Make your own custom art

I’m picky about what I’ll display in my home or clients homes.  I do like rooms to feel personal and decided my mantle needed our last name initial.  This DIY was pretty simple and recommend you making your own.

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Supplies you need:  Burlap, paint, pencil, font type, glue, and frame

The process:   Find the frame you’ll be using first.  Make sure it fits well on your mantel and I recommend using a glassless frame.  If you use a frame with glass then glue your fabric on the glass.

Measure the area inside of the frame.  Cut your fabric to size.  No worries if you’re off a bit, as I was then just grabbed some trim I had and glued that layer on to cover my mistakes.  You can use any kind of plain fabric.  I like added texture, so went for burlap.

Find the font you want to use.  There are so many fonts out there.  Check out tootledoo designs, as they are amazing!  You can write anything you want, a full monogram, entire last name, or just an initial.  You may want to enlarge one of the fonts and copy it, make a stencil and trace on your fabric, or freehand it using pencil.

Once you’ve drawn your letter, go ahead and use a smaller brush to apply paint (any kind works) on the outline of the letter.  Then fill in the entire letter with paint.

After the paint drys decide if your letter needs anything else.  You may want to outline the letter in another color, or glitter…think about what makes sense with your style.  Go ahead and use clear glue on the surface of your frame.  Affix your fabric and let dry.  Add any additional trim on the inside of your frame.

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Introducing my new Living Room

After 13 years, last March I decided it was time to revamp the living room!  We were using our 13 year sofa that was all wrong.  The rug is only 10 years old, but I was ready for a new style.  Since my kids were babies I’ve used a round soft ottoman with tray on top, but now the kids are 6 and 9 time to have some sharp corners!  Our tv was in a cabinet which was outdated as well.

The Process

Cover the sofa or buy a new one….we bought a new one!

Painted the wall a new lighter creamy color.

Cover the chair or buy a new one….new one of course!

Swapped out the rug for a new style.  My old style was more traditional and now I like cozy mod.

Ditched the TV, stand and ottoman

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I wanted a more neutral and cohesive look when you walked into my living room.  The focal point is the fireplace and after I painted it, it felt so fresh and light and that’s when I made the decision to start “Project Living room”.

The old wall color was a brownish taupe that worked really well with gold tones.  Painting the walls was my first change and I went for a creamy color.  The color really lightened up the room and gave me room to play with the upholstery colors.  Before I was really stuck with golden/taupe sofa.

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Moving away from brown tones to cream tones gave me the freedom to switch to gray.  I loved going for a deeper sofa color since all the walls went so much lighter.

You can also see my old oriental rug in photo above with my old chesterfield sofa.  Below is my new chevron rug in gray and cream.

I ditched the soft round ottoman and added two square mirrored tables that I had from three years ago.  I picked them up at Target for $35.00 each.

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Before my sofa faced our fireplace but once I knew I was ready for a change, I wanted to have a chaise on my sofa and move it to the right of our fireplace.  The antique brown cabinet stores my china, candles and various decor items.

I didn’t want to have the TV in a cabinet any longer, so I talked my husband into getting a flat screen and console.

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I found this stunning mirror and silver Paltrow Console Table on Joss and Main for $450.  This console not only matches my coffee tables, but my starburst mirror that is high above my fireplace.

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Though the brown paisley chair was so cozy with the matching ottoman, it was worn out and ready for a new home.  Our new chair is in a solid light gray.  By keeping the sofa and chair print free, I had the freedom to go bold on the floor and will have fun with throw pillows and blankets.

My New Living Room!

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I accessorize with antique, new and collectables.  The mantel turned out far better than expected.  Several items are one of a kind, from various trips my father in law took.  The large jar is filled with beach finds than my boys search endlessly in the summer on several Maine beaches.  The other two tables in the room are antique finds.  The mirror and copper bowl of over sized grapes are also antiques from our family.  I’m not afraid to repaint things as you can see from the items that are hung high over the mantel.  I have several framed photographs and figurines that are put away or in other rooms, but if there’s anything I can’t say enough is ‘edit’ and ‘edit again’.  Less is more and quality is always better.

Picking a Paint Color 101

Picking the right paint color for a room isn’t as simple as you think it should be.  I’ve learned that a great paint color can enhance and transform your room into your happy place.  On the other hand, a bad paint color can just offend and almost repulse you the moment you enter the room.  Here are my tips on picking out the perfect paint color.

1.  Think about the feeling you’d like to have in your room.  Cool and calm, bright and energetic, soft and cozy, romantic, etc.  To assist you with this, check out decor magazines and collect photos of what you are drawn to.

2.  Decide if you need to work with existing furnishings or are you willing to change them out.  If you do need to work with a sofa or rug, best to use a color that will compliment these furnishings.

Now you are ready to pick up several paint swatches from the hardware store.  Bring them home and see how they feel in your room.  If you have other rooms butting up to the room, made sure the colors you like would enhance the other rooms as well.  I know it’s hard, but don’t give up now.  If these colors aren’t great, try again till you find a few that you think will work.

3.  Get the colors that you like (a few) made up into paint samples that you can try on your walls.  Pick up the cheap spongy brushes per can of paint.

4.  Take one color and carefully apply it on the wall in a few places.  One near natural sunlight, any build-ins or existing furnishings, near any other room colors and your flooring.  You may need to apply a couple of layers of paint to get the full color effect.  Take your second color and apply it next to or above your first color.  Keep doing this until you have all your colors applied.

5.  After your paint completely dries look at the colors around the room to see if one stands out for you.  Now you may find that you are drawn to one color but know it needs to be brighter or darker, etc.  Don’t settle, go back to the store with that paint swatch and see other colors that are close.  *Tip- some hardware stores, mostly the small independently owned stores will have color fans that they’ll loan you to take home.

6.  If you’ve found your color, or think you have make sure to check it out on your wall during different times of the day as the color will change as the light changes.  Also, see how it looks at night with your own lighting.

7.  Once you’ve spent a couple days trying out the paints and looking at how they feel in your room, you may have found the perfect wall color.  If so, make sure you buy your paint in the right finish.  Remember the finish will also change the look of the paint, especially Glossy.  I recommend going with an Eggshell finish.  Here is more information on paint finishes.

I know this seems like a lot to do to find your paint color, but this process really helps to not impulsively buy the wrong paint color.  I’ve done it before and if I can give you one tip…if you start painting and you say to yourself, “oohhh not feeling it…STOP painting”!  This will save you time.  If you follow my process, it will cost you some money upfront to buy samples, but it’s much cheaper than buying that gallon of paint that you’re gambling with…take your time and find the right color as you are the one who is going to be living with it for awhile.  Remember painting a room is the cheapest and easiest way to enhance any room, just make sure you’re enhancing it the right way.