Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tip Of The Week - Photo Gallery

In honor of the Thanksgiving this week, I wanted to do a post based around families!

I am HUGE on having family pictures in every room of the house and really displaying your life in this way.

People often struggle with how to hang pictures on the wall and how to display them so I thought I would show some examples.

Now here is a full on photo gallery. This is a wall next to our ping pong table at my family cabin.
The pictures on here are all in sepia tone, the frames are all different but they coordinating with each other.

The way to create a gallery like this, map out a section (square) that you want the pictures to stay within. We measured on both sides the same square section and had 4 frames create the 4 corners of that square. Then you just fill in the center of that with your remaining frames.

*Always lay your frames on the ground and map out how you want it first before you start hanging!

I really do love it when there are a ton of frames clustered together, they make a BIG statement and they show people what is important to you.

Now here is the photo gallery in my office. I had these 3 shelves sitting in my house from buying them at my neighbor's moving sale and I knew I wanted them in my office and I new I wanted them worked into a photo gallery. After contemplating on it for months, I finally came up with this arrangement.

It obviously isn't completely finished since there are frames still empty, but when I said and done, I opted to create more of a triangle shape with my pictures and that entirely came down to the very top painting of Cabo San Lucas that we got on our trip and I wanted to display it.

This gallery is entirely focused on our travels. I have to get a lot more of our travel pictures up, but I wanted to show people the things that we have done and have it as a constant reminder to us of our fun travels together.

The great thing about this arrangement is that not all of the pictures are hung. Why not lean them on a shelf and why not layer them on top of each other? Potterybarn is the master at photo galleries and I looked at a lot to kind of get an idea of how I wanted this one to be. The great thing about layering, you can usually get more pictures in a small space.

People LOVE looking at pictures when they come into your home so it is a great thing to have out on display.

Something that makes this work well is that because I wanted to keep all of the pictures in their original form and have color to them, the black frames help keep it consistent. If I had colored pictures and different colored frames, it would look really busy and take away from the pictures.

Now here is something a bit more simple.... 3 of the exact same frames clustered together in a row. Once again I opted for black frames (just worked in my home) and I framed pictures of our new little family shortly after my daughter was born.
These pictures are in my front living room so people can come right in and have something personal to look at.
Now on the same wall but in the family room I have this family picture hanging. I wanted to show you this to give you an idea....... Only hang a single picture if it is in proportion to the wall. So many people will hang a single picture like this on a wall and the wall will be much to large for that one picture.

Use your good judgement as to the size of the frame as to the wall.

Another thing to notice when hanging pictures..... Where you are hanging it. So many people will hang their pictures to high or right smack dab in the middle of the wall.

There is a rule that if you divide your wall into thirds horizontally, you should hang your picture somewhere on the top line.

Now I have created a rule that works great for me in my house.... James is a good amount taller than me but I have found that if I hang my pictures a bit high for my eye level and bit low for his eye level, it is a perfect height for us.

Hopefully in the future I can do another post on this and show more examples because I know that it is something that a lot of people struggle with.

Have fun with your photos and displaying them..... people really do love to see who you are on a personal level when they enter into your home.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Office - Preview

I was really hoping to have my office finished by now but that just hasn't happened and probably won't happen for a while.

SO..... I decided I would give you a preview of what I have done already.

The amazing thing about this room... It pretty much cost me NOTHING!!!!
And that includes the furniture!
I really did get lucky with this room. This desk we got a few years ago for Christmas, it was a gift from my parents (I know, what an awesome gift! It was actually money and we chose to get a desk with it). The desk chair we got for free, my husband's work got new chairs and they let him bring his old one home!

