Monthly Archives: February 2011

Chalk It Up!

HGTV.com's Thrifty Chalkboard

Chalkboards do not always have to be for teachers, they can be used to decorate too! Chalkboards are great for daily family reminders or for month-long activities.

Chalkboards can be insanely fun and leave an incredible amount of room for creativity. By mounting the chalkboard by the door allows all the members of the family pass by it before leaving for the day and be aware of any notes left behind.

You do not have purchase a big and boring chalkboard from the store as you can create your own in little to no time.

You can get creative with finding a frame that fits your design. You can either purchase frame wood from your local home-improvement store or you can find an old picture frame at second hand stores, such as Goodwill or Savers. Pictures frames are usually cheap at these stores as they are missing the glass that isn’t needed for this project. Remember, don’t worry about color! You can paint it any shade and can add any kind of embellishments or frills.

After you have the frame in the exact size you want, trace the area inside of the frame on the wall. Purchase chalkboard paint in your desired color at a home-improvement store and paint it in the traced area. After it dries, nail the frame to the wall and you have the perfect chalkboard made just for your needs.

Don’t let the frame limit you! If you’re adventurous enough, paint an entire wall into a chalkboard. The children will love being artists and you will constantly have darling new artwork.

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Paintings and Portraits!

Three canvas panels can create a dramatic effect in any room.

I love artwork and I love it in all forms, especially paintings, photographs, portraits! I was so excited to decorate my house in beautiful pieces that would accentuate the room, but I was having trouble finding a piece of artwork that would cover a decent amount of space on the vast wall in my living room as displayed in the photo above. (Top photo courtesy of JCPenny.com)

Credit: Art & Creativity Blog

I found an outline of a dandelion being blown by the wind online. I love the artistic, natural and dainty appeal of a dandelion and wanted to incorporate this into my modern living room.

I printed the dandelion to where it takes up the majority of a normal sized piece of paper. and copied it with a copy machine onto a transparency paper, available at a local office supply store. I also purchased three canvases, matching paint and brushes from Michael’s creativity store. I found that they have the best sales on canvases – wait for a buy one get one free deal!

This step can be a little tricky, but with patience and creativity you can find a way to make it work. I hung the three canvases equally spaced and where I wanted them placed on the wall. I then found a old moving box and cut a large square, large enough for the entire image to be seen through. I taped the dandelion transparency on square hole and placed a lamp on it’s side in the box. This will create a shadow and outline onto the wall of the design. I traced the entire image with a pencil onto the canvases and then brought them down to paint. After they were all finished I rehung the paintings and my living room was completely and exactly how I dreamed it look.

What picture or design did you choose for your artwork?

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Doors to Dreamland

My Home Made Headboard

I wanted to create a different and artistic headboard for my bedroom. I love the antique and rustic feel of taking old materials and making them into something else. I was at garage sales for weeks and on the hunt until I finally found two very old and very heavy antique doors. I knew right away they were perfect! I then sanded the doors and painted them a dark red color that matches my bedroom.  After the paint dried, I applied crackle medium that you can purchase at your home improvement store and then applied a clear finish.  The clear finish is important as the paint can crack off entirely without it!

For many different crackling techniques, visit Michael’s website, a home craft store. They have instructions for applying the paint in various ways to get the exact type of crackling you desire for your project.

Crackle paint gives an authentic antique feel.

After the paint dried, I screwed on wall mounts so I could properly attach the doors to the wall and did not have any worry about it falling. With the doors hung and the bed made, my bedroom has the exact feel and decor I originally planned. (My finished project is featured above.)

Blissful Begonia's fabric headboard

Headboards do not always have to be attached to the bed frame. Let your creativity run wild and think of something unique!

One of my favorite projects that is inexpensive and cheap to produce is a fabric headboard. With plywood cut to your bed size, matting, and a matching fabric pattern for the room, you can create a stylish headboard. Blissful Begonia has a tutorial on how to make this interesting and fun piece. I also love the picket fence headboard from HGTV.com! It would look darling for a little girl’s princess room.

How have you decorated your room? Did you create something different with the headboard?

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Dining and Designing for Less

 

A breakfast bar was created from a sofa table by adding matching stools.

A friend of mine was wanting a bar so they could eat, watch television, get on a laptop or read at a table while still being with the rest of the family in the living room. Instead of building an expensive and permanent bar, she found a perfect sofa table with matching stools.

The swirl design really gives the room a refreshing look.

The color compliments her couch and matches with the rest of the furniture. The swirl design is a nice change from the straight-boxed feel of the other furniture nearby. She also brought in the color scheme of the rest of the room by adding matching place-mats.

Adding place-mats and plates help bring the colors from the room together.

She found this breakfast bar and all the stools for under $250 at a local Marshall’s. By being patient and continuing to search for exactly what you want will save you time and money. She did not have to hire a contractor and she still has the possibility to change it at any time.

Keep thinking on how you can create any object to meet your needs!

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Relaxation and Meditation

There are many reasons individuals redecorate a room, whether it be to add space, to reuse the space in a different way, or to obtain a whole new look and feel. No matter what the reason, it’s always a good idea to keep the basic zen elements in mind when you are wanting to attain a peaceful environment. Making a relaxing space is different for everyone. The picture above, taken at the Azul Hotel in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, is an example of a zen-inspired room. While this works well at a hotel, I recommend making your space into something that represents you and will make you feel jubilant, yet rested.

calm environment is an clean environment. Getting rid of anything you don’t need and sorting out the rest will help create an organized and peaceful atmosphere. In the blog, My Journey to Lean, the writer suggests getting rid of everything you haven’t used within a year. If it’s still lingering around untouched between all the holidays, projects and parties, it’s time to toss it.

After you have cleared the space, you must begin to think of a color scheme. Most would assume neutral and earthy tones to be calming, but that isn’t always the case. Think about what suits you and makes you happy! In Sincerely Samantha’s blog, she loves black and white and has created a perfect area for her to enjoy and relax. Even though it’s only two colors, it’s anything but boring. It’s up to you and how you want your space to make you feel. If being at the ocean makes you happy, paint your room blue and decorate accordingly.

If you’re having trouble finding a color or scheme and don’t want to make the commitment to a certain color just yet, here are some examples of the meanings of colors from ColorWheelPro.com:

  • Red – Energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination, as well as passion, desire, and love
  • Brown – stability, masculinity
  • Orange – energy and happiness, increases oxygen supply to brain, stimulates mental activities
  • Yellow – sunshine, joy, happiness, warms, increases mental activity, generates muscle energy, may cause babies to cry more
  • Green – nature, growth, harmony, freshness, healing power, restful, can improve vision
  • Olive Green – peace
  • Blue – sky and sea, depth and stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, decreases metabolism, increases calm
  • Purple – stability and energy, power, nobility, luxury, ambition, creativity
  • White – light, goodness, innocence, cleanliness
  • Black – power, elegance, formality, death, evil, mystery

In the end, creating that perfect zen space is all up to you. Discover what makes you happy or where you find true bliss. Choose any color you desire and run with it. Possibilities are endless. Remember, don’t be afraid to try something new or different. There isn’t anything a few coats of paint won’t fix.

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