White Walls Living Part 2


Lets pick up where we left off. Today Ive got some more inspiring images  of spaces that look great with white or off-white walls, for those who cant paint.

bold black and white living room

A striking black and white living room. Committing to this palette for one room is a bold decision, but this black, white, grey and occasional wood grain theme runs through the entire house. It works out very nicely. The site is not in English, but I believe this home belongs to a person named Lily. Click through to see the rest of the house (Google translated to English).

black and white striped chair in hallway

More black and white, but this time its just used and an accent. You can see more of Annabelle Kerslakes eclectic home on Design Sponge.

Isabel and Claire's Globtrotting apartment

Speaking of eclectic, head over to Apartment Therapy and have a look at Isabel & Claires [colorful] Globetrotting Apartment House Tour. Aside from one lovely grey wall, its a mostly white walled home.

grey couch with colorful pillowsHanne of babyramen reminds us that you dont need paint to bring  color into a room bright accessories like throw pillows can make a otherwise neutral room look more colorful.

A colorful living room from sunset magazine

This room is from Sunsets 2012 Idea House. White walls and still not boring.

gallery wall and grey couch

Another neutral pallet with pops of color in the art work (some of it homemade) and even a metallic pillow. From CecilieLykke (Google translated to English).

monochromatic living room

I really like this mostly monochromatic set up from ink and spindle. The mustard accents add just the right amount of color and interest.

white cubbies grey couch with white walls

Both of these are from photographer Kristofer Johnsson. His website is worth checking out, as most of the photographs in the interiors section are on a white background. I particularly loved these two because of how they incorporate antiques into more modern spaces.

Blog note: Ive been keeping the blogging to a minimum, because I was out of town for a few weeks. You can expect things to pick up next week. There will be lamp rewiring, picture hanging, curtain making or makeshifting, and all sorts of DIYing. If you want to keep up with me in the meantime, Im always active on instagram and twitter.

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Playing with Color Palette Generators for Decorating

Ive been thinking a lot about what colors I want to use in my house. For now Im just focusing on the living room. I currently have a dark grey couch in there, a black entertainment center, white walls and milk chocolate colored carpet Not a super interesting/fun combination. I do however have a pillow (that I made, and plan on making another with the same fabric) and two lamps that I know I want to use in that room, so I thought it would be fun to run the colors through a few color palette generators to get a better idea of what other colors might work in the room.

Pillow and lamp

On the left is the image of the pillow fabric, and on the right is one of the yellow lamps that I plan on rewiring on a background similar to the color of our sofa.

I can tell you right now that none of the pallet generators came up with a scheme I absolutely loved, but I did get some useful ideas to work with.

    css drive color palette

 CSS Drive Colors Pallet Generator

pictaculous color generator


patorjk color palettepatorjk: image to color palette generator

Kuler color palette generator

Kuler from Adobe. Go to Create>From an Image

genopal pic 2 color palette generatorGenopal Pic2Color

colr color palette generator


colorhunter color palette generator

Color Hunter

big huge labs color palette generatorBig Huge Labs Color Palette Generator

aminus3 and degraeve palettesleft: Aminus 3 Color Scheme Generator right: DeGraeve Color Palette Generator

palette that I created in photoshop

and finally, I made this one in photoshop using the eyedropper tool, and I only noticed after the fact that it looked very similar to the adjusted Kuler palette.

Obviously I plan on using more than five colors in my living room, but I actually found the color palette generators pretty helpful in getting an idea of what to look for in textiles and accessories (and maybe even a no damage wallpaper).

What do you think of the color generators? What about my photoshop made color palette? Are there any colors you think I should add or ditch?

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When You Cant Paint Part 2: Contact Paper Wallpaper


A couple of weeks ago I posted about creating removable, damage free faux wallpaper with washi or masking tape. Today were going to cover what you can do with a blank wall and a roll or two of contact paper. Like masking tape, contact paper can be used on walls without causing damage, which makes it another perfect alternative to painting or permanent wall paper.

Customizable Wallpaper

handpainted contact paper wallpaper

There is so much that you can do with a blank roll of contact paper and a little imagination. It can be painted, drawn on, stenciled and stamped, though I recommend doing this before you affix it to the wall, in case theres any bleed through. Theres a guest post on Apartment Therapy by Victoria Hudgins about how she created the wall paper pictured above.

