Décor & Home

Bedroom Paint Makeover!

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When I was in New York City a few months ago, my aunt and I asked a gangly, bespectacled older man named Ron for directions. What was expected to be a quick conversation and send-off quickly transitioned into a very detailed and impromptu tour of Greenwich Village, commentated with New York accent-laced reports such as "That bar over there has awful service; my friend went there and they barely talked to him" and "If a person dressed like a monk comes at you on this corner, walk away. It's a scam" and "Don't hold your purse like that! What, are ya carryin' solid gold in it? Just relax!"

We were strung along with Ron for about forty-five minutes. Whenever we thought our personal little tour was wrapping up, he'd exclaim, "Okay. TWO THINGS," then proceed onto another indefinite tangent expounding on those two things (for the record, it was never just two things...). He's one of my fondest memories of that trip.

The only reason I recounted that is because I'm starting this post with two things (this is for you, Ron):

  1. Hating how a room looks is a great first step toward progress.
  2. It's really important to not hate how a room looks.

Enter: our bedroom.

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In my defense, the border along the top of the wall was already there and I had no intention of keeping it in my life (you can see a pathetically half-hearted attempt at peeling it off in the upper right corner). But yeah, it was impossible to get a decent looking before shot of this room because THREE THINGS: dark beige, forest green, and dark wood blinds.

I've mentioned before how the bedroom has always been a last-resort for me; I mean, I don't really hang out in it, and it's usually dark anyway when I am in it. Overall feeling? Meh. I pictured Robert DeNiro saying that, if it makes any difference in the connotation.

Then I refurbished this dresserand the contrast between how that thing made me feel and the room I stuck it in made something click: I hated being in the bedroom. Like, you can TELL just by that picture, can't you?? Stuff is just dumped willy-nilly and I'm now feeling a creeping shame in making this public. At least the bed is made...

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Disclaimer: this is not a how-to. I was thinking of showing my process of scraping that border off, but it's tedious and there were too many pictures of my fingers. This is more of a "Look what paint and a little effort can do!"

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Since I put this room off for so long, I'd pretty much developed my personal style into its current plateau by the time I went at it. I knew with utmost confidence that I wanted the walls, trim, and ceiling straight-up WHITE.

Fun factoid: scraping off the border revealed that the walls and ceiling were all painted with the exact same dark beige shade. It kind of felt like being in an enormous cardboard box.

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You wanna know what happened when I painted everything white? The room was (significantly) brighter and already a quite a bit happier, so I started updating other details. I actually felt like investing in this room! For example, I'd never noticed that it gets the most sunlight in our house, so I packed it with plants. We bought that amazing orange chair at an antique market, I moved that bulky wooden desk into my studio, I replaced the blasé comforter with my grandma's cheerful mid-century quilt, and the piles of junk are much less frequent. As a bonus, that bright green dresser (also my grandma's) is so much more of a statement now that it's not languishing in a murky brown corner.

The other day, I went in there just to read and hang out. I have never done that. It's my favorite room now. I legitimately stand in the doorway on sunny days and gaze at it like normal people might look at the Grand Canyon.

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It even encouraged me to paint more so I could fill it with my personality (there's something about brown walls that makes all my colorful paintings look a little washed out). It's a veritable snowball of creativity.

Is there a room in your living space that you were totally indifferent to until you read this? Maybe just a coat of paint is all it needs to start the transformation into your favorite spot! Try it out! I doubt you'll regret it, but if you do, blame Ron.

Art

Paint (and Style) Matters

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This is a cheerleader post - the type of post that says, "You can do it!" and does toe-touches. Metaphorically. If you're feeling stuck in a style funk or that you're not that great at painting/crafting/cheese-making/etc... Have heart! Here is a stellar example of my own style and material evolution.

I did that about three years ago. It was shortly after graduating college with an animation (not fine art) degree; I was experimenting and had to "make myself" paint. This piece was totally fine at the time! I'm not harping on Past Lynn for painting this because it's a process (Love you, PL. Never change).

I dug it out of the studio closet the other day and thought, How would I paint this exact same thing now? So of course I painted over it.

How fun was this??? I recommend this type of project to anyone. Here's what I learned:

  • THE TYPE OF PAINT YOU USE MATTERS. The before painting was composed of those cheap little craft paint tubes you get from Kmart, with a splurge of gold leaf paint, which I left alone in the after painting. I've since come around to the fact that high quality paint leads to really polished art and super cool color palettes I'd never achieve otherwise.
  • IMPROVEMENT CAN BE REALLY IMPERCEPTIBLE. I kinda already knew that in theory (see this post), but applying it directly and literally really drove that home. That's only three years of progress!

Actually, that's it! This was a quick cheer (much like my own cheerleading career, which is to say, it was brief and only done in private)...

 

As always, prints are available!

Art

Listen to Your Creative Gut!

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If you're a creator (and, face it, you are in one way or another. Yay you), you understand that little funky feeling of meh. I felt that earlier today. There sat a canvas on the easel and I really reeeeaaally wanted to start a painting before getting into some freelance design work. I stood there for a while like an idiot with this new show I found on Netflix playing in the background, per usual (it was a good run, Parks and Rec. I plowed through you like a herd of corn huskers). Nothing came to me. Nada in my noggin. I finally sat down in defeat and started designing with some folksy music playing, since designing and watching Netflix on dual monitors leads to ZERO work actually getting done. I guess designing uses the same part of the brain as the Netflix-watching one... In the middle of an action card design (I'll post about this really cool project I'm working on later, with permission from the game developer!), a Ben Howard song came on (look him up, yo. Serious chill), and I instantly was reminded of looking through a rain-streaked window at autumn trees. It was romantic, nostalgic, and oh so vivd in my brain, so I got up and painted it.

With my fingers. I was so stoked about the sudden burst of inspo that I had to be part of the painting with nothing in between. It was so thrilling and consuming - all the silly little problems and irks life were discarded for a while. Oh, how I needed that.

Thankfully Pandora sensed my need and played a couple more chill songs before finishing with a roaring Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as I wrapped it up (I swear it sometimes feels like these programs are sentient).

The lesson in all this? Listen to your gut. Our creativity perks up all the time and gives us a little nudge in some exciting direction, we just have to say, "Why not?"

It's kind of like in that Parks and Rec episode where Ann asks April how you get your gut to talk to you and April says, "It's not about getting your gut to talk to you, it's about listening to it when it does." Aaaaaaaa that show.

This is not objectively my best piece - maybe not even in the top fifteen - but that excited, raw energy and emotion is valuable, and it speaks to me in great ways. Perhaps it'll speak to others, as well. Hashtag ART, y'all. *mic drop*

Psst. If you're feeling this like I am, art prints are available in the shop!