DAY 29 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: BIG Art

Art can be tricky. The small art is so inexpensive and feels easy to buy. And so we do. Then we have 80 little shits all over our home. A collage of small arts can look and feel better if it is clumped together well to EQUAL one large art piece. This is why clumped art collages work because they feel like one big art piece. What doesn’t work is when you have something undersized on a wall that is big. The ratio is off. Furniture helps to fill in the space visually, but just having a small piece of art on it’s own on an expansive blank wall feels like the wall is swallowing it up. I find it easy to just feel this out. Does it feel awkward and lonely where this piece of art is? Then, it’s probably too small.

Today’s challenge is to place a large piece of art in your home somewhere. This could be to replace a small undersized piece or just to fill in a blank wall you never got to. Now, don’t freak out, this does not have to be expensive or cost anything at all if you happen to have something laying around. I’m not saying to go out and buy some legit artist’s piece, unless you’ve been waiting for me to give you permission to do so. All we really need is something we like looking at that fills the wall proportionally. Prepare to have fun with this challenge! Here are some ideas:

  • Buy a big canvas and throw some paint at it. This can be really fun. I did this recently with a huge ugly canvas painting I bought at Salvation Army for $5. I used leftover wall and front door paint from my Rattan Ranch Airbnb. Is it a masterpiece? Hell nah. But, it works. You can splatter paint, brush paint on, spill paint all over it, go for it.

  • Buy digital art, download and then print it at Costco, FEDEX or a local print shop. I buy digital art on Etsy or from Juniper Print Shop. Buy a big frame for it at Michael’s or IKEA. I did this at my Comfy Cactus Airbnb.

  • Have something made for you that isn’t a print or a canvas at all. Macrame and fiber art are great, can be custom sized for your wall, and can feel extra special if made especially made for you. Fringe Forty Four made this one for me and I love it in my Comfy Cactus Airbnb.

  • Use a large mirror to fill in a space. I love this when the mirrors line up in such a way to reflect more light into a room. I found this vintage MCM mirror that I have hanging in The Rattan Ranch Airbnb at Goodwill for $10!

  • Maps can make great art. The colors can be really great. If the map is small, frame it in a larger frame. This vintage map of Arizona that I have hanging at The Shack Airbnb was $5 at a yard sale. It’s delicate and flaky so i framed it so it won’t fall apart.

  • Get creative. Just about anything that you can hang on a wall can be art! I found this little rug at Goodwill for a few bucks and it found a nice home at The Rattan Ranch.

Other things I’ve hung on walls as art:

  • A rug or tapestry tacked onto a canvas to make it appear even bigger (see first photo).

  • Garden stakes (long sticks of wood) in a pattern

  • Blankets

  • Flags

  • Baskets grouped together

  • Hats grouped together

  • Signs

The more creative you can be with this, the more interesting your home. I find one of the best ways to dig up the most creative ideas is to give yourself some boundaries. After writing this post I realized that almost every one of these ideas were found in my Airbnbs, the place where I’m seriously strapped for cash. By the time I get to the art and decor, I’ve spent tons of money on the furnishings and feel like I have nothing left. Then I get creative. Give yourself a tight budget and allow your mind to wander outside the box. Have fun with it and show me what you come up with! Use #updatedontrenovatechallenge to share!

Living Room: Cozy Modern Loft

This one is for me! I'm like the cleaning lady who doesn't clean her own house. I'm the design and renovation chick that doesn't do a dang thing to her own house until now. I have just one house right now, with not much renovation needed. So, I finally have time to work on my own house. Condo, that is. Can you believe I've only painted one room in the place since it was built 7 years ago.

For shame. 

The white walls were comforting for a while, I've got to be honest. With all of the neutral colors I was putting in the other houses, I kinda learned to appreciate the blank canvas. I also just couldn't commit to anything. One month I wanted this, the next that. What to do? Finally, this year I decided to put a design board together so I could get it together once and for all. 

Before

Ok this is embarrassing. Don't judge. 

Modern Loft Before

Yes, that's a baby gate in the fireplace. We can finally take it out with only a slim possibility that my 2 year old will dive in headfirst to play with the rocks. Yes, that's a monitor on top which we plug our laptops in to play shows and movies. Look, we've been traveling ok? We sold everything we owned a few years ago and just never committed to putting a home back together. Get off my back. I'm working on making this place more legit!

Anyhow, we're keeping the rug bc it hides lots of little kid droppings like broken crayons, trail mix, you name it. It's like the cave of lost things. A keeper. The couch can go. It's lame. Maybe we'll even get a real TV.

GASP!

Moving on. 

The Plan

 

Some of these things we already have. This is the good thing about making a design board. It can include things you already have and want to keep, just add the rest of the stuff to coordinate. This way you can see it all together rather than trying to imagine it all working out. For instance, the rug, the coffee table, the maps and the artwork are already things we own and like. The concrete ceiling and the fireplace are parts of the room and cannot be changed but will play a part in the design. As for the rest...

  1. Sofa: We need something that is more modern can fit in the small room and is comfortable. A couch should be, no? Otherwise, what's the point?
  2. Chair: The Eames lounge chair is a dream. I want it and have wanted it for a while. I'm a sucker for vintage, mid-century modern. Preferably the chair I find is the real deal, in good condition and the leather is nice and warn in for me. 
  3. Plants: This place is filled with hard spaces. The ceiling, pillars and floors are all concrete and the entire east wall is steel and glass. We need a little nature up in here. 
  4. Charcoal Gray Accent Walls: I love that most of the condo has white walls. It's bright, airy and different than any of the homes I renovate. I do think it needs a little bit of color, though. I know gray is probably not a color. Oh well. It's happening. I'm going to paint the walls behind the sofa and fireplace Behr Evening Hush. I may also take it to the fireplace wall, too. 
  5. Barn Wood Accent Wall: This may or may not happen. I'm up in the air about wood accent walls at this point. I love them, but they are EVERYWHERE. I think it might warm up the space a little but am hesitant about spending the money. If I do go forward with it, it will be installed on the fireplace wall which extends to the second floor and into the loft bedroom. 
  6. Accents: The rest of the items are a throw blanket and some plants. The room needs some life and warmth so these will just round out the edges. And who wouldn't want to pick some fruit straight off their own potted tree? Duh.

That's it for now. It's a small room with a lot going on structurally and height wise so I don't want to clutter it with too much else. I'll update you as I update the room. First, paint. Woo! 

Want your own design? Click that box, yo.