Is that white background still to reminiscent of you plain white walls? Well than lets go in the opposite direction with black chalkboard contact paper.

chalkboard contact paper wallpaper

Added bonus, you can change the design whenever you feel like it. Jovana of photographybyjovana created a chalk art wall for her daughter with three rolls of chalkboard contact paper that she found on amazon.

If your  interested in a more adult look, take some inspiration from these chalkboard walls.

chalkboard wall with aquarium drawing

This aquarium chalkboard wall was created by flickr user bernielopes.

chalkboard wall with writing

Tumblr user Aufschnitt/ created this wall of encouragement/inspiration. Im a big fan of the wall of text. The same idea could be applied to a favorite song, poem, excerpt from a book or a few favorite quotes.

paint chip mosaic wall

Craftster user melissa! made this mosaic wall by gluing paint chip samples to contact paper and then applying the contact paper to her wall. You could achieve the same effect with any type of colorful or patterned paper if you dont happen to have 500 paint chips hanging around (and please dont go collect a bunch of paint chips from the hardware store just because theyre free those are meant for perspective paint buyers, not cheapo crafters).

If the thought of trying to attach whole 18×6 sheets of contact paper to a wall intimidates you, dont worry, this post isnt even half way over, and the rest of the projects involve working with smaller pieces that still give a wallpaper or paint like effect.

Stripes and Chevrons

black and white striped wall

This image comes from a New York Times article about young newlyweds who were looking to decorate their first place together on the cheap. They used vinyl wall stripes to define the dining area.

contact paper stripes

Jen of City Farmhouse also wanted striped walls without the permanence. She shows you how to do it yourself in this tutorial.

contact paper chevrons

For a slight variation on the stripe, Stephanie of Sabbe Interior Design decided to go with the ever popular chevron. She details how she made her contact paper chevron wall in this tutorial. Now if you can just find the appropriate ceramic animal head to add that finishing touch

woodgrain geometric wall

Were still on the chevron train, but this one has a twist. Its two tone faux bois! Theres not much of a tutorial for this one, but a few details are provided in this Apartment Therapy post. If you payed attention in geometry you should be able to figure this one out though, its just a bunch of parallelograms stuck together. If you didnt pay close enough attention in geometry class, then just go enlist the help of one of your math geek friends. You do have a math geek friend, right?

Polka Dots

At first polka dot walls didnt sound very appealing to me, but then I saw this

gold polka dots wallpaper

Joy of Oh Joy made over her office with a metallic contact paper polka dotted wall. I think I might be warming up to polka dotted walls.

polka dot nursery

Oh look, more shiny polka dots. This Modern, Whimsical and Mostly DIY Nursery  featured on Project Nursery still uses metallic polka dots, but it manages to create a very different look than Joys office by using smaller dots, and lining them up in straight rows.

Large mod dots wall

And still more dots, though not so shiny this time. Again Heather of Going Mod at Mod House Design, manages to create a very different look than the other two by using much larger dots placed very close together in rows that are nearly touching. You can check out her tutorial here.

colorful polka dot wall

I couldnt leave out this colorful and whimsical one from Darilyn of Pillow Mint. She painted the contact paper before cutting (or punching) out the dots. See her post for more pictures and details.

And The Rest

diamond wall and scalloped nursery


The first one is what Martha refers to as wall art. I think its meant to be a backdrop for wedding photos, but you could totally do it on a larger scale and cover an entire wall or even a room if your in the mood. [Instructions and diamond template]. The second image is of the contact paper scalloped border that Melissa Esplin created for her daughter, Penelopes nursery. [tutorial] I think it would also be cute to do it in grey, and make the scallops more irregular and cloud shaped, then randomly place some contact paper raindrops on the wall or maybe thats just me missing Seattle.

metalic triangle wall decor

I saved my favorite for last. If I try one of these in my own home it will likely be this one and/or the chalkboard contact paper. I literally spent hours trying to track down the source of this image, and from what I can tell it was uploaded directly to pinterest by Joanna Lynn Smith, so Im hoping that she is the originator of this project. If shes not, and you know who is, please let me know so that I can give proper credit. Check her pin for a brief description of how this wall was created, and admire the pretty that is metallic triangles lines up in little rows.

