Tag Archives: wall treatments

Paint Chip Projects

I am still settling into my new place and so far the biggest stumbling block, besides having the delivery guys unceremoniously dump my couch three floors below my apartment door, has been trying to choose paint colours.

paint chip samples

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Before I moved in, I was sure I knew the perfect hues and collected a small sampling of paint chips from my local store. But now that I have been in the space for a while, none of my original picks seem right for attic rooms with sloping ceilings and little natural light. So it’s back to the paint store for a few more chips.

Bicycle with rainbow wheels
Photo: Buzznet

Not only am I ready to give up and pull a random colour out of a bag like Rachel Berger did for her 100 Colors, 100 Writings, 100 Days project but I’m also feeling a little guilty about all those wasted swatches. Since they can’t be recycled, I wanted to find a way to reuse them in a way that wouldn’t resemble a third grader’s art and crafts activity.

Pantone swatch mosaic rendition of a Manet painting

Photo: Tim Fraser Brown via Shape + Colour

This awesome reproduction of Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Berger took designer Tim Fraser Brown and his friends four days and 5000 Pantone chips to make. This is definitely not a third grade project but it is perhaps an overly ambitious goal for my limited palette of chips.

Coffee table with paint chip top
Photo: Ready Made

An internet search reveals hundreds of amazing projects. One of my favourites is this table treatment, which would be an excellent way to disguise a scratched surface or to dress up an inexpensive piece of furniture like IKEA’s Lack table. By using double-sided tape, as Ready Made suggests, you can change it up whenever you like.

Box and bow made with paint chips
Photo: Style With a Smile

I’m always trying to cut down on using store-bought gift wrap, so I can’t wait to try Jonathan Fong’s paint chip box and bow to jazz up a birthday present.

Coaster craft project using paint chips
Photo: Crafty CPA

The trick to projects like these is to make something that you will actually use, which is why I love the Crafty CPA’s paint chip coasters. And the bonus is that you don’t need to go steal dozen of cards from the paint store to make these; you can just add to your coaster collection when you are done with your latest samples.

Shredded paint chips on a wall
Photo: Babble

While I may be no closer to choosing colours for my walls, at least I have some ideas about how to reuse all those pretty paint chips. What do you do with your colour strips once the decision has been made?

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Moony Over Murals

The School of Athens by Raphael. Image via ArtHistoryGalore.

A mural seems like an “old school” thing to have in the home. I thought that it’s something that is more likely to be found in castles or chapels. The old masters such as Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo come to mind, and how they labored on their frescoes and tempera for months and years. And though more current artists such as Klimt, Haring, and Banksy have made their share of murals, the mural idea is still not something I’d normally associated with the contemporary living spaces.

I was so wrong!

Murals can be super cool wall treatments with lots of wow factor. They can now broadly refer to any kind of art work that somehow gets on a wall — they don’t need to be painted on! The possibilities are myriad, and with their height and breadth, potentially awe-inspiring.

Here are a few examples of murals that blew me away, and they didn’t take years, nor did they need a Botticelli or a Correggio to make them.

DIY Mural. Image via Apartment Therapy.

Check out the fabulously easy DIY project from Apartment Therapy.

Image via Apartment Therapy.

Sometimes, less is more. A mural doesn’t have to cover the entire wall. I love this cross-stitch inspired rose mural on the stark white wall.

Image via Murals Your Way

These days, anything can be printed out and made into wallpaper. The large Buddha illustrations and the rich textured green and orange in the mural above makes the space look exotic.

Image via Murals Your Way

Image via Artistic Homeowner

Image via Swoon Style Home

The simplest and most basic of tools, in the right hands can make truly spectacular walls. This cool graphic pattern is just drawn with a Sharpie!

Image via Digs Digs

Another DIY Sharpie project. Check out what this awesome drawer Charlie Kratz did to his basement with $10 worth of markers.

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A Place to Hang My Hat

I’m a big fan of accessories and I can’t wait for the cooler weather to bust out my huge collection of jackets, hats, and scarves. However, this presents the dilemma of where to keep all my stylish stuff. I hate to jam it all into a closet where it isn’t easily accessible but I find myself invariably getting sloppy and draping everything over a chair.

The solution? A coat rack as chic as the clothes that it holds. The RIBBON by Headsprung! is perfect for a small hallway. It doesn’t take up a lot of room, holds several items, and looks beautiful even when empty.

Photo: Headsprung!

The Tree coat rack by Swedese has a similar sculptural quality. I can just imagine how stunning a group of these would look lined up along a foyer wall- a veritable forest of storage!

Photo: Swedese

Those who favour the industrial look will love Nick Fraser’s designs. He reconfigures ordinary items from the hardware store into whimsical (but still practical) coat racks and umbrella stands.

Photo: Dezeen Magazine

Normann Copenhagen’s Hang On looks like a chaotic mess but the hangers’ curves and hooks hold more than they would if used in the conventional manner. And they look much cooler this way then they would in a closet!

Photo: Normann Copenhagen

The obsessive collector in me loves the assemblage of hooks in Erin Loechner’s eclectic entryway. I think the mix of old-fashioned and more modern, organic elements really works and it would be easy to add hooks as you found them, increasing storage as needed.

