Decorating Genius or Desperate Decorating


I’ve been picking paint colors. The most interesting thing about paint? The inventive names, kind of like crayon colours, with things like purple rain, apple lime cocktail, cocoa sand. I wonder what my critique partners would have to say if I used these color descriptors in my writing.

 They were saved from the worst of it. Dry and safe under the awning while purple rain poured down around them.

Because obviously they’re caught in some kind of chemical downpour. Ha. I can picture the circles of red ink. But cocoa colored sand has possibilities, although I’m not sure it exists in nature. I also found pink polka dot and butterfly wing which I thought were cute. And newborn baby which I thought was downright creepy. And guess what!?! There really are fifty shades of grey.

This is currently our kitchen area. Anyway, I decided to start with the kitchen and chose Natural Linen. Okay, Jordan, who’s in charge of the renos, picked it for me. So, fingers crossed. From there I went on to ignore the whole goes-best-with list. Because that’s the way I roll and why make things easier. I came up with meditation, spa, and lapland – all variations on an earthy-type greenish color. Safe to say my career as a namer of paint is stalled in it’s tracks. Also safe to say, I feel the need to relax within the bounds of a monochromatic color scheme.

But what do you do with the freshly painted walls? Soon I’m going to have to hang up some artwork. And isn’t that a terrifying notion? As in how many nail holes does it take to hang a picture properly? What size? How to space them out? How far up the wall? I’ve got a couple of huge walls.

As in match the artwork to the wall size. Don’t hang a dinky little picture on a huge wall. And likewise, don’t cram some huge monstrosity into an itty bitty space, that sort of thing.  I found a blog that had some crazy notion I should multiply something by some crazy number to come up with the perfect sized artwork for the wall. Not going to happen. Most reasonable advice: 12 inches above the couch; a palm’s width spacing between paintings, or trace out the size of the canvases on butcher paper and tape to wall as a test drive visual. Those ideas I can manage with my feeble decorator’s brain.


However, I did come across this idea for cheap artwork and I’m going to give it a try. You take painting canvases and cover them with fabric. Brilliant. At least, I thought so. Maybe you’ve already heard of this idea. Here’s another example. If it’s works and I’m successful (aka I’ll ask my Mom to help) I’ll post pictures.


If you have ideas for cheap and wonderful art I’d love to hear them! Seriously, I’m begging you. I need help. And ideas. Just keep them simple.

6 thoughts on “Decorating Genius or Desperate Decorating

  1. My husband and I are in the process of choosing paint right now. We’re having a house built. From past experience, I’ve learned it’s a multiple step process. First you get the little chips, tape them to the wall and look at them at different times of day and in different light . Narrow it down to 2-3 choices. Then you buy a sample quart and paint a poster board. Repeat the previous process, and pick your paint. Once in a while, I’ll still need to paint one wall to be sure.

    Paint gets darker when all the walls are done.

    In my last house, I painted wall in the dining room red. The color was called “cochineal.” I later found out cochineal is an insect used to made red dye food coloring.

    As for hanging art, I’m a big believer in using templates. And having a laser level is a huge help.

    As for artwork, I’ve bought some great original art on eBay for reasonable prices.

    • Hi Cara! And thanks for the suggestions! I like the idea of painting a poster board and then putting it in different areas to catch the different plays of light. Brilliant. And I’m convinced! I’ll be using a template and the butcher paper idea to test out art placement. Laser level – check!

      Good luck with the house building! How exciting to watch something go from the ground up. I’d be doing constant drive-bys to see how it’s going. Lots of decorating and design choices to be made but you sound like you’ve got a great handle on how to go about making them 😀

  2. Two suggestions:
    1. Take the butcher paper idea seriously. Lay the to-be-nailed on the paper, arrange them until you like the spacing, then draw around the pieces. Put the paper on the wall. Mark the nail placements. Hammer the nails most of the way. Remove the paper. Finish hammering. Voila!
    2. Call the local college and ask the art department when the next student show will be. Pencil sketches of nudes and still life, small paintings, etc. Very reasonably priced. Oh! and maybe some can be found at the farmer’s market craft stalls? (Guilt free removal when you next rearrange your wall.)

    About the fabric as art — be bolder than you think you need to be. Once it is on the walls, subtle detail gets lost. (Beautiful fabric is expensive, though. I can’t make myself buy it and then not be guaranteed to love it.)

    • Hi Lynn! Awesome suggestions! I love the idea of putting the nails in while the paper’s on the wall. I just realized that I know someone in the Fine Arts department at the university! I will definitely check with her.

      I like the idea of going bold with the fabric but I’m going to enlist a second opinion 😀

  3. Sorry Karyn, I have no suggestions for you as I am fairly useless when it comes to decorating. My office is currently a bright yellow that I let my daughter pick, and I’ve regretted ever since. It was called called pineapple yellow and they weren’t kidding. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pineapple this yellow. I got rid of the old bed in here and I plan to paint sometime this fall, to turn this room into a real office instead of the multipurpose room it’s been for some time. So do you have any suggestions for a paint colour that stimulates creativity?

    Good luck with the decorating!

    • Hi Jana! I’ve heard yellow stimulates creativity, but I guess not the bright pineapple shade 😀 It’s going to be wonderful to have an office. Have fun repainting and setting up your space!

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