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The House That Lars Bought: Our Kitchen Remodel Update!

(Yes, I’ve watched this over 100 times by now).

Come on! 

I do not exaggerate, this faucet has been a symbol of hope for me during these lock down months. Originally, we were going to install this faucet and Glass Rinser in the studio, but we put a lot of projects on hold.  When we bought the house in June I thought, “no big deal, we’ll put it in the new house”. I thought that would take 3 weeks. After delays of this and that, I continued dreaming of the new faucet. It became my literal golden beacon that was always just a bit out of reach. Well, three months later and it’s in! We literally just got it installed on Thursday just in time to move in!

We planned the kitchen to be a phase 1 renovation: installing inexpensive unfinished cabinets without the wall cabinets to make room for open shelving in the coming weeks. Add to that a butcher block countertop that is always in stock at the home improvement store–quick and easy. Lastly, we put two islands together from Ikea to provide a lot of countertop space and fill the elongated room well. The idea was to go for speed and economy so we could move in as quickly as possible.

However, something I don’t mess with is the jewelry of the kitchen, aka the faucet and sink. You don’t want to skimp on these items especially since they can be taken with you with each renovation. I had selected the Broderick™ Pull Down Kitchen Faucet with Touch2O® Technology in Champagne Bronze. I chose it because it feels a bit fancy but still with a touch of industrial so you get the sophistication without the fussiness.

I hadn’t anticipated how much I’d love the touch on touch off feature, which allows you to touch the spout or handle anywhere with just one tap, which is great for messy hands. Or great for say, someone like my two-year-old who he finds great entertainment in just touching it on and off and on and off on repeat (see video!)

Click here to watch!

Another bonus feature is the TempSense™ LED light changes color to alert you to the water’s temperature so, once again, if you’re washing your little one’s hands, you can know when it’s hot, cold, or juuuuust right. I mean, it’s only been 5 days, but I’m already seeing the perks.

We had picked out a gold sink to go with the faucet and I was hoping and praying that the two gold finishes would work and dum, du du dum….success! A gold stainless steel sink AND a faucet? I’m feeling all shades of Midas. But the real fancy moment comes to us in the shape of a glass rinser. What’s a glass rinser you ask? You know when you try and clean your water bottle and you just soak it for days? (anyone else or just me?) Well, a glass rinser shoots water up to give it a nice scrubbing. It’s dreamy. Plus this cover keeps it clean and sleek! And I can’t believe I have one. I’ve been finding it useful for Jasper’s bottles and jars where who knows what got into it.

Watch here!

Now, I haven’t made too many other decisions in the kitchen and I’d love your feedback on what to do. 

But first! I want to show you the process of how we got here, even though I’m completely aware that it’s not quite finished.

  1. This is the first day that we walked through the house. This is how we bought it! 
  2. As the previous owners were finishing up and getting out.
  3. Getting our flooring in (you can read about it here)
  4. The flooring is in! 
  5. Getting the cabinets in
  6. Then the sink
  7. And this is the stage we were at before the crowning jewel

Now, onto what we need to do. First, the unfinished cabinets. There are currently an endless amount of wood finishes going on and it’s rather distracting. I definitely want to paint the cabinets a color…but which one?

And I wasn’t going to do a back splash for now until we really figure out what permanent cabinets to put in, but I think I might feel a tad more calm if I feel like there’s some sort of water coverage going on on the walls. I’ve been talking to my friend, Meta, who is an amazing interior designer, and she’s really getting me into the idea of doing a cheap tile for now but maybe trying out something with a fun colored grout. I don’t know…could be fun!

As for upper shelving. Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of open shelving. To me it seems like a great option for people who love to spend a lot of time cleaning. And that is just not me at all. And then you have to worry about everything matching all the time. Feeling the need to be all Pinterest-worthy all the time, even for this blogger, is too much pressure! I need to be able to hide stuff you know?!

That leads me to the range. The previous owners had bought a 4’ range and fridge that they had never installed (they almost didn’t let us keep them, but I think they realized how difficult they are to move so they decided to let them go after all). And yes, they were a pain in the bum to install, but that’s a story for another time that involves Paul moving the 550 pound range on his own at midnight last week. Anywhoo, do we put up a vent or do we get something new and less commercial looking? So many questions that I’d love your feedback on.

I have to say, the one thing I’m super stoked about is the island made from two Ikea islands. I’m already LOVING the amount of space it provides as you can tell from the video with my adorable son 😉 

Lastly, I love the idea of not keeping the kitchen white, but what do we do instead? I know it needs to work with the color of the cabinets and tile, but I just don’t know what to do yet, and I haven’t given myself the time to do so yet because I was going insane just trying to get the scheduling under control let alone the aesthetics.

