Thursday, 23 March 2017

Stylish DIY Updates for Living Room

Sometimes furniture and home decorations just begins to look a bit old fashioned and not in a good way. Then it is time to ask the question whether to keep or sent it to new home. DIY possibilities with old furniture and decor are endless in case you decide to give a makeover to your old friend or in case you find someone´s old treasure from a thrift shop. I love challenges what comes to DIY projects! Especially when I find a piece that seems to be so last season I begin to think what could it become. This time old yellow side table and 80´s block mirror got a new chance and moved to 2017. Now it is time to reveal how they looked before!

Table is originally bought from a thrift shop and maybe few decades old. It used to be wooden, then painted with white and after that it got some yellow. Well trends come and go and there is always a new chance for a beautiful furniture like this to get a new go in a new dress. I wanted to paint the table purple and leave the cover without paint. I took off all the paint I could rip or sand. Legs would have needed chemical paint remover so I chose to let them be and sanded just a bit. Then I painted the table with purple coconut paint 3-4 times. To the cover I applied antiquing wax, let it dry and sanded a bit to get stylish patina.

The color turned out beautiful and the surface of the table cover is soft and it looks like it is really old. This kind of wooden cover with painted legs would look classy on any wooden table and I am now dreaming of a kitchen table made this way. 

Just when we took down 80s block mirrors they are having a new coming. Have you browsed interior magazines and seen all those stylish and creative block mirrors? Cutting old block mirror squares to new shape might be too tricky so I am showing you how I transformed some blocks into a new trendy entity. Thrift shops have quite often old picture frames and I have collected some. I measured the mirrors and frames and saw off extras from every side of a frame to get it fit for the mirror. Then I just glued the frames together and painted with grey coconut paint 3-4 layers and made accents with white paint. Then I attached the mirrors to the frames and hanged to the wall as a group.

I have been doing quite big projects recently and now before Easter I am trying to focus on smaller decorative projects. It is just that making furniture makeovers is so much fun! I like the process of designing, choosing a paint, sanding, feeling the material and painting. I would also like to try some new techniques and I have got two side tables and bed headboard that could benefit having a little bit of DIYing. Equally I have got really interesting materials to make smaller crafts and home decor so that now I am putting two or three weeks to that. 

Have you been making furniture DIY projects lately? Have you already planned Easter decorations?

Tomorrow it is already Friday, so I am wishing you happy and inspiring weekend!


Friday, 10 March 2017

How To: Create a Bohemian Look for the Entrance

Happy Friday Everyone! It is always fun to get DIY tips and inspiration for home decor but I think especially Fridays are excellent for gathering all inspiration in the world as the weekend offers great time for thrifting and making. Today I want to show you how I styled my entrance with DIY pieces and thrifted decor.

Entrance is usually one of the most challenging spaces in the apartment. One of my bad habits is to pile beanies, mittens and shoes all over the floor which creates a messy and not so inviting entrance for visitors. Also in my small studio apartment this tiny corner is both crowded with stuff and dark. To create more inviting entrance I chose to put in some color, pattern and decor. Maybe this beautiful setting motivates to keep the place in more decent condition.

I already had the same drawer here before as it works well storing scarves, mittens and beanies. When I found flower template from the sale I begun eyeing this a bit worn out grey furniture.
Drawer before.
 Color was not that bad. In some other space this would have looked stylish. This piece is from a thrift shop and used to be white, but the paint was removed many years ago to reveal the original wooden surface. Because of the sticky and thick white paint the wooden surface didn´t get back it´s original  glory so I have pained this grey maybe six years ago. I love the functional shape that works as a good base for any style. I removed the handles, washed the drawer properly and painted with orange chalk paint 3 layers. After that I made the decorations with a template and pink chalk paint. I had bought a bag of wooden handles from a thrift shop before so I painted 4 of them with the same color. Transparent wax made the finishing touch.

After painting the drawer I begun to think of having a new carpet. I had actually planned to buy a brand new from a shop but I could not find a perfect one. I then browsed Pinterest for carpet DIY ideas and saw many projects where carpets had been painted. After getting that encouragement I decided to give a try with for old white rug.

Plain old white rug.
Because this old rug had oil stains that were hard to get off and because the color was not right at all I made an experiment with machine dye. One package made an even soft pink hue so I bought two more packages (believe it or not the machine dye packages were 40% off when I went to the store).

And then it was pink enough to work as a bright modern looking background for the prints. I chose to try trendy folklore pattern that I saw function well printed on this kind of carpets. You know carpets are actually very expensive and I really like this painted/ printed carpet trend where you can use less expensive rug or carpet to make a stylish interior element.

I used fabric printing color in black, green and white. White color was opacity so I mixed it with more transparent green and black. I mixed a soft dark grey, light grey and light green. This way I managed to make a good print with just one layer. After the paint was dry I fastened the color by ironing it.

