Hi everyone, my name is Ariel and I’m the voice behind PMQ for two*, a site that started out as home décor and design for Canadian Military families living in base housing, and has evolved into a site that offers accessible and affordable home décor and DIYs that are colourful and eclectic. *Private Married Quarters (PMQ)
I’m drawn to bold colors, patterns and textures used in unexpected ways that create unique spaces each time. They’re not for everyone, but everyone finds something to be inspired by in each space. With each posting I get a chance to start fresh and create new spaces, that show how my style has evolved,and our most recent posting this summer was no excpetion.
Our PMQ is a warm and bright palette infused with lots of color, kooky details like a wall of chicken plates and painted ceilings with thrifted furniture pieces. Go bold or go home right? Well in the master bedroom, the only bedroom in the house (the other one is my office) I was looking for something different.
After what we will refer to as the “shamrock green incident” – where I painted the wall green and it looked like a bad St.Patricks Day celebration – I was having no luck nailing down a color for an accent wall in our bedroom. The rest of the house was already painted and I was starting to hang art, so in a fit of whimsy, I painted the wall dark dark grey, almost black, and I haven’t looked back since.
In our style of PMQ, you can only fit a Queen sized bed, the closet takes up an entire wall, a window takes the other, and that leaves two walls – one with a door. It was slim pickings as far as furniture arranging goes, but having the black wall to anchor the room has paid-off because all the colours look stupendous next to the black.
Now, the decision to paint our bedroom wall black wasn’t out of the blue. I had been seeing more and more black walls in otherwise colorful and eclectic spaces.
What is it about the black wall?
Is it because it’s literally all the colors in one? Is it because it allows all the other colors to define themselves against such a striking contrast? Or is it because everything goes with black? I feel like it’s all of the above, and then some.
With gold and brass still such a strong presence on the home décor scene, and bolder colours making a come-back, they look beautifully against black. Not to mention that after more than a few seasons of white everything, it might just be time for a change. I for one, am loving the black wall and am even thinking of painting another space in our house with a black wall. Who would have thought! Me! A card carrying member of the bold and colorful school of design. I am a convert and think I might have to have one black wall in each of our homes going forward.
The black walls also inspired me to paint the trim on our renter-friendly tiled wall glossy black to compliment it. // Photos of Renter-Friendly Tiled Bathroom Wall
Either way, this space looks stunning in summer as it does in fall, and I’m sure it will be gorgeous through the winter and spring.
To see the tutorial for the DIY Vice Jars
To show you guys that I’m not crazy, I’ve actually included links to a few other gorgeous black walls to help inspire you to take the leap!
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes walking through a makeup store makes me cringe a little bit. There are so many beauty products in pretty packaging, just waiting to be bought, though I don’t think my bank account would be very happy if I splurged as much as my heart desired. Some beauty products are worth paying a pretty penny for, while other drugstore buys will give you a just-as-good, if not better, outcome. Curious about when it’s best to save your bucks and when it’s best to splurge in the beauty department? Let’s break it down:
When it comes to lip color, the drugstore could be your new best friend. The lipstick color selection strongly competes with specialty makeup and department stores, and you can snag three or four for the price of one high-end tube.
Try this: L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick ($5.79, walmart.com)
Many people don’t realize this, but luxury face washes often contain the same ingredients as those in your favorite drugstore cleansers. Unless your skin needs special care, it’s best to save in this department and turn to the aisles of Target and Walmart — your holy grail cleanser is out there somewhere, I promise!
Try this: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit ($6.56, jet.com) will leave your skin smelling fruity and sweet.
Whether your skin is sensitive, oily, dry, or a combination, there are a plethora of reasonably-priced facial moisturizers at the drugstore. Naturally-sourced and dermatologist-approved brands also take up residence at most stores, and most products come in at $10 or less. Kill two birds with one stone by investing in a facial moisturizer with SPF in the formula.
Try this: Olay Complete All-Day Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 ($8.21, walmart.com)
Similar to other beauty products, ingredients found in different brands of mascara only vary slightly. Trying a new mascara is often a trial-and-error process, being that every woman’s eyelashes react differently to formulas and brushes. Mascara packaging will tell you everything you need to know about the product — whether you’re opting for length, volume, waterproof, or a brown formula.
Try this: For thick, plump lashes, give L’Oreal Voluminous ($5.59, walmart.com) a shot.
Via Backstage Tales
Blush and Bronzer
For the most part, blushes and bronzers are their best selves over a strong primer and foundation. Save a little money to invest in those rather than binging on a colored powder. Here’s a tip: Your favorite lipstick can double up as a blush! Sweep your (clean) index finger over the tip of the lipstick and gently rub between your two fingers to warm it up. Work the product into the apples of your cheeks and up your cheekbones.
