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    Make your Walls POP!

    Make your Walls POP!

    Making your home a work of art can be as simple as painting the walls using different techniques to achieve different effects.  Many people are familiar with the sponge paint technique, but most don’t realize that that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Below are just some techniques you can use to beautify your walls without putting holes in them!
    (Pinterest.com)
    • Stencil

     

    If you have a design in mind that is complex or repetitive, stencils are a great option.  You can make your own, buy one and move it around the wall at your discretion, or buy ones designed to move across the wall while fitting together like a puzzle.  You can even stencil just one as a focal point on the wall!
    • Sponge
    The sponge technique is an oldie but a goodie.  Start with at least 2 colors, one for the base and one for the texture (remember when choosing a base color that it will show through the texture!)  Apply the base color old-fashion and let dry.  Once that’s dry, you get to have fun – dip the sponge in the texture color(s) and use as a stamp all over the wall.  You cab dab, rub, or drag the sponge across the wall to create different effects (or a mixture of effects) until you reach your desired outcome.
    (pinterest.com)
    • Rag
    The rag works a lot like a sponge, except you use a rag or plastic bag instead.  With this technique, though, you paint the base color, let dry, then paint the glaze or texture color over it; while the top coat is still wet, use the rag (or bag) to remove some of the paint to show the base color (crumple, roll, or ball up the rag or paper to create different effects).
    • Stipple
    This effect requires a specialized stipple brush comprised of coarse bristles that you press in to the wet top coat creating a very fine texture, almost like velvet.  DO NOT drag the brush, instead, move it around the wall in a random pattern up and down.
    • Drag
    Almost like stippling, drag refers to dragging a brush with coarse bristles through the wet top coat in order to create textured lines in any direction you wish.
    • Distress
    This effect is not meant to be used on whole walls but rather parts that are likely to be naturally worn down, such on doors or near handles.  Paint, let dry and get to work with some sand paper!
    (apartmenttherapy.com)
    • Frame
    This technique is exactly what it sounds like: you frame a part of the wall with a different paint color.  You can find tutorials and stencils online for this, or you can get creative and design it yourself.  It can frame a picture, a painting, or absolutely nothing!
    • Two-Tone
    My favorite and most simple painting technique of all time: two-tone!  This can be done a few different ways.  You can paint a room with a different colored accent wall; you can create a “chair rail” by painting the tops and bottoms of the walls different colors; you can also paint stripes on a wall with the help of a little extra painters tape (and maybe a level!)
    • Trompe L’oeil
    This advanced-level painting technique creates the illusion of the painted object as being 3D... definitely not meant for amateurs!

    (shutterstock.com)

    Vacation Home

    Vacation Home

    I’ve always wanted a vacation house, but if you follow me often, you know I have royal taste on a peasant budget.  That doesn’t stop me from daydreaming, though, about all the things I would do if I could afford it - like the beach house of my dreams!  With that being said, and the weather slowly coming around to “beach weather”, today we’re going to discuss decorating a vacation home!
    As with any home project, the first step is coming up with a plan or “theme”, whether it’s a simple color or something more specific like a place (I.E. boardwalk) or thing (I.E. anchors), having an idea of what you want the finished product to be BEFORE you start to decorate can really help steer you in the right direction!  This theme can be brought to life via the walls, the furniture, the décor or a mixture or the three – and it can be as subtle or obvious as you want.  My dream vacation home would be decked out (yes, that’s a pun) in a nautical theme – think ships, anchors, fish nets, life rings, sea shells, nautical compass… sorry I got a little carried away, but you get the point.
    Once your theme is set, it’s time to paint!  Now that you know how you plan to decorate the space, you can create a color palette that compliments your motif and ties the whole house together.  For example, my nautical themed home would have a color palette of cool ocean blues, warm sandy neutrals and bright yellows and oranges to mimic the sunrise and sunset.  Another thing to keep in mind is that paint does not have to be boring; you can easily add life to a room by painting with effects such as accent walls, chair rails, sponge painting, textured rollers, etc.
    Now that the paint is up and dried, it’s time to furnish!  This two-step process involves furniture and flooring.  When furnishing a vacation home, it’s important that it’s all easy to clean, as you will have wet bathing suits and sandy toes in and out on a daily basis.  My dream beach house would have finished wood floors (since they’re the easiest to clean and wall-to-wall carpeting sounds like a nightmare) with accent rugs for some added décor and texture.  When it comes to furniture, I would opt for an outdoor couch in the living room so it is waterproof and easy to clean; as for the rest of the furniture, I would definitely utilize some of my pallet furniture from my previous post!
    After the floors and furniture are installed, it’s time to decorate – my favorite part!  This is where you get to really add your personal flair to the space; I would put up pictures of my family enjoying the beach as well as scenery pictures, hang real-life “beach items” on the walls, light beach-y candles and hang up signs that had to do with vacation life.  The best part about decorating is that there is no end, you can constantly add, change and rearrange as you find more things that suite your taste and as you create more memories that will last a lifetime!

