DIY Custom Underbed Storage Boxes

A few weeks ago I finally got to drag the mish-mash of plastic tubs and cardboard boxes out from under Charlotte’s bed and roll in some new, perfectly proportioned timber drawers instead.

DIY Underbed Storage Boxes | The Painted Hive

Although original said “mish-mash” was jammed in there pretty tightly the additional storage these custom-sized drawers provide is amazing!

When I first started planning the (sorely needed) under-bed storage for Charlotte’s room, I had two main requirements; 1) it had to be pretty – as it would be somewhat visible, and 2) it needed to make the absolute most of the available space – because, heaven knows, we need all the storage we can get! With that in mind my initial idea was simple cane baskets. Surely I’d be able to find some appropriately sized ones which didn’t cost one zillion dollars. Right? Failing that, I was confident about the prospect of hunting down something ugly (again, appropriately sized) which could at least be made more attractive. Right?

Ah, apparently not. I didn’t go crazy with my search though everything I found was either too small, too big or waaay too expensive. Frown.

Sooooo, given my lack of success I decided it was time to pull out the power tools!

Now, if you’re anything like me, creating from scratch is probably a last resort. I don’t know what it is exactly, maybe the additional time it sucks, the likelihood of stuffing up or just the plain ‘unknown’ of it all, though something about it can feel all too hard. In this case, though, after months of fruitless searching, I came to the conclusion that custom building was actually the easier option. And, thanks to our new precision tools, it really was!

Making Underbed Storage Boxes

I didn’t write a complete tutorial for these boxes because, well, they’re boxes (I’m sure there are a heap of great tutorials out there already). On top of that, my husband actually did the bulk of the construction work whilst I kept the kids out of his hair and he employed some fancy techniques way beyond my usual cut, glue and screw comfort zone :-)

The boxes are made from ply (my go to), have provisions for dividers and neat little rabbet jointed corners (yes, I did just have to Google that!).

DIY Wooden Storage Boxes

They also have recessed bases to accommodate clever spanning rollers – so they look like they actually rest on the floor though can be easily moved about.

DIY Underbed Storage Boxes Custom Rollers

Basic castors would suffice though I think my husband wanted to play around with our new tools. That’s probably part of the reason he went all fancy in the first place!

I went for three boxes so they aren’t overly heavy and can be maneuvered around one another and any overlapping furniture (a must given the tiny scale of the room).

I haven’t added handles or anything yet, and am not sure if I will. Aesthetically it would kinda be pointless as when they’re in place only the very bottoms are visible, and from a practical perspective it’s easy enough to reach under the valance, grab the top of a box and pull it out. Speaking of the valance, it’s a simple DIY made from an inexpensive linen-look tablecloth. We needed something to cover the metal bed rail and some ugly exposed brackets and although I really liked the idea of using a wooden rail I didn’t want something solid which would restrict storage height. Having a flexible skirt ensures no vertical space is lost.

I have dreams of painting the box interiors with a fun pop of pink – maybe that will happen one day – though given the exteriors are visible I did stain and seal them for a nice, rich finish.

Underbed Storage Boxes

I used some left-over Feast Watson Brown Japan stain, which I initially thought was way too dark, though it mellowed out considerably when I applied some Scandinavian Oil (three coats) and it actually works really well with the existing antique dresser.

DIY Custom Underbed Stoage Boxes | The Painted Hive

I’m loving how finished these boxes are making the room finally feel. That said, there is still a ways to go. When I started decorating this space Charlotte wasn’t even two yet. Well, she’s four next month. Four! When did that happen? Of course, with the ascent of her age comes the emergence of “her”. As such, what was initially my solo vision of a relatively neutral and quite simple farmhouse style room has evolved into a collaborative concept which now accommodates her blossoming sense of self…and I love that! Truth is, I’m not smitten with the current feel anyway. It is pretty though perhaps a little too so, and all I keep thinking is how it would make a lovely guest room – for an adult. It definitely needs a bit more playfulness and spunk. Stay tuned!

