In the Mood For: Wes Anderson Inspired Design

Design tips from Wes Anderson’s films

I’ve decided to break down some major visual themes in Wes Anderson’s films because, well, they’re fun to notice, and they showcase how design choices can heighten an emotion or thought. Whether or not you vibe with Wes’ style, our tips below taken from his work apply to any sort of style you want to master. 

Right off the bat, Anderson introduces viewers to some new microcosm of a world. His films take place on very carefully designed sets with symmetry, prescribed color themes, costumes like you’d see in a play, and font collections for everything from the film’s title to words on a bus ad in the background (Futura and Archer are some of his favorite fonts that are easy to access). 

Choose a color pallete but don’t be afraid to deviate

This is a great method to mirror in your own home! Choose a color pallete and composition early (Wes likes Art Nouveau hues and right angles) but be willing to make rare deviations. This will help you emphasize important details, like a piece of decor you want to make stand out. 

how to decorate like wes anderson

Looks inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel

how to decorate like wes anderson

Click here to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel

Use objects that symbolize something meaningful

Another stylistic tool employed in his films is called material synecdoche (yes I looked this up and still had to use spell check). This fancy term just means that Anderson uses a material object to stand as a symbol of something important. In Moonrise Kingdom, Suzy’s binoculars symbolize, well, Suzy, as well as her curiosity, her longing for something outside of her world, and her tendency for spying…

Looks inspired by Moonrise Kingdom
how to decorate like wes anderson

Click here to watch Moonrise Kingdom

Some friends of mine use this idea in their life and have a few objects that represent significant moments or ideas. For these friends, it’s all centered on the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! It’s all about adventure, positivity, and how being different is brave. Choose an object or material that you feel drawn to that represents a theme in your life (like my friends’ book) and figure out how to incorporate it into your style! 

Whether it is polka dots or acorns, poppies or binoculars, choose something that feels like you and treat it like your design calling card. Sprinkle it into your home and your wardrobe, et voila! You have a trademark ~look.~

Looks inspired by The Darjeeling Limited

how to decorate like wes anderson

Click here to watch The Darjeeling Limited

Add handmade touches

One detail that we at Lars particularly love is the prevalence of handmade items in Wes Anderson movies! Most of the sets are handmade. (Aisle of Dogs is a crazy masterpiece) and the clothing is all designed and sewn for the characters like a costume in a play would be. 

Handwritten notes are everywhere in his films, even graffitied in the margins of textbooks in Rushmore. This kind of attention to detail helps him achieve this classically curated look, and a similar attention to detail in your life will create your own uniquely curated look.

Looks inspired by Rushmore

Click here to watch Rushmore

Don’t lose your own personal twist

Part of why we love Wes Anderson is of course, because of the people in his films. Yes, they’re funny, yes they’re well dressed, yes they’re witty. But what I like most is that the main characters are creative

In Rushmore, the main character Max is an aspiring playwright. In The Royal Tenenbaums, Margot wins a national writing grant in the ninth grade! Fantastic Mrs. Fox is a fabulous painter, and is shown in a number of scenes working on a really complicated landscape. 

Looks inspired by The Royal Tenenbaums

how to decorate like wes anderson

Click here to watch The Royal Tenenbaums

As a creative person, Wes puts these snippets of himself into these films and therein, I tend to find someone a bit like me. 

Wes Anderson Inspired Home Decor

Kid’s bedroom decor

 

Prints and Books

 

Kid’s classic toys

how to decorate like wes anderson

 

Wes Anderson Inspired Fashion

Women’s

 

Men’s

 

Kid’s

 

This post is part of our “In the Mood For” series, where we highlight the taste of famous people and characters we love. Click these links to be inspired by kindred spirits like Anne of Green Gables or Jo March, or to learn how to re-create the iconic styles of real life heroes Iris Apfel or Alexander Girard

Photo sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 

New art collection from Adriana Picker and interview

We are lucky to get 4 prints inspired by her book that are now in the Shop. I think they’d be so lovely in a girl’s room or basically any spot that needs a dose of beautiful pastel flowers. I can even imagination it as a beautiful punctuation point in a bathroom!

Today we are sharing an interview with the Australian author and illustrator. Her background is so interesting! Petal book by Adriana Picker

Interview with Adriana Picker

1. What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person etc.?

I mostly like to refer to myself as a botanical illustrator now days!

2. Who helped you “become” who you are?

I am very blessed to be surrounded and supported by many wonderful, fiercely intelligent, inspiring women. The women in my family are responsible for the genesis of my creativity and are a constant source of strength. Particularly my grandmother Emma, who instilled in me a passion for flowers at a very young age, my incredible Aunt Margo who taught me to be self-reliant and make anything conceivable and of course my mother, Sally, who is a wonderful artist. She is a constant inspiration to me.

