I just bought a new rug. The photos on the Pottery Barn website made it look bright but I knew from the comments to expect more taupe than white.
This was the untouched reality (though without much natural light)
I’m totally into my new rug and how well it goes with my other art in my dining room but the taupe background fooled all my usual sites for extracting a color palette. They just kept pulling out the brown even though I wanted to see the greens, golds, pinks and blues. I even tried a site listed in the comments, Dominant Colors, but just ended up with more mud.
I finally found success over on Colourlovers. If you join the site you can upload a color and use a selector to choose which 5 colors you want until you have the perfect palette.
Knowing I have plenty of neutrals in my room already, I was searching for an accent color pulled from the rug that I can use to paint a piece of furniture I bought around Christmastime. The palette came out a little rainbowy but I think I have 5 really gorgeous colors to choose from.
Just from seeing each color, I know I already have a color much like the far right one in the room. I’m leaning towards the sienna shade or the more aqua one. What do you think would look best in the room?
I recently bought some resin Adirondack chairs (in blue) for my front porch. My house is white and my front door is red so I wanted to tie the color palette together with some Americana influences. I decided that pillows would be the easiest way to do this. My shopping trip left me disappointed. I could only find really expensive pillows or those with an old fashioned feel so I decided I’d just have to make my own pillow covers. I bought some waterproof outdoor pillows from Michaels with a coupon but when I went to the fabric store I found myself in the same conundrum– everything was too old-fashioned or too expensive.
The solution: a Target shower curtain. The modern rugby stripes matched my color scheme, the size of the fabric meant I’d have fabric leftover for future projects, and the shower curtain would add some waterproofing making the pillows more durable. I also came up with a pillowcase design that resembles a sham. That way you get a seamless look from the front but you can just pop the cover off and throw it in the wash.
This design can be made in under an hour. The main skills you need are measuring skills and the ability to sew in a straight line. You’ll sew 4 straight lines per pillow. You’ll need a flat surface, yardstick or ruler, a cutting device (rotary or scissors), washable fabric marker, an iron or pins (check under “making the hems” to see which you need), matching thread, and a fully stocked sewing machine.
Cutting the Fabric
First up, you’ll need to make the cut. Well, cuts. I have 2-16 inch square pillows so I used a simple bit of math to calculate the size of fabric I needed to cut out.
pillow height + 1 inch = fabric height
pillow width + pillow width + 8 inches = fabric width
If you want to cheat and avoid some grade school math, just get 16 inch pillows like I did. My fabric height was 17 inches (16+1=height) and my fabric length was 40 inches (16+16+8=40). I marked the first 17×40 inch section on the fabric and cut it with a rotary cutter, though scissors will work just fine.
Since I was using striped fabric and I wanted the pillows to match, I cut off some excess fabric before cutting out my second pillowcase section so the stripes would start at the same position for both fabrics.
Making the Hems
You’ll want a finished edge on these pillows so step #2 is to hem some edges. If you use a normal fabric you can use your iron to hold your seams but since my polyester wasn’t holding an ironed hem, I used pins to hold the edge.
Place your fabric right-side down. You’ll first want to fold over both of your short edges 1 inch and iron or pin it in place, then fold that same edge over 1 more inch and iron or pin this edge securely. You’ll want to sew each of these hems in place by topstitching through all three layers of fabric. I sewed about 3/4 of an inch from the right (folded) edge. Make sure to repeat this step for all the short edges on your pillows.
Creating the Pillow
Place your fabric right-side up. You should have something resembling a placemat in front of you right about now. You’ll want to measure out the halfway point on the long side of your fabric. I started with a 40-inch length of fabric and used up 4 inches making the seams (2 inches per side) so my fabric should be at 36 inches long now. I’ll want to make my center mark at 18 inches.
This next part is a little counter-intuitive so make sure to read it twice before attempting. My pillow is 16 inches in length so half of that is 8 inches. Place a ruler next to the edge with the 8 inch mark (or half the pillow length) of the ruler at the center mark on the fabric. Make sure your ruler is facing with 0 on the right end of the ruler for this part. Watch the images for clarification.
You’ll want to take the left (short) edge of your fabric and pull it toward the center. Pull the fabric until the folded edge lines up with the 16 inch mark (or your pillow’s length) on your ruler.
