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 some of my favorite ones:
Lars Back to School Shop
Since I love school supplies so much, we had to include a few in our shop, of course! For example, see these these back to school stickers, designed by my friend Michele Brummer Everett. They’d be the perfect addition to your water bottle, notebook, or laptop. For more back to school supplies on our shop, click here.
Here are a whole host of school supplies we love from around the web. This includes notebooks, things to write with, water bottles, desk supplies, and more! We’ve split them up into categories for your convenience:
Planners, Calendars and Notebooks
Desk Organization and Supplies
Things to Write With
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.
You also won’t want to miss the custom dorm room transformations we took on! See them here, here, and here. Basically, we applied the advice in the post above to make these formerly dull spaces full of color and life (see my thoughts on the importance of color here). It’s so important to fill your life with things that make you happy, and that starts with your living space! It’s amazing how such simple fixes can transform your mood and overall well-being.
Here are my favorite additions to any student housing situation:
It’s amazing how the addition of an amazing rug can transform a room! Here are some options:
Pillows and Throws
Again, those pops of color really do the trick to make a room feel more homey and less bland.
Another great way to add some color, curtains can also be a great statement piece for a room.
As mentioned in this post, lighting can change everything.
We can’t post about dorm room decor without some kitchen essentials! You do have to live there, after all.
Bedding and Towels
Functional and practical are a must when it comes to bedding and towels, but who says they can’t be cute, too?
Other Misc. Dorm Room Essentials
Here are just a few more things to help add some personality to your dorm room:
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Remember what the basement looked like when we first bought this house? Totally gutted, and an eyesore, but full of potential. Well, we’ve come a long way since then! We still have a long way to go, but we want to show you our progress. Here‘s a post with the preliminary ideas for the studio. And if you’re interested, here‘s a compilation of everything we did to our house in one year.
How It’s Going
To kick off the studio tour, we need to explain the space. The entire basement makes up the studio. It’s divided into the following: Jane and Jenny’s office, the main crafting/working space, the kitchenette area, the bathroom, the shipping/packing room, and the archive room. The shipping and archive rooms needed to be more functional than anything, so our choices there have and will be more driven by functionality (with a little Lars flair, of course). But the rest of the space we have had a LOT of fun with thus far! So here’s what we’ve done.
Pink Epoxy Floor
First stop on our studio tour: flooring. The first thing we did to the basement was the floor. Remember our pink epoxy flooring?? Yep, that covers the floor of the entire basement, except for the bathroom. It’s such a fun, eye-catching detail that you notice right when you walk in! I always knew the studio needed a touch of pink to warm things up.
The stairs are next on the studio tour. Now we knew we needed a quick and effective solution for the unfinished stairs. What an eyesore!! And did I mention they had carpet on them previously? It took a little extra time to get them prepped for painting. But it was worth it, because the final product (these big, bold, blue and white stripes) was the perfect way to get our guests’ attention and introduce them to the studio. We may end up altering these amidst our newest wave of home renovations, but it was the perfect temporary DIY solution until we could implement a more permanent situation.
Speaking of an eye-catching entrance, guess what we just recently got?! Our very own neon Lars sign, courtesy of Neon 87! To say we’re excited would be a severe understatement. Needless to say when visitors come to the studio they’ll know exactly where they are when they see this sign.
We also couldn’t move on without mentioning the recent install of this schoolhouse light fixture. We loved the gold accent with the bold stripes and colorful art we added to the walls!
The next step in our studio tour is the office. We did an office makeover! Matching the wallpaper in the office to the pink floor turned out to be an interesting challenge, but we loved the result when all was said and done! Here‘s the post where we explain it all.
Here’s Jane’s desk:
And here’s Jenny’s:
The Craft/Work Space
Next up on our studio tour is the craft space! While far from complete, we want to show you what we’ve done so far. It’s getting cozier by the day! You may have seen the initial improvements we made to our craft space here, with our DreamBox. We’re still crazy about it. But to add to the pleasure of being in the studio, we also recently purchased two things: an AMAZING blue velvet couch from Eternity Modern, and a remote control table with a tabletop that moves up and down from Flexispot. You wouldn’t believe how convenient this is for photo and video shoots!!
We now have a more organized, efficient space that opens up the possibilities. We’re finally versatile enough to host meetings. All we have to do is push two of the large craft tables together and we’re set. Speaking of, we had a veeeery important meeting the other day, the subject of which is yet to be revealed (wink, wink).
We were ecstatic to add the blinds to this studio tour. I don’t know if you noticed in the pictures of the office makeover, but for a long time, we were literally using paper as a makeshift version of blinds. NOT ideal. We knew we needed something much better, and that’s where blinds.com came into the picture! They replaced our sad, makeshift paper blinds with some classy new blinds, complete with blackout shades. This was a dream come true for Jane–good lighting makes all the difference in whether or not a photo turns out! We installed the blinds in all the basement rooms–Jane and Jenny’s office, the main crafting space, and the shipping room. Blinds are something that need to be functional as well as pretty, and we loved how our blinds turned out.
Here they are in the craft room:
Here’s the window next to Jane’s desk:
And here’s the shipping room!