Try this: NYX Baked Blush ($7, beautyplussalon.com)
Via Lady in Rouge
Behind every dazzling eyeshadow look is a great primer that made it that way. A high-quality eyeshadow primer can give a inexpensive eyeshadow the oomph that it needs by extending its longevity and making it more pigmented.
Try this: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Base ($28, belk.com)
Not only do the finishes on higher-end face makeup look smoother, but finding a foundation to match your skin is easier at a department store or specialty makeup store than it is a drugstore. Foundation is also a beauty product that can last a long time, so making an investment will be worthwhile.
Try this: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation ($58, sephora.com)
Via Clare’s Beauty
Clean, good quality makeup brushes are fundamental to a makeup collection. Professional brushes not only provide exceptional coverage but are also gentle on the face, steering away from the possibility of skin irritation that rough bristles can cause. Investing in a quality set of brushes will make your wallet happy in the long run; if kept clean and taken care of, those makeup brushes will last for years to come. To clean your brushes, all you need is baby shampoo and warm water, and then a lint-free cloth to lay your brushes on to dry.
Try this: I’m a strong believer that every woman should own a good allover powder face brush. Try the Make Up Forever Medium Powder Brush ($55, sephora.com).
Hair Styling Tools
In a perfect world, we’d all have perfect hair and wouldn’t need tools to give our hair perfect curls or make it perfectly straight. High-quality styling tools are worth the money because in the end, you’re saving your hair. The better quality the curling iron = the less time needed for heat on your hair. Similarly, using a blow dryer’s cool setting, rather than blasting strands with piping hot air, will cause less heat damage. Many high-end hot tools also come with multiple styling features, so you can easily achieve that fresh-from-the-salon blowout at home.
Try this: Elchim Professional Hair Dryer ($93, overstock.com)
Have you been eyeing a serum on the pricier side? If you really want to see a difference, splurge on anti-aging collagen treatments. Look for a serum containing the active ingredients hyaluronic acid, which aids in hydration, and retinol, the cure-all ingredient that assists in aiding fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, and more. Not ready to buy an expensive serum yet? Many beauty product subscription services like Birchbox provide samples of serums to test out before you make an investment.
Try this: Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Firming Serum ($75, sephora.com)
Get ready to coax your home out of its comfort zone. The first-ever issue of Stylemakers hits newsstands TODAY, and it’s packed with inspiring people, businesses, and — most importantly — style. This new mag is all about self-expression, livable decor, and easy-to-embrace trends you can try now and love for years to come. As a special sneak peek, we’re revealing a handful of our favorite featured spaces and decorating ideas here on Style Spotters.
Give a warm welcome to guests and family members alike with a bright and breezy entryway. Jennifer Stagg of withHeart created a happy mix of modern and retro in her entryway by painting inexpensive fiberglass windows black to look like metal. French doors with the same treatment allow plenty of light to stream through while connecting the foyer to an adjacent playroom.
Love your little space with a stylish layered look. This smart small-space design from Maxwell Ryan, founder of Apartment Therapy, showcases a cool update on neutrals. Pops of pink and yellow provide a contemporary contrast to traditional decor, while two stacked rugs visually expand a little living space.
Refresh your nest with mix-and-match seating. This colorful combo of red metal chairs and a blue-checked bench, featured in the cheery home of Pencil Shavings Studio‘s Rachel Shingleton, is playful and unexpected, plus maximizes space for family meals and get-togethers.
Nothing makes a home more “you” than treasured mementos. Start with a neutral base and stick to a color scheme to prevent accessories that vary in style from overwhelming. Interior designer Kishani Perera perfects the collected look in her personalized entryway by incorporating neutral vintage scores, like a statement mirror and carved elephant-leg console, that let little pops of color take center stage.
It’s hip to be square! Do like the Faherty family of Schoolhouse Electric, and incorporate a wall of geometric tiles in your bathroom for a trendy (yet timeless!) statement piece. Consider pillowed tiles, like the ones featured here, to add dimension to a boxy bathroom, or try colorful decorative tiles to spruce up a blank space.
Make the most of an apartment or rental with smart furnishings that pull double-duty as storage. Featured on the cover of Stylemakers, Kerra Michele Huerta of Apt Envy flipped basic IKEA bookcases into faux built-ins that can go with her as she moves. A coffee table with a lower shelf provides twice the surface space for display and storage.
Love these looks? Look to Stylemakers magazine, on newsstands now, for more interior inspiration from designers, bloggers, and innovators who pave the way and push the boundaries of home decor.
