Giveaway! ‘$50 and Change’ Lowe’s Challenge

Happy Monday! Before we jump into this giveaway, I have to share that Liv has been cracking me up lately. The rate of words that she is absorbing from everyday conversation, stowing away and reusing these days is just crazy to me. She asked for a shovel while playing with sand yesterday and I gave her a side-eye glance because I had no idea she knew what a shovel was, let alone how to say it and how to then fill up her bucket while singing to herself. And here I am trying to remember remedial Spanish for our trip to Spain, awkwardly sounding out verb conjugations when it’s just us in the car and failing miserably. I need a toddler brain asap.

Speaking of quick changes, I have a new hallway project that I wanted to share with you despite the crazy happenings that are going on on the outside of our house. And this post ends in an awesome giveaway! Double bonus and a big thank you to Lowe’s for sponsoring.

Lowe’s is launching a new program called $50 and Change. I don’t know about you, but it seems that $50 is often that magic number when it comes to tackling a small project from start to finish – and recognizing that, Lowe’s is challenging bloggers and readers alike to create our own projects with this budget in mind and to post those ideas over at the Lowe’s Idea Exchange on Facebook.

Beginning in September and continuing on every other month for a while now, I’ll be sharing one of my own $50 and Change projects as well as giving away a $50 Lowe’s gift card so that on reader can tackle their own, all courtesy of Lowe’s.

High on my list of must-finish-soon projects is to repaint a Craigslist corner unit for our hallway. I kid you not when I say that this bookshelf has stayed in its ‘antique white’ form covered in odds and ends (and other ‘where does this go?’ objects) for the past two years. Though it didn’t come with the house, the unit looks like it was intended as a built-in just for this corner! and I sadly neglected it and turned it into a dumping ground of sorts.

But thanks to a little motivation and a friend coming to town to work on a few paint projects, I stripped this shelving unit down and gave her a full makeover (just like exercise, blame partner accountability to get projects finished!).

Once dry and decorated from items around the house (some will likely stay, some will eventally get switched out as the bookcase evolves), I’m so happy with how this bookshelf greets me now when I enter the hall!

Favorite finds include these two conch shells from a garage sale I happened to drive by on our street – $3 each! And this great vintage painting that I scooped up for about $8 at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Also finding a new home in the hallway is a lounging cermic bird (thrift store), a stack of vintage (or just really old?) sailing books from Kevin’s collection, a few favorite black and white photos, my Etsy watercolor find (which provides just the right pop of color and contrast to the blue), a white vase from West Elm (on super sale) and a cut of wood that I’ve outlined our small family tree on for Father’s Day for Kevin.

That blank shelf is staring at me… but I think  I might try to track down a triangular basket to give myself even more storage, or load it up with more rolled white towels for guests.

The process was a bit bittersweet. I struggled coming up with the right lining for the shelves, trying out various Paper-Source sheets of wrapping paper to wallpaper to random shades of green, pink and blue before deciding on a dark peacock-navy.

With all of the natural light and soft colors going on in the hallway, the bookshelf was just asking for something deep and saturated.

Plus, when that right door is open you can see the bedroom just beyond, a color that played well with my patterned curtains was a must and this particular blue was almost pulled right out of a scrap of fabric from those curtains.

I actually ended up breaking my own mixing rule and added 1/3 parts Castile to 2/3 Plymouth Blue from Olympic. Armed with a sample of each to test out, I found this combo to be the perfect mix of navy and green – sort of a dark teal, if you will. I saved just a bit of the mixture for patching purposes should I need it.

But before any blue could be applied, this guy needed to go from an antique/manilla white to a nice bright white so that it tied in seamlessly with the trim and doors.

Here she is with a nice layer of primer.

Primer was followed by a semi-gloss bright white followed by taping off top of back bookshelf area and my new favorite blue. That plus lots of touch ups because the edges wanted to keep bleeding on each other…

Looks so great now! So fresh and so clean. The shelf definitely appears to have that built-in quality now that it’s the same shade of white as the trim, and that blue is an unexpected pop of color that meets you as you round the door into the hallway.

My total budget for this project was $50, though I have to admit that I came in about 25% lower and splurged on some extra paint and materials to cover up the back of another bookcase in the house. Details to be shared soon.

My gift card covered: 2 samples of paint in Castile and Plymouth Blue by Olympic (that were eventually mixed together to create that pretty blue-green teal), a small wire frame for rolling (similar to this one – great for cabinetry), a pack of sponge roller brushes, a quart each of primer and a bright white sem-gloss paint, painter’s tape, traditional black sponge brush to help with beadboard (inside of bookcase) nooks and grooves, a drop cloth and paint tray. But you could conceivably tackle this project for $6 (cost of two samples) if you have all of the above painting supplies on hand!


