Posts Tagged ‘decor’

Zero Budget Project: Bedside Stools


We’ve had these stools since we lived in California. It feels like 3 lifetimes ago when we were there. I bought two (one for each side of the bed) for $10 each. We’ve since resurfaced the tops with a bright yellow. But they’re just not quite right.

They’re dirty from all of our moves, too. Currently we have an expedit next to Chris’s side of the bed so we can house chargers, pocket contents, books, etc without cluttering up the room too much. (it’s still a cluttered mess, though) And I’ve got two of these stools on my side. It works in a very asymmetrical way, but I’m not digging on the decor in our room. I want to cool things down a bit, I think there’s too much yellow and orange going on.

Our bed is pushed up against a bold orange wall (seriously the color is perfect), so I’m thinking of introducing more cool jewel tones into the decor. I’ve been thinking about staining my dresser indigo, so the above fabric might be perfect.

I’ve been obsessing over plums and indigos as of late (see this month’s houzz ideabook), so when I saw this fabric at a yard sale, I couldn’t help myself. It was $1, and I have at least a yard of it. It’s sort of late 80s, early 90s, but I think I can pull it off. What do you think?

Before & After: My Old Chairs


Do you remember this chair? I bought a pair of them off my friend for $10. I always had the ambition to reupholster them, but while we were at our last house, that ambition died and I sold them to my cousin’s wife.

I was happy to sell them to her, because I knew they would make their way to a good home. She’s an interior designer, and works on some really amazing projects, so I knew she would see their true potential.

And she did. She had them restained with a walnut finish (love the walnut color so much better) and reupholstered with a cool dot print. Check out Christa’s blog to see how they look in their new home. (seriously, I was drooling).

Love Your Space More with Galleries of Art


This post is sponsored by Find your art and love your space with’s prints and museum-grade framing.

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 Over the last ten years, I’ve lived in ten different places. It’s a lot of moving around, if you ask me. Each space that I’ve lived in where I’ve taken the time to put artwork on the walls has felt like home. Even when I was just starting out in college, sharing a small apartment with 5 other girls, I made it a point to hang artwork on the walls.

I believe I have a few pictures from that time, I’ll have to do some digging and share with you later, but our apartment was the coolest, quirkiest apartment in our building. At least that’s how I felt.

Majoring in painting and drawing helped getting real art on my walls very early on. The biggest hurtle that I ever faced was how to group artwork together and frame it. I rarely worked in standard dimensions (and Ikea was a foreign thing to me at that time), so I would have to get creative. I still use a lot of the same techniques for hanging artwork today.

I feel it’s important to have at least a few framed pieces to put on the wall. It adds a heck of a lot of polish to your space, with very little effort. Do it yourself with a stock frame, or have it framed from the get-go.

I took a framing class from BYU’s Museum of Art back in college, it gave me a whole new perspective on art. Before we started framing art, we ventured into the bowels of the art museum and saw originals of the most inspiring artists that have ever lived: Vermeer, Miro, Warhol . . .

It was from the guys that framed and handled the art of those artists that I learned how to frame. I’m not saying I am any good, but it sure was a special learning experience to witness first-hand the care and respect was given for artwork.

For odd shaped prints and flat works, I like to use hangers. I scored these sample hangers in San Francisco a few years ago. I have about 20+ still, and love having them around for misc. artwork. It’s also great to have them around for giving art pieces. Simple, easy and they ship well.

I’ve also used bulldog clamps for irregular shaped pieces. They’re very low-impact, visually, and don’t affect the surface of the art.

For irregular sized pieces that are not flat, I like to use upholstery tacks and strips of leather. It adds a more tactile experience to the art, which I can’t get enough of.

I like to mix and match these high and low techniques for hanging artwork on my walls. It’s true to my diverse aesthetic and gives me no excuses for an empty space on my wall.

How do you hang art on your walls? Push pins? Stock frames? Vintage frames? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Zero Budget Project: The Office


This week’s project was a bit of a challenge. I’m always using this space, so cleaning it up has been an ongoing process. Especially since Felix loves opening up the cabinet drawers and pulling out all of our office supplies.