Girl's Farmhouse Bedroom | The Painted Hive

 

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Bargain Finds, a Fiddle Leaf, Re-Loving and other stuff

I’m between big projects at the moment (aren’t I always?) though that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything fun to share right now.

If you read my last post, or if you follow me through social media, you probably already know that I just joined Instagram. Finally!

The community is so awesome and I’ve found it surprisingly motivating in terms of house tweaking. The idea of sharing something new and different through a simple snap shot makes me way more excited than it probably should. Is that weird? Didn’t think so.

So, I’ve been happily playing vignettes and have even had fun buying some cute new budget-friendly accessories, a rarity for me at the moment.

A few weeks back I stumbled upon this fiddle leaf fig!

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree | The Painted Hive

I know every man and his dog has one now though I’ve wanted one for a few years and figured that prolificity (yes, I just made that word up – it has five syllables and sounds very fancy) seemed like a silly reason not to get one. They are still gorgeous. And, as an added bonus this one cost less than two zillion dollars! For anyone interested this baby is around 80cm tall (floor to top) and was $45 from Wombat Gully Plant Farm in Geelong. I have no idea whether they still have any in stock so maybe ring ahead if you plan on dropping in there. The wicker basket was $22 (on sale) from Spotlight.

Have you guys seen some of the awesome homewares Kmart is rocking at the mo’?

Science Flask

I picked up this cool little conical flask for just $4.

And Target is doing okay too.

Vintage Vignette with Brass, Leather and Seagreen Demijohn | The Painted Hive

Couldn’t go past this gorgeous sea-green demijohn for only $15. Might have to go back and get more :) All of the other elements in this vignette are thrifted. The leather case holds vintage binoculars, the brass tray was a $4 market find (love!) and we all know I can’t style anything without some obligatory greenery – these unseasonal wattle sprays are just that bit different too.

And how about The Reject Shop? They have some really great buys in store for Mother’s Day.

Rose Gold Animal Heads | The Painted Hive

I snatched up these ceramic rose-gold animal heads for $7 each. They were supposed to be a gift though I hung them in my entryway to take some pics and now I adore them so much I think they might have to stay. Against my vintage wallpaper they’re just perfect!

Metallic Rosegold Animal Heads | The Painted Hive

And I absolutely fell in love with this leather strap lantern for $15 (from The Reject Shop too!).

Vintage Lantern Vignette | The Painted Hive

It would also make a really cute vase and I adore it even more after researching the price of some comparable ones…

Glass and Leather Lanterns

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

 

Huh? Crazy, right? I mean, I know I’m tight, though seriously?

If you follow me socially and have already seen all this then I apologise for the repetition. I wanted to share here for anyone who may have missed my social media posts and for those of you who simply don’t use social media. Plus, it’s just plain nice compiling everything in a lovely little blog post :)

In other news, my Re-Love Project piece is coming along nicely!

I don’t want to reveal too much just yet though I will say I’m stepping outside my comfort zone in terms of aesthetic. I hope the deviation from my usual style doesn’t disappoint you guys though I’m loving the creative challenge and freedom! I’ll share some sneak peeks in a future post soon.

 

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PS Thanks so much to everyone who left a lovely little comment on my Houzz interview.

PPS I was also recently interviewed by Porch. You can check that fun article out here.

 

 

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Re-Love Project 2015

Do you guys remember this makeover from last year?

Boring Bedsides Transformed into Flat File Drawers | The Painted Hive

Well, I’m super excited to announce I am once again taking part in the Feast Watson Re-Love Project!

For anyone unfamiliar with the campaign, the Re-Love Project is a charitable collaboration between Feast Watson and Salvos Stores. The project follows eight design personalities as they each up-cycle an item of furniture into a unique statement piece. Things culminate in all completed pieces being auctioned for charity via eBay from 8 – 17 July.  Awesome!

It’s BIGGER and BETTER than ever this year.

Also, slightly more daunting.

You see, after such a positive response to my make-over last year, I was feeling the pressure. I even considered declining. Of course, that would have been plain stupid and I’m soooo glad I didn’t! On top of that though, the calibre of the designers this year is crazy good. The likes of Mark Tuckey, Tara Dennis, Deb Bibby…just to name a few. Industry icons people – gulp! As flattering as it is being named among such awesomeness, it’s also a tad intimidating for little Kristine Franklin from The Painted Hive. That said, it’s equally exhilarating so I’m gonna focus on that!