OK! I think that’s it for now, I’d LOVE your feedback! Let me know what you think about 1) the kitchen choices so far 2) what you would do next to finish it up. I’m all ears!!!

This post is sponsored by Delta Faucet but all opinions are my own.

 

Spooky Transfer Wood Plaques for DIY Halloween Art

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These rustic-chic transfer wood plaques are a favorite here at Lars. They’re the perfect combination of stylish and spooky, AND they match with any type of decor you may already have in your home. I’m tempted to keep these DIY Halloween Art pieces up year-round! Add some floral (or maybe some autumn leaves) to give it that sweet and spooky feel.

This year may look different holiday-wise, but don’t let that stop you from getting crafty and celebrating the holidays with Halloween projects! Plus, these plaques will last you years, and you can reuse them for future Halloween parties! Even if they’re just a part of your zoom background for now, you’ll be able to show them off at Halloween parties in the years to come! There’s something so rewarding about crafting your own decor, hanging it up, and being able to say ‘I made that!’ Especially now during COVID, I feel that home spaces need some extra love and creativity to keep spirits high during these not so normal holidays.

For a little extra Halloween spirit, pair these plaques with portrait luminaries for an extra spooky ambiance. Light the luminaries to highlight creepy photos (or more skulls and insects!) to complement your Halloween plaques. Or create this skull cake for a sweet and skull-filled Halloween. You don’t need to have a big party to enjoy a Halloween cake!

DIY Halloween Art – Wood Transfer Plaques

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Print the templates (black and white only! on laser printer only!) and cut it out to the size you’d like to apply it to.
  2. Position the design face down on the wood surface and rub it with a blender marker with a bone folder.
  3. Lift the design.
  4. Staple your ribbon into the wood on the back.
  5. Hang and enjoy!

Halloween art decor

Halloween art decorDon’t you love how simple this DIY Halloween Art project is?! Simple and beautiful are the names of the game around these parts.

For more Halloween decor inspiration, check our Halloween shop!

Amazing Fabric For Sale Online

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Fabric for sale online

Although COVID has negatively impacted many of our hobbies, it gives us an excuse to stay home and take up old (or new!) hobbies! Plus September is National Sewing Month so there is another excuse for you to start a new project! One of my favorite parts is picking out the fabric, especially because there are so many different patterns and styles to choose from! And thanks to the 2020 trends of embroidered everything and quilted jackets, I have been itching to sew something!

The best part about these fabrics for sale online is that you can order it from the comfort of your home and get it shipped right to your door! This sounds like the perfect fall activity for all you seamstresses out there (and aspiring seamstresses!)

Fabric for sale online

Fun patterns

Classic patterns

Solid colors

Fabric brands we love

  1. Mood Fabrics: If you’re a more experienced seamstress, or if you’re a fan of Project Runway, you know about Mood! And about their adorable shop dog, Swatch! Their selection is huge and they offer tons of different textiles, weaves, and patterns.
  2. Fabric.com: Again, tons of variety here and some really great floral fabrics online! This one is a favorite of ours!
  3. Duckadilly: We love Liberty London fabrics, but they’re often hard to find. They have the most lovely floral patterns and color schemes, not to mention the quality of the fabric is divine! Duckadilly has an amazing selection. Duckadilly also features a section of quilting cotton, if you’re looking for the perfect fabric to make your own quilt coat.
  4. Rifle Paper Co.: You can recognize Rifle Paper Co. products a mile away and they rarely disappoint! We love their fabrics, and they offer many different fabric types as well. Check out this Rifle Paper Co. fabric with illustrated strawberries!
  5. Miss Matatabi: This Etsy store has a beautifully curated selection of fabrics, including some stunning Japanese fabrics and fun picks from Cotton + Steel. The colors and patterns are so fun.
  6. Jones & Vandermeer: The shop is full of fun quirky abstract prints. They also have a great selection of yarn, buttons, trims, etc.
  7. Hawthorne Supply Co.: This shop has great variety and it’s really easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for. They also have some adorable and unique sewing patterns and quilt kits for sale online!
  8. Spoonflower: At this shop, you can turn a pattern into any type of fabric imaginable! You can use your own design you’ve created or use one of the thousands on the website! It’s such an amazing concept and they really take the time to make sure your fabric comes out the best quality. Loving these paper-cutout fabrics! We used Spoonflower fabric to make this lemon tote bag!
  9. PurlSoho: A long favorite of ours. This is where I purchased fabric to make ties for my wedding bow ties. Such a great, curated collection.
  10. B&J Fabrics: The selection of amazing fabrics here is endless, and they stock tons of Liberty London fabrics!
  11. Super Buzzy: Plenty of great basics, and I love their stripes options!
  12. Svenskt Tenn: This Stockholm based fabric shop is what my dream are made of. Their selection is unique and made for the bold designers! I am so happy their fabric is for sale online.

