For those of you that have been following me for a while, you know that I have an obsession with chalkboard paint. I have painted everything from serving trays to my daughter’s closet doors. My favorite chalkboard creation is my wine wall, which I designed and my husband built for me a couple of years ago. I usually write the names of the wine on the chalkboard, but today I felt inspired to do something a little different.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I am at the flower market this morning picking up some lovely flowers for a wedding I am working on this weekend. Talk about a busy place to be on Valentine’s Day! My trusty photographer, Lauren Pearce, snapped a few photos to share with you. I hope you have a beautiful day today! (I’ll share the wedding photos with you next week.)
One of the biggest decisions in the decorating process is selecting a color scheme. There are many reasons why you are drawn to one color or another, but are you choosing the right colors for your room, taking everything into consideration?
There are certain questions I ask when deciding on colors for my clients’ homes:
1. How will the room be used? Is it meant to be calm and restful; fun and adventurous; thought-provoking or inspiring?
2. Do you have an inspiration piece (i.e. artwork, fabric, area rug) that you want to use to pull colors from? What are your favorite places to shop for home furnishings?
3. What kind of natural light does the space get?
4. Are there any colors you definitely do not want to see in the space?
The answers to these four questions will determine the direction we go in choosing the perfect color scheme. I will give you a real-world example with a client I am working with right now. These are the answers they gave me to my color quiz:
1. The room we are working on is a living room/dining room combination. Both rooms were being under utilized because they weren’t set up for the way the family lives. In the 3 years they have lived in the house, they have never used the dining room and barely set foot in the living room. I asked them how they would use the space that made more sense to them. They said they really needed a place to entertain friends; their teenage son would like somewhere to play video games and watch movies; they also really love playing cards with friends. Ok, so the answer to my first color question is fun and adventurous. This space needs to come to life with color.
2. The clients didn’t have much they wanted to keep, but they did have a couple of pieces of art that they would like to incorporate into the room. The colors in the artwork were primarily reds, oranges and yellow. They like to shop at Pier One and World Market, so that gives me a good idea of their style. We will use colors from the artwork as a starting point for our color scheme.
3. The living room has a very large window that faces west and the dining room has an eastern facing window. They do not want widow coverings because there is not a privacy concern and they like the view to the outdoors. With this much natural light. I suggested adding a cool color to tone down their warm color scheme. We decided on a deep ocean blue that will hold up to the reds and oranges, but add some coolness to the room.
4. I then asked them if there were any colors they definitely did not want in the room. They said their preference would be brighter colors as opposed to softer colors, but nothing that they really didn’t want. The contrast of the warm reds and oranges with the deep blue will give them that fun vibe they are looking for. We decided to stay neutral on the paint and major pieces of furniture, and add in the pops of color with smaller pieces of furniture, pillows and accessories.
Having the answers to these four basic questions, we are well on our way to a beautifully colored room. Here are some inspiration photos for our color palette:
I would like to say thank you to everyone who entered the contest for the decoupage art. I had several likes on Facebook, some lovely comments and some new subscribers, and I appreciate all of them. All of the entries were put in a hat and the name that was selected was (insert drum roll here):
Felix from Kaydin’s Corner.
Congratulations and thanks again to everyone that participated.
Today we are getting some much-needed rain here in sunny California. I can’t remember a year, at least in my lifetime, that it has been so dry. I woke up early this morning to the sound of rain on my window and it made me smile. As I sat there drinking my coffee, I contemplated the busy day I had planned for myself and decided instead to stay home, watch the rain out of the window and work on an art project. Ahhh…my kind of day!
I dug through my arts and crafts supplies to see what I could come up with. I definitely didn’t want to go out and buy anything, so I needed to be creative. I had noticed the other day some blank art canvases in my husband’s office. “Would you mind if I used one of these?” I asked as he was on a conference call, knowing my chances would be good because he would be distracted. They’ve been in his office for about a year, just waiting to be put to good use. He put his hand over the phone and whispered “sure”. Sweet! So far so good. The next thing I pulled out was my trusty Mod Podge. Seriously, this stuff has been a staple for me since about second grade. In the garage I found some wood stain and a foam brush. Ok, this art project is coming together. Next, I went to my computer and printed out some lovely images from The Graphics Fairy. This amazing web site has thousands of free images, practically any subject matter you can think of. For my project, I decided to do a British themed collage.
So here are the items needed for this project:
Art canvas, Mod Podge, wood stain , foam brush and images from The Graphics Fairy. Being that I had all of these items on hand, this project was totally free. But, if you had to go buy everything it would only run you about $13.
1. First I cut out all of my images and lay them out on the table. I arranged and re-arranged until I got a layout that looked good to me and was the size of my art canvas. I used a combination of pictures and ephemera.
