Dear Sir or Madam,
Do you ever have trouble figuring out what color to paint something? For example, I purchased this great coffee table for a client recently. It was red when I bought it. But sadly red wasn’t in the color palette, so I had to paint it another color. But what color?
Sometimes I like to use art as an inspiration for color. This is because artists know more than regular people about what color things should be. Because the home I’m working on has a lot of quirky elements and bright colors, I decided to use Roy Lichtenstein as my inspiration for a pop of color on the coffee table. For those of you who’ve forgotten, Lichtenstein is that artist that made all the pop art that looks like comic books. His work features a lot of rich reds, blues, and yellows.
For the coffee table, I went with a bright yellow. I needed something that would pop like the red did to accentuate the clean, graphic lines of the table.
I’m happy with the way the table turned out and now I want to incorporate even more pop elements into the project.
Dear Ugly Chairs I Found in September,
When I first gazed upon your ugliness, I knew you could be beautiful. So I bought you and reupholstered you in gorgeous grey canvas. Here is what you looked like before:
And here you are now:
I love that you are both slouchy and tailored, tufted and structural.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
2 Chairs from Sunbeam Vintage: $150
4 Yards grey canvas from International Silks and Woolens: $50
Upholstery labor costs: $160
Not bad for a pair of totally unique, high-quality chairs. If you don’t feel like going through all this just for a pair of chairs, you can always buy these from me on Hipswap. Just a suggestion…
Here is the link to my Hipswap shop in case you want to look around…
Dear Normal Person,
What do you like to do for your birthday? Do you like to eat spaghetti with your fiancé, simultaneously slurping on the same noodle until you eventually kiss? Do you like to go to Chuck E Cheese’s with a group of grown ups just to terrify the children and their parents? Do you like eat birthday cake, alone, in the closet?
What do I like to do for my birthday, you ask? Well, I like to force my friends to paint my bedroom with me while we drink wine and talk about how a life without art is not life at all. This year my delightful friend Erika Lawrence Gragg helped me paint. Below are the riveting images of how it turned out.
While buying paint for a client, I came across a great color called “Attic” from Porter’s Paints. To save money, I took the paint chip to Home Depot to have it matched. This taught me a very important lesson: trying to save money usually just makes you waste more money. The color produced by Home Depot’s color matching service looked like purple toothpaste and made me want to violently barf all over the place.
To solve the paint problem, I went to everybody’s favorite hardware store (Koontz Hardware in West Hollywood) and grabbed a few more pain samples:
I chose Benjamin Moore In Your Eyes (#715)
And Benjamin Moore White Rain (#708)
I really wanted In Your Eyes to work out just because the name is so ridiculous and amazing, but sadly it was a little too baby blue for me. As for White Rain, it skewed slightly too aqua and would have made my room look a swimming pool. And while I’ve always wanted to live in a swimming pool, I also wanted my room to retain some of its dignity. I ended up going with a grayer, more sophisticated Benjamin Moore color called Pale Smoke (#1584):
I liked Pale Smoke because it borders three of my favorite colors: blue, grey, and aqua. Like my mood, the color completely changes depending on how much sun is in the room.
Here are some pictures of what my boring, white walls looked like before I painted them.
After hours of toiling and getting paint all our faces, painting was complete.
I used a small trunk as a side table on my side of the bed.
I found this architectural drawing at the flea market a while back. The wire horse sculpture is from Emily.
This chair was purchased from a Goodwill in the desert for $10 and reupholstered in glamorous aqua linen for $80. I’m totally into the detail on the legs.
I found this little painting at an antique shop in Burbank. The Japanese print was a holiday gift from my mother.
I changed out the dark grey drapes for white ones. My room is so bright and sunny I thought dark, moody drapes seemed out of place.
This mirror from Ikea is kind of a ridiculous bargain. $129 and it’s enormous. Adds so much light and the illusion of more space.
I went to Long Beach Flea Market on Sunday and found this incredible sailboat. I’ve been wanting one for ages so it was a dream come true for me.
I put this painting over the bed but my boyfriend thought the color palette was too monochromatic with the rest of the room so I ended up changing it out.
A globe fills an awkward space where a plant used to live (until it died because there’s no direct sunlight over there).
If I paint any more rooms grey in my apartment I might have to rename the whole place 50 Shades of Grey.
See this painting? I hope so, it’s right in front of your face.