Projects to use your fabric on for National Sewing Month

Click any of the projects below to download the pattern or find the tutorial! Or check out all our available patterns here. Or if sewing isn’t quite your thing, we have plenty of new hobby ideas in this guide.

Sewing projects for National Sewing MonthSewing projects for National Sewing MonthSewing projects for National Sewing MonthSewing projects for National Sewing MonthSewing projects for National Sewing MonthSewing projects for National Sewing Month

How to win this year’s Halloween costume contest

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Our Favorite Clever Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults

I’ve combed through the archives to share my favorite clever Halloween costume ideas for adults (look for mother and child costume ideas in the Lars archives!)

4 Easy Iron-on Costumes

Short on supplies? Need a really quick costume because you forgot Halloween was even happening because everything else has been canceled? Our 4 easy iron-on costumes will be right up your alley! You can put these together with clothes from your current wardrobe (or make a quick trip to the thrift store) and of course, an iron. Click here to find out how to make these costumes!

Famous Paintings by Great Artists

Remember our Tortured Artist Halloween Party a few years back? Remember parties? With other people? Where you could stand right next to them? Sigh…me too. If you’re feeling a little gloomy about it, channel that energy into one of our tortured artist costumes. My favorite is the interpretation of Frida Kahlo’s painting The Two Fridas. Click here to find out how to make these costumes!

Showstopper costumes made from everyday supplies

You’ll want to zoom in on this costume to see all the household items we used to make this DIY mermaid costume, trust me. Click here to find out how to make this costume and more!

Influential Women Costume Ideas

I could add so many more inspirational women to the list pictured here! The best part about these costumes is they require NO SEWING and NO IRONING. Click here to find out how to make these costumes!

DIY Potted Plant Costume

I don’t know about you, but my plant collection has gotten exponentially larger in the past six months…what’s one more? Plus, this one is wearable! 😉 I’ve heard plant lady is the new cat lady soooo, feels relevant. Click here to find out how to make this costume!

Copenhagen Row Costume

I whipped this idea up at the last minute a few years ago when I was in desperate need of a fast, but clever Halloween costume idea. Now you have a use for all those empty boxes leftover from spontaneous quarantine purchases! These cute, human-size Scandinavian house costumes were inspired by Merrilee Liddiard’s book Playful (still one of my faves). Click here to find out how to make this costume!

DIY costumes from your craft closet

Click here to find out how to make these costumes and more with supplies you might have on hand already!

For more clever Halloween costume ideas head here!

(Fall)ing in Love With Quilt Coats

I don’t know about you, but I could use some extra padding for this year! It doesn’t hurt that quilt coats are warm and cozy, too, which we all need as we head into a much colder season.

Keep reading to see my favorite quilted coats available now. I think you’ll be surprised how this trend can find a place in any wardrobe, trust me 😉

Some of my favorite quilt coats

Quilt jackets are not required to look frumpy or inspired by your grandma’s bedroom, don’t you worry. Even high fashion brands are embracing this current trend because nothing is quite as timeless as an actual nod to the good old days, spun in a modern new way. My original fan girl post about quilted coats back in 2016 was inspired by more minimal looks. Whether you want ultimate fall vibes – imagine being able to literally bring your favorite cozy quilt with you everywhere you go – or a more minimal take on the quilted jacket, explore the links below. Or test out the perfect way to dip your toes in the water of this trend, quilted face masks! Are you kidding me?! We are constantly on the hunt for cute face masks and these quilted ones might be my favorite yet.

All I am saying is, cue the apple cider and the pumpkin patch photoshoots, my quilt coat and I are ready for you!

Quilted jacket brands to have on your radar

Sea

One of my favorite parts of the quilt coat trend is that these coats look like…well, a quilt your grandma made and lovingly put on your bed. Instead of the classic white background, I love how they made the pattern and colors pop on this dark fabric instead. And don’t limit yourself to just quilt coats – Sea provides this bold pattern in multiple shapes and looks! 

And I don’t just love Sea for their quilted clothing, you have to check out their peter pan collars and dip-dyed ombre skirts too.

Farewell Frances

I first highlighted this brand in our post all about cute face masks. Guess what?! They also do coats! (For adults AND kids.) Send in your own quilt for them to “coat-ify,” or choose from their lovely selection. Doesn’t it just make you want to sip some lemonade out on the prairie?

Farm Down the Lane

The name of this Etsy shop tells you all you need to know about the adorable quilted items she sells.

Natalie Ebaugh 

Natalie’s sense of color and the way she mixes patterns in her quilted coats is truly inspirational. If you want to feel like you’re wearing a work of art, check out her shop.

