Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Painting

One of my very best friends (and her awesome new boyfriend) was here visiting for the weekend and I wanted to make something special for her.  She recently graduated from grad school and moved in to her first "real world" apartment in Detroit, MI.  She has asked for decorating advice a few times, but since I can't be there to assist her in decorating their place, I wanted to send a little something along with them instead.  Here's the painting I created for their bedroom. 
I originally was going to plan one large painting, but then remembered they were coming by plane and needed to be able to easily transport the painting back to Detroit on the plane.  So, a 3 panel painting made much more sense.  Now, if only I had a nicer camera and sharpened up my photography skills a bit......

Sunday, July 11, 2010

From Drab to Fab!

When we first moved in to this apartment, I didn't put much thought in to decorating.  We have been known to move around a time or two, so I didn't want to put in efforts of making the place pretty and then have to take it all down a short time later.  Now that we've been here for almost a year and will likely be here another year, I've been putting more effort in to making this place feel like home.  I've hung up a few items here and there around our apartment.  But, the largest blank slate of a white wall that we have is the one behind the TV.   And, I hate apartment white walls - you know, the ones that are flat white paint and get dirty by just looking at them. 

My first attempt to decorate this space was to play around with a few wall hangings that we already own.  Problem was, this wall is large and the items we had just didn't fit the space well.  They were either too small, too tall, or not wide enough.  As always, I wanted to spruce up this space without going broke.  I contemplated doing a couple paintings, but canvas can be expensive, especially in the large sizes I had in mind.  That's when I decided on using fabric.  I set out Saturday morning and two hours and 20 dollars later, I was at home with all the supplies I needed.  I sketched up some simple plans and the project was under way. 

I got too excited about the wall hangings and didn't take any pictures of the steps or process. But it was pretty simple tasks of measuring, cutting and hemming to complete the look. The final finishing step was to insert wooden dowels in to the pockets at each end. 

The final product was about 5 feet tall and 20 inches wide.  I made two of them, so it only cost me $10 per hanging - pretty darn good deal if you ask me!  Add in a floating shelf with accessories we already owned and we no longer have a large blank white wall laughing in our faces everyday saying "you can't paint me, neener neener neener".  Who needs paint when they can use fabric to dress up a space?! 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Closet turned Office

I got the twitch......the twitch that wouldn't stop until I did some decorating and organizing!  The tricky part was that I didn't want to spend a single dime.  So in to the den I went to do some rearranging and decorating with things we already owned.  In my excitement to get started, I forgot to take before pictures, so below are "mid start" pictures. 

This is the closet after I had started sorting things out in to piles of keep, donate and trash.
This is the far wall in our den. Our den is tiny and acts as an office and hosts a queen bed for our guests. Since the bed is on the opposite wall and the closet is to the right, this wall was left packed full of furniture. Where the computer screen is, is where the desk was before I moved it. As you can see, all of the unexciting office supplies sat out in the open.

After hours of organizing and rearranging, this wall is still packed with furniture  ** sigh **  But, it's less cluttered and more inviting for any guests we may have.  Here is the after:

The decorations look a tad bit silly all lined up on one wall, but I think it turned out alright considering I had to work with what I had and I couldn't donate any of the furniture. 

Now for the exciting part (atleast I think so) of the room make-over.....the closet turned office! 

The closet has a built in half wall, that I covered with fun contact paper.  I still need to go back and cover the end of it.  When I originally put the contact paper on, the closet doors were still attached and it was too hard to get in such a small area to cover.  The half wall now bears the printer, paper and other office supplies.  The floating black shelf from back in my college days, worked perfect to hold additional supplies.  A few tacks in the wall worked perfectly to hold up my monthly budget sheets. 

The other half of the closet had a 2nd wood shelf and hanging rod, but with the removal of a few simple screws - I put that shelf into storage.   My desk now fits perfectly in the other half of the closet.

As you can see, there are no longer closet doors.  I wanted to add just a touch more interest to the room so I replaced the doors with some curtains that I had on hand.  I love that the make-over ended up making the room more organized and functional.  Without a seperate room that we can use as an office, it's great that I can simply close the curtains and our guests (we love guests - come visit!) don't have to see all of the office clutter!

So there you have it - the mini den makeover that didn't cost a dime!