For those who don’t know, Feast Watson specialise in premium wood finishes, so the furniture “re-loves” must center around just that; wood. This makes for a refreshing departure from paint, and provides a fun opportunity to get extra creative.

So, here’s my glorious starting point…

Feast Watson ReLove Project Before

A big melamine wardrobe I picked up for just $50 (replete with some of my fave pet hate furniture traits).

What, “melamine”? Didn’t you just say “wood”?

Yeah, but rest assured, I have a plan!

Rather than take on a sympathetic restoration, I want to experiment with a style of furniture I know is prevalent, affordable, and just plain meh, and completely turn it on its head! By doing so, I hope to inspire others to think a bit sideways and maybe even have a go at replicating my project (a complete tutorial will follow).

You with me?

Keep your fingers, and toes, crossed then. Who knows how this thing will end (hopefully not with me in the fetal position)!

Feast Watson Re-Love Project 2015

Click here to find out more about the project, read up on all the other fab designers involved and see everyone’s ‘before’ shots!

You can also follow each designer’s journey by subscribing to their respective social channels or directly through Feast Watson on Instagram or Pinterest.

UPDATE
You can see my completed piece here.

 

Signature

Ooh, also, I’ve finally just started using my Instagram account. Things are a little lonesome there at the mo’ so please feel free to pop on over and follow along.

Instagram The Painted Hive

 

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Abstract Art Tutorial

Abstract Art Tutorial | The Painted Hive

Okay, here it is.

Just in case you missed it, in this recent post I innocently posed the question of an abstract art tutorial following the surprising success of my own flukey attempt.

I thought there might be a little interest though the response was actually overwhelming!

Seems abstract art tutorials are in high demand.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial

Now, you should know, I don’t lose sleep over too much, though the thought of having to produce a clear tutorial covering what was actually quite an ambiguous process made me restless. Compounding the self-imposed pressure was the level of excitement and anticipation you guys seemed to have about it. It was super flattering, though still…gulp.

How the heck was I going to convey my blundering process in a concise way?

Hopefully this tutorial does the trick.

Break

Before I get started, here’s the usual yada-yada.

Of course, there are a zillion-trillion different ways to create a piece of art and a trillion-billion variations on my amateur process. For clarity and succinctness this tutorial will focus on the particular techniques I used to achieve the look of my artwork. In reality, it was probably much more time consuming, self questioning, step laden and fiddly than it appears though I don’t wanna confuse the bejesus outta everyone. I want this to be a straight-forward, step-by-step guide which arms you with some knowledge and, most importantly, the confidence, to find your own inner artist. So please, feel free to stray from my general directions (in fact, experimentation is a must!) and DON’T GET DOWN ON YOURSELF if things don’t seem to come easily.

This painting method is somewhat accidental. Have a general vision in mind though be open to adaptation and prepared to embrace the unpredictability of the medium. Although I think it’s important to undertake this project in a thoughtful way, try to strike that balance between discipline and abandon – I know, I know, much easier said than done!

I attempted to create this tutorial whilst painting a whole new large piece of art similar to my initial painting, though found it all too tricky. It was just restrictive having to stop frequently and take notes, stage strokes, demonstrate techniques and snap pics. The whole artwork felt too calculated. So, for ease, I decided to use a smaller canvas and merely demonstrate the basic steps. The resulting artwork turned out quite different though still kinda cool (there’s a photo towards the end of this post).

Anyhoo, here we go…

 

YOU WILL NEED…

Abstract Art Painting Supplies

Stretched Canvas
I used a large 90cm x 90cm (36″ x 36″) canvas for my original painting and a smaller 60cm x 60cm (23″ x 23″) one for this tutorial.

You could use canvas sheet though pre-stretched frames are just so affordable and readily available nowadays. I like the deeper canvases as they tend to hold their shape better, don’t dip in the center as much and make framing easier. You might even find pre-printed canvases on sale for super cheap (I saw some HUGE photographic prints on sale at a clearance store the other day). Of course, if you do use a pre-printed canvas the additional step of an initial white coat may be required.