The friendship of other women has been so important to me personally and professionally. I have a circle of very generous and talented creative women that I rely on heavily for support. I certainly would not be who I am today with out them. I am so lucky to count amongst my close friends Peptalker founder Meggie Palmer, incredible artists Gemma O’brien, Amber Vittoria and Georgia Hill. Designer and founder of the incredible homewares studio House of Heras – Silvana Azzi Heras has been a mentor and incredibly close friend of mine for over ten years. And I’ve recently had the great privilege to work with Uli Beutter Cohen, founder of Subway book review on the promotion of my new book Petal. Her support has been invaluable to me through what has become a rather unusual book launch!Petal book by Adriana Picker

3. Do you feel like you’ve arrived at what you set out to do?

I don’t think there will ever be a great sense of arrival for me. Or of completion.

I think one of the great joys of truly loving the work you do, is that it if your work is a calling not just a means of making money, there is always something to be done. Always something I feel compelled to do! Even when am I working on a project, I am thinking of what I want to create next, looking for inspiration and making plans. This is probably the most magical part of the creative process for me, that dreamy phase were ideas are swirling around in your head in a luxurious, hazy mix, just before they solidify. The possibility is intoxicating.
4. What more would you like to “become”? 
Kind. Compassionate. Generous. Understanding. Self-assured. Self-aware. Financially literate. Able to articulate my emotional needs. Grateful. Joyous. Lead a life with a closer connection to nature. Adaptable.
It is a lovely thing to think that we will always be a work in progress and there is always a chance for betterment.Petal book by Adriana Picker

5. Why flowers?

My whole life has been punctuated by flowers. Flowers for me are still so strongly linked to family, in particular my grandmother and mother. Flowers have become the vessels of my fondest memories, connections to the places where I find the most joy and reminders of the people I most cherish. No wonder flowers have been a constant and enduring love in my life. So many years later, the flowers I first encountered in my grandmother’s garden are my favourites to draw. I think she would be so very thrilled if she could see the work I do today.Petal book by Adriana Picker

6. Why did you create this book?

I love flowers. I love EVERY type of flower. This book is my love letter to these ephemeral jewels of nature: a celebration of the floral world. Within the pages lie a collection that spans priceless hothouse gems and unapologetic roadside survivors. The world of flowering plants – otherwise known as angiosperms – is so vast, varied and alluring, that narrowing down the selection has been an excruciating process. I want this book to not only highlight our most loved blooms, but also to shine new light on those plant families considered unfashionable or not highly valued. The humble geranium, for example, has long been a favourite of mine; anything that boasts a variegated leaf, with its painterly stripes or swirls and contrast of colours, catches my breath and sets my heart a’flutter. Even something as ubiquitous as a corner-store tulip, swaddled in plastic, can still bring brightness to a kitchen table. Through this book, I want to share my vast passion for flowers, with the hope the viewer can gaze with a fresh lens, perhaps inspiring exploration of a certain plant previously off the radar. Petal book by Adriana Picker

You can find Adriana here:

Adriana’s portfolio
@AdrianaPicker
You can find her book, Petal, here

Adriana Picker for Lars Print Shop

There are four to choose from: dahlia, tulip, rose, and cosmo. Some of my favorites!
Dahlia art print by Adriana PickerDahlia art print by Adriana Picker
Book photos by Bridget Badore

Two art prints for coronavirus relief charities

Art for Coronavirus Charities

First off, we are thrilled to introduce a new artist to Lars Print Shop, Erin Jang. Remember when we interviewed her last year? Big fans! Erin Jang is the graphic designer and illustrator behind the creative studio, The Indigo Bunting. Her clients include The New York Times, Apple, Bon Appétit, Urban Outfitters, and Chronicle Books. Her books include You, Me, We! (A 2-in-1 activity book set for parents and kids to fill in together available here) and the craft book, Make & Give. She lives in New York City with her husband and two young boys.Art for coronavirus

I’ve loved following Erin as she shares a daily activity to do with your children during social distancing. She’s always so good at showing how to do things with your children. And guess what? This art print is no exception! Here’s what she had to say about the print:

I created a version of this print many years ago, part of an effort to raise money for charity. I was a new mother at the time, and I wanted to make something that would help give me encouragement and ground me.