Getting this room in working order was fairly simple. It came down to painting the room white, adding a few pieces of artwork, and keeping stuff off of surfaces. I’m constantly bringing in papers, projects and miscellany so I need the room to be as bare bones as possible.

With the white walls, I thought this would be the perfect chance to include my bright artwork that doesn’t usually match any anything else in the house. I even busted out some old artwork I forgot I had!

Here’s a quick reminder of what it looked like just days after we moved in. It’s nearly impossible to get inspired in such a haphazard and messy place.

The bright artwork is a homage to the yellow on the walls previously. It brings in a nice pop of color.

I bought the print on the left ages ago for Father’s day for Chris. It was from the Beehive Bazaar, but I can’t remember the seller. I love the neon square background pattern. If you know who sells these, leave a comment. I’d love to give credit!

The middle piece I did my sophomore year, using latex house paints. It will probably deteriorate in about 15 years, unfortunately.

The two smaller pieces on the right were made at Design Camp of Alt Summit last year with Eva from Sycamore Street Press. I’m planning on putting a family photo in that bottom one. I just need to get all of us together (and dressed) at the same time.

For the desk, I wanted to add a bunch of storage, but I still needed to take the photo corner into consideration. I tilted the Expedit on its side and slid it underneath the desk. It makes the desk a bit on the tall side, but I like the functionality of it. We have all of our hard drives and cables neatly tucked into cubbies underneath the desk. This is definitely the cleanest set up we’ve had thus far. We have two tethered screens (which I love), two keyboards (his and hers – Chris’s is the blank black one) and two mouse pads. Chris has switched completely to mousing with his left hand, but I’m too impatient give it a try, hence the two mouse pads. And the blank keyboard? Well, it’s set to PC functions, so I can’t use my keyboard commands, so I use the regular mac keyboard.

I mounted the shelf above the computers to house my Silhouette cutter, camera remotes, headphones and other compy gear. I should put some artwork above there. It looks really lonely up there.

The quote is by AnnilyGreen – I scored it at a gift exchange last Christmas, and the painting below is one of mine that I completed when chris and I were just starting to date. Artwork is very much like having my personal history up on my walls. You know how songs can take you back to a specific memory? Art is totally the same way for me.

Of all the guys I dated in college, Chris was the only one that was actually game to come to my painting studio and study while I painted. Heck, he even busted out a painting while he visited. It was then that I knew he was a keeper.

Behind the door I house the tripod. Right here, it’s set up for studio shots. I like having it set up in the corner of the room, so I can just butt the leg up to the corner and have the camera in the same position every time I bust it out. I’m trying to work on consistency this year.

The above artwork is self made. The big painting was recent this year, and the print was a litho piece I did back in college.

The closet is still a work in progress. I put my paper storage in there along with photography, watercolor and bookbinding supplies. I’d like to have it more organized with shelving, but it works well enough for now.

And here’s the corner where I shoot all of my pictures now. It’s so lovely to have this space all ready to rock and roll at a moment’s notice. Back when we lived in California in an insanely overpriced 1 bedroom apartment, I just dreamed and dreamed of space and light like this. It’s heaven.

Along with making matching his and hers mouse pads, I decided it was high time to recover this desk chair. I have recovered it three times now. This time I covered it in a plush leather that will resist stain and wear well. I was hesitant to work on this thing again. It’s a $15 office chair from ikea from 4+ years ago. There are so many prettier desk chairs out there, but updating this was free. I figure, if we ever end up trashing this and sending it off to the thrift store, I’ll strip the leather off the bottom and use it for something. Heaven forbid this amazing soft leather goes to waste.

Overall the only expenses on this room (counting from the time we moved in until now) were: the paint $45, photo floor $10 and rolling drawers $40. Everything else I had on hand. If I could do more to this space, I would tile this (and the whole top floor) in slate, add a rug, swap out the desktop for reclaimed wood and hairpin legs and get a taller drafting desk chair.

For these ideas and more, check out my office pinboard here. 

Zero Budget Project: The Studio


Getting the studio finished this week was a necessary evil. I kept dragging my feet, but once I started working on it, I was on a tear. It was great to have today’s reveal as motivation to get it 100% done.

Working on this project forced me to go through a lot of boxes and throw out quite a bit of miscellaneous crap I’ve not used or needed in some time.

