DIY

Spring in the Living Room

Monday, March 31st, 2014

It rained all day Saturday and the kids’ games were canceled so we stayed in our pajamas for much of the day. Rainy days inspire indoor creativity so I decided to paint some new artwork for the living room. My 10 year old daughter loves to paint too so we spread out newspaper on the dining room table and opened up our sketchbooks and collections of acrylic paint. 

Late last year in my quest for more masculine touches, we painted the living room above our DIY wainscoting Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray and I also painted the French doors black. The two together are a perfect moody neutral combo but with spring arriving I was craving more color.  

Coral is all the rage this year and I’m also lover of the hue – it’s so chic especially with gray and gold, so I added pillows to the tufted sofa in that colorway.  

gray and coral in living room centsational girl

The gray zebra pillows used to live in our master bedroom (originally from Z Gallerie but no longer available). I found the geometric coral Lulu pillow covers at Ballard Designs on sale, the embroidered floral is Tar-jay.

The walls held only two prints (one of them is one of my most favorite souvenirs from a trip to Paris) but there was a bare spot between them and I needed a third piece of art to fill it. Black and white made sense, not a charcoal, not a print, something whimsical and botanical.

practicing swirls

branch painting

I was inspired by none other than Matisse – I saw his Le Buisson framed print for sale at Joss & Main and thought it was perfect but even more perfect if I painted my own version of a black and white botanical for pennies.   

matisse

I just loved the simplicity of the Mattise painting so I tried the tree with twigs and leaves but after a few attempts opted for a simpler set of branches instead.

attempt at tree

 

simple branches

 

gray and coral pillows centsational girl

   

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Built-In Banquette, Part One

Monday, March 24th, 2014

I was having coffee with our pastor’s wife a few months ago in their home, we were talking about all of of her plans for fixing up the house on a very limited budget. (Out of respect for their privacy I can’t share her name but let’s just call her “Carrie”.) She shared that the biggest dream of hers was to install a built in wrap around bench in their U shaped breakfast nook for their family of six and cozy it up with cushions and pillows. I wholeheartedly agreed that a banquette would be perfection!

We started scheming how to make it happen and a few weeks later she called me in excitement to tell me they were going to build it in a shop with a carpenter friend who’s also member of the congregation. He guided them from start to finish on the build. Six weeks passed as the bench slowly took shape over time and I’m so excited to share the first phase. Let’s call it a “before” and “during” because there are many more details to come … 

empty nook

 

built in bench in nook

 

The pieces for this built in banquette were constructed in this order: first the three boxes then the face frame, next the drawers, drawer fronts, and finally the top.

boxes and drawers in shop

   

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