I love lamp

For freelancing, its important to have a good “office space” at your casa. Especially for me. i get very distracted and need a creative, calming space to be able to really sit down and get to work. I got this glass lamp from Target a few months ago and its been a life saver – especially when i work late at night which tends to happen a lot. I have to have some really nice lighting.

Its been such a great lamp but i saw this shade at Target and i just had to have it. I made googly eyes at Kenny as i held the shade like a baby. He said “it definitely looks like you” and that was the end of it. She was comin home with me! Lamp shades are a great way to bring color into a space and i definitely am a sucker for yellow these days. And pattern on pattern? I dig it. I dont think i could ever have too much pattern. Plus having a small grey pattern with a large yellow one just makes me happy, ill be honest. Plus my little wooden dude loves it, so its a done deal.

Bam.

-Rachel

Decorating 101: Walls

So Ive had multiple people tell me this week that i need to come over and decorate. First off, heck yes! I love to decorate, especially when its with someone elses credit card. What I’m realizing is how hard it is to move into a house with horrible paint color… throw your furniture wherever it best fits and then to be overwhelmed with how the heck to start decorating. So i put together a few tips! The most important thing to know is that its going to take time. Its not going to change overnight unless you have the money to do so. Even then, its better to just gather pieces you love, pillows you adore and random crap to make your house (or apartment) a home!

So first up, we are talking about cho walls. This is the easiest way to change up the feel of the room. And sometimes drastically. You can add paint, wall paper, shelving, pictures or art… this is a great way to add some color and have a little fun!

Paint

My first advice is not to go too crazy. or too boring. I’ve been house hunting and some houses are completely white… not a single hint of color on a single wall. And theres other houses where you feel like you’re walking through a rainbow. And thats not a good thing. Feel free to go bold on one wall, but not 20. Not sure about what color you want? Check out My Colortopia! This is a great new website where you can import an image and it comes up with multiple corresponding colors for you. For example, i uploaded this image from Desire to Inspire.

I uploaded the image and then it asked me to select a part of the room that i love in particular. It came up with a few selections of colors. Pick each of those colors and it comes up with a full color palate for you. This is a great option when you have no clue or maybe you like one rug or accessory in particular but youre not sure what colors would go great as paint colors. So definitely check it out, its a great resource!

A coat of paint can do wonders to a space. West Elm turned this boring office into a cozy space with a great deep ocean blue.

Your color choice always determines the mood of the room. If you want a calm, relaxing “spa-like” environment, go for lighter colors like sea green.

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Also dont be afraid to try some crazy colors. Maybe a bold yellow, green or even purple. I wouldnt suggest your whole house be eggplant, but one accent wall in the bathroom would bring out a nice relaxing space to come home to.

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Wallpaper

How about some wallpaper? Theres a ton of really great new modern wall paper like what MadebyGirl used in her office over at Graham and Brown. Isnt this so cute?!

Stencils

What about stenciling? I love the look of a high glossed stencil over a matte paint color. Does this look classy or what!? I’ve heard it takes a while but its always worth it. Image from Cutting Edge Stencils.

I love everything about this shot. Such a pretty wall!

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How about a chevron accent wall? How can you not love this!? Adorbs.

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Shelving

The best way to keep your house from feeling like your home is to have big blank walls. I know that you’ve got a ton of really cute pictures that need to be printed and framed. How about a cute mirror to add some depth. Even an old poster could be spruced up by throwin a fancy frame on it. Put up some floating shelves and add some decor, frames and accessories.

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Frames

Over at Young House Love they snagged some inexpensive frames from ikea that are huge and square. Then they simply added colored paper! Its really that easy to get a fun pop of color.

You can always change it later to polaroids or photos.

Art

You dont have to be a millionaire to have some great art. Etsy has really made some incredible art accessible. If you know me, you know i love Mae Chevrette. As must as I’d love an original piece, you can grab a high quality, archival print for less than 50 bucks (depending on what size you get!) $42 bucks for a 16 x 20 of this “Always” print would look just lovely on my walls.

How about 42 bucks for a large 18 x 22 print of this Boston skyline:

And one of my favorite “Bloom” paintings:

All four images above are by Mae Chevrette!

Just get on Etsy and dig around. You can find tons of amazing artists selling either originals or inexpensive prints! Go find YOUR favorite artist!

DIY Art

You could also always make your own art! I am no painter. Read here and you know i just like to push around paint… its more fun than anything for me. But just sometimes i come up with something i enjoy enough to put up on my walls. In this case, my best friend’s wall:

Or these recent fun, small little paintings that add a great splash of color to my office:

Or this piece that i put up in our bedroom. Love maps? Paint one! What do you love? What colors do you love? Its definitely the cheapest way to bring some art into your home.

