Finding the perfect pink with Valspar

As you know (remember?), I’ve been struggling to personalize my basement apartment so that it feels like home. And not just any home, but OUR home. Because that’s the trick–making something feel like yours.
Painting the walls is something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, but as small a step as it may seem, it’s been quite a huge step for me. I’ve never ever painted any room I’ve ever lived in. I’ve never lived in a place long enough or felt like it was worth the time or money.
But finally, we made the decision to remain in our apartment for the time we’re here in Utah (we’re here for at least 2 more years). And being so indecisive has helped me feel like investing time, money, and thought into our home will make me feel like we have our own little spot in the universe. I knew immediately that I wanted white walls because I needed to work with a clean slate. But then the whimsical side of me wanted some way to express myself through color, so I’ve been searching for the perfect shade of pink for my house for months. I wanted a peachy/blush pink that wasn’t too in your face. I wanted it liveable yet identifiable pink. I partnered up with Valspar Paint to find the perfect shade. With 3,000 colors to choose from, Valspar had more than enough options. I found the perfect shade in Snow Pa, and as you can see from the video below, I got a little pink happy. This video was SO fun to make. I get happy just watching it! 
Valspar has this new line of paint called Valspar Reserve that is both a paint and a primer. With time being of the essence with our busy schedules, any time saving device is welcome so the primer/paint combo is essential. And it only takes one coat! Score! This is now a requirement for every paint project I do and the quality was so great. Valspar Reserve is also extremely durable and stain + scrub resistant so  knew it would stand up to any wear and tear and last for a long time.
I went through a long battle in deciding on the right shade. I thought about going darker but ultimately realized that this basement apartment needed light. Loads of it! Valspar Snow Pa was strong yet light enough to feel airy and spacious. 
I’m still working on decorating it and styling it, but for now I got a few bookshelves up and am slowly adding to it. The rest of the space needs a lot of help in the furniture department so it will be awhile before I show you that.
And are you ready for this? Some before shots. Ha! I tried out various shades to get this Snow Pa. And notice how my house acts as a prop house. 
Gorgeous pink/peach, no?! 
For me this little project has been a huge victory. Paint is such a small spec on the home renovation spectrum but it makes a huge impact in the way you feel and how you connect with your space. This little basement apartment of ours is feeling more and ore home the more we customize it.
Thank you Valspar Paint for helping us connect with our home!

This post is sponsored by Valspar Paint. Valspar Reserve is available exclusively at Lowe’s. Find the location nearest you. Thank you to our sponsors who make this blog possible. 

Going Green: Using green in decor

Green Style

Find your shade! Are you a chartreuse kind of gal, or a deep emerald? Minty fresh or bright as a lime? This post is filled with every shade of green you can imagine, and we know you can find the shade that matches your personality best!

 

Maybe you don’t normally go all out on St. Patrick’s Day the way we like to here at Lars (we’ll take any and all reasons to celebrate!) Even so, we are handing you the perfect excuse to splurge a little and treat yourself! Is your closet already 50 shades of green? If it isn’t, you’ll be surprised how much adding in this fun color puts a spring in your step! Freshen your closet with these mint woven sandals. Grow your confidence with this forest green blouse. Embrace Grace Kelly vibes with this kelly green sweater. Step into the lime-light with this beaded clutch. This puff-sleeve sweater will have you sea-foaming at the mouth?? Too far? Oops!

 

Green in Decor

Let us give you some sage advice, this dining set is the perfect soft pop of color without taking over your kitchen. We promise, your old room decor will be green with envy. (Ok ok! We are done with the puns this time!)

 

Room Inspo

How to recreate some of our favorite rooms, using green as your inspiration color.

Room #1

 

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Room #2

 

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Room #3

 

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Room #4

 

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Room #5

 

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You can find all the mood board photos on our Pinterest, here!

My New Living Room Reveal

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Living Room RevealThe time has finally come to give you a glimpse inside my new living room! This has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. I find myself walking into the room to make sure it’s real. And it is! And I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

Living Room RevealI was able to put so much more of myself into this room and I think it makes a world of difference in the overall feeling. With the help of a lovely wallpaper, a few new pieces of furniture, and our new Wood Shutters in Off White from Blinds.com, it looks like a different house! Take a look at all the changes we’ve made!

Take a look at all the components! 

Colored my Kitchen to help me Cook

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As you might know by now, I rarely step foot in a kitchen. I really don’t have much to do there. Cook? As if! But I LOVE all things kitchen design. The hardware, the cabinetry, the accessories, oh my! In my dreams I’m designing a line of kitchenware–items I’ll never use but gaze at for their beauty. I love adding beautiful tea towels, an adorable butter dish, potted plants (see above). I figure if it’s beautiful I might somehow trick myself into wanting to spend more time there. So far, no dice.

