5 Tips for Picking the Right Paint Color

Painting can be a cheap way to give your old, drab room a new and exciting look, but can be difficult to decide on what color to go with. Just walking into the paint section at your local home improvement store can be overwhelming with all of the choices, color families, shades, finishes, etc. Here are some tips to make this stressful process a little easier.

Don’t pick the paint color first

I know it seems natural to pick the color for your room first, it’s much easier to choose a color that goes with your furniture rather than to chose new decor and furniture to go with your paint color.

Do Your Homework

Before even walking into the store, get an idea of the colors you like. Look through decorating blogs, instagrams, or through the internet and get a sense of the look and style you are going to go for. Create a pinterest board to pin your favorite looks so you can have a place to store your ideas and also take with you when you go to pick out your paint color. Whatever colors you gravitate towards first is what you should go with.

Learn About Colors

After you have a general idea, ask a professional at the paint store to take a look at your colors, explain the room and furniture of the room, and get his or her feedback. They can help you in understanding the color wheel, shades, hue, tint, tone, and creating color schemes. Here is a short video for a better understanding of these terms.

paint (1)

Test, Test, Test

Purchase testers in a few shades of the color you like. They’re only a few bucks and definitely worth it. Paint them all next to each other in an area on the wall. Keep a look out for the changes in light throughout the day and how the effect each color. Make sure to take note as to how your furniture and carpet or flooring looks with it.

The Finish Line

Congrats you’re passed the hardest part! Well, maybe. Now it’s time to pick the finishing touches on the paint. Here are some guidelines to look at when deciding what finish to go with:

paint finishes (1)

These tips are very important to consider when deciding on a new color. Like I said, it can be tricky and sometimes stressful. Using these to your advantage can significantly help the process. Happy paint picking!

Spice Up Where the Magic Happens: DIY Upholstered Headboard

The upholstered headboard look is very in, but of course also very expensive. After days of searching everywhere for a cheap one for the spare bedroom, I came across some Pinterest ideas to make our own.

This DIY project is relatively easy and quick project that will save you some money while also allowing you to pick out the exact fabric that you want to achieve the perfect look for your room. This project can cost from $50-200, and depends on the choice of fabric that you use, but is significantly cheaper than the headboards in stores.

what-youll-need-2

Step 1: Choose the shape you want. There are a ton of cool shapes you can choose from. Here are some below.

screenshot-2017-02-28-13-31-54

Step 2: Determine the size. Measure your bed and decide how high you want the headboard to be on the wall. Measure from the ground up to the spot on the wall to get your height. Next, measure the width of your bed. Add a few inches if you want the headboard to go slightly over the sides of the bed. Now get the height and width of the plywood that will be the actual headboard. Make sure the headboard extends below your bed, so measure from the spot on the wall where the headboard hits and measure down behind your bed a few inches.

Step 3: Trace your shape. This could be the hardest step depending on you the style you chose. This step will take some trial and error. And also some creativity on your part. Some people say bowls work good for round edges and pool noodles work because they can bend. Mark the top center of the wood and two points on each side to ensure that your curves are symmetrical. Then trace the shape of the curves with a sharpie.

Step 4: Cut your wood. Once it’s measured and marked off, use a saw to start the cutting process. If you don’t have a saw or are a little iffy on doing it yourself, you can take it to Home Depot or Lowe’s and they will do it for a small fee. They can also help you with the shape, so this might be the best bet.

Step 5: Cut your foam. Once the actual headboard is cut out, place the foam on top, trace it, and cut it. Place it aside.

Step 6: Connect your frame and headboard. Lay down your 2x4s to create the basic frame. Place the plywood headboard on top and line up all your edges. Use a drill bit to create holes for the screws and screw each piece through. Make sure they are very secure and sturdy.

Step 7: Glue the foam onto the headboard. Using a generous amount of tacky glue, stick the foam onto the headboard. Make sure all the sides are even as can be. Next lay the batting on the ground and then lay the headboard face down onto it. Tightly pull and wrap the batting around to the back of the headboard, securing it with the staple gun. The batting creates a smooth surface for the fabric to go over top of while also providing the headboard with more cushion.

Step 8: Almost done. Get your fabric out and do the same thing that you did with the batting. Pay close attention to creating a smooth surface because you don’t want to have to take the staples out and then re staple.
And there you go! This simple DIY project will take no longer than a few hours and is totally worth it. You can make a quality piece of furniture for nearly a quarter of the retail cost and will give your bedroom the sophisticated look you’re searching for.

How to Deal with a Roommate with Bad Taste

It’s so exciting when you move to get a clean slate, like a new dorm room or apartment to bring your decorating visions to life.