Stitched and Found

The bright colors and designs of these quilts remind us of Alma Thomas, one of the artists in our Great Artists! Course.

3WomenCo

Though a little different than quilted coats, this brand uses vintage textiles to make sustainable clothing. I never would’ve thought a flour sack could look this good!

Stag Provisions

These quilted jeans are an example of visible mending, a beautiful way to re-purpose old clothing you might have otherwise thrown out. 

Psychic Outlaw

My favorite part of this shop is all the amazing quilts customers send in, which the company then turns into plush coats. Check out their Instagram to see all the past quilt coats they’ve made. They also make dresses out of vintage bandanas!

Haptics Lab

These coats sell out fast, and I can see why! They sell quilt quilt jackets for kids, too, plus patterns if you’re in the mood to DIY your own coat. 

Carleen

This brand carries the perfect blend of classic quilt jackets with zero frump.

More unique quilted items I am obsessed with

Want to start quilting?

I don’t know about you but all this talk about quilt jackets is making me want to try it out myself? It’s reminding me of a couple quilt inspired projects from Lars days past (see below!)

To get started quilting, our posts about hobbies to try when you are feeling uninspired includes sewing supplies and some great books about quilting!

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

We’re having a ….

Ha ha ha! Yes, I’m very thrilled to have another boy–I love my first one so much and he brings me so much joy, how could I not?! I mean, am I disappointed that I won’t do smocked dresses or be able to actually shop in baby boutiques (let’s be honest, they’re not made for boys)?! Of course! But I love the idea of two little rascals.

I have this feeling that this new boy will be the complete opposite of Jasper–dark haired, solemn, shy, obedient…hahhaha! We shall see!

How’s the pregnancy going?

Well, thank you for asking! I had a terrific pregnancy with Jasper so I expected the same, but it has been different. Thankfully, I’m not super sick (except the typical first trimester nausea), but this time around, I have the weirdest symptoms.

For one, I didn’t want sugar until like last month. What a blessing! No treats. I wish it would have lasted. But the desire is back and I’ve since made up for lost time.

Second, and for those of you not interested in female anatomy and systems, tune out, my pelvic floor is not being nice to me. I’ve had problems since Jasper was born. I couldn’t walk and certainly couldn’t run. I tried to do a race in October and the day of the race I could hardly walk. Every time I mention it to my doctor I’m told the same thing (do you kegels) but that hasn’t worked and I have a hunch there’s something more to it.

Then all of a sudden two weeks ago I could hardly walk again. I’m definitely a stereotypical waddler who looks very pregnant, but again, I have a hunch is treatable. Anyone know of an awesome pelvic floor doctor? TMI????? I know.

Lastly, NOSE BLEEDS. What the heck? I’ve never had them before but I have had them nearly every night for like three weeks. So stinking weird.

Other than that, this pregnancy has flown by but mostly because work is insane–especially the the Great Artists! course–renovating a house, and trying to move in tomorrow. Am I going insane? Yes. Most definitely. Send help.

Gender reveal balloon arch

On another note, because of the upcoming baby boy, we made a new balloon arch kit in shades of blues for your own gender reveals (nothing is worth detonating fire over!) and you can find it in the shop now!

Love to you all!

In the Mood For: Alma Thomas

Who Was Alma Thomas?

Alma Thomas didn’t start out as a full-time painter. First, she was a schoolteacher in Washington D.C., where her career spanned 38 years. After her retirement, she began to paint seriously, quickly establishing herself as a member of the Washington Color Field School. This art movement, taking place in the 1950s-1970s, was often compared to the abstract expressionist movement.

Image source here

The Washington Color Field School was marked by monochromatic strokes, colorful stripes, and broad washes of color on canvas. Other unconventional methods artists used at this time included “soak staining,” a technique where the painter would pour thinned-out paint onto canvas and let it sit without using any brushstrokes.

Alma Thomas considered retirement after her years of teaching, mostly due to arthritis. However, when Howard University offered to produce an exhibition of her work, she decided to produce something unlike her previous paintings. She was inspired by the light coming through her window and filtering through the flowers in her yard. If that’s not poetic, I don’t know what is.

Alma Thomas reached acclaim in her 80s with her Earth paintings, characterized by concentric circles painted in bright watercolor strokes. The beautiful colors bursting from a white background produced a dreamy, mosaic-like effect.

Image source here.

Home Decor Inspired by Alma Thomas

Alma employed abstract, geometric shapes in her work, and one of her favorite shapes were circles. And circles are very on-trend right now! You’ll also notice the use of colorful stripes, color-blocked polygons, and gem-like shapes that will add personality to any space. Though Alma Thomas’ color palette leaned towards bright hues, her work isn’t just for children’s spaces. Don’t be afraid to use pops of color (or colors!) to make any room more inviting.