I’ve even got a piece in my kitchen. If you cant paint walls while in an apartment, a large blue painting is a great way to add some color:

Wall Decor

Theres also other things you can put on your wall other than just paintings. I love adding dimension. Like these wall sculptures that are remarkable affordable bring nature inside and add a lot of fun depth to your walls:

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I also love these antique wall tiles i found for  a few bucks a piece at the City Wide Garage Sale. Just find fun things like this that are interesting or pretty to you and throw them up on the wall. I love the texture and interest those two tiles create.

How about just throw some freakin plants on the wall like here from West Elm. Just make sure you have a ton of light in this space or else you’ll have a lot of dead plants on your wall.

How about a chalkboard and 3D letters. I love this space because the walls are covered… but somehow its still not too much. Love it!

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So get to it! Go grab a bucket of paint and add a little character to your walls.

Also coming up, I’ll be posting Decor 101: Furniture and Decor 101: Accessories. Stay tuned!

-Rachel

16¢ Coasters

So since this ISN’T a wedding blog but instead a DESIGN/DIY blog.. how about some design, shall we? As you know, my obsession love for pinterest gets stronger by the day. So heres a simple project I’ve been wanting to tackle for a while that is cheap and adorbs. By cheap i mean 16 cents. I tried to find the little icon for cents with a C and the line through it, but it doesnt exist on my computer. Because projects whos price total price tag in the cents category really doesnt exist. Except this one. COASTERS!!

I have been either A. ruining all my wooden furniture with rings or B. been using odd objects such as DVD cases or old paint chips as “coasters” which are rather unattractive and usually would end up causing more harm than good. Plus who on earth wants to spend 20 bucks on some coasters?! How about 64¢ total. (yea, i found the cent sign. What up now?) Anyway, so check it… buy how ever many tiles you want – i decided just 4 for now – dont need to get too coaster crazy just yet… I found mine at ol Home Depot though I’m sure they are just as cheap almost anywhere.

You will need: 16¢ tiles

I really dont think it was necessary to photograph tiles…. I’m pretty sure you guys know what 4×4 white tiles look like….

Mod Podge

Paper

Try and get some nice paper in the same color theme… aren’t these so great?! Love em…
 

Step one:

Cut out paper to desired size. Either you can cut a square smaller than the actual tile and center it or cut the paper larger and cover all the edges with paper as well. The top photograph shows what it would look like leaving the sides white. I opted to try out covering the edges as well and it turned out pretty awesome.

Step dos:

Glue the paper on. Do i really need to do all the steps? Pretty sure you can figure those out on you own… but i’ve already started and the steps look so professional all typed out like that…

To avoid bubbles its a good idea to let them set with something heavy on them. I decided to throw on my pretty new hurricanes to have them all dry flat.

Step three:

Once the glue was dry i started to glue the edges. I used a utility knife to trim the edges since scissors just wouldn’t cut it. Bad pun? Yea i thought so… anyway, honestly i just held the edges on till they stuck. No real science there.

Don’t you guys just hate using double sided paper for stuff like this? Always feel like I’m wasting a good side of paper… oh well! So i guess if your impatient you could just wrap a rubber band around them to keep the edges glued down but it really didn’t take more than a minute for it to set. I repeated to all the edges for a nice smooth edge.

Step Four:

Felt feets! I had left over felt so instead of buying felt pads i jut cut out lil feet.. they arent perfect but thats part of the beauty of DIY….

Step Five:

Mod Podge the tops. I did a few layers since my cups tend to get super condensation and i would hate for the paper to get ruined from not being completely covered. By the way, did anyone else think it was “Modge Podge”? Just me? Ok… hmm…

Last step:

Spray with a coat of clear spray paint. Mod Podge tends to get sticky and might cling on to your cups and not want to let go. So just do it… trust me, it works. And voila! You have some unique one-of-a-kind-make-your-friends-jealous coasters! Now you can drink all day! Drink at work, drink at home, drink drink drink! You can drink in the car, you can drink in the shower… Who knew!? Oh the possibilities!

Whelp! I’m going to go have a drink with my spiffy new coasters! *Note: when i refer to drinking, know that i mean water. Oh come on… I’m a bride to be… i’ve gotta get into hot bride shape! Can’t do that drinking Duffys. Yes thats a Simpsons reference. Off to plan more wedding stuff. Hooray!

-Rachel

Office update

I know I’ve been AWOL the last month… theres some intense news comin up that i can’t wait to share! But this should hold you over for now… my office update! This is just part one of many but here ya go! This is what my living room has looked like the last week:

And remember what my office looked like?:

So everything that was in that closet is now on my couch! Here it is in the process of being painted:

And painted:

And the After:

Like my new typewriter? Yay goodwill! ($15 bucks) PLUS it works… who knew?! I am still working on my recycled door desk along with about 12 other projects that i will hopefully post soon. Its super weird to type on my mac after typing on my typewriter… Its kind of like getting off a boat and still feeling like your on the water.