And then you throw a roommate into the mix, and things can sometimes get tricky.

roommates-pic

Whether you are rooming with your best friend or a random you happened to find on Facebook, decorating your new place can have its challenges–especially if you have completely different tastes. Unfortunately, this can end up putting a strain on the relationship or even hurt feelings. In order to avoid conflicts and/or resolve any that may arise, here are some tips on how to handle a roommate with bad (or different) decorating taste:

Plan Ahead

If you have time before you move in start exploring each other’s styles. Ask your future roomie to get on Pinterest and create a secret board between the two of you. You can both add to it and this way you know exactly what you are getting into with their personal style. Agree on a color scheme for each room you will be sharing. I would advise doing neutrals because it is the easiest route to go. You can use color in the decorations such as pillows, blankets, rugs, etc. When the time comes, shop together instead of individually. This saves you that whole ride home of being excited of something you bought that you’re going to have to take back next week. If something is bought individually, show the other person first instead of just putting it in their living space. This gives them a chance to let you know if they don’t like it.

Be Honest

If you don’t like something, like the large leopard print chair, in the nicest way possible, ask him or her if he or she could put it in their room instead of the common living space you share. If you don’t, you’ll create a special hatred for it (and possibly try and get the cat to knock it over on “accident”…. Yeah guilty.) Honestly being passively aggressive isn’t good for anyone. Be open with your roommate. But know that also means abiding by that rule yourself. If they don’t like something of yours, take it to your room. And don’t take it personally.

Use What You Have (to an extent)

This can sometimes be difficult, but can save you a lot of money Make a list of what you have from your previous places. Decide on what you like and what you think can be revamped or painted to match your desired (and agreed upon) style. Say you both have couches the you want to bring, but they don’t match- invest in couch covers. I’ll never forget when one of my roommates brought her grandma’s bright blue and yellow plaid couch into our place. I almost lost my shit, but instead pulled it together and offered the cover idea and it worked for everyone.

Don’t Go Halfsies on the Big Items

It’s fine to split the cost of small things around the apartment, but when it comes to the more expensive stuff like tv’s, couches, kitchen tables always take turns. This eliminates the headache of deciding who gets what once someone moves out. I don’t recommend the ‘buying out’ strategy either. That’s when each roommate splits the cost, but when the time comes to go your separate ways on of the roommates wants to calculate the “depreciated value” and pay the other(s) out. Yeah, no bueno. That usually ends with someone getting ripped off and then cue the waterworks or the cat fight.

Take Advantage of your Personal Space

If you’re feeling a little creatively slighted, go to town on your bedroom. It shouldn’t be a surprise that you might have to give up a lot more than you thought you would within the rest of your apartment or house. Use your room as your creative outlet and maybe spend a little money on it to make it your perfect room that you can always go to and admire your style in.

All in all–as much as having your space the exact way you want it might make you happy, having a positive relationship with your roommate will probably make you happier and alleviate a lot of stress. Sometimes we must compromise and find a happy medium with someone else in order to create a happy and healthy living space.
And don’t worry, this won’t be your last place to decorate!

Making the Most of Your Space

Many people can relate to the stresses of wanting a stylish and tasteful space, but not having the funds to put into it. Transforming your space on a budget will take patience and time. Make sure you set realistic expectations and goals to help yourself from not getting discouraged. These steps are very simple, yet can make a world of difference

