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Cookie-Cutter House Makeover

How to Make a Cookie-Cutter House Scream “You”

After years of accumulating things, downsizing can seem daunting. Where do I put everything? What do I keep and how do I make this house a home? Personalizing your house is usually a matter of hanging your favorite art on the walls, populating the house with plants and adding colorful rugs and pillows. Trendy homes utilize surprising paint schemes, distressed furnishings and old stuff arranged into amazing forms. Not everyone can afford that, though, so they make up their own version of the cool pictures they see online. You can go for a cookie cutter house makeover with just a few dollars, some paint, hardware and imagination.

Kitchen/Dining Room

It’s easy enough to distress existing cabinetry. Simply paint them in two or three shades of the color or stain you like. Gently ding them with something heavy, but not enough to dent them. Then softly sand the dings until the shades of paint or stain come through. This can be done with your china cabinet and sideboard in the dining room, too.

What would the kitchen look like with no overhead cabinets? Have you wanted more space but didn’t know how to get it? Take the cabinets off the walls. Paint the walls if necessary. Instead of shelves, attach the fireplace mantels that are trending now. Different lengths and widths will give the kitchen a customized look, and they will give you extra room to store dishes or whatever you need stored.

Image source -
Image source –

Do you have French doors between the kitchen and dining room? Feel like a change-up? Remove the French doors and attach barndoor hardware above the door frame. The barn door itself can either slide or open out. Paint the door any color you wish, or let the natural wood shine through. These can be hung in any room you wish, or even as an entry door that will have the neighbors getting one of their own.

Living Room

Who doesn’t love ceiling beams? Mitered beams can be hung in the usual shape, or you could make them look like sunbeams spreading from a central point. From that central point could be hung a chandelier made from a wagon wheel perhaps. These would be a stunning reflection of your hardwood floors.

Perhaps beams don’t do it for you. A mural like you would find in the Sistine Chapel could showcase your individuality perfectly. If you don’t want to go to all that trouble, find items at yard sales and resale shops. Silver plates, wrought iron railings, old wooden sleds or old doors could be made into a focal point in the room. A little paint and some old hemp rope would give these and other items new life.


Every kid wants his/her room to be his/her own. For the sporting child, the room could be painted to resemble a baseball diamond. Get some mesh to make a backstop, where his stuffed animals, ball implements and a uniform jersey could be hung. The nature’s child might like a room painted like a field of wheat, a forest or a barnyard. If you can obtain the side of the barn with the door, place it at an angle on two walls. Behind the door could be her stuffed animals in her own space. The fishing nut could use a canoe. Atop the canoe, you could build a desk with built-in bookshelves. You could make it into a bed, if it’s wide enough.

The master bedroom is a place for relaxation and peaceful sleep. If you can’t afford a floor-to-ceiling fish tank, paint it onto the wall. Close out the world with a bit of material and a curtain rod. Attach the curtain rod to the ceiling above the bed. Wind sheers as well as another material from the rod so they drape over the bed. Paint the ceiling with midnight starry skies.

Individualizing your home makes it not only stand out in the crowd, but it’s comforting and a source of pride.

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