Friday, February 27, 2015

{reading bench makeover}

We have this little bench in the corner of our living room, next to the fireplace. When we moved in, the bench was covered with some ugly cream colored fabric that had started looking more urine color from not being changed out for probably 50 years. My friend/neighbor had some fabric she wasn't using so I quickly changed it out. Although the chocolate brown was much better than the cream, I had always intended to redo it with a fun pattern and here I am finally getting around to it, 4 years later. I always pictured the bench being used by my kids for reading since I loved that kind of thing when I was young but it quickly became my son's "Lego bench." After a year or more of having Legos scattered around that corner of the living room and now having new pretty fabric, I evicted my son and his Legos to the basement. Now it can be the reading bench I always wanted it to be, while looking much better than the original! {which you'll see at the bottom of this post and please excuse the really poor picture quality}

The brown fabric

Ready to staple on the new!


It makes me happy!

Here's the before. Just a sad, sad area. For so many reasons.

Here's what it looks like now. Much. Better.

Happy Make-over-ing!!!

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Friday, February 20, 2015

{finished kitchen sign}

I finished my sign for the space above our kitchen table. The complete opposite of what I planned to do but sometimes my mistakes lead to an outcome I like even more than the original plan! 

The before sign, which I still like but was ready to change out after taking all of the red off of my counters!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

{mini kitchen makeover}

One of the rooms in this house that I have always struggled to decorate is the kitchen. I think it's because this house is a rental so I can't change all the things I wish I could and I've had a hard time working with what I have.{because unlike other rooms in a house, you can't just paint over the ugly that sometimes exists in old kitchens and bathrooms!} But after becoming addicted to the show Fixer Upper and falling in love with Chip and Joanna, I had a light bulb moment today when I realized the colors I've been trying to use in there don't compliment the things I can't change about the space. {just for dreaming sake, these are the things I would change if this was our house and I had $40,000...floors, cabinets, counter tops, backsplash and most of the appliances. Oh, and I would rip out a wall and put in an island..sigh} 

I have been wanting to brighten up our entire house for some time. I have disliked our entry and halls and want to repaint them a light and bright color. I have wanted to paint all of the interior doors white and all of the trim..but it's really hard to put a lot of time and money into a house we don't own. So I have to learn to work with the space as it is. {but I will get around to repainting the entry way walls!}

Chip and Joanna have a gorgeous home and if you haven't seen it you should check it out here. It's bright and airy and beautiful. Looking through their house inspired me to brighten up my kitchen and I quickly realized the colors that I was digging the most were whites and blues. So I put away a couple of things and collected some items from around the house. I'm still tweaking things and make sure you finish reading this post before you look at the Gain's house because it's not fair to compare the two. :} They are living my dream and have the money to make their house whatever they want. But ultimately I'm happy with what I have changed so far and feel the changes I have made compliment the {ugly} things I can't change about my kitchen. 

{and in true Faith form, I didn't take before pictures because I didn't decide until half way through that I wanted to blog about this so you'll have to trust me that this looks better!}

First up and most important, a coffee station

One of my favorite things in my kitchen, in honor of my favorite show, Parenthood. {thanks to my sister Bekah for the mug}

I SO wish I had a before of this corner. It's normally "that place" that everyone {including me} dumps their stuff and it's also homework corner for all of the kids school work but that is now tucked nicely into the drawer

Love the white in this old tool box and it's perfect with the {ahem..wrinkled} new table cloth I got. It will be REALLY great on top of a runner on top of my future farmhouse table that my husband is going to some day build me {hint, hint}

Next up, I need to pick out fabric for my Aunt to make me curtains! The kitchen has ugly purple-y blinds that I have been dying to cover since we moved in. I am leaning toward a fun pattern in gray or possibly blue. And I'm REALLY leaning toward the arrows!

I'm currently working on a sign to go above our table and I'll post a picture when I'm done!

Let me know what you think in a comment below!

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

{collage walls}

Hi everyone! I was recently inspired to dust off my blog and hopefully bring it back to life. Raising four kids doesn't leave a lot of time to blog but here's to hoping I can give it a little more life! I asked my friends on Facebook for some ideas on what to blog about. Several of them suggested collage walls, so here I am. Now, before I start, let me say this. I never want to discourage anyone in their own decorating style. We all have our own eye, our own preference, our own sense of style. I spent the last 30 minutes or so googling collage walls to collect some pictures. I decided a few minutes in to only save pictures of walls I liked instead of walls I disliked as well. I didn't want anyone to look at their own collage wall and think it looked too similar to my dislikes :)

I hope the following information is helpful and will inspire you to hang all of the lovely pieces you have been dreading doing anything with! It's really simple and a lovely way to display art, special photographs and unique pieces. If you have any questions or comments, please share them after you peruse this post. I can always do a follow up post if I forget anything. 

Here we go...

