Brick wall in Living Room

Ahhh the living room. I adore this space. Sometimes I just come in here and sit on the couch and sit. (it really only lasts about 2.5 seconds before I hear a baby crying or kids fighting… but oh those 2.5 seconds are pure design bliss 🙂 Let’s talk about this brick… this brick it’s called Old Chicago imported from old Chicago firehouses and can be purchased from Brick and Tiles unlimited  in San Antonio, TX. It was pretty much love at first sight. I knew I wanted some brick with lots of character and colors. Since we were going to be putting this in our kitchen as the back splash, I loved that it had pieces of navy blue to match our Island. And I thought adding this brick to this wall would give this more formal room a touch of elegance and charm. The 5″ inch baseboards and the 5″ inch crown molding (which were already here) bring such a traditional flare to this room already and add so much, I really didn’t want to take away from it. Instead, I wanted to bring out that character as much as possible and really make it pop. By painting the walls Beach- By Eddie Bauer (which is the color I have throughout my whole house in different shades) it really made the molding stand out. I also fell in love with this orbit chandelier which I found at. Z galleries. This is probably my most favorite room in my house. I love just sitting here listening to my kiddos play piano and relaxing in the space.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how it turned out!!

TIP- HOW TO CHOOSE A WALL TO FEATURE:

In choosing a feature wall, I usually have a few rules of thumb. 1st: I usually ALWAYS feature the back wall in a room. This could mean different things, in different rooms. To me, it usually means the wall you are looking straight at when you are standing in the doorway. It could also mean, the wall your furniture is up against (in your bedroom for instance). Or it may just be a wall that you want to bring more attention to. In the case of my living room, there are 3 walls and the wall I chose is the far back wall. I chose this wall because when you walk past this room, this is the wall you see the most. Not only that but, it has 2 large beautiful windows and it wasn’t too big. I wanted to make a BIG statement but I didn’t want to over do it. LESS IS MORE. I really wanted the brick to be the focal point of this wall since it is so beautiful in and of itself. So I knew I wanted to keep it simple and not add a lot of decor to the wall.

TRICK- HOW TO MAKE YOUR TILE, BRICK OR COLOR POP… OR NOT POP.

I personally LOVE brick. But I like the look of old worn SUBTLE brick. I didn’t really want this brick to pop. I was really going for a more subtle look. So I had my mason use a more light color grout. This made a HUGE difference. On the fireplace in our family room I had him do a darker grout to make it stand out a little more and what a difference! I HIGHLY suggest before you brick, tile or do anything that requires grout, you do a test area first. The grout color really makes a big difference is how the area will turn out. It can also bring out colors. This can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing! Generally, if you want your tiles or brick to really pop, then do a darker grout color. If you want them to be a bit more subtle, then stick with a lighter neutral color.

 

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Master Bedroom Renovation

Ahhh… we haven’t had a real decorated master bedroom… uh EVER! So it was SO nice to finally be able to create a space we could enjoy and relax in! I’m in LOVE with this custom color I found on a bag! Lol… I find inspiration in the weirdest places! Yep, I was at a boutique and got handed a little dark brownish grey bag and I thought.. I LOVE this color! I folded the bag up and put in in my inspiration folder. And when it came time to design this room, I brought it out and took it to the paint store! And tada! The room itself is very large with GREAT light and look at those bay windows!! LOVE the feeling of this room. I really didn’t want to spend too much in here thought since it wasn’t a priority. So we pretty much just painted it (I painted it… and I think it looks fabulous 🙂 And then I have my contractor add the wainscoting around the entire room to give it some extra character and brighten it up a bit. I eventually was able to get some really cute curtains, but they are not shown sadly! The transformation turned out great and we absolutely love spending time in here! Since I had the baby only a couple weeks after move in, I knew I would be spending A LOT of time in my bedroom trying to sleep 🙂

TIP: ADDING WARMTH INTO YOUR SPACE THROUGH WALL TREATMENTS 

It’s no secret that adding wood wall treatments to your walls will give them more dimension and can bring a lot of warmth into a space. A classic white semi gloss will really add some pop to the treatment and make it stand out against a darker wall color. There are several different types of wood wall treatments and depending on your taste, you can create many different looks and styles. Wood wall treatments can be really affordable and if you have the time and skills, you can somewhat easily do them yourself! I knew I wanted to do a really rich dark grey/brown in my master bedroom so I added this wall treatment all the way around to give it some balance and lighten up the space. Wood wall treatments can be very versatile as well. Adding a more formal feel or casual feel to the room!

