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Thursday, October 30, 2014

{one room challenge} Curtain Call

A couple of weeks ago I dubbed the status of my progress on the One Room Challenge "the storm before the calm"- and now that Week 5 has come and gone, I am finally starting to see some of the calm. In all of my design projects, it always gets worse before it gets better, and I am happy to report that I can now see a glimmer of the calm as the completed space starts to really take shape.

To quickly catch you up, I am participating in the One Room Challenge for which I am redesigning our master bedroom in a short six weeks. Today marks the end of week 5, and at this time next week I'll be sharing lots of photos of the final room! Here's what the plan looks like, which I fondly refer to as the Modern Metro Master Plan...

This week's major accomplishment - our modern, flat panel curtains! I'll share a lot more details about these curtains at a later time, but let's just say that in standard Ikea form, the hardware was a bit complicated to assemble and install. But now that the custom fabric panels are hung, there is no doubt in my mind they were worth all the effort! I think you'll agree next week that the curtains are the true star of the room.

In other exciting news, the Meloni chair for my reading nook {which I selected through my partnership with Home Decorators Collection} arrived  yesterday! I've ordered a lot of furniture online, but I still always get a bit nervous about whether it will look as good in person as it does online - and especially with an item like an arm chair, I always worry about whether it will really be comfortable. Yes, and yes! I had a pretty long list of requirements when shopping for a chair for our bedroom {it needed to have a high enough back to rest my head; a wide enough seat to sit cross-legged; padded but not rolled arms; and style for days}, and I can now confirm that the Meloni ticks all of those boxes!

To make for even more cozy reading nook, I also purchased an inexpensive ottoman. I have a plan to add a little something extra to make this ottoman better fit with the chair and side table. You'll have to wait until next week for that - but I think you'll agree that it's $12 well spent!

What remains to be done is mostly about the art and photos. Last week I shared an inspiration photo for a gallery wall to make the television on our dresser less of a focal point, and now the gallery wall is ready to be hung. I am nothing if not a planner, and I am often known to create computer renderings to aid in my husband into visualizing my crazy ideas. Here's my computer rendering of what the gallery wall is going to look like {if all goes according to plan}...

I am also making a few updates to the DIY metallic photos that have hung in our room for years. I still love the way these framed photos of New York City appear to glow, but I am swapping out a few of the photos for ones we took on our most recent trip to NYC.

So here's where I'm at on my master list:

*Drapes - DONE!
*Paint the tan walls? - NEW GREY WALLS!


*More comfy and stylish chair - CHECK & CHECK

*Add pattern and texture through fabrics - JUST ONE OR TWO MORE PILLOWS NEEDED, AND MAYBE A BLANKET

*New quilt or coverlet for the bed - IN PROGRESS

*Make the television less of a focal point - GALLERY WALL READY TO BE HUNG

*New art above the bed - READY TO BE HUNG

*Add some architectural interest - IN PROGRESS 

*Reclaim the corner where the cradle has been - DONE, THANKS TO A NEW MIRROR AND A RELOCATED BENCH

The One Room Challenge is hosted by the wonderful Linda of Calling it Home, and there are 20 amazing designers headlining the event, and more than 80 other linking participants {like myself}. Each week they are sharing their updates as well, so be sure to check out everyone's progress as we enter the home stretch!

You can find all of my past One Room Challenge posts here {click on the photos to be redirected}:

FALL 2014 ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: Modern Metro Master Bedroom

SPRING 2014 ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: Vintage Preppy Little Man's Lounge

Monday, October 27, 2014

{seasonal style} Non-Candy Halloween Treat with Free Printable

Beckett is almost three, and he is just the sweetest kid! He is always looking for gifts to give to other people and recently, while shopping the dollar section of Target he found some Halloween pencils and spider rings that he begged to buy for the kids in his preschool class. How could I say no to that? So I decided to make up a little card for Beckett to give his friends.

The cards read "I'm Glad You're In My Web of Friends." They turned out so cute that I thought I'd also offer it as a free printable for you to download if you are looking for a quick, last minute non-candy treat for your kids to share with their friends. Click here to download the printable cards!

The download has four cards on one page. Simply print out as many as you need and cut them out along the black boarder. You'll notice the two black dots on each card - those are where you'll punch the holes to slide the pencils through, but we'll get to that in a minute.

I didn't print Beckett's name on the cards since I decided to make it a printable. Instead, I used a Sharpie to write his name in below "Happy Halloween."

The black dots in the upper right and lower left corners of the cards indicate where you should punch holes to slide the pencils through. 

A single hole punch is not big enough for a pencil, so I instead punched a group of five overlapping holes {in a sort of flower pattern}.

Now you are ready to insert your pencils and spider rings.

Insert a pencil through the upper right hole.

Then slide a spider ring onto the pencil.

And slide the other end of the pencil through the hole in the bottom left corner of the card.

