DIY Abstract Art on a Budget

I love a good DIY, and i’ve done a few for my new place that I am hoping to post on here sometime soon. I will admit that I came to the realization while making my Ikea Hack nightstand (coming soon), that you don’t always save money. After buying all the supplies, and spending the time doing the work, I realized that I really could have just bought a finished piece at Ikea for the same price. That being said, I really enjoyed the process and the challenge of saying that I can make something, having a vision of how it will turn out and then actually doing it and being proud of the results. It’s thrilling to me, but I know it’s not for everyone. Plus with a DIY, you then have something unique, that you can’t find in a store or anyone else’s home. I don’t know, it really depends how much time you have on your hands and how much importance you put on making things by hand, but personally I know that even if it’s hard work, I am going to keep DIYing because I find it so rewarding and fun!

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I have posted on here a few times this week after being MIA for a while. I guess thats my MO. I get bursts of creativity, and ideas, and energy to make blog posts and then I go into hibernation for a while. I know that I should probably hold off on posting this project for a little while to space out my work, but I’m way too excited, because I really, really love how this project turned out and I feel like anyone can do something like it.
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When I moved into my new place I made two decisions. The first was that I wanted to start being more minimalistic. After reading Marie Kondo’s book; The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up, the idea of only holding onto the things in my life that I loved resonated with me. So when I moved, I only brought the stuff that made me smile into my home, and have been taking my time filling it, so as not to buy unnecessary items. The second thing I decided was that I wanted to make a lot of my own art. In my last apartment I had some of my photography printed and I framed them in simple frames to go above the couch, then over the TV in NYC. I think I might do that again soon, but I also wanted to try my hand at painting because I not only love it but I find it so therapeutic.
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I started doing a little research to find what pieces made my heart flutter. I went on Pinterest and pinned a bunch of art and then tried to zero in on what I really liked about them. I realized I was being drawn to abstract art, simple lines and feminine colours. With that idea in my mind I went to the dollar store (yep, this DIY is really low cost, high impact!) and bought brushes, paint and canvases. This whole project cost me under $20.00, and I ended up with two pieces of personalized art, one extra canvas that I still need to paint, and a ton of paint and supplies left over for future projects. Score! My bedroom has pops of coral, navy, gold and white, so I wanted to use those tones in the artwork to tie the whole room together. I used navy paint from my Ikea Hack Nightstand (which I will get around to posting about as soon as I get to putting the handles on it). I love how the navy in the canvas matches my nightstand perfectly, I also made a coral colour, and bought a light pink and gold.
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I really think that even if you aren’t artistic, you can definitely pull this off with a little research and some planning and this DIY will actually save you a ton of money, because art isn’t cheap.
Here is what you need: 
Several different sized paint brushes
Paint (you need at least 3 different paint colours. I chose gold, navy and coral because those were the colors in my room.
2 canvases
Paint tray
Paper towel or old dish rag
drop cloth

What you need to do:
1. Start by going on pinterest for inspiration, figure out what look you are going for before you start. With a vision in mind it will be a bit easier to get started, but I find once you start it just comes to you and you go with what looks good.
2. Prepare a workspace with a drop cloth to avoid paint splatter on your furniture.
3. Start with one colour on the canvas. I chose to start with the gold. Make several random lines using different brush sizes on the canvas. Continue using other colours to fill in the spaces around it. You can adjust the shades by wiping away excess paint of the canvas in certain parts to fade the colour, or blend colors. Continue adding lines in different thicknesses and lengths, blending where you can to create a cohesive piece.
4. Hang and enjoy.

How do you feel about DIYing? As I mentioned earlier, sometimes it ends up costing more, but is it always about the money or is it about the challenge and fun? I found this article on Huffington post that says to use a flowchart when trying to decide on whether to DIY it or Buy it. Could be a helpful way to decide! Check it out here. 

Inspiration: Little Geo Prints

I am really loving these tiny geo prints and with spring right around the corner I like to find ways to make some subtle, affordable changes to my space and not only do these tiny geos pack a big punch but they are growing to be a key print and pattern trend for 2015. I’m seeing them everywhere and really want to see them in my home…

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They have a delicate and pretty yet sophisticated look in washed corals and calming greys, often paired with blush pinks, nudes, teal and yellow accents. I really love them, don’t you?