Note: Starting with a small canvas might seem to make sense, and whilst it is a good idea for practicing techniques and gaining an understanding of how the effects might transpire, in terms of producing an artwork it may actually be more difficult. Using a small canvas means scaling down details. Scaling down details means the need for extra finesse. Things can become all too muted then impact is lost. I also feel that large abstract paintings just have that air about them. That said, super large canvases carry their own problems as working on a huge scale can also be difficult. I recommend anything from around 60cm – 120cm (24″ – 47″) though it’s totally up to you.

Acrylic Paint
I used a combination of different craft paints I already owned. I know there are good and bad brands, though I’m not that fussy when it comes to paint. I used blues and greens to suit my colour scheme along with some white, black and brown.

Edicol Dye
I used regular food colouring. The dye works to give greater tonal variation. I don’t know how it does it, though it creates interesting transparent areas, distinct borders around shapes and is absorbed somewhat into the canvas which produces underlying patterns. As opposed to the acrylic paint, it also re-hydrates once dry which allows it to be picked-up and blended into subsequent layers. Just be careful if you want to produce a relatively muted painting though as dyes are heavily pigmented and tend to produce quite saturated colours. You only need a few drops.

Note: You can go as crazy as you like with colour though if you’re interested in creating a relatively monochromatic artwork similar to mine, opt for one principle colour (blue in my case) and one complimentary secondary colour (I went with green). White and black/brown can then be used to add depth and contrast. Also, keep in mind that when working with mixtures of paint, dye and water, colour creation is not an exact science. As colours merge and dry you will almost certainly notice some unpredictable results. You may want to trial any colours on a mini canvas first.

 

ALONG WITH…

Abstract Art Equipment

 

PREPARATION

Lay down a drop cloth (if required) and position your canvas horizontally on an even-ish surface. Gravity will play some part in the look of this artwork as paint ‘flow’ is involved; too much of a slope may cause an undesirable bias, too even a surface may cause paint to pool in the center of the canvas. Of course, levels can be adjusted as required during the painting process and I did find myself carefully re-positioning the canvas from time to time. I like to work at around thigh height though you may prefer to work higher or at ground level, just ensure you can paint comfortably and maneuver easily around your canvas.

I like to work outside. Preferably on a nice, hot day. Temperature actually plays quite a role in the look of this painting as drying time effects the amount of flow and blending. It also dictates pace as some drying time is required between certain applications. You can use a hairdryer to speed-up drying time if required though be careful with ‘pushing’ the paint excessively.

You can prime your canvas (using gesso) if desired though most stretched canvases comes pre-primed anyway. You may also choose to add some texture (see note below).

Note: Given the fluid nature of the medium used, little texture is achieved. I really love textural paintings though in this case like the way the character of the canvas weave is so prominent. If, however, you want to increase the level of texture, build some up before commencing painting. You can use anything which will stick, set firmly and retain its form. Gesso is commonly used, though anything from craft glue to plaster paste can suffice. I actually trialed this style of painting over a previous textural acrylic of mine and found the subtle textures produced some lovely results though the more bold textures were overly distracting. Of course, it all depends on the look you’re personally after, though if you’re considering adding texture, maybe concentrate on gentle stippling over more obvious strokes.

 

THE PROCESS

Abstract Art Tutorial | The Base Layer

1 The base.

Mix up a runny combination of white acrylic paint, dye (in your chosen colour – I went with blue) and water then casually coat the entire canvas using a wide brush. Don’t worry too much about visible brush strokes and un-even distribution at this stage. Some tonal variation is expected though any obvious areas should self-level out (you can also use the atomiser to further saturate and blend any particularly patchy spots). Keep in mind that the colour will most likely fade as it dries. If it becomes too insipid, simply brush over it again with a less watery paint solution. As it begins to dry you can also spritz the canvas with a slightly darker combination of dye and water to add a bit more colour and some speckles. Alternatively, you can spray it with some diluted white paint if you feel the need to tone it down.

