Spring is arguably the best time of year to tackle indoor projects. It is indeed nature’s time of renewal and while outdoor projects may be interrupted from spring rain, the relatively temperate weather is perfect for focusing on the interior. Perhaps the best indoor spring project to embark upon first is painting. Whether it is for a simple change of color and design or a much-needed fresh coat, spring painting is best for two simple reasons: fresh air and low humidity. It is a time when windows can be left open for ventilation and this combined with low humidity means less harmful vapors and faster drying time.
If you are someone who is intimidated by the notion of adding color to your home’s walls you are certainly not alone. Choosing colors actually takes a bit of design acumen and can be disastrous if it goes awry. But, if you have grown tried of whites or neutrals and are ready to break into color, painting trim can be a great place to start. Doorways, crown molding, baseboards and window trim all play a significant role in your home’s design and painting them is an easy do-it-yourself way to renew your space during the springtime months.
Fortunately, there are a few great applications and websites like glidden.com that allow you to preview colors within a room before committing, but nothing replaces seeing the color in the space for which it is intended. Try to collect as many swatches as possible and actually tape them to the area you wish to paint. Live with them in place for a few days to see how they look at different times of day. And, remember to consider all adjoining spaces when painting trim on doorways – not just the room you are painting. Consider the sight line. When you look through the doorway what all can you see?
Finally, it is helpful to remember that just because you have neutral walls, you still need to consider your accent color carefully. Not all colors go with all neutrals – even whites, so try and educate yourself on values, hues and “temperatures” of colors before applying.
Faux finishes are simple but wonderful ways to add visual diversity to your home’s interior. And, as consumers become more aware of home decor from the explosion of do-it-yourself television shows and internet resources, faux finishes have come a long way from such basic techniques as sponging and ragging. Designers are creating surfaces that resemble stone and stucco walls, linen, paper and just about any other textured surface one can imagine. And, while the process of applying faux finishes may seem somewhat haphazard and forgiving, it can be more difficult that it seems for the do-it-yourselfer.
When considering a faux finish to a room, think about its current landscape of textures. Are they organic and fluid as they might be with sheer drapes and clean-lined furniture? Are they more richly dense with busy carpets and multi-layered drapes? Perhaps it is mixture of both as it can be with modern industrial design with its clean but sharp edges and formidable furnishings. As with all things in life, the key to successful faux finishes is balance and harmony. If a room is soft and light, a strong wall of stone may be just the thing to ground the look. If a room is heavy and dense, a soft wash may work to lighten and brighten the space.
Whatever you decide, shop carefully for tools that will accomplish what you are looking to do. There is a whole host of new products for a variety of faux finishes, but if you don’t find what you are looking for, be creative. Sometimes things like feathers can be used to marbleize a surface and a loofah can work wonders for a stucco look.
Learn more about faux finishing techniques and watch step-by-step videos for specific instructions on a variety of applications.
Since prehistoric times, humans have adorned their walls with colorful murals and drawings as a means to both express themselves and reflect upon life. It makes sense, then, that the new and fabulous trend of using the written word as art is quickly becoming a popular alternative to traditional stenciling for spaces like children’s rooms, studios and libraries. Words inspire and alphabetic characters can be beautiful in their own right, so during this time of spring renewal think about who or what inspires you. Shakespeare? Oscar Wilde? What about your grandfather’s favorite old saying?
Computer technology allows do-it-yourselfers to buy stencils in just about any size imaginable and in thousands of fonts and letter styles. There are plenty of stencil companies online and even many regular print shops can produce letter stencils for decorative use.
Word art is an excellent way to lift your mood or help you through a tough day. It can be a great conversation starter for when guests come to visit. Some folks may not know how to discuss or interpret other forms of art, but everyone appreciates a good quote. It is also a great way to inspire children to learn and to appreciate the art of reading. With just a few strokes of a brush you can turn any room into a world of wisdom or whimsy and create a visually lovely space at the same time!
Credit: Renovate with Tommy Mac