Mini Makeover for Teacher Appreciation Week




It was Teacher Appreciation Week at our children’s school recently, which usually involves parents bringing in food for the week. But, after years of walking past the window of the somewhat uninspired teachers lounge, I thought that it might be fun to add a surprise mini-makeover of the staff room into the mix! I contacted IKEA to see if they would consider coming on board and donating some of the items to our little scheme, and they agreed!

The Offender

This ugly lamp is the reason I first started plotting. It was screaming to be put it out of its dusty-green misery. And if you’re going to change one thing, why not a few more while you’re at it, right? We wanted to keep the plan simple to implement so it could be a surprise, which meant all the furniture had to stay. Although it’s not exactly pretty, it is functional, and that counts for something when there’s a budget and slim window of time. So, I put together a mood board (top) of what I envisioned would add to the space, and then went shopping! We waited for the teachers to leave for the weekend, and spent 3 hours packing up and unpacking all the new and old dishes, art, and organizing the space. It was a lot of fun!

Disclaimer: Because this was a surprise we didn’t get rid of anything, just boxed things up so that the teachers could put it all back if they wanted to.

Here are some Before & After’s of the freshened up space…


Mismatched garage sale finds filled the kitchen cupboards, every size and shape of mug or plate imaginable. Granted, it’s not the end of the world, but I love how serene and organized the cupboards are now! And the teachers seem to like it too, which is good, considering that was the point.

Eating Area

The eating area needed some more visual interest on the walls, and so we added a large tree decal to visually divide the eating area from the seating area, and an art print that tied into the red tables. And, of course, what interior shot is complete without a bowl of green apples… or three, especially for a bunch of teachers.

Lounge Area

And here is the after shot of the seating area. It turns out the dusty green lamp wasn’t even plugged in! Probably because the plug for the lamp wasn’t accessible, so we ended up putting the large palm plant (which we ran out of floor space for) onto the side table to fill the void. It’s a little large for that spot, but it’ll do. Ideally, some beautiful coffee table books would grace the table, but I ran out of time to search for some, and the reality is that the teachers need somewhere to put their magazines, coffee mugs and such, so we left it open.

A big thanks to IKEA for donating items for the mini makeover! And to all the helpers that made the afternoon fun!


  • barbara@hodge:podge

    WOW!!! WOW!!!! Looks amazing with just a few extra touches! Lucky teachers. Our staff room FINALLY got new leather sofas-gone are the circa 80’s marshmallow sofas with bad slipcovers and awful smell. I bet the teachers love having a organized cupboard – we never have enough forks or drinking mugs!

    Looks good Rosa!

  • Tracey

    Oh this is fabulous!!!! What a generous idea! I think you and Barb should get together to make this happen in her teacher’s lounge. Nice work. Have a great week Rosa and I hope you are healing up fast so that we can have some wines soon!

  • kelly@refresheddesigns

    What a great idea! Such simple decor that creates a homey feel. What a lovely thing to do for teachers!

  • Tracey

    Oh my goodness, Rosa!!! This is absolutely fantastic! I would have paid money to see their reactions as they walked in on Monday morning completely unsuspecting! You did an amazing job, and it even makes the old furniture somehow look mid-century cool

  • Alison Berg

    Love it Rosa! Looks wonderful!

  • Lisa Fyfe

    wow! i can’t believe how great that looks with just a few changes. what a great job!

  • Lesley

    this is awesome Rosa! Such a great job, and the space looks so much fresher now.
    I love that you thought to do this, and I’ll bet they appreciate it so much, especially with our school year going the way it is right now. They must all be feeling so stressed and worn out, and this is just so nice.

  • Elaine - Visual Meringue

    That looks awesome! What a great idea :). A few simple changes sure go a LONG way!

  • Martina

    WHOA! Seriously amazing. What was the response?
    And – I’ve got an entire medical clinic that needs some prettying up.

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