One of the most satisfying parts of this challenge was making a penny-pinching budget project look like a million bucks. You all saw the final reveal in last week's post, and if you liked what you saw there you'll appreciate these follow-up posts where I'll show you how we created the space almost entirely from thrift stores, craigslist, and DIY projects.
All of the wall art in the space had some DIY element to it. This not only allowed me to save a ton of money, but also to create some simple, black and white modern art to balance out all the heavy gold gilt and traditional decor.
Rather than starting from scratch painting canvases that would require expensive framing, I re-purposed a couple of thrift store paintings that already had nice, substantial frames on them.
The inspiration was this simply beautiful Ellsworth Kelly painting I spied in Domino long ago (although I'll admit I didn't remember who the artist was until my assistant Melanie mentioned his work as good inspiration when we were brainstorming about DIY black and white art.)
Here's the process I used to "make over" a dowdy thrift store painting ...
I did the same thing with the small black and white painting in the entry way which was also inspired by an Ellsworth Kelly abstract ...
In the dining room I created a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall with these frames filled with pages from a thrift store instructional book on drawing.
I use this trick of framing book pages a lot! It's pretty easy to come by used coffee table art books for next to nothing, and the same goes for thrift store frames. I pick them up whenever I see good ones, especially when they have nice, thick mats which makes them look more expensive.
The two little prints above the desk are book pages in thrift store frames ...
The pair of abstracts hanging behind the sofa were inspired by these Alexander Calder prints seen in Veranda magazine. (Look familiar? I've used this DIY before in my own living room.)
And of course last but not least is the dining room grisaille wall mural. While we didn't make it or anything (it's this one from Anthropologie), we did hang it ourselves, which was a first for me! I just wanted to let you know how easy this type of pre-pasted, removable walllpaper is so you have the courage to try it yourself.
It comes in 20" wide strips that you just dip into a bucket of water and then put up on the wall. I was daunted before we did it, but the saving grace is that you actually have quite a few minutes to mess around with the positioning of it the wallpaper strip before the paste starts to dry.
The final effect is just stunning ...
Back next time with all our thrift store furniture makeovers!