The Current House page is still under construction and one reason (among a few) is because we have this big wall in our living room that I wasn't ready to reveal. We had a similar big wall behind the sofa in our first house and I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to do a collection of eight frames showcasing photographs of landscapes that meant something to us. Example: my first snow skiing experience was with my hubby and one of the photos was a snow-capped mountain. I love meaningful wall decor that isn't necessarily in the form of family photos (but also totally OBSESSED with photos of my baby girl).
In our current house, we have bookshelves on either side of our fireplace, adjacent to the big blank wall and I thought a collection of frames or a gallery would be too much to look at right next to the shelves. I wanted something bold, like a large piece of art. I love bright, abstract art and follow some artists on Instagram that are totally inspirational. Problem: I didn't want a print to canvas and an original painting by a "real" artist is mucho dinero amigos. What's a girl to do? Well first, I thought I would just ignore my gut and force myself to like a collection like the one in our first house. Let me show you how that came out.
Blah blah, the dogs' faces say it all. Mattie: "For real? You're taking a photo of this?" Cotton: "They can just look at my super cute self, not the super boring wall behind us." Basically. On to the next bright idea to avoid paying a million dollars for large art. I was at an antique mall in Mount Pleasant, SC and came upon this ginormous botanical beauty. She was marked down a million times with her final price being $40. I loved the print, the black outline in the matting, and the price so I brought her home and tried her out. I didn't even get a blog-worthy pic of her because she lived on that wall for all of 5 minutes before finding her home in our dining room. The print felt a little too formal for the open concept space.
Back to the good old photo collection...until this weekend when I finally got up the guts to try painting something myself. I made a Michael's run to pick up a canvas (at 1/2 off) and some paint. I went with acrylic paint and purchased a 36" x 48" wrapped canvas. Grand total: around $60 bucks. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw how well that giant canvas fit in my not giant car. Picture this: me trying to ram a 3 foot by 4 foot canvas in my backseat for 15+ minutes in the rain. I seriously thought I was going to have to return it 20 minutes after purchasing. #firstworldproblems
I am tickled with the final product! The cool thing about creating your own art is that you can choose your colors and make it fit you. This piece definitely packs a color punch in our living room and looks so happy up there on that (formerly) blank, intimidating wall.
These photos are not staged so don't mind the furry munchkin or the random things that live in our living room. And now a quick panoramic that might have you wondering if I run a daycare with the number of baby toys. Hellooooo mommy hood.
Post on the painting process coming tomorrow just in case you want to be brave and find your inner artist.
Recently, I have been keeping busy by helping a friend with some house projects. The most recent project was a gallery wall. (Sharing other projects soon!) Lucia has a large wall opposite windows in her living room and she's been dreaming of a gallery to balance out the space. She's an avid art collector and even has her own pieces and some painted by family members. All that to say, she had many pieces that were ready to hang, we just needed to configure the pieces into a cohesive gallery.
The centerpiece of the gallery is a beautiful, framed Hermes scarf. Lucia owns a boutique and fashion is her passion, so this piece is a perfect anchor for her gallery.
Lessons I've learned on gallery walls:
1. Be sure the pieces and total configuration of the gallery fill up the wall space. A gallery with small frames or too few pieces doesn't pack a punch.
2. Start from the center or with the largest piece and arrange other frames around it.
3. Think about balance but not necessarily symmetry. Balance color on both sides and size of your pieces.
4. Plan it out on the floor first before hanging anything.
5. Lastly, I love Pinterest as much as the next girl, but don't feel that matching frames or perfectly mismatching frames are a necessity. Go with pieces you love, that are meaningful to you and trust your gut if you like the aesthetic of your pieces together.
We followed these simple guidelines and here's how the wall looks now.
After planning and ordering the fabric for our living room, the fabric quickly arrived. It was time to decide if I was going to bravely attempt sewing the panels for the living room and topper for the eat-in kitchen area myself or wait and take it to a professional. I've shared before that I strongly dislike sewing. Maybe it's not even the act of sewing, it's more the thought of cutting and measuring fabric that turns my stomach. There's just a lot that can go wrong. After a day of deliberation, I decided to go for it. I used a fabulous online tutorial from Sew Many Ways Blog, here. It was literally so easy and the whole project was done with a tape measure, sub par sewing scissors, a $100 Brother sewing machine, ruler, and yard stick. So when I was finished, up they went, replacing the panels from the living room of our first house.
Just one problem...both drapes somehow came out to be about an inch short of resting on the floor. Don't ask me how. I must have measured the distance from the rod to the floor FIVE times before sewing the rod pocket closed.
And this would be the reason I dislike sewing. The OCD took over and I just couldn't bear to look at my high-water drapes. They seriously gave me flashbacks of my own experiences with high-water pants in 4th and 5th grade. Traumatic.
Oh and one last tip, if you're going to use the Sew Many Ways tutorial make sure you read it a couple times all the way through. This really helped me. Cheers to sewing!
I was recently in the process of planning out fabrics for our living room, which is so fun. The only not fun part was carting my sweet four month old to fabric stores to source the drapery and pillow fabric. Not to mention, you can get some killer fabric deals online at places like MaryJo's, Hobby Lobby, Barras, Online Fabric Store, and Warehouse Fabrics. In my struggle to go pick up swatches, I discovered a new use for an app I already have on my phone: Pic Stitch! I took a photo of the rug we have, the fabric on our x benches, and then started screen-shotting and inserting different drapery and pillow fabrics into the other two windows to play around with options. Here's what I finally chose. (Ignore the crooked fabric shot!)
I ordered my selections (drapery fabric from Mary Jo's and pillows from Willa Skye Home on Etsy) and when the fabrics arrived I was pleased with the way they work together. Pic Stitch for the win!
P.S. I always check around on different sites for my fabric of choice to shop for the best deal. You can Google the fabric manufacturer and name to let Google's shopping tab help too!
Drama. Usually less is what we go for, but not in the case of bookshelves. In our current house we kept the original bookshelves that frame either side of the hearth in the living area. They got a coat of white paint, new knobs, and faux backs to cover over audio equipment and we called it a day. Low drama, verging on boring, maybe even sterile.
After we moved in, I dressed them out with some accessories and books that we had, thinking that I would come revamp at a later date. Recently, I started considering how to give the shelves a little more depth. My first thought was wallpaper, preferably the adjustable, peel-and-stick kind. I bought some from Target and brought it home to think it over.
I weighed the wallpaper versus just painting the backs of the shelves for a while...a "while" being two months. Needless to say, I struggled with this life altering decision before going with the paint option. I just didn't love the wallpaper after staring at it and figured paint lends itself to more options as far as color. Don't get me wrong, you can get wallpaper in almost any pattern but the budget friendly stuff that is peel-and-stick doesn't come in a wide range of options. I ended up going with Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze which is a dark bronze almost black that lends itself to gray in certain lights and goes especially well with the Agreeable Gray walls in the living area. So I returned the wallpaper and the process began.
Overall, the process took about 3 1/2 hours from undressing the shelves, to taping the edges, trimming in, and painting the two coats. It could probably be done in less time if the painter wasn't 38 weeks preggo. Impressive, right? Helloooooo nesting.
Loving the new, more dramatic look of the shelves. The dark back drop for my trinkets balances the fireplace screen and TV a lot better than the white. Coming soon... new upholstery for my loves there front and center, the chrome x-benches. Can't wait to share once I tackle those pretties. This room is definitely a work in progress so stay tuned!