Abstract Art Tutorial | The Streams

2 The streams.

Mix up a combination of white acrylic paint (you can also add some coloured paint – I used a little blue), dye (in your chosen colour – again, I went with blue) and water which is slightly thicker and more colour saturated than the mixture you used for the base (for some reason, the base appears quite white in the above photo – it’s actually more blue). Pour a few little pools onto the canvas, spread them out a little using a brush then allow gravity to do some work.

Easy Abstract Art Tutorial

You can help guide the shapes of the streams if you like though don’t worry too much about their form as subsequent layering will hide and alter that anyway. This is more about laying down some areas of colour and movement and creating a foundation to build upon. You can also use a brush to simply drop a few small splotches here and there and a straw to blow out some thinner streams. Whilst some of this detail will be lost, in certain cases it may continue to show through the following layers (if desired, you can add any detail back at the end).

There’s no need to be overly careful, though don’t go too crazy quantity-wise. The watery mixture will spread considerably and you don’t really want to coat your entire canvas. Whilst you’re not in total control and further changes are still to come, keep composition in mind and try to retain some background expanses.

Before the streams are totally dry, pour on a few pools of an alternate colour (I went with green) and repeat the process. Some mingling should occur which looks quite marbled to begin with (which is lovely) though it does dry to a more uniform, flat finish.

Abstract Art Ink Streams

Again, be careful with quantities. If you notice undesirable pooling or directional flow, try tilting the canvas mildly or sopping up excess liquid with absorbent paper towel. Don’t worry about paint dribbling off the canvas edge.

Abstract Art Techniques

Play around with spritzing the canvas with water or diluted paint to achieve greater flow, softer edges, more blending or additional speckles as desired. Once again, colours will change upon drying so be patient and make changes as needed. Try not to pre-empt things too much.

Abstract Art Tutorial | The Daubs

3 The daubs.

Mix up quite a thick combination of white acrylic paint, a little dye (in your chosen colour – blue again for me) and some water. You can also add any additional acrylic colours as desired (I used black to create a soft grey for my initial artwork though decided on a dash of brown for this tutorial). Whilst areas of the streams are still somewhat wet, randomly stipple/drop the mixture on, allowing the paint, not the brush, to form organic dappled shapes (to achieve this use a round-ish tipped brush, ensure you have a decent amount of paint on the canvas and flatten the brush bristles out so they push the paint – it just creates a more natural shape). I concentrated on concealing any particularly harsh dye lines or areas I simply didn’t like.

Abstract Art Paint Daubs Technique

In areas the daubs will blend together (as can be seen in the above close-up), creating larger shapes. In other areas they might mingle with sections of wet underlying paint, running into your previous streams or creating whole new ones. Don’t worry too much about this unless all of your daubs are turning to streams and contrast is becoming lost. In this case, allow the underlying layers to dry more thoroughly before re-commencing, or thicken-up your mixture.

As the paint dries the colour mellows considerably, so bring some extra contrast to the daubs by dropping thick dollops of undiluted white paint among them.

Abstract Art Techniques

Directly above is the whole canvas after my first daub application. Getting there, though still lacking something. I actually decided to lighten things up further so added some more white daubs. I also spritzed the canvas with some diluted white paint. This mellowed out the colour blocks and created some nice new muted streams as can bee seen in the close-up below.

Abstract Art Paint Streams

This ‘daub’ application is the stage which requires the most consideration and restraint. It’s easy to go too far and end up with one big mottled mess. Stand back often and assess where the daubs are really needed. Don’t just go wild daubing like a crazy lady! You want to retain sections of the background and portions of underlying colour. This helps create a more interesting painting with areas of both movement and rest.

Below is the whole canvas, still somewhat wet, after my secondary application of white daubs.

Abstract Art Tutorial

If at any time you feel you’ve gone too far, bring out the atomiser and play around with spritzing. I know it’s daunting watering down all your hard work, though you’ll be surprised just how easy it is to create new interesting patterns and, if need be, a nice fresh base from which to build upon again.

