the door, we have the media area. For this spot, we decided to go with this dresser so she could have more storage for winter gear (gloves, hats, etc.) and any media essentials. LaTanya told our video team that her one wish was for us to mount a television. Well, we went one step further with this Frame TV that looks like art. I adore the cute lamp we added to this area too. (It ties in with the wall sconces.) Oh, and we even gave LaTanya two of these Sonos speakers so she can have music all throughout her home.
LaTanya really had the tears flowing when she noticed the black and white photos we added of her mother and sisters, using this frame and this one. (They are such great quality frames!). She kept saying how grateful she was to have her mom watching over her, here in her home.
Living Room Accessories
Let’s talk accessories! We added this marble side table (so good at a great price!) with coffee table books all around.
For books, we purchased a mix of Chicago books, Black history, and even some about LaTanya’s favorite film genre – horror movies. It’s always a nice touch to have books that showcase your interests and she told us she can’t wait to dig in! We also purchased two of these gold butterflies to add a special touch on top of the books, since LaTanya loves butterflies!
Thank goodness for the talents of Scott Vargo who installed both of our chandeliers. As I mentioned, old homes and electrical can always be a bit tricky, but he managed to hang this beauty with a ceiling medallion to add in a bit of that vintage charm.
Plants really completed this space and brought it to life! We went with a hanging planter set to draw the eye up near the curtains, a pothos on the coffee table, and then a large philodendron in this big ol’ pot in the corner.
And finally, to cozy it up, we added lots of beautiful textiles. I adore this large lumbar on the sofa and the most adorable round velvet pillow. Plus, we even added a wicker basket, with a lid, for extra blankets.
The New Dining Room
Onto the dining room, which turned out to be my favorite space. LaTanya’s one request was to keep her glass table that was given to her by a friend. Everything else is brand new from Amazon Home.
On the floor, we brought in some texture with this seagrass rug. I love a natural fiber in a dining room because it’s durable and easy to clean.
We knew LaTanya wanted her chairs to be comfortable and sturdy and when we spotted these leather chairs, we knew they would work so well in this space. They’re so good! We then added this large vase to the middle of the table to make a statement.
To really bring our vision of a feminine oasis to life, we hung this glamorous chandelier. It’s so gorgeous and shiny and adds a hint of glam.
Nearby, we have more velvet curtains, but this time they’re the prettiest blue you ever did see. The blue curtains tie in well with the fiber art that we added to a wall here. The texture and colors add so much to the dining room.
Okay, onto the sideboard, which has a bit of a story to it. We originally spotted this sideboard on Amazon Home and loved the glass front so we could show off all of LaTanya’s new dishes. Our original plan was to take two of them and combine them side-by-side to really fill up the space. Once we put them together, we realized that they were a bit too short for our area. We had a team powwow and brainstormed a solution. We quickly ordered these 6″ legs and the next day we added them to the bottom of the sideboards. Kim and Scott then fastened the two sideboards together and added a top that we painted to match the color exactly.
The piece turned out even more beautiful than we could have imagined and it was nice to have a little DIY action over our weekend. Take a look inside that gorgeous custom sideboard and you’ll see a plethora of dishes.
We purchased the most beautiful glassware and serving ware for LaTanya so she can be the hostess with the mostess. I love peeking at all of those goodies inside there.
On top, we added two of these gold lamps with these traditional shades and hung a large statement mirror in between. It bounces light from the window and brightens up the space even more. We purchased these candlesticks, not realizing that they come two to a pack. In total, we had 16 candlesticks (!!!!) but ended up using most of them to create this really pretty display on the sideboard.
Feel Good Makeover Reveal – Before & After
Now the best part is the before and after pictures. It’s hard to even believe it’s the same space!
Living Room Sources
I’ll do my best to link everything that you can see in these photos. In case I missed something, know that absolutely every item is from Amazon Home. You can find my exact shopping list right here (down to every last coffee table book and pillow!).
Paint Color: Prestige Paint “Dutch Cocoa” // Rug // Rug Pad // Coffee Table // Blue Velvet Chairs // Leather Sofa // Marble Side Table // Sconces // Velvet Curtains // Floor Mirror // Coat Rack // White Dresser // Frame TV // Orb Lamp // Chandelier // Ceiling Medallion // Pillows // Mustard Pillow (set of 4) // Round Pillow // Black Tray // Black Floor Planter // 12×12 Frame // 16×20 Frame // Art Trio // Curtain Rod // Curtain Clips // Wood Plant Stand // White Planter // Sonos // Lumbar Sofa Pillow // Round Pillow // Blue Pillow // Wicker Basket // Gold Butterflies // Pothos Planter // Hanging Planters // Acrylic Tray // White Vase // Tabletop Frame // Candle // Candle Accessories
Dining Room Sources
Paint Color: Prestige Paint “Dutch Cocoa” // Rug // Rug Pad // Leather Chairs // Glass Table (previously owned) // Curtains // Curtain Rod // Curtain Clips // Chandelier // Sideboard // Sideboard Legs // Lamps // Mirror // Lamp Shades // Olive Tree // Tree Basket // Wood Serving Bowl // Large Table Vase // Candlesticks // Vase on Sideboard // Tumbler Glasses // Marble Coasters // Rectangular Basket // Round Baskets // Throw Blanket // Pillow // Tabletop Planter // Macrame Wall Art // Dishes // Glassware
We hired a video crew to document this entire project from start to finish and I cannot wait to share the video with you. While I love pictures, there’s just something about video that really captures my heart. Plus, you’ll get to learn more about LaTanya’s story, which is really incredible. I’ll share the final video with you next week along with more behind-the-scenes details about this whirlwind weekend.
A big thank you to everyone who helped make this feel good makeover reveal possible…from Amazon Home, to my family and friends, and to all of you for rooting us on along the way. Even though the project is complete, you can still help!
LaTanya’s employer, Cara, helps people in poverty find jobs and they’re doing incredible work here in our community. To help them continue to do the work they do best, we had them create an Amazon Gift List of items that they need. It includes things like dress shirts and shoes for those going on job interviews, a janitorial cart to keep their office clean, and much more. You can check out the entire list right here. If you want to help, simply buy an item (or many items!) and it will be sent directly to their offices. I’m hoping we can clear their list this week, so we would love your help!
And one more shout out to LaTanya. Thank YOU for all that you do to make our community a better place to be. You are sunshine inside and out and we are so grateful to now call you a friend.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.