Inserting the pencils this way will prevent the spider ring from falling off, but I wanted the spiders to stay right in the middle so that they look like they are on the spider web, so I used a small piece of clear Scotch tape to hold the ring in place.

I spun the ring around so that the spider was against the paper and used a small piece of clear tape to affix the ring to the pencil.

Then I rotated the pencil until the spider ring was back on top.

If you are looking for a last minute gift for your kid's classmates or as the favors for a Halloween party, these are a quick and easy option! I was able to print, cut and assemble these cute treat cards for every kid in Beckett's preschool class in a just about 20 minutes time. 

Beckett is so excited to give these to his friends, and I think the other parents will appreciate the non-candy treat {I know I would}!

Looking for even more seasonal inspiration?! You might be interested in these fall and Halloween projects:

Friday, October 24, 2014

{five minute friday} Simple Art Knock-Off that Saves $180!

If you've been following my progress on my master bedroom redesign for the One Room Challenge, then you already got a peek at this project yesterday, but today I'm giving you the details. One of my big projects for our bedroom is a gallery wall to help hide our television. In addition to photos, I knew I wanted the gallery to include several works of art - preferably art with some texture or dimension to balance out all of the metals and straight-lines in our modern design plan.

While shopping at West Elm a few weeks ago, a couple of pieces of art really caught my eye, including a framed piece of handmade paper. I liked the natural texture and color, but because it was square in a square frame, it still had a modern feel to it. The only thing I didn't like was the price tag. I was hoping to spend under $100 for my entire gallery wall, including all of the frames, so there was no way I could spend $189 on a single piece of art. 

Instead, for just $10 and in only five minutes time, I took the idea and created my own knock-off version!  

The best part of creating your own art, besides the savings, is that you can customize it to fit your needs! The original was larger than would fit well into my gallery wall, so I chose an 8x8 square frame. While I could have more closely matched the original by picking a light wood frame, I instead chose a black frame to coordinate with my other gallery wall plans.

I purchased the frame during a big sale at Aaron Brothers frames {both Aaron Brothers and Michaels are currently having BOGO sales on frames - and I had an additional coupon}. The original West Elm art was a framed piece of handmade paper, but I decided to use burlap for a similar look. I already had a roll of burlap that I had purchased for another project, but if you don't need a whole roll, you could buy just a small piece off of a bolt at a fabric store for a couple of dollars.

I unrolled the burlap, cut off a piece, and trimmed off the finished edges.

I originally planned to give my art a grey background, like the original inspiration piece, so I cut a square of grey scrapbook paper to fit inside the frame.

Rather than trying to glue the burlap to the paper {which I feared would look messy because of the open weave}, I simply sandwhiched the burlap between the glass and the paper, then secured the back of the frame in place.

This is what my first attempt at this project looked like {and if you saw yesterday's One Room Challenge update post, this is what you saw}. I liked it, but it just wasn't right. Two things bugged me about it. The burlap looked a little too perfect, and the although I liked the grey background which mimicked the original, I feared it wouldn't look great with the white mats of all of my other gallery wall frames.

I decided to make a couple of tweaks to see if I could improve upon it. I took the burlap back out of the frame and began pulling a few "threads" out from the edges and used my scissors to trim the edges to be a bit less even. I liked the direction it was headed, so I continued to pull a few threads out from the center of the square and used my fingernails to push threads around, making the weave less even.

Since nearly all of my gallery wall frames will have white mats, I wanted to see what my burlap square would look like on a white background. I chose a piece of white handmade paper from my scrapbook supply {about $1.50 from a local craft store}.

Here's what I ended up with. It doesn't read in the photo, but the white background paper has a nice texture that enhances the natural feel of the burlap.

Even though it took me two tries to get to a final product I was happy with, this entire art project only took me five minutes. Talk about an easy way to save $180! My two different versions look quite different, which drives home my point that the best part of creating your own art is the ability to customize it to fit your needs!

The grey scrapbook paper backing looked more like the original {imagine it in a light wood frame, and you can see it would have been a pretty close match}. But the white mat paired with the black frame will flow better with my gallery wall plans, and I ultimately prefer the look of the "less perfect" burlap.

While I was at it, I also created knock-off versions of two other pieces of West Elm art. These other two projects were also very easy, and I'll be sharing the tutorials for them soon.

If you are interested in seeing the other progress I've made on my One Room Challenge space, you can find all the posts here:

FALL 2014 ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: Modern Metro Master Bedroom

SPRING 2014 ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: Vintage Preppy Little Man's Lounge

Thursday, October 23, 2014

{one room challenge} Week 4: Knock Off Art & TV Gallery Wall Inspiration

Finally! Finally a week where I feel like I can see real progress and I'm excited to write my One Room Challenge update! Nonetheless, the chaos in our master bedroom {which I referred to last week as the "Storm Before the Calm"} remains. In fact, the chaos increased when we had to move all of the furniture to the center of the room in order to paint, but hubby and I have temporarily relocated to the guest room and having a restful place to sleep has improved my perspective.

