DIY

How to Define your Design Style

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You just moved in or are looking for a new home, you started shopping around online, you made Pinterest & Houzz inspiration boards, you bookmarked all your favorite items, you watched reruns of HGTV shows, you took notes from a YouTube video on how to DIY everything, and you have been stock piling coupons for Bed Bath and Beyond like nobody's business. You did the research and you gathered inspiration but where do you start? I’m here to tell you how in this blog post!

10 Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas

'Tis the season to be giving! And with that, comes the gift wrapping. Add style and personalize your presents with these decorating ideas. I'm a little last minute with my gift shopping this year so I will be sharing 10 of my favorite gift-wrapping ideas from Pinterest. I love wrapping gifts. I find it so therapeutic. I take the time to fold the corners real crisp. I take gift wrapping seriously. I used to work at Pier1 Imports and I was the cashier who could wrap any gift, any shape, any size with ease.

I will be sharing my gift wrapping techniques on Instagram so follow along to see what ideas I come up with.

Black, White, & Gold - My favorite glam color scheme. My favorite gifts have the bells hanging from them and of course the big full bows. For more gift wrapping ideas, head over to Boxwood Clippings blog.

Black and Gold gift wrap

Rustic Red and White - Mix craft paper and wrapping paper for a layered look. Mix in Christmas Clippings for a Natural touch and the person's initial for personalization. You could also add an ornament for a little more sparkle. For the tutorial visit, On Sutton Place blog.

Red and White gift wrap

Stamp it - Personalize brown paper with alphabet stampers with each individual's name for a homemade touch or stamp some holiday cheer with the word "joy". For more gift wrapping ideas, visit Babble.com

Stamp

Chalkboard Packaging - Wrap your presents in black craft paper and draw with white pencil or paint pens to give the look and feel of Chalkboard presents. For the tutorial, visit Going Home to Roost blog.

Chalkboard packaging

For the Traveler - wrap your gift with a recycled map or Atlas. Bonus points for using a map with a place that actually traveled too. For the tutorial, visit Lime Doodle Design.

Map gift wrap

Gold Tipped Paper Feathers - No bow? No problem. Create a feather pattern out of colored construction paper or even a newspaper. Add a little glam by spraying your faux feather with gold spray paint. For the full tutorial, please visit Lia Griffith.

Gold_Dipped_Paper_Feathers

Girlie Gifts and Gift Tags - Simple yet adorable. One single ribbon for a pop of color and then black and white string to hold the decorative tag. For free graphic gift tag printables, visit Birds Party blog.

Gift Tag and Twine

Sticker it! - Cover your package with craft paper, wrap with raffia, and apply holiday stickers of your choice. For the tutorial, check out Midwest Living.

Scrapbook Stickers

Boxwood Wreath - I love boxwood plants. For a rustic yet holiday gift wrap idea, use boxwood branches and burlap. For the tutorial, visit Craftberry Bush blog.

Boxwood Wreath Gift Wrap

For the bookworm - Wrap small gifts with bookpages and add a monogram for each of your friends. I would take this gift wrap technique one step further by adding a mini candy cane or fake holly berries for a holiday touch. Tutorial via Erinnish.

Bookpage Giftwrap

 

Are you behind on your holiday shopping like me? These gift wrapping ideas are simple and will make your friends/family feel special when they open them. Which Holiday gift wrap idea will you choose?

Are you a gift-wrapping fanatic like I am? Tag @byamadesigns on Instagram so I can check out your holiday gifts ! I would love to see them.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Want more design ideas? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine filled with inspiration for the home and life. Receive a free Home Design Shopping Guide as a gift when you join.

The Look for Less: DIY Gold Urchin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I have always admired the high-end Urchin Iron Asterisk in the Gold leaf finish but not at $200 a piece. So I decided to recreate the look for the every day savvy homeowner. Get the look for less with this simple DIY project.

Here is the Step-by-Step:

FullSizeRender (7)

For this project you will need:

  • A hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • BBQ Skewers
  • Gold Spray Paint

Step 1: Cut the points off the end of the skewers and Cut Skewers in half

Step 2: Hot Glue an X with two skewers. (Repeat step three times)

Step 3: Interlock the (3) X's and secure with hot glue. The interlocking creates the frame of the asterisk and able to stand on it's own.

Stand 4: Apply more skewers until filled. Spin and glue to avoid empty spots

Step 5: Spray paint your urchin. Spin and spray until all edges are covered.

DIY URCHIN

That's the finished look! Enjoy your urchin accessory on coffee tables or in a bookcase. Where will you display yours? Tag @byamadesigns on Instagram - I would love to see your finished look.

Did you love this post? Pin it to Pinterest to recreate later.

FullSizeRender (2)

Want more design tips? Join the "Designed Life" monthly E-Magazine for inspiration for the home and life. Receive a free gift when you sign up.

How to Shop for Furniture

Are you ready to redecorate your space but not sure where to start? Well - I am glad your here! In today's Tip Tuesday post you will learn how to shop for furniture, how to assess your needs, what to look out for when shopping for new furniture, and how to avoid mistakes.

