Self-Care Decorating

Friday, November 20, 2020

Self-care seems to be a big subject these days what with the stress of recent world events and the abrupt upheaval of our day to day living.  So then what is Self Care Decorating you ask?  Well, it's simply being more mindful of your living space and how it's making you feel.  Especially since most of us are at home more than ever recently.  Never before has it been so abundantly clear that our home interiors impact how we feel.  


A living room painted in the calming color of Teal courtesy House Beautiful

So it's about simplifying things and bringing in what really nourishes you.  It's about removing the clutter from your life and having only what you need.  After all, clutter causes stress and denotes a lack of organization.   


Instead of just filling your home with the anticipated usual lot of furniture i.e. sofa, bookshelves, bed, dresser we need to be more mindful of these items.  What do we really need and what don't we need.  Also think about the types of items.  Like open bookcases instead of dominating your wall heavier bookcases.  Do you really need both end tables, plus coffee table, console and 2 ottomans.  Or can you simplify?   


A good place to look for inspiration on simple living is tiny homes, like the one shown below.  So clean, cohesive and clutter free.  Or even staged homes have just what is necessary and are lacking in clutter (of course due to the fact that no one lives there).  But you get the idea.



Since you've been home more lately haven't you started noticing how much you dislike something, like the tiles in the bathroom are completely the wrong color or your kitchen cupboards are looking rather dull and you think you'd like a little more color and pizazz in the kitchen or your bedspread could be more bright and cheerful.   Also, you probably never noticed that big mess in the corner of the living room (consisting of books, magazines, gym equipment, dog toys) it just faded into the background.  


But not anymore!  Now you are not only seeing these things but realizing that your decor scheme or lack thereof is affecting how you feel and not in a good way.



Note  the room shown above, this is a very nicely decorated room,  however, it does not strike me as calming as there is a bit too much going on.  The below scene appears much more calming to me.  Warm neutrals including warm whites and natural look wood throughout, plus just enough furniture to adequately fill the space.


And most of all paint color makes a big difference.  Did you know that staring at stark white walls that don't blend in with a specific decor scheme may cause anxiety?  The biggest mental issue people have been dealing with in the last several months according to the media is anxiety.  And the right paint colors can really help with this issue.   I have several posts about paint and color if you want to delve into this further. 



You (and your partner or family) should decide what colors are most nourishing for you.  It's not just about the fact that you saw a green room in a magazine and liked it, or that navy blue is in style right now.  It's about creating a paint palette specifically for you that will make you feel your best.  Be it soft muted desert colors, or bright cheery palette of yellow and orange, or calming mid tones of greens and blues.



Soothing spa sanctuary with botanicals



Calming blue bathroom with natural wood accents

Spa bathroom sanctuary filled with candles, aromatherapy and soothing natural woods

 In a recent trend research survey conducted by National Kitchen & Bath Association  80% of respondents said minimizing clutter, cleaning and a sense of organization has become a critical design request.  69% want a more spa like atmosphere in their bathroom which includes aromatherapy, a sauna or at least jets in the tub, and indented shelves for candles.  Sounds nice doesn't it!    Also, 61% want more ease in their kitchens for easy meal prep, plus cabinetry that organizes more in less space and more low maintenance material choices (for example a kid proof sofa upholstery or window shades with dust repellent). 

AND let's not forget healthy living!  Meaning a deeper connection with nature.  Bringing the outdoors in and using more green materials that are good for your health like wool carpeting (see my upcoming rug post).  


So, to sum it up re think your paint palette, pare down and clear out what you don't really need (this includes furniture as well as books, magazines, gym equipment, decor accessories etc),  and find creative storage options.

What do you think?  Have you been imagining redoing your space since you have been home more.  If so I'd love to hear your ideas on self care decorating.  Also check out my article on how to create a work from home space with some privacy

Friday Fun Finds

Saturday, November 7, 2020

 DIY Project ~ Wallpaper Flooring

Medina Grillo from Grillo Designs shows us how to wallpaper over laminate flooring.   I can especially see this as something you might want to do if you were renting (as Medina was at the time) and you had especially unattractive laminate flooring, as some rentals do.  Also, she states this is super easy to remove, so your landlord won't get mad at you (though I can't imagine why they would get mad about any improvements anyway).  Also this could be something you might do if you've moved into a renovation and aren't going to budget the kitchen until later down the line you could do this as a temporary alternative.  Follow along on her blog post for detailed instructions on how to do this for yourself.  