Photo: Design Happens

There are lots of DIY options for those who are more hands-on with their home décor. The fine folks at Shelterness created a funky coat rack with little more than a wooden pallet, some hooks, and colorful paint. You could adapt this to fit any space just by varying the dimensions and the colour palette.  I love the idea of repurposing something that might otherwise end up in the trash.

Photo: Shelterness

Want inspiration for your foyer? Look to other rooms for items that can be used to make a coat rack, like utensils from the kitchen, or this headboard from the bedroom. Jenn of Livin’ the Simple Life trimmed off the bedposts, added paint, hooks, and some nailhead trim to create a one-of-a-kind piece that really compliments the architectural details of her front hall.

Photo: Livin' the Simple Life

Can you picture yourself hanging your hat on any of these? How do you keep your entryway organized?

Eye Candy

photography by John Gruen via bright bazaar

I’ve always been a little afraid of colour, and as a result I’ve often gravitated to neutral colours and subdued shades for my home, which coincidentally seems to be the trend in the interior design community as of late. It’s easy to love colourful things like a bouquet of flowers, or a bold piece of art, but living with a bright coloured room can be difficult, and there is often so much that can go wrong when pairing bright hues together. Here are a few rooms that pull off bright and bold while remaining entirely livable, as well as a few tips on adding colour to your existing decor.

via house to home

Sea of Blue

A floor to ceiling blue-room could easily be too much, but by adding an analogous colour (in this case green) it stays dramatic, not overwhelming. The addition of a patterned wall hanging in this room also serves to give the eye something to focus on.

via The Novagratz

Orange Crush

Balancing vibrant bursts of orange with a crisp white makes this bedroom energetic but also peaceful. I also love the sense of fun that comes with the orange light fixture.

Dan Duchars via desire to inspire

How Complimentary

Picking two complimentary colours to base a room around is a designer’s trick that guarantees harmonious results. This living room’s colour scheme of violet and golden yellow is simultaneously regal and playful.

image by Creative Flats via Anastasia Drawing & Dreaming

Keeping it Neutral

Here, a robin’s egg blue wall is subdued by shades of brown and tan. This is a good idea if you want your room to be natural and calming, but still want to experiment with colour.

via kika reichert

Cotton Candy

Pink can very quickly start looking “Barbie dream home” if it’s applied too liberally. I think this homeowner has added enough edge in the sculptural light fixture, fur-draped seats and white floors to keep it chic and not too girly.

Tips for Adding Colour to Your Home

Tip #1 A colour wheel is your best friend. When trying to decide on a colour scheme for your home you can pick up a colour wheel at most paint stores, at your local art supply store or you can find one online. A quick spin will tell you which colours are complimentary.

Tip #2 Use neutrals to ground a brightly coloured wall or floor.

Tip #3 Use patterned textiles to add colour to an otherwise plain room.  A cushion cover or a bold accent chair is easy to change if you get tired of it.

Tip #4 Set the Mood. Pick colours that suit the mood you want the room to have. Feng Shui can be used to assess which colours will have the desired effect. HGTV has a basic but helpful rundown of how to use colour Feng Shui in your home that can be found here.


Eames Elephant at designwithinreach

Designers find their inspiration in all facets of life, and it is no surprise that the diversity and natural artistry of the animal kingdom has drawn their eye.   Here is a menagerie of animal-inspired art and design.

In 1945 Charles and Ray Eames designed two plywood elephants because they were so fascinated by the majestic animals. The original design was too difficult to mass produce at the time, but Vitra Design Museum has produced a new plastic version (seen above under the Eames iconic name.

Original Eames Elephant via Crumbs and Bricks

This is a photograph of one of the plywood Eames Elephants the Eames brothers made,  so you can see how the two compare. The contemporary design has slightly softer lines and is made out of molded plastic, but otherwise they stayed remarkably true to the original design.  It goes to show you that fantastic design really is timeless.

Hand-Painted Antlers by Cassandra Smith

Cassandra Smith’s antlers come from naturally shed antlers (in case you were worried). The natural curves of the antlers are accentuated by metallic and jewel-toned paints. Each piece is unique and would be equally striking hanging on a wall or displayed on a shelf.

Sooty Owl Art Print

Hoot hoot. This owl print is colourful and has just the right amount of mid-century mod appeal. The barkcloth background also gives this print a bit of texture.  Some owl-themed decor can be too cutesy for my tastes, but I find this print perfectly charming.

Grazed and Confused- Twig Terrariums

Looking into this apothecary jar you can almost believe you are seeing a real Irish countryside. The addition of the miniature sheep in this terrarium adds a whimsical touch, and makes the peaceful scene come to life.


This garland of illustrated feathers is so ethereal and beautiful. I keep picturing these hanging over the bed in an all-white bedroom.  I’m a big fan of all of Kaye Blegvad’s illustrated work, the rest of which you can find here in her shop and here on her online portfolio.

ibride polar bear joe- via elle decor

Lastly, the French company ibride has transformed the hulking shape of a polar bear into a minimalist bookshelf. I love innovative bookshelf designs and this is one of the most original ones I’ve seen. If this polar bear is too menacing for your tastes they have also created shelving and tables inspired by ostriches, deer and mules.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this zoological expedition.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

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