Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SPRING DECOR UPDATES {stripes & color}

I love that God created our world in color.  He could have made things in black and white.  He could have limited texture and pattern, but His creativity is boundless and displayed around us in every season.  What a joy it is to embrace sunsets, flowers and all the life He has placed in our world.  As seasons change we are inspired to freshen up our spaces and imitate God's creativity. 

The colors green, black and white just keep catching my eye- they look so bold and optimistic together.  And while I didn't want to spend much money on design this season, the girls and I found a few things we could do to freshen up our space. 

Lots of elements simply received a new coat of paint.  Tables, frames, planter pots and even the above lamp base were transformed with a little gloss black.  After the girls transformed the lamp base above from brown to black, I updated the shade by attaching a bit of black ribbon with liquid stitch from WalMart.  Simple. 

With a bit of birthday money, I ordered some bold three inch striped fabric online that reminded me of a cross between a resort cabana and something nautical.  We paired these simple valances with $1-$2. curtain rods from WalMart- inexpensive.  And the valances were made entirely with iron on seam tape while sitting on a cozy chair and watching an old movie.  Yes- simple, simple. 

Above you can see a few more elements that received a bit of black paint- that pot as well as the black pineapple on the bookshelf that was thrifted and gold just a couple of weeks ago.

In that same spirit, we simply covered our red pillows using a 15 minute {or less} tutorial found here rather than buying new.  The fabric was an on sale home dec fabric from Joann's.  And this way the covers come off, so if I want to go back to red in the winter I can.

In theory they also come off to be cleaned which is really good because the kids are allowed to grab them, toss them on the floor and lounge while they play board games or build Legos.

I really loved the lines of the thrifted chairs above.  I found these a while back for $10. each.  They have been in my bedroom, but when I moved the heavy fabric chair and a half into Tom's office, I had room for these out here.  These were updated some time back and the painted wood went from brown to black.  Then the dusty, dark green velvet cushions were recovered with some off white thrifted canvas that set me back about $3.  A fun find.

Because we have an open floor plan, the stripes (from the valances in the dining and chess sitting area) needed to make a presence in the family room too.  Here the online fabric is paired with a green and white fabric from Joann's.

We also added some off the shelf bamboo shades from Home Depot which have a fun, coastal feel.

I found that 5 slot frame at IKEA a year ago which is perfect for our homemade silhouettes.  See the tutorial to make your own silhouettes here.  I seem to have collected large white vases over time, so I decided to put them all together on the mantel for impact without a lot of visual weight.


We all love finding ways to add more Scripture in our home without incorporating clutter, right?  Recently I decided to try adding clear stickers (found in the scrapbook section of Joann's) to my collection of white dishes.  The stickers had a variety of fonts, which was nice.  I love their simplicity.

We are blessed to have little ones at home.  So I thought I'd share this.  I have a table for little people right in the family room.  I don't think it matches anything else, but I love having my little ones close by, so I am enjoying it.  :)

By the way, see the above black side table?  It's another piece that the girls painted black for me.  It was free, scratched and  stained brown when we got it.  I have always loved painted furniture, but with kids painted furniture is even more wonderful.  If something get scratched I can send the aged 10 and up kiddos out with some paint and brushes and it's all fixed like "new" in no time.  :) 


I wanted to carry my updated colors through the house, so I made pillow cases with that same tutorial with left over fabric for the hallway bench and added some coordinating elements in the bath.

The girl's bath is also the guest bath and we have been wanting to update it for some time from Pottery Barn Kid's frogs to something a little more mature.  

I have been looking for months for a shower curtain I liked and just haven't been able to find anything.  Then I saw this black and white fabric at Joann's.  I always have a fabric curtain with an inexpensive plastic curtain behind it (I get them at the Dollar Tree so I can change them whenever they need it without guilt) so this was perfect.

I hot glued some of our old wooden croquet mallets onto the wall for a bit of "preppy" in our design.  The little urn is thrifted and the green ball on top is from Hobby Lobby.

Wooden tennis rackets are super easy to find at the thrift stores around here, so I picked one up ($1.99) for this space as well.  It's similar to the one I would use as a kid and makes me smile.


We purchased the frame above months ago from a thrift store.  I had the girls paint it black for me and I covered the picture with chalk board contact paper.   

Did you know that you can purchase chalkboard contact paper?  It's really easy to work with.  I bought mine here and use chalkboard pens to write on it.  You can choose from a variety of tip sizes.  The black and white striped ribbon is from WalMart.

I also use chalk board contact paper to make labels for my thrifted jars (below).

Well, that's all.  I hope you have a lovely Spring day!


Question:  What are you doing this Spring to freshen up your space or your schedule?


  1. Love the fresh new looks! Can't wait to see them in person...soon, I hope.

  2. Love it. Love it. Love it. Can you tell me what kind of black paint you use? Do you distress it or just paint it? Any tips on painting furniture? I have several thrifted pieces that need a facelift.

  3. Lis'- YES! Has it already been a month? Let's get together very soon! :)

    Emily- Thank you! For plastic items (like my planter pots) I use a spray paint made for plastic. It's called Krylon FUSION and works for metal, wood, wicker and plastics. I also use it for other accessories that I am not planning to pre-treat with sanding because it won't peel even if you do not pre-treat the surface.

    For the things I have the girls paint with a brush, I buy a can of glass black paint- American Tradition Interior/Exterior High Gloss Enamel from WalMart. The small one quart can goes a long way.

    It's a good idea when painting something that may have a hard time holding the paint to rough up the surface a little with a fine grade sand paper first, then wipe it clean from dust. It gives the paint something to grip.

    One more tip- between coats, I just have the girls wrap their brushes in plastic wrap (Saran) so their brushes don't dry out or need to be cleaned. Works great- even overnight.

    I love the high gloss look, so I don't distress the wood (that just seems to happen with normal wear and tear) but if you love that Potterybarn Worn Painted Finish, check out theyellowcapecod.com. She has a tutorial on how to do just that as well as some other great DIY tutorials to get your creative juices flowing (see her side bar). :)


    1. We also wrap our paint brushes in plastic bags . . . and place them in the fridge to keep, since, we don't, um, get right back to our projects sometimes. Works for us.

  4. Your spring updates look great!! Happy Mothers Day!!

  5. Your Spring updates are great! Happy Mothers day!! :)

  6. me again! :) I, too, love high gloss black accessories and furnishings! Getting ready to paint two of my grandmother's dining room chairs that I now have (2 are already painted) Jackson has one, John has one in his office, I use one in my craft room and one in my dressing area. And when we were getting our Vermont condo set up, I painted a lot of the existing furniture black, and things I thrifted too! Oh, and I LOVE your shower curtain. You did a lovely job with all your updates! We just finished completely redoing our master bath, and now I want to redo the entire house! ;)
    Happy Spring!

  7. Thanks, Gabi! Can't wait to see your updates as well! Let me know when you have the chance to post photos.


  8. What fun!
    Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures of your lovely home!