{no. 1} Here is how I would get started. Collect all of the pieces you want on your collage wall and lay them out on a bed or the floor. Get a good visual of how you want them to be arranged. I usually pick an "anchor" piece {usually the largest item} and put that in the center and then build around it. If you choose to have an anchor piece, I would suggest having about the same amount of pieces on each side of it. Not a mirror image, but similar amount and sizes on each side. So if I had 1 anchor piece and 15 pieces left, I wouldn't do 10 on one side and 5 on the other, I would do 7 on one and 8 on the other. And I wouldn't do 7 large pieces on one side and 8 tiny pieces on the other. You get the idea. It's all about balance without being exact, if that makes sense.

{no. 2} A collage wall doesn't have to be perfectly matchy matchy. Meaning you do not need to use all black frames, the same shape, with black and white photos inside. I think the best part about a collage wall is including COLOR, TEXTURE, SHAPE, and DIMENSION. If however, you really want things to match, try playing around with one of the elements I listed above. 

Here are a few examples. See how all of the frames are black and all of the pictures are black and white? Well, wouldn't it be boring if all of the frames were the same shape? With the frames being different sizes and shapes, it makes it much more interesting. {the spacing of these frames are bothering me but more on that in a bit}

Here are some examples of all white frames {both from young house love and I adore all of their work} In both of these pictures, almost all of the frames are rectangular and they're all white. But what gives it interest is all of the COLOR they add to the photos. I love the bright pops of color and to me, it makes it so much more interesting than if all of the photographs were black and white. They also added a couple of unique pieces to add more character, which I love.


This wall, to me, has all of the elements I listed above. Color, shape, dimension and texture. I really like it. 

{no. 3} You don't want your pieces spread out all over a wall. I would suggest leaving no more than 2 inches between each piece, usually less. If each piece is 12 inches apart from the other, it looks sparse and it's confusing to the eye. You don't know where to look. Collage walls should be a grouping of items, fairly close together. I would also suggest that you try and stay fairly consistent with spacing. So if two pieces are 1 inch apart, don't put the next piece 5 inches away. My current collage wall, which I'll share below has a little over 1 inch between each piece. 

{no. 4} You want to be careful with height. I may have been shaking my head at a few pictures I saw today. You want your collage wall and really anything in your house, hanging at eye level. The center of your art should be around 57-60 inches off of the ground. So you shouldn't be starting your collage at 7 feet and going up. No one, but a child, should have to look up at the art on your wall. If they have to, it's way too high. 

{no. 5} Collage walls, in my mind, can be as simple as 4 things. They don't need to cover the entire wall in your living room. If you are going for an entire wall and you have 40 frames you really want to hang, try keeping the subject matter simple. If you have too many busy pictures framed, it will look overwhelming and cluttered. Try doing mostly simple pictures. Maybe with one subject matter in each frame. Or make most of the pictures black and white with a few pops of color.

Using all white frames here helps it not feel busy even though there are over 20 frames on one wall. I would probably add a couple more pops of color but overall, this is really pleasing to the eye.

Here is a simple little wall I did above my youngest daughter's crib. This is an example of a "mini" collage wall. As I said above, they don't need to overpower a room. 

 {no. 6} This is a life saver tip. Write this down if you're going to do a collage wall. One of my pet peeves and something that literally drives me insane is crooked pictures. {ask my husband, I have actually straightened pictures in public places} I have done many collage walls over the years and had to remove them because all I was doing was fixing the pictures all day. Enter adhesive putty. Life. Changer. I hung my latest collage weeks ago with this stuff and not one picture has moved a centimeter out of place. This makes my OCD heart so happy. I had to include one collage wall that would drive me crazy {please forgive me if this is your wall} There are so many things wrong with this to me but the main thing is how everything is crooked. It literally makes my skin crawl. So go buy this stuff if you're doing a collage wall! Seriously. 

Here is my current collage wall. It is a work in progress and I am going to add more but I am so happy with it. I have my anchor sign in the middle that I made, I have black and white with pops of color, unique pieces and things that are meaningful to our family. An "h" for our name, "6" for the members of our family, keys that belonged to Bryan's grandpa, a pallet sign of Oregon I made and my 5 favorite family members :)

Now the how to. I'm not going to be much help here. There are all sorts of tutorials you can google. I don't have the time or patience for their techniques, like the one below. Genius idea, I'm sure but this is how I do it...

 As I said above, I collect all of my items and lay them out so I can get a visual of where things go. I start with the anchor piece and build out from each side. I don't measure anything, I eye ball it all. {unless something requires 2 nails on each end and then I do measure} I hold each frame and using my pointer finger on the back, where the hook is..I press the frame against the wall, put my pointer finger against the wall where the hook was and I remove the frame keeping my finger on the wall. {does that make sense? It's sounding really weird while I type) then I hammer in the nail and hang the picture or item. Using the putty and a level, I get it perfectly straight and press it against the wall making sure the putty is nice and firm against the wall. Voila! {and no, this doesn't always work and you end up with a few extra holes but it's what I do}

I hope this very long winded post will help and inspire you to get started on your very own collage wall!

Happy picture hanging!

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