Now let me preface this portion of our studio tour with a caveat–the bathroom is far from complete. We still want to add wallpaper and so much more! But we did get the flooring in (white tile with a FUN pop of blue grout!), along with the basic necessities, and a touch of color and pattern with this DIY shower curtain. We can’t wait to show you the rest when it’s ready! Hint: the final result includes our very own custom pattern made into Spoonflower wallpaper and much more. Stay tuned!
Stay Tuned for Much More
That’s it for the studio tour today! Friends, think about it. The combo of pink epoxy flooring, blue velvet, and fresh new blinds?! There’s a reason we’re excited. It’s already looking soo good and we’re far from done! We are beyond ecstatic about all the plans we have in the works. If you hadn’t noticed, the craft room lacks wallpaper. We’re thinking custom wallpaper designed by The House that Lars Built. And the kitchenette?!?! We have BIG plans. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but this year is going to be the year where things come together in BIG ways. We’re so excited!! Who’s with us?!
First, I have to say that this was more of an undertaking than I had anticipated, and I definitely can’t take all the credit. I had a lot of help from the amazing members of team Lars. Carrie, our designer/maker, and Hailey, our project manager, both took on the challenge to design and sew the bedskirt and duvet cover, and I was thrilled with the result. A special shout out also goes out to my brother in law, Tanner, for helping me tackle the challenge of that tricky, atypical headboard and doing such a splendid job.
It’s amazing what a good bedspread and headboard will do to spruce up a room and make it feel complete. The decision to cover the headboard, duvet, and underside of the bed was definitely driven by the desire to have something distinctive, loud and eye-catching, but also appropriate for a child’s bedroom. It needed to feel cozy, fun, and warm, and the cabana stripe did just the trick for Jasper’s new bed!
I had been challenged by Waverly Fabrics to make something from their collection at Walmart and it was so easy because they have a wonderful collection of stripes and toiles. It was just hard to narrow it down! AND, the fabric is $3.99/yard so all the fabric for the headboard, duvet, and bedskirt cost less than $60! The plywood cost about the same price (lumber right now, amiright?! With the foam, bias tape, and batting it came to about $150 total for everything.
How to recreate Jasper’s new DIY headboard
We had so much fun designing Jasper’s DIY headboard. It was hard to narrow it down! I knew I wanted something I had never seen before so Gwen sketched out a bunch of designs. She sketched one out and that was it–a circus tent-inspired shape that paired SO perfectly with the fun, striped, cabana fabric we chose. With some patience and a little effort, we feel totally confident in your ability to make this children’s bedspread work! The trick is accurate measurements. Let’s do this!
Prepping the materials for a DIY Headboard
Pre-wash the fabric you’ll be using for the duvet cover. It’s probably not necessary to wash the headboard fabric, as you won’t really be removing it later to wash it again, anyway. You can decide if you want to pre-wash the bedskirt fabric, but it’s probably not the end of the world if you don’t.
After the fabric is washed in warm water and dried on a low heat setting in the dryer, iron or steam out the wrinkles. This makes the measuring process much easier. Don’t forget to get the wrinkles out of the fabric you didn’t pre-wash!
If you’re not familiar with upholstery, this might be the trickiest part of recreating Jasper’s new bed, but you can do it! We’ll walk you through it.
Prepping the understructure
First, use butcher paper to make a template for your headboard. Use the mattress and bed frame as a reference so you get the dimensions right.
Using a jigsaw or handheld router, take your piece of plywood and cut out your desired shape for the headboard. The full width of the headboard should be the same width as the short side of your bed.
Cut out the thick foam piece (it’s a camping foam from Home Depot) into the same shape as the plywood. The bottom of the foam should rest right above the mattress when set up right.
Using quilting batting, wrap the portion of the headboard with the foam and secure with a few staples. Make sure to extend the batting all the way under the foam. We slip stitched it to the foam.
Prepping the fabric for the DIY headboard
Measure the dimensions of the cut-out, batting-wrapped headboard. You’ll need four sections of fabric: one for the front (this piece will extend from the top of the mattress all the way to the top), one for the thin middle section between front and back, one for the back, and one for the bottom front section below the mattress.
In your dimensions, make sure to add 1/2 in (or desired amount) of seam allowances to all three sections of fabric.
Now, with your desired color of bias tape (we used a periwinkle blue), make piping to line the front and back edges of the headboard. To do this, take your cord (1/8″ wide is good), and wrap it into the center of the bias tape, wrong sides together.
Sew along the open edge with a zipper foot so you can get nice and close the the cord.
Next, align the front piece of fabric with the middle section’s fabric, right sides together. As you pin, carefully align the edge of the piping (the edge without the cord) with the edges of the fabric sections, slipping the piping between the two pieces of fabric as you go. Sew in place with a zipper foot, trying to keep as close to the cord as you can.
Assembling the headboard
Now you’re ready to put everything in place!
To make sure everything is aligned right, line up the point of the fabric with the understructure.
At the base of the batting on the headboard, staple the fabric in place, making sure to pull it taut.
3. Now, pull up firmly and slide the sewn pieces over the front edge of the headboard and pull them towards the back so the corners are nice and taut against the frame.