In fact, the Obama family even had one of Alma Thomas’ paintings hanging in the white house during their time there (you can see it here)! I love the cobalt blue painting they chose below. You don’t have to choose decor or art filled with the full rainbow, sometimes one bold shade is the perfect way to anchor the room’s feel and color scheme.

 

Besides bold color, do not forget to consider shape when designing your space. Both the negative space between furniture, and the shape of the pieces themselves. They are nuanced, but round edges versus square ones can be the difference between a country chic couch and a mid-century modern. Train your eye to pay attention to the details. Pair a boxy couch with a round coffee table. An oval mirror above a squared off console. Or for a look with an even bigger Alma-Stamp-of-approval, look for statement pieces with more organic edges.

Fashion Inspired by Alma Thomas

Alma’s love of bold shapes and color didn’t end with her art, she wore them wherever she went! Every artist in our Great Artists! kid’s course comes with paper dolls, and Alma’s outfits are some of the most fun to mix and match.

Neutrals are all the rage right now. However, color is making a much-needed comeback to lift us out of the gloom of 2020! The great thing about Alma Thomas inspired style is that you can still wear your beloved neutrals while taking advantage of the beautiful colors Alma was inspired by. If you’re scared of color, start with accent pieces, like hair clips or masks (who would have thought masks would become an accessory?!)

 

Image source here.

Learn About More Great Artists!

Alma Thomas is a part of our Great Artists! Course, which we are offering now for just $99. It’s a six-week long course, but once you purchase it, it’s yours forever (a big plus for those of us who recently became homeschoolers overnight!) Now is the perfect time to introduce your children to some wonderful artists whose work still influences the world around us today.

And for artists inspiration more on your level, check out our posts about home decor inspired by Monet and Frida Kahlo, who are part of our kid’s course as well!

 

 

This post is a part of our In the mood for series. In this series we show you how to recreate interior design styles and fashion inspired by people we admire! Click any of the links below to check out the past posts in this series!

Anne of Green GablesEmma WoodhouseIris ApfelWes Andersonthe Royal FamilyLittle WomenMonet, Frida Kahlo, and Alexander Girard

How to get in the holiday spirit this year

Take 30% off all halloween printables in the Lars shop

All existing Halloween printables in our shop are 30% off using the code PRESPOOKY30. This sale is for you early birds who are looking to save time and $ by stocking up early on your decor and more! Whether you’re searching for costumes, decorations, cards, or candy gift boxes, get a head start (and a great discount!) on your Halloween planning necessities. Scroll down to see some of the items on sale in the shop!

Go all out with the holiday decor this year

I don’t know about you, but all this extra time spent at home has me dying for a change. I’m so happy to be prepping our new home to move in soon (fingers crossed! Check out our lastest house update here!) But if you’re in need of a change that isn’t so drastic or longlasting, decorating for the holidays is the PERFECT way to change it up your space without a major overhaul. Hang a garland on your mantel, paint some pumpkins,

Last month we brought back these DIY Rainbow Pumpkins to begin decorating for fall! If you’re looking to add some character to your rainbow pumpkins, check out the Pumpkin Faces PDF template in our Halloween shop! Who knew pumpkins could be so cute? 

Plan your holiday parties in advance

Get those dates on the calendar now for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! You’ll thank me later. Parties might turn into zoom calls, and holiday trips might turn into facetime calls to the grandparents, but at least you can plan to make the next few months special no matter what. Even if only your immediate family can make the guest list this year, check out our 11 ideas for a Halloween party to spark some ideas.

In our Halloween sale, you’ll also find garland templates, party invites, cake toppers, and plenty of other ways to complete your Halloween look this year. For the biggest discount, check out our Halloween E-book full of our most popular printables! (psst, even the e-book is an additional 30% off!)

Find a clever Halloween costume

Costumes are, in my opinion, one of the hardest parts about Halloween planning. You want to be creative and stylish without splurging on a new costume every year, right? We have plenty of costume PDF templates—  for both kids and adults—  discounted in our shop. The best part is that these costumes can be put together in under an hour AND you can use items you probably already own to complete the look. This halloween sale is meant to make your load lighter this year (so you can carry more weight in candy) 😉

Find joy in giving holiday gifts

There is no need to hold off on the giving spirit until December. I think any holiday is a great reason to drop off some neighbor gifts! We created some printable gift boxes to fill with seasonal candy and gift to a friend. This will come in handy more than ever this year when who knows if trick or treating will even be a thing??

Even if you’re staying in this Halloween, we have discounted items in our shop to help share the Halloween spirit! Send out some Halloween cards to friends, family, neighbors, and those you wish to share this spooky season with. The perfect pairing with one of these cards is a Halloween candy gift box! You can find the instructions for putting together the gift boxes here.