Have you tried any contact paper wallpaper projects? Do you plan to? Im always interested in how people work around the decoration limitation of renting or living in military housing, so if you have ideas, projects, pictures, etc. please send them my way.

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Command Hooks are a Renters Best Friend: command hook window treatments

I am not receiving any compensation for writing about 3M Command products, I just happen to really love them, and Ill be showcasing some of my favorite uses for them over the next few weeks.

Just like with painting policies, every landlord/housing management office has its own rules about holes in the wall. Some dont want any, some dont mind small ones as long as theyre filled before you go, and some dont even care if you fill them. Whatever your limitations, command hooks can help.

I believe that hanging window treatments, bringing in nice lighting and putting art on the walls are three of the most important things you can do to make your house feel more like a home. But for today were just going to address the window treatments. How do you hang curtains without nails, screws or at the very least thumbtacks?

Given the title of this post, I think you know the answer.

command hook hung curtain rods

Morgan of The Handcrafted Life hung these curtains using these hooks. She painted the base of the hook to match the wall and the hook portion to match the curtain rods. [tutorial]. Keep in mind that each hook has its own weight limit, and is should say what the limit is in the upper right hand corner of the package. I believe that the weight limit for these particular hooks is 3lbs each. Since there are two hooks per curtain rod, the weight of the curtain rod combined with the weight of the curtains needs to weigh less than 6lbs. If you had heavier curtains, or you were using a longer curtain rod, you could put a hook in the center for extra support.

diy curtain tie back

If you want to be able to tie your curtains back, follow Ashleys simple instructions over at Homemakers Challange, and just replace the screw in hook with a removable one.

french doors with curtains

Abby of Steals+Deals used command hooks (right side up and upside down) to hold the curtains on her offices french doors in place. For more details click here.

oddly shaped front door window treatments

Steph of Hearts and Laser Beams used a single store bought curtain panel, cut up, stitched up, buttonholed and secured in place with small command hooks to cover the oddly sized windows flanking her front door. [tutorial]

faux roman shades

Meredith of Welcome to Heardmont made these cheater roman shades using small command hooks to create the folds. Her tutorial calls for nails or screws to secure the top part to the wall, but you could probably get away with using 3M picture and frame hangers to keep your walls hole free. [tutorial]

black out shade before and after

This last one is more for function than form, but as someone who likes to sleep past sunrise, I think it deserves a mention. Lori of Family|Love|Home made these no-sew/no wall damage blackout shades to keep her kids, and by extension herself, in bed just a little bit longer each morning. [tutorial]

Blog Note: I wont be able to do any of my own home projects for a few weeks, so you can expect mostly round ups and maybe a mood board or two until mid April.However, if you have a question, tip, or submission, I would love to feature it here. At the top of this page there is a link to my submission page. Please dont be shy. I promise I dont bite.

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Container Vegetable Garden for Small Spaces

Today is the first day of Spring! Happy Equinox! Spring is gardening time, but for many of us in temporary digs, we either cant plant in our yards or we dont even have a yard to plant in. Luckily, just about anything that grows in the ground can grow in a container. So even if all you have is a tiny patio, you can still have your very own container vegetable garden.  The photo above is a great example of what you can do with just a little outdoor space. This is Jennifer of Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings patio container garden. Today Im going to cover some of the easiest veggies to grow in small containers, for those of you who dont have much space.


Lettuce and other greens like spinach are perfect for small container gardening. Check out the article Container Gardening: How to grow lettuce if your short on space by Megan Phillip on The Mindful Word for instructions on how to grow your own.

Photo Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images


Beans are another garden staple that can be easily grown in containers. Bonnie Grant of Gardening Know How, explains how to do it in her article Potting Mix and Container Size for Growing Beans Tips on How To Gro Beans In Pots.



Are you a fan of spicy foods? Whether your preference is for spicy jalapenos or mild bell peppers, Growing PeppersA Delight for the Eye as well as the Taste Buds from Grow it Organically tells you everything you need to know about growing any kind of pepper. The container gardening instructions are towards the bottom of the article. Keep in mind that depending on the pepper, you may need a larger container.