The paint in this room was leftover from the accent wall that I painted in the Living Room. I tried to do the really cool leather technique that my sister did her wall, but it looked HORRIBLE on my wall... I think I used to dark of stain... I had to think really quickly and I decided to just take my oiled rag and quickly spread it around and made it look like my other stained walls. I was so lucky that it worked and that you couldn't tell anything different.
This room is right at the top of our stairs as you walk up so it is open to everything. You can see in the front of our desk that we have some glass cubbys and we have a tradition of purchasing a picture frame on every vacation we have and putting a photo of us while on that vacation. We put the frames in these cubbys as well as a few on the desk.
And here are the infamous blue chairs that I believe I am going to keep blue. If you haven't read here before, these blue chairs were given to me by my step-dad. They were chairs in his old work office so again they were FREE!!!! My pictures have a lot of blue in them and the top diamond picture is a painting we got in Cabo San Lucas that is blue so I think blue will have to stay.
I will talk more on picture displays in another post but I love the way that this one turned out. The 3 shelves I bought at my neighbors moving sale and cost me $1.50 for the 3. I had a lot of the picture frames already, but I bought some also at the DI for $1-$2 each and spray painted them all black to coordinate. I still haven't ordered a few of the pictures that will be displayed here so it isn't quite finished. Notice my $5 table between the chairs that I spray painted... I haven't put anything on it because of my daughter, but these picture albums work perfect in the bottom and she doesn't bother them because they are pretty heavy. I got the albums at Potterybarn a few years back with a gift card.
Now please excuse the massive mess on top of the filing cabinet, it is all stuff that still needs to be filed away and I can't do it until my husband helps me since it is his work stuff (as well as the garbage can that my daughter likes to get into :) This filing cabinet was also given to us from my husbands work so was once again FREE! The lamp base was FREE also and I have a curtain rod that was given to me for FREE that I spray painted black and will get hung up as soon as I get hooks to hang it on.

All I need for this room is some fabric so make some drapes and some pillows and I am pretty much done.

I am pretty happy with the way it has turned out so far and I love that it hasn't cost me hardly a dime. Now to just find some fabric that I like with blue in it.....

The best part about this room are the memories that fill it with all of our travels!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Decorations - Part 1

I am not done putting up Christmas decorations (it's a slow process with my daughter), so here is part 1 of my decorations. I have a few things up and I wanted to show some ideas before everyone else started getting their stuff out.

Here is a picture of the shelf that I would normally hang stockings from,
since my daughter will pull on them and hurt herself, I decided just to decorate it with the ornaments that I couldn't put on the bottom third of the tree since she pulls them off.

I bought the runner from Back Home Decor when they had their open house, I had every intention on using it on my dining table but decided that it would be perfect for the shelf.
I took some floral and greenery stuff that I had and spread it out on the back and then just arranged the ornaments in front of that.
These 2 white vases were on the shelf before and I just filled them with fun gold floraly stuff I had and then I put my stocking hangers on each end to help weight the fabric down so it didn't slip and make everything fall.
Here is the close up of it. I love how this is something totally new to me this year but didn't cost me anything but the runner which I had purchased a bit ago for $7.

Now, I had shown a fall centerpiece that I made a while back and said that I was going to just change a few things up and keep it for Christmas..... Well, I wasn't feeling it for Christmas so I decided that I need a sparkly centerpiece.
Once again, the pictures don't even come close to doing this justice. What I love about this piece, it is an asymmetrical arrangement and isn't a typical kind of arrangement.

I took a glass vase that I had in a cupboard, grabbed some floral stuff that I had in my Christmas stash,
and took these orange glass beads that I had in a bag and put it all together. I placed it on top of this platter that I had on an easel in the corner of my kitchen and bunched up some fabric that I had in my stash left over from wedding almost 8 years ago.

Again, this cost me nothing but is something brand new that I haven't done before.

Now of course you have to have a nativity for Christmas!
My mother-in-law over a course of a few years got me this Willow Tree nativity, it was such a unique set that I loved and had never seen before.... well a few years later, almost every store was selling it and I was a bit bummed about it.... but, my stable is a custom made piece made out of old barn wood so at least I have that that is different from others.

I decided to take a stand of lights and staple it to the back of the stable as well as a few in front and then strand the whole thing of lights underneath this fabric that was left over from the Fall Centerpiece project I did. (This is a very light, airy fabric that I'm not too concerned about a fire hazard... . I will be watching it close and I don't leave it on all day, only at nights.)

I love the idea of getting old fabrics out and using them underneath displays... it really softens everything.

These are decorations that I LOVE!!! I don't know if you have ever seen these glass blocks before, but these are ones that either I or my mother-in-law made.
This one my mother-in-law made out of a corner glass block. She had some letters cut out and put on it and took some of my ribbon and a few snips of my Christmas ornament sticks and created this for me a few years ago.
And here it is all lit up.