4. Pull taut at the back and staple in place. Work from both sides and the center evenly to avoid puckering.
5. Now, take the piece of fabric you measured for the back and fold under 1/2 inch. Now line up with the edge of the back and staple in place to cover the raw edges of the front pieces.
6. The headboard is complete! Whew, the hardest part of Jasper’s new bed is done!
Sewing a bedskirt
Taking the measurements
For the bedskirt on Jasper’s new bed, you’ll want to start with measurements. The measurements you’ll use will depend on the size of bed you have, and whether or not you have a box spring. Here’s what you need to do:
Measure the length, width, and height of your bed frame. If you have a box spring, include the height of the box spring in the total height measurement of the bed frame. For example, if your bed frame is 12 inches tall, and the box spring is 7 inches tall, the total height you’d need would be 19 inches. We didn’t use a box spring, so our dimensions were 12 inches for the height, 74 inches for the length, and 38 inches for the width.
Cutting the fabric
For the fabric, you’ll need a basic, white (or other solid color that won’t show), woven fabric. You’ll also need the patterned fabric of your choice for the bedskirt, duvet and headboard. Here’s how to cut the fabric:
First, take the plain fabric and cut it into the length and width of your twin bed. Add on 1/2 of an inch to each dimension. For example, since our length was 74 inches and our width 38 inches, we cut a large piece that was 75 inches by 39 inches.
Next, cut out your bedskirt pieces. This takes a bit of thinking, especially if the pattern on your fabric needs to go a certain direction, like our vertical stripes. To cut out the bedskirt, think of it this way: you need one long piece of fabric that has a width of 13 (the height of the bed frame, 12, plus a seam allowance). For the length, you’ll need a piece that’s the length of three of the sides of the bed (74+38+74=186). You’ll also need to add in the length of four pleats, which are 12 inches each (12×4), then (186+48=234). Then add 1 inch to each end, so you can hem it under. The total length=236 inches.
Now, because we wanted vertical stripes on Jasper’s new bed, we pieced together a bunch of pieces of fabric to get that length (the width of the fabric was definitely not long enough). It will look pretty seamless if you just match up the stripes, making sure to alternate stripe colors when you sew on a new section of fabric.
Assembling the pleats
the first step in sewing the pieces together is to hem the bottom of the long strip of fabric you’ve already sewn together (roll under 1/2 in, then 1/2 again).
Hem one end of the large, rectangular piece of fabric. (Again, roll under 1/2 in, then 1/2 again).
Next, you need to pin the pleats in place. To do this, start from one end of the long strip of fabric and measure in HALF the length of the long dimension (74/2=37). Mark that spot with a pin. Now, keep going in that same direction and measure 6 more inches. Mark that with a pin, then measure 6 more inches and mark that.
Now, take the two pins on either side and bring them to the center pin to make the pleat. Secure the pleat in place with additional pins.
Repeat the steps above for the pleat on the opposite end.
For the corner and center pleats, simply calculate how far over the next pleats need to be, based on your bed’s dimensions. Pin them in place the same way you did the first two pleats.
Sewing the pieces together
You’re finally ready to sew the pieces together! This is really simple:
To sew the pieces together, line up the raw edge of the long, pleated strip of fabric with the large rectangular piece of fabric all along the border, with right sides together. Sew in place, and finish the raw edge of the underside with a zig zag or serged finish to prevent fraying.
Done! Now you can go ahead and slip this bedskirt on the bed between the bed frame/box spring and mattress.
DIY duvet cover
The duvet cover is the finishing touch of the bedspread that really gives it the oo la la! It also happens to be the easiest to make, which is a big relief after that headboard and bedskirt! Here’s how to make a simple duvet cover:
Taking the measurements
Make sure you have the right size of duvet, then base the length and width off of its dimensions. Our duvet was a standard twin, which was 66″x 86″.
Leave these dimensions as they are, rather than adding on additional seam allowances. This will make the duvet fit nice and snugly inside of the cover, for a nice, full appearance.
Cutting the fabric
If you have custom fabric that’s extra wide or made for bedding, you’re in luck! You’ll just need two, big pieces that are both 66″x 88″ (leaving room for extra hems at the bottom, so you can slip the duvet inside).
If your fabric is like ours was, and is more of a standard width (ours was 44″), you’ll simply need to sew it together to make it wider. Ours has a very subtle seam in the middle that’s hidden because the seam is exactly in line with the stripes.
Once you have your two pieces cut, you’ll prep them for the rest of the sewing by hemming one short side of each piece.
Now you’re ready to sew it together!
Sewing the pieces together
Now, simply line up the edges, both hemmed sides matching up and right sides together, and sew around the three, un-hemmed sides. Backstitch at each end for extra strength.
To finish the seams, zig zag or serge the edge to prevent fraying.
If you’d like to, you can add a few buttonholes and buttons to the open end to keep it closed once the duvet is inside.
The last step is to simply arrange everything and make the bed. Voila!
This bedspread is so cozy and perfect for Jasper’s bedroom, it was totally worth the time and effort it took! We are in love with Jasper’s new bed. We can’t wait to see what you do in your kids’ rooms!
