Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Paint an Orange Peel Pattern

I know this tutorial has been long awaited by some of you, especially those of you who've seen my wall on Instagram or on my Faux Mantle post. This tutorial was almost as laborious to write as it was to paint this wall! I have to give a big shout out to my wonderful husband for his help on this project...he's the best! So, without further ado, here it is.


For the longest time I have wanted to do a stenciled wall in my house, but haven't wanted to fork over $50-$60 for a stencil. That's when I came up with the idea for this Orange Peel pattern wall. It adds the perfect amount of pattern to your room.


It will definitely make that feature wall pop.


The good news is that you can do it with something we all have in our house…a dinner plate! Are you ready to paint your own Orange Peel Wall? For this project you will need:
  • dinner plate
  • cardboard 
  •  tape
  • level
  • pencil
  • small paint brush
  • paint
  • 90 degree triangle
  • straight edge (I used a ruler)
  • lots of patience!
To start out, you will need to prep your wall.  This will either mean giving it a good scrub down or a fresh coat of paint. I gave my wall a new coat of white paint to make sure it looked clean and crisp. You will need to tape off the ceiling, side walls, and baseboard.


Next you will need to grab a large dinner plate (mine measured 10 1/4 inches across...yours may vary). Take the dinner plate and place a piece of tape anywhere on its edge. Next, mark one edge of the tape with a pen and measure from this mark across the plate.  You may need to move the tape measure around until you find the farthest away point on the opposite side of the plate. Place the edge of a second piece of tape on this mark.  Next, grab your straight edge.  On your straight edge, mark your plate's diameter and the mid-point of the diameter.


Place the plate on a solid surface and line the marks on the straight edge up with the pieces of tape on your plate. Now take your 90 degree triangle and hold it against the straight edge on the plate so its 90 degree side lines up with your midpoint on the straight edge.  Mark the plate where the triangle crosses its edge.

Add a third piece of tape at this point.  Repeat on the other side of the plate until you have four pieces of tape on your plate equidistant from each other.  These marks will come in super handy as you try to keep your pattern lined up.


You will also need to take your plate and trace it onto cardboard.  This will serve as a template you can cut down so you can start and finish your pattern against walls. Depending on your wall's dimensions you may need to cut down your template to different sizes...which means you may need more than one template.


We are going to trace our pattern bottom up and starting against a wall. To start out, you will need to use a half circle against the wall, and you will get this half circle by cutting the cardboard circle in two. Starting at the bottom, and against one side of the wall, trace half circles all the way up to the ceiling.  Come back down to the bottom of the wall, and using your level, mark a point one diameter's width out from the intersection of the two half circles. This will make sure your pattern stays level as you move across the wall. Line the tape marks on your plate up with the intersection of the two half circles and the new point you have marked and trace the plate.



 You will continue this pattern bottom up until your wall looks like this.



Next comes painting.  You will paint everywhere your circles overlap.


I used a semi-gloss paint to make my pattern pop against the satin sheen background paint. The painting takes a long time, but I definitely think that the end result is worth all the hard work.




Oh, and excuse the missing trim and gaping hole...I'll be back soon with a tutorial on how to make your own custom air intake grates!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Not So Back To School

So I guess its time we made it official: this year we are homeschooling. I know that there are so many opinions out there about schooling: how, where, and why you should do it. Believe me, I'm pretty sure I've heard it all from "your kids will be socially awkward if you homeschool" (ahem, there are socially awkward kids in public school but you don't usually blame it on the school, right?) to "I couldn't possibly do that! I need a break from my kids!" (I get it, as moms we all need breaks. Personally, my mommy heart always broke a little sending my kids off so someone else could enjoy them during the best hours of the day). In the end I think education is such an individualized thing and there is no "right" way to do it.  You have to do what is best for your family and your circumstances.