Now take the right (short) edge of your fabric and pull it toward the center. Pull the fabric until the folded edge lines up with the 0 inch mark on your ruler. Your fabric will overlap near the center.
Now you’ll need to pin the bottom raw edges together. Repeat with the top raw edges.
Sew a half inch seam along the bottom edge. Then sew a half inch seam along the top edge. Repeat with your second pillow.
Turn your pillow case inside out, pushing out the corners firmly.
Now you can just slide the pillows into the pillowcases and you are set! The hardest part of this project is just the measuring. With 4 straight lines even a beginner can sew these pillows. See how they add that pop of color my front porch needed.Pin It
I love Etsy for affordable and beautiful art but sometimes I can be overwhelmed because there are just so many good pieces and artists. I’ve favorited many shops and works over the years so I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. Right now I’m on a big watercolor kick so I thought I’d start there. I’d love to hear who your favorite Etsy artists are or if you have a shop of your own so chime in below in the comments.
Despite the name, Ron Krajewski doesn’t just paint dogs. I have seen him make amazing watercolors of sea turtles, cats, horses, and yes, dogs. I love how he’s able to capture the spirit of animals and bring a black dog’s coat alive in color. He even does custom pet portraits based on a photo of your pet.
Sarah Storm finds beauty in nature. She sells watercolors and watercolor prints of birds and other creatures you might find on a nature walk. I really love how she uses muted colors that still manage to pop in her works. You can save 20% in her Etsy shop through the end of March when you use the code SPRING20.
The Joy of Color is such a fitting name because Yael Berger has so much fun with color in her works. As a textile designer based out of Israel, Berger has an eye for color and pattern. Many of her pieces are inspired by nature with vegetables, trees, and fruits as a recurring theme. Her works don’t end there so make sure to look at her full collection.
Artist Katie Daisy mixes whimsical designs with watercolor. She loves the beauty of rural America and inspirational sayings. Her own art has caught the eye of brands like Target, American Greetings, and HGTV.
Share your favorite Etsy artists in the comments!
I was very hesitant to punch holes in my newly painted wall when we first renovated our house. At the same time, I was frustrated with how unfinished every room looked. Clearly this was before the great window rip-out and refinishing project. Eventually I just bit the bullet and went for it and never looked back. Seriously, there is nothing better than having artwork on the walls.
I’d used Art.com in college but buying a little fancier looking pieces and throwing on some frames tends to make artwork looks like it belongs in a home instead of a dorm room.
For the living room we chose two pieces by Edward Raymes, Solitude and Escape. They are no longer available on the website but can be found in other locations.
In the dining room we chose two prints, Oriental Bird on Branch I (pictured above) and Oriental Bird on Branch III. Both pulled colors from an art piece we were gifting and included colors from the room.
In the bathroom we have Teal Lily by Carol Robinson. We didn’t want traditional bathroom art saying “Bath” so we went with colors we liked. We’ll be changing the wall color to match it when we do the full bathroom renovation.
For framing, we planned to buy frames through Michaels, knowing they have large discounts and 60% off coupons. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize how high their markup was. We ended up ordering mats through private companies to save money but art.com was competitive from Michaels prices and I bet a local small business could have matched or beaten the prices. Maybe you can learn from my mistake.
While you can see the doily art that I made, this photo also includes one of my favorite Etsy pieces. The watercolor of Missouri by poppyandpinecone was only $10 but it set the color palette for the entire room. I just popped it into a Walmart frame and it was good to go. The artist gave great service and she has a wide selection of states and countries if you want a print of your own.
One of my relatives is an artist and he gifted me a piece of art of my choice for my wedding. It took a while until we figured out which room we wanted the art for but we ended up choosing a piece called Magnolias on Cole by Joe Mangrum. This piece is one of the most personal to us, knowing both the artist and that it was a gift for our wedding. The standard prints for the house give it some decoration but this piece gives the room life. We display it right in the dining room and based our other pieces around it. If you know an artist, see if they have a piece or would be willing to commission a piece you like. There’s something special about it.
I love cacti. That is, I love every cactus because they are basically impossible to kill. Every one of those “impossible to kill” indoor plants like succulents or jade has always died on me but the cacti of the world are willing to live for me. I won’t admit which plants I originally created this project for but let’s just say they’ve gone off to plant heaven and a cactus has taken their place. Thankfully it’s a great fit.