  • Brighten up boring walls. Plain walls can make a room look dreary and dull, especially the plain white ones in the dorms or apartments if you can’t paint. Whether you can paint or not, there are a lot of unique things you can try to bring life to the room. Chasing Paper makes easily removable peel-and-stick wallpaper. They have endless styles and designs that are guaranteed to make your room pop with personality. Another idea is to set up a gallery of photos. Creating a montage of photos can be tricky, so visit this site to learn the do’s and don’t’s to set one up. Cute frames can be cheap at places like TJ Maxx or Marshalls, but if your budget needs some TLC look into washi tape to frame around your photos. Washi tape is also great for creating designs. Tapestries can be another idea for above your bed or for any plain space.peel-stick-wallpaper
  • Add plants. Bring some life into your space with some greenery. Not only can plants give your space into and clean and polished look, but also are a huge health benefit according to treehugger. Plants clean and purify the air and also provide more oxygen. They have also been known to sharpen focus and attentiveness and very useful in covering up chords or blemishes on the wall. Plants are a win/win and an affordable way to spruce up your place. I found this link to be very helpful in finding what plants are best for what uses. If you have a busy college schedule or are logging in a lot of hours at work, look for plants that don’t need watered a lot like succulents.plants
  • Maximize your space. When trying to make all of your stuff fit in a small space AND trying to make it look chic, can get a bit frustrating. Make the most of every inch and pick furniture that does double duty. Futons are awesome for turning your living room into a spare bedroom. This saves a lot of space and gives your guest something a little more comfortable to sleep on rather than a couch. Ottomans with storage can be turned into the ultimate trifecta by adding a serving tray on the top. Target has a nice selection of affordable trays that are guaranteed to make your space more stylish while giving your ottoman an additional use. For dorm rooms, bed risers are a necessity. These give you a great amount of storage so use it! For apartments, look into beds that have storage such as dressers under them. Or even a bed frame that allows you to store stuff under the entire mattress.plants-1
  • How to light up your room. In some dorms or older apartments the lighting can be a struggle. You could either have that annoying, fluorescent, too bright lighting or the dark and dingy lighting. Even if your main source of light is perfect, it’s still nice to have a second source that creates a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. The stringed Christmas lights can be a bit tacky and overused sometimes but knowing where to place them and what to add to them can make a more sophisticated feel. Paper lanterns can also be a great way and inexpensive way to light up your space. Another great way to add a little extra to your space is to re-vamp your lamp! Lamps can get pricey so why not give them a makeover. One of my favorite ideas is to find the perfect fabric and re cover the lampshade. It can change the entire vibe of a room. Here are some other DIY ideas for re-doing lamps.plants-2
  • Get organized. Living in small areas can cause the smallest of messes to look like huge ones. Consolidate your storage space and create more by designing a cleaning door. Use an over the door shoe organizer and place your cleaning products in it. You can put this over my laundry room door. It’s organized, out-of-the-way, and gives you more cabinet space for pots and pans where you previously stored cleaning products. Another great idea is a pot lid organizer. This is greatest invention ever and inexpensive as well. It hangs on your cabinet door and organizes your lids. No more fighting with the annoying mountain of pots and lids. Build your own rolling storage pantry to put in the extra space between your wall and fridge. Not great at building projects? Here’s a link to buy it for $26. Magnet strips can be another amazing addition to your organizational idea stash. By gluing a magnetic strip to the bottom of your cabinet shelf, you can stick mason jars filled with your small things such as hair ties, cotton balls, bobby pins, etc. You could also use this idea in your fridge. Glue a magnet to the top of your jars of jelly, garlic, peppers, etc. and place them on the magnet strip. This gives you a lot more room in your shelves on the sides of your fridge.plants-5

BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET

If you read my about me you know that after graduation I plan on moving in with my wonderful boyfriend. The house itself is very old, outdated, and is going to need a lot of TLC to bring it to life. Slowly but surely we are starting to tackle each room. We just recently renovated the entire basement. It looks amazing and that was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders, cause damn that basement was ugly. iIt was straight out of the 70’s. Now we will be focusing on the kitchen. I’m using these four alternative ideas to get the kitchen I want on a budget I can afford.

  • Can’t Afford Granite? Try This Kit- Giani Granite. This stuff right here, I am in love. This company created a paint kit for you to complete the granite kitchen or bathroom countertop look with freaking paint! It is made into three simple steps and the kit comes with all the tools, primers, and topcoats you will need. It comes in five beautiful different granite stone looks- slate, bombay blascreenshot-2017-02-16-19-15-56ck, white diamond, Sicilian sand, and chocolate brown. New granite countertops can run anywhere between $2,000-6,000. These kits are just $80. It is an amazing alternative and can give your kitchen or bathroom a whole new refined look.
  • Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets- This is a money saver, but definitely not a time or energy saver. It’s a process, but I PROMISE you your wallet will thank you in the end. New kitchen cabinets can cost thousands of dollars. For under $200 you can transform you’re entire kitchen just by renewing the cabinets with some paint. Here is a DIY link that shows you the step-by-step process to correctly paint your cabinets.
  • Stainless Steel Appliances- Between two very large families, Jace and I get a lot of hand me down appliances. Everything currently in our kitchen is from a family member AKA nothing matches. Don’t get me wrong we are so grateful for the help! But when I came across this amazing invention and I knew I could make everything match- all was well in the world again. Giani Granite also sells liquid stainless steel or as I like to call it liquid gold. For a very low price you can update all of your appliances to a clean, sleek look of stainless steel.
  • Take advantage of online flea markets- OfferUp is my go to resale app for furniture among a lot of other things. This is where I found our new kitchen table. I’ve tried all of the other resale apps and this is by far the best. I honestly refresh this thing as much as I do instagram and twitter. I would like to consider myself a pro on offer up, but I’m saving those skills to share with you for another post 😉  It’s just like a flea market. There’s ton of ugly crap you have to be willing to look through to get to the good stuff. Having a search engine definitely helps though. About five months ago since I’ve downloaded the app, I’ve bought two sectional couches, a kitchen table, a wine rack, a headboard, an entryway shelving unit, and more- all quality pieces for dirt-cheap. All in fair condition- nothing a little steam cleaning or paint can’t touch up. A lot of times people are selling stuff brand new still in the box, which was the case for the headboard I got for half the original price. Amazing. This site has truly saved me hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Just take a look at some of the stuff I got down below.

untitled-design