This week, my efforts have been all about DIY art projects, but before I get to that, let me share a few other updates.

We banished the beige! The builder of our house painted one charcoal colored accent wall in our master bedroom, which we love, but the remainder of the room was a dark tan. The color itself worked fine with our decor, but I felt like it blended in too much with our stacked stone fireplace, and the color was a real light sucker! Despite being south facing and having a very large window, as well as two sliders, the room always felt dark and a bit bleak.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that we were surrounded by grey paint samples this week. Picking the right paint color is always a challenge, but greys might be the most difficult. As one commenter so perfectly put it - grey is a color chameleon! If you aren't careful, you can end up with a grey paint that reads baby blue, khaki green, or even purple once it's on the walls.

After a lot of consideration and comparisons, we finally picked Benjamin Moore's Metropolitan. Don't you just love when even the color name seems perfect for the space? When I shared my design plans for the master bedroom in week 1, I titled the plan "Modern Metro Master" - and now the room really is metropolitan right down to the paint on the walls. {This happened in Beckett's room during the Spring One Room Challenge as well. Two of the paint colors in my son's "Little Gentleman's Lounge" were called Soft Jazz and Symphony Blue}.

Because of the challenge of painting around the stacked stone in the room, and because of the time constraints, we decided to pay someone to paint the room. I generally do my own painting, so I am surrounded by the color as it goes up on the walls. But this time it was fun to walk in and see the impact of the new color once it was completely painted. The light grey really brightens up the space, and the fireplace now feels like even more of a feature.

My mom is helping me to make the flat panel drapes for the bedroom, as well as a new blanket for our bed, so she stopped by this week to pick up the fabric. After living with only solar shades, but no drapes, for the past 6 years, I really can't wait to see the drastic difference the drapery panels will make!

Ok, now one to what I'm really excited about!! I mentioned in week 1 that I wanted to find a way to make the television on our dresser less of a focal point - especially since it is the first thing you see when walking through the bedroom door .

Long ago I pinned this inspiration photo from Pottery Barn, and I've known since then that I wanted to create a gallery wall around our tv.

via Pottery Barn
With this photo as my television gallery wall inspiration, I began creating a list of photos and other items to fill the space around our tv. Since it's in our master bedroom, I want the photos to be all about the two of us - but I don't want an entire wall of photos of us. To give the gallery a high-end and collected feel, I knew I wanted to mix in some works of art.

A few weeks ago I was walking through my local West Elm when I this awesome framed art caught my eye. I love the spirals that appear to be floating inside the frame, but I didn't love the $199 price tag!

via West Elm
The original was created from thinly shaved pieces of stained ash wood arranged on a linen backdrop - but I knew I could create a similar look in a shadow box using spirals of paper. I love the consistent look of the black frames in the gallery wall inspiration photo, so I purchased a 12x12 black shadow box frame. Rather than creating my spirals from a solid color of paper {which would have looked even more like the original}, I instead went for a modern, graphic look by creating my spirals from book pages. I'll share my full tutorial on this project soon, but here's a quick look at my finished work of DIY art. Best of all, it only cost me the price of the shadow box and a mat...$14!

I was also inspired by two other works of art from the current West Elm art collection, and I managed to knock both of them off for even smaller price tags!

This framed piece of handmade paper from West Elm appealed to me because it would bring a nice natural color and texture to help balance the modern finishes in our bedroom - but once again, the $189 price tag just wasn't in the budget.

via West Elm

For just $10, and in about 5 minutes, I was able to create a very similar look! I'll be sharing the quick and easy tutorial for this DIY art project tomorrow!

Finally, I love the simplicity of Apertures from the Minted for West Elm collection. Unfortunately, the colors aren't right for our room, and at $89, it was more than I could budget for our gallery wall. 

via West Elm

But I put my Photoshop skills to work and created a knock-off version in my color scheme for nothing more than the cost of the $7 picture frame.

I'll share my process for creating this art, and the secret behind my version that makes it extra meaningful, in a future post!

So now you see why I'm so excited! For a mere $31 and a small investment of time, I was able to create three pieces of West Elm inspired art work that are customized to perfectly fit into my planned television gallery wall!

In other news, the chair for my reading nook {the Meloni} that I selected through my partnership with Home Decorators Collection, has shipped and is scheduled to arrive mid-next week. I am counting the days! I also finally found an ottoman that I think will work well in the space {with a few minor modifications that I have in mind}.

The One Room Challenge is hosted by the fab Linda of Calling it Home, and there are 20 amazing designers headlining the event, and more than 80 other linking participants {like myself}. Each week they are sharing their updates as well, so be sure to check out the progress everyone else has made in Week 4. There are some amazing spaces starting to take shape!

You can find all of my past One Room Challenge posts here:

FALL 2014 ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: Modern Metro Master Bedroom

SPRING 2014 ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: Vintage Preppy Little Man's Lounge

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