    Pallet Palate

    Pallet Palate

                I’m always on the lookout for unique ways to change up my house, and with three kids who also have [expensive] wants I’m left with two options: spend insane amounts of money OR look for cheaper ways to satisfy my itch.  I usually go with the latter.  Recently I’ve taken an interest in pallet…yes, as in shipping pallets.  I never realized just how much you can do with one of them – they are so versatile!  From shipping, to furniture, to wall décor, with a little ingenuity and some elbow grease you can turn a palette in to almost anything you could imagine.

                In my house, we love movies, but there is never enough room on the couch for us to all fit comfortably – which brings us to my FAVORITE pallet up-cycle: CINEMA SEATING.  I love that you can make it as big or small and any shape you want so no matter what it’ll fit your home AND your style.  To complete this project, you need your desired design, pallets, paint, various cushions, and of course tools (drill, screws and sander, to be exact!)  If you can find used pallets (and trust me, you can, google it) all you need to buy is paint and cushions (if you’re really crafty, you can make cushions and save even more!), making this a rather cheap project that will seriously revamp your home!

                One thing I love is my bed… seriously, like stay-in-bed-all-day kind of love.  For the longest time though, I didn’t have a headboard, I saw them as pretty to look at, but not useful enough to actually purchase one.  Then I saw the pallet headboard, another DIY craft that adds a lot of value with little out of pocket; and with so many ways to build these headboards, each as is as unique as the person who will sleep there!  You can make your headboard as big or small as you want, leave the gaps between planks or add planks to fill them up, add lights or fixtures or leave it plain, etc. the possibilities are limitless!

     

    (shutterstock.com)

                In the interest in keeping this post short and sweet, I’ll just quickly list the other furniture possibilities before moving on.  You can use pallet furniture in every room of your house: beds for the kids’ rooms, tables for the kitchen and living room, desk for your office, room dividers for anywhere, etc.  You can also bring your pallet furniture outside in the form of lawn chairs, swings, bike racks... I can go on and on but you get the point.

                I haven’t forgotten about the wall décor, walls need love too!  And if you’re anything like me, your wine addiction also needs love – which brings us to my favorite wall décor pallet hack, a wine rack!  As with the other pallet DIYs, there are multiple ways to make this: size, color, shape, how many bottles it holds, and the ability to hold glasses are just some of the ways you can customize your wine rack.  For this project, you’ll need a pallet, paint/stain, nails/screws, and tools (such as a drill, hammer, crowbar, and a saw.)

                If you’re not much of a drinker, or you’d just rather put other things on display in your home (such as pictures….) you can create various sized and shaped shelves to hold picture frames, hooks (for clothing, keys or jewelry) flower pots and more!

                I may be MIA for a while, as my next few weekends are booked solid with all the pallet projects I plan on doing!

    Spring in to Summer

    Spring in to Summer

    My favorite Wednesday of the year is coming up (June 21st) – the first day of SUMMER!  My kids get excited about summer for one reason, no more school.  I, on the other hand, get excited about entirely different things: long, warm, sunny days and redecorating… Yes I said redecorating. It’s time to wake up my home from its winter hibernation and get some life back in these 4 walls.  If spring is meant for cleaning, then Summer is certainly meant for rejuvenating!  I know keeping up with trends ca be exhausting and time-consuming, so I’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of the most popular home-decor trends of the year!

    1. Marble…Marble, EVERYWHERE. From wallpapers, to statues and statuettes, to vases and knickknacks, to counter tops, this “look” is HOT!  No matter what you are shopping for, I can guarantee you will find a marbled pattern available.  This is easy to incorporate in to current situations as there are different color variations available to match pre-existing décor.
    2. Flexible Faux. Faux Finishes have come a long way from just faux fur rugs, and that’s why it’s the second trend of the season.  I LOVE the versatility of all things faux – not only is it usually more cost-friendly BUT also has the tendency to be more use-friendly; for example, faux wood planks and beams can withstand the elements better than real wood, and does not bow or rot like real wood.  Taking a look back at our first trend – real marble is expensive, but if your need is not specific, faux marble is cheaper and easier to use/abuse/replace.
    3. Green thumbs (UP!). Bringing the outdoors in is our number 3 trend of the season.  This is a two-part trend, so stay with me.  The color green itself is the first part – this bright and inviting hue represents revitalization, and what better way to wake up from winter hibernation than with throwing some of this shade around!?  The second part of this trend is much more literal – bringing the outside inside.  This can be done a myriad of ways:
      1. Make your home come alive by bringing plants such as herb planters, flowers, or even vines indoors.
      2. Mimic colors that are found outside such as sky blue and sunny yellow to brighten up your home.
      3. Materials that belong outside (or resemble materials that belong outside) can be brought inside via furniture, rugs and wall décor in order to make your whole home, inside and out, feel more cohesive.
    4. Tenured Textures.  In a world full of media, it’s nice to touch something real – which brings us to our fourth design trend.  We have 5 senses, and touch seems to take a back seat to the others – my kids would rather play video games with their friends online than actually hang out with them in person!  In today’s world, it is important to give people a reason to go in to a store or show room – and that reason is to touch and feel.  Sure, we can buy things online, but instead, take a ride to a store, and find the rug you WANT to touch and the comforter you WANT to sleep with and then incorporate those textures in to your home.

