“Design” Circle of Life…..

You toil for days on a design project, put it on the blog and send your baby into the world.  You hope it inspires others to try their hand at the task, but all you get is the sound of cyber crickets?  Sometimes the life of a blogger is solidarity but other times you are bathed in the soft warm glow of comments, emails, Pinterest pins and Twitter retweets.

For myself, the stenciled wall I did in 2010 is the proverbial post that keeps giving.  I have received countless emails from  readers and fellow bloggers about the post gave them the push to try a paint treatment in their home.  I like to think that my blog post is part of the “design circle of life” (cue Lion King music).  Seriously, I firmly believe that by putting my effort, time and sweat (and at times blood) into crafting these projects, it helps demystify the process and inspires others to try.  In turn, those people inspire others and before you know it, a DIY revolution has transpired…..

Just call me the Ghandi of DIY (no offense intended)…..

But seriously, I was tickled when I received two different emails on the same day from Janice and Samantha telling me that they had taken the bull by the horns and attempted a Moorish tile paint stencil.  I am happy they did because the results on both turned out AWESOME.

Janice decided to use the stencil as an accent wall in her bedroom.  I love how her metallic paint plays up the sheen in her duvet and the sequins on her pillows…

Samantha of So Many Moments opted to use the Moorish stencil in her newly opened photography studio.  The stencil, while glam, provides a great boho quality to Samantha’s office that makes perfectly with the rest of the decor….

Kudos to both ladies for tackling the stencil project.  I love seeing how the same stencil completely changes the feel of a room.  With a little time and elbow grease, each got the room they wanted at a fraction of the cost of wallpaper.

Okay peeps, keep it coming!  If you have done any projects that were inspired by the blog, I want…I need… I must see them!  Shoot me a picture at lifeoutloudmail@gmail.com and you just may end up on the blog!

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The Bathroom Feels Lonely…..

I went home over the weekend and spent a good portion of the time in the newly redesigned music room.  It was the perfect place to do my online homework, read my assignments and catch-up with my growing stacks of food and design magazines.  In other words, it suited all the basic needs I intended it to serve, which to me is a sign of a well-designed space. 

However, while the living room and guest room both received updates, the main floor bathroom is looking a bit lonely and plain Jane next to its  dapper siblings.  To be frank, it just sorta looks bleh…not sure if that is an official design term, but it just feels sad and dark.  Since it’s the only full bathroom readily available to house guests, I feel it needs to be a bit more striking and uplifting.  So for the rest of the weekend when I wasn’t trying to figure out conversions rate between pounds to ounces to liters (yes I really do need to figure that stuff out as a chef), I was plotting what I wanted to do with the bathroom. 

Knowing that money will be an issue as well as time, I have set a budget of $100 total to redo the bathroom.  I think that should be more than ample to cover what I envision from a design perspective.  As usual, I will be busting out my trusty painting supplies along with a new stencil I have been itching to try out.  If you are curious about what stencil I will be using this time, here is a hint….it’s something I have been “gaga” about previously on this blog.  If you need more if a hint, check out this posting

I will also be trying out my hand at some basic carpentry — something I have never done before.  My last carpentry project was when I was in 5th grade and I made a wooden tool box in Boy Scouts.  Actually, I didn’t make it; the scout master ended up doing my project because I couldn’t nail straight.  (If you must, insert naughty joke here).  So it should be interesting to see how this project comes about now 20+ years later.

Here is what I am starting with:

The shower curtain is new and inspired what I want to do with the room

This wall is begging for some stenciled

Vanity area and you the dreaded builder's grade mirror that will get an update

The green tile I hate....I don't have the $$$ to replace so the design works with the size and green color.

 So there you have my new project for the next month.  My goal is to create something that exudes my personality and love for boldness, without clashing with the rest of the house.  Worst case scenario …… it’s only paint and some acessories.  You can always start over.   And that is what I love about DIY design!

Check back for updates……

Gaga for Chevron

I am researching wall treatments for the bedrooms in the house.  After the success with the trellis stencil paint treatment for the living room, I am looking for something interesting and fun for my next project.  For the last few nights I have been browsing rugs online and have been keen on the zig zag from West Elm.


It’s cute, funky and well within my budget.  It is also that perfect combination of traditional meets modern that I am all about these days.   However, I got to thinking (always a BAD idea) that designers say that a room has 6 surfaces counting the ceiling and floor.  And then I thought, what about ditching the chevron rug and moving it to the wall.  A subtle tone-on-tone paint treatment in white and pearl white would be stunning in a bedroom as a backdrop to a bed or accent wall.  So I scoured the net and came across this:

Interesting how they flipped the chevron on its side

Photo Credit: Stencil-Library.com

I know it is another stencil project, but I admit I have a bit of a sickness.  I love paint stencils since you can get the look for wallpaper at a fraction of the cost and none of the commitment if you are willing to put in the time and sweat equity.

But I continued my search and came across this:

This wall completes me. It makes me happy and whole.

Photo Credit: sabbespot.blogspot.com


Sweet Baby Chevron. LOVES IT!

Photo Credit:  LayersofMeaning.com

These two photos are exactly what I was envisioning.   I love the pattern and how it looks in the different rooms.  The first picture is from Sabbespot and Stephanie has a full tutorial on how she did the project using CONTACT PAPER!  Yes!  Contact Paper.  I am floored that she did that with ONE roll of contact paper.   Maria who writes Layers of Meaning outlines how she did her amazing painted chevron project on her blog.  

I think I may have just found this week’s project to fill the time while the partner is in NYC.