master bedroom makeover

Every night for about 6 weeks we slept in our bed surrounded very closely by our dressers. Like I mentioned in my last post, I couldn’t seem to get the mail let alone paint a whole room a couple months ago so it took me way longer than it should have to finish our bedroom. I wouldn’t say it’s completely finished now but man o’ man is it way better than before. Red trim and flower border, be gone!

Here’s what came with the house: floral wallpaper and blood red trim.

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Once the wallpaper was down, I painted the walls with two coats of a Valspar Ultra Paint + Primer that I found on the sale rack in Lowe’s. The trim took a lot longer since it was red to begin with. If I remember correctly I did two coats of oil-based primer and two coats of Olympic semi-gloss white paint.

Tip: To save myself some time I used an angled brush with a short handle to do all of the edges. I only needed tape on the floors to prevent anything from getting on the wood. It would have taken me so much longer if I had taped the whole room too. Get this brush and a steady hand, your patience with thank you.

Six coats and many hours later it was done.

My favorite part is decorating so once the walls were dry, I got to it.

The first thing I did was hang the curtains. The sellers actually left these hanging down in the den. In the future I’d like to sew some big blackout curtains but for now these white curtains are great. They let the light filter in nicely during the day and give us enough privacy at night.

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I already had my bedding. Instead of buying a matchy matchy bed set like I would normally do, about a year ago I went to HomeGoods with my mom and pieced together these colors and textures. The sea foam green quilt is a nice wavy pattern that I thought contrasted well with the gray geometric shams. I added the little accent pillow for more contrast, a different texture, and a little glam. 🙂

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The art above the bed is a collection of random pieces I had up in the attic. To balance out the dark furniture in the room I used lots of different frames. I’ve got a photographic print that my photography teacher gave me, one of our wedding photos, and two paintings I did in grad school. I love seeing them and remembering those moments in time.

Oh and I really just eye-balled the layout. I had a picture in my head so I arranged the pieces on the bed to see if it would work first. Then I mentally measured where the center of the grouping was (on the left side of the big, wood frame) and centered that above the bed. Then I hung the last three pieces about 2 inches from the middle frame.

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Randomly I remembered that I had an old craigslist rocking chair up in the attic so I brought that down to use up an awkward corner of the room. I don’t use it to sit in really but it’s a nice place to lay out my clothes for the next day.

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And last but not least I give you Belle’s fancy new bed oh and some good storage. The lady cries at night so we moved her to our room to shut her up. 🙂 The basket underneath the bedside table is one of two that I found thrifting one day. It holds my iPad charger, old magazines, and my wrinkle release spray.

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It’s amazing what a little (or a lot) of paint and a few decor items can do!! It’s sooo nice to walk into this room everyday. I love it.

Future fixes: New rug (this one is leftover from the seller), paint the basket, paint the lamp and give it a new shade, new lighting on the ceiling, new curtains, and other stuff I’ve probably forgotten.

Nothing like a semi-completed room to give you that motivation you need to tackle your next project! Onto lots of future that needs refinishing. I really am pumped though! I’ve got lots of ideas brewing.

personalizing some store-bought decor

A little note before I start -> I added an ‘Eats’ tab up next to my ‘About’ page. It has a list of all the food posts I’ve written. If you’re looking for one in particular, you can find it there!

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The other day I was at Target scanning the sale items per usual. Some decor pieces were calling my name so I picked up two.

Al and I obviously both have ‘A’ names so when I saw this big letter, the graphic designer in me had to buy it. And the motto in our house is ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ so there you go. I swiped these babies off the shelf within minutes of seeing them. Ha.

I knew I wanted to alter them since we’ve had enough of dark wood in this house. Like the past two home projects, I painted the pieces to help them fit into our progressing decor.

I roughed up the wood with sandpaper to help the paint bond before starting. Then I painted a couple coats of some colored acrylic paint that I had laying around as well as latex wall paint.

A little tip! I learned a ton about art while in school but for some reason I really remember this specific ‘rule’ very well: Don’t gunk up your paintbrush like I did in the image on the left. The paint will collect where the bristles attach and become unusable. It’ll also hurt your brush over time because it’s tough to get all the paint out when it’s jammed up into the metal. If that happens, the paint can dry and clump up the smooth bristles. Keeping the paint toward the end of the bristles will keep things cleaner and give you a nice, crisp stroke! Interesting, eh?

