BHG Centsational Style

October 2012

I’ve been an avid user of spray paint for many years, and consider it a quick fix in a can.  Spray paint has the power to change the color of so many decorative objects or small pieces of furniture to suit your style or inject your home with a fresh dose of fun color. 

For those new to spray painting I recommend you start with a small project first.  Turn an inexpensive yet ordinary metal lantern into a stylish accent with a few coats of aqua blue spray paint for a colorful addition to your rear yard or alfresco table setting.

aqua lantern bhg

 

Follow these basic tips whenever you use spray paint:

1)  Always spray paint in a well ventilated area.  Follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions which include making sure your piece is free of debris and painting at ideal temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees.

2)  Use a drop cloth and a respirator to protect yourself from inhaling any chemicals from overspray or airborne particles that occur when spray painting.  Tape off any parts you don’t want covered with paint with painter’s tape and plastic wrap or newspaper.

3)  Prime your surface if necessary.  Metals often don’t require priming but with wood or laminate, it’s a must.   Look for a good adhesion or bonding primer that sticks to all surfaces (I prefer Zinsser’s ‘Cover Stain’ in the brown and white can and use it for everything from glass to metal to wood). 

4)  Invest a few extra dollars in a handy spray paint nozzle (seen here) often referred to as a “spray paint gun”.  It’s a little plastic tool found in the spray paint department designed to help you spray paint with greater accuracy, it helps avoid finger cramping, and assists in universal coverage.

5)  Always spray very light coats to avoid unwanted drips.  Keep your spray can moving back and forth about 8” to 10” away from your subject.  Don’t expect full coverage in one coat.  It’s better to have two to three light coats than to risk drips from overspray on your first coat of spray paint.

6)  Helpful trick!  If spray painting small pieces of furniture, turn them upside down and do the underside first.  After it’s dry you can spend more time concentrating on even application on the visible areas on the piece of furniture. 

7) Second helpful trick!  For hard to reach places, spray a small amount of paint in liquid form into the plastic cap and use a disposable small artist’s brush to dip it into the paint and then fill in those tricky spots.

 

Once you’ve mastered the basics, move on to larger pieces or even furniture:

Bring feisty red into your home by spray painting a Chippendale style chair with a glossy red paint for a dash of panache in your dining room.

 red chippendale chairs bhg

 

IKEA makes affordable Vittsjo shelving units, and if you spray paint them with Rust-Oleum’s yellow gloss paint, you’ll get a similar look to the colorful metal bookshelves at Room and Board.

colorful vittsjo shelving

 

Paint inexpensive saddle stools with Krylon’s Emerald to mimic the look of these fun green counter stools that bring fresh color to a kitchen space. 

 

green saddle stools bhg

 

It’s easy to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary with a little know how and a colorful can of spray paint!  

More helpful articles:

Spray Paint FAQs

How to Spray Paint Furniture

 

 

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One thing that will certainly cheer up your porch is a fresh coat of paint on the front door.  Last year I painted our front door with a shade of pale gray to complement the yellow stucco exterior, but there’s no need to choose a neutral if you don’t want to.  Be brave, be bold, choose green, yellow, red, blue, black, anything goes!  

How do you paint your front door?  It’s easy!  Painting your front door is a weekend project that’s sure to increase the curb appeal of your home and refresh the appearance of your residence with minimal effort.

green front door bhg

 

citrine front door bhg

 

There are two ways to paint a front door, the first is by removing it from the doorframe or even painting a new door before it’s installed.  The second is by painting a door in place. 

I prefer the latter because if you live in the residence, you need to be able to close and lock your front door at night!  However, if you’re working with a front door in an unoccupied residence, you certainly can remove it and prime/paint it at your leisure.

Here are the basic steps for painting your front door in place:

1.   Select a few paint samples and purchase testers in the colors you like.  Paint large test swatches on paper, cardboard, or poster board and allow it to dry.  Examine the colors suspended on the front door in different light to decide which shade looks best in both morning and afternoon.

2.  Determine if the paint on the front door is oil or water based paint with this simple trick:  soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and rub it across the existing paint.  If the paint comes off, it’s latex, if it doesn’t, then it’s an oil based paint.  It’s important to know for Step 4 and 5!

3.  Remove the doorknob or tape it off and the knocker or other hardware with painter’s tape. 

4.  If your door is stained wood, or previously finished with oil based paint, it will need a coat of primer before your paint.   Coat your front door with one coat of quality adhesion primer.   Note that water based primers and paints allow for expansion and contraction outside among the elements far better than oil based paint, so work with water based primers and water based latex or enamel paints designed for outdoor use.

