Anatomy of a mini room makeover: the Artwork

By | April 8, 2014

First of all, I am no Nate Berkus. Or Candice Olson. OR  (dare I mention myself in the same sentence) SARAH RICHARDSON!!!!

But recently, I made over my living room (a little bit) by adding a few new items and painting an accent wall.

photo of room makeover

I know, I know; accent walls are outré now, but let me introduce you to the MOST. FETCHINGLY. GORGEOUS. color in the world: Caribbean Azure! (props to Benjamin Moore, you folks rock!!!) I cannot express to you how stunning it is in person… AND in semi-gloss!

I will spare you the wretched details of painting a wall by yourself… and the horrors of running out of paint simply because you can not do math…

Let’s talk a little bit about the art work.  First of all, I have recently been to Chicago (and to some design stores while there) and everywhere I turned I saw ridiculously expensive art. Not to pat myself on the back (I am, after all, a graphic artist) but I created all the art you see very inexpensively.  And guess what, you can, too!

First up: I took that large photo in the Art Institute of Chicago of the Seated (and/or) Meditating Buddha.

Seated BuddhaNaturally I used my new (ish) Nikon 50mm 1.8G lens! (it makes everything look amazing. I should know, as I generally take sucky photos)  No flash was fired (a rookie mistake that would get you kicked out of most museums) I just let the lens do all the work!

Back in my home office, I opened up the photo in my trusty desktop publishing program (hope you are listening because I’m giving away “my secrets” now) and scaled the photo to print at 24″ x 36″ with a two inch border all around.  (I hope you notice that I did not say Photoshop… ick, yuck!)  Once the file was converted to a PDF, I downloaded it to my favorite mom & pop print shop’s website where it was waiting for me to pick up the next day. (I hope you noticed that I did not day FedEX Office… ick, yuck!)  You can do the exact same thing to your own photographs and make people think you spent a fortune.

For the orange prints (orange goes very well with the blue walls) it was even simpler.  I determined the size I wanted and the orientation first (design to the frame size you have, in this case: 8″ x 10″).  The “T” print was just a randomly picked font (you know I like fonts) where I scaled it to something like 600 pt, set the color to 0% of the orange color, aligned it to the middle of an orange background (mindful of the white space a wanted surrounding it) and ran it through my trusty Epson inkjet.

The circle print was inspired by the Bevista tray I bought at IKEA that morning.  I just created white and black circles and aligned them on an orange background and pressed print!

I am not saying copy anyone (artists like me do want to make money selling our prints) but please don’t think you have to run out and spend your money on the simpler things.  Plus, you can have all kinds of fun making your own creations.

Sources: All frames: AC Moore.  Shelving: Expedit/IKEA. Walnut bowl: Tom Lowe. Biscuit Tins: Marks & Spencer. Art: my own.

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Colleen Pastoor on 04/09/2014 at 2:53 pm.

Glad to have you back! That blue is brilliant… and that ‘T’ print- awesome. I’ve been eying metal letters for our new place but this is so cost effective.

Teresa on 04/09/2014 at 9:19 pm.

Thanks! I’ve been such a lazy blogger. I know, I bought a metal “T” from Pottery Barn ON SALE and it was still $30. Try Michael’s Arts & Crafts. You can grab some of their wooden letters and paint them with metallic paint. That would probably look nice!

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