Ready to Paint, But What Color?

January 20th, 2012

Anther great reader question this week, and one I’ve had a couple of times before.  My mantra has always been if you don’t like an old tired piece of furniture you own, then paint it!  Lots of people share that idea and want to reinvent their furniture with a coat paint but like Mina, they get stuck on deciding what color to choose. 

“I would like some advice on some pieces of furniture for my bedroom. I am new at this and really don’t know where to start.  For my bedroom I’d love some color mixed with black, grey, and white.  I want to mix in new pieces of furniture (like a headboard) with old/repainted night stands and an old chest.  What color do you think I should paint them?  Should I brush paint or spray paint? Any thoughts or ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.”  ~ Mina

The answer is completely subjective and depends on so many factors, your favorite colors, the space itself, and of course the style of the piece of furniture. I like to think of it this way.  If you’re looking for a piece that will harmonize with other players in the room then choose a classic or more neutral color, like cream, gray, or black, and then pull color into the space with your wall paint, textiles, and accessories.  But if you’re looking for a showstopper, or one that will be a focal point and be more dominant in the space, then by all means, choose a brighter color.

There’s a great source of inspiration for painted furniture and a site I absolutely love. I wrote about Somerset Bay two years ago, and I find their entire collection so inspiring, every color is spot on.  

Take a peek at a few of their classic neutrals …

little pine key chest somerset bay

somerset entertainment

gloucester chest

 

 

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From Photos to Coloring Pages (or Sketches!)

January 19th, 2012

Over the Christmas holiday, the kids and I did a lot of playing around with pictures of our family on the computer.  We’re big fans of Picnik because it’s free and you can make a lot of funny faces with it.  Have you tried the Gooify tool?  Hilarious what it can do to facial features!

Anyway, I was looking for a rainy day project, and I remembered there is a tool that will transform any ol’ photograph into a black and white sketch.  So then I thought we could just make some coloring pages for the kids… here is the simple (and free!) step by step:

how to turn photos into coloring pages

 

***** See update to this post at the bottom with the latest disappointing announcement that Picnik is closing on April 19th (or in some aspect moving to Google+) that came the day after this tutorial was posted.

* * * * *

It’s best to start with a high resolution image (1000+ px) since you’ll be printing these as 8 x 10s on letter size paper.  First, upload your image into Picnik and change it to a black and white image under the Effects tool.  You can also use the Boost tool to add a little more contrast between the blacks and whites.

black and white and boost

 

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Expedited!

January 18th, 2012

The home office has felt a little chaotic for the past month and I’ve been desperate for some smarter storage in here.  Enter the famous and affordable IKEA Expedit shelving unit!  Two as matter of fact, one on each side of the credenza.  I’ve always liked this unit for its universal appeal, clean lines, and modern style plus you can’t beat the price! I was surprised at the quality too, these units are sturdy and very heavy.  Impressive IKEA, most impressive!

kates office ikea expedit

 

This unit has been popping up in so many different stylish spaces for years, both the larger square and the skinnier version …here are a few more of my favorite spaces using Expedit shelving!  

bhg expedit

Family Room Expedit via BH&G

 

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