Note: Although not essential, it might help to determine the painting’s orientation before commencing this stage. Whilst abstract art can commonly be hung in any configuration, composition wise, I personally find it easier adding these final elements if I have an idea which way I think is up.

Abstract Art Tutorial | The Focus

4 The focus.

This isn’t necessary, though I like the idea of having a particular area which draws your eye. If you’d prefer a more uniform look, simply leave this step out.

Whilst the underlying layer is still a little wet, lay down a small area of diluted dye solution.

Abstract Art Focal Point

Now, use a brush to apply some thick acrylic paint in the colour of your choice (I like the neutrality of white) on top of, or just beside, that area of watery dye. Begin spreading the pant into a desirable shape. The dye should be pushed to the edges of the paint and form a subtle border around it in sections. This helps create the impression the focus shape is embedded within the artwork, rather than merely being plonked on top.

Abstract Art Focus Area

It’s pretty inevitable that your focus area will pick up some of the surrounding and underlying colours. If you find it becomes overly muddied, apply additional thicker areas of paint. Remember, the colours will most likely dry more muted and you really want this focus area to stand out.

At this stage you should also assess the overall composition and make any changes you feel are needed. You may want to add some more defined shapes or areas of colour to increase contrast or provide balance.

Note: To complete your painting, consider adding a frame. It really does help give a nice professional finish and is an easy DIY (I didn’t do a framing tutorial though it’s simply a matter of mitering some thin timber trim and nailing it straight onto the canvas frame – or, if you don’t like the idea of mitering, you can use simple abutting corners). If you prefer the casualness of no frame, you can paint the canvas edge a solid colour to co-ordinate with your painting or extend your painting to the edges during the painting process. Oh, and don’t forget to include your signature in the bottom corner!

So, here’s the finished painting.

Abstract Art Tutorial | The Painted Hive

Remember, I did create this painting primarily for demonstrative purposes so it’s different to my original work, and also quite a bit smaller, though I think it still has its own appeal. Which one do you prefer?

DIY Abstract Art Paintings

I quite like them both. I think. It’s kinda hard to separate yourself and look at them objectively. I know I do like the colours though!

Here’s a super-duper close-up to show the canvas texture and paint detail.

Abstract Art Tutorial Painting Close-Up

 

TROUBLE SHOOTING & STARTING OVER

Inevitably, there will be hiccups and moments of doubt (I can certainly vouch for that!). If you find you’re absolutely hating the way your painting is progressing, don’t lose heart. If things aren’t too far gone, stand back and assess where you can make changes. It can be daunting to alter areas you’ve already painted, especially if there are sections you really like, though if you’re not totally in love with your art it’s worth giving it a go. If things are too far gone, simply water down the canvas and paint over it again. Remember, every mistake is an opportunity to learn something and you’ll almost certainly find that your previous attempts will have armed you with more skill and a better understanding of how to go about things again. Don’t worry too much if areas of muted paint from your previous attempt continue to show through the canvas. They can be used to add some extra interest. Please, just don’t give up too easily. I almost did!

Also, and I really have to stress this – DON’T DISMISS YOUR WORK TOO EARLY! I’ve been very lukewarm on a few of my paintings initially only to decide I actually quite liked them after a day or two. I don’t know what it is exactly, though it seems it’s easy to be extra critical early on. Bring your painting inside, lean it up against a wall, or hang it if possible, and allow it to grow on you a bit. You might be surprised!

Break

Anybody can produce abstract art. I think the thing which causes trepidation among us aesthetic DIY’ers, is the fact we want to produce something with a specific, even professional, look. It can be daunting knowing where to start and doubly disheartening to take the plunge only to feel disappointed with the outcome.

As a fellow rookie (I’m assuming you’re reading this tutorial because you’re a novice too :-) I truly-ruly hope this tutorial, along with my advice, helps spur some confidence.

Have fun!

 

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Oh, and send me a photo if you give it a go!

 

 

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Playing Vignettes | Sofa Table Styling

Accessorise Definition

I’m sure I’m not alone in labeling the act of accessorising one of the most transformative and enjoyable in home beautification.