As much as I love Halloween for the dress-up and candy, I’m always on the lookout for fun, kid-friendly and creative ways to decorate for fall. Pumpkins, gourds, jack-o-lanterns — I love them all! But I’m all about pushing it to the next level of clever and cheeky. With my youngest only 20 months, I’m more about fun and less about fright at this stage in our lives. Here are my five favorite creative decor ideas for Halloween.
1. NO-CARVE PUMPKINS
Don’t want to mess with all the time it takes to carve a pumpkin (not to mention the gooky pumpkin guts)? There are so many fun ways to decorate pumpkins that don’t involve a knife.
Use pushpins or thumbtacks with some yarn to create these numeric pumpkins. These would be great for an October birthday party or for your house number. Print out your favorite font and create the outlines and secure the yarn in the bottom corner.
Equally easy are these pumpkins that could spell anything from your last name to “BOO!”. These are created with cloves, I believe, but you could recreate it with tacks or nails.
At our house this year, we created copper leaf pumpkins with individual sheets of metallic leaf. Super easy and kind of fun to learn how to leaf. Definitely try it on the larger, smoother pumpkins as the baby ones were pretty tricky (too many nooks and crannies).
2. GET CREATIVE WITH SIMPLE PAPER DECOR
Looking for a low-cost and low-commitment way to decorate? I adore these whimsical paper silhouettes for a little Halloween fun and fright. Black cats, mice, owls, bats — there are so many ways to play this up.
This large paper tree would be so fun for a party. And the bold graphic stripe on the white pumpkins helps to tie it all together.
3. WHIMSICAL OUTDOOR DECORATING
Find unexpected ways to decorate outdoors without going the inflatable route. Black birds can lend an eerie mood to your garden gate in a nod to Hitchcock. Black urns and white pumpkins give it all a dramatic flair.
These little plywood planks leaning up against the porch steps bring so much personality to this front porch thanks to a spooky typeface and a clever twist on words.
A happy front porch feels festive for Halloween with simple paper lanterns and hanging black bats. The drapes are pulled back with seasonally appropriate orange ribbons and plenty of black spiders on the pillows.
4. FRESH IDEAS FOR CARVING PUMPKINS
If you love sharpening your knife skills, then you will love these pumpkin carving ideas. My current favorite is this faux “bonfire.” So clever!
Silly simple faces carved into these pumpkins will bring a smile to the trick or treaters who come by your door.
And you’ll definitely get a laugh from everybody with these emoji-inspired pumpkins. The hardest part would be picking your favorite one.
5. FIREPLACES AREN’T JUST FOR SANTA
Finally, bring the decor inside with some quirky fireplace decor. Pull out an old pair of shoes and create a witch with a pair of striped stockings. Naturally you’ll need a broom nearby too.
In our house last year, I envisioned an exploding display of all kinds of pumpkins, so I stuffed our fireplace in shapes and sizes. It brought a smile to everyone who came by.
Happy fall decorating, friends! I’d love to hear your favorite way to get in the spirit of the season. Let me know in the comments.
While my taste for glitter, sparkle, and shine never wanes, my particular taste in metallics seems to eb and flow with the seasons. Back in the spring, I couldn’t get enough brass. All summer long I embraced champagne gold, and now that autumn is upon us, I can’t help but drool over anything with copper leaf! These bloggers have my taste in mind. Check out their projects, and shine up your home with some DIY metallic decor.
1. DIY Gold Trim Agate Coasters
Just the tiniest bit of glitz really makes these coasters pop. Jamie Harrington, creator of Totally the Bomb, DIYed her way to these lovely Anthropologie knock-off coasters. Rather than spend $100 on a set, she created her own with some cheap agate slabs and a smidge of gold liquid leaf. Check out how she did it over at her blog.
Image Via: Totally the Bomb
2. Metallic-Paper Boxes
Kristi Murphy contributed this fun mixed metallics project to Brit + Co. These gold and copper contact-paper-covered boxes are ideal for your office space. They hold all your stationary odds and ends without being an eyesore. Paint accents, add decals, or create labels to make these boxes even more stylish and efficient.
Image Via: Brit + Co
3. Copper Cap Container
This is the easiest project you’ve ever done. Promise. I Spy DIY creator Jenni’s copper addiction began when she purchased plain copper plumbing caps from her local hardware store. One look told her they were meant to be lovely copper succulent containers. Plant your succulent in the copper cap, cover with gravel, and enjoy!
Image Via: I Spy DIY
4. Champagne-Glitter Champagne Bottle
For the glitter lovers of the world (like me) this is the perfect way to stylize any bottled beverage, whether gifting or keepsake decor! Jen, the founder of Something Turquoise, loved the look of glitterized bottles, but hated the mess they left behind. Instead of cutting her losses, she found a new way to keep glitter on the bottle — even in the fridge or from condensation! Check out how she does it over at her blog. Choose your favorite glitter, or mixed metallics as Jen does here: rose gold, silver, gold, and champagne!