2. The art canvas was a bright white, so I applied the wood stain to give it an aged appearance. I just used a clean cloth and wiped it on in layers until I achieved the right color.
3. After the stain had dried, I started gluing the images to the canvas. I took a picture of my arrangement for reference before I started, just in case I couldn’t remember how I arranged them. I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of each image and then smoothed them out on the canvas
4. I then applied 4 more layers of Mod Podge over the entire canvas, waiting about 20 minutes between each coat. This protects the artwork as well as giving it some texture.
5. Lastly, I applied another thin layer of wood stain over the entire canvas to give it just the right appearance of aging. Here is the finished product:
I’m really happy with the way it turned out. It was a fun, easy, affordable project and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I have decided to make another one to give away in a drawing to one of my readers; a little thank you gift for checking out my blog and spreading the word with your friends. I can either make the exact collage you see here, or I will make a custom one with a theme and color scheme you provide me. There are several ways to enter and you will receive one entry for each one. Are you ready? Here are the rules:
1. Share this page on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or all three. Each one gets you an entry. The buttons are at the bottom of this post to make it easy for you.
2. Posting a comment at the bottom of this page gets you another entry. Be sure to mention where you shared this post so I can give you the correct number of entries.
3. Subscribing to my blog gets you yet another entry. Simply click on the follow button on the right side of this page and enter your email address. If you are already a subscriber, mention that in your comment and I will make sure you get an entry for that as well.
4. You have until midnight February 7, 2014 to submit your entries. The winning entry will be drawn on February 8 and the winner will be notified by email. The winner then just needs to respond to the email with their shipping info and the theme and color scheme they would like for their collage.
5. Sorry to my international friends, but due to shipping costs this contest is only open to U.S. residents. Just know that I appreciate you following my blog as well!
Good luck everyone!
Thanks again for your support. It means the world to me.
I just wanted to give a quick thanks to those who made it to my decorating workshop on Sunday. I realize it was scheduled right smack dab in the middle of the 49er game so many of you that wanted to come were previously engaged. Being a 49er fan myself, I can assure you the date was selected well in advance of the playoff schedule. Be that as it may, we had a great time and I look forward to the next one, which I am pleased to announce has been scheduled for Sunday, March 16. We will be meeting at Blue Line Arts in Roseville from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Again, we will be covering the following topics:
- Fine tune your personal style so you can shop with confidence.
- Create a functional floor plan based on how the room will be used, utilizing your measurements and templates provided by me.
- Create a color scheme that you will be able to carry with you when you shop.
- Learn how to avoid my list of top 10 decorating mistakes.
- Create a vision board that you will be able to take home with you to provide inspiration as you complete your space.
The cost of the workshop is $45, which includes floor plan templates, color tools, my list of Top 10 Decorating Mistakes and materials to create your own vision board. I ask that you bring pictures of your room, as well as complete measurements. If you have already started clipping or pinning inspirational photos for your room, feel free to bring those too. You will receive a $45 gift certificate upon completion of the workshop which may be used towards an in-home consultation with me.
The class size is limited so reservations are required. To make a reservation or to receive more information on the workshop, submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number.
I hope to see you there!
One of the things I really try to do with every client is get a sense of who they are, where they come from and what makes them tick. Your home should be a direct reflection of your personality, or it can come off as being stiff and impersonal. If you look around my home, you will find hints to my family’s background, the things we like to do and our sense of humor. For instance, my stepmother and my husband’s family are both from England, so I have items that proudly display the Union Jack, crowns and English bulldogs. I also love food and wine, not necessarily in that order, so I created a wine wall to display my collection (when I say I created what I really mean is I designed it and my husband created it). I also love the look of taxidermy, but don’t really want any part in the actual hunting and killing of animals. So with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I proudly display my deer head trophy on my wall, made out of cardboard of course! I also love the idea of framing mementos, family crests, letters, and anything that brings meaning and honor to your life.
Here are some examples of things you can do in your own home:
1. Showcase your family’s heritage in a bold way.
2. Create a gallery wall with your family initial, historical photos and framed memorabilia.
3. Do you love a certain breed of dog? Show it in your artwork and accessories.
4. If travel is your thing, how about a wall of suitcase shelves with souvenirs you’ve picked up along the way. Or maybe an entire wall of maps to places you’ve been or would like to go.
Every family has a different story and your home is the illustration to that story. I hope these ideas inspire you to create a space that is uniquely you, one that honors who you are and where you come from, and gives your visitors a glimpse into your family’s history.
There is still time to register for my decorating workshop this Sunday, January 19, at Blue Line Arts in Roseville. To secure your space, send an email to email@example.com with your name and phone number by Saturday, January 18.