Sweet Dreams; Bedroom Inspiration

I love imagining what the perfect room looks like to me. This idea of “perfect” constantly changes, since we all have that basic idea of what we like, but certain trends make an impact on us. Ideally I try and create a fairly neutral base in every room so that I can make inexpensive changes that impact the overall feel. I was really into white when we did the bedroom, and chose all white dressers and nightstands, which is a great blank canvas. I love it and can total work with it, but lately I’ve been craving a little bit of warmth in the form of natural wood. Something that isn’t heavy though, and still has a light airy feel. I love the nightstand below, it’s got that wood element but the marble top contrasts the darkness perfectly, keeping it light and fresh. While I am in NO position to re-do the bedroom right now (money doesn’t grow on trees) a girl can dream, don’t you think!? I am constantly finding new pieces that make my heart beat faster, so making inspiration boards like this one is a fun way to piece together my personal style! For now, here’s what I’m loving for my “perfect” bedroom. Imagine this; lots of natural light, an open airy layout, very subtle grey/white walls and these beautiful things.


That navy rug is so dramatic and cozy and pairs really well with natural wood. I have been eyeing navy for a while now, and trying to think of ways to incorporate it into my current space. The lamp is like killing two birds with one stone, it’s sculptural element adds interest to the space, and it obviously provides light. The dresser has an art deco feel which caught my eye and goes well with the nightstand. This big plush bed frame is so beautiful. My bed currently sits on a metal frame and I use large oversized pillows to act as a headboard. It looks awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I keep dreaming of a bed with a headboard and a baseboard like this one. Finishing off the whole look is a really fun piece of art. The colours are light and feminine and have a little navy in there that ties in perfectly with the rug, and the brass frame matches the lamp! Could you imagine waking up in here? I could. Anyone want to let me re-do their room instead?

Always Sunny – 3 Ways to Add Pops of Yellow in your Home

I attended an event at Dry Bar last month and if you have ever been, you know that yellow is their signature color. Pops of yellow in the form of hair tools, light fixtures, trays etc… are thrown in to an otherwise neutral space. It made me fall even more in love with this color. I first started crushing on it last year when we inherited these two huge, yellow antique lamps (Which you can kind of see in this post from last year). I loved them the minute I saw them because they were grand, bright, sculptural and unique. Without even thinking about the fact that they were a super bright yellow I knew I needed them in my space, one way or another. My couch, walls, furniture and carpets are all very neutral so I knew I could make these big guys work. They ended up not only fitting perfectly in the living room on either side of the couch, but are my favourite part of the whole space. They also inspired me to incorporate more pops of yellow in other rooms. It turns out, it’s now one of my favourite accent colours because its fun and cheerful. When you don’t live in sunny California and have to put up with a grey, dreary winter for over 6 months, you need a little sunshine in your life. Honestly, what colour says “happy” better than bright yellow?

Here are 3 of my favourite ways to add a splash of yellow into any room!

1. Accents: A painted door or window frame in bright yellow makes such a huge statement without overpowering the space. If that seems like too much of a commitment then toss a yellow throw pillow on the couch or bed, you can also add a yellow vase, lamp, fruit bowl or any decorative item for that matter, for a simple yet impactful way to brighten any room.

2. Rugs: Adding a bright yellow rug to a room will make it feel sunny all day long. I love the way these rugs pop out at you, but work so well!

3. Chairs: Bright yellow chairs are my new obsession and it’s a really fun way add a pop of yellow into your home. You can either buy one, or get your DIY on and paint one you already have lying around.

Here are some fun yellow things to get you inspired!

While I will always choose the real sun over anything else, while it’s hiding behind grey winter clouds, I am happy I have bright cheery things to look at inside! Hope you are inspired to add some yellow into your home!