Years later, I am revisiting these virtues, and this print, with the help of my now 8-year-old son (his handwriting is on the right side of the print). We are sheltering in place here in our small apartment in the middle of NYC, with our two boys, and I feel the heaviness of all that is happening in our city, in the world. Our city is turned upside down, and there is so much deep loss in every way. These virtues appear basic, but they are so hard to live out, especially in times like this. But I am seeing how much I need to return to these small, simple things — to hold on to them, to relearn them myself, to teach them to my boys, to try to practice them together in small measures (and fail, then start anew the next day). Now more than ever, these small, good things matter, and they help us rebuild.

If you’d like to help in a small way, the proceeds of every purchase of this print will be donated to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund which helps provide relief and support to health care workers, local small businesses, displaced hourly workers including immigrant workers, families, youth and other vulnerable New Yorkers.

Art for coronavirus

The print comes in white OR black. You can find them here.

You can follow more of Erin’s work at @theindigobunting. 

Amanda Jane Jones Art for Charity

You should be familiar with Amanda Jane Jones by now (we’ve been talking about her for months!) Her collection of prints is inspired by her children’s book, Yum, Yummy, Yuck. There’s the banana, apple, cherries, pear, ice cream, and booger (ha!). You can see the full collection here. They are AMAZING as oversized prints. I love what she did here:

Amanda is giving the profits from her collection all to No Kid Hungry. As the coronavirus crisis bars kids from the school meals they depend on, everyday people, celebrities, corporations and others are stepping up to ensure these kids can eat. They are using donations large and small, from individuals just like us, to support kids who are struggling.

Amanda is also providing wonderful resources for children this time. You can follow her at @amandajanejones

We are thrilled to share Amanda and Erin’s quest to support these charities by purchasing their art. You can shop the collections here

How to Hang Prints

How to Hang Prints

Well, now I’m getting into a deeper conversation about what art is, and while I could easily write a 1,000 word blog post on that topic, today I just want to talk about what to do with your art once you’ve found the ultimate piece. Our post today is all about how to hang prints like the ones you can find in our shop!

To Frame or Not to Frame?

So, it finally happened—you locked eyes with that perfect print, whether in a gallery, online, or in a thrift store, and now you need a frame for it! Or do you? 

Well, first you need to consider the size of the print (or prints). If you thrifted your art, you may want a different frame, or maybe you hit the thrifting jackpot and it came with a beautiful frame, matting, and it fits your style. However, for most of us, half the fun is deciding on a frame that doesn’t just act as a “place” for your art to live, but it complements the piece, too.

Frames aren’t always necessary. In fact, you can “frame” your art using other more budget-friendly, DIY methods, and you know how much we love a good DIY!

Framing Large Art Pieces

Large-scale wall art is on trend, and it’s not hard to see why! A poster-size print above the bed or fireplace mantle anchors the room. In fact, if you’re trying to design the rest of your space, start with a large print! You can gather inspiration from a dynamic piece of art hanging on the wall.

A colorful lamp in a room with wildflower wallpaper and a LACMA exhibition poster

We tend to think that large art needs a frame. Luckily, you don’t have to splurge on a really expensive frame to match the size of your print. We like using the large RIBBA frame from IKEA, with or without the matting. You might even like removing the plastic to prevent a glare, but if the lighting of your room doesn’t affect the glare too much, leave the plastic on to protect the print.

If you looking to print some large art for a crazy price, we recommend engineer prints from Staples. They’re typically no more than $10 (yep, that cheap).

Other Framing Ideas

Need a beautiful frame, but don’t want to spend too much money? Try replacing the cheap art you find at Target or Home Goods with your own prints. They already come with a nice frame (most of the time) and a mat.

Are you trying to put together a gallery wall? Though it may seem like some of the best-looking gallery walls were simply “thrown together,” it actually takes a bit of extra time to create a balanced look. Use a mixture of sizes, and don’t feel limited to hanging prints. Try hanging other art pieces or sentimental items on the wall to add texture, such as fiber art or a small shelf for displaying treasures.

How to create a gallery wall to go with your TVGallery wall above a brown dresser with a cute white dog in front.a gallery wall with images of birds over a bed with a fiddle leaf fig and a lamp in the bottom left corner

How to Hang Prints Without a Nail

One of the best and most cost-effective methods to hang your prints is using Washi tape! We like this method for a more casual look, like on the moodboard above your desk or in your child’s room.

How to make a mood board with Mae Mae Co on The House That Lars Built

Is your art collection bursting at the seams? Try a floating shelf on the wall to lean your art against! Maybe you have a bare mantle in your front room begging for something else to sit on it besides your WiFi router…instead of getting out your hammer, nails, stud finder, and level, just lean the thing! Nothing could be easier.

