DIY: Scenic Mural Panels

Remember those beautiful hand-painted Chinese wallpaper panels I had hanging in the loft? I'd been keeping them in storage while we lived in Brooklyn and had planned on putting them in our bedroom of our new house. As the Domino shoot deadline crept up, I was starting to get a little nervous about finding the panels. I hadn't seen them since the move.

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We did everything we could to find them before the shoot - we turned the house and garage upside down, we called movers, we called NY neighbors and family that had helped us pack. No one had seen the panels. So I had no choice but to start from scratch with the bedroom and decided to make my own panels at the very last minute.

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I looked online for some artist's paper in pretty colors, but everything felt too bright and too flat. I wanted the color to be soft and sort of mottled or worn-in looking. Then I saw this box of rosin paper in the paint section at Home Depot. The color, size and price were all perfectly perfect.

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I went back online to figure out what to paint for our murals. This was about 48 hours before the shoot - and I wasn't feeling particularly creative or patient. More like exhausted and majorly nauseated from morning sickness. :) Good times. I think the panels came together though! I ended up deciding on a desert scene - it felt appropriate for this house. The older I get, the more I love and appreciate the beauty of the desert.

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There are so many cool shapes in the plants and, surprisingly, a huge range of really beautiful, soft colors in the desert. Just to keep things simple for me though, I used only white paint for the mural.

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I free-handed it, and it ended up being a pretty quick project. Just a couple hours all together. Part of me wishes I had had more time to spend on these, but I sort of like the simplistic quality. It does the job of dressing up and bringing in the big, long wall of our bedroom, and I think the soft mauve color is so pretty against the dark, moody Knoxville Gray walls.

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Just like with installing the Chinese panels, I measured and marked out the spacing on the bed wall and hung the panels directly to the walls with picture hanging strips, and then screwed in the plexi sheets on top using pretty brass screws. It's a simple job, but definitely requires two or three helpers. Those plexi sheets are heavy and awkward!

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DIY to the rescue again! Someday my life will not be so crazy and I'll have more time to plan these projects out a bit more thoughtfully. That's the goal, anyway. :)

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Our New, Pretty Book Nook

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Remember the odd nook we have in our living room? It's a funny little space that I wasn't totally sure what to do with for a while. We already have those big bookshelves in the front room so it seemed redundant to have books stored in here. Plus, it's really not that that big of a space.

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When we built the fireplace surround, we piped through an opening for the TV and cable cords, so that the components could live on a shelf behind the nook. The carpenter who helped us with the fireplace threw up a couple of simple, but sturdy shelves that I painted out in the wall color (Ben Moore's Brushed Aluminum). We've mostly just left the space empty (slash shoved stuff back in there when doing the unexpected-company-is-at-the-door mad dash). Not exactly a great use of space.

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Then I had a light bulb moment when I realized I was drowning in magazines (I hate to part with my favorites - they're like design books to me). I had been keeping the unread ones on our coffee table and then tucking them into a cupboard after they were read, which worked fine. But when you love and look at magazines as much as I do, and when you have a nook that needs something special, what to do was a no-brainer!

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I will share tutorials for the bench and the new shelves soon - they were super quick and easy, and I think they make the space feel so much more purposeful. I went a little more simple and cozy on the styling because I'm dying for it to feel like fall here. (SEASONS: I MISS YOU!)

Target reached out about sharing their seriously great new Threshold line for fall. Think: warm, soft, cozy, comforting, with equal parts organic and modern. It's all beautiful. Like this brass task lamp? It's gorgeous, solidly built and a really decent price point for something that looks like a million bucks!

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The little glass terrarium and the green agate tray are both from Target as well. Either one would make a great holiday or house warming gift!

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These little benches are fab. The legs are exceptionally gorgeous (maybe the world is finally moving past the standard dark, squared off tapered legs!?) and I love the textile used for the upholstery!

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I hung a giant vintage mirror from a local antique store above the DIY console. I loved the light the mirror brought into the room, but suddenly the wall felt a little boring, so I added a series of New York prints from this book in these pretty limed wood frames.

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Over in the nook area, I added a few woven baskets on the shelves for tucking away catalogs and unread magazines, and a few little vases and bowls to act as catch-alls and bookends for the slippery magazines! I especially love the concrete vase with the gold stripe.

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What could be more cozy and fall-appropriate than chunky sweater pillows and a super soft, tassle-y gold throw?

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I used this little side table as a plant stand for one of my favorite snake plants. I'm obsessed with these plants because I can mistreat them for like a year or more and they never die! True love.

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It's nice to have a quiet, chill corner in what's normally a pretty bright and busy room. I feel like we all have our own little corners in the house now - Michael loves to retreat to the white settee in the music room to play his guitar, the girls have their own favorite spots in the playroom and now I get a special nook for cozying up with my beloved design magazines. :)

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This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.

The Playroom Bookshelves

I've always been drawn to shots of bright, clear sky blue in kid's spaces.  Here are a few of my favorite rooms:

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Velvet and Linen

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Martha Stewart Living

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House Beautiful

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Cottage Living

We really needed some good bookshelves for the kids books in the playroom (and a great shot of sky blue color!). I found these at a local antique market called Merchant Square on sale for something pretty inexpensive like $100 or $150 for the pair. The barn red color was not working for me, but the shape of the shelves, with the angled corners was seriously calling my name!

DIY: On Fixing Up Chipped Veneer

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A few weeks ago I found a desk at Goodwill that was in not-so-great shape. The veneer on the table top was badly chipped and what was still there had pretty intense water rings and discoloration. The table base though, which is what really caught my eye in the first place, was in pretty decent shape, so I decided to buy the desk and cross my fingers that I could salvage the top.

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I took a closer look at the veneer when I got the desk home and quickly realized the only real choice I had was to remove the worst of the veneer and paint the top.


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