Enjoy your stress-free Halloween planning with 30% off printables (don’t forget the code: PRESPOOKY30)! You can find more Halloween sale printables in our shop!

Take time to make DIY holiday decor

The upside to this “new normal” and the impact it will have on the holiday season, is more and more people are taking time to create and get crafty! We love to see it. Adding a homemade touch is what makes holiday decor special, home-y, and a potential family heirloom. You can dive as deep into our 10+ years of archives as you want to go, but some of our favorite Halloween DIYs are these wood plaque transfers, or our rainbow pumpkin arch!

For more ways to get into the holiday spirit, check out our Halloween Pinterest board here!

Our new hardwood flooring and how to care for it

Which Stuga floor did we go with?

Which selection did we go with? I showed you ten options in the last post (remember these?) and…drumroll please….The winner is….
TIVOLIThey name all their flooring after Scandinavian inspired names or features and Tivoli, the famous charming amusement mark in the middle of Copenhagen, was the site of our first date, so it was only appropriate 😉 AND it’s our anniversary today so this flooring selection is really bringing us full circle I guess!
Mind you, Tivoli was not in your top 7 choices–ha! The top choices from you were Mead and Lucia. Here were the options again (you can see them here) BUT I love something on the warmer side and I wanted something a bit thinner without too much grain and Tivoli was the clear choice in person.
HOWEVER, when I received it, I opened up one box and the one I happened to open was SUPER grainy and a bit green:
I.got.nervous.
And then Paul calmly opened up the next box and then the next and turns out? Each one is super different! One may be more red, the other less grainy, the next more yellow and it’s kind of this mix and when you put it all together it is LOVELY. The depth of all the colors and textures makes it super interesting without being distracting. I LOVE MY FLOORS.

Making it into the house

Anywoo, just getting the shipment of flooring in was the biggest deal to me that I recorded the whole thing. And it came with its own share of drama. Our house is perched on an incline so no big trucks can get up there, and if they did, there’s no room for them to turn around and come back since it’s a cul-de-sac. SO, I called Paul in a panic and he came with a good friend of ours and helped the guy unload each crate and then transport each box up to the house. Thankfully, I’m pregnant, so I have a great excuse to not pitch in 😉

Here’s how the process worked, but I’ll be sharing more about the installation process in the next blog post.

What did we do to the stairs ?

And then they came back the next week and put the stairs in with the specially made Stuga stair nosings. We went with the square nosings, which is much more modern than I’ll be going with the rest of the house but I think it freshens up the house quite a bit and I’m here for it! I LOVE where it’s going. We still need to finish the top half (not seen) and add in banisters, but in the mean time, it’s so beautiful! Jasper, don’t come near here!

How to care for our Stuga floors

As you can imagine with this type of project, we have a ton of foot traffic from contractors of all kinds and their footprints are not what we would call gentle so this flooring is probably going through more now than hopefully it will ever again. BUT, I do love what Stuga says to maintain it.
Their first piece of advice is to treat your flooring like the Scandinavians do by taking off your shoes. I know this is common practice in a lot of homes throughout the world and frankly, though I lived in Denmark for awhile, I still don’t adopt it BUT you better believe we will be! And fun fact: a lot of Danes, probably others too, typically leave a basket by the door with extra slippers you can put on. Hyggligt!
We also don’t have window coverings at this point–only plastic from the previous owners who were about to paint, so I’m terrified of the sun’s exposure on the wood. It does patina over time and I’m looking forward to that, but I don’t want to accelerate it you know? I’ll be getting something up soon!

Other than that, I ordered the floor care kit and it comes with everything I need to take care of it. Pretty much it’s what you might expect light water. They also say that you can sand the floor down twice and that’s pretty much only if you want to restain the wood. So we are good for a long time!

And because we need to add in something adorable, here’s a little before and after of Jasper on the floor.

Ok! I’d love to hear your thoughts on our flooring selection. I know it’s not what most of you chose, but can you see it now?
ALSO curious if you’re like the Scandinavians and take off your shoes at the door?

This post is sponsored by Stuga but all opinions are my own.

DIY Rainbow Pumpkins

We originally made these DIY Rainbow Pumpkins in 2017, and since then they have inspired even more rainbow pumpkin projects like this arch, and this paper pumpkin tablescape.

When it comes to Autumn and Halloween decor, I always have a difficult time deciding which direction I want to take it. Do you go traditional with black and orange and the typical bats and witch hats? Or maybe all white with plenty of skeletons and ghosts? Honestly, I’ll probably switch it up every year. But is it any surprise that I wanted to go rainbow? I love those front porches that are overflowing with pumpkins and I thought would look so fun in a beautiful muted rainbow palette. It’s a simple concept, yet the execution looks so stunning! These DIY Rainbow Pumpkins are the perfect way to adorn your porch for October and November!