Yeah, I know not everyone loves them, but if you are a lover of this little red root, or you just a really big fan of Luna Lovegood, then try growing some radishes this year. GeekGardener explains how to do it in their post How to Grow Radishes in Containers.

Small Cucumbers

You can grow any type of cucumber in a container, but the bigger ones require larger containers, so if youre looking to save space try some smaller varieties. Steve Albert of Harvest to the Table has a post on cucumber varieties that includes a section on space-saver varieties. He also has a post on Cucumber Growing Tips.


I always thought that carrots could only be grown in the ground, but luckily I was wrong. Manuela of A Cultivated Nest successfully grew a nice little crop of carrots in a pot.  Go read her Growing Carrots in a Container post for more information.



I cant cook, eat, think about or even talk/write about beets without quietly singing oh ee oh, Killer Tofu to myself. I know that like radishes, not everyone is a fan.  I personally love them roasted or pickled. I think Ill try growing some this year, and you should too. If you need a little help the Hubpage article Growing Beets in Containers is full of useful information.

Hopefully Ive inspired some of you to grow some of your own food this year, even if you dont have much space for gardening. Ill be starting and documenting my own gardening efforts sometime next month. There may even be some green house building fun.

Do you have experience with container gardening? Is it something that youre interested in starting? Leave me a comment, and lets talk about it.

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Tiny Dining Room vs. Big Dining Table

If you recall from my very first post, I posted the layout of our house, and I made a few notes on it about the dining room.

floor planIt only made sense for the dining room to be connected to the kitchen, rather than out in the carpeted living/dining room. Unfortunately, as you can see, the dimensions of the dining room are already pretty small, but its made even smaller by that breakfast bar (that is way too tall to be an actual breakfast bar) jutting out into it. This is our current set up.

our dining room now

Our dining set is a bit on the big side (48 wide 30 tall, and those chairs are pretty bulky), and thats without the extra leaf and 2 additional chairs. We did discover that with this configuration it is possible for 4 people to somewhat comfortably eat a meal together, but Im not a fan of the way it looks, and I dont like that the person sitting on the far side of the table closest to the wall is kind of trapped there, until the person sitting next to them gets up. Well be keeping this dining set regardless of whether or not we continue to use it in this house. Its too nice, and we got it at too good of a price for me to be willing to part with it. I have a few ideas for what we could do.

As far as keeping the table and chairs, we could just remove one chair so theres a little more room. Its typically just the two of us, and we usually eat dinner on the couch anyway, but I would like to be able to have people over for dinner sometimes. We could move the table out into the giant living room/office when we want to be able to seat more people, but the thought of having to do that really annoys me for some reason.

Now, if we opted to put the whole thing in storage and start over fresh I have a few ideas and because I cant stand the thought of buying a crappier, smaller dining set for more than we paid for this one, most of my ideas are at least partially DIY.

Im going to go ahead and backtrack now. When I said that the idea of pulling the table into the living room annoys me, I only meant if its normally residing in out dining room. If we had a more suitable table for our dinging room, I wouldnt mind pulling the big one out for dinner parties or holidays. Is that weird?

At this point I think everybody already knows that Im more than a little bit in love with hair pin legs. So it should come as no surprise that Im a big fan of these two tables.

hair pin round table

Kate, of For Me, For you, made this round dining table with a premade table top, some stain and 4 hairpin legs. I can do that! Too bad I cant also score those sweet chairs on craigslist. [instructions] She also made a desk using hairpin legs, which I think might also make a really nice dining table.

square hairpin table

Same idea, different shape. This one was made by web designer Ashli Nixon. She also made (and by made I mean painted) that striped rug. Check out her website for more details.

pipe table

Ive also considered doing pipe legs like Mark of marybicycles. Obviously I would do this on a smaller scale, probably a square table instead of rectangular, but its the same basic idea. [instructions]

Other than that, the only thing Ive come across that seems doable is readymade unfinished furniture. Like this. And I havent even started thinking about chairs yet

What do you think? How do I make my tiny dining room both functional and stylish?


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