Day of the Dead OfrendaDay of the Dead OfrendaFlower art prints by Adriana Picker

Feeling inspired? Don’t forget to check our print shop for some beautiful and affordable art! 

Earth Day: Recycled cardboard sun

Earth Day Recycled cardboard project

Social distancing has brought a damper to everyone’s lives, but as springtime sets in, we thought that it was time to create some sunshine! These fun cardboard suns are eco-friendly, since they utilize a reusable material. What a fun idea for a kid craft in quarantine, especially on Earth Day! We imagined that many have a ton of cardboard cluttering up space while we all try to order things online to keep social distancing. Delivery boxes can be reused and transformed to make something that will brighten up everyone’s day. Plus, any kind of crafting gets the hands moving and the mind creating, and since you can design your sun any way you like (depending on how much cardboard you have!). Frankly, we just think crafting is good for you, and this is an easy craft that we think anyone will enjoy doing. You might want to create a handful of little suns to scatter sunshine around your house, or maybe try to create a huge sun to hang in your favorite place!make a cardboard sun with recycled materials

Whatever you plan to do, we are sure that this sustainable, eco-friendly craft is a fun way to spend your Earth Day! If you’re looking for an easy kid craft during quarantine that teaches both creativity AND the importance of recycling, this is the one for you! Hey, maybe you could even take it a step further and turn craft time into a science lesson while teaching from home. The sun’s the limit! And who could fail to smile when the sun’s smiling back at them!

How to make a cardboard sun

For the design, we referenced Alexander Girard’s famous suns, but made it our own. You can find the templates here.

Instructions:

  1. Print out the template and cut out the pieces.
  2. Trace the patterns onto your desired location and cut out.
  3. Assemble together with glue or strong tape.

Easy squeezy!

Sun puzzle

You could even turn the sun into a puzzle by having the child arrange the pieces on the sun shape. Jasper LOVED doing that!

Sun art

OR, hang it up as artwork! You could even put it up as a wreath on your door or in your window for all to see.

make a cardboard sun with recycled materialsmake a cardboard sun with recycled materials

Show us what you’re making for Earth Day by tagging us with #LarsMakes or #LarsQuarantineCreativity.

DIY Printable Advent Village Calendar

What’s more exciting than the delicious anticipation of that Christmas morning? In an effort to maintain some of that magic through the month of December, I love using an advent calendar. When I was a child, we would fight over the little chocolates or treasures my mom put inside the little pockets. Then, mom got tired of the candy and replaced it with wooden stars. We still fought over them. Our printable advent calendar is adorable, easy to assemble, and doesn’t involve any candy…so here’s hoping your kids won’t fight over it.

Printable Advent Calendar

Check out some of our other advent calendars from past years. We did a Christmas Bulb one (like a paper chain, but cuter and more Christmas-y), a Christmas Photo Advent Challenge, and an Acts of Service Advent Calendar (my personal favorite). After all, I think we could all use some extra service this year.

How to make a DIY advent village calendar

Here’s how to make our village advent! It includes some sweet details like a craft shop, book store, market, boulangerie. It’s too sweet!

Materials

Print off the printable village. There are 25 pieces:

7 – Tall houses
7 – Small houses
5 – Medium houses
5 – Trees
1 – Medium Christmas house

Instructions for cutting out the houses

  1. Cut out the house around the edges
  2. With your scoring device (we used a craft knife and lightly ran the blade over the lines), score the tabs, and each side of the house. You’ll also score the lines under rectangle roofs.
  3. Neatly fold each line.
  4. Cut the the two tabs between the triangle roofs.
  5. Glue the base of the house first
  6. Then glue the side tab of the house
  7. Lastly, glue the roof together. If you want to be able to access the top of the roof for presents or candy, use a light tape or leave it as is.

How to make the Christmas Trees

  1. Cut around the whole shape
  2. In order to fit the template onto one page, we assembled each of the four faces together. Now you will cut off the pieces so that there are four individual pieces, making sure that you leave the tabs.
  3. Score the tabs. We did this with light craft knife lines and a metal ruler.
  4. At the top of the two tree triangles that have the tabs, cut off a bit of the tab so that it is a more narrow angle.
  5. Fold the scored lined tabs in place.
  6. Lightly score the bottom rectangle. This will act as the base of the tree.
  7. Now you’ll assemble with glue each of the triangle shapes into a star formation using the tabs.
  8. Your finished star will glue a tab triangle piece to a non-triangle piece.
  9. Now, bring up the tabs and glue the sides together. If you’d like to access them, use a non permanent double sided stick tape.

Display tips: Display your village on a mantle or shelf OR you could even tie each one up onto a cute branch.