Image Via: Something Turquoise
5. Rose Gold Polish Frame
This sassy, rose gold gilded frame was painted — with nail polish! The Style Guide expert Sera McDaid took a cheap white plastic frame and upcycled it to something much classier and flashier. The two coats of polish on the outer frame create a lovely rose gold finish while chunky gold glitter over the inner frame gives an extra pop.
Image Via: The Style Guide Blog
6. Silver Leaf Furniture
Racha Moussa – creator
The metallic crafter’s day is never complete until leaf has been involved; and in this case, A LOT of leaf. Racha Moussa wanted to update a worn dresser and decided silver leaf was the way to go. Rather than accenting the top or the drawer faces, Racha went all out and leafed the entire dresser. Check out her great tips for applying, burnishing, and sealing metallic leaf over at her blog My Champagne Taste.
Image Via: My Champagne Taste
7. Pink and Copper Lampshade
German blogger Antonia added the perfect subtle dose of copper to her home. Originally stark white, she painted the outside a pale pink, then toned down the frilly color by coating the interior with a couple coats of copper spray paint. Be sure to translate her blog to English! Otherwise the pictures do a good job of showing the steps for this DIY pink and copper lampshade.
Image Via: Craftifair
8. DIY Golden Globe
Another Anthropologie inspiration, Classic in Gray’s Jessica wanted her own gold accent globe — just without the hefty price tag. For this project you’ll need a globe (she found hers for $13 at a department store) and a variety of paints. First, paint the stand your favorite metallic color (if it isn’t already). Then, use acrylic paints to cover the bodies of water, the continents, and the latitudinal and longitudinal lines. Use the same metallic you used for your stand to write out geographical locations in big, loopy lettering.
Image Via: Classic In Gray
9. Copper Plate Floating Shelves
These copper floating shelves are to die for. Vintage Revivals founder Mandi wanted to add a bit of greenery to her entry and thought copper would be the perfect accent. Check out how to build the shelves and how to case them in copper plating! She’ll give you all the tips you need (and a few quirky mistakes to avoid along the way).
Image Via: Vintage Revivals
10. Gold Leaf Embellished Curtains
Who knew DIY could be so stylish? I guess Brynne Delerson did. Over at her blog The Gathered home, she shows us how she uses spray adhesive and gold leaf to create these awesome gold and gray curtains. Followed up with a spray sealant, these window coverings will be shining for quite some time!
Image Via: The Gathered Home
Maybe as the months turn colder and darker I’ll fall for something a little more bright. Rose gold, perhaps? In the meantime — as always — I’ll embrace the mix of metallics and enjoy that my favorite color (sparkles) is trending.
Until next time,
Trend: 12 Creative DIY Furniture Hacks
If you want some pretty new furniture for your home, but you don’t have the budget: no worries! Head to the thrift store, a garage sale, or maybe IKEA and find some furniture that just needs a little love and creativity to turn into the piece you’re looking for. Check out these 12 Creative DIY Furniture Hacks I found below.
1) A plain IKEA dresser can be turned into a fancy little dresser that will brighten up any room! Found on Bliss at Home.
2) Do you have a bed frame you’re done with? Try transforming it into an outdoor bench. Found on Jill’s Abode.
3) If you don’t have an old bed frame lying around and still want to make a bench, try making a little bench out of old kitchen chairs! These turned out so cute. Found on Spoonful of Imagination.
4) An indoor built in storage bench can be made from two IKEA Expedit shelves and placing them on their sides. Found on I Heart Organizing.
5) If you’re looking for a cute dog bed for your little pup, this one is made from a doll bed! Plus, learn how to make this storage credenza. Found on Apartment Therapy (Photo from June Bhongjan).
6) Transform some old drawers into lovely display shelves! See how she made these for $10 on Shades of Grey.
7) This dated dresser was given a makeover and is now a perfect entryway table. Found on Two It Yourself.
8) This beautiful ottoman coffee table was made from a plain IKEA coffee table. She goes into great detail on how to tuft this pretty thing. Check it out on Melodrama.
9) I love how this kitchen island was made from some old cabinets that were found for $5! Found on Sawdust 2 Stitches.
11) Anyone that has had a crib in their home knows it’s a pain to get rid of. Instead of getting rid of it turn it into a kids desk! Check out the DIY on A Little Learning For Two.
12) This was a free found cabinet and it’s now a beautiful piece of furniture! I love the finished product. Check out the DIY on Poppytalk.
We want to see what you’re crafting! You can share a link to what you’ve made in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram with a photo (my user name is @thepapermama).
– Chelsey, The Paper Mama