These ones I made out of the textured glass blocks.
They are fairly easy to make and I think they are such awesome decorations. I don't like the way I have them at all in these pictures so I am going to change it, but I wanted to show you how cool they are.
If you are interested in making these, all you do is purchase the glass blocks and a glass cutting drill bit. Drill a hole in one of the small sides of the block. Once the whole is drilled, clean it out of any glass shards there may be, take a strand of lights and cut off the end with the plug that doesn't plug into the wall and shove the strand inside the hole. Wrap it up like a present with fun stuff and you have a cool decoration.

Like I said before, I don't have much out yet. I have to sample and test everything out with my daughter and see if it is going to be something that she will mess with and if she does, I have to try and come up with something new.

I am leaving for Colorado to spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws and will be there for 10 days. We are leaving in less than a week so I may get another Christmas post up but I may not get one up until after I get back. I am finding it hard to decorate when my Living Room isn't finished and I have no where to set decorations.

Things don't always come to me right away.... I think that sometimes people think that just because you are a designer, ideas just pop to you instantly.... Sometimes they do, but a lot of times we have to think on things just like everyone else. I am a feeling person, I have to sit with something and see how it makes me feel. So that is the same way with my Christmas Decorating.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Tree Reveal!

It is time! I have finally gotten pictures taken and up of my Christmas Tree. I absolutely LOVE my tree but I have to give a disclaimer.... Nothing looks as good in the pictures as it does in person. I have one word that describes my Christmas.... GLITTER!! Everything has glitter on it so it makes it hard for it to take great pictures. With that said, you can still see why I love my tree.
I have chosen a bit of non traditional colors with my orange and chocolate choices, but I still definitely have the traditional green, red and gold in there.

I love the skirt! It is just a big thing of sheer fabric bunched up and wrapped around.

So I have to tell you my funny story with this tree.... James and I had been married probably 4 or 5 years before we got a tree. James decided that the year we bought our first house, he would surprise me with a Christmas tree. He ordered it online, and when it came it had multicolored lights on it instead of white lights!
I spent an ENTIRE day undoing all of the little plastic things that hold pre-lit lights on and re-stranding white lights. It totally stunk but I was just grateful that he surprised me with a tree :)

This tree will end up as our "Charlie Brown Tree" (that is what I call trees that have homemade ornaments or your kids ornaments on it... I don't mean it in a rude way), and will get a fuller tree for "my" Christmas Tree.

Something that I think people don't think about much when decorating their tree is the topper. This is something that is huge to me and it can totally take your tree to that next level.
Now my topper may be to much for some people, but I love how full and colorful it is and it makes me smile just looking at it.

I also do a really cool topper for my mom's tree that I use a HUGE ribbon/fabric piece and great a fun topper with some stuff kind of like mine in it also.

So here are some steps that I take to do my tree.

I ALWAYS start the decorating process with the ribbons, beads, etc.
This year I found this gold snowflake ribbon in my ribbon drawer and decided to pull it out and try it on my tree. I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier, but I absolutely love it on there.
I also use this tulle type gauzey fabric. I bought this just like this, but I thought if you wanted something like this for your tree, you could go to Walmart and buy some tulle for $.97 a yard in whatever color, cut it into strips and spray paint a little bit of gold on it to give it a shimmer. SO CHEAP and easy.

Here it is with just the ribbons on it. I have 4 different strand items on here, you don't have to use that many, I just like the variety.

The next step would be to take your larger ornaments and start with them towards the bottom and work your way up. The larger the ornament, the closer to the bottom it should be. That helps with the weight/balance of the tree.

Remember the Dollar Store ornaments I purchased?
Well this green snowflake is one of them as well as the stick thingy coming out right next to it. I told you that you wouldn't even notice my Dollar Store finds next to my more expensive ones!

Do you just find ornaments in the store as they are and just put those on the trees? Why not try putting things a little bit out of the ordinary!

Here I picked up some of these cool stick thingys! They are WAY awesome looking and they are so fun.
On the left of the picture, you can see it in the tree. When I use sticks like this in the tree, I stick them in UPWARDS and not downwards. I want them to fall with the tree, not against the tree. If it is a topper, then I will put them in more downward obviously.

This fun drapey stick.....
was the base of my topper and adds so much movement and sparkle to the tree.

I have so many fun ornaments on here but of course I can't sit and go over all of them.... that wouldn't be very interesting anyway.