The road to our bathroom remodel was long and winding, and part of that is because Paul and I have such different sensibilities when it comes to style and design! If he had his way, we’d live in a sleek warehouse with Brutalistic concrete floors. Ha! So you can imagine that we had lots of negotiations and conversations during our ideation faze, which ultimately led to “do whatever you want”. I will, thank you very much 😉
I get by with a lot of help from my friend, Meta Coleman
I would be sadly remiss if I didn’t start out by singing the praises of my friend and designer, Meta Coleman. Meta is a rockstar designer who’s work is like actual magic. I’m convinced that she knows everything there is to know about interior design because she eats, drinks, and breathes it, and I’m the luckiest to be able to work with her and be her friend. Having Meta at the helm of this bathroom remodel made everything possible. Read more about Meta being my dream designer!
Meta’s process begins with really getting to know the people who live in the space she’s designing, which is part of what makes her work so immaculate. You can see this part of Meta’s designing process through this video of Paul and me talking about our history and design preferences. I really respect how thorough of a designer Meta is, because even though she already knew me and knew my style, she checked in to get really clear on my vision.
Then, with my style clearly in mind, Meta brought in so much magic! I was astounded by the way that she totally understood my taste, then surprised and stretched me through her design. All I can say is that I’m super lucky to be close friends with such an amazing interior designer! I highly recommend it.
It’s also thanks to Meta’s incredible interior design that our bathroom was featured in Domino Magazine, which is such a fun honor. Get to know Meta a little bit better through her Becoming interview, check out her website, and definitely follow her on Instagram @MetaColeman_ to keep up with her work.
Our Big Bathroom Remodel
Like I mentioned, our bathroom started out rough. It was a total bare-bones cavern! I mean, look at this:
With Meta’s help, we came up with a mood board that both Paul and I loved. As you’ll see, the final design departed just a bit from the mood board while still very much holding on to the essential spirit of Meta’s original design.
I’m a big believer in starting out with a great mood board. It makes everything so much easier and provides an invaluable frame of reference for later, when you’re in the middle of building your design and feel stuck. Check out this tutorial on making mood boards!
The very first step was to install flooring, and we fell in love with this amazing wood floor from Stuga Studio. The color we chose is called Tivoli, and it’s perfect–warm but not too yellow. It’s such lovely, high-quality wood, and it has so much personality. We installed it throughout pretty much the whole house, and instantly felt so relieved about our plans to totally update a blank slate fixer-upper. Check out this post to read more about the flooring.
Early on in the design process, I got this gorgeous vanity from Signature Hardware. I knew that I wanted an accent piece of furniture, but I didn’t have an overarching design planned out yet, so it was a tricky choice. Still, I had a deadline, so I went for a strong color that also serves as a neutral–the Olsen vanity in a deep emerald green. The green vanity informed lots of the remaining design choices for the bathroom remodel.
I’m so glad I went with the green! I’m a strong believer that green can count as a neutral color in design, and this bathroom is a strong example of that: it grounds the rest of the colors, which is what neutrals do best.
As you can see, I put the vanity to use long before things were finished or ready. Just keeping it real!
So beautiful, right?? I love the intricate floral designs and I think that cabinets make such perfect heirlooms (sturdy and useful? Check and check), so I decided to paint my wooden hutch with flowers. Stay tuned to learn more about that process in a future post!
Signature Hardware also has beautiful towel racks and wall hooks, which are so important for a bathroom remodel. I installed the Vintage Towel Bar and the Vintage Towel Ring in brushed gold, and they land at the perfect intersection between simple and refined.
Apart from all the technical things (like flooring, plumbing, and electricity), the custom DIY wainscoting was a big part of the remodel. Meta presented the concept to me after seeing a photo of it on a door frame in Paris. She directed me to how to make it happen and then I was off to figure it out. I bought square and circular wooden cutouts, painted them in a soft, light, blue, and attached them to wall’s bottom third. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the workmen we hired to paint and install trim didn’t think so. Haha! You should have seen their faces when I explained my plan! Thankfully they warmed up to the idea.
The wallpaper came next, and at that point things started getting really exciting. It turns out that having finished walls makes a huge difference! Ha! At this point we started shooting some projects in the bathroom. Some of our eagle-eyed readers may have caught onto a few bathroom remodel teasers in the backgrounds of some past projects. For example, you can see some wallpaper and wainscoting behind these paper pansies.
I also couldn’t resist shooting these paper hollyhocks between the sinks, so you can see the countertop, wallpaper, and some of the mirrors in this picture.
After we got all the main pieces installed, it was time to style the bathroom. Meta Coleman came back to lend a hand, and I truly love the way she put my bathroom together.
The mirrors are custom made by Meta, and I love the way the two-tone glass reflects such warm, glowing light around the room. She used this two toned mirror technique on her own bathroom and generously gave me the remains. We tried a few different shapes included a wavy design and a flower, but ultimately, I wanted to keep it a simple oval.
Meta also custom made my curtains using Soane fabric. I love the mustard color, and the fabric’s pattern reminds me so much of Matisse’s paper cutouts.
Our Full Bathroom Remodel Reveal
Whew! So many things came together for this bathroom remodel, and it was seriously so much work. I’m so grateful for Meta’s help all along the way! I truly couldn’t have done it without her.
