2.22.2015

Mini Makeover :: Stenciled Headboard Feature Wall



Last year, when my husband and I became new homeowners, I had a list of about a hundred different things I needed/wanted for the house and a million different decorating visions playing out in my mind. Slowly but surely, things are piecing together as we're creating a home for our little family of 5. Being budget conscious, we've tried to find ways to make this home our own without breaking the bank. I'm no stranger to garage sales, estates sales, logging time on Craigslist, and reusing/repurposing what we already have. That said, after many unsuccessful searches for the perfect headboard, I decided to lean toward more nontraditional routes. My thought: headboards are luxury items, not a necessity. At this time, I can't justify spending hundreds on a piece of furniture that serves no function and is merely decorative. I know the hubby is happy about that. It is probably the last thing on my list. Yet at the same time, I really dislike the empty wall where the headboard should be. I wanted something different...and big..and a focal point in the room. Problem is, it's not really safe to hang anything there, especially anything substantial, that could potentially be the cause of some head injuries. Thank goodness for pinterest! At some point, I remembered seeing a huge statement wall with framed wall-paper and thought that would be the perfect solution. But after searching for the perfect wall paper (and there's some really fantastic stuff out there...with textured and fabric varieties), I realized it would end up costing just as much as an actual headboard!!! Plus, I hear it's quite the pain to install. So no brainer, the wall paper option was out. I ran through other options...decals? Nope, giant stickers should not cost a small fortune...and I wanted more creative freedom. Painted mural? Nope, I have neither the time nor the talent of a mural artist. Stencils? It does allow for some creative freedom, it's budget-friendly, time-friendly, and can achieve the look of wall paper. No brainer!

Bring on the weekend project!



I found the perfect stencil from Royal Design Studio. I'm a huge fan of herringbone, so when I saw this "herringbone shuffle", my search was over. I'm also a sucker for ombre, so all I needed was two contrasting colors of paint.


 

I just grabbed two sample containers of Valspar in white and the darkest grey they had. Every shade in between, was up to me to mix. This is more than enough paint for the entire project. I think I used maybe 1/5 of the jar. And each jar costs less than $3. I purchased stencil brushes for this, but I know any clean, flat edged brush would've been just fine for the job.

Now that you have your supplies, and your blank wall, let's get started!


Draw a horizontal line where you want the top of your frame to be. Make sure it's level. We used the window frames and the molding on the ceiling and measured from there. Then find the center of the line and draw an intersecting vertical line. Again, make sure it is level and straight and centered.

Start the stencil from the center and go outward. *This is important: The edge of the pattern should be lined up on that center vertical line, not the edge of the stencil sheet.* Either side is fine as long as you're going out from the center. Use painters tape to adhere the stencil to the wall.

I stenciled by section, starting from 1. Working outward from the center made more sense to me. That way, I knew the entire wall would be centered and I didn't have to measure exactly where the outer edges would be. I alternated between right and left sides to allow the freshly painted sections to dry before adding to it. 



I chose to go with an ombre effect so I started the top with just pure grey, gradually mixing in the lighter shades of grey as I went down. And at the very bottom, I went with the pure white. In several places, I put highly contrasting shades next to one another. This was pretty random because that's how I like it, but if you preferred the pattern to be more uniform, that would be easy to do as well. Also, I ended up using the stencil 4x across, spanning just a bit longer than our king sized bed. It's nice it worked out that way, but if you needed a smaller width, you can just stencil in a portion  and leave off the rest. That's why it made more sense to me to go from the center out.


The frame is optional, but I feel it adds the perfect finishing touch. We went with unfinished wooden molding. They come in 8ft segments and were measured and cut at a 45-degree angle on the ends to frame together nicely. We purchased 4 and they were $4.96 each. You don't need to do the math to know that this is far cheaper than buying a custom wooden picture frame, especially one of this massive size. We just cut, sanded, and used a "driftwood grey" wood stain to finish these before adding them to the wall. The adhesive he used was liquid nails.


My handy husband was the one responsible for the trim. He first nailed each piece of trim at the very center--not all the way in, but just enough to temporarily hold the trim in place. This is for two purposes: 1) he could then pivot the trim around that center to make sure it is leveled, and 2) it helps to hold the trim in place while the liquid nails adhesive sets. Once the adhesive is applied and trim is in place, he also temporarily nailed in the ends so that the trim is firmly flush against the wall while it dries.  We waited a day or two before removing those temporary nails.

The wall makes a great photo backdrop!