Let’s paint the pumpkins rainbow!

DIY Rainbow Pumpkins

DIY Rainbow Pumpkins

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Wipe down your pumpkins with a wet rag to remove any dirt or grime and let dry
  2. Tape off the stem to avoid getting paint splatters on it.
  3. Paint 1-2 pumpkins each color of the attached color palette. Let dry
  4. Arrange on your front porch in rainbow order!

TIP: The paint will easily chip/peel off the pumpkin, so if you’d like them to last longer, feel free to coat them with a sealant.

DIY Rainbow Pumpkins

DIY Rainbow Pumpkins

DIY Rainbow Pumpkins

Other DIY Rainbow Pumpkin Projects

Use this rainbow look everywhere this holiday season to tie it all together! If you want an even bolder rainbow pumpkin display and one that you can reuse in the future, check out our DIY rainbow pumpkin arch! For that project we used foam pumpkins so we can enjoy it for plenty of years to come. Or for our most simple and sustainable rainbow pumpkin project yet, you can make them out of paper for your holiday dinner party. You can find that tutorial here!

For more rainbow inspiration and DIY projects, check out our Pinterest here!

In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design

Home Decor Inspired by Frida Kahlo

How to use decor like Frida would

Consider Color

Casa Azul is aptly named, as the exterior of the house is painted this fantastic cobalt blue. It’s the kind of blue that if you saw it and weren’t expecting it, you’d whip your head around for a second look and say something profound like, “that house is blue!” Or, perhaps the color puts you speechless! It certainly does that for me. Rather than use a ton of neutrals to ground one pop of color, Kahlo did the opposite in her home and it totally works! She employed blue, citron yellow, kelly green, and terracotta red liberally with just a pinch of neutrals thrown in. The neutrals that are used are all natural. One section of the house has greyish walls because the walls are made of volcanic rock and shells!

Image source

For more inspiration on decorating your home with the bright colors of Frida’s hometown, check out my trip to Mexico City here!

Embrace your surroundings

With the use of volcanic rock and seashells, Casa Azul perfectly illustrates how to bring the outside in. This creative yet ancient way of using natural resources works beautifully in juxtaposition to her wild colors and more modern stylings. If you live in a wooded area, use beautiful wood! Same goes for those of you who live in rocky areas or sandy areas or wherever areas! Get outside to get inspired. Another way Frida Kahlo brought the outside in is by adding house plants. She used plants all the time in her paintings, and had plenty to study in her home! Yes, the trick is old as time but never gets old. Bringing in natural elements to balance the color will help you nail Frida Kahlo inspired interior design.

Image source

Embracing one’s surroundings goes beyond the literal outside – you should try and bring a bit of your culture and community within your doors. Embracing culture is essential in a Frida Kahlo inspired home. Kahlo has tons of traditional Mexican tiles and Indigenous pottery throughout her house and it gives a sense of identity to both the woman who lived there and the space itself. Frida’s celebration of her heritage is a wonderful thing, but I know many people who feel like they don’t have a heritage to celebrate. That’s just silly! Do a little research on your family, your community, and any other places your family line has been. Then, use interior decorating to remind you of where you and your ancestors have been. That sort of thing is really grounding, and who doesn’t need that right now?? 

Persevere

So, I intentionally haven’t talked much about the messier parts of Kahlo’s life. She will probably haunt me for watering down her deeply complex life into interior design tips, but hey! We’re keeping her legacy going! Frida Kahlo experienced a lot of tragedy that included abuse, tragic accidents, chronic illness, mental health problems, and infidelity. At eighteen, she was seriously wounded in a bus accident and was laid up in the hospital for months unable to move her body. She knew that this accident would prevent her from studying medicine as she had planned, so she took to painting from her hospital bed. Her mother had a special easel made that she could use in bed, and a mirror was placed above her bed. There she painted a slew of self portraits, pictures of her visitors and view. 

In fact, this is one of Frida’s major life events that inspired one of the activities in our Great Artists! course. During week 1, the kids will have a chance to grab a mirror, climb into bed, and see what it feels like to draw a self-portrait exactly the way Frida Kahlo herself started. These kinds of activities are what make history come alive, and teach the children about the lives of artists like Frida in way appropriate for their age.

What Frida did about it

She took inventory of what she could do and what her literal setting allowed, and then did it. Kudos to Frida for transforming a space with limitations into a space where she could create! As an interior design nut, I just love that. In the midst of one of the toughest periods of her life, Frida Kahlo redefined herself as an artist. Rather than allowing herself to be defined by tragedy, she molded it into therapy, self expression, and a new career. 

