Tag Archives: gallery wall

A Playful Shared Bedroom

Not too long ago I decorated Sofia’s room and was very happy with the soft, pretty appearance I created for her. However, it was by no means gender neutral and with the advent of Anna, the need for Charlie and Sofia to share a room arose.

Steve and I shared our bedroom with little Anna for the first eight or nine months of her life in a desperate attempt to avoid putting Charlie and Sofia in the same room (Charlie is an excellent sleeper, Sofia, not so much). Around Christmas time my sister gave me a talking to and told me that I needed to be excited about them moving in together because if I wasn’t, they wouldn’t be. How did I get myself excited? By re-decorating of course!

The budget for this room was pretty much nil so I relied on my sewing machine, paint, and some DIY art to bring the room to life. My mother’s day wish was that I would have time to stage and photograph Sofia and Charlie’s new shared room. Wish granted. Thank you husband!

First, a before of Sofia’s girly decor:

sofiasroom

For the new decor I departed from the fairly neutral overall scheme of our house and went wild with aqua and pops of red.

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FYI, Walmart has the cutest and least expensive lamps, like this red one here.

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Curtains, bed, red pillows, Ikea; Faux fur pillow fabric, Fabricana; Fox print and zig zag prints fabric, Fabric.com; Cellular shades, Canadian Blind Manufacturing Inc.; Drawer knobs, Anthropologie; Side table, Home Outfitters; Toy storage bin, Homesense.

I sweet talked Steve into replacing the seldom used closet with a loft space.

I sweet talked Steve into replacing the seldom used closet with a loft space. Now looking at the picture I’m thinking it is a bit too red. I might paint the ladder and front of the loft cloud white to lighten it up.

I gave these inexpensive Ikea curtains some pizazz with a red and white zig zag trim to match the homemade window cornice.

I gave these inexpensive Ikea curtains some pizazz with a red and white zig zag trim to match the homemade window cornice.

A collection of mismatched Value Village pictures frames are unified with red paint and filled with DIY art.

A collection of mismatched Value Village pictures frames are unified with red paint and filled with DIY art. And wow, really could have hung those pictures straighter. Quilt by Grandma LaRoy.

It is a tight squeeze but we make it work. I'll keep Charlie in a crib until he's ten if it means he won't wake us up at night.

It is a tight squeeze but we make it work. I’ll keep Charlie in a crib until he’s ten if it means he won’t wake us up at night.

This is how Charlie gets into his crib.

This is how Charlie gets into his crib.

My favorite part of this room is the gallery wall. Not because I think my drawings are so fantastic or because the frames only cost $20 total, but because the pictures tell a story. You see one night Sofia asked me to “tell them a story with my mouth” and so I made up a tale about an orphan brother and sister, Barley and Bofia, who went into a cave and found a secret underground land of talking dinosaurs where they met a family of triceratops who adopted them. It was a hit and they have been asking for Barley and Bofia stories every night for two months since. If I knew that it was going to turn into such an epic series I probably would have chosen better names! I love coming into the room and catching the kids just standing there, staring at the pictures which feature different characters from the stories.

I think the kids probably like the addition of the loft best (what kid wouldn’t?). We have dubbed the lower section Charlie’s “man cave” and the loft portion, Sofia’s “lady loft”. They’ve ended up sharing both spaces and overall the transition from separate rooms to a shared room has been a good one. They are constantly fighting but they are also the best of friends and I am thankful that their sharing a space has contributed to this.

I used to do more DIY posts with instructions but there are so many good ones out there already so I’ve included some links to tutorials for how to do some of the projects I took on for this room: the closet loft, curtain trim, fabric window cornice, fitted sheet (in loft).

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Next up is giving Charlie’s old room some girly flair to suit my Anna baby!

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Take Away Accessorizing Tips

A few weeks ago I finished my decorating class on home accessorizing. Thankfully, despite my sleep deprived, just-had-a-baby state I was still able to glean a load of valuable information. If you aren’t studying to become an interior decorator the idea of spending eight weeks learning about accessories might bore you to death but hopefully these take home tips will help you to beautify your own home.