For this project it's good to note that I have seen quite a few new wallpaper designs come out that have a highly textured rustic board look to them in a wide variety of colors.  And these range from regular weight wallpaper to much more heavy and durable.  So you could get a really great farmhouse look floor for less.  Another fun idea would be to go in a Moroccan direction. 

Fun Find ~ Home Interiors Shop

Marfa duvet cover Biscuit Home

Biscuit Home is an adorable home interiors shop in Houston, TX owned by entrepreneur and designer Baily McCarthy.  She is known for her playful mixture of colors and patterns, especially florals.   What.. you don't live in Texas?  That's ok, you can still check out all of her colorful wares in her online shop.

Boone Blue Duvet Biscuit Home

Also, check out Bailey's home renovation (at least one of her home renovations) in House Beautiful.  I absolutely love the beautiful colors in this room.  Notice how the pillow color which looks a bit like blood orange shows up in the curtains behind the sofa.  Also the powdery blue sofa color shows up in the painting.  Essentially all of the colors are tied together to lead your eye throughout the room.

Something New ~ Anthropologie


Some fall feeling New Arrivals from Anthropologie.  Well the rug (second item) is technically not a New Arrival, I just really liked it so I added it!  If you click on the product names in the subtitles it will take you to the product if you care to have a look.   It just now got really cold where I am in Northern California so these faux fur blankets look wonderful and great colors.

Aleksi Faux Fur Blanket    

Aracelli Rug

Agnes Organic Percale Duvet Cover

Sherpa Grid Pillow


Product ~ Rainbows are In!

8 Great Ideas for Creating a WFH Office Space

Monday, November 2, 2020

 As we all know by now our current situation with Covid19 has created quite the work from home (WFH) situation.  I have been reading many the article detailing everyone from young kids in a shared flat with 5 roommates to parents either one or both working from home (with kids)  and everything in between.

The most common complaint or issue is that most people did not have a designated work home space, leaving people to work sitting on their bed,  at the kitchen table, in the living room, or maybe even a dressing room 


Wherever you are this has likely created a situation where you are in the same place all day, and that isn't working for most.  You want and need to feel that you are working and doing that in a designated space is preferable, so at the end of the day you can move out of that space and start the next phase of your day.


However not everyone has the ability to create this much needed home office space.  Following I have gathered a few ideas on how you might create a separate space in your home to work from.  First and foremost you'll need a desk and chair.  In this past blogpost I found the most desks here and for chairs if you are on a budget you could try Target or Ikea.  



Idea #1 ~ Four Panel Shutter Screen

Costway 4 panel hinged room divider

The idea is that if you can find at least a area or space in your home that is at least 4' x 5' you can use a screen on either one or both sides of your desk to designate an official area to work that offers more privacy. 

Above, I found this four panel folding freestanding hinged room divider that is also multi functional.  It can provide a privacy wall and it has shelves to create attractive displays on the outward facing side so it can blend in with your decor.  You can find this panel at Costway.

Idea #2  ~ Use Shipping Pallets

Shipping pallets are literally everywhere!  I know because I see them on a daily basis and soooo wish I had a vehicle that could transport them to my home so I could have endless fun painting and creating with them.  But sadly they will not fit into my Honda.  


However, if you have the ability to pick some of these up (usually people give them away for free) you can see how with just a bit of hardware you can create a privacy wall to contain your office.  You can decorate both or one side of the wall as you see fit.  Personally I would paint these a fun color with chalk paint and sandpaper for a rustic finish.  You could hang plants, pictures, or decorate with fabric.