5.  If your door was previously painted with latex paint, degloss it first with a deglossing product to prepare it for another layer of water based paint.  Use a quality angled 1 ½ or 2” paintbrush to apply the latex or enamel paint to your front door, using thin coats to avoid drips and also speed up the drying process.  Some paints cover in two coats, often it takes three, but it’s best to work with thinner coats so that the layers dry quickly. 

6.  If you encounter minimal brush strokes or drips between coats, use a fine grit sanding wedge to knock down those edges.  After two (or perhaps three) coats of outdoor latex or enamel paint, step back and admire your beautiful new front door!

 

orange entry door

 

Painting your front door isn’t difficult, and what a difference it makes in just a day!  Have you changed the color of your front door? What color did you choose? 

 

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I remember asking my little boy (who was five at the time) what colors he wanted for his big boy room and wasn’t surprised when he said “blue and green”.  Boys are often drawn to greens and blues, oranges and reds, for their bedroom spaces, and gray or black as they get older. 

Boy’s rooms should be spaces that encourage a child’s imagination and transition over time as boys grow from adolescents to teenagers.   Here are a few fun color palettes to inspire your boy’s room design.  

Wood + Blue.  Blue is a popular choice among the lads and thankfully so much kid decor comes in shades of navy or mid tone blue.  Mix these shades with honey wood for a classic boy’s room combination you’ll both be fond of year after year.

wood tones navy accents bhg

 

Red + Blue.   This palette is a great one for boys since its reminiscent of superheroes and also a classic combination inspired by the American flag.  Mix linens in stripes and plaids and add furniture painted in either a bold shade of red or blue.  

red bunks blue bedding bhg

 

Orange + Green.   Against a pale blue backdrop, orange furnishings and green accents come together in a playful combination for a growing imaginative boy.  

orange cabinets in boys room bhg

 

Green + Blue.   The cooler tones of green and blue are a no fail combination when decorating a boy’s space.  Pull in masculine accents in shades of black or gray for contrast.

blue and green boys room bhg

 

Blue + Orange.    Blue and orange are complements on the color wheel and a favorite among boys.  How about a bright orange accent wall with navy blue furniture or bold blue stripes on the wall with an orange headboard or bedding?

orange wall navy bed bhg

 blue and orange boys room bhg

 

A touch of brown is a third color to consider when combining blue and orange – the striped duvet covers establish the tiered palette in this shared boy’s bedroom space. 

blue and orange boys room with stripes bhg

 

Blue + White.   Stripes are a favorite in both kid and grown up spaces.   For a ‘collected over time’ look, mix several patterns in a combination of blue and white for timeless appeal.

classic blue and white boys room bhg

 

Gray + Red.    Gray continues to be a popular neutral and works for both younger boys and teenagers.  Add pops of red in the form of toys, colorful bins, or sports themed bedding for a fresh dose of color. 

gray bed red accents bhg

red and gray boys room

 

Blue + Black.   Adding a chalkboard wall is a clever way to encourage creativity in a boy’s room.  Avoid the dark overload of a four black walls by establishing a two tone paint combination with contrasting shades of blue or gray above and below. 

black and blue boys room bhg

 

Muted + Multicolored.   Kid spaces are a great opportunity to add multiple layers of color to a room, but resist the urge to go overboard with too many saturated tones.  Take color cues from a quilt or cheerful striped rug which layer several muted shades together but do not overwhelm with too many competing colors of the rainbow.

plaid blanket boys room bhg

 

multistripe rug kids room bhg

 

So many of these color combinations work well for girl’s rooms or shared rooms as well, and next week so we’ll take a peek at other color palettes for girl’s rooms and playrooms.  

What color palettes have you used to decorate boy’s spaces in your home? 