If you notice carefully, the bottom third of my tree doesn't really have ornaments on it. My 14 month old daughter isn't making it very easy to get the Christmas stuff out this year.... BUT, I will show you in my next Christmas post what I did with the ornaments that were supposed to be on the bottom. They didn't go to waste and I love what I was able to create with them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tip Of The Week - Hanging Stockings

Picture from HGTV.com

How many of you are thinking of getting your Christmas out already? Or how many of you already have? (like me)!

I am in the process of getting my stuff out and decorated and I am always looking for some new ideas. But how many of you have the same dilemma that I have every Christmas, we don't have a fireplace to hang the stockings?

In my last house, I had a shelf (same idea as this picture from the net) that acted as the perfect faux fireplace mantel and that is where I hung my stockings. Well this year in my new house, I have that same shelf hanging in my living room this time and it would work great to hang my stockings, but I have a 15 month old child in the house this time..... if you are a mom, you see the problem.... the stockings would be hanging within reach of my daughter to pull on them. Not a safe choice to go with. I have decided to do something else with that shelf for Christmas (which I will show you when I get my laptop back from my husband to upload pictures.. he's on a business trip with it)
But now I am trying to think of a way that I can hang some stockings.... I had the thought of hanging them from the curtain rods and just having them be part of the window treatment... the problem with that idea... I don't have window treatments in my living room yet so there is no rod to hang them from..... so I need something else to resort to this year...

Here are some ideas that I pulled from the internet

If you have the right kind of house, hanging them on the stairs is a great idea! It doesn't work in my house all to well, but I love the idea none the less.

I loved this idea, having a stand that you can hang the stockings on and then you can put it anywhere. If you have something around the house like this, that would be awesome!

Now here is an idea that is an alternative to stockings! I thought the mugs were a cute idea and something fresh to add to the mix. The only problem... you can't fit as much candy inside :)

Now here is something that I think is a great idea.... creating your own wall hook to hang the stockings from. This is such a creative idea... I am wondering if I can create anything like this somewhere in the house.
My only thing is trying to hang the pole without creating damage to my walls.... I hate making new holes in my walls when I won't have something there at all times.

I am still going to have to toy with some ideas and figure something out, as well as get new stockings this year (don't have any for my girls).

I hope this helps give you ideas if you don't have a traditional fireplace setting. And try something new this year with your Christmas design... don't do EVERYTHING the same as you did last year!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Questions & Answers

*Do you have some tips on how to make your home flow?

This is a question that I was asked of my good friend Melinda and even though I sent her an email with the answer, I thought it would be a good question to post on here in case other people had the same question.

  1. Keep the colors through out your home similar in each room - This doesn't mean that your house has to be boring and have only a few colors in it, but if you keep all of the colors in the same tones or hues, than you will create a flow.
Here is an example from my own house;
Here is my Living Room: (and yes it still isn't finished, I need more money for this room! :)
But you can see that I have Chocolate Brown, a Golden, Peachy Orange, Red, and Black accents in this room. All very warm colors and on the similar side of the color wheel.

And my Living Room is open to my Family Room:
My Family Room is done in the same warm tones but different colors. Both rooms have red in them, but the red from my Living Room is a bit cooler tone and more of an accent and the red in my Family Room is more of an orange-red and is the dominant color.
I brought Green in the Family Room as an accent along with the same Chocolate Brown and Black.

Then my Family Room is pretty much part of the same room as my Kitchen.

The Kitchen is done in the same Red and Tan on the walls as the Family Room and has the same accents of the Green, Chocolate, and Black.
Now here on the right of this picture you can kind of see a black bench ( I haven't gotten to taken pictures of this area yet) but this is where you walk in from the garage. On this black bench I here, I have 2 pillows. These 2 pillows are done in the same Red, Green, and Black, but I decided to add just something a bit more to them and I added Purple. Still completely flows but I threw in just a little surprise with an addition color with the Purple.

My Laundry Room is also just off of here (I am in the process of doing this room so there should be pictures in a few weeks.) But I am painting the walls Green and accenting with the same Red and Black and I am going to bring in a touch of Golden Yellow.

This is the best way that I can explain to keep a flow... Subtly bring in 1 or 2 news colors while keeping a few of the other rooms colors.