Additionally, aside from my lack of culinary skills, the kitchen isn’t my favorite room in my house. It’s tucked around the side of my house and doesn’t receive much light. It’s always felt a bit stale in color and energy in comparison to the rest of the more lived-in spaces. Though we rent our walk-out basement apartment, our landlords are the best and they have always said we can do whatever we want to the space, but, it IS a rental after all, and we always thought it would be a more temporary housing solution so we haven’t invested much into it.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to partner with BEHR®Paint once again (remember Baby’s nursery or our studio mural?) and participate in their upcoming Color Clinic event, the same event we participated in last year, by adding some color love to our kitchen. YES PLEASE, I said. This kitchen of mine could certainly use some help so I might as well experience first it to help you know what to do for your own kitchen makeover. As I’ve come to learn, paint makes such a world of difference!

DIY Matisse-inspired cut out rug

DIY Matisse-inspired cut out rug
I’m thrilled to have contributor Meta Coleman share a fantastic DIY Matisse-inspired cut out rug using FLOR tiles. Enjoy!

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to see an exhibit of Henri Matisse’s cut-outs at the Tate Modern Museum.  It was one of the most inspiring exhibits that I have been to in many years.  The exhibit showcased Matisse’s large scale cut-outs, the range of his painted color papers, and even some of his colored glass cut-outs.  I’ve seen Henri Matisse’s cut-outs before in text books and magazines, but to see it in person was such a different, dramatic, perhaps even life altering experience for me.  Everything was inspiring:  the shapes, the colors, the compositions.  I loved it all.  Since that exhibit I have wanted to make something inspired by his cut-outs, but I didn’t know exactly how or what I should do.

#WFH: How to Design Your Perfect Home Office

Welcome back! By now you have taken our quiz! Scroll down to find the section that matches with your quiz response – there you will find design ideas, products chosen just for you, and tips on leveling up your home office while social distancing!

The Cozy Coworker

cozy coworkera colorful and minimal home office

Hey all you cozy girls! We know you are wearing sweat pants just out of sight on all your zoom calls.

We are not against working from the couch, but if you take some time to make your home office just as warm and welcoming, your energy levels (and your lower back) will thank you! There is no need to sacrifice comfort in your home office, fill these floor baskets with throw blankets, light a candle, hang some comforting prints. And best yet – we have already pre-tested this office chair for you – and it passed the comfy test.

Which Lars Prints match your home office

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3

The Boss Babe

a bright and exciting home office

If you are the boss (or have a Boss Babe personality) maybe not much has changed for you during social distancing. You have just as many meetings, just as many emails to respond to. Your home office needs to be a place where you feel at your creative peak. And some well branded touches to make your office look professional in the background of your video calls.

During this time, your great ideas are needed more than ever! Keep yourself inspired by hanging a brand moodboard in your office.

a fashion and design mood board

Which Lars Prints match your home office

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3

The Type A

a stylish and bold home office

There is room here for a Lars Girl with any personality! Professional and organized does not mean lacking in color and unique style! With your type a personality you’ll find clean lines and bold colors keep your thought process going. We recommend playing with surprising shapes matched with more muted tones – the outcome will be a stunning office that compliments your work ethic and doesn’t distract.

 

Your highest priority when it comes to your home office is organization. This is a place free from distractions, where you can do your best work. Above we have gathered plenty of stylish desk organizers and planners for you to explore to your hearts content.

Which Lars Prints match your home office

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3

The Social Butterfly

a bright and happy home office

We know you miss your friends and coworkers! Trust us, we get it! The best part of the day is getting the whole team together on our video meetings. We have some bright ideas to help make the time in-between meetings more fun and colorful!

As an extrovert who is used to the work day flying by having fun chatting with your coworkers every chance you get, it is important that your home office is a place you look forward to spending your time every day! Go all out with this floral wallpaper and fill your room with new plant friends!

Which Lars Prints match your home office

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3

Color blocked thread Wreath

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For the last few months, the entire Lars team has had a somewhat unorthodox love affair. Don’t worry, it’s nothing too saucy, just that we’ve been enamored (one might even say obsessed) with…would you like to guess? Lampshades and lighting fixtures! I know, I know, we’re the biggest nerds on earth, but who cares? We can’t help it; we see them, we like them, we want them, and then, of course, we make them. We’ve been on an absolute lamp overload as of late and especially the work of Ana Kras, so we decided to mix things up just a little bit with our next project. We have yet to fall out of love with the plate and cup light fixtures we made a while back, so we decided to turn our latest obsession, these threaded lampshades, into this amazing door wreath!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll realize that this project combines two Lars hallmarks; color, and wreaths. We combined the two, because we absolutely cannot think of anything we would love more than this vibrant door wreath. Can’t think of anything more inviting to welcome your loved ones into your home!

Meet Brittany’s new rainbow office

The Before Photos

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?!