And guess what, we're done! Blank wall to focal wall for less than $90 total! You can do this anywhere in your house, really. Behind a desk, next to the breakfast nook, kid's room, creative corner, craft area, etc.



 If we should ever rearrange and move the bed to another spot, this wall would still make a great feature wall behind a desk or seating arrangement. And if we get bored of the wall altogether, it would be easy to remove the trim and paint over the whole thing. Fresh canvas!

But for now, I absolutely love it! To complete the mini makeover, don't forget the finishing touches! I really, really love green. For me, it brings an instant breath of fresh air to any space. It also happens to be mine and my husband's favorite color.

 

Can you tell I'm ready for spring???


Now half of our bedroom is complete! My goal for the master bedroom is for it to become a relaxing retreat for us. I want to walk into it feeling like I just stepped into a freshly fluffed hotel suite...but even better, more comfortable, and more inviting than a hotel because it's familiar...because it's home. With three small children running around, peace and quiet is pretty scarce around here. I need a relaxing space that is clear of clutter and toys. There are designated spaces for kid stuff, like the bottom shelf where we have a few of their books, and small baskets in each night stand to catch any and all kid clutter. This room is getting there and it makes me so happy. I hope my husband appreciates it too. ;) We'll tackle the other half of the bedroom in another episode of Mini Makeover. 'Til next time, friends!

Which part of the house is your special retreat spot? 




1.25.2015

Currently Crushing :: Watercolor Art

http://www.minted.com/product/wall-art-prints/MIN-QY9-GNA/watercolor-inkblot-1?ccId=235511&org=title

During this past year that my husband and I have been in our first home together, I have been having such a great time discovering my design aesthetic through my adventures in home decor! I'm always on the look out for fun, interesting things to make our home "our home"...and even when I'm not thinking about home decor, my subconscious mind is doing a living room makeover for the eleventieth time.

One of the things I realized about myself in this decor adventure is that I really love watercolor art. There's just something about it that resonates with me more than most other art mediums. I love the organic nature of how the colors flow together, lack of well defined lines, and the incredible gradient of dark and light shades that can be created with a single color! And color without form can elicit so much emotion while leaving everything to the imagination!

Is it strange to get so excited about color?

Needless to say, I'm always on the lookout for great watercolor art that I can incorporate into our home. My current project is to put the finishing touches on our master bedroom and I have found some fantastic art prints from minted! Here are some prints I've been eyeing...hopefully, one or two of these will make the final cut. I'm pretty sure I'm getting that ink-blot print, as it is a fun nod to my psychology roots.

Geometric + all of my favorite colors? Yes, please!

http://www.minted.com/product/wall-art-prints/MIN-7YJ-GNA/hexagon-with-dots-in-blue?ccId=250849&org=title

This one reminds me of relaxing in the ocean and the happy colors evoke all the great vacation memories we've had.

http://www.minted.com/product/wall-art-prints/MIN-7HG-GNA/float?ccId=249063&org=title


Or a sweet daily reminder of what's important in my life...

http://www.minted.com/product/wall-art-prints/MIN-41E-GNA/love

Have you been to minted? Not only do they have gorgeous work by artists from around the world, they also do adorable prints for all special occasions, like Minted's new save the date cards.

Which of these should I go with?? 
Stay tuned for which prints I'll choose for the bedroom makeover!





1.15.2015

Where to begin...


2015...it still seems a bit surreal to type that set of numbers together in that sequence. The last time I officially wrote a date down, I believe it was 2007. It was the year I completed my dissertation, which I guess is pretty official. It was also the year I had my first baby, another rather official event in my life. Oh, and I also got to marry my soulmate that year. This was not the correct order of events, but you get the idea. Big changes happened and they all happened that year. I then officially decided to suspend my career path and pursue this full time parenting gig. And the next thing I know, it's 20friggin15!!!

I don't know exactly how it is for others, but having kids and being home with them full time tends to make me feel like I'm living in one big blur. The past 7 years has been the quickest 7 years of my life so far. It also raised the bar for being the most challenging yet the most incredible. I have loved almost every minute of it, but if it weren't for my DSLR and phone cameras, I don't think I'd be able to remember any of it. I'm excited for 2015! And this year, I'm going to get a better handle on it.

