We found these babies at a yard sale and haggled them down to $10 a pop.
We immediately thought the extra tall shape of the frames would be perfect for either side of our bed above the glass based lamps on the makeshift just-for-now side tables (they’re way too small and don’t have any drawers for storage) on this very unfinished side of our master bedroom:
We definitely had plans to change out the art. They’re prints of the berries and wildflowers of Alaska (which is kind of fun and fitting since we honeymooned there) but they felt a bit too grandma for us.
But we loved the long rectangular shape of those $10 frames. So we hung them up, just to see what we were dealing with. Don’t mind all the blank space on either side of the walls, we still have furnishings to add to fill up this cavernous room. And once we change out the side tables we might rehang the art a bit further out from the bed or higher up depending on the new furnishings.
We definitely liked the shape of our new frames, but we weren’t crazy about how the warm wood tones sort of clashed with the darker tones in the thrift store wood candle holders on either side of Sir Ram above the bed…
… along with the leaning mirror, and the leather chair in the corner:
And yes, we’re aware that not all couples aspire to sleep under a giant resin ram head. We are indeed a rare and special breed. Akin to centaurs and unicorns. Speaking of that above-the-bed stuff, we originally mentioned that the maybe-too-small-art might go, but months later it’s still there and has strangely grown on us.
But back to the yard sale frames. I actually decided to do something completely insane for me when it came to them (but totally ain’t-no-thang for anyone else). I opted to spray the frames with oil-rubbed-bronze spray paint. I know you might think that given my recent ORB kick (here and here and here) this isn’t news. But, you my friend, would be wrong-O with a capital O. Why? Because virtually every frame that we own is white (both in this house and our first one) and we must own five million of them! Dark frames have never been our preference. White is my eternal jam..
Until now, apparently. Total curveball. At least to a white-frame loving fool like me.
I’ll spare you the spray painting play-by-play (you can find some general tips here) except to point out these two things:
- the glass was so tightly fitted that I worried I’d break it if I tried to remove it before spraying – so I just covered it with newspaper
- I laid each frame up on a big ol’ rock from the yard so the sides wouldn’t stick to the “drop cloths” and peel off the finish when I picked them up
While I was at it I carefully removed the mats and sprayed those white for a cleaner look.
Now brace yourself for the hottest picture you’ve ever seen on the internet:
My white mom legs + black dress socks = sexy beast. I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but the whole dark sock thing is actually a spray painting trick I implement nearly every time. Instead of worrying about getting rogue drips on my shoes or flip flops (or my feet, which I could then track into the house) I just don some dark socks, spray to my heart’s content, and slip them off at the backdoor so I don’t track anything in (and don’t have to worry about scrubbing my feet or ruining my favorite shoes/flip flops). As for the rest of my outfit, I’m nude. Just kidding. I wear painting clothes that I do not slip off at the door (big drips only seem to fall on my feet).
A few minutes after snapping that photo was when John and I both started giving each other crazy eyes. Which means we were both having strange and exciting ideas (ideas that are completely unrelated to bedding each other under the ram – get your mind out of the gutter).
John: “What if we put those old botanical-looking prints back into these now that the mat and frame is all updated and graphic?”
Sherry: “Just to be suuuuure we’re completely over them – I agree!”
So we hung them up and we really liked them. So we are in fact completely under them (you know, as opposed to over them as we originally anticipated). Sure, they’re still a little grandma, but they’re also something we could picture in Elle Decor or House Beautiful (with more than a $10 price tag on them). And most of all, they make us smile.
Here’s where I’ll stop to acknowledge that not only is hanging a big white ram head over your bed one of those
personal preference things maybe-I’m-crazy things, art in general is definitely a place where all folks on the internet won’t come together and sing kumbaya. But we’re loving our twig and berries – er flowers and berries. I mean it’s not like we’ll ever entertain in our bedroom – so we don’t have to worry about what other folks might think. Which I hope is nothing weird and kinky due to the ram. Yikes.
Speaking of weird, we got an embarrassingly huge kick out of hanging the berries on J’s side and the flowers on my side. You know, because ladies have flowers and guys have berries. Too far? My deepest apologies.
Then something crazy and completely unexpected happened (manage your expectations, our lives are not that interesting).
John decided to exercise his veto power on the leafy duvet cover that we ordered around seven months ago.
Didn’t see that coming did you? See, back when the duvet cover was one of the first things we bought for our house (deeply clearanced from West Elm) John agreed that we could get it (we have a full agreement agreement, meaning we’re not allowed to buy things without both being ok with it). But he only agreed with one stipulation: that it wouldn’t necessarily be a forever choice. He reasoned that it was affordable enough and I loved it enough not to keep me from ordering it (I was so worried it would sell out and I’d forever regret it slash hold it against John The Tyrant). But he asserted that if someday he should decide that he no longer liked it I would have to be open to looking for something else that we both could love – especially if the price was right and we could sell this baby on craigslist or something.
