Decorating

Craigslist Score

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Two days ago, I was discussing nightstands with my cousin Jeannie in Tucson and telling her how much I want to replace mine with one of these Terrific Trios from Ballard Designs.

 ballard table

Then I saw one on Craigslist this past weekend and quickly snapped it up for $25. 

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Gorgeous Dining Rooms: Part Two

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Last week, I posted some of my favorite dining spaces. Here are the rest of the images I’ve collected over the last few years.

house beautiful dec 08

House Beautiful, December 2008: Perfect blue walls and Chinese Chippendale chairs, paired with a dark wood table and floor, an elegant console and simple drapes. Photo by James Merrill 

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Cherry Tree in 3-D

Friday, May 1st, 2009

I am in the process of redoing my five year old daughter’s room, adding a little French garden inspired style to the space.  All of a sudden I was struck with the grand idea to paint a tree on her wall to carry along with the jardin theme.  What’s very strange is I don’t fancy myself a mural artist by any means, I typically shy away from wall murals as a bit “themey” and I rarely decorate with fake flowers.  Which makes it all the more bizarre that I would take upon myself the task of painting a cherry tree mural on my daughter’s wall and then glueing fake blooms to the branches.  Go figure.  But it turned out pretty cute!

My inspiration came from these images:

For the task, I gathered up some supplies including:

1. Three colors of brown acrylic paint from dark (burnt umber) to medium (brown velvet) to light (tan). (The third color is not shown in the picture below.)
2. Two colors of green paint, from forest green to light green.
3. Medium sized paintbrush, and No. 10 or similar sized artist’s paintbrush, and a kitchen sponge
4.  8 faux cherry blossom branches (optional)
5. Hot glue gun
6. Courage
.
Use a pencil to lightly sketch your branches and trunk, then take a step back and make sure it is the size you want. Then fill in your sketch with the dark brown paint using your medium sized paintbrush.

 

Follow up with your artist’s paintbrush to create finer lines around your edges. (It’s also a good idea to have your wall color paint ready in case you absolutely hate it. . . or just want to clean up the edges a bit more.)   Paint over center of trunk and branches with medium color brown paint to add some depth. Note: all of you folks with ‘orange peel’ wall texture will appreciate the bark effect that results from the texture underneath.  I didn’t paint it that way – it just happened.

While the trunk dries, paint simple leaves with your medium sized paint brush and light green paint in a simple leaf shape.

 

Then add a lot of dark green paint to your leftover light green paint, mix it, then swipe the leaves on one side or another to give some shading.

 You can even go back a third time with just the dark green paint to add more depth.

Return to your tree trunk with your lightest shade of brown/tan paint. Swipe the center of the tree trunk and the branches with your paintbrush using the paler color, then use a kitchen sponge to smooth it out. This gives the subtle look of light cast upon the tree trunk, and provides even more depth and shadow. If you’re sentimental like I am, carve a message into your tree trunk!

 (if you dare to decorate with faux blooms): Pluck the bloom off the plastic branch, and trim the plastic bottom of the bloom so that your blossom will glue flat to the wall. Apply with hot glue to the end of your painted branches.

 

And in the end, this is the result!

 

So tell me readers, give it to me straight.

Is it a botanical beauty, or are you totally allergic?

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