But guess what? It’s not a painting. It’s a bulletin board. Would you like to know how I made it? Me neither. But I’ll tell you anyway. First, I went to the art supply store where scary artist sales associate helped me find canvas. It costs about $7 a yard. I got mine from Dick Blick.
I used acrylic paint I had leftover from a previous project. It’s a very pretty color of navy blue.
I watered the paint down to give it a tie-dye look. This caused a beautiful watercolor effect, which made me happy.
Now, a word to the wise. Never, under any circumstances, attempt to use this item:
It’s a miter box for a saw that I was trying to use to make a frame. And it’s the hardest thing in the world to use. I tried to use this one, sweating and crying for 45 minutes before I gave up and went over to my friend’s house to have him cut the stupid wood on his chop saw. For the frame of the bulletin board, I used 3/4″ x 3″ pine. And so should you. After cutting the frame I glued the canvas painting onto the bulletin board (which I’d painted blue before in a failed attempt to make it look pretty). I used school glue. Which you can pretty much use for anything.
I mixed the glue with water to thin it down and make an even coat on the bulletin board.
I used wood glue on the back to secure the canvas around the bulletin board.
When everything was dry, I glued the bulletin board into the frame I’d made (I don’t really want to talk about how I made the frame because it’s boring. Basically just screw four pieces of wood together). To attach the frame to the bulletin board I used wood glue, which is incredibly strong even though it smells just like white glue.
Then, I painted the frame white. With flat house paint. I wanted the look to be more matte, so I didn’t use semi-gloss or gloss like I normally would have. Flat paint scuffs up more though, so be ready to maniacally clean if you, too, choose flat paint.
This is what the final product looks like. It’s like a painting, but you can pin things to it. If you’ve ever fantasized about stabbing pins into pieces of art (and who hasn’t?), this is the bulletin board for you. My problem with most bulletin boards is that they are ugly and the cork is a gross color. This bulletin board solves all those problems and then some. So are you sold? Are you making yours yet? Hurry!
Here is the bulletin board with a few things on it. The one I made is actually for a client so the things on it aren’t mine. It still needs much more stuff on it but I thought it would be weird to fill someone else’s bulletin board for them so I left some blank space.
Up close, you can really see how pretty an watery the paint is. Glamour.
And here it is in the office it now calls home.
I hope you all go out and make a bulletin board disguised as a painting now. It’s much more interesting than one that just looks like an ugly old bulletin board.
Dear Bulletin Boards,
I really like you, but I hate the way that corkboard looks. Thus, I like to cover my bulletin boards with newspaper, paint, or anything to distract from the cork. When a bulletin board is blank, it’s like a scary canvas I don’t know how to get started on. When there is already some paper, paint, or anything collaged over the cork, I feel more free to tack up whatever I like, which is normally postcards from art openings and $100 bills. Here is what I did to make my bulletin boards prettier:
This was the bulletin board before I did anything to it, just sitting there bare, taunting me.
So I smothered glue all over it, and then covered it with newspaper.
The other boards I covered with a piece of artist-designed wrapping paper (that I got from a gallery in Chelsea) and with grey paint. If you are going to group bulletin boards, it’s probably best to keep them in the same color palette.
I still have a lot of work to do filling my boards with fun postcards and other ephemera, but I ran out of push pins. If real bulletin boards aren’t your thing, you can always use Pinterest, which is a similar way to catalogue your inspiration but lacks some of the fun tactile qualities of real bulletin boards. Either way, if it isn’t pretty I’m not going to look at it, so get out there and make your bulletin boards gorgeous!
Dear Mr. Chris (My Colleague From SFAS),
You’re awesome, you can make anything, and that’s why we’re friends. You recently made this fun shadowbox for a recent episode and it turned out, like, totally cool.
Here’s how you make it:
1. Make a frame using 1″ x 2″ pine. Nail or screw together using wood glue.
2. Cut two pieces of plywood, one the size of the artwork to be mounted the other 16″ larger in both directions so that there is space around the image. This will leave an 8″ border on all sides (you can choose whatever border size you want).
3. Glue, nail, or screw the smaller piece of plywood to the larger one so that there is equal spacing on all sides.
4. Stain or paint the wood and allow it to dry.
5. Apply hanging hardware to back of frame.
6. Adhere the artwork to the smaller piece of plywood with spray glue or finishing nails.
7. Hang on wall and admire forever.
This is how ours turned out. Super pretty, right?