So we're already well into January and it's time to think about what I need to do this year. First thing I need to do is get organized. Clutter makes me crazy and that is easily done with 3 small kids and their million-part toys. It's also very easy to clutter up a small jewelry studio as you can imagine. And to add to the challenge, I like to surround myself with the things I adore and find beautiful and inspiring. This certainly does not help in my mission to keep things minimal. It's a constant act to maintain balance, but I am a Libra and that is my fate. Stay balanced or die trying. But at least the wall in front of me is organized and ready for action (see photo)! So organization...check! 

Next up is to carve out some time for my business...real actual segments of time. Time that I can actually do work and nothing else. I can't continue doing things minutes here or a half hour there, during nap time, after the kids go to bed at night, or whenever I have a free moment. It's unpredictable, the free time is rare, and my use of it is completely inefficient. One of my biggest frustrations has been feeling like I'm spinning my wheels and I think this is the primary reason why. I have ideas pile up in my mind, then when I get a moment to do work, I feel completely overwhelmed and don't know where to start. So many times, I've gone into my studio, looked around to figure out what I want to work on...then I take a deep breath, exhale, and leave feeling defeated. I'm striving to prevent this from happening this year. I've always been an organized person, but having kids totally kicked that out of the window. I'm generally organized with child-related events and happenings, but everything for me has just been relegated to fitting in where they can, if at all. And I've come to learn that I can't possibly grow a business this way.

And finally, I need to break out of my comfort zone. That means reaching out more, taking more chances, and just doing. It makes me uncomfortable simply thinking about it. But I will never get to the next level if I stay comfortable.

Let's do this!!!

What are your goals for the year? And what do you do to stay on top of everything?






11.29.2014

It's Small Business Saturday!

Thank you for supporting small businesses like eNVe Designs! To return the love and gratitude, please enjoy 40% off your entire order in my etsy shop!

Have a beautiful weekend!

10.08.2014

Recap of the KC Blogger Meetup Workshop :: How to Beautify Your Blog


Last weekend, I attended the first KC Blogger Meetup workshop. The topic was How to Beautify Your Blog. It couldn't have come at a better time because that's exactly what I'm trying to do...breathe some new life into this old blog of mine. If you haven't been here in a while, you'll notice that I've given it a little make-over! I wanted to match the look and feel of my main website, but ultimately, I wanted to have a fresh and airy space that would inspire me to write and blog more. So one step in the desired direction!
  

First to speak was Sarah of One Sparrow Creative. She is a Kansas City lifestyle portrait photographer whose work I've been admiring since I discovered her on instagram. She covered photography basics, including lighting, editing, and manual mode. As someone who takes about a million pictures a day, you would think that I would've ventured into manual mode by now, but nope. 

I have taken a couple of intro photography workshops in the past, but for some reason, my brain can't make sense of the counter intuitive (to me, anyway) settings for ISO, apperture, shutter speed, depth of field....or are two of those the same thing?? Ugh..see?? And for a couple of those settings, the higher the number, the smaller the opening or the shorter the depth or something opposite of what my brain wants to think it is. I'm not sure why I have to think so hard to process that information, but there seems to be a black hole in my brain where manual mode skills are supposed to be. So naturally, I gravitate to the wonderful and easy world of auto mode. Plus with the magic of photoshop, I can tweak the light balance in the levels setting and voila--a decent enough photo to get by on. But yes, I realize that if I want to take the next step into beautifying my photos, I need to switch to manual.

I'm so glad Sarah shared some of her photography tips and tricks, and am very glad I took notes. Hopefully I'll be able to share some of my ventures into manual mode in a future blog post, because that would mean that I didn't chicken out again and finally put things into practice.
 
  

Next up was Karrie, creator and artist of Happy Habitat, who then shared her success story. For me, it's always such a treat to meet local artists and small business owners that have found a way to keep doing what they love. And she was so sweet to chat with me and answer my business questions. I have zero technical business knowledge and often feel really intimidated by it all. So I really appreciated the fact that she took the time to give me some really useful and truthful pieces of advice. I'm trying to soak it all in and apply everything that I can.


To close out the afternoon, Lauren of Creative Reasoning laid down the laws on how to achieve a visually pleasing blog. I never gave much thought to font type, size, and color, or the colors used on a blog background beyond whether or not my color palette coordinates nicely, but as it turns out, these elements are pretty crucial. Less is more. I will need to go take another look at my layout and potentially make some more edits.

So with this refresher, I think I'm on my way to a better blog! And lookie here--I actually created a blog post! ;)

Thanks to the ladies of KC Blogger Meetup for a wonderful afternoon! If you're a KC area blogger and aren't yet a part of this group, you should definitely join!