So anyways, I painted the ‘A’ white on the front and yellow on the sides. The yellow acts as a little or large pop of color depending on the angle. Fun!

With the saying, I painted the frame white and the original dark red trim a messy hot pink.

I’m normally a clean, straight lines kinda gal but I like the rough look (for example the white on the ‘A’ isn’t uniform) in combination with more contemporary colors. It’s a nice little twist. More homey perhaps?

I’ve got a lot of yellow going on in this living room so my new additions will probably make there way to the foyer or another room but for now I’m just admiring the results. It’s crazy what a little paint can do! Keep a look out for those end of the isle deals at Target. You never know what you might find!

How have you spruced up your space?

volunteering – day 4

Remember how I like to force my family to do art and crafts with me? I talked about it here. Well today I got my sister to join me in a little project!

We used our creativity to help brighten the day of sick and/or injured children. How you ask? By sending them fun cards!
I don’t know about you but I love getting cards. It makes my day, especially with a little personalized note inside.

We had to keep the cards pretty generic so they can be given to anyone but I’m sure the children enjoy them. I even added an ‘in Virginia’ to my signature so they know that the card was sent all the way across the country to them in California.

I broke out all the markers, pencils, and colored paper that I could find. Then we went to town.

my sister stenciling

It was a pretty quick project but fun!

Of course I wish we could go see the kids but a cross country trip isn’t possible. 🙂 I actually looked into volunteering at one of the children’s hospitals here in Richmond but they require a one year commitment which I can’t give since I want to keep volunteering at different places. The good news is, I think there are special events where they need volunteers once in a while. I’ll be looking more into that soon.

the results

If you’d like to give this project a try, here’s the link! Instead of spending Sunday afternoon just staring at the TV why not throw it some coloring while you’re at it? That’s what we did! 🙂

i heart art

I lucked out BIG time. My last day at my current job is this Friday because I got a NEW one already!

Since this is a major change in my life, I thought I’d talk a little about the past – how I got to my current career and how I’ll be continuing certain aspects of it.

A reflection, if you will.

Growing up I was often creating. I even entered my art into contests at the ripe old age of 10! Hardcore. I tried everything from cross-stitch to pastels and loved it all. Note: my mom STILL has a few kitchen cabinets packed with all things arts and crafts. Let’s hope the grandchildren (no, I’m not pregnant) will be able to use up those supplies!

odd, old school art projects

I took a fun art class in high school and then one in college that really pushed me towards art as my focus. Well, that’s not exactly true. I majored in chemistry but that’s another story we don’t need to get into! I guess what those art classes did was just confirm passion and maybe (subconsciously) open my eyes a little to my options.

After leaving chemistry and then computer science in college, I settled on graphic design. I chose design because I loved computers and I loved art. Do a little math to add the two together and ta-da, you’ve got graphic design.

In school I was in heaven. Three hours of an afternoon sculpture class? Yes please! Three hours of a graphic design class? Yes please! Three hours of a 7:00 am drawing class with a naked human contorting in front of you? Eh, not so much. I have to say, it’s a good thing my husband never took a class like that. I would have never met him because he’d be dead after giggling for three hours straight. 🙂

college projects - painting, design, & photography

Now I have a design job and you’d think it’d be ideal but I’ve come to realize that I enjoy creating art specifically and not design (as much). It’s more personal and you can do whatever you want!

I should have come to this conclusion a while ago because I have a massive collection of personal paintings, prints, and photographs at my house. These are the culmination of many years of random urges to do art any day of the week. Family members can attest to me forcing them into doing projects with me. Right Mom? Sister? Husband?

So since I’m changing careers to a completely different field, I thought I’d continue my art and open an Etsy shop! Makes sense right? Now (hopefully) all of the pieces will end up in loving homes and not in a giant heap on my living room floor! I’m a genius.

texture, texture, and more texture

This won’t happen over night since I’ll be creating/selling a new series or two and I’d like to build up the inventory but it’s exciting nonetheless!

I have lots of big changes and projects on my plate. It’ll be interesting to see how I juggle it all but I’m up for the challenge. I’m on my way to a fulfilling career and life. Stay tuned!