I think I’ll hang this banner somewhere, but for now, it just rests on the door nob. I made this last year, two houses ago.

Remember what this space looked like on Monday? Nothing productive can happen in this space.

A lot more junk can get done in here. I added wall storage for calligraphy supplies, business cards, stamps, envelopes and more. The goal was to get as much off of my desks as possible, so I can use that for work and to keep it from Penelope’s grubby little fingers. I had some of the white Ikea boxes and shelving before, but I had to supplement to get it all up there and done. That was less than $20.

The table is currently covered with my cutting mat and cutter. I’d be inclined to take the mat off, but the paint is really wrecked. At some point I’d like to paint this little table. We scored that table ages ago in California on the side of the road with “FREE” written all over it. I love that table.

I put some miscellaneous artwork up to keep my sewing books and receipts company up top. I don’t get as much utility out of the shelving up top besides inspiration and resources.

Artwork (from left): Birds of Ashmae temple, photo of Penelope, unfinished painting in back, Kantan Designs quote, Love painting by Mer Mag, Esplin by me, tiny illustration scored from a housewares swap, empty frame for Felix (couldn’t get the printer to work).

In order to fit the white boxes on the shallow shelves, I oriented them sideways, making it impossible to read the label for what’s on there. I cut out little squares of chalkboard contact paper and applied it to the sides. It looks nice, and if the contents of the box ever changes, I can just rewrite it in chalk.

I decided it was time that I permanently set up my easel. It’s a constant reminder to paint. This piece is about a third of the way done, so it taunts me every time I walk in the room. It’s a good taunt.

I organized my fabric, again. I’ve recently scored several yards of fantastic prints, which give me no excuses! I must make some awesome clothes with them now. I had this fabric storage set up in the last two places we’ve been, and I love it. It’s cheap, I can use the top for laying out patterns, I can see the contents and everything’s neatly contained.

My ironing board isn’t a standard size, so I need to make a new cover. Can you tell how baggy that cover is? Yikes. Artwork (from left): scored at a housewares swap, mine, mine, cork board with various inspiration.

I took advantage of the storage space in the closet and used that to stage the tailoring and refashions I have queued up. Last night I knocked out about 1/3 of the mending, but I still have my work cut out for me.

Back in my California days when I taught bookbinding, one of my students was a teacher at a local school district. The school was dumping REAMS of strathmore parent sheets, so she snapped them up. She asked if I wanted any. Of COURSE. Over 3 years later, I’ve not even gotten through half the ream! It’s fantastic warm-grey paper, but it’s heavy and takes up a lot of space. I had a brilliant brainwave to hang the paper over the clothes rod in the closet. It feels pretty fantastic to have it all right there, so neatly put away. Below is my assortment of clothing patterns. I have quite a collection! I have a fair amount of white storage boxes, most of which are empty. It’s nice to keep a few empty spaces in this room to allow for growth. Below are bins of packaging supplies and leather.

Opposite of my desk is my sewing desk. We bought the legs over a year ago to DIY a kitchen table that totally failed. I ended up just buying a top from Ikea and moving everything to my studio instead. It all worked out nicely. The green table elevates the trash nicely, so I can throw away threads as I’m working feverishly on projects. I made that table like 9 years ago. It’s a favorite of mine, for sure. I wanted to make sure that I got the thread and scissors off the desks to keep Penelope and Felix from getting into trouble. Felix absolutely LOVES thread.

The yellow box has my current projects inside, neatly organized. I can easily store it under the table if I need the extra table top space. Artwork (from left): SeeSaw, A Vintage Poster, Me, Penelope, Thrifted

And here’s the wall that connects the sewing with the crafting. It’s so fantastic to have my own dedicated room for creative projects and to have it all organized (for now).

Decorating and organizing this room came just under $20 with the extra shelving and storage boxes. Not bad! I’ve debated on changing up the color of the walls to match the rest of the house, but the blue fits for now. Check out my old studio here (two houses ago).

I think I’m in a great place with this room. However, if budget were not an issue, I would put in wood floors to match with the kitchen, paint the walls a light grey, and get a couple of odds and ends for organizing. See what I have in mind on my Pinterest Board. Next week, it’s on to my office!!

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