Showing posts with label decorating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decorating. Show all posts

Jul 8, 2014

Glass Door Turned Photo Gallery

On one of our previous trips to Ikea, we picked up glass door in the As-Is section. It had no hardware or holes drilled in it yet, just a few minor scratches. I thought it would make a perfect picture frame. For $20, that's a great deal, especially if you consider the price of glass alone.

glass door frame Ikea

We hung it in the upstairs hallway right away, but it was some time before we filled it with photos. First I needed to decide which photos to choose. Pictures of us? Of the dogs? Vacation? Which one? I'm not great at narrowing down my options.

Then Black's Photo Centre had a 3-day sale - 75% off on oversized photos. That forced me to get my butt in gear and choose some pictures already. Each glass pane was 17" x 21", so I went with the 12" x 18" size (the next option up was 16" x 24" so that was no good). With the 75% discount it ended up being about $15 for all three pictures, including tax. Now, that's a deal! As a little side plug for Black's - you just upload the photos and within a few days (just 1 hour for smaller photos) you can go pick them up at your nearest store. I love how easy it is.

The three pictures I chose were:

leaves Gravenhurst

Gravenhurst dogs mastiff rottweiler mastweiler fall autumn

Gravenhurst pine cone

They were all taken on a hike in Gravenhurst a couple of years ago. The trails are beautiful, but we don't go there nearly often enough. I absolutely adore that shot of the two dogs walking along together, like they're having a little chat. Plus, who doesn't like to look at dog butts?

I used thick poster board for matting, and cut a 3 inch border all around, making the photo area 11" x 15". Because there is no backing board like a regular picture frame would have, I had to tape the heck out of it so that it would stay in place. But from the front you would never know.

Ikea door frame photo gallery

Now we have some decoration in a mostly drab hallway. The greens in the pictures really stand out and I find they attract my eye every time I walk down the hall. I still have to buff out the areas where I repaired the scratches, but the frame is looking a lot better than it did in the first picture. I'm pretty sure Tom thought I was wasting money by buying the door frame, but now that it's all done (and for less than $50 all together), he'll admit that it looks pretty nice.

Ikea door frame photo gallery

Ikea door frame photo gallery

Ikea door frame photo gallery

Apr 21, 2014

From Navy to Eggplant - Easy Living Room Update

Is it spring where you are? Going by the calendar it's supposed to be spring here, but the inch of snow we just received contradicts that notion. But regardless of what's going on outside my window, I decided to start on a living room spring makeover. Not a complete overhaul - that's already been done - but just some colour changes to liven it up some.

If you remember, our walls are painted Ranchwood by Benjamin Moore. I love this colour so much. What I'm starting to not love is that it looks green in the living room. No matter the time of day - it's always green. I don't dislike green per se, it's just that I was aiming for a more taupe-y room when I picked it. I accessorized the room with navy and white, but it never felt cohesive to me. I think it's because the artwork on the walls is full of dark reds and yellows (and greens). The paintings were purchased for our last house (where we first had burgundy, then green walls) and we haven't found anything suitable to replace them.

So while I was grocery shopping one day, I wandered into the housewares section and saw these pillows and knew that was the direction to go.

There were also solid-coloured pillows in, what would you say, plum? Eggplant? But what really caught my eye were the fleece throw blankets in the same shade, for $5 each. They were large enough to make two pillow covers each with a little left over.

The couch and loveseat (p.s. we bought new ones and I didn't mention it) each came with two pillows, so I just needed to sew new covers the same size as the current ones. Adding in the four zippers I'd need to buy, that still works out to less than $5 per pillow. I made my own piping using the leftover material and twine - super easy.

Just like that, I had four new pillows. Four cozy, snuggly pillows. I've dragged the dropcloth-covered pillows up from the basement to lighten up the look a bit since then. The pillows now bring out the purplish shades in the paintings above. The one on the right is still a little too red, but I'm working on what to do with that.

I even had enough fabric left over to recover that little footstool I have. This is the one that has already been recovered with dropcloth (see how to do the image transfer here), and then with a dark yellow fabric. I added a piping-like detail across the top - like I did with the storage bench - to keep it from being too plain.

A purple vase and a white ceramic turtle - isn't he cute? - complete the colour switch. I think the room still needs something else - maybe teal, or gold? Or maybe just a lot more white. The windows face north so the room isn't ever really awash in light.

It is awash in dog hair, however, as Chloe is in love with the new pillows. Do you get that too?

Mar 4, 2014

Framed Wedding Monogram

After two weekends of closet-building, and having the house in a shambles, this past weekend was devoted to relaxing, with a little bit of crafting thrown in.

A project I've been meaning to do for a while is a framed wedding monogram. Most I've seen online are painted on burlap, and while I could have done that, I have some green material with a bit of a velvety sheen that coordinated better with the matting, and with our wall colour.

It's a simple project - easy to do in just an afternoon. The hardest part was finding a suitable frame. It's not like I don't have a large supply to choose from, but I was having a bit of a Goldilocks moment - too large, too small, no matting.

At first I passed this one up - it had double matting that made the photo area too small - but I realized I could separate the matting and just use the larger one. The frame was already painted forest green so I gave it two coats of black paint and then a clear coat to seal it. I also applied a coat of furniture wax to give it a soft glow.

To make the lettering, I cut an adhesive-backed vinyl stencil using my Silhouette Cameo. The font style is Monotype Corsiva. Once the stencil was pressed to the material, I used craft paint to fill in the letters.

After it had dried and the stencil was removed, it was just a matter of framing it.

 I love the different textures - the woven material, the marbled mat, and then the wood grain.

I hung it in the front hall so that we can see it every day. Tom is probably wishing the entire wedding date was there so that he wouldn't have to remember it himself. :-)

Sep 3, 2013

At-Home Beach Retreat (Vacation Gallery Wall)

This weekend was all about finishing off our half-done projects. While Tom installed a new toilet at his parents' house on Saturday, I finished staining the deck furniture and left it to dry. Then on Sunday we framed and hung some of our favourite vacation pictures in the computer room that was recently painted. (Go here to see the before.)

gallery wall

The computer room is really a multi-purpose room - Tom has his computer there, but there's also a television and a loveseat so other people can hang out with him. And Sasha has claimed the ottoman as her own. That window is her big screen TV.


So why not make it a little more comfortable to hang out in? On one of our last visits to Ikea I bought a bunch of 8x10 Ribba frames, but then I got home and didn't know where to put them. I had considered putting them in the living room, but with the white photo shelves it was just too much white. So they've been packed away for months. But now I had this expanse of blue wall that was looking bare and begging for some accessorizing.

I couldn't decide if I wanted them to hang horizontally or vertically, so I did a little photoshopping. It was just a quick-and-dirty job and nothing is to scale, but it gave me an idea of how it would look. Horizontal definitely looked better.

gallery wall - photoshop
gallery wall - photoshop

I went through our vacation photos and picked out the ones with the brightest colours - lots of oranges, reds, and greens, and a few with every colour of the rainbow. The frames come with white matting, but I wanted to tie into the colour of the loveseat and ottoman, so I used tan dropcloth material as additional matting and printed the photos out as 5x7's. Getting dropcloth to lie flat is a chore, people. I ironed that sucker forever and there are still a few wrinkles that I'm just going to have to live with.

dropcloth photo matting

To hang them, we found the centre point of the couch and made a mark above it on the wall. Each frame had a piece of paper inside that was almost the same size as the frame so I used those as templates and taped them to the wall to get an idea of spacing. We moved them up and down until we liked what we saw, but it soon became apparent that the wall would look better with eight frames rather than six. So I had to go back and find two more colourful photos that I liked.

gallery wall

Our method of hanging:

The frames are 16¾ inches wide with 3 inches between them, so we measured out 38 inches from the center mark (16¾ x 4 frames plus 3 x 3 spaces, divided by 2) to find the outer edge of the last frame. The first hook then went in 8⅜ inches (half the width of the frame) from that mark (and about 2 inches down from the top). We used WallBiter hooks because we've used them before and they are very strong. To hang the lower hooks, Tom first hung all of the top ones and then measured down from them. The frames are 12¾ inches long with a 3 inch space between them, so he measured down 15¾ inches from the top hook to the spot for the lower one. Once the frames were hung he made slight adjustments to the hanging wire on the back of each frame to get them level.

I pulled some square, white napkins out of my fabric stash and quickly made a couple of throw pillows. I used Polyfill to stuff them so they are nice and squishy. I'd like to find some pillows with blues and greens in them, but until I do I've added a super-soft throw that I found at Goodwill. The white pillows are small so I added the map cushions that I had in the living room (Benzy Land from Ikea but I don't think they have them anymore).

gallery wall

The rest of the room looks like this - we still need something for the wall above Tom's desk. He's thinking maybe a large framed map - possibly an old one of the Hawaiian islands.

front room nimbus gray

The word cozy keeps coming to me whenever I try to describe the room now. I'm so drawn to the beachy look, and this makes me feel like I'm hanging out in my very own cottage.

gallery wall beachy

Aug 20, 2013

Bye-Bye, Burgundy - Painting the Front Room

We dove right in and painted the front room this weekend. This is the last room that still has the previous owners' colour scheme. Except for the basement. And the master bath - but that's going to be a complete gut job.

We aren't finished with the room yet, but I'm so slow at getting projects done and writing about them that I wanted to give you an update. I don't want you to think I've just been lazing around in my backyard hammock all summer. Though if it had rained less this year I might have been.

But back to the painting. This front room is difficult to describe. It's not a bedroom because it doesn't have a closet. It's upstairs so it's not really a living room. The builder's floor plan called it "the learning centre". That sounds creepy. We call it "the computer room". Because it has a computer in it. Geniuses, I tell you.

As you can see the room was a really dark burgundy. It's a colour we loved - in fact the living room in our old house was that colour for a few years - but we've grown out of it. We're more about calm, restful shades now. And we were never into that sun and moon border at the top. Way to make the room even darker!

The redeeming factor is the huge bay window that faces south. This room gets so much light. And if I let you look closely you would see the nose art gallery on the windows, because the dogs spend all their time there - spying on the neighbours. My dogs know your secrets.

The one wall has looked like this for two (three?) months. We were having a tough time because we wanted something that wasn't too green, too grey, too washed out. We've made each of those mistakes before. I let Tom decide since he spends the most time there. He chose Benjamin Moore's Nimbus Gray. It's really a blue with grey undertones.

I don't have many pictures of the new colour on the walls as we haven't put the room back together yet. Just what I grabbed with my phone. Sasha snuck in while I was painting the door - I'm pretty sure she thinks I don't know she's there.

This one shows off the colour the best. And with the new white trim. Isn't white trim just the greatest thing? Tom recommended we keep the couch in front of the window when we're done - so that we can be comfortable while we spy. Unfortunately it also makes us a little obvious. Less like spies, more like gawkers.

I can't wait to get the bookcases put back up - the contrast between the dark wood and the light blue is going to be gorgeous. I'm going to bring in some more white and tan to tie the furniture and walls together, and then I'll need an accent colour to give it some life. I'm really favouring orange this year - what do you think?

Jul 22, 2013

Floating Photo Shelves

Our gallery wall in the living room hasn't been coming along the way that I'd like. I don't know if it's that the frames are too different from each other, or there aren't enough, or the fact that half of them don't have pictures in them (!), but it just wasn't appealing to my eye.

I decided that I'd rather have photo shelves instead. There would still be the randomness of the different sized frames, but they'd be more orderly and cohesive. Not to mention that you can take them down or rearrange them without having to patch the wall and make new holes.

I was going to wait until I had all of the frames filled before I posted about them, but who am I kidding? It's been two weeks already and I'm no closer to being done. So you'll just have to look at some empty frames. (And my gorgeous cousins. And a seagull eating snack mix.)

floating photo shelves

We started by taking down all of the frames, pulling out the picture hangers, and patching and repainting the wall. We always keep our leftover paint for touch-ups so it was a pretty quick fix.

photo frame gallery wall

floating photo shelves

We decided to center the shelves between the soffit by the sliding doors and the step up to the dining room/kitchen. The living room/dining room is sort of open-concept with a shared wall, but we decided to treat them as two different rooms. The expanse of wall stretches from the sliding doors to the window in the dining room, but centering the shelves between the soffit and the window would have looked a little goofy.

floating photo shelves

I wanted the lowest-profile shelving we could get, while not having to worry about the weight of the frames pulling them out of the wall. I liked the style of the postcard ledges that Young House Love installed in their last house, though ours needed to be deeper because of the thickness of the frames.

While Tom found a practice board, I laid the picture frames I wanted to use out on floor and arranged them to get a rough idea of how long each shelf should be and how many we would need (6 feet long and three shelves).

It was going to be a plain floating shelf, but we also wanted a groove routered in to keep the frames from sliding forward and off the shelf. We used a scrap piece of board to figure out how deep the shelf needed to be, and where the groove should go to have the frames rest on it correctly. We just rested the thickest frame on the scrap board and tilted the frame until we got the angle we wanted. Tom would then router the scrap piece and we'd try it again.

floating photo shelves

Each shelf had to be at least 4 inches deep, so once we had decided exactly what we wanted, Tom bought 2x4s and planed them down to just over an inch thick, and then routered an angled groove down the length of each shelf. Why plane them? Well, 2x4s are too chunky, and 1x4s are actually less than 1 inch thick. Sometimes it has to be DIY start to finish.

We were having trouble finding the wall studs - the stud finder was going crazy, beeping all over the place - so we came up with another plan. There is an electrical outlet in the center of the wall and we knew it had to be attached to a stud, so we just followed it up the wall (using a laser level) and marked that spot. We then held a shelf in place on the wall and marked on the shelf where the stud would hit. Tom then drilled counter-sunk pilot holes at 16" intervals to match the studs. Yes, we were working on blind faith that they were 16" apart (spoiler alert: they were).

Once the shelves were cut and holes were drilled, I sanded them, primed them, and gave them two coats of semi-gloss white - the same paint we used for the trim.

The distance between the top of the upper picture frame and the bottom of the lowest shelf was about 50", so we added an extra 4 inches of clearance and mounted the bottom shelf 54" from the ceiling. Before drilling any holes, we tested out this height with Tom sitting in various chairs beside the wall. There probably won't be a chair or sofa under the shelves, but we wanted to make sure no one would bang their head, just in case.

floating photo shelves

Then it was just a matter of attaching the shelves to the wall starting with the first stud we found and working outwards. I held the level against the shelf and Tom drilled 4 inch screws through the boards and into the wall. Since we were on studs each time, there was no need to use anchors. The screws were sunk at least an inch into the board so there was enough sticking out the back to go into the wall, and the screw heads weren't visible at the front.

Once all three shelves were mounted, I puttied the holes, sanded, and painted over the putty so that the fronts looked seamless.

floating photo shelves

The frames aren't in their final place, I just put them up there and tried to vary the heights. The top row is still a little too even for my liking. The two large frames are going to hold photos of the dogs or vacation shots, once we narrow it down to two favourites. (As if there aren't enough pictures of the dogs up there already, right?)

floating photo shelves

The shelves fill the space so much better than the frames did by themselves, and as I mentioned before, I love that I can change the photos or just change the arrangement whenever I want to. The area is a bit empty right now - I'd like to find a sideboard or old desk to put under the shelves to fill it in. And maybe one of those 5 foot wooden giraffes we saw at the farmers' market this weekend.

What do you think, Tom?

floating photo shelves

floating photo shelves

floating photo shelves


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