Not only does this final layer help bring a room to life, it’s also just plain fun messing around with a bunch of beautiful objects (and, as far as decorating on a budget goes, there’s no denying the affordable impact some carefully considered styling can impart).

I used to re-arrange all the ornamental vignettes in my home often, though now, with a three and one year old, I find it’s a bit counter-productive. I’ve noticed that stagnant vignettes can remain ignored for several months though as soon as I move anything around the kids’ interest is suddenly piqued, and sure enough, five minutes later my pretty new arrangement is little more than a disheveled pile of discarded ‘play things’.

I know in a few years I’ll be the one playing around with the accessories once more, though for now I do miss it.

Which is why I was excited when my mum mentioned she was looking at doing some zhooshing in her lounge room. Rather fortuitously, her announcement coincided with an email from the guys at Super Amart who were looking to showcase some of their affordable homewares. Gotta love it when the universe aligns!

I fell in love with these BIG glass statement lamps (being cleared for half price – the website states $89 though I got mine for just $70 each in store!) so decided to make them my jumping-off point.

Now, just to work out where to put them.

I could have done the regular side table thing though mum had a big blank wall behind one of her couches which was just crying out for something.

Before

See what I mean?

Soooo, we shifted the couch forward slightly, slotted in a narrow sofa table and set to work making things look pretty.

The Power of Accessorising

Aside from the gorgeous lamps, which I love even more now, and the big original abstract, which you can read more about below, we used things we already owned. Mum and I are fortunate to share similar taste so we often swap stuff around and even have a joint collection of ‘excess’ decor we can switch and change from.

Sofa Table Styling

Although there is nothing extravagant or expensive about this vignette I like to think it has a gentle sophistication, the contrasting elements working in harmony to impart a fresh, collected feel. And whilst it’s far from perfect to me there’s just something so lovely about the perfect imperfection of rustic meets refined (and something so rewarding about making the most of things you already own to create a new look on a tight budget).

Elegant Glass Lamp

When creating vignettes I usually have some kind of vision in mind however find I generally end up using more elements than originally planned. I don’t know what it is. I tend to like the look of quite clean, sparse-ish vignettes in photos though struggle when attempting to emulate that simplicity myself. I guess deep down I just like more stuff! Not too much though.

Sofa Table Vignette

When dressing the couch we actually had both green and blue velveteen cushions to choose from. Green is one of my absolute favourite accent colours to use when decorating though in this case I opted for blue to reference the artwork and give some relief from the foliage of the ferns.

Here’s a Photoshoped version which shows the green cushions instead.

Sofa Table Styling with Green Cushions

Which do you prefer? Blue or green?

Styling with Different Coloured Cushions

Either way, it’s a pretty cohesive scheme; the blue ties-in with the art, the green ties-in with the foliage. I guess it just depends how much you love green :-)

I’m not totally convinced with the boldness of the stripe on the lumbar cushion. I guess it does help break-up the solids though. Again, it’s really just a matter of personal preference.

Now, just in case anyone is wondering how the big original artwork isn’t “extravagant” or “expensive” I should probably mention that I painted it myself! Whilst I’m under no illusion it’s any kid of masterpiece it does look good (if I do say so myself :-) and works well in the space. It took me a few goes to achieve the look I was after though once I discovered the techniques I needed to use it was actually really easy…and fun! If you’d like to see a tutorial let me know and I might give it a go :-)

Sofa Table Styling

I realise it’s a bit skimpy only sharing this one snippet of the room with you, though the rest of the makeover is still in the works. I would promise a future full reveal however have no idea when the space will actually be complete. Regardless, I hope this tidbit does help highlight the power of accessorising. I’ve heard styling referred to as nothing more than ‘smoke and mirrors’ though I’m comfortable admitting it’s my kind of illusion!

Room Styling Before and After | The Painted Hive

Room Styling Before and After | The Painted Hive

Ahhh, playing vignettes – one of my absolute fave pastimes. Maybe I need to get out more!

Vignette Styling

Couldn’t resist squeezing this pic of Cooper in. I tried getting a shot of my parent’s dog though he was too fidgety. Gotta hand it to Coops, he might shed hair like a yeti though at least he’s an obedient model.

 

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