For clarification, by accessories I mean mirrors, pillows, blankets, rugs, lamps, vases, artwork (or pretty much anything you would hang on a wall), sculptures, candles, and small piece of furniture like a pouffes. This is not an exhaustive list but will give you an idea of what types of items I am referring to throughout the following tips.

1.) Accessories are an opportunity to add an accent colour to your space. This is an easy and inexpensive way of changing up your decor without committing long term to a colour scheme. The rule of thumb is that your accent colour should show up at least three times in a room (eg. a throw blanket, a lamp, and a rug).

Having at least three hits of the accent colour helps to create visual flow.

Having at least three hits of an accent colour, in this case, yellow,  helps to create flow in a space.

2.) When accessorizing a room remember that different metals count as different colours. Gold or brass is yellow. Silver, chrome, and nickel are grey. Copper is orange. Iron is black. If you have a lot of metal in your room, take the colour of the metal into consideration when you are choosing other accessories.

3.) About mirrors: Contrary to what you may have heard, mirrors do NOT enlarge a space unless they reflect the floor (eg. a large, tall mirror leaning against a wall will visually enlarge your space whereas a mirror hanging above your fireplace will not). And remember, mirrors should reflect something beautiful. Your blank wall or stippled ceiling is not beautiful. Your prized painting or light filled garden is beautiful.

Do:

This oversized mirror visually enlarges this room.

This over-sized mirror visually enlarges this room.

Don’t:

Not such an exciting reflection. Mirrors above the fireplace, unless they are beautiful enough to act as a piece of art, are a no-no. I am currently committing this atrocity along with millions of others. It's true, my ceiling isn't so exciting...

Not such an exciting reflection. Mirrors above the fireplace, unless they are beautiful enough to act as a piece of art or are opposite a window, are a no-no. I am currently committing this atrocity along with millions of others. It’s true, the reflection of my ceiling isn’t so exciting…I’m taking a change under consideration.

4.) Gallery walls continue to be a popular way to display artwork but there is one important rule of thumb to follow: on one side of your gallery wall, whether it be top or bottom, left or right, the artwork needs to form a straight line. It sounds a bit strange but after looking at lots of photos of gallery walls I see that it really does look better if you follow this tip.

Do:

It is fine to mix frames, add mirrors, antlers, letters etc. but keep that straight line. The straight line formed on the right side of this picture with the two prints helps to anchor this arrangment.

It is fine to mix frames, add mirrors, antlers, letters etc. but keep that straight line. The straight line formed on the right side of this gallery wall with the two pieces helps to anchor the arrangement.

Don’t:

The lack of a straight line causes this arrangement to look chaotic.

The lack of a straight line causes this arrangement to look chaotic.

5.) You’ve likely heard it before but I can’t mention accessories without mentioning this class faux paux: your rug should not be floating in the center of your room. It should be large enough that the front legs of your couch and chairs are on the rug.

Do:

goodrug

Don’t:

wrongrug

6.) Less is more. If you happen to have a large number of decorative items either purge those you don’t love or rotate objects, keeping some in storage then changing them up when desired.

7.) In conjunction with the above advice, avoid clutter and give objects room to breath. This rule applies both with hanging groups of pictures (not too close!) and arranging objects on a flat surface. In terms of pictures: place smaller pictures 2-3 inches apart; place medium sized pictures 3-5 inches apart; place large pictures 7-10 inches apart.

Do:

Coraling objects on a tray or in a basket like this helps to avoid a cluttered look.

Grouping objects on a tray or in a basket like this helps to avoid a cluttered look.

Don’t:

Too much! Where does the coffee go on this coffee table!

Too much! Where does the coffee go on this coffee table!

8.) Group odd numbers of objects or pictures together, it is more pleasing to the eye. Example: for a gallery wall, hang five pictures; for candles, group three together.