 

 

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It’s hard to ignore the impact that geometry has had on interior design over the past few years.  Geometric patterns are appearing everywhere from faceted lighting to home accessories to furniture, and in another essential element at home: the area rug. 

dash and albert green rug bhg

 

Geometric rugs typically include triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, or hexagons in a predictable repeating pattern, but sometimes they include the repetition of more organic patterns inspired by nature such as leaves or petals.

dark geometric rug bhg

 

A great geometric rug can either blend with the existing furnishings or take the lead and establish the color palette for any space from the family room to the bedroom. 

yellow bedroom and geometric rug bhg

 

I’ve incorporated a few geometric rugs into my own home too, similar to the one below.   Many manufacturers now offer the combination indoor/outdoor rug, and most are comfortable, affordable, and extremely practical in homes with kids and pets.

morrocan style rug bhg

 

Often you’ll see abstract patterns in geometric rugs that are not shapes per se but predictable flowing lines that make mathematical sense.

gray geometric rug dining room bhg

 

Geometric rugs most often incorporate the traditional shapes mentioned above but they can also include motifs inspired by Ikats or Kilims or traditional Moroccan lattice and trellis designs. 

In the market for a geometric style rug for your home? 

Here are a dozen great ones!

geometric rugs bhg

From top left:  6 x 9’ Stockholm rug, Ikea $299; 8 x 10’ Marrakesh trellis, Overstock, $368; 8 x 10’ Navy Inspire rug, Rugs USA, $679; 6 x 9’ Sprout Rug, Dash & Albert, $298; 5 x 8’ Zuel Rug, Zinc Door, $480; 6 x 9’ Edison rug, Rugs USA, $559; 5 x 8’ Odeon Rug, Z Gallerie, $250; 8 x 10’ Ksara rug, Crate + Barrel, $699; 5 x 8’ Chelsea Rug, Dwell Studio, $495; 8 x 10’ Kite Kilim, West Elm, $549; 6 x 9’ Indigo Safavieh, Floors USA, $297; 5 x 8’ Capel Rug, Layla Grace, $628

 

Which one is your favorite? 

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Halloween is such a fun holiday for young and old and the day is drawing near for creative costumes, festive parties, and trick-or-treating.  To get in the mood and set the scene around your home, here are a dozen crafty ideas for adding a haunted vignette to your spaces in an afternoon.    

Cutout Halloween motifs with black paper or vinyl and adhere them to white plates and platters inside your hutch.    

halloween hutch bhg

  

Use black foam and white paint to create creepy coasters or placemats for your haunted tabletop.

spider web coasters bhg

 

Wrap glass vessels in gauze and insert googly eyes for a whimsical mummy container that holds snack or party treats.  

100899031 copy

 

Use stickers on colored paper or computer printed covers to bind spooky books filled with spells and wicked words. 

halloween book bindings bhg

 

Cutout faces with orange and black construction paper to make jack-o-lanterns and use battery operated candles to light them up at sunset.  

 

jack o lanterns bhg

  

Ghost cutouts framed behind glass bring haunted fun to your bookshelf or mantel.

frightful ghosts art bhg

 

Attach skeletons to your glassware for a fun embellishment at snack time (download the dancing template here.)  

dancing skeletons on glasses bhg

 

The frame from a broken umbrella becomes a haunted chandelier frame when decorated with webs, spiders, and mini lanterns.

web chandelier bhg

 

Spray paint branches black and add a few ravens for an eerie display in your entry.

black branches and ravens bhg

 

A doily turns a plain black pillow into a whimsical spider web when attached with fabric glue and embellished with string or paint. 

lace doily spiderweb pillow bhg

 

Keep the decorating simple by adding plastic spiders and ravens or crows to your existing vignettes around the house.  

spider invasion bhg

 

Cut a tree from black craft paper and add family silhouettes for a spooky scene in your living room.  (Tree template available here.)

black paper tree bhg

 

Have you crafted anything special for your Halloween home this month?  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments! 

 

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One of the ways to ensure you get a great start to your day is with a good night’s sleep.  The bedding you choose certainly contributes to that goal, but bedding needn’t be just practical.  Style is always a big part of creating a serene bedroom environment.  Here are five different ways to make a bed both relaxing and beautiful. 

Casual & Comfortable.  The primary focus of making of a bed is ensuring that it’s cozy so the first focus should be on soft and comforting linens.  Investing in higher thread count sheets and the perfect sleeping pillow are a guarantee of a better night’s sleep.  A soft duvet cover filled with a genuine or synthetic down keeps the covers cozy and warm. 

all white bed bhg

 

layered neutral bedroom bhg

  

Tailored & Textured.   Anything goes these days when it comes to layering linens in a bedroom.  Combine velvet with linen, lambs wool with cotton, and quilted or matelassé with wool for tangible softness. Mix in contemporary patterns that belong to a complementary color palette for added visual interest.  

gray palette multiple textures bhg

  tailored bedroom bhg

   

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