Tag Archives: decorating

Draw on your wall… because why not?

I’ve been needing to deal with my bathroom for about a year. Last year we had to rip out our beloved soaking tub because it was leaking into the ceiling and rotting out the floor and of course we had to rip out a chunk of wall and trim to get the tub out. So for almost a year it’s been a mess of raw patched drywall and mud. The bathroom also hadn’t been painted in 10 years… but it has a two story ceiling on one wall and I just didn’t want to tackle it but now I really needed to. At the same time I’ve been itching to do a really dark purple and grey room and I could never talk any of my design clients into it so it was on me to rock it out. The other factor: I’ve been working on converting a retail space into a coffee shop and thinking about signage and chalk walls and in talking with that client I sent him to check out tanamachi studios for ideas. I’ve always loved her work but watching her video of writing on the walls with paint markers was like getting the best bitch slap in the face EVER! Holy shit why hadn’t I ever thought of that! It’s like the best custom wallpaper without spending serious bucks or serious time hanging and cutting… just buy yourself some paint markers and go to town.. If you don’t like it just paint that shit again and start over, no harm no foul…. so what the hell are you waiting for?

Paint colors were Ralph Lauren Embassy Purple RL2051 & Hue & Cry RL1132, the swatches look off to me the purple is almost black but…

I started by painting 3 of the walls in the grey and the wall behind the toilet and sink in the purple (I let my daughter stay home from a half day at school if she helped me as I didn’t want to fall off the 6 foot ladder without anyone home and you know, child labor and you gotta train them these skills). I let the paint dry for two days before I started. I went to Michaels and picked up 2 paint markers in a dark grey for doing the drawing, I was thinking silver too so I picked up a couple silver Sharpies but in the end I thought it might be too flashy and went with the grey. I googled for patterns for a bit, black and white nature, paisley, tattoo designs, fabric designs. I decided to go with something that was not regimented or math based, because I know myself and I’m not going to spend any time measuring anything but you totally could grid something out with chalk and do a repeat pattern…. but I went for down and dirty free hand nature pattern, I started on the floor behind the toilet so if I hated it and had to repaint it wouldn’t be in the middle of the wall!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The project took around 4 hours total and 4 pens to complete. So that was a $25 cost but still so much cheaper than wallpaper and if I hate it next year I can just paint over it, no peeling old paper off… plus I got to draw on the walls!

wall side closeup

wall burst

wow checkout that flash burst!


F you Martha

Everyone has those defining moments in life when things shift and they are either called into action or finally take the leap themselves. Yesterday was that defining moment for me and the collision of two separate events led me into a frothing raging fury so great that I could no longer hold my tongue, keep my head down and keep trudging through my daily grind. It began with my love for Top Chef. In this weeks episode the challenge was to have the contestants cater a traveling dinner party for 3 neighbors in Dallas and it was, in my mind, the most disgusting display of fucking over the top wealth and consumption. A truly nauseating slice of trophy wife, McMansion living and utter lack of reality that I couldn’t help by mutter “are you fucking kidding me?” at the TV several times. I hope that the eye roll I think I caught from Tom Colicchio was it’s only saving grace… and he should have rolled his eyes, the one upsmanship on how many people attended the party goers weddings was really just insane… a thousand people at a wedding, what fucknuts!

Which brings me to scene 2. After doing the usual morning routine, get the kids up and out the door (well one kid because the other was sick on the couch), drop off at school, drop off the husband at work, walk the dog, and then comes my favorite time… listen to NPR uninterrupted on the way home. NPR had an interview with Martha Stewart about her new Entertaining book, which upon entering the library to get sick kid a book, I found right by the check out desk so I checked it out. Note here that I would never ever buy this book but hell, it’s free so why not check it out right… I mean Martha is usually good for skimming an idea or two. I brought it home and every page I turned started to unravel me, every descriptor, suggestion and personal little ditty made me what to throttle someone. Well of course it’s easy to have a lovely “Blueberry Brunch” when your full time staff of 3 can prep your home and help you unload the cases of wine, cheese for New York, pastries from France, and handmade sausages from Vienna. Yes you can set a beautiful table with glorious bouquet when you happen to have 240 varieties of peonies, Tiffany flatware and fine china but how about making a table look great with the fucking flowers in my 1/8 of acre city lot, my Salvation Army plates and god knows what mismatched flatware I can dig up. Really, how can anyone compete with Martha? How can people get back to having a life they can be proud of, a life they feel like sharing with their friends and neighbors if the bar is set so high?

So that’s where I’m coming from, I’m here to take back this realm from the wealthy and bring it back down into the realm of reality. I hope to give some good recipes, a tip or two on decorating on the cheap, and maybe just a little dose of living honestly. Life is not always pretty (I just spent 10 minutes crying to a teenagers post on youtube) but we can try to dress it up, clean it up, cook it up and then share with our community.

Tiffany flatware…. jesus!