Would love to see yours in the wild. Tag us with #LarsMakes or #HolidayswithLars so we can check them out! 

If you liked this project, you might also like:

DIY oversized paper stockings
DIY Bottlebrush Christmas tree hack
Rainbow ombre advent calendar

DIY Summer Flower Garland

Collaboration leads to inspiration

The inspiration for this particular garland came from two places: our wrapping paper products designed for Alexis Mattox Design, and a collab we did Chatbooks! The floral patterns we did with AMD were just so fun and punchy that we had to make a garland inspired by the wrapping paper. Chatbooks used some of those same wrapping paper designs as covers for their books. After seeing that, it occurred to me that I wanted to see these colors and flowers everywhere. Cue the crafting!

This DIY Summer Flower Garland is the perfect decoration for all your summer soirees. And is pretty enough to keep up all year long! You’ll be happy to hear that the materials were pretty cheap too. It’s made with crepe paper and cardstock, and is totally customizable. You can change the colors by simply using a different color paper. If you do play with a new color scheme, send me pictures!! Color is my favorite.

Where to put your paper flower garland

The fun part about a garland is that it can go anywhere. Wreaths go on the front door, flower vases on tables, but garlands? They do it all. In our Flower & Leaf Garden E-Book, we put garlands over the backs of chairs, as table runners, wound around a staircase handle, hung over doorways, or delicately draped on walls. If you’re planning a wedding, think of how fun it would be to make a DIY Summer Flower Garland with friends! It would be beautiful hung over a trellis or fireplace or as a photo-wall backdrop.

This project is great to work on with friends or alone! Heck, you could probably collab with a friend from afar! Mail each other your pieces to create one big DIY Summer Flower Garland!  If crafting is your cathartic alone time, this garland is perfect for you. Spread out over a few days, and soak up that creative time. Summer days are meant for crafting, am I right?

More paper garlands for every season

You can download the templates for each of these garlands (and more!) individually here or all of them together for a discount!

DIY Summer Flower Garland

Materials:
  • Crepe paper in green, cornflower blue, orange, white, and yellow
  • Cardstock in blue, pink, yellow, and white
  • Acrylic paint in coral, yellow, and blue
  • Wire flower stamens in red
  • 22 gauge cloth covered floral wire in 18″ lengths
  • Spool of 24 gauge florist wire
  • Hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • Templates
Instructions:

Full instructions can be found here!

Once you’ve created all the individual flowers, begin to hot glue the elements onto the green floral wire. Mix in plenty of green crepe paper leaves. We made our garland about 6 feet long.

DIY summer flower garland

Photography by Anna Killian | Crafting by Ashley Isenhour and Rebecca Hansen

Felix’s New Nursery

Before my first son, Jasper, arrived we raced to get his nursery done and it paid off (you can see it here. I had such a wonderful experience having a fully designated space for him–it felt almost magical. Just him and me having our special place together nursing and me admiring him. We were certainly in a little newborn bubble. I think I even heard choruses of angels around us.

Interior shot of a child's room. Walls are green, A pink checkerboard rug is on the floor. A white rocking chair is central in the image.

With Felix, because of all the new home renovations and normal, if not over, work load, I didn’t get his nursery done, not even close. And I felt the toll! For a while I slept on a mattress downstairs next to his bassinet before transferring up to our bedroom and then we were constantly moving because we’ve been renovating the closet, bathroom, putting baseboards, etc. It’s been wild, uncomfortable…chaotic. Not conducive to a magical experience.

An interior shot featuring a painted green wall with a brightly colored lamp and a toy doll perched on a wicker shelf.

And then we partnered with our friends at Pottery Barn Kids and life got so much better as you might expect when you, well, partner with Pottery Barn Kids. 

Most important to me when creating a space for a baby is figuring out the immediate needs. Number one, especially in the early stages, is nursing. Life kind of revolves around it at this point (you too?): schedules, meals, outings (or lack there of right now, right?!). Everything! I nursed exclusively with Jasper and I’ve done the same with Felix (though I seriously reconsidered that this weekend after my first bout with mastitis–YIKES!).

Interior shot of a nursery. In the foreground, a red toy airplane rests on a white ottoman. In the background is a wooden dresser with a small Danish flag on top and some illustrations on the wall.

Because of my bad back, I like to have a great chair set up in place so I know it will be comfortable and I don’t have to scramble to make something up last minute. Jasper’s rocking chair has almost become a member of our family based on how much we use it. Though I no longer nurse him, we gather around it for stories every day. I knew I needed another one for Felix so we could create the same tradition in his room.