At the time I grinned and nodded, never thinking that day would actually come. But wouldn’t you know it, John loved those 10 dolla (holla!) yard sale art infinitely more than the compromise duvet. So he decided we should revisit the whole new-duvet-cover-idea and leave the art as-is (since it was kinda circus-y and compete-y to have them both going on at the same time). And you know what? In an even more shocking turn of events I agreed.
Maybe we’re just sentimental suckers and sleeping between prints of wildlife from the place we honeymooned is our idea of romance? Maybe we think rams and flowers and berries somehow belong together? I don’t know. Either way, the leafy pattern in the duvet cover was fighting with our new leafy art so I stripped things down to our white duvet insert from Ikea and we stepped back to survey the scene.
The weird white duvet insert was definitely more compatible with the art than the competing leafy duvet cover, but not quite perfect. Meaning a white duvet cover isn’t going to be what we go for. We’re hoping to find something with less of a bold pattern and more of a subtle texture (like a soft chevron or crosshatched design or something striped or something else entirely). The jury is still out on what will come home with us, but we’re planning a few HomeGoods and TJ Maxx runs just to see what’s out there. And maybe even an Ikea road trip.
The lesson? Grrrrr, don’t compromise. Just hold out to find something you both love. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20, right? And I like to think the Alaska prints “found us” because it was meant to be. And we certainly had our fair share of decorating mind-changing in the first house, so it’s only fitting that we work in a few control-alt-deletes in this house too (look honey, it’s a bad computer joke that I threw in just for you).
So yeah, we’re thinking about selling the old duvet cover on ebay or craigslist. There are some on there for over $100 and we only paid $42 for our king-sized guy thanks to sales and coupon codes. So who knows, maybe we can recoup the entire cost and list it for $45 in great-but-slightly-used condition. We shall see…
As for what the kids think, Clara toddled into the bedroom and gave the new art two thumbs up (not lying, but she does happen to do that gesture a lot). And Burger gave it one paw sideways. He’s such an art snob.
Do you guys have any duvet cover switches or “rewinds” going on? Has anyone else had their man exercise veto power in a surprising but serendipitous-in-the-end way? Does anyone else spray paint while wearing black dress socks or sleep under a white resin ram? Yeah… probably not.
Guess what we did this weekend? Here’s a hint:
And another hint:
And another hint:
And one last hint:
Um yeah, all that house insanity was for this:
Specifically, to paint Clara’s closet.
See, whilst standing on a chair in there hanging the little ribbon chandelier that I made last week (you know, right before John asked me how it was hanging), I decided it was high time we painted that little future-reading nook for the bean (we envision a big cushy beanbag and a ton of books in there for her to dive into). Isn’t it funny how one small project can snowball? One minute you’re standing on a chair hanging a ring o’ ribbons and the next minute you’re tossing a ton of stuff into the guest room, stashing shelves in the guest bathroom, setting up a pack & play in your bedroom (to allow for painting while Clara naps in there), and rolling back the ol’ nursery rug to keep it paint-free.
As you can see in the picture above and below, there are already some pretty sweet adjustable shelves for books and toys and all that hoopla when we turn this closet into a closet slash reading nook (Clara’s nursery was the former owners’ office, so the shelves were used for all of their paper and file storage- but it definitely works for board books and blocks too):
But it could definitely use some freshening up. Check out the grody baseboards:
And the hanging bar that appears to be gnawed on:
So out came those already white shelves with the silver brackets (and into the guest bathroom they went)…
… so I could paint all the trim and that hanging bar with some slick semi-gloss white paint (Olympic No-VOC paint in off-the-shelf-white).
It was already a huuuge improvement. John and I went back and forth about what color we should paint the inside of the closet. In our first house’s nursery, the walls were soft pear and the closet was a fun light aqua color along with the ceiling. And we loved that. But since we went with a soft gray-pink in this room we didn’t want to do the same blue closet and ceiling thing all over again. So we decided that we should try something with texture instead of a new color. Like a pink tone-on-tone stencil. That way it’ll feel connected to the nursery while having a little somethin’ extra in the pattern department – maybe even something subtly metallic. But nothing too loud or crazy since there’s a bright floral curtain that hangs at the closet entry as well as on the windows across the room.
You know that fine line you walk between fun & playful and crazy & chaotic? Yeah, we figure if we have plans to add crown molding along with paint and possibly a stencil to the nursery ceiling we shouldn’t go too nutso on the closet – especially if it’s for quiet book reading/baby chillaxing. So for zero dollars and zero cents we opted to paint the closet the same soft gray-pink tone as the nursery walls (Proposal by Benjamin Moore color matched to Olympic No-VOC paint). Thankfully we still had some left from painting those walls back in December (<– cutest Clara pic ever in that post, bee tee dubs). But back to the painted closet. It’s a nice clean start.
Even before it was dry I got into one of those moods (you know, when $herdog comes out and she decides to fly by the seat of her saggy gangsta pants). So I dragged the whole family to Ben Franklin (weekend family time = clearing rooms to paint, painting while the bean sleeps in a pack and play in your bedroom, hitting up the craft store) where I grabbed some 99 cent water-based metallic craft paint in pearl white and champagne (all the metallic paint at the paint store is $20+ and not quite VOC free yet- but this stuff should hold/wear as well as latex paint unless Clara takes a pressure washer or some sandpaper to it – and it’s a lot less fumey). I also grabbed a cute little $1 rubber stamper with a girlie medallion on it.
