Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Picture This

At some point we decided that the board and batten we put on our living room wall wasn't enough. No, it needed more.

For two years in our apartment we barely touched the walls and in our own home I think we've just been uncertain about pictures. We don't have a lot of practice hanging things and we put all that time into painting every room...

So after putting up a meager selection of things we finally decided to jump in and do something a little bigger.

Enter, the Picture Wall.

The Picture Wall has been employed by many a DIYer to fill awkward spaces, bring excitement to a boring wall, show off all of the exciting places they've visited, or simply copy other currently trendy DIYers...

Anywho, Meredith found an awesome clearance sale on some nicely sized white frames (they were like $4 a pop!) at Michael's and snapped up a few in a couple different sizes. This whole project was actually a bit of a whirlwind since the sale was only for that weekend and we wanted to make sure we liked the set up and number of frames before the sale ended. That way if we needed a few more we could still grab them at the same sale price.

We started by tracing the frames onto brown paper and cutting out a bunch of them as templates. We taped them to the wall in various arrangements to get a feel for what we liked.

We quickly realized this would be harder than it looked.

What was this supposed to be?

A little better.

After trying numerous different options, including a more "random" style (which Meredith did not approve of), at least one that we dismissed because it looked too much like a gallery wall, and a couple that looked (quote) "too much like a cloud", we settled on a fairly basic design that we felt used the space well and fit in with the surroundings too.

This design did require us to buy some more frames (I think just 2 more of the smaller size) but without them it just didn't fill the space like we felt it needed too.

Once we had an arrangement we liked we set to measuring everything, checking our spacing, leveling things out, and marking nail holes on the paper (They're not centered between the ceiling and the Board & Batten because we still want to add crown moulding). I hammered nails in with the paper templates still up and then just ripped the templates off... like a boss.

We put the frames up right away even though we didn't have pictures to go in them yet because, you know, why not?

Yay! No blank wall anymore! We picked through our family photos until we had a selection we liked, uploaded them to the Target website, and had them printed out in the store.

I think the total cost of this project (including printing the pictures) clocks in at a little over $50 which is pretty decent considering it would have been over a hundred bucks if those frames had been regularly priced! We both like the fact that with the current arrangement we can add to it if we want to without it looking overly crowded but it also still looks pretty full now. We also had no idea arranging them would be so difficult. Every time we moved one to fix one area it would make another area look funny. With this project under our belt maybe we'll start covering the rest of the house with pictures! Or maybe not, but it at least makes us feel a little more confident about picture placement.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Moody Blues


The above is my brain right now. The summer heat has finally fried it. Maybe that's why perusing snowy, Nordic-themed items has been so soothing. Also, taking a big step and changing the paint color in Grayson's room from this:

Apparently we dislike this color so much
we didn't even take a real "after" shot.

to this:


feels very cool and refreshing. (Also, sorry, these pictures are in no way "styled" and the lighting is terrible. We were in one of those "Just...take pictures! Get it done!" moods.)

It looks a little dark now, but we think that once we add some light, airy curtains and accent things, it'll lighten the feel of the room. 

We really lucked out with this paint, we grabbed it a few weekends ago when Ace Hardware had their "Buy one gallon, get one gallon free!" deal. (We also picked up the white we used to finish our Board and Batten)

It's the first time we've used a Clark & Kensington brand paint to do a room (we're usually Behr people. Aahh! Bear People!) and, while we did notice some differences, for the most part, we liked it. 

When we painted this room yellow a few months ago, we were painting over a pinky-beige that the sellers had used for every room in the house (we called it "band-aid beige"). Yellow over beige? No problem! Oh, how naive we were. It took us three coats, two whole gallons of paint and there were still spots where the beige showed through. But by that point we had already decided that we had chosen the wrong color and were not willing to invest in more of it just to finish. Neither were we willing to jump right in to painting it an entirely different color. So, the room stayed butter yellow for a few months while we saved to replenish our painting budget. 

Finding a new color was fairly easy. We had toyed around with the idea of a blue-green room before, but decided against it in favor of the brighter yellow. Well, this time we trusted our instinct and, when we got our free gallon from Ace, had them color match Plumage by Martha Stewart.

It looks a little washed out here, but on the walls, as you can see, it's quite bold. 

Clark & Kensington is not "no VOC" , only "low VOC" which we don't love (Behr is "no VOC") but the coverage of this paint was A-ma-zing. One gallon, two coats did....the entire room.


I did a dance. 

Aside: we left that ugly, jagged strip of unpainted wall around the ceiling on purpose. Experience has taught us that we are not the tidiest of painters (even with tape) around the ceiling and, since we will be putting up crown molding in here anyway, we opted to leave a little seam. Yes, it's tacky and unattractive, but we thought it was preferable to a smudgy ceiling. For us, anyway. Not recommending it as a "new look". 

In addition to new paint, we also have some awesome mood boards to share! 

My sister-in-law has really been helping to keep us inspired and energetic about Grayson's room. I'm so grateful. There are many days when I open the door and think, "Did the toys give birth to MORE toys last night while we slept? I will never conquer this room. Toys, you've won." 

But then I pull up these Mood Boards and I feel re-energized. 

The first two are kind of what we are going for now and the third one is updated a bit for when Alice is a little older and they're sharing a room. It's nice to see how the look can evolve. 

We have already made an Ikea run for those curtains and a sheepskin. And we are planning another - I need that duvet cover!  

It's exciting to see this room coming together. Grayson likes everyone spending so much time in his room and he also appreciates all the Frozen songs I sing while I'm in there. 

...Actually, that's a lie. 

He always (every time!) says: "I'm just Grayson and you're just Mamma and don't sing that song."

How long do you think it will be before we, as a society, can say "let it go" without bursting into song?

My money's on 1,000 years...