9.) If you are going to break the rule of odd numbers as mentioned above, do it properly. If you only have two great pictures to hang, hang them close enough together that they visually read as one piece (I know, I also just said not to crowd objects. There’s always an exception…). This is also why hanging four pictures in a grid, like below, can work, because it visually reads as one large picture.  The pictures also need to have the same theme in order for them to visually read as one. Am I confusing you yet?

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10.) Size matters! Make sure when hanging a picture, mirror, or other groupings of wall decor that they do not extend past the edges of whatever table, couch, desk, etc that they are hung above.

Do:

goodpic

Don’t:

toolargepic

Since taking this course I have been looking around my house with different eyes, spotting all the faux paux that I have made. It doesn’t look bad, but I now know how to make it look better. Will this advice help you to improve your home decor?

Thanks again to my instructor, Bea O’Driscoll, who passed on the knowledge and information represented in this post.

 

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Filed under At home, Decorating Basics, Eye Candy, Uncategorized

You and Me Babe

As a mother it is sometimes easy to forget about taking care of your own needs. It is easy to resort to eating your child’s leftovers instead of making your own meal, to seek recreation for the children and forget rest for yourself, and in the case of this blog post, to decorate the kid’s bedrooms and leave my own untouched.

When we first moved in we whipped together a headboard and had the walls painted but otherwise left the master bedroom undone. No curtains, no art, etc. My thought process was…”well no one ever sees it…”.  Because of this I haven’t wanted to shunt any redecorating budget in its direction. However, with two wild children running about the house, creating a haven of our master bedroom has become a necessity. I still don’t want to spent much money there so to manage the budget I have been sewing, re-purposing, and thrifting.

One of my favourite new additions to the master bedroom is “the wall of us”. I have always been a fan of gallery walls so I decided to make one devoted to Steve and I. Frames can be pricey so I sifted through some local thrift stores looking for ones with interesting detailing. For seven frames I only spent $40! I had some sample pots of paint kicking around which corresponded with the colours in my master bedrooms so I went to work to paint over the gaudy gold frames.

I’m heading in the direction of “romantic vintage modern” (if that is such a thing) in our bedroom. To this purpose, I did a shabby chic finish on the frames. I simply did one thinnish coat of paint on the frames to mostly cover up the gold but leave a bit of glimmer showing. I decided to go with mostly black and white prints to fit in with my vintage vibe.

I'm not ready to show too much of this room. As I said before, it's a bit of a work in process. Like what should I do with the ugly record player which we so enjoy listening to?

I’m not ready to show too much of this room. As I said before, it’s a bit of a work in progress. Like what should I do with the ugly record player which we so enjoy listening to?

In this picture you can get a slightly better look at the "shabby chic" paint finish. Wall colour: cool cucumber by Benjamin Moore.

In this picture you can get a slightly better look at the “shabby chic” paint finish. Wall colour: cool cucumber by Benjamin Moore.

This wall show cases a collection of some of our best memories: our wedding, camping trips to the Yukon, Oregon, California, our trip to Europe, holding our first born. It is a celebration of our friendship, the path we have made in this life together and the blessings we have shared. The kids like looking at it too and Sofia loves to hear about how she was “in mommy’s tummy” in this picture or that.

But know what’s sad? We couldn’t find a single picture of just the two of us since our children were born. For reference, that’s almost three and a half years. Our marriage is all the stronger for having produced these beautiful little human beings but this was a reminder that it is not just the raising of gracious children or the creation of a master retreat that should be a priority. You and me babe. We are important too.

That seems kinda terrible to write down, to voice a recognition of our own importance, but it’s true. It is far too easy to forget that in order to take good care of our little ones we need to take good care of ourselves and our marriages. This gallery wall is a delightful reminder to me of the beauty of us, together, and an inspiration for future togetherness.

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Filed under At home, DIY Projects, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family