Interior shot of a child's room. Walls are green, A pink checkerboard rug is on the floor. A white rocking chair is central in the image.

Have you searched on Pottery Barn Kids recently? Look at all their nursery chair and ottoman options. I’ll wait….There’s a TON of styles and features. I looked for one that had a shallow back so that it wouldn’t have to strain while nursing. I also wanted one that felt both classic yet modern. I arrived at the Modern Wingback Slipcovered Glider and Ottoman. I got it in their classic white linen, which on first glance seems crazy, but because it’s a slipcover, you can easily take it on and off (velcro!) and wash it. 

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair next to a window and a green wall and snuggles Felix.A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair. Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few pillows, toys, and books on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

It may seem like a funny thing to get excited about, but I need my nursing conditions to be, well, perfect, and their ottoman is the perfect height so I can prop Felix up and be super comfortable. I’m so pleased with my new arrangement I can’t even express it. The magical feelings are starting to reemerge again and none too soon!

A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair.

But there’s more. Have you seen their collection of cribs and changing stations? There are so many beautiful options. I went all white with Jasper, but I wanted something different for Felix so I got an all wood collection–something to feel deeper. I chose the Dawson Convertible Crib, which is somehow even more beautiful in person than it is on a screen. It will grow with Felix into a toddler bed too so it’s worth the investment (two beds in one!). It’s also GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it meets or exceeds stringent chemical emissions standards and it’s made in a Fair Trade Certified facility. I feel really good about their manufacturing processes and love being able to align myself with them.

A wooden dresser with a clock, changing basket, Danish flag, and blanket on top. The wall has a few illustrations hanging on it.

Then for the changing table/dresser I went with the Dawson dresser. Again, it’s a beautiful blend of traditional and modern with the clean lines and fine detailing on the drawers. It comes in a lovely acorn color with the same ethical standards. Again, even more beautiful and illuminating in person. It looks so good against the green walls! Which brings me to my next point.

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair against a green wall and snuggles Jasper and Felix.

Jasper’s nursery at our old house was more light and airy and again, I wanted something where we played with color more. The room is also acting as Paul’s office so I wanted to take his preferences into consideration. Paul loves BRIGHT colors. I’m talking saturated, BRIGHT colors. We settled on a agreen, but what green was the question! He LOVES a classic Jaguar green but then I got this lovely checkerboard pink/magenta rug (used from Hannah Carpenter as spotted by Meta Coleman) and wanted to merge the two colors together somehow.

A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair. The floor is covered by a magenta checkerboard rug with a few wooden cars and an airplane on it.

I figured out that the green needed to be a bit more blue so we went with this Palm Frond color. I thought it was going to be too much for me but with the gorgeous wood furniture, it’s MAGICAL. I tried out a contrasting trim in a light blue, the same color we’ll be using for our bathroom, and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it…I like it sometimes and other times I’m not sure. I’m not sure you can see it too well in these photos so maybe you can speak to that quite yet.

Interior shot of a child's room with a green wall, a wicker shelf with a toy on it, and a crib. The crib has a denim-colored quilt hanging over the side.

I accessorized with the cutest bed sheet/comforter set. The sheets are dreamy soft and play well with the green of the walls. I love the chambray look always. It tends to go with most things.

Then I added in some green gingham curtains to play with the color too.

Shot of the inside of a wooden crib, with a few toys and pillows inside it.

With all the other bright color accessories we own, the color works so well and it’s now one of the few rooms in the house that feels GOOD! I’m still calling it a phase one design because we might adjust some things, but in the meantime, I’m spending all my time in there.

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair against a green wall and snuggles Jasper and Felix.Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few toys on it. In the background is a wooden dresser.on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

Thank you Pottery Barn Kids for making our nursery dreams come true and for sponsoring this post!

Inspired by Cinco de Mayo

Nadia Aguilar Cates

Last year I talked to my friend Nadia Aguilar Cates about Cinco de Mayo and some of her plans to celebrate it. She explained that “Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the battle of Puebla. It’s not Mexico’s Independence Day but a common celebration in the United States.” –Nadia Aguilar Cates, @Casa_Palomi

Two little boys dressed in Mariachi outfits holding cardboard instruments stand in front of a giant pink papel picado decoration

Last year Nadia and I worked together to make a COVID-safe drive-by Cinco de Mayo party. This party was complete with cardboard mariachi instruments for kids and a giant papel picado backdrop. If you missed it last year, it’s not too late to get ready for this year’s festivities!

We also interviewed Nadia last Fall. Everything she does to preserve and celebrate her Mexican heritage is so inspiring. Check out her interview here! Oh and definitely keep an eye on Ella Rises, the organization Nadia created to empower Latina youth.