TRICK: FLAT, SMOOTH WALLS ARE THE BEST FOR WOOD WALL TREATMENTS

The back of wall looks best when it is smooth. You can achieve this look in a couple different ways. If you are lucky enough to have your walls not textures (for instance, if you are building a house and you tell the texture guys to leave the wall flat and NOT texture it) OR if you have flat walls… (lucky!). This is the easiest of course. But most of us don’t have this luxury! So, you need to put sanded plywood down first! This will give you a really clean, finished look to your wall treatment.

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Kids Play Room

It seems like my whole house is very bright colors… but I assure you, it’s not! I do love me some color though!! Lime green is my absolute FAV!! We’ve never had a play room for the kids and I really wanted to make this space fun and creative. I wanted to add some memories in a creative way and found this picture tree wall on Pinterest.  I thought this would be a perfect way to add fun and color to this room! After painting, I bought a bunch of brown tissue paper and had all my pics printed and then cut them out into circles. I found some really fun paper that matched the rug and cut them larger than the photos. I just pinned them up with sticky tack and arranged them in a cute way. I think this feature really tied the room together nicely and my kids LOVE the space. It’s bright, open and fun… just what I was looking for!

TIP- ADDING YOUR FAVORITE COLOR INTO YOUR HOME:

My absolute FAVORITE color of all time is this lime green. It makes me happy, brings a smile to my face and brightens a room right up! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! So I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my home somehow. What better place for a bright happy color than a play room?! We all have our favorite colors and we should use them in our house! This the place most of us spend a lot of time in and why not see your favorite color around?! There are many different ways to incorporate your favorite colors. You can paint a wall, add a rug, add curtains, use decor in that color, use it as your accent color, purchase pillows or throws in the color. You don’t have to do an entire wall like I did with your favorite color. You can incorporate colors in so many different ways for different looks too!

TRICK- COLOR THROUGHOUT YOUR HOME

A lot of people have asked me how I make my home flow together. Besides the paint colors on the walls and using similar wall treatments in different ways, I choose a couple different colors and use them throughout my home. In this house, the colors are mustard yellow, black and white. I tried to incorporate those colors throughout my main living spaces for a really good color flow. I used pillows, decor, curtains and even greenery to do this! It was very subtle. For this house, I have a lot of bright fun rooms with a lot of color but in my main living spaces, I have very little color to off set all the craziness going on in my other rooms  and to create some balance throughout.

 

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This is me in my happy place… painting and surrounded by lime green!! I’m so happy!! I could do this for days!

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Striped Hallway

There are several different methods to painting stripes but caulking and using a large wood plank really helped me keep the lines straight and helped cut down on the time. This wall took me 8 hours from start to finish. But this was my first wall paining multiple stripes and it really should take you half that long once you get the concept and figure out how to measure correctly. I just love how it turned out and every time I come up the stairs, I am greeted by this perfectly crisp and straight wall of gorgeous grey and white stripes! LOVE IT!!!

 

TIP- WHICH WALL TO PAINT STRIPES ON?

I really wanted to do stripes somewhere and thought this wall would be ideal! This wall is right when you walk up the stairs and pretty large. I thought it would look really good if  I took the stripes all the way around the corner through the entire hallway to make it feel more like one large space instead of just 1 feature wall. This space was BORING before. The ceiling was tan, the walls were tan and the floors brown. I wanted to really feature this gorgeous wall with all the natural light that flows onto it. And the tan just wasn’t doing it for me!