I have a closet attached to my bathroom, and I updated that, too! I’ve included a few sneak peeks in this post, but you can stay tuned to see more of it soon. 😉
Years ago I came across a classic Louis Paulsen pendant. You know the one. We noticed that the pendants could totally be made out of tableware! Yes, tableware, as in all things plates, bowls, and cups. Cue the DIY Lampshade. Originally, we thought to use paper plates but then realized that they didn’t offer us the interesting shapes we were hoping for. So we decided to take a chance and use melamine and plastic plates for our crafting. The variation of shapes is endless, not to mention inexpensive. Each one of our lampshades were made for under $20! Major score!! With the help of a drill, spray paint, and a glue gun, these fixtures came to life, and I’m not going to lie…I absolutely love the outcome!
Plastic plates, bowls, cups (we got ours from here!)
Play with variations of tableware to plan what your fixture to look like.
Then pick a color palette.
Assign colors to the individual pieces of the figure.
Drill or cut (using the craft knife if the plastic is soft enough) a rectangle big enough to pull the light cord through.
Next, spray paint the individual plates, cups, bowls, etc to the correct colors, you will probably need to apply multiple coats of spray paint and let dry.
Once pieces are dry string the first piece of your fixture to the base of the cord.
Cut a small piece of cardboard, cut a slit in it and wedge the cord into that space to secure the cord. This is an important step, because it will help balance your fixture and help it hang straight.
Hot glue the cardboard to the dinnerware piece so the cord is centered in the rectangle. (This can be repeated periodically if you feel that the fixture needs to be stabilized)
Add the second piece of the fixture and apply hot glue to secure it to the first piece of the fixture.
Finally, repeat step 9 until your DIY Lampshade is assembled correctly!
You can find the original tutorial with more photos here.
DIY Fabric Lampshade
While playing with some funky fabrics, I fell in love with the Playa raindrops pattern from Holli. It tied in beautifully with my wallpaper–like peas and carrots! I’m stoked with how it turned out. Spoonflower has a tutorial on how to make a DIY lampshade from scratch here using a kit, but I ended up using the plain white lampshade that I already had on my lamp. This DIY is one that I especially love because it’s so customizable; choose any fabric you want and use any lampshade. One you already have will work great!
Fabric in your choice (about 1 yard depending on the size of the shade). I ordered it in the cotton poplin so it would be easier to work with.
½” Cotton twilling
Scissors or rotary cutter
First, with the fabric wrong side up, start by bring the lampshade on the side and finding where you want the design to be on the fabric. Then, trace it’s path on the fabric with a pencil (I did a Sharpie so it would be visible in photos for you, but don’t do it as it will seep through!)
Leave ¾ of an inch on each side of the traced path and cut it out.
Follow the instructions on your spray adhesive and spray the area in a well ventilated space.
Then attach the fabric on one end of the shade around to the end. At the end, fold the fabric over about a ½”, spray the end, and then attach securely.
Carefully, fold the fabric around both ends of the lampshade, smoothing out any bubbles.
To complete the look, use cotton twilling and glue it on the inside of the lampshade. This will help secure the fabric to the shade, while also allowing it to have a clean line once the light bulb is on and you can see everything!
You can find the original tutorial with more photos of this DIY fabric lampshade here.
DIY Origami Lampshade
I was inspired by the clever work of UK based paper artist, Sarah Louise Matthews. Luck enough for me, she released a paper craft book called Paper Craft Home which is available now! It features 25 projects to cut, fold, and shape. I already dog-eared the heck out of mine! It’s great for both beginners and advanced crafters so you can find a little something for everyone. Today she’s sharing a tutorial from the book, the origami DIY lampshade, which is actually similar in concept to a project from our book, Craft the Rainbow, with a different spin.
Strictly speaking, this lampshade isn’t origami, but it’s a great project to put your paper-folding skills to the test. Once you break the folding down into a step of valley folds followed by a step of mountain folds, it is fairly straightforward, and when mastered, you will be making bespoke DIY lampshades for every room in the house!
3 11¾ × 16½ in. (A3) sheets of light card in marble
Self-adhesive Velcro pads
Ceiling light fitting * LED light bulb (not pictured)
*Warning For safety, make sure you only use an LED light bulb.
Place the first sheet of marble card in a landscape position on a cutting mat. Use a ruler and embossing tool to score a vertical line 2/5 in. (1 cm) from the right edge.
Measure and score seven equally spaced vertical lines to divide the space between the left side of the paper and the line scored in Step 1 into eight equal sections. Next, use a bone folder to fold each scored line to make a valley fold, then unfold.
Measure 8½ in. (22 cm) from the top of the first, third, fifth, and seventh fold, and make a small pencil mark. Use a ruler and embossing tool to score lines joining each pencil mark to the top and bottom of the fold lines on either side. Rub out the pencil marks.
Then, fold each scored line from Step 3 into a mountain fold. The paper should now form the shape shown (it may need a little encouragement).
Repeat Steps 1–4 for the remaining two sheets of card.
5. Use scissors to cut off the top and bottom corners of the 2/5 in. (1 cm) strip on the right of each piece to make a tab. The corners should be cut at a reflection of the angle of the adjacent folded line as shown.
