Masterful artsiness

A few days ago, I posted this on Instagram….


True statement right there.

It’s funny how one decorating movement made on a total whim can get the juices flowing.  After I popped this guy above our bed, I actually (1) made my bed (Please, no applause. ;)) and (2) I busted out the camera and tripod and took pics of not only this space, but all of the other spaces that I’ve worked on in the past month or so.  It was a successful morning to say the least.

So, with that I give you my art…

DIY art for the master bedroom

This, my friends,  is a HUGE piece of DIY art that I created for (waitforit) EIGHT DOLLARS.  No joke.

Now, granted, a big part of this project costing practically pennies was luck.  I found this giant canvas that was already framed in raw wood at a thrift store for $7.99.  It looked like a DIY painting of a winterscape painted in brown and white before I painted over it.   Had it been attractive, I may have kept it, but sadly, it was not.   At least not for my taste.   It wasn’t signed and didn’t appear to be anything other than maybe a school project or something so I didn’t feel too bad covering it up.

Master bedroom

Now, because I was in my little Money-Pit-Funk when I completed this project, I have no process pics, but transforming it was pretty simple and self-explanatory.   Let me put it this way… My four-year-old-helped me do it.  For that reason alone, I really wish I’d snapped some pics… the little man was so excited to be wielding a paint roller.  And he did really well.

Anyways, updating the art took very little time and zero dollars.  I just used what I had on hand.   I simply taped off the frame and then Lucas and I painted over the canvas with white primer (It was Kilz Premium).  Once that was dry, I taped off the canvas and stained the wooden frame using two coats of Varathane’s Early American stain.  I then decoupaged a print that I already owned in the middle of the canvas with Matte Mod Podge (after cutting it down to size using my sweet neighbor’s paper slicer (have I mentioned that I love our neighbors?)).   I’ve found that the key to Mod Podging paper is to “glue” the paper down with one coat of Mod Podge, then let it dry thoroughly before adding coats over top.   This prevents the paper from sliding and tearing.

That’s all it took.   It was easy and pretty darn foolproof.

DIY art

I may go back eventually and add some hints of color over top of the white so it’s not so stark, but I’m still deciding on that.  Right now I kind of like the simplicity of it.  In the meantime, this over-sized art really helps to fill the wall and make this side of the room feel more finished.

Master bedroom with art

Here’s a view from the doorway (PLEASE ignore the ceiling fan… It’s destined for replacement with something more our style)…

The frame is looking a bit orange in some of these pics, but it’s actually a beautiful medium-dark wood tone that plays really well with my vintage foot stool and rattan table on the opposite side of the room.   The bed area really needed that tone to make it feel more cohesive with the rest of the space.  I still need to play with the night stand styling a bit to account for our newest addition, but I’ll tell ya.   It’s SUCH an improvement from this purple mess with stained carpeting and rickety windows that we started with a year ago…


There’s still lots to do in this room… I’d love to add an area rug, a bench at the foot of the bed, more art, and a dresser to the wall by the doorway (and the ceiling fan… OH, the ceiling fan), but for now I’m just glad to have done SOMETHING in here.

As for coming projects around the house, I’ve been on an “art mission” as of late.   I’m trying to fill the walls in thoughtful, inexpensive ways.   So, the next few posts will cover changes to the walls in the living and hangout rooms and foyer.    I’ve already taken pics, so now it’s just a matter of writing my posts.  Woot!

TDC Before and After

Wine Nook? Yes, PLEASE.

It all started with this glorious masterpiece….


Our beautiful Christmas present.  It’s a cutting board made by Pop with our initials inset.

The second I set it down on our counter, I was inspired to add more wooden rustic elements to our kitchen.   Next to our fridge we have this small counter…


…Which has been acting as a catch-all space for anything random that happens to be laying around.   I thought that adding purpose might help to keep it more organized.  Enter “dedicated wine bar area”. I am Italian, after all.  I feel like it’s my duty to celebrate wine.  And I like wine.  And Joey likes wine.  So, we went for it (while inserting frequent fist pumps… Or maybe that was just me?). 🙂

In my minds eye, I saw wooden wine racks and glasses hung beneath the counter.  So, during our last trip to Ikea we picked up two of these wine glass holders…


And two of these wine racks…


Unfortunately, when we went to assemble the wine racks, we realized that they would be too tall for the space once the wine glasses were hung.  So, Joey chopped off the top row of each rack with our miter saw.


I stained the wine racks Early American by Minwax (which was highly disappointing, I might add).  It came out this ugly, ashy color with blackish wood grain. Bad-70’s-paneling vibe, if you ask me.  Not good.  I had used the Varathane brand Early American stain for our media cabinet in the living room and it was perfection.  So, in the case of Early American stain, Varathane>Minwax.  Hands. Down.

To rectify the situation, I applied a coat of Polyshades in Antique Walnut, which I had leftover. And it worked like a charm.  You can see the difference in this pic…


The bottom middle rod was Polyshaded and the top rods weren’t.  The Polyshades added much needed richness to correct the ashy hue of the stain and ended up exactly the tone I was going for.  The Minwax stain doesn’t look nearly as offensive in this pic as it did in person for whatever reason.

Joey mounted the wine glass holders beneath the cabinet, using some nuts and bolts for added security (rather than just screws up into the cabinet)…


Which left this (imagine one more next to it… we butted two together to fill the space) ….


I hung some glasses and set the wine racks in place…

IMG_4469 IMG_4324

A little before and after action…



Much better.

I know this is hardly a new idea, but I just love it.  I feel like it warms up the kitchen a lot and helps to camouflage the multitude of outlets in this tiny space.  (Seriously… two full outlets within 18 inches of each other.   The builder said that because we opted to go with a counter-height peninsula (rather than a raised bar area), they had to find alternate places for the outlets that would’ve been in the backsplash behind the sink area.   And this is what they came up with.)

Anyways, this was a pretty fast and easy project.   It probably took about an hour of actual work (between the two of us), not including dry-time for the stain and Polyshades.

Cost-wise… The wine racks were about $10 a piece, wine glass holders were 6 bucks a pop, and the Minwax stain was about $5 for a grand total of about $37.  Not bad for a little dose of function and coziness.

So, do any of ya’ll have any projects you’re working on right now?  Any vino-inspired goodies to share? 🙂