The Bright Side of Winter

Winter can be so long! So, in order to get through it every year I try to remind myself what I love about it. It really is a beautiful time of year and I love how everyone wants to be cozy and warm, making everything feel more intimate. I also like being able to layer and wear all my scarves. But in all honesty, I’m really bad with the cold weather and always have been, despite being a Canadian girl. When the snow covers the ground and the air is so cold it hurts, I tend to hibernate. There is something satisfying about that, since it is a time for renewal and an opportunity to slow down and take good care of ourselves, but after a while, I start to long for the freedom that summer offers, the brightness and the warmth. I know it’s only February and we have a little ways to go, but walking through the market yesterday I saw tulips and potted plants everywhere and for a second I remembered what it felt like to be surrounded by colour and life! It inspired me to want to brighten up the world around me while I patiently wait for sun to come out and melt the snow!

What are some of the things you love about winter and some ways you get through the long cold months?

Andrew Martin: A Brand Inspired by Cultures, Decades and Nostalgia.

Andrew Martin is a U.K brand with unique look that I recently discovered, and there’s no way around it, I am in love!
Check out the details in the images below. The fabric, furniture, wallpaper and accessories are what make these spaces unique. I am enamoured by the walls that look too real to be wallpaper, but they are, I promise you.

The company director Martin Waller co-founded the Andrew Martin brand in 1978 in Richmond and later relocated in 1987 to London’s fashionable, cosmopolitan Walton street when he took sole ownership of the brand. He continued to make a name for himself in the interior design world through the early eighties and “by 1985 was working on iconic set designs for the James Bond films A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights”.(1) You can really see a cinematic influence in his work.

The brand offers a wide range of fabrics, wallpapers, furniture and home accessories with an aesthetic inspired by a unique mix of decades, cultures and nostalgia. I love how bold, masculine and graphic his designs are. Oversized accessories add drama and the wallpaper alone is enough artwork for the space. The fabrics and cushions add warmth and pops of colour to finish the look. These are only a few of the very diverse designs the brand offers, you can check out all the collections on their website here. 

It’s clear that I have a crush on this brand, but what do you think about Andrew Martin’s aesthetic?

5 Tips on Mixing Prints in your Home Like a Pro

Long before mixing prints became a trend, I was watching Sarah Richardson pull it off time and time again. She wouldn’t just mix 2 or 3 prints together. Sarah didn’t mess around. Sometimes she would have a pile of different prints in front of her and I would be amazed at how she was able to make them look like they were always made to be together. Not everyone has a natural talent for knowing which prints work well together, but with the right tools, you can definitely become a pro. Here are some tips on how you can begin to master the skill. Because I am telling you, once you do, you will never look back.

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{source} This is a perfect example of mixing prints. We see different scales, types of prints and compatible colours all on a neutral backdrop.

1. Size does matter: Use patterns of multiple scales and densities. When you do this, the prints visually balance each other out, so that one dominates the eye and becomes the focal point and the other one compliments it. If you don’t do this your eye won’t know where to go and it will make the whole thing look messy.

2. Use different pattern types: (floral, animal, stripe, geometric) Mixing different patterns together is key, and insures that two patterns won’t be competing with each other. One of my favourite combinations is floral and stripes.

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{Source} Staying in the blues; geometric chevron meets floral. I love the contrasting prints in these similar tones!

3. Use a low contrast palette: By using your colour wheel wisely, you will ensure that the colours are harmonious. This doesn’t mean every pattern has to be the same colour, but the colours need to compliment each other well.

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{Source} This neutral backdrop sets the stage for compatible colours with natural tones of copper, brown, and rose.

4. Start with a neutral foundation: It’s best to have a neutral foundation when mixing prints so as not to overdo it. This means your base (walls, couch etc..) should not overpower the prints. They will act like your blank canvas.

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{Source} The Starting Point in this has to be the art. Everything seems to fit perfectly with the artwork, making all these random colors and prints work so perfectly together.

5. Find a jumping off point: Find a fabric that appeals to your individual style and use it as your guide. Pull colours from it and find prints that contrast well with it using the tips above. It makes the whole process easier when you have something to compare too and go back too.

How do you feel about mixing prints? Would you feel confident enough to incorporate it into your home?