Nadia Aguilar Cates stands in front of a giant pink papel picado decoration

History of Cinco de Mayo

As Nadia said, Cinco de Mayo commemorates an important Mexican victory in the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862 in the city of Puebla. The battle, in which the Mexican army defeated French troops, marked a turning tide in the fight for Mexican sovereignty. It also signaled Mexico’s strength to the rest of the world, which tended to underestimate their power.

Because The House that Lars Built is located in the United States, where anti-Mexican racism is still a pervasive problem, we’re using Cinco de Mayo to reflect on the importance of listening to and celebrating Indigenous and Mexican stories. In true Lars fashion, this means I’m highlighting some of my favorite Mexican artists and designers!

Lars Loves Mexican Artists

Frida Kahlo

Photograph of Frida Kahlo holding a small carved idol. She's wearing a black and orange woven top and has flowers and ribbons braided into her hair, and she's standing against a turquoise wall. Where would we be without our Queen, Frida Kahlo? She’s probably one of the best-known Mexican artists, and for good reason! Her work explores her Mexican Indigenous heritage in bright colors and with psychologically rich symbolism.

 

Painting by Frida Kahlo.
Self-Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States, 1932

If you’re looking for more Frida in your life, check out our Great Artists course for kids, which will teach your little one (and you) more about Frida’s work. You can also look at these DIY projects inspired by Frida and this roundup of Frida Kahlo-inspired decor.

Luis Barragán

A woman holds a black horse's bridal in front of a tomato-colored wall at Luis Barragán's Cuadra San Cristóbal stables. There's also a flat blue pool and pink and purple structures in the background.
Photograph by Rene Burri

Luis Barragán was an incredible Mexican architect and designer, whose geometric buildings are breathtakingly colorful. His iconic San Cristobal Stables was one of the most memorable parts of my trip to Mexico City a few years ago. Brittany walks under a bright pink structure at Luis Barragán's San Cristobal stables in Mexico City

Michelle Franzoni Thorley

A black and white portrait of Michelle, who looks at the camera. She's wearing a white top and a chunky necklace, and she's standing in front of some plants

Michelle Franzoni Thorley is a local-to-me painter and family historian whose work explores her Mexican heritage and the power of knowing about our ancestors. She also is an anti-racism educator and all-around powerful human being. So make sure you follow her on Instagram @florafamiliar!

A painting of women in mountains, a desert, and a cemetery holding onto a red ribbon that connects them.
Ancestresses by Michelle Franzoni Thorley

Cinco de Mayo in the Archives

Paper Fan Garland

Along with last year’s drive by party, I wanted to share more Cinco de Mayo inspiration from years gone by. One of my earliest projects was this paper fan garland decoration.

Honeycomb fruit

Another early project was this collection of DIY honeycomb fruit ornaments.

paper fruits in the shape of grapes, an orange, a grapefruit, and a strawberry hang in front of a window

Cinco de Mayo Bouquet

I was also inspired by vibrant Mexican design when I made this Cinco de Mayo paper wedding bouquet! You don’t have to be a bride to make this, though! Putting together this bouquet would be such a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo while simultaneously gearing up for Summer blooms.

brightly colored paper bouquet

Fiesta

If you’re looking for full-on Cinco de Mayo party inspiration, look no further than the fiesta I threw a few years ago! You can find great decor, lots of delicious recipes, and links to tableware that will make your party a true fiesta! a festive Cinco de Mayo table set with Mexican food and decorated with colorful papel picado banners

Mexico City Travel Guide

Maybe I’m getting carried away, but I also want to share my travel guide from Mexico City. In 2018 I went to Mexico City and it was absolutely dreamy. In my Mexico City guide you can find my favorite places to go and things to see, as well as (perhaps most importantly?) where to eat. I can’t wait until I can go back and experience even more of Mexico City, because it’s truly a magical (and huge!) place, with so much to do and see.

a colorful papier mache man floats in a white museum space

I came home from Mexico City feeling so inspired by the color and design that I put together a roundup of fashion and design that reminded me of my trip! I’m itching to go back, but looking through these travel-inspired objects is satisfying a bit of my wanderlust…for now!

Viva México!

More Inspiration

Looking for Cinco de Mayo decorations, or just some spring decor to freshen up your home? Look no further than our shop for the templates to get you going! Try the Cinco de Mayo bouquet template and e-book to make it a lovely centerpiece. Also, here’s the template for those Cinco de Mayo streamers we mentioned. You’ll probably also love this paper flower garland or this boutonniere! You may want to check out this house plants e-book as well, along with our flower and leaf garland e-book.

