How Very James Bond

July 12, 2009

I was just putting the finishing touches on my staircase and foyer revamp when I noticed a glaring eyesore.  Let’s just say that it wasn’t me who decided to put the control to our home alarm system at perfect eye level, sticking out like one sore thumb.  In my newly upgraded space, it just looked all wrong.  So I decided to cover it with a miniature painting of my own.  When I proposed the idea to Mr. CG, he stated with perfect British inflection, “How very James Bond of you.” 

I recommended these dogwood prints in a mood board for Kelly several months back.  They’ve always stuck in my mind, for their color, and their botanical simplicity.  Unfortunately, they’re a bit of an investment at $288 for the pair.  overstocks dogwood branches

So in an attempt to inject a pop of peacock blue into my neutral space, I came up with my own imitation, based on the cherry tree branches that sit in my foyer.  Channeling Van Gogh, I used some acrylic paints leftover from my art classes to create a little work of art .  Here’s my little $5 knockoff. 

cherry tree branch painting

The motion detectors are elsewhere, so thankfully the control can be hidden.  Now the alarm control is invisible, James Bond style.

hidden alarm  

Here’s the eyesore before:


And a peek at my foyer after adding the little painting:

foyer after


Do you have a thermostat or an outlet on your wall that bothers you too?  A simple painting on canvas, store bought or homemade, will do the trick. 

Simple Cherry Tree Branch Painting:

Step One:  Mix your background color.  With my acrylic paints, I mixed the peacock blue color with a bit of black, a lot of white, a hint of hansa light yellow, and ultramarine blue.  You could also buy a $2 bottle of craft paint in your favorite color, and use that. 

mix blue color

This color wheel always comes in handy. 

color wheel

Step Two:  When your background color is dry, freeform the branches with brown paint.  Create whatever looks good to you.  I used burnt umber craft paint.

paint branches

more branches

Step Three:  Add blossoms with white or cream colored paint.  Again, you could use artist’s acrylics or just craft paint. 

add blossoms

Step Four:  Add tiny stems to blossoms. 

Cherry Blossom Painting 001

Step Five:  Dry glaze edges with taupe craft paint.  

glaze sides

So now my foyer has just that bit of blue I was looking for and mimics the existing branches on display.

cherry blossom painting crop foyer painting

Perhaps in the fall, I’ll do another, with a burnt orange background.  Maybe a series for the entire year?  Apple green in spring? 


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34 Responses to “How Very James Bond”

  1. Frugal Fine Living says:

    It looks great!


  2. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    I love it…shaken, not stirred. ;) Beautiful colors–I can see why you were inspired. :)

  3. tales from an oc cottage says:

    Way to go , Picasso! Looks fab! We're going to need to change that old adage to, "Centsational Girl is the mother of invention!" ;)

    m ^..^

  4. Sarah says:

    Wow! Great job!

  5. Nancy says:

    Looks great and very resourceful of you!


  6. michelle says:

    You think of EVERYTHING! I am in awe of your greatness. Looks fabulous.

  7. marty39 says:

    Oh, your painting looks fabulous. Love it. Hugs, Marty

  8. meohmyoh says:

    You did a seriously fantastic job on the painting, it looks like it was made to hand in front of the branches. Perfection


  9. Melissa Miller says:

    Great idea and very pretty too! :)

  10. Shell says:

    Love the painting and how the real branches in front make it pop.

  11. mrosev14 says:

    That's fun. Those paintings are beautiful but at $300 that is so expensive, you did a great job using them for inspiration.

    It would be fun to see the changes throughout the seasons. :)

  12. Kelli says:

    How CLEVER! Great idea!

  13. pk @ room remix says:

    What a great idea! I like your idea of changing them throughout the year as well…

  14. Gwen says:

    I did the same thing for the thermostat in my old house. It is a perfect fix and you did a mighty fine job at painting:)

  15. Paige says:

    Great idea! And changing the colors for each season would be very fun!

  16. Molly says:

    What a great idea! And I agree, it's very James Bond of you. ;)

  17. umama says:

    Incredible! Especially the way you have the authentic in front of the art! So clever!

  18. Magpie says:

    Brilliant! (Imagine a British accent!)

  19. meohmyoh says:

    I loved it so much I blogged about it here and thought I would let you know :]

    Aaaah A Lazy Sunday


  20. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me a lot of Van Gogh's Almond Branches in Bloom painting, which is one of my favorites (love that turquiose background!)

  21. Wagonwife Designs says:

    If you do seasonal it will like Picaso, this one is your blue period…*grin*
    Great idea.

  22. Blushing hostess says:

    I love that you took matters into your own hands, well done!

  23. sarah m says:

    Love the idea and love the painting!! Great work! :)

  24. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful painting! And I love your tree branches. Are they real or fake? You just gave me an idea for a corner of my home.

  25. anhesty says:


  26. Richella says:

    YES! A series of paintings for the seasons. This one looks terrific. Thanks for the great idea.

    I think your husband and my husband would get along quite well.

  27. Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage says:

    I love doing my own artwork! The beauty is that you can paint over it again and again if you want, and it just adds more texture. I usually leave them that way for a while, then go on to something else. The idea of four seasons is a winner! Love the idea of a fresh look frequently.

  28. G+D says:

    Very sneaky CG–I like it!

  29. Kikikens says:

    Hey, if add hinges on the inside it might make the picture easy to work with when you need to set and deactivate the alarm.

  30. ameliehowe says:

    You just solved the MAJOR problem I've been having in my living room with a badly planned set of wall sconces and my old-fashioned brass doorbell inset. THANK YOU!

  31. Sarah says:

    WOW, consider me impressed and inspired! I have an alarm control panel in my kitchen and your idea would be perfect to cover it. Thanks!!!

  32. Freckles Chick says:

    I ADORE the trompe l'oeil effect the canvas and the chery blossoms in the vase give each other!! Simply superb. You amaze me.

  33. Denise @ A Room With A View says:

    Oh, if there were just more hours in a day!! I am inspired by these! Nice job!

  34. Linda says:

    I love your blog…great ideas! One question if you don’t mind…what color did you paint your foyer? I am in the process in finding the perfect paint color for my foyer and great room and I love the color you chose for your foyer. I wanted to perfect light color.

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