*Rules to be broken - So I believe in keeping in with this rule at all times except in the bedrooms or at least the kids bedrooms! I do believe that a kids bedroom should be reflective of them and should have their personality in it so don't keep with your general home colors just to keep the flow. Let their room reflect who they are.

2. Don't paint each individual room entirely a different color as the next - I think it really helps to keep a flow if you have a general color that you use through out your house and then bring in painted accent walls.

By now, everyone knows that I LOVE stained walls! This is the general paint I have used to keep the flow in my home. I didn't care for the basic light tan that was through out my whole house, so I decided to cover it up with stain and it does go through a huge chunk of my home. Every area of the main level has it except for the laundry room. I will have a bit of it on my stairs in a whole wall display/creation I am doing, as well as the office section of my loft area. ( I didn't do my whole upstairs loft area because I don't want to be on a huge ladder on stairs while 7 months pregnant) But I also did my master bedroom as well as I am going to do some in my spare bedroom.
Again, each room has it's own feel and colors (somewhat), but they are all tied together with this staining that I have chosen for my home.
Then of course I have my accent walls through out with the red, green, and even painted stained walls.

If each room is painted a totally different color, it creates a choppy feel and not a smooth transition.

I hope that this gives somewhat of an answer on how to create a flow in your home!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tip Of The Week - Bedrooms & Bedding

If you are in the market to redo your master bedroom or a bedroom in your home, here is a tip before you get started.

* Always start your bedroom off with picking out your bedding for the room first!

It is so much more difficult to find the bedding you love that will coordinate with a wall color you have already chosen than it is to find bedding that you love and then pick the wall color based off of the bedding you have chosen.

I pulled some pictures from the internet to show some examples of this.

This picture above is a picture I pulled from hgtv.com. Even though the bedding is a neutral color, you can tell that they designed the room with the bedding in mind first because of the pattern that was created on the red wall. Because the bedding is neutral, they were able to go boldly on the walls and I think it looks great.


Here is an example from PotteryBarn that is opposite of the last room. The bedding has some bold color and pattern to it so they opted to go with the white walls. I love that the white walls aren't just plain, bare white walls, they still have texture to it.


In this bedroom, they did the walls a neutral color that they could have gone with any bedding really, but they coordinated the accessories with the bedding very nicely.


This wall color is one that you would not take into consideration lightly, but because the bedding was pre-designed and picked out, it goes very nicely with the wall color and the wall color doesn't appear to be scary at all with the bedding chosen.

Restoration Hardware

This rule applies for any bedroom and that also goes for a nursery. In this room, they took the same color as the bedding and put it on the walls, something that you definitely would need the bedding first before choosing.

This is such an easy tip that can save you a lot of headache. Pick the bedding first, then design everything around that.

Bedding can be a very costly item in a bedroom, if you are wanting to redo your bedroom but don't have a lot of money, try searching these websites for some killer deals.

www.ksl.com (if you are in the Utah area)

These places offer bedding at a discount and you can get some amazing deals. A tip when searching these websites for bedding; Always search for a comforter set or bed-in-a-bag package and here is why. The two options give you most bedding for your buck. You can find a set for $60 sometimes that has a comforter, bedskirt, shams, and a few throw pillows. If you choose a duvet cover, you are usually purchasing all of the pieces individually and the cost ends up higher.

It is possible to design a bedroom on a budget, you just have to be willing to search out the best deals online when it comes to bedding. Other than your furniture, bedding will usually be your most expensive item in the room, but if you search these websites, you can get such a steal on a bedding set.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fun for Kids!

Some of you may already know that not only am I an Interior Designer, but I am also a Mural Artist. (At least I was before I started having kids)

Murals are such a fun thing to incorporate in a room for kids.
They can either be very grand like this Winnie the Pooh Mural I did.
And this Hot Rod flame room I did.
Or they can be something simple like painting a border like I did here.
Or something decorative over a window like here.
This Madagascar Mural is painted in a kids t.v. room and made to look like a framed picture hanging on the wall.
Or, maybe you have a playhouse in your backyard
and the inside could use that fun, special touch.
Or do you have a play area under your stairs that you can make into a fun play house?

There are so many ways that you can incorporate some decorative painting into your kids lives, either big or small. I can't wait to have our basement finished so that we can make the basement into a fun kids area and I can paint one of these murals in my own home.

If you would like to see more mural pictures, check out my mural picture slideshow in the right side column.
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