    Now that you know the seasons top trends, the time has come to spread those designer wings and fly on to your next home project – whether it’s a big re-model or small, strategic decorations, there are endless possibilities to bring the summer home with you!

    Turning Trash into Treasure

    Turning Trash into Treasure

    Question: How many other mothers have a garage full of everything EXCEPT a car?  Our garage is our personal storage unit – everyone just dumps their junk in there and forgets about it!  And god-forbid I ask them to clean it out and throw some away... they “NEEEED” it all.  So what can you do to keep your family happy and keep your sanity?  Turn all that junk in to gems!  How, you ask?  Simple: repurpose.


    You can find hand-me-down uses for a lot of the stuff commonly found discarded in garages, and even some stuff that’s not so common!  Below are some of my all-time favorite up-cycles!

    (Shutterstock.com)

    • Old tires.  Put this in the “not so common” tab.  There are a couple ways to go about this, but first, give the tire a good scrub down no matter what, you don’t want grease and dirt anywhere near you or your family!  The first use for an old tire is the cliché “tire swing”, if you have a strong, sturdy tree and adventurous kids, this is a great way to save money (instead of buying a swing set) and getting one thing out of your way!  The second use I’ve come across for tires is to turn them in to chairs!  All you need for this project is a tire; a wooden board cut in the shape and diameter of the tire; paint; and a cushion – genius!


    • Skate boards/Surf boards.  This is hit or miss, depending on your kids.  If you have sporty children who buy these boards just to outgrow them and buy new ones, I’m sure you have more than a couple lying around.  You can turn both in to shelves for your kids’ room or play room!  This project requires the boards, L-brackets, screws and anchors (plus a drill, pencil and level) – so simple!


    • Vases.  Almost every flower delivery comes in a nice vase, and when those flowers die, the vase gets pushed to the side.  Vases can be up-cycled in to lamps very easily, just choose a vase, purchase a non-drilling lamp kit from online, plaster (to hold the lamp kit in the vase), and a lamp shade – assemble and display!


    • Cookie/Baking sheets.  I use my cookie sheets for everything from cookies to chicken, and eventually they change colors and my kids will no longer eat anything cooked on them.  My favorite rework for cookie sheets is turning them in to chore charts!  Super simple and cheap, all you need is one cookie sheet per child, spray paint, washi tape, magnets and markers (and a ribbon to hang it, if desired) – design your chart and get them to work!


    • Pillows.  Do you ever have pillows that have been replaced but are still in too good of a condition to be considered garbage?  I hate when my pillows lose their oomph and become “flat”, so I replace them, but I also hate throwing them out because they’re not “bad” yet.  Years ago, I saw a life-hack that I fell in love with – and I’ve finally been able to use it.  Turning pillows in to a “bed”!  So obvious, yet over looked, these are great little “beds” for the kids to throw on the floor and lounge around on, or fold up against a wall and make a little chair.  All you need for this project is 4 or 5 pillows, an equal number of pillow cases (or a sheet, if you’re extra crafty), a needle and thread, and Velcro (optional, for keeping the pillows in the cases).  Stitch them up, insert the pillows and BOOM, comfy and functional!

     

    (Feat. Home Dynamix: Splash Rug)

    • Rugs.  If you keep up with me, you know my passion for rugs, and so as you can imagine, I have PLENTY of rugs in my garage that I prematurely replaced.  One way you can re-use a gently-used rug is to turn it in to a wall hanging!  Full size or cut down, framed or left out, there are a bunch of ways to display your treasured rugs.


    This is just a small sampling of my favorite up-cycles, but nowhere near ALL the possibilities! If you have something taking up space that you (or your family) can’t fathom throwing out, do some research and create some projects!  Happy garage picking!