Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fierce Decorating Lesson #2: Don't Be Afraid of Color

Color is your friend, it's not something to be feared when it comes to decorating. I've been in quite a few homes where the walls are stark white, the carpet is tan and all the furniture is in neutral colors. If this is your style and what you enjoy that is completely fine, but a lot of times people are "scared" of bringing color into their homes. Not in the om-my-god-I-think-the-red-walls-are-gonna-come-to-life-and-eat-me kind of way, but more in the not knowing how much color to add and not wanting to go overboard (which believe me, I have done before - just ask my husband about the Barney-purple wall in our first apartment) kind of way. It's understandable, but color doesn't have to be scary. I happen to like a lot of color, but it isn't for everyone. Start off small and see how a little bit of color suits you and grow from there. One of my favorite design concepts is the accent wall. Instead of painting an entire room brandywine red, pick one wall and paint that. It sounds odd, but that one wall adds so much warmth to the room and gives it an eclectic feel. You also don't need to get all new furniture - another one of my favorite decorating tricks are slip covers. There are so many options for slip covers nowadays that you can get them to match any decor, and the best part is when you're sick of them, pull them off and grab a different one! If you're really crafty you can make your own slip covers, but if not www.SureFit.net is a great source! You can also dress up a boring couch or chair with throw blankets and pillows, another easy way to add splashes of color without having to fully commit. There are so many little ways to warm up your decor and keep the nightmares away ;)

In honor of this lesson I want to feature an awesome friend of mine who is definitely NOT afraid of color - Destry, the beauty and brains behind PZCreations. Her and her husband recently bought a new home and the transformation they have done on it is AMAZING! Their bold choices have breathed new life into the home and it is definitely a design inspiration! Destry explains the transformation process below:

I have always loved bright bold colors. I knew when I was a little kid that when I bought a house it would be my techno colored crayon box. Well my husband and I were lucky enough to buy our first home in February of this year. We have been working non-stop since.
Here is our before and after living room/kitchen. Our kitchen and living room are one long room so I knew the colors would have to flow together.

We started out by painting the walls above the wainscoting a flat turquoise. We really have no idea why we chose turquoise. We kept it this way for awhile with just the top parts of the walls painted. As time went by we started hating the off white color that was left on the cabinets and wainscoting...so we decided to paint it black!!! The bottom of the walls became a glossy black which took forever to paint. I painted it all by hand with a brush...no roller. It has fine lines in it and the roller just wasn't cutting it. I painted the base of the kitchen cabinets the same turquoise but instead of flat I used semi-gloss. This is because glossy paints are more durable and stand up to water and grease which is a must in a kitchen. The cabinet doors became the same glossy black as the wainscoting.
I spray painted the ugly rust colored cabinet hardware silver and we put up a new art deco silver light fixture.

This is my before and after bathroom. I call it my Art Deco Dollhouse bathroom.
As you can see, we had salmon colored tiles and tub to work with. YUCK!

We started by using a hammer, chisel and crowbar to remove the tile from the tub surround and vanity counter. Great way to relieve stress plus it's just fun. Make sure you wear protective eye wear and gloves. Bits of tile go everywhere! The only thing we didn't do ourselves was replace the tub. We had that done professionally and once I saw all the work the plumbers had to do there is no way we could have done it ourselves. Once the tub was in I tiled the tub surround. I chose the black and white contrasting tile because contrasting colors are an ongoing theme in art deco design. My husband and I had never tiled before so as I say we just kind of winged it. We had tile, tile adhesive, grout, trowel, grout float, tile cutter and chipper. Yep, you need a lot of stuff to do this job. I found this website helpful : http://www.floorfacts.com/installing-ceramic-wall-tile.asp
I trimmed the tub surround in decorative glossy black wood to finish it off.
We tiled the vanity the same way as the tub surround. My husband replaced the sink for me. The sink was only $40 at Lowe's it was an awesome deal! My awesome decorative mirror I bought at a flea market for $18. It was an ugly rusty gold color, I used metallic silver paint to bring it back to life. I love finding good deals that can be fixed up for almost nothing. After all the plumbing and tiling I got to the fun part which for me is painting. The cabinets became a dollhouse inspired light pink. I then glazed them to give them a soft finish. The walls are a dark, glossy gray. Always use a durable, glossy paint when painting a bathroom. The last few steps were easy. Making curtains and hanging artwork. I never thought I could be so in love with a bathroom but I am!!!

Thank you so much Destry for sharing your gorgeous new home with us! I hope you have inspired people to bust out the paint cans and have some fun :)
Be sure to check out Destry's Etsy store for amazing accessories

Friday, May 1, 2009

Featured Artist: Things That Bling!!

Miss Mandy is the beauty and brains behind the Etsy shop ThingsThatBling. This spunky chick makes a multitude of awesome stuff including screen printed bath and kitchen towels, quirky potholders, silly plush monsters and some of the most gorgeous beadwork jewelry I have seen. Beyond being a DIYer, she is also a molder of young musical minds and a musician in the band Honeycreeper. Mandy was one of the first people I met when I came on to the DIY scene and she has left a lasting impression. Not only do I admire her for her amazing handmade items but also I love her sense of humor and candid honesty.
I happen to be the proud owner of ThingsThatBling kitchen towels, potholders, and a silly monster so I know first hand that Mandy is full of talent and I wanted to share some of her kickassery with you! Mandy was nice enough to chat with me for a few minutes so I could pick her brain a bit:

FF: Ok, first question is an easy one: Why home decor?

MANDY: I have always used things that made me smile to decorate my apartment, room, house, wherever. I often used old toys and random weirdness, but then I realized I could start actually making home items. Things people use daily that can give them a chuckle...hence the potholders.

FF: Do you find humor inspires a lot of your creations?

MANDY: YES! Humor inspires almost everything I do, but I also have a very dark side. I guess the bottom line to me is that life can suck pretty hard, so i want to help people to smile in any way I can...unless their douchebags...hahaha!

FF: Well, douchebags need cool home decor too! You are also a musician, does that reflect in your designs at all?

MANDY: My band merch is actually how I started making stuff...stuff being the "technical" term. haha! I had screenprinted for years before I made an etsy shop, and my first monsters were ones I sold at shows. The skull towels are actually prints I made for the band...so i guess in that way it reflects being a musician. Just for the record...I have nothing against douchebags or any other feminine products

FF: Any plans for more home goods in the future?

MANDY: YES! Because I am so anal retentive though, I haven't made any new designs I am ready to sell yet. Things I have been working on are rugs, aprons, tablecloths and tissue holders. Things that don;t take massively long because I have a short attention span!

FF: I can't wait to see them and add to my Things That Bling collection! What advice would you give to other home decor DIYers who are just starting out?

MANDY: hhhmmm, I think I would go with think out of the box. Try to take everyday items and make them more interesting. There can be awesomeness in every corner of your home if you can imagine it there, ya know? And of course...keep trying! It takes time to find your clients! You can be the most talented person in the world, but the world is full of people, so its up to you to seek out those who are like minded!

FF: Excellent advice. Thanks so much for your candidness! One last question...stolen from James Lipton who stole it from someone else - what is your favorite curse word?

MANDY: hmmmmmmmmm...gotta be cocksucker. yup hahaha

FF: lmao, thanks for your time.

MANDY: thank YOU!

Here are just a few examples of the amazing creations you can find in Mandy’s shop.