6. Flatten each piece and turn to the side. Use scissors to make a cut through all layers in the position shown, beginning around 11/5 in. (3 cm) down from the end of the fold and finishing at the top point.
7. Glue the three pieces together: apply a thin layer of tacky glue to the front of the tab, down the right side of the first piece, and attach it behind the left edge of the next piece, aligning along the top and bottom edges.
8. Cut along the second mountain fold from the right end as shown. Discard the small piece.
9. Turn the folded piece upside down. There are triangular folds that stand up from the piece. Work along the top edge of the piece, using a stapler to secure the two layers of each triangular fold together as close to the base as you can.
10. Next, urn the piece back over, then stand it up to make the lampshade shape. Fix five pairs of self-adhesive Velcro pads to the opening, half on the back of the cut edge and half on the front of the uncut edge, in corresponding positions.
11. Last, wrap the lampshade around the cord of your light fixture, then close using the Velcro tabs, and fit in an LED light bulb.
Rental friendly interior design is important to me because I’m a huge believer in the power of interior design to make you happy. Too often we think that unless we own a home we can’t personalize our space, and I think that’s tragic. Everyone deserves to feel at home, so making a house a home in a rental feels much bigger than a simple penchant for style.
7 Rental Friendly Interior Design Hacks
This is definitely not the easiest rental friendly interior design hack, so let’s get it out of the way first. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my love for wallpaper. There’s this archaic idea that wallpaper is a nightmare to deinstall, involving lots of steaming, stickiness, and scraping. Yuck. That used to be true, but now there are so many rental friendly wallpapers, so you can peel and stick to your heart’s content!
I can’t say enough how important good lighting is! Of course, lots of natural light is best, but it’s not always available. Don’t worry, though! There’s hope for you and it’s in the form of lamps!
Just like when I was in college, I still love adding light with lamps. You can always go to thrift stores and upgrade them with paint or new shades (or even make your own shades). I also put together some of my favorite lampshades on the market right now, so browse these!
On top of lamps, you can say “Let there be light” by upgrading your light fixtures. It might seem daunting, but it’s not too tricky and makes a huge difference. So many rentals are chock full of boob lights, and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t want reminders to #FreeTheNip every time I look up. 🤷🏼♀️ If you’re with me on this, consider this your permission to change out your light fixtures and get a new lease on life.
Furnishing your rental with statement furniture can really elevate the space. Once you’ve found a piece that you love, plan the colors and design around it for a cohesive, beautiful look. (For bonus points, spot the light fixture I upgraded this room with)
Couches, and rugsare my favorite kinds of statement furniture to base a room off. A few years ago I got a life-changing green sofa and I’ll never stop recommending that people add emphasis with colorful furniture.
Plan a Color Story For Each Space
One of my favorite rental friendly interior design hacks is to make and stick to a color palette. Especially when it’s a space that you don’t own and you can’t control everything about, it’s easy for a space to look makeshift and haphazardly thrown together. With a color palette, though, you can go from scattered and “meh” to really fabulous. It takes some creativity and restraint, but it makes a huge difference.
You can see I designed this room with a yellow, forest green, and deep blue color palette, and that there are little accents of pink throughout. Especially because the wallpaper is busy, having a solid (no pun intended) color palette really makes the room work.
Plants, Plants, Plants!
Houseplants and fresh flowers are a renter’s best friends. They bring (literal) life into your space and also freshen your air. Just remember to water and fertilize them and give them the right amount of light!
Here are some houseplants that you can buy online!
I’m such a huge believer in mirrors that I even wrote a whole post about why they’re essential in decor. And I’m sticking to my guns here! They make a space feel bigger and lighter, act as a focal point, and they’re a convenient way to make sure we’re walking out the front door looking great. You can find lots of my very favorite mirrors on the market in this post, and also check out this lovely Rattan mirror DIY here!
Our print shop is chock full of incredible art that would seriously upgrade your home. I know I’ve loved having it in mine! Adding art to your rental friendly interior design plans is so easy, and my main tip is to use command strips. You and your security deposit will thank me later. 😉
Here’s a collection of some floral art prints to bring some everlasting blooms into your home, and you can also read about lots of the artists behind the Lars Print Shop here.
I lived in a rental for years and years before we bought our house, and by the end of our time there we had made some significant upgrades. You can check out everything we did to that apartment here! Not everyone has the opportunity to do as much with a rental as we did, but I hope it inspires you to make your space your own.
I’d love to see what rental friendly interior design tips you have used! Show me your renting secrets at #LarsAtHome!
The city really took off after the 1940s when the Golden Age actors of Hollywood wanted a retreat from the growing sprawl of Los Angeles. With all of that wealth coming to town, architects came along with it. William Krisel and John Porter Clark and Arthur Frey and Jack Meiselman and so many more created masterpieces and tract houses alike in this town. While you and I probably can’t commission the architecture gods to build us new homes, we can take cues from their style! It’s also a very real possibility to snag one of the homes for yourself if you’re in the market.
