They say a can of paint is the cheapest way to make a big impact on a room, and they may be right, but I think removing things can be even more dramatic.
You knew the brick arches were coming down, right?
In addition to being in the way, they blocked all the light in the back part of the room.
When we agreed to buy this house, I made Doug swear to these two conditions:
1. We would keep the original double oven.
2. The brick arches were coming down.
The brick arches came down on the very first day. The wet bar in the background with the black cushioned vinyl counter came down on the second day. An amazing difference!
When you declutter a room, always remove the biggest, bulkiest item that needs to go first: the old TV that no longer works, the ugly couch, unused exercise equipment…it’s astounding how the brand new open space will make the room feel.
Even though most home improvements and decor will focus on adding things to your home (which can cost a lot of money), taking stuff out of your home will give you as much thrill as bringing in something new, with more impact, FOR FREE.
It’s usually better to remove something bad than try to decorate around it. The only hold up is making a few phone calls to find out how to get rid of something.
• For the arches we needed a wrecking bar and a phone call to the city for bulk trash pickup at a reasonable cost.
• You can donate old computer equipment at participating Goodwill drop off locations.
• Many charities will come pick up furniture and appliances.
• Toys and clothes can be dropped off at almost any charity.
• You know what else is on my list to open up? Windows. When we were looking at houses, every house had heavy drapes that were begging to be taken down. Natural light is one of a home’s best assets! Why cover up windows with heavy drapes inside and overgrown shrubs outside?
• Also be sure to clear off the horizontal surfaces.
My second motto for home makeovers is, “Remove to improve.”
Note about the brick arches: some people might have wondered if it was a load-bearing wall, but I’ve seen many houses with this common floor plan (including my parents’ house) that didn’t have a wall there. We took off the trim above the brick and saw a space between the brick arches and the ceiling. They weren’t holding up anything! It was just facade. In the worst-case scenario, we would have put in a couple of supporting columns if needed. We just had to take a look and see that the wall could come down instead of trying to live with it.