Miami prints by Jane Merritt

Miami City art prints

Like the other prints in the Lars Print shop, each design can come however you’d like–as a download where you can print it off yourself or as a print in the mail in a variety of sizes or it can come framed and/or matted. Here we put three together and I think they work perfectly together, no? All that Art Deco glory–so good! 

You can find the prints in our Lars Print Shop!

And you can find our art lovers guide to Miami here!

You can see Jane’s work here.

Art prints for every style

From illustrations to photography to quotes, the Lars print shop has wall decor for every style! If you’re looking for some bold pieces to accompany your Miami prints on a gallery wall, you can find plenty of patterns and bright colors in the Lars shop prints! Or, if you’re going for a more subtle, pastel wall, you can browse through some of the illustrations to match the Miami art prints.

We even have a couple of art prints for Coronavirus relief charities. You get beautiful pieces of art AND help out communities during the pandemic. It’s a win-win.

If you love these Miami prints but aren’t sure how to start your gallery wall, we’ve got you covered! Learn how to make a gallery wall here, and let the decorating begin!

Scallop Wave DIY Pinboard

Inspiration: the moodboard for my pinboard

The scallop/wave trend is hot hot hot right now. Slow undulating lines are visually really peaceful, but since it’s an unusual pattern, it holds your attention. Gustaf Westman is a furniture designer who builds beautiful mirrors that serve as inspiration for my DIY. If you want to buy his beautiful work, check out his page

Another source of inspo for this project comes from Matilda Goad. This self-described “scallop-loving designer” has a fantastic and playful sense of design and color, and her pieces have a certain je nes sais quoi that make a house feel like home. The images below are from here instagram here

My final mood-board item is this picture that I saw on @houseandgardenuk’s instagram. They featured a dreamy kitchen designed by Gabby Deeming and Ruth Sleightholme. I love the zigzag variation of scallops on the kitchen cabinets, and the gentle green is so appealing. 

My Plans

In my head I can visualize you, dear friend, scrolling through until you get to the pictures and instructions for my DIY. Stop scrolling – you made it! First things first, you need a bulletin board. Then, I decided how much of my board I want to cover with paint. Find the full steps below!

DIY bulletin board painted

How to make your own scallop wave pinboard

Instructions
– Measure the bulletin board & decide how thick you want your scalloped border to be.
– Use a ruler to draw guiding lines showing how far the border will extend, based on the thickness you chose. (Our board’s scalloped border was about 5 inches thick from the edge of the board).
– Measure the space left on the middle of the bulletin board between your guiding lines. Decide how many scallops you want on each side and then divide the length of the available space by the number of scallops. This will tell you how large each scallops should be.
– Use your ruler to measure and mark the desired length of your scallop onto a piece of card-stock paper. Once you have the length drawn, create the scallop shape and cut it out. This will be your stencil. (You could trace something round like a bowl or free hand this. Folding the card stock in half is a good way to check that the sides of your scallop are symmetrical.)
– Follow the guiding lines as you trace the scallop stencil across your bulletin board. This will keep your peaks even across the edges.
– Complete the look by rounding the corners into similar shapes, you can use the same stencil if there’s room or freehand it.
– Fill in the boarder with paint, 1-2 coats depending on the thickness of your paint.
-Let it dry and your DIY scallop wave pinboard is complete! Fill it with inspiration picks for the next project you want to tackle 😉

Scallop Wave DIY Pinboard

We would love to see what scalloped creations you come up with! Tag us on Instagram so we can see your works of art!

A Lars Girl’s Back to School Guide

I put together a back to school themed roundup of my favorite school supplies and dorm essentials, so if I can’t start a new semester in a few weeks at least I can shop as if I were!

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

Lars-Approved School Supplies

If you look at them the right way, school supplies are the educational version of craft supplies. At least I get excited about them as if they were. Here are my current favorites!

I also put together a list of my current favorite laptop covers and stickers, which you can see here. Another great addition to your back to school supply list is this DIY beeswax wrap and this reusable lunch sack.

My friend Michele Brummer Everett designed these back to school stickers, and they’d be the perfect addition to your water bottle, notebook, or laptop.

back to school stickers on notebooks

Dorm Room Design

In the college town where I live, the end of August means lots of new students being dropped off at dorms for their first-ever foray into living outside their parents’ house. That means that there are LOTS of fresh-faced students moving into drab, depressing dorm rooms and shabby apartments. Check out this post full of rental-friendly interior design hacks to level up your space. And here are my favorite additions to any student housing situation:

If you’re looking for more dorm inspiration, check it out here and here.

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