How to Shop for Furniture: Where to Begin

Assess Belongings - Before you go shopping, create a note of what existing items are staying, going, and what new items are needed/desired. Assess what is worth keeping and what items you are ready to let go. Also keep in mind the furniture that is in good condition but may need to be freshened up by reupholstering or refinishing with a new coat of paint.

Create a Cheat Sheet - Goto the store prepared by bring clippings of paint colors, fabrics samples, and pictures of items you are working with. Bring inspiration photos to glance at while shopping to remind you of how you want the end result to look and feel. Shopping can be overwhelming and it's easy to get distracted. Bringing a cheat sheet while shopping keeps you on target.

Plan Ahead - Measure your existing space and items that you will be keeping. Draw the general shape of your room and see if you could reconfigure the layout in a way that works best for you. Now is the time to nail down the details of what size furniture works best.

* Side Note: Measure all important doorways/entrys and hallways to confirm furniture can fit into the space. Nothing worse than buying furniture that can't fit through the door.

Scale - This ties in with measuring... A piece of furniture may look great in a showroom with high ceilings but when you bring it back home, it may overwhelm your space. Measure the space and tape out and block the furniture on the floor to make sure it fits in the room before you buy it.

Budget - Create a spending plan of how much you want to spend in total. Do not forget to factor in additional fees such as warranties, protection plans, installation/assembly, and inside deliveries.

Additional Tips:

- When purchasing upholstery, upgrade seat cushions to foam wrapped with down. Invest in pieces that are most important (i.e. the sofa) instead of rarely used items. The heavier the cushion, the longer it will last.

- Furniture is a large investment. Select furniture that is timeless and transitional.

- For case goods, look for dovetail joints in the corners of drawers for long-lasting quality.

- For upholstery, lift up a corner and shake it, if it feels light or wobbly; skip it.

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist when you join.

Receive a free Designer's checklist to help you prepare for your first shopping trip. Get your free checklist, here.

Watercolor Inspired Home Decor

I have started a new hobby of water color painting. You might have noticed a few of my first paintings ever shared on Instagram, I was super proud to show it off. I love when the colors bleed into each other, even the imperfections look beautiful Have you ever heard of that saying, "what you think about, becomes about?"... I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or that I am subconsciously searching for watercolor ideas since it's my new hobby but I have been noticing watercolor everywhere!

Water color murals are being used in the home in unexpected ways. Instead of using water color murals in a traditional display of art; watercolor is being added on walls, fabrics, pillows, bedding, and accessories. Today I am sharing my passion for my new hobby of watercolor and my inspiration for the home.

How stunning is this watercolor drapery fabric? I even love the pattern for a playful pop of color on the throw pillow as well.

watercolor fabric

(Image via Bluebellegray.com)

 

If you are looking for a statement wall, Color Puddle has wallpaper murals available. It is applied like traditional wallpaper with wallpaper glue (more permanent option). Here is one of my favorite examples installed.

watercolor mural

(Image via Color Puddle)

A temporary alternative to traditional wallpaper is a self-adhesive wallpaper. Think of self-adhesive wallpaper as a giant sticker for your wall. It's temporary and damage free.

Watercolor Washes

(Image via Anewall.com)

If you want to join in on the trend but aren't looking to touch your walls, add a pop of water color with bedding. Anthropology had some great water color bedding options. Here are few from their website:

897a22a342b2f82a496a8c71b38b475e

910c21b88b49ae2a31e5536a375e23c6

Feeling crafty?

Learn How to Make your Own DIY Pillow via Tidbits.com

watercolor pillow

Let's Chat! I would love you hear from you:

Are you inspired by water color patterns like I am?

Have you started a new artistic hobby?

Are you tempted to add watercolor in your home in unexpected ways or with traditional art?

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

AMA SIGNATURE

DIY Centerpieces from Items Around the House

When it comes to summertime centerpieces, there's no need to bust your budget on overpriced items. In fact, you probably have all the makings for a stunning centerpiece lying around your house. If you are looking to put your DIY skills to the test, take a look at these stylish centerpieces that are perfect for summer. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.49.16 AM

(Photo via Modernize)

While crafting a summer-inspired centerpiece, never underestimate the power of fruit and flowers. A truly perfect pair, these items can be mixed and matched to complement your surrounding decor. As a nod to the season, choose bright colors like those provided by lemons and limes, and don't be afraid to have a little fun with the container that holds them. While you can certainly use your favorite decorative bowl, you can also use cake stands and cupcake holders. When choosing flowers, both fake and live blooms work well, but stick with in-season varieties for a natural look.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.49.30 AM

(Photo via Modernize)

In regard to vases, you don't have to spend countless hours hunting for the perfect style. With tape and spray paint, you can create your own unique designs with vases you already have. Using painters tape, you can section off stripes like this picture depicts, or you can create whatever style you fancy. Once the tape is applied, use spray paint to transform the vase into a stunning decor piece. From metallic gold and silver hues to vibrant shades of yellow and green, your color combinations are endless.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.49.41 AM

(Photo via Modernize)

Instantly adding a stylish flair to any space, feathers are just fun. While stark white varieties are stunning, you can choose any color and pattern you like. To add more interest, consider placing them in clear vases that are filled with colorful marbles, dyed rice, spray-painted beans or split peas.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.50.17 AM

(Shabby Chic Porch by Savannah Photographers Atlantic Archives, Inc.)