Do you see where this is going?
I decided it might be cool to apply some sort of hand-stamped pattern to the wall with that rubber stamper instead of a traditional stencil so it looked kind of irregular and imperfect like handmade wallpaper. And I loved the idea of layering the soft champagne color over the light pink walls so it would be subtle enough not to take over the whole nursery or anything (I also grabbed the pearl white paint in case the champagne was a bust). I envisioned it being this little glittering magical world for Clara to duck into and get lost in a book.
So instead of focusing on how long hand stamping the entire closet would take I thought about how much Clara would love it. And crossed my fingers that it would work. Oh and it bears mentioning that John predicted that it would not work at all because rubber stampers are for paper & ink and not walls & craft paint. Who brought the killjoy to the craft store? I did. But I also had the inspiration with me (El Beano). So I walked out semi-confident in my spur-of-the-moment idea.
As for application, I learned by experimenting with some paper first that the best way to get the paint applied nice and evenly (and not too gloppily) was to lightly brush it onto the stamper with a paintbrush. I used a completely out-of-the-way corner that can’t be seen from the doorway of the closet for experimentation (it would also be covered in shelving and could be repainted with pink paint if all h-e-double-hockey-sticks broke loose and my little stamp method was a bust).
Behold, tiny champagne medallions:
I loved them but they were way too subtle and finely-detailed in person. It almost looked like someone with gold lipstick kissed the wall since you couldn’t quite make out the medallion shape (and from the side they looked kind of bumpy and odd). They actually photograph a lot better than they “read” in real life, which is a shame because I didn’t want John to be right. But alas, it wasn’t the right answer for the closet. So it was back to the drawing board. Literally.
That’s right, in a serendipitous turn of events I tried wiping down the still-wet paint with a wet paper towel and it lifted right out. Well, not right out. I had to put some muscle into it and really scrub, but it came out with a little elbow grease so I could start over. And I was mighty impressed with my painted-earlier-that-day wall for holding up to all the manhandling going on so soon after the paint went up.
And yes I did say “so I could start over” a few sentences back. That’s right. I wasn’t done with my crazy craft paint yet. This time I was wondering if I could freehand some sort of fun painted pattern with the same champagne paint (using a wider brush than the rubber stamp so it would hopefully be easier to make out and less detailed/muddled).
First I experimented with imperfect horizontal lines…
… then I moved onto a bunch of x’s in a row (kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss)…
… then I played around with some sweetly imperfect dots that I made by squishing the paint brush against the wall…
Before wiping anything away I called Killjoy John and Happy Happy Joy Joy Clara in for a consult. Clara wanted to kiss the x’s (I kid you not – I think the girl’s smarter than a fifth grader) and John and I both liked the horizontal stripes best. But we weren’t sold enough to slap them all over the walls quite yet. Sometimes holding back is hard for me, but it’s easier for John. He pointed out that we never regret thinking things through just a little bit before rushing in and doing something we might not love as much as something else in the long run. Especially when said project could potentially take five days and make you see stripes when you close your eyes for three more days after that. Bah, voice of reason = annoying, but right. Point taken.
So because I was incapable of getting off the stamped/painted/stenciled train, to the internet my fingers flew, where I found this cute stamp that I love. John is also (miraculously) down with it – maybe because I joked that it looked like wi-fi to him.
It reminds me of the scalloped fish-scale-like piñata that I made for the bean’s birthday. And since Royal Design Studio offers 10% off to YHLers (including us, haha) with the code YHL10, we’re definitely considering springing for this guy. Especially since we didn’t have to pay for wall paint since it was already on hand and we found metallic paint for $1 a tube at the craft store. I haven’t ordered the stencil just yet, but I’m definitely thinking about it. And now that the ribbon chandelier snowballed into a closet painting project, I guess I should mention that I’m also thinking about:
- sewing a beanbag for the whole reading nook thing
- papering or painting the shelves for a little more “happy surprise!” when Clara sneaks in there
- maybe even finding a rug to soften up the floor?
Oh and speaking of the ribbon chandelier, I still haven’t ironed that guy (girl?) yet. Maybe I should add that to my bulleted list so I’m inspired to get ‘er done (you know I love to cross things off). Or not. Oddly enough, the windblown look is still doing it for me. I know, I’m a strange and mysterious creature.
Speaking of which, we only have one True Blood Season 3 DVD left (with two episodes on it) and we’re sad and excited all at the same time. Since I had fun with the Sookie sidechat on Friday I thought we could discuss teams. I’m Team Eric. Is anyone on the Bill trolley? What about that Alcide guy? I’d get on that before the Bill boat for sure, but Eric is definitely mah man. Oh and I forgot about Jason Stackhouse. He might be above Alcide for me. Hmm. Anyone else painting or stenciling a room? A closet? Let’s chat about home stuff or tv or something else entirely. Anything. Does that sound desperate? Sorry. I’m just a chatty lady who has been stuck in a closet all weekend…