Idea #3 ~ Create a Rolling Screen

Find out how to create this handy rolling rack room divider at Kootut Murut.  They created this using plumbing pipes, a board, wheels and white paint.   If this surpasses your handyman abilities I found this rolling/garment rack on Amazon that could work in a pinch, if it isn't too wide for your allotted space.  Also IKEA has some fun fabrics with a wide width and great price point ($5.99 p/yard) for your fabric panel.  Or depending on size you could use a shower curtain or pre made pocket style panel from Homegoods.   

Idea #4 ~ Stackable Crates

These stacking crates work in more ways than one to maximize space by easily creating a private space and being able to utilize for displays, books and storage and it works from both directions.  You can find crates at Lowes for around $12 or Michaels craft store, or if you're lucky you can get some for free from your local grocery stores.  You can used them unfinished or paint them with chalk paint.  

Idea #5 ~  Wallpaper Your Space


The above image is from Borastapeter wallpapers, they have dedicated an entire page on how to create your own unique office space using wallpaper.   This makes for a unique space that doesn't look like the rest of your house.  You can choose from a myriad of designs from all sorts of wallpaper resources, they even sell wallpaper on Etsy.  You can choose a cheerful design as in the above example or something more soothing with calming blue colors or you could even bring the outdoors in with floral or botanical patterns. 

Idea #6 ~ Cubby Cube Panel

This nifty IKEA unit can function as a privacy panel.  You can use with or without backing and with or without baskets.  Again this is multi functional as the baskets can be used either from desk area or on the outside and this unit can be used for storage or display.   Try the KALLAX unit it comes in 2 columns or 3 and you can always put more than one together for a wider panel.

Idea #7 ~ Fabric Folding Panel


Create your own folding fabric panel with chalkboard paint on the other side so you have privacy and  stay organized while you make your work to do lists without having little scraps of paper covering your desk like I do.  And on the decorative side you can use any fabric you like to blend in with your decor.   Find instructions for this panel here.

Idea #8 ~ Add some fun lighting

Colorful paper lantern lights



Presumably if you have set up a small home office space somewhere you must have some kind of electrical outlet, and if you do it would be super fun to hang a paper lantern up above to add a cheery feel and also it provides some really nice soft lighting, if you your cubby home office space doesn't get any direct light. 

Friday Fun Finds

Friday, October 30, 2020

DIY ~ Peg Board Wall Shelf



I'm loving the look of this handy giant peg board wall unit.  It's basically plywood and pegboard with 1" dowels.  Here they have used 4' x 8' boards and have 3 shown in the photo which would cover a large wall space nicely.  But if you don't have that much space you can just use one board.  


This is a great idea for an apartment as you can move shelving, pegs and artwork around whenever you want a change without damaging the wall.  There are so many creative ways you can use this also, you could create a bookshelf area (for lighter books), you could mount this next to your kitchen and stack your dishes and glasses on if you don't have enough cupboard space, or create a plant wall.  Also you could stain this a desired darker color or paint it with some colorful chalk paint, then sandpaper for a rustic look.  The sky's the limit!

That being said this does sound like you will need to have a bit of construction experience to put together.  Check out the how to and find out more about this at Vintage Revivals

Great Finds

Wallpaper ~ Classic Scandinavian designs from the wallpaper book Scandinavian Designs II by Borastapeter.  A collection of fun modern and classic designs from mid century artists such as Stig Lindberg, Arne Jacobsen, Viola Grasten and Gocken & Lisbet Jobs.  Definitely worth a look!


Bersa pattern from Borastapeter


Jordgubben pattern from Borastapeter



Aurora pattern by Borastapeter


Fun Pillows

I've been eyeing some very fun pillow designs from this Etsy shop called Isabei Home Decor.  There are so many designs I'm not sure which I like best.   These come in different sizes and are created with a soft polyester fabric.  It looks like you can purchase just the cover or cover and insert on some.  The reviews are positive as well.

Mid Century Color Block Abstract

Color Stories ~ Decorating with Yellow

Thursday, October 29, 2020

 Beat the winter blues & decorate with yellow.  Well, it's not really winter yet... but you could start getting ready by thinking about adding sunny yellow into your decorating scheme to help with those darker months. 