As someone who has a degree in education I totally understand the importance of public schools, they are absolutely essential.  My boys have gone to public school and loved it. Since my oldest started school a few years ago there has been something in the back of my mind telling me that there might be a different way for my kids to get their education.  I've looked into homeschool...read doctoral dissertations, blogs, and books on it...and yet each year I've still chosen to send my kids to school. This year that something in the back of my mind wouldn't go away and I knew that we needed to homeschool. Its been exciting, stressful, and overwhelming to say the least.  Picking out curriculum, turning a room in our house into a school room, and printing, printing, printing out packets. I'm tired, yet thrilled.

A "before" shot of our future school room.

Next week we will officially start school.  I've been scouring online for some sort of school theme for us this year.  I've read quotes from religious leaders, famous scholars, and world leaders. Nothing has stuck out to me... until I was listening to the radio with my boys the other day.  A song came on from one of our favorite bands.  It was a song my boys love.  As they sang along to the words, it just felt right. It also felt nerdy and uneducated to pick a homeschool theme from a rock song, but in the end it described exactly what this first year of homeschool is for us.



We are walking away from the world this year.  We are leaving the culture of school behind.  It's been hard, and I mean really hard.  Last week all of our neighbor kids went back to school and a part of me ached that my kids were missing out on all the "Back to School" fun...and a part of me really wanted to run over to the school and re-enroll them.  I had to pull myself together and remind myself of why I was doing this: to be a better kind.  Sometimes in life its hard to step away from the norm.  Its hard to break from culture.  The road less travelled by is definitely harder, but I'm hoping it will be worth it in the end.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Utah Valley Parade of Homes Round Up: What's trending in 2014

Whew! The last few weeks have been both exciting and tiring as I've tried to visit most of the homes in the Utah Valley Parade of Homes. If you know me, you'll know that I'm crazy about good design and home decor so getting to tour newly constructed homes was like a dream come true.  And I got to do it all with this girl.


About a year ago she built a house down the road from me, and after my hubby and I walked through their house (ahem, yes, while it was being built, I guess we're trespassers?) I told him that she had pretty much done everything in the house that I would have done and I needed to get to know this girl.  We soon found out we'd gone to the same University at the same time, and our majors were even in the same building, on the same floor! Yet our paths never crossed until now. It was so fun to go on this tour with someone who is as passionate about good design as I am.

I loved seeing all of the things that are trending for 2014.  So here is my rundown (of what stood out to me!) of must haves if you are building or wanting to update your home decor.

(Lots of iPhoneography ahead…I was too lazy to take my nice camera.)

Barn Doors: When my husband tore apart our bathroom three months ago to remodel, I knew that I wanted to replace our two doors with one sliding barn door.  I had NO idea how popular barn doors were until the parade of homes.  I think that there was one in almost every house we visited.





Wallpaper: I have to admit, that when I first heard wallpaper was making a comeback, I was less than thrilled at the idea.  I had visions of early 90's floral prints and wondered how this could be trending again.  However, this home tour completely changed my mind.  Wall paper can be done in a classy way.







 Orb Lights: I didn't get too many pictures of these, but they were in every house we saw.  Considering that these are pretty costly little lights, I'm thinking of making my own.  It can't be that hard, right?




Feature Walls: From grid, to chalkboard, to corrugated metal, it's time to dress up those plain walls with architectural features.









Blue Cupboards: Obviously I'm a huge fan of the color blue, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that blue cupboards in bathrooms and laundry rooms were really trending.  From Mint to Robin Egg Blue, these hughes brought a crisp coolness to each room and added the right pop of color.





Tile: Obviously tile is always in style, but this year I noticed lots of Moroccan tile.



Here are some more unique tiles that I loved.





And last of all here are some of my favorites. There's a lot.  I had a hard time choosing!

Favorite Landscapes:

This house, by far, was very impressive (16,000 sq ft) but the landscape is what really drew me in. Every detail was precise and immaculate. It even impressed my landscape designer husband (who I made come with me one night so I could show him my favorite houses). He is rarely impressed by local landscape companies, but this one got an "OK" out of him.  I take that as a success. He's crazy picky about landscapes.





I also loved this entryway, although it fell flat for my husband.



Favorite Bathrooms:




Favorite Spaces:








I hope you enjoyed this picture tour as much as I enjoyed the real one! Are you ready to update your home with a new barn door or orb light?

I am.