Then it was time for the details. As this space does not have a window I used a large plywood board to frame a window -like square to the wall. I painted the board white and used a template with same orange paint as the drawer´s. One key for interesting bohemian look is to use different patterns quite boldly together. To avoid too messy look it is a good idea to choose some main colors that keep appearing in different patterns and materials. 

I already had the vases, plate and lamp. Little tree is a recent thrift shop find. Older elements like the retro vases make layers to the style. Otherwise the look might be too bright and bought from the shop looking. Also ceramic vases make a nice detail and complete the artsy bohemian look. I have got quite a lot thrifted decoration elements in my storage. I don´t keep it all on front all the time so that when I make a new arrangement it is nice to put something to a cupboard and take out some more fitting detail to that decorative combination. Pieces on this table have cost 1-3,5€ each so I am not talking about an expensive stack of home decor items.

The entrance now gives a nice clue about the rest of the house showing little sprinkles of pink, grey and green that create the main theme in my home. I like cute little lamps and one is a necessity in the entrance giving a welcoming light to home.

Hope you got some ideas about how to create a bohemian look for the entrance. Now that I got into the painting and pattern mood I keep planning new projects all the time. 

Have a cosy and relaxing weekend!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Closed System Design: Re-Design a Lamp with Existing Materials

Today I talk about closed system design thinking and show you one of my recent projects. When I talk about closed system design I refer to way of designing where you use mostly upcycled materials and maybe change their purpose. A beginning point in this kind of designing and DIYing is the existing material like piece of wood that begins the brainstorming process, what could I do with this? You can also look for particular shapes and patterns from thrift shops or garbage to use according to your design and then change their purpose. 

Closed System Design How To:

Brainstorm with following questions.
Ask yourself questions like; What could I do with this? From what kind of pieces the product consist and could I use the pieces in a different way? What kind of pieces I could use to get the wanted shape? Don´t narrow your thoughts by the first purpose the product has been made for. 

Look at the shape. 
Browse inspirational sites and magazines to find out the current style and predict what might be the next thing. Historical eras, nature and special styles ( for example 50s style, Arts and Crafts...) can also be very inspiring when making your own design. Think about what is it that you like and what kind of pieces you want to create to the world for others to see. When you find a style you like pay attention to patterns, shapes an materials. You can make a list of style makers typical for that style. Keep your eyes open when thrifting or going through your own storage. I like colorful, bohemian and artistic style. In my lamp project I really liked the shape of the lamp when I bought it last autumn. I came across with the perfect lampshade some two weeks ago. Lampshade was actually a ceiling lamp but when I was at home I thought I could try it to the floor lamp. Wooden buttons were also a thrift shop find that I bought in advance knowing that the same material would be quite expensive at the craft shop. One evening last week I was looking at the lamp and knew that buttons and wooden rings would make the lamp special.

Save materials with potential. 
Left overs might be the key pieces for your next DIY project. For example I bought a wooden  bead curtain last summer from a thrift shop. I attached the curtain differently so that the wooden rings I am using in today´s lamp project where a left over. I saved the rings as they were interesting material with potential. I also know that these kind of wooden rings are quite expensive at the craft shop. Of course there should be some sense what to store but if the material is not broken or otherwise badly damaged and can be upcycled in a sensible time frame there is no reason why not to put in to wait. 

Color can be changed.
When you have find a shape you like think about how you can combine different pieces into an entity with color. Paint all pieces with the same color or make pairs mixing material so that all particles you are using seem to work together. This is may be the most difficult part as it finishes the design and makes gathered pieces to work together instead of a collection of random stuff put together.

Re-designed lamp project: I bought this retro lamp last autumn with 2€ at the local thrift shop. Back then this had a fabric lampshade that I modernized with fabric flowers and beads. When I made that DIY I already had plans to do a bigger makeover on spring.  Two weeks ago I found a beautiful wooden ceiling lamp from that same thrift shop with 6€.  I removed the old lamp equipment from the shade and tried it on this floor lamp and it fit perfectly. Still the combination of dark lampshade and lamp was too heavy especially next to the dark grey armchair. Then one night I got an idea to use wooden shapes, rings and buttons as a fun detail. Wooden rings are left over from a bead curtain that I bought from flea market last summer. Buttons are also from flea market. I used left over chalk and acrylic paint to color beads, buttons and rings. White coconut paint is new hardware store bargain. I will use rest of the coconut paint for some other project. I drilled holes to the lampshade and attached rings and beads with cotton yarn. I glued buttons into rows. All wooden materials I used in this re-design project were already produced and put to thrift shop. Paint, yarn and glue were new.

So called new lamp fits perfectly to the intended space combining colorful mosaic, dark brown table and collection of baskets together.

Have you combined materials from your storage and thrift shop finds to create a new design?

Wishing you all an inspiring week!