To start off the project, I went to Home Goods and bought a candle lantern that was marked on clearance because the paint had been scraped off in a spot. This was perfect because I wanted a copper color anyway. Here’s the step-by-step changes.
Step 1: Buy an Awesome Lantern
Step 2: Take out all the glass and spray paint it
Step 3: Put glass back in, admire work
Step 4: Put a Cactus in It
So to give a few more details, I used Rustoleum Hammered Copper Spray Paint. It ended up taking 2 complete coats so I have plenty of paint left for other projects. After I let it dry 24 hours I put the glass back in. Then I lined the bottom of the lantern with damp sand, some pebbles and potting soil. I added the cactus, spread some more soil in to secure it nicely, and then closed the door. Keeping the soil and sand damp is the key so everything doesn’t spill out the open door.
What projects have you been working on?Pin It
I’ve been looking at photos of Provence, France lately and I’ve fallen in love with the beautiful fields of lavender. How could you not fall in love with a countryside that looks like this?
So to bring the inspiration back home, I bring you this inspiration board.
Lavender Swoop Arm Tufted Chair Target $303.99
French Herb Wreath Viva Terra $69
Mikasa Lavender Lane 4-piece Place Setting Amazon $77.99
Lavender Field Print Etsy Artist GWENSART $12
Puckering Duvet Set Target $69.99
What other countries would you like to see some travel-inspired design for?Pin It
2 weeks ago I compared two ways to generate color palettes: DeGraeve and MyColortopia. I compared both methods to my own attempts at creating a color palette using Photoshop. Well, now a new competitor has entered the showdown: Chip It by Sherwin Williams.
Like the other sites, you can use a website to extract a color palette from your inspiration photo. What’s really nice about it is that like MyColortopia it generates paint colors based on the photo’s colors. Chip It allows you to either directly type the URL on their main page or they have this nifty toolbar button that lets you see colors right on the webpage you are viewing. See it in action:
So here’s the final Sherwin Willims Chip It palette for me.
I really like that it pulled colors directly from my image and assigned a paint color to them. I had also liked the blue and green look in the original image and though Chip It pulled more of a gold shade out, I have to admit the palette looks really good with it. As a reminder, here were the original palettes I generated.
While clearly Photoshop produced the most precise color matching, it didn’t give me a paint color and it relies on the idea of using an image with a good color palette already. Chip It seems to win in my eyes because not only does it provide a paint color match but it also makes a complete color palette. Add on the bonus Chip It toolbar method and I’m sold. Chip It is my new favorite color palette generator. If you try it, I bet you’ll be sold too.Pin It
I’ve been seeing several bloggers out there talking about Colortopia so I decided to check it out for myself. I was impressed by the bloggers they hired to write the My Colortopia blog. What really impressed me was the color tool. I’ve been using a site, De Graeve to come up with color palettes based on pretty photos. When I discovered I could use the color tool on Colortopia to come up with color palettes and their matching Glidden paint colors, I was intrigued. Would it work as well as my usual color palette generator?
I compared both generators by using the same photo, a color sample from Emily Taylor’s Verona in Teal.
Tip: If you find an image you like on oh, say Pinterest, right click and choose “Copy Image Location” in Firefox or “Copy Image URL” in chrome and paste it into the De Graeve “URL of image” field. I did this and De Graeve popped out two color palettes, one dull and one vibrant.
I think De Graeve a good job finding the colors used in my inspiration photo but it only gives me the hex color codes. That makes it helpful for webdesign but it’s hard to translate into a room. It also didn’t find that shade of gray that I really loved in the photo.
So I tried the Colortopia color tool. Instead of trying to find all the colors in the image, it extracts the top colors, like so:
Then you can choose the color you want to base your palette around. I chose “Softest Juniper” and it gave me a palette using it, “Softest White” and “Cornflower Bouquet”.
The colors don’t match exactly but they do give you a paint color name which I find very helpful. It generates a palette based on one color inside the inspiration photo, which is nice if you only like one color but it limits you if you like the photo as a whole.
Both tools have their strengths and weaknesses. I still tend to favor De Graeve simply for the number of color matches it is able to find. If you use a more complex image, you might find Colortopia extracts the individual shades better. Here would be my ideal palette that I made by pulling the photo colors out in photoshop.
That would take more time and still doesn’t generate paint colors but it’s also more precise. Do you have a speedy or smart way to create color palettes or choose paint colors? I’d love to hear them.Pin It