Giveaway: A $50 gift card to Lowe’s!

To Enter: Leave a comment here with the $50 project you have in mind for your space.

For Additional Entries: Become a Facebook fan of Lowe’s Idea Exchange and/or Pepper Design Blog. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry.

Giveaway ends Wednesday, September 12 at midnight PST, winner will be chosen randomly and announced on the blog. Good luck!


For more hallway makeover progress (like my painter’s tape wallpaper), check out this link.

PS If you’re an email subscriber, my apologies if you received ‘half’ an email on Saturday! This is the entire  post :).

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  1. Kelly D says

    We need to add a shelving unit in both our master bedroom closet & our garage. We definitely need more storage space!

  2. Maureen says

    We just moved into a new house so there are numerous things we could do with $50! I’d love to paint our half bath on the main floor and get some fun prints to put on the wall.

  3. Bridget says

    We are turning our formal dining room into a reading room and a new light fixture will save us from bumping our heads.

  4. Cassie says

    Oh My, where to start!! I would love to make a cute vintage hat rack, or figure out a storage solution for our tiny closet or maybe tackle some curb appeal on my front porch, so many options!

  5. says

    What a great transformation! I could totally see some fluffy throws folded up in that empty space…maybe something with really great texture.

    As far as the Lowe’s challenge goes…I’ve got tons of projects. I’d love to paint some old Ikea dressers to match our new family/playroom wall color. I’m also getting back to working on the craft room and plan on making my own craft table. $50 would go really far in making that happen!

  6. Pati says

    Is it wrong to say that I would give the gift card to my husband in exchange for letting me pay to get my hair done?

  7. Greg says

    I don’t normally enter things like this, but I do love Lowes and I will soon be living in my own place to do up just the way I like it! Maybe mount a flat screen or add a man cave. Standard cool guy stuff.

  8. Ashley says

    My apt. is in need of a D.I.Y. art addition. Maybe a cool stencil project I saw in the latest Better Home and Garden with orange and yellow flowers.

  9. Alli says

    I might paint some ends of things with metalic colors like you did a while back. Silvers and golds would be cool for the winter time on vases/bowls/cups, etc.

  10. Momma Smith says

    Maybe I could get my hubby to finally organize his shoes if i got him those shoe holder thingies!! :-)

  11. Emily K. says

    I would LOVE to build something for my home – a bench for the entryway, an ottoman for the foot of my bed, a headboard…anything! Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. says

    We are getting a piece of furniture that I am going to turn into a pantry. So there will be several things from Lowes that we will be needing for this project. Thanks this is an awesome giveaway and your project turned out great! which

  13. Renee Richardson says

    I would love to buy paint because I have stencils I would love to paint on the walls in my daughters room. Thanks for the awesome giveaway and I love your transformation.

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  14. Cindy A. says

    I would do a mini bathroom makeover. A new shower curtain, rug and maybe a fun accessory or two. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win!

  15. Dwight says

    Our flowers are started to droop on our doorstep; with 50 bucks I could plant some succulents for the winter.

  16. Lisa says

    Beautiful paint job! I love that idea! I have a hutch that is plain medium wood that I’d like to revamp!

  17. Kelsey says

    My new husband (Sunday was one month!) and I are closing on our first home this week! I have about a million projects on the radar…

    Recently we’ve started scouring Craigslist for inexpensive, funky pieces of furniture. We scored a HUGE mid-century credenza at a thrift store for $150 that we later found online selling for $1450 (score!!) and a $40 mid-century highboy. They both need to be refinished, but that’s nothing that a $50 gift card can’t help us take care of. We’ll have them looking like the beauties they are in no time.

  18. Angela Knoth says

    I desperately need some organization space in my laundry room, to include peg boards and shelves!

  19. says

    This shelf came out great. You created the perfect shade of blue for the backdrop. I love it! As for a $50 project, every project on my list would definitely cost way more than $50, but I would put the money towards one of them. Some things on my list include painting my kitchen cabinets and adding trim to my foyer.

  20. Kate says

    Our small upstairs bathroom is used by our daughters and was last decorated when they were young. Now that they are a few years older it could use some redecorating to make it feel older for them. I would use the $50 Lowes gift card to purchase paint and a new shower curtain to make it more preteen friendly!

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