Monday, January 27, 2014

Thrifted and gifted - How to decorate with thrift store art

Thrift store art can be really awesome or really bad or sometimes both.

Recently I found the above unframed canvas of the ocean. I was afraid I had succumbed to the "thrift store effect" where a moderately OK looking item can shine beyond its real attributes simply because it is stationed next to a pile of junk.

When you get the home and see it next to your own stuff, it sometimes looks so bad you wonder what possessed you.

Fortunately, that was not the case with this painting.  It came home and fit right in.

Below are some inspiration images for using thrift store art in a modern non-gross way and a few DIYs that incorporate second-hand artwork.

The key seems to be repetition. Even kitchy mountain paintings can look good in groups on a clean white wall.

Here are some DIYs using thrifted art. Below, an Anthropologie-inspired fine art iPad case from Say Yes to Hoboken.

Paint by number pillow from A Beautiful Mess.

And my thrifted art, as seen in my place.  I propped it on the floor to hid my ugly electrical cords.

Have you picked up a great piece of thrifted art?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

10 stylish DIY storage boxes

If you're feeling the need to tidy up for the new year, here are 10 stylish DIY storage boxes. To qualify for this list, they had to be easy to make, cheap to make and/or aesthetically fabulous.

There is no point in time-consuming DIY storage when there is IKEA in the world.

Above, no-sew felt storage boxes from Design and Form. Easy, stylish, cheap.

Abstract art paper boxes from Design Sponge. Easy and cheap for items that aren't too heavy since it's made from craft paper.

DIY storage boxes with a button closure from Skona Hem. Not easy but sure good looking.

Here's a storage idea from Jebiga Design Magazine. Not super practical for most of us, but if you have boxes you can't put out of sight, make them into artwork.

My own storage boxes, made from discarded blueprints. I made these four years ago and still use them. Practically free and not too hard.

On the left, inspiration from Scandinavian Deko. Sometimes plain old cardboard looks pretty good, especially with a nice consistent label (you could also try a bright washi tape.) On the right, cover round boxes with images of texture for a nature inspired look from  Craft and Creativity.

Fabric covered cardboard boxes turned into storage totes with the addition of thrift-store belts from Brit & Co.

My own faux ikat covered storage boxes. I've had these over four years and still use them.

DIY IKEA box makeover from Whimsy Darling. Plain white boxes are made artful with black paint.

A bit more of a storage folder than a storage box, but too cool to pass up, a DIY box from from Design and Form.

Do you buy or DIY your storage?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Decor inspiration from the neighborhood

Hard to believe such fabulousness once dwelt so near me.

Another home by Athena Calderone, this one at One Brooklyn Bridge, which locals may recall as the erstwhile 360 Furman Street.

I at one time gazed out on this view when I had a part-time job here folding laundry.

Ms. Calderone transformed the industrial loft space with a mix of neutral paint, antique and modern furniture and wood floors.

She has since moved on to other neighborhoods due to the lack of organic grocery stores in walking distance.

So real yet surreal.