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Posts Tagged ‘gray’

For a while now, I’ve been admiring the clever embroidery-hoops-as-circular-fabric-frames idea that is floating all over Pinterest these days. So much so that I bought a variety of embroidery hoops at Hobby Lobby several months ago, with the intention of completing this project. I just didn’t know, at the time, where in the house it would end up. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can see some examples here, herehere, and here. The image below was the first I saw (and pinned) that inspired me to incorporate this idea into my decor somehow.

How’s that for a giant wall-o-fabric-circles? My take on it = much, much smaller scale, but I do love the inspiration.

One of the saddest things about my bedroom before I painted it a while back was the lack of art on the walls. So I’m happy to say that I have begun to add art in the form of some cute fabrics that coordinate with the new duvet cover and gray walls (as well as coordinating with one another without “matching” exactly).

I actually completed this project while I was supposed to be cleaning in preparation for the arrival of my best friend and her boyfriend. Somehow I ended up on the floor next to my bed with a stack of fabric, some scissors and a bunch of embroidery hoops. I really don’t know how it happened, but once I started, I couldn’t stop.

I basically just placed the hoop on one of my fabric choices, cut around the circle, and stretched the fabric in the hoop.

You can see in the picture below that there were some pretty major creases in some of the fabrics. Did I bother ironing? Nope. (Mostly because I’m lazy.) Instead, I just stretched it good and tight and the wrinkles disappeared. Good enough for me.

Once I had all the fabrics in their respective “frames,” I had to deal with the excess fabric that peeked out from the back before putting them on the wall.

First, I trimmed the excess down to about a quarter- to a half-inch around the edges.

Then, out came the glue gun!

I just put a few inches of glue around the inside of the back of the frame and folded the fabric down to stick to the glue.

Until they all looked like this from the back:

Then, it was time to put them on the wall. I wasn’t too scientific with this stage. I just held one up at a time, marked the approximate spot I wanted the nail, put a tiny piece of scotch tape over the marking, and hammered a tiny nail in place. (I have plaster walls, and the tape helps to keep bits of plaster from crumbling when putting a nail in the wall.) Then I just placed the hoop on the nail and moved on to the next one. Easy-peasy.

I moved some of the smallest hoops from one nail to another a few times, but I think I ended up with my original layout in the end. Nope. I went back and checked and a couple are switched in the “final” layout. Now that I see it, I might like the original layout better. Maybe I’ll go switch it. Maybe.

I really love the pops of color, and the circles look like polka dots on the wall. So fun!

And a view from a little further away, so you can see how it looks with the rest of the room:

That last photo (and the next few) should probably have been part of a different post where I tell you about the headboard that I painted to match my new storage bed (see headboard before painting here), but I somehow lost all my photos of the process. I guess I haven’t quite mastered the organization that having a blog requires. Sad face.

But the headboard is fun, no? I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

And I really like how the fabrics in the hoops allowed my to bring in some other accent colors to the room. The green is the obvious star, but I really wanted to incorporate some turquoise accents, and the fabrics tie the colors all together.

Here are some more headboard pics for your enjoyment. I guess I’m a little photo-happy in this post. Oh well.

Oh, this next photo reminds me that there is another step that I have planned to really finish this project, but it was not in the cards for a procrastinating-from-cleaning-by-DIYing-some-art kind of project. Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed paint, you’re on the same page as me. I’m thinking that the “New Avocado” (by Valspar) paint that I used on the inside bookcase portion of the headboard is destined to end up on those embroidery hoop frames. I think that it will really bring everything together. But that’s a project — and a post — for another day. Until then, one last look at those cute little polka dots:

What do you think? Do you like the colors and fabrics? How about the headboard? Not bad for a $10 Goodwill snag, huh? And what about painting the embroidery hoops green? Should I skip it, or will the green unify the room like I think it will? Or maybe you think I should paint them, but not green. Do tell. I’m all ears.

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Why is it that the master bedroom — where I sleep every night, dress every morning, and begin and end each day — is the last place I decorate? I guess it’s just that I can close the door when guests are over and devote my time and energy to the rooms in which they will be instead.

Oh well. Now that I’ve lived in this house for more than a year and have gotten a basic layer of decor in the common areas of the house, I can finally work on creating a space for my husband and myself that will welcome us to each new day and calm us into sleep after that day has taken its toll on us.

After finally finding a duvet cover that I liked/was willing to pay the asking price for (seen here), I got to paint! I had been waiting for this moment pretty much since the day we moved in. I was lucky enough to really love the color of the living room/dining room (it’s one big room, really). The same color is in the hallway. I’m good with that. The kitchen is perfectly neutral, as is the bathroom. And the guest bedroom definitely isn’t my first choice in paint color, but it’s fine for the time being. (I’m hoping that it won’t be more than a year or so before I’m contemplating what color to paint the nursery — which is what that room will ultimately be — anyway.)

