I need to tell you right up front, I’m not a zoologist. I’m not a professional Interior Designer either, but even without formal training I can recognize an elephant in a room. You know what I’m talking about, an awkwardly placed fireplace, 15 door entries, a small weirdly shaped window halfway up the wall, or my personal favorite….the 1980’s pass-through opening into the kitchen that has no possible function in life AT ALL!
Elephant Training 101
It’s your home’s odd design elements that can cause you to want to track down and slap the stuffing out of the architect. It’s not like you can’t fix them with a major remodel, but then there’s that pesky car payment that the bank demands that you pay every month. If you have the skills to remodel the area yourself, well go for it….the rest of us need to become elephant trainers and make that elephant perform for us.
Where do you turn for guidance? Well, magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, Pinterest, friends, family and your favorite blogs! Yeah, I’m looking for some love here! Placing this gorgeous iron bed under that window and adding a bamboo shade is just perfect! Lamps on either side and the window becomes an important element of the design, it wouldn’t look the same with a larger window.
Glam Up That White Elephant
I Googled it. A White Elephant is a possession that is useless or troublesome. In other words, it’s something that bugs the Holy Crap out of you every time you look at it. No, I’m not talking about your husband’s ex-girlfriend or your former MIL, we’re sticking to home design for the moment cause some things can’t be fixed. It’s popcorn ceilings, funky lattice separating the entry from the living room, wood paneling everywhere and did I mention that useless odd ball pass-through? It’s tiny fireplace openings……
I love this room on Refinery 29. They balanced out the massive floor to ceiling fireplace with two floor to ceiling bookcases, and it just works. Of course, being me, I’d junk for a mantle and hang an Uber large ornate mirror, but it’s not me thank goodness, because the beautiful simplicity of this room wins the day.
Consider some minor demolition. Take out that Lattice trim if it bugs you, scrap off that popcorn, remove the paneling or just whitewash or paint over it, update the casings and you’ve entered the modern age. Scrap off that 1970’s forest green stripped wallpaper, take down the florescent light boxes and put in recessed lighting, put up shelves, add new trim…..you can do it! I believe in you and your YouTube binge watching skills!
Make A Silk Purse Out Of Elephant’s Ears
Honestly, there are very few weird home design elements that you can’t improve somehow. Even very small spaces can be made beautiful and functional!
This unused sun porch was turned into a beautiful study by A Cup Of Joy. Running the floor boards at a diagonal makes the room feel and appear bigger than it actually is. What a gorgeous and now functioning room for this family.
Learn A Lesson From Dumbo
Take up a paintbrush and hold it firmly in your hand, this is YOUR feather! If Dumbo believed that holding a feather could help him fly, I guarantee that holding a paintbrush will make your home interior fly too!
All it takes is some inspiration, dedication, possible endless trips to Lowes, the willingness to change it up and maybe a little Bengay at the end of the day. But that White Elephant can become one of your favorite, “hey look at this” elements in your home.
Happy Elephant Taming