The City Magazine Since 1975

Drab to Dynamite!

Drab to Dynamite!
November 2011
One-Room Revamp Challenge Overall Winner: Elisabeth Bova, Summerville


"Our house is a cookie-cutter in the suburbs,” laughs Elisabeth Bova, who won us over with her smart furniture and lighting swaps, chic color choices, and overall resourcefulness. Her inspiration? “The pear watercolor on the far wall,” she says. “My brother actually painted this, then my father-in-law made the frame out of old wooden beams.”

She and her husband Craig spent just $500 on the overhaul. “I already had some of the pieces, like the dining table; others were thrift buys, gifts, or long-sought-after finds.” Take the new buffet, for example: “I didn’t have the budget to just go out and buy one I liked, so I searched for two years for something affordable. Finally, I found this one on Craigslist for $125. Turns out the seller lived right down the street!”

What She Did:
1. Painted the room “Black Fox” (grey) by Sherwin Williams.
2. Swapped out the table and chairs for smaller, updated pieces with contrasting colors and forms. 
3. Gave the space a focal point. The painting centers the room, while the bright new buffet draws the eye in. 
4. Replaced bulky lighting with a smaller, glass-and-metal chandelier that doesn’t overpower other decorative elements.
5. Softened the windows with simple cotton draperies.

Elisabeth Bova, Summerville