In sum, I’m good with the colors of all the rooms in our little home, except our bedroom. At first, I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t really like it. But after looking at the house a couple of times before the sale was final, I decided I kinda hated it. By the time we moved in, it was official. It’s not that it’s an inherently bad color. It’s just that the slightly salmon, kinda terracotta, almost orange hue was too energized for a space that I feel should be soothing. Here, you can see what I mean. (Or not. Maybe you love it. That’s OK, too.)

You can also see that I was prepping for a paint job. (And that I threw all the covers and sheets into the middle of the bed when I moved the bed to the middle of the room so I could get to all the walls. Embarrassing.)

Anyway, once I got the duvet cover, I finally felt like I had a centerpiece to build a room around. And I finally felt like I could pick a color scheme. And that meant I finally got to paint my room.

I had originally been kind of obsessed with aqua and thought I might paint my room some shade of blue/green/turquoise/teal/aqua. But the duvet dictated otherwise. Gray seemed like a natural choice. Plus I’ve been loving all the gray walls over at YoungHouseLove.com lately.

So off I went to the hardware store to pick paint swatches. I was honestly kind of bummed by the selection of grays, but it’s probably best that my choices were sort of limited because I don’t always do well with decisions. In any case, I brought them home and pretty quickly narrowed the selection down to two or three and showed Chad. We both liked one in particular — Notre Dame (5006-1B) by Valspar (in a flat finish) — so off I went to get paint and supplies from the hardware store.

After using our vacuum’s dusting attachment to get the dust off the walls and molding, I taped off the room using Scotch blue painter’s tape with edgelock. I considered just cutting in by hand, but it’s been a while since I’ve painted anything, and I didn’t really want to risk it. Plus, we don’t have an appropriate ladder, so I would be using a step stool to reach the top of the wall, and I didn’t want to be stretching my arms and trying to be accurate with a paintbrush. But it was definitely a pain. It took quite a bit longer to tape everything than I anticipated. Probably an hour and a half or so.

Then, I started painting.

Again, the process took longer than I expected (which always happens to me – I guess I’m just an optimist and always think projects are going to be quick and easy…). In fact, I had intended to finish the whole project in one sitting, but I had a potluck to get to that night and barely finished the first coat of paint before I had to leave to get to the potluck (and I was still a little late).

After that first coat, I only had about 1/3 of the gallon of paint left. And the coverage was pretty good. Except for a few spots. Boo. I thought about just touching up those spots where a little orange poked through the gray, especially since I chose a flat finish for the project, which is the easiest finish to touch up. But I worried it might look kind of patchy and/or I might miss a few spots and it would bug me down the road.

So a couple of days later (the first chance I had a few hours at once to work), I went back to the hardware store to get an extra quart of paint. I mixed the quart with the remaining 1/3 of the original gallon, just to make sure the color was seamless, and got to work on coat #2.

I don’t know if I was putting too heavy of a coat on the walls, but I ran out of paint again. Boo. I did realize that the Valspar paint I was using claimed to be “thick, one coat coverage,” so maybe I was just using a little too thin of a coat the first time around, actually. In any case, I think I had a premonition that this might happen and I decided to paint around the room in the opposite direction for the second coat than I did for the first coat. In other words, I started both coats on the wall where the door is, but for the first coat, I went clockwise, to paint the wall to its right, all the way around. For the second coat, I painted counter-clockwise.

As a result, the last wall I painted the first coat (which seemed to be the spottiest paint job — probably because I was rushing a bit by the time I got to that wall) was the second wall I painted the second coat. So I had plenty of paint to make sure all the spots got covered. By the time I ran out of paint the second time around, I had nearly finished the whole room. I was bummed, but I waited a couple of days and decided that I couldn’t tell the difference between the area of the last wall that only got one, thick coat and the area that got two. And I decided that if I couldn’t tell the difference, no one else would be able to either. So I declared myself done.

Then it was time to pull the tape and see the nice crisp edges that it left.

Or not! Can you see that bleeding? Bummer. All that time spent taping, and it didn’t even really work. I don’t know if I did something wrong or if this just happens, but I’ll think a little harder before spending time taping next time. On the bright side, once I had nice fresh paint on the walls, the trim started looking pretty dingy to me. Normally, that wouldn’t be a bright side at all, but at least when I finally get around to freshening up the paint on the trim, I can make those edges a little more crisp, too. One day. Maybe soon…

OK. So, now that I’ve managed to write 1318 words about painting a few walls, let’s see the finished room, shall we?

There are a couple of projects hiding in this picture that I’ll be back to tell you about soon, but until then, what do you think about the gray walls? Do they work with the duvet cover? Did you prefer the original color, or do you find the gray more soothing, as I do? And while we’re at it, do you have any tips for using painter’s tape (or for NOT using painter’s tape)? Should I have done a better job on my first coat of paint and skipped the second coat altogether, or should I have gone a little thinner with both coats to ensure I had enough paint to cover the whole room? Thoughts? Tips? Advice? I’m all ears.

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