The look of Palm Springs is one of openness and ease, minimalism with playful twists. With the pervasive sun and expansive sky, most of the homes in the area are painted white but you’ll be hard pressed to find a neutral-colored door. Pastels and neons reign! Hooray! There is this random house that isn’t one of the rat pack mansions or anything, but it has become famous because of #thatpinkdoor. A few cans of paint is all it takes for you to bring this Palm Springs styling tip home with ya!
Don’t Forget to Look Up
If you go visit Palm Springs, odds are you’ll be so busy looking at all of the fabulous architecture that you might not notice the sky. Who am I kidding – it’s huge and bluer than you’ve ever seen it before. You can’t miss it. The architects who polished this corner of desert into a gem certainly didn’t! It’s almost as if they designed with the sky as the centerpiece. Check out this picture from my good friend Frank’s house. Architect E. Stewart Williams wasn’t messing around – he was showcasing the skies. My favorite Palm Springs houses have windows that are higher than I’m used to seeing. They also have cantilevered sections and skylights. This stunning photograph of the Sunnylands Estate, AKA “Camp David of the West” shows how important the sky is to the design of the property. By the way, Obama and Xi Jinping hung out here a few years back. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!
Okay, thanks for humoring me while I ranted about the sky for a bit. A huge part of the appeal of Palm Springs is its ease. I just look at pictures and feel relaxed. The design is simple to understand; it’s all about straight lines and symmetry. I love this photo of a room at Twin Palms – the sunburnt orange color is definitely an homage to the earth tones outside. I love that color as a headboard! The symmetry of the room is so precise and uncomplicated that it looks good from every angle. Imagine having a wall of matching prints of identical size behind you for zoom calls! The exteriors of Desert Modernist homes tend to have breeze block and hardy plants that are almost impossible to kill. What’s not to love about that?
If you’re looking to add some freshness to your space, try channeling the vibe of Palm Springs! Its simple color scheme, sky-inspired design, and linear geometry create such a feeling of comfort and relaxation. That’s exactly what I want right now!!
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!
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.
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??
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.)
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!
Justina is truly the most go-gettery of all go-getters. I’ve always admired her commitment to her art (she paints every morning to warm up! I’ve been wanting to do this for ages!), and focus on getting better and better. She’s created a beautiful brand with commitment to the environment and providing resources for people to capture her look. I’m so proud of you Justina!
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you Pottery Barn Kids for making our nursery dreams come true and for sponsoring this post!
As you recall, we moved into our new home in September. The house had no floors, bathrooms, showers, etc. There’s a general lack of storage and design features so one by one we’ll be turning each room into a work of art. While I take my time contemplating how I want to design each room along with the custom built features I have in mind, I couldn’t wait to get my office “done” for now and it feels SO good.
Here are the before photos:
Pretty sad, right?!
It starts with a plain white room.
Started adding on the calendars
added in the new Mr. Kate sofa and chair and replaced lighting fixture
My new rainbow office
It all started with this rainbow calendar. I bought it ages ago and intended to put it in my office in the old studio. I never got around to designing the space and there it sat in its box. FINALLY, I took it out a few weeks ago and thought it would look perfect along the wall and I was right. It was meant to be.
Now, the thing about my office is that it sits right next to the front door so I knew it would act like a reception area–a welcome space to the house, but also welcome to my company. As I’ve mentioned, in November we moved The House That Lars Built into the basement of our house. While it might seem like a downgrade (I’ve seen some of your comments 😉 it’s been the plan for a long time–it just took awhile to get to the point where we could do it because 1) we needed to buy a house and 2) we needed a house that was large enough to do it.
What I envisioned
I’ve loved having an outside office to go to–I get a lot down and I’m able to focus more. However, with COVID and a new baby, we wanted to keep things more insular. My company is an extension of my life, for better or for worse, and having something that I could invest time and money into and show how our projects fit into my lifestyle was something that felt more natural and authentic, rather than something that fit into a blank work space. Plus, putting money into fixing up our studio space turned into something I started to resent as it was something that was getting more love than my actual house.
My office is also intended to act as a guest room so when DHP reached out with their new Mr. Kate collection I knew just what to do. If you recall, DHP has a lot of great clever futon selections. I say clever, because they’ve nailed the art of conserving space in their furniture. I selected the Mr. Kate teal Stella (it’s more of a beautiful robin’s egg blue!) velvet futon. The side arms pack up snuggly into the bottom of the futon (so snuggly that I had to write in to complain that they didn’t send me the arms! Nope, they were in there the whole time!). And when you extend the back down, the legs for the futon zip out of the back. So clever. It makes it easy to turn it into a bed and then back into the sofa.
I then selected the black and white Mr. Kate Effie accent chair because the room needed something to weigh it down a bit more than all the rainbow colors going on. I love it! The legs are also upholstered, which is a nice feature. The chair is great for both meetings AND nursing, because you bet I’m very much doing both. It comes in a mustard color too, which also would have been super pretty.
While the studio is downstairs my office is on the main floor and we do a lot of shooting on the main floor so the office also serves as a photography space. I keep a lot of our backgrounds in here so we don’t have to lug them up and down the stairs all the time. Some of them are super heavy. It’s north facing so the lighting is super even and great for our videos, which we have been loving.