  1. It starts with a plain white room.
  2. Started adding on the calendars
  3. added in the new Mr. Kate sofa and chair and replaced lighting fixture

rainbow calendar

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.rainbow calendar home office

The requirements

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.books arranged by color

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. rainbow calendar blue futonblue tufted sofa

The Furniture

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.blue velvet futon sofa

The quirks

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. home office renovation

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!

Mr. Kate Furniture Collection

Effie black and white upholstered accent chair
Stella Convertible Sofa

Other items in the office:

Ombre Rug, Chandelier, Rainbow calendar, hand desk lamp, purple and white pitcher from Pomelo, cardboard house boxes, 

This post was sponsored by DHP’s Mr. Kate. Thanks to our great partners who allow us to create beautiful content for you! 

If you liked this post you might also like
Mary’s new leather sofa
Designing a soulful kitchen with Eva Jorgensen
#WFH How to Design Your Perfect Home Office

Waist-Only Garden Apron Pattern

The apron has large pockets which make it perfect for gardening, cooking, and crafting. Lately I’ve been wearing the same dress day after day because it has one great pocket in the front that is the perfect size for scissors and trowels, but this dress needs a break! 

garden apron pattern waist-only apron printable pattern

A waist-only apron is the kind of thing I imagine women in the sixties wore, and that vintagey feel is something I can’t get enough of. It’s also a great piece that doesn’t hide your cute outfit, but adds to it. Boring tee-shirt and sweats? Disguise the sweats with the apron tied around your waist, and allow the ties to cinch in the tee-shirt. Talk about a step up! With a cute apron in a pattern of your choosing, you don’t even have to put on real clothes to feel cute.

We’ve included a printable file for the apron pattern to make it that much simpler to sew. Scroll down for more info!

garden apron pattern waist-only apron printable pattern

How to make your own garden apron

Pick out some fabric you love! Here are some of our favorites you can get delivered right to your door!

Click here to download the pattern and instructions. The file comes will very detailed instructions and measurements to make your garden apron pattern simple.

garden apron pattern waist-only apron printable pattern

Everything you need to cultivate your green thumb

After sewing your garden apron, load up on everything else you need to become a gardening QUEEN this season!

 

Himmeli: Geometric Home Decor

Himmeli: geometric home decor past and present

We’ve been long time lovers of the himmeli for a while now, evident here and here. Himmeli is considered the quintessential Christmas decoration of Finland, but is popular in all Nordic countries. It is a geometric straw mobile or chandelier and can be transformed into a variety of interpretations. The Swedish word for chandelier is takkrona, which means ceiling crown. I love the idea of having homemade ceiling crowns all over your home. I feel like it captures Scandinavian design perfectly: clean and simple but stunning and interesting. This book, Himmeli: Geometric Home Decor Past and Present by Swedish author Eija Koski is a beautiful compilation of Himmeli projects and the ultimate go-to book for all things himmeli.

Our new hardwood flooring and how to care for it

Which Stuga floor did we go with?

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

Making it into the house

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

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

What did we do to the stairs ?

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

How to care for our Stuga floors

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

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

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

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

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

Home Organization Tools and Tips for Spring Cleaning

We are in such an organizing mood right now, we arranged our favorite spring cleaning tools by room! Search for exactly what you need to make your home organization a million times easier.

Home office organization

There has never been a more vital time to update your home office. Click here to check out our tips on creating a home office that matches your personality and work style! And use these products below to turn your office into a space where the amazing ideas will just keep coming!

 

Our favorite organization tool

If you know anything about Lars, you know that we’re susceptible to piles of crafting supplies all over our studio! Creativity surely needs a little chaos! However, creativity needs structure as well, and that’s why we’re delighted to showcase our favorite organization product, our very own Dreambox from Create Room.

Perhaps you saw our earlier post about how much we love our Dreambox? We stuffed it full of craft supplies and it made our crafting a million times better, no exaggeration. That’s why we feel fully confident in recommending this product to you, to expedite your spring cleaning organization overhaul. You can fill it with crafting supplies, like we did, anything from paper and pens to sewing supplies!

Sale Alert

And the best news is, they’re having a sale RIGHT NOW! You can save over $600 on the Dreambox, including pre-built services and accessories. We smell a Mother’s Day gift! Click here and use code “LARSDREAMBOX600” for $200 off your Dreambox, $200 Pre-Built service (automatically applied and available in the DreamBox Design Studio), and Up to $212 off accessories (automatically applied and available in the DreamBox Design Studio.)

Honestly, there is no limit to what you can store in the Dreambox. It is the perfect tool to greater element of organization to your office, craft space, or homeschool stations. If anything, you should perhaps be planning for what you’ll fill all your freed-up space with after your spring cleaning! If you need more ideas, dig into our archives for decor-oriented crafts after you get organized!

Bedroom and bathroom organization

Your bedroom will become a calming sanctuary when clutter is out of site and out of mind.

Kid’s room organization

Your children will be begging to tidy their rooms with these fun new storage tools. At least, that’s the daydream, right?

Kitchen organization

The center of the home, