DIY Indigo Wall Art With Framed Fabric

Looking for a super simple afternoon DIY or weekend project to give your space a lift? Framing your favorite fabric may be the way to go! I've done other framed fabric projects before, with upholstery fabric samples, a tablecloth or place-mats (I'll leave the links at the end of the post), but this one is with a table runner I picked up at World Market earlier this year. For this project, a table-runner was just what I needed to update a trio of vintage gilded bamboo, long thin frames I had scored for only $12 from a consignment shop in Greensboro. The hard part was deciding whether to frame two panels in ikat with 2 cross-hatch, or 2 cross-hatch with 1 ikat. I opted for the latter.

Here is what you will need and what I did: 
  1. Double-sided table runner
  2. Three Frames
  3. Scissors
  4. Shipping Tape
  5. Needle-nose Pliers
Project time: 30-40 mins

Scored a double sided table runner...

Scored a trio of gilded bamboo frames...

 Remembered the runner and tested it inside the panel before cutting it up...

No turning back now - the runner was cut: I cut the side seams off first, then the bottom edge...

I tested which combination I thought would look /feel better in the space: ikat with 2 cross-hatch, or 2 cross-hatch with 1 ikat...

 Removed the cardboard backing of the panel (may need needle-nose pliers to remove frame back staples) to cover it with fabric - No staples - No glue - Just wrap fabric like a gift and secure with good ole shipping tape helped to fasten down the wrapped fabric...

 After the cardboard back was wrapped, I slipped it back into the frame - Since it slipped in front of the previous art, there was no need for extra taping to the back...

 Cross-hatch was a popular pattern I also noticed during #hpmkt -- it's graphic without being so extreme. The single ikat panel compliments the my collection of  blue & white vases & jars I shifted into the living room for summer.

I knew I didn't want to create another gallery wall (having lived with one in the living room in AZ for 3 years - my eyes needed a rest!) The framed fabric wall art grouping made a refreshing focal point for summer, and still works with my other existing B&W accents in the space. 

I flanked the triptych grouping with two other framed fabric prints, I actually scored at a local consignment shop in Greensboro. Come Fall, I'll transfer this grouping into my office, and either do a B&W photo grid, or bring back my gold mirror collection (just in time to add sparkle for the holidays!)

A pair of fresh palms I picked up back on Memorial Day Weekend) at Lowes (2 for $14!!) worked to not only add height, but a little summertime tropical flare. I'll probably shift these to the upstairs guest den for fall/winter. (see the full Living Room plus details in my previous post:

Before & After: Living Room Remix In A New Home

Vintage Gilt Frame Trio $12 - The Red Collection, Greensboro
Blue & White Runner (clearance) $12 - World Market, Greensboro (store closed)
20 mins of your time + $24 to create unique 40" x 46" wall art +10 mins to hang it for a season of enjoyment!

Here are the links to other framed fabric wall art projects you may enjoy:

Hope you are inspired - Save idea for next Summer, or apply this to your next seasonal update (Fall is just around the corner!!) This can also work to personalize a dorm space or add pattern to an apartment, while working witth a small budget.

Thanks for stopping by!

Before & After: Living Room Remix In A New Home

When you move into a new home, especially after relocating from state to state, or even across the country, turning a new house into a 'home' can be challenging. What once worked together needs to be pulled apart, and sometimes that in itself can become a little un-nerving, but also exciting at the same time. There is no rush - Live in the space! Last Summer, in our rental home in Phoenix (you can read here), I started collecting blue & white Chinese inspired vases and jars (also known as Chinoiserie). Rather than put them away all year until this Summer, I displayed the collection in my study / office and loved it. But the collection grew! Since I was looking to create more flow in our new home, I pulled a few of the pieces out of my office, and brought them into the living room, striking just the right balance & updated style for our new home...

When I packed to move back east last Fall, I did a pretty major purge - letting go of accessories I had for several years, keeping only the true favorites. And even after unpacking, and living in the space, I still have loaded up the car to take a load to consign and donate things no longer fitting my personal style or new lifestyle - and that happens (in both fashion and decor!) Mixing old and new accents is a good way to stay grounded -- it feels familiar, and familiarity = comfort). Adding of a few new pieces is a way to breathe new life or re-energizing a space...

 Old bowl from Goodwill, now filled with 
new shells collected from our trip to Vero Beach, FL this year...

Old vintage gilded bamboo frames renewed with a quick DIY project 
(DIY details coming up in my next post!)

The same sofa got refreshed not only with pillows, but a new patterned rug, a fresh focal point on the wall, and  tweaking of a furniture arrangement. And for summer, rather than just fresh cut palms (because there aren't any around here to cut) I picked up two palms at Lowes (back in May - only 2 for $14!)

Boxwood spheres give a hint of (fresh/faux) green, but still look crisp & architectural in form. the blue bench (once storage in our master bedroom) was relaocated out of my office into the living room for a pop of color...

When I unpacked my shells, I first placed them all together inside the bench, so when it was time to "decorate",  I'd pull them out to use, and after summer, most will return to their storage area.

 My blue & white office / study...

Whether you're seeking to create an update for a new space, or refresh an existing room, you can create a refreshed home with these six styling tips:  

1. Get inspired not only from magazines & Pinterest, but also visit your local store displays for seasonal style inspiration. 
 2. Look no further than what you already have: Rethink a simple shift of lamp shades, side tables or chairs from room to room. 
3. Shop your own closets, cabinets, and garage for your style story. 
4. If you 'feel' like something is missing, follow your instinct - but check your local secondhand shops & your favorite home stores for that special treasure to pull together your look -- without breaking the bank. 
5. Think out of the box: Even a pretty patterned table runner can be reinvented into new wall art!
6. Paint existing accessory pieces in a new color or finish (a lacquered accent can be the equivalent to patent pumps amping up your LBD!)

The tv hole (previous owners filled with tchotchkes!) is still there, but I camouflaged it with an oversized blank leaning canvas - a Phoenix score, I'm still waiting to be inspired to paint :) Eventually, I'd like to convert this into a panel-hidden-hinged door, to keep it as hidden storage (especially for the next homeowner - storage value).

Pulling together your new home does take time -- it's not all about the weekend warrior makeovers tv shows feature - Those too are filmed over time, and with far more people than they sometimes lead you to believe. But just as you do with your wardrobe, enjoy your space living with the things you love, and that includes pets as well as people...

Sephora is VERY comfortable in her new surroundings.
This Fall, I'll be replacing this (seriously) old coffee table with a Ming coffee table I found at a local consignment shop. Since temps are to cool off this weekend, I just may have to work on refinishing it - and bring this table downstairs to the mancave! :)

IMO - the key to creating a collected space is to not buy everything all at once, and not from any one store plus also have a balance of splurge and save.

Below are a few Living Room Decor Details from this space
  • Various Blue/White & White vases / jars: HomeGoods, At Home, Consignment, thrift (2014 & 2015)
  • Boxwood spheres - HomeGoods + Michael's (2013 & 2015)
  • Brass & Acrylic lamps & black shades - HomeGoods (2013 & 2014)
  • Black & White Sofa Pillows (linen covers) $4 - Goodwill AZ (2012)
  • Blue & White Stripe Pillows - prize/free - Zinc Door (2011)
  • Blue Tufted Bench & Small Blue frames - HomeGoods (2013)
  • Blue White Black sofa pillows - Target (2015)
  • White Leather Barcelona Chairs (2) - free - old store display :) (2014)
  • White sofa - (1999)
  • White Alabaster pedestal bowl w/coral - Bowl: Goodwill AZ Coral: Florida Keys
  • Blue & White Garden Stool - $35 - etc Consignment, Winston-Salem (2015)
  • Brass Accent Table - Goodwill, AZ (2013)
  • Wicker tray - Habitat ReStore, High Point (2015)
  • Scented candles - HomeGoods (2014 & 2015)
  • Small wood table - $10 - Red White Blue Thrift, Miami (2000)
  • Orchids + Framed dock photo - HomeGoods (2014)
  • Stripe Window Panels - HomeGoods (2015)
  • Large blank brass framed canvas - $25 - Ultimate Consignment, AZ (2014)
  • Round mirror - JCP (2007) 
  • TV unit - Ikea (2009)
  • Tall white vases - $10 clearance Target, AZ (2013)
  • Greek Key Cement Planters (small) - $9 - the Red Collection, Greensboro (2015)
  • Greek Key Cement Planters (large) - Liberty Antiques Festival (2015)
  • Greek Fret area rug $149 - At Home, Greensboro (2015)

(previous owners)  LIVING ROOM BEFORE


and the growing pains in between...

 Painting before moving in...

week of Thanksgiving... ugh...

December (after Christmas)...


Summertime, May thru August...

I really didn't get to enjoy Fall decorating last year because of the move -- Super excited to live back east, and experience the true change of seasons, especially with all the glorious trees that are already starting to change color - right in our own back yard! 

There's no place like home...
Thanks for stopping by!

How To Paint Interior Doors Black & Update Brass Hardware

Fall is just around the corner, and for some, that can mean not only a change of season, but also wanting a change of scenery in the home. One way to create an updated look in a home is by painting your doors classic black. It's no secret: I love black! I love to wear black, my office used to be black, and when we lived in our Florida town home in 2010, I first started experimenting with painting doors black (read my post here). Although that first door was only the interior of the front door (because of HOA), I instantly fell in love with the transformation the black door gave to a builder basic white door. When we moved to Phoenix, and found a house to rent, I applied my love for black doors to our kitchen dining area, to help update the space + create more harmony in our rental home. Having white doors in an area with cherry kitchen cabinets, charcoal walls, and black appliances was just going to be too choppy (read more in my post: renters painting tips). Although I really wanted to, I refrained from painting all of those doors black, since we were renting. Fast forward to the home we bought November 2014, and one of the first tasks I did before the movers arrived was to paint all of the doors black - and wow, what a difference it made!

Satin black doors, satin brass hardware, updated light fixture, a runner, and a small entry vignette all ways to update a builder basic entry...

 Builder basic blah before...

Painting white doors black can become a tedious (and boring) project, but it helps to break it down to smaller paint projects - for example, paint doors black by 'line-of-sight' sections. This way, if you get side tracked by another task, you won't have one white door next to a black door in the same room. It also helps to focus on painting the door fronts first, and come back at another time to do the inside, because you may want to keep the backside white (for example for a pantry, powder room, or a small closet).

I did this, and I think this Fall, I'll go ahead and paint the backsides black (living in a space does that!). As for the door moldings, I'm contemplating whether or not to paint the white door casework black (or grey in the master) like the dark doors as well. I do though like the way the white relates to the baseboard and crown molding. Another option to consider with painting base & crown moldings is painting them the same color as the walls - but gloss. Chances are though, the next buyer here will prefer the white moldings too.

The one door in the house I did not paint black was the french door coming from the living room, opening to the backyard deck. All of our window mullions are white, and since I treated this door as a window - to give the fireplace symmetry, I framed it with window panels - I kept this door white. I love my black, but I'm not about to start painting all the white mullions black. Although I love that look too - the next person who lives here may not. This area is relatively conservative. And if they do, that leaves a project for them to personalize their space with.

When we changed the exterior door locks, we went ahead and purchased a more updated (transitional style) exterior door handle in an antique brass.

Also when we moved, I renewed our faded black exterior front door in an exterior black satin. Inside, I went ahead and painted the front door a satin black as well (along with the stairway railing & newel post!), but I think for Fall, I'm going to refresh the door - inside & out with a gloss black. Inside, the black gloss will help reflect more light in a small space, and outside, it will give a more sophisticated curb appeal.

Walls - Behr Porpoise (eggshell) - Trim semi-gloss white - Time to paint the doors black!

Black door painting - tape off hinges, and if you're keeping the hardware, you can just cover with foil if you'd rather not remove (but it's much easier to paint removing door handles!!) 

Painting Black Doors
Before - During - After

This house was built in 2005, so it was already starting to feel a little dated with the builder grade white doors, especially paired with the yellow-base polished brass door knobs. In the Florida townhome, we had updated all of the door handles to nickel levers, but I knew I didn't want to go the silver route here - not to mention, changing door hardware can start to become expensive, especially when it's for 14 doors in a house. Since I was painting the doors black, I tried something with the existing brass hardware - and it worked!

Dated & Polished (left) - Updated & satin (right) 

Updating brass hardware - from dated yellow & polished to brushed & updated satin finish.
No paint - No chemicals. Just sandpaper!

By simply taking one of my (fine) sanding blocks (I've used for furniture refinishing), I was able to buff off the dated yellow shine from the existing door knobs, and created a more matte, brushed brass - satin finish. This not only saved us the expense of changing the hardware, it also helped to salvage the existing hardware -- without any chemicals or added expense (other than buying another sanding block for under $5!)

So as my husband patched and sanded wall holes + painted Kilz in all of the closets (good germ killer when you're first moving in!!), and the painter we hired was painting the common areas of the house (LR, DR, Kitchen, hallway, stairway, master bedroom and bathrooms), I started my black door painting, and brass hardware update, along with painting all of the door casing and baseboards a crisp white.

The brushed brass door hardware also worked with the master bedroom doors I opted not to paint black, but instead I painted a darker grey. Out master bedroom has three doors (plus a pair of 15-lite french doors we added) which with our existing black furniture would have been WAY too much black in one space. the darker grey I used for the bedroom doors, I also used when I painted the existing 2 old oak bathroom cabinets (I'll share more about in an upcoming post!)


The hallway upstairs has another six door, two of which are a pair of bifold doors for the laundry closet. All are painted black, and I continued doing the satin finish brass hardware upstairs, except for the laundry closet doors - They originally had plain painted wood knobs, I replaced with a antique pair I picked up on our trip to Atlanta earlier this year (great souvenir!) 

Doors are updated - now just need to update hall light fixtures & floor covering!

For previous black paint choices, I've just grabbed any pure black paint I could find - But this project was going to be pretty big (12+ doors!!). I wanted smooth, strong coverage, with easy clean-up at an affordable price, and Behr paints fit the bill (not only for the doors, but for painting our entire home!)

Interior black door paint - Black Suede - Satin finish
Exterior black door paint - Black Suede - Satin finish
Interior grey door paint (master bed & bath)- Behr Marquee - Magnet - Satin Finish
Sandpaper block grade - Fine 

Paint is not only an economical means of updating the look of a home on a small budget, but using black paint, on doors, helps to give an updated and sophisticated look to a home. Consider painting your doors black if you are:

- Looking to refresh your home before the holidays.
- Seeking a more updated look before selling your home.
- Relocating and want to remove the builder grade style of your new dwelling.

And to really take classic black doors up a notch, try a high gloss black for your front door, inside and out! (which is on my 'to-do' list for Fall!) Think of high gloss black as adding a black patent clutch or pumps to your LBD!  

Hope you are inspired!
Thanks for stopping by!


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