Having a place to work that’s in order has already been so uplifting for my soul. It’s only been a few days so far, but we’ve been spending so much more time in here already because it feels so good! Jasper and I have been reading books on the sofa as well as playing on his own. I’ve been nursing Felix there too. I’ve never had such a functional, yet uplifting room and I’m reveling in it!
In our house looking we intentionally looked at houses where we could potentially put Lars in the basement. It’s very common here in Utah to have a basement and to put renters in the basement. A majority of our neighborhood does that. In fact, our previous apartment was one such arrangement. So when our dream house showed the potential to be for sale (it wasn’t for sale when I knocked on the door!), the large basement was definitely a plus. With three floors at about 1500 square feet each-ish, it would have been WAY too large for just the three almost four of us.
Here’s how the basement was when we first looked at it and basically still is now:
And yes, doors still haven’t gone up! You probably can’t tell with all the blockades, but there is about 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, one larger work room and a storage room along with two bathrooms. One bathroom, in fact, that gave us a sewage flood when we first moved in. How welcoming. I’d share a pic but I don’t want to make you barf. We finally got new walls done there (they had to take them out because the poop hit all the walls) and now we’re working on the flooring.
Pros and Cons to working from home
Of course there are pros and cons to having your work place in your house, but overall, I am STOKED! Especially since I’ll be with a newborn soon and wouldn’t be able to get to the studio much. Our current studio, we were all commuting from the same city to about 20 minutes away, which is fine, but it didn’t make any sense.
Plus, this blog is such a part of my personal life and it was oftentimes SO tricky to work between the two. Sometimes we’d need to shoot at my house and sometimes here at the studio. Being in the same spot will alleviate so much confusion.
Another plus is that all my materials are here at the studio and so I was finding that I wasn’t making anything in my spare time because it was so much planning and execution to bring what I needed home. I’m so stoked to have it all in one place.
I’ve worked from home in the past but that’s when I didn’t really have a designated space for it so it was ALWAYS a mess. Now, the mess will hopefully be contained!
Flooring for our basement
Speaking of flooring, I’ve looked into all types of flooring options for basement apartments that are prone to flooding. We know the sewage flood we had was not the only flood this house has had–we’re hoping it’s the last though. With that in mind, we are wanting a flooring that is waterproof and/or easy to maintain in case of water damage.
We looked at LVP, waterproof tiles, painting concrete, and epoxy. I had looked into epoxy when we first moved in because my friend, Eva, has it on her concrete floors and it’s amazing (you can see it here). It came out this wonderfully shiny texture that I LOVE! But her guy quoted me a crazy high price and I was determined to find something else. THEN, I got a hold of another guy who was MUCH less expensive. He comes on Saturday so I can’t comment on his services yet. We’ll see.
What color should we paint our floor?
That leaves the question…what COLOR do we do for the epoxy?! And that’s the beauty of it. You can pretty much customize your epoxy to ANY color you’d like. Most epoxy installers do garage floors and that typically means any variation of grey, but I shared a couple of images with him and he said he could do it. I asked him about MINT/SAGE:
And about a blush pink:
So…what would YOU do???
Green OR Pink?
You’ll have to wait and see what we chose!
Investing into a rental
As for the rest of the basement studio, the idea of it being in my permanent house is SUCH a relief and bonus for many reasons. One, I’m realizing that I have a REALLY hard time with permanence. For example, I had a hard time investing time and money in both studios I’ve rented. I know that your environment plays a crucial role in the overall vibe and well-being, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get behind fixing our current one. We painted a couple of rooms white because we needed them for shooting and changed out some lighting fixtures, but besides that, not much.
SO, I’m excited to DIG in and get the vibe for our studio that it finally deserves! And I’m wanting to go CRAZY on it. LOTS of color and experimenting. I’m talking color on floors and maybe carpeting up the staircase. Maybe something fun with walls and definitely furniture!
Inspiration for the new studio
You can see the inspiration for the new studio up in the first two photos, but I’ll expound here.
I LOVE this restaurant in Moscow by Studio Shoo. I think it’s an incredible blend of playful, patterns, vintage, and color. Check out more of the restaurant here. It’s so good! Love the green drinking fountain. Could you imagine?!
2LG Studio in London is another major inspiration source. They have SO MUCH FUN with their interiors. I love the way they use pattern and color together while adding unexpected details here and there.
This one, below, is a study in careful placement of color for big impact. That staircase is just paint! It’s the studio of @ZilverblauW in The Netherlands. You should check out her account. It’s so good!
And lastly, this one. I found it here, but don’t know who the designer is. Anyone know? Such a great palette and play on shapes and color.
With these inspiration images in mind, here’s what I have in mind:
COLOR everywhere in unexpected places
Clever use of paint to create frames and shapes
Mix of vintage and new
Functional but also aesthetically pleasing
A place to shoot and video easily
An inspirational place to work
Some places will have to be WAY more functional, like the stock room and storage room, but that means we can really play wit the playful rooms.
Anywhoo, I and we are SO excited about the move. The lame thing is that it’s RIGHT in the middle of our busiest time of the year so we’re going a bit nuts. That sounds par for course this year, no? Wish us luck!
And let me know what flooring you’d choose. Would love to hear why!