Do you love this color but aren't sure how to fit this into your home?  This new post will be part of a "Color Stories" series where we will investigate all the various colors and how they can fit into your home decor.  Today we will look at the color Yellow and how this color can be best utilized in the most up to date way in your decor, and most importantly tips on choosing yellow paint colors for your home, because this color can be a little tricky.  


The color yellow is uplifting and cheerful, in it's most vivid hues it can be energizing and stimulating.  It reminds us of sunshine and happy days.  Any shade of yellow can bring warmth to a room.  I know this might seem like more of a summery color but actually it can be great for cheering you up during the darker and possibly drearier winter months.  Below we will explore different ways to use yellow in your decorating and we will examine the various shades of yellow in paint colors.


Better Homes & Gardens


In my living room I have a small amount of yellow which shows up in my pillows (on a neutral off white sofa) as well as some floral artwork on canvas with a pale yellow background.  A similar idea to this is shown in the above photo, where the designer has used varying shades of yellow as punches of color in an otherwise neutral room. 


We have a deep yellow leaning towards orange shown for the lamp bases, with a little bit of this darker color picked up in the painting along with some lighter tones and yet another lighter shade of almost green toned yellow in the pillows.  Also there is a golden buttercup yellow book on the coffee table.  And we can see from this example that the yellows colors do not need to match to be effective.

Above we have another example of using yellow as a punch of color in the furnishings and decor, however this yellow is much brighter and more vivid.  It really stands out against this dark navy blue background.  Take a moment to look at this photo and see how it makes you feel.  For me it is a bit too energizing and stimulating. 

Here is another example of decorating with bright yellow on the furnishings and accessories that makes for a playful, fun and cheerful look.  This is quite a bit less dramatic than the navy blue example and pairs a bright and happy magenta together with greens, browns and white along with a black rug which adds an edge to the look that keeps it from being too cutesy.  The neutral white walls serve as a calming background.

Now moving on to paint colors.  The above scene is kept somewhat neutral aside from the bright yellow accents, again in varying different shades.  The paint color used here is a dirty or drab yellow, meaning it is not a clean pure hue and has a bit of grey added to it which makes it look a teeny bit greener to me.  It might look a bit like the following swatch.

Sherwin Williams Moonraker SW 6701


It is important to remember when looking at yellow paint chips that the color will be twice as bright when actually applied to a large space of wall.   So it's a good idea to bring home a wide variety of yellow paint chips because your initial choice might end up a bit off base.  Also, you will definitely need to see a larger swatch of your chosen color to get the complete effect such as how it looks in the evening shadows and the pure sunlight.

I call the above a deep golden dijon mustard color which goes brilliantly with browns and neutrals and looks so  warm, inviting and sophisticated.  I notice a bit of green tinge in this shade as well.

Behr Turmeric M290-07

I love the below kitchen which is painted in Bicycle Yellow another color by Behr.  This color looks like a pretty and pale lemon chiffon and I love how it is paired with this simple black and white combination.  It looks sophisticated and pretty, yet decorative, creative and not boring.


Behr Bicycle Yellow 370A-3

Below is Cachet Cream, (which was voted one of the best neutral yellows for the home), see how it compares with the bicycle yellow above.  Here you can really see how varied the different tones, tints and shades of yellows can be and why it is important to take a look at all of these variations to decide which one is right for you.

Sherwin Williams Cachet Cream SW-6365

As you can see from the interior example this looks like a really warm golden neutral color that would go with just about everything.  Yet it is not just a plain white color nor a beige or taupe.  This definitely has a very orange, peach undertone to it, but on the walls with natural lighting it definitely has a golden yellow feel.

Sherwin Williams Cachet Cream SW-6365

Then below we jump to PPG Paints Banana Pudding.  A very pale lemon color that looks lovely in this vintage looking kitchen paired with a minty sage green. 

Below is PPG Dilly Dally a rich sunshine yellow which is set off by almost all white decor. 

Hopefully this has helped you out in your search for the perfect yellow for your home.  As you can see there is a yellow for every style, from farmhouse, to vintage cottage, to contemporary to modern.  It's just a matter of which incarnation of yellow feels right for you!

Which one do you most identify with and why?  Leave a comment below.  And please do subscribe so you can get notifications about the rest of my color stories series!

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