Towards the end of her life, Kahlo was finally receiving widespread recognition for her innovative work. She was to have her first solo exhibition in 1953, but right before the opening night, Frida was put on bedrest for a chronic illness. Rather than miss her big moment, Frida Kahlo had an ambulance deliver her from Casa Azul to the museum on a stretcher. Once in the museum, she was moved to her own four-poster bed that was brought there earlier that day. Much to the surprise of everyone there, she laid in her own bed at her own exhibition opening. You’ve got to love a girl who just won’t quit, much less miss her own party. 

In your life & home

If you’re needing a little help translating all of this, check out our Great Artists! Course for kids that includes some wonderful crafts/projects cooked special for you by our Lars team. There you’ll find the perfect Frida Kahlo and Casa Azul inspired pieces to perk up your home. Also, we’ve scoured the internet and have found some wonderful pieces that look like something straight out of her paintings (and wardrobe!)

I hope that by reading about Frida and looking at photographs of her home and work, you feel inspired to play a little, especially if life is hard right now. She’d like that. Let your home be both the subject and object of your playing! (I believe that’s called interior design.)

Image source: 1 | 2

Fashion Inspired by Frida Kahlo

 

Accessories

This post is a part of our In the mood for series where we show you how to recreate interior design styles and fashion inspired by people we admire! Click any of the links below to check out the past posts in this series!

Anne of Green GablesEmma WoodhouseIris ApfelWes Andersonthe Royal FamilyLittle Women, Monet, and Alexander Girard

 

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

DIY projects inspired by Frida Kahlo

When I visited Mexico City a couple of years ago, I had the chance to tour Frida’s home Casa Azul. The deep cobalt blue and the sunshine yellow that fill every corner are stunning, and I just soaked it up. Her home is part of what inspired this post about what a Lars Girl would wear to Mexico City.

In fact, we are so inspired by the colors that filled Frida Kahlo’s life and art, that later this week we will release the next post in our In The Mood For series, so you can learn how to recreate interior design inspired by her iconic style!

But for today we are re-visiting some of our favorite DIYs from Lars days past, inspired by Frida Kahlo herself!

Week 1 of our Great Artists! course covers Frida Kahlo

The projects in week 1 of our Great Artists! course were made exclusively for the curriculum. They are just as fun to complete as the DIYs below, but have never been seen before! Each project tutorial in the course was added for a specific learning objective, which you can read more about in our FAQ section here. We started the course off with Frida Kahlo because her background is unique and her culture is the inspiration for so much folk art we love. And in my mind, she is a classic icon in the art world!

If you haven’t accessed your own course yet, but want to get in on the fun, start here! The projects and activities below will give you and your kids a taste for how learning by creating is the most fun way!

Projects you can do now inspired by Frida Kahlo

DIY head vase

To make the head:

Materials:
Instructions:

1. I chose to paper mache my head because I didn’t want to see the styrofoam texture. I used newspaper to paper mache it and used a flour mixture for the paste. This recipe helped (and I boiled it so it would be smoother)
2. If you don’t want to paper mache, that’s completely fine. Use your white spray paint to coat it a few times. Let it dry completely.
3. Trace around a glass cup to create the right size hole for your vase.
4. Use your x-acto or knife to cut the circle. I found a smaller knife was easier than a large knife. It’s like cutting the top of a pumpkin.
5. Take out the excess of the top of the head. Place the cup in the hole. This will be where you place your flowers or plants so it doesn’t make contact with the styrofoam and mold.
6. Paint on a face with acrylic paint. Paint a unibrow (essential!), red lips, and lots of rouge.

To make the hair:

Materials:
Instructions:
  1. Cut the crepe paper into small strips about 3′ long
  2. Braid the strips into one braid
  3. Glue the braid onto the head.
  4. Paint the back of the head black. Paint another layer if necessary

You can find the original tutorial, along with step photos here.

Recreate Frida’s painting Las Dos Fridas

To give you a bit of background, this particular painting depicts Frida in the midst of her divorce from Diego Rivera. She left the two hearts exposed showing one broken and the other hole, the one that Diego loved. She depicted surgical pincers to show that she was cutting off the emotional ties. The background on important art pieces like Las Dos Fridas is taught in our Great Artists! course in a kid-friendly way.

I think one of the most fun ways (ever) to learn about art is to BECOME IT! Put yourself right in Frida Kahlo’s world by recreating this painting.

Here’s how to get the look:
Makeup tutorial inspired by Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo Print from the Lars Print Shop

You can find this print by Merrilee Liddiard here!

If you want to dive deeper into your Frida Kahlo knowledge and find more projects your family can do that are inspired by her work, you can access our Great Artists! course here!