TRICK- HOW TO GET THE PERFECT STRIPE

(WARNING: I’m kind of a stripe Nazi and like my lines PERFECT!!! ) First I painted the wall all the creamy white I have throughout my house. I wanted this to look really crisp, clean and fresh. So after painting the entire wall cream, I then took a long 16 inch wide board (that is what I had on hand) and proceeded to measure out the first few stripes. This part is a little tricky… you HAVE to measure your wall height and divide it by the width of stripes you want. Then you HAVE to take into consideration the tape width and minus it from the cream stripes… so they are all even. You then place the tape on the cream part of the stripes (so the cream stripes will look 4″ inches smaller than the grey ones if your tape is 2″ wide) It took me a while to figure this all out! Especially with my pregnant brain! After taping and getting the lines perfectly straight with a tape measure and pencil. I then caulked. These are textured walls and I wanted VERY CRISP clean lines. So, I caulked all along the tape lines, top and bottom with a caulk gun and damp rag. You run a thin line of caulk right along the top of the tape and then push down over it really hard pushing the caulk into the cracks so they are all filled with caulk and not paint. Confused? Lol… I will put up some pictures soon. This is only one method of getting crisp lines. I know there are other methods but this one works really well for me and I find it quite simple once you get the hang of.  It is VERY TIME CONSUMING though.

 

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White planked feature wall

I had big plans for this wall! It was such a perfect wall for a wall treatment. It is open to my kitchen and VERY visible from all parts of my house. It’s also not too tall or large to make for an overwhelmingly large focal point.  It stared off as a very thick hand troweled wall faux painted with a lovely orange and brown. Can we say blah?! This wall had to change PRONTO. Originally I was going to paint it grey but then I got the brilliant idea to plank it and I liked that a lot better! How we planked the wall was quite simple.   The planking does go all the way around the left corner into an open desk area that isn’t really shown. I blame my pregnancy brain for not getting a lot of the pictures I really needed. (Oh yeah, and renovation a house by myself with 3 kids and 8 months pregnant while my husband worked his butt off 70+ hours a week in his new office… good times, good times).  Did I just go off on a tangent? Why yes, yes I did. Any who… LOVE how the wall turned out and I found these round mirrors that matched our vent hood perfectly and really tied everything together! I am in love!

TIP- HOW TO PLANK A WALL (YOURSELF) 

So, we are do it your selfers on projects like this usually. However, in this case, we were running low on time and I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and my husband was working 75+ hours a week at work. Sooo….I went to Lowes. I picked out several FLAT pieces of SANDED plywood. (VERY IMPORTANT TO GET THE MOST FLAT PIECES YOU CAN FIND AND ALSO SANDED) I had them cut 6 inches wide long ways so the pieces were as long as possible. I wanted to see as few seems as possible. This was TRICKY. After we left, I realized A LOT of the boards were NOT cut straight. I am a PERFECTIONIST and I was going to be staring at this wall A LOT! So, I had my husband re cut some pieces more straight. It is VERY important to have straight cuts because 1 piece not cut straight will throw the ENTIRE wall off and make it look crooked! I ended up using some of the board and having Joe only have to re cut a few. I had Joe start at the top of the wall (since you can see that the most) and work his way down. He put liquid nails on the back of the planks as well as nailed them to the studs. To space them, we put nickles in between the planks and let it stand for a couple days.

TRICK- HOW TO GET THAT BEAUTIFUL SMOOTH FINISH ON THE PLANKS

First, like I mentioned before, it’s important to get the sanded plywood. (This will make it a lot easier) After the planks are all up, fill the nail holes with wood filler and give it a nice sand down. After sanding, wipe it down with a damp cloth to get all the dust off and then wait a couple hours for it to dry. We finished the edges with quarter round and then had the painter, spray the planks so you didn’t see brush strokes. This gave it a very crisp, clean and finished look. And I’m so happy with how it turned out!

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