To achieve this look, you can repurpose old wine bottles, mason jars or any other glass containers you can find. Keeping the bottles in their original state produces a clean, classic design, but you can also dye the bottles for a livelier look. Simply pour a small amount of craft glue into your jar followed by several drops of food dye. Using a Popsicle stick, stir the mixture until a uniform color is created. Then, tilt the jar in all directions until it is completely covered with the glue mix. Place it upside down on a plate to let any excess glue drain out. Placed upside down on a baking sheet, bake the jar in the oven for about 20 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, flip it over to cook for the remaining 10 minutes. When done, fill each bottle with a freshly picked tulip or daisy for a centerpiece that smells as good as it looks.

This post was written by Jane Blanchord. Jane is a blogger, home design geek, and graphic designer from Savannah, GA. She currently writes for Modernize.com. For more design ideas and inspiration, visit Modernize.com.

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

Revive Old Planters with this Simple DIY!

'Tis the season to be sneezin' .. This Spring has got me suffering with allergies. Regardless, I am still spending time outdoors and finishing up outdoor chores before summer BBQ's start. Last weekend during Mother's Day, my mom and I went to pick out new flowers for outside (Mother knows best). As we prepare to plant the new flowers, I realized that our flower pots needed a major revival. It was only necessary that I stop everything I was doing and run to grab all my painting supplies.

Here is a Quick Step-by-Step Tutorial to Revive your Outdoor Planters:

For this project you will need:

A tarp to cover the ground, Paint of your choice (Either Spray paint or Acrylic), a ceramic or plastic pot, protective spray coat (optional), stencil (optional)

1. Wash & Scrub existing planter. It is important that you have a clean slate to work on. Wash away dirt and sometimes spider webs hidden under the lip of the planter (gross)

2. Place tarp down to protect the floor and ground around you.

3. Paint the body of your planter with two coats of paint in the color of your choice. You can leave it solid and stop here or use this color as a background color and move on to the next step.

4. (Optional) Apply a Stencil or tape out stripes or a design of your choice. Color in your stencil with paint.

5. (Optional) After the paint has dried, add a protective top coat.

Here is the final result. I may go back in and add a design to the Cobalt blue pot. I am thinking of a Chinoiserie pattern because I am loving Blue & White right now. If you haven't been following me, check out my post from two weeks ago, "Chinoiserie Chic Decor".

After

FullSizeRenderI also painted a few solid yellow pots to coordinate with the sunflower stenciled pots which aren't photographed because I am waiting for my plants to grow. I didn't want to show you a pot of dirt :)  I'll share the growth on Instagram @byamadesigns.

Here are some other Pinterest-worthy designs that I would like to attempt in the future.

fabric wrapped

(Photo via In my Own Style)

rock-covered-bucket-cg

(Photo via Centsational Girl)

Gardening is not my forte. What are some of your favorite outdoor plants and flowers? Share your favorites (especially flowers deer & other animals won't eat). I would love to know!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you love this post, share it with your friends and pin it to Pinterest to come back this craft idea later.

Hope your day is as awesome as you are! :)

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

Design Trend: Blue Hues in Home Decor

Boy oh boy, do I have the case of the blues (not the boo-hoo blues)!! Shades of blue were introduced at High Point Market this Spring. In the fashion industry, Pantone may have announced "Marsala" to be the fashion color of the year but blue is the color of the year in furniture, accessories, and home decor as well. Today I will be sharing my inspiration and home decor in bright blues that you can add to your home and reinvent your space.

8a81577c6f58e45a5a9f14dc92dfd157

If you follow me on Instagram, I shared my inspiration of a vignette with vibrant blue plantation shutters and moroccan tile around it. Pigmented blue hues ranging from royal to indigo to watery azure are trending for this season on the runway and in home decor.

Introduce shades of blue to any decorating palette in doses or as the main focus. Blue plays well off of primary colors such as yellow or red for a bold impact. Pair blue with orange for a energetic color combo. On the contrary, couple blue hues with purple or green for soothing and cool palette. Blue could also serve as an accent color when paired with neutrals like the room featured below.

c70e1abd50d8a6669f68dfe9b77f4cff (Photo via 6th Street Design School)

Whether you choose to add vibrant blue tones in big way or subtle way, I have found a few options that will suit your decor needs. Here are some blue decor ideas that you can incorporate into your home.

FAB FRIDAY

1. Silk Pillow // 2. Cobalt Table Lamp // 3. Porcelain Chinoiserie Vase // 4. Indigo Scarf // 5. Tufted Sofa // 6. Botanical Watercolor Art // 7. Hall Chest // 8. Ikat Rug

Did you find something you liked? Pin this image to your Pinterest board so you can shop later. Are you following me on Pinterest? Let's be friends :)

http://pinterest.com/byamadesigns/

For current photos of my work and progress photos, follow AMA Designs on Facebook or Instagram.

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.