What a difference  a little paint and organization goes, huh?!

-Rachel

Blockprinted Linen

Ok, how have i never heard of John Robshaw textiles??

Using traditional Chinese and Indian dying techniques, John creates incredibly beautiful fabrics, pillows and bed linens. I would love to make some curtains out of these incredible patterns! Or maybe i should reupholster my new computer chair.

Also on his site is “the Souk” (or Market) where he sells authentic merchandise from all over the world. The blankets, marble accessories and beautiful block printed art were my favorites…

That marble elephant would look perfect in my living room…

-Rachel

Bored at work…

Operation organize studio is almost done! woot woot! Super stoked about that one… i’d love to just work from home all the time! So today i decided to work on a small project involving picture frames! Since I’m trying to deck it out with yellow and grey (and being rather unsuccessful) i decided to take matters into my own hands.

Welcome to my office! I may or may not have used my work printer to print out some designs i made… shhh, don’t tell. i use inspiration from random patterns i found online and made my own on illustrator in, you guessed it, yellow and grey! Can you see my little yeti in the bottom left corner? i love that lil guy. I’ll post ALL about where these guys are going soon!

-Rachel

First Painting: Sold! (kind of…)

So i love to paint. I’m not super great at it because its really more the relaxation of it for me. Usually i paint something 20 times over before i ever actually like what comes out of it. Like this red painting:

I just started to paint it just because i felt like painting. Not crazy about it, but i don’t hate it. This one (the map painting on the right)  i LOVE:

Would you even consider a piece with only 2 colors a painting? Well, this next sucker, i can say i am proud of. In fact, its the first piece i sold! Well… could have, I had a “buyer” offer some lovely cash for it. BUT of course, i gave it away. What can i say? She was my best friend and graduating from college… OF COURSE i have to give her an awesome graduation present (for the record, i only say my painting was an awesome present because she was nuts-o about it). Still, the fact that i had a buyer willing to put down the cash… in my head, i sold my first painting!

Here is some good textcha fo ya…

Want some crazy awesome news? This weekend Michael’s was having their 50% off canvas sale..  PLUS i got the hook up to an ADDITIONAL %25 off coupon (that counts even with sales!) So i got 75% off of 3 massive canvases…. soooo i assume there will be lots of painting in my near future!

-Rachel

Sew Rad

Man, i am beyond cheesey these days. Deal with it. Ok so i realized the other day that i never posted about a small little project i did a while back…. my outdoor sectional! Crazy! This was my first furniture build and my first time to sew anything! SO here we go… If you dont already know and love Mrs. Ana White, you definitely need to meet her (and then “accidently” spend 3 hours searching through her site for furniture you  HAVE to build).

Now, I’m a huge outdoor person… always have been. And my last apartment (which i miss dearly now that i live in this yucky boys house) had an AMAZING porch – pretty large AND it overlooked the lake! Seriously breath taking every morning… the issue is… I’d just ahve to stand there. Because again, I’m a recent graduate where the only furniture you have is bean bags and crappy dorm room stuff. Anyway, so i stumbled across this beauty:

*enter heavenly music here*  I HAD to build it. SO i bought wood, borrowed some tools that day and started to build:

And then, voila!

I was super impressed: not only did it look great, it was SUPER sturdy too! So fabric was purchased:

Purchased outdoor fabric for cheap over at Fabric.com.  I then decided to tackle my first sewing project (with the help of Ana again with these outdoor cushion plans, and my mommy, of course!)

Then after about 57 mishaps with staining, sewing and other small disasters, i introduce to you… my first furniture build!:

So then, of course, Ana decides to post an entire outdoor sectional:

GOSH ANA! SERIOUSLY?! But the great thing about this plan, you can build it piece by piece. One end piece here, one center piece there… and you end up with this:

Isn’t she pretty?! I never got a chance to finish the back cushions… and the sad part of the story? Half of her is at my boyfriend’s apartment and the other half is IN THE GARAGE FOR STORAGE! Sad sad sad story…. but this project started my crazy furniture desires to become a reality. This week i refinished an office chair and will finish building my new office desk this week! The key to start building something… just go buy the wood. If you force yourself to do that, you’re just going to have to try! You might suprise yourself….

*All graphics by Ana White

-Rachel

What i really do at my job…

Thanks 3eyedbear for my super cute owl 🙂

Curiosity Group posts new calendars every few weeks. Just made my new one: the ground hog that would rather predict the weather underground (because she’s scared of big crowds) but then my favorite – Spaghetti the Yeti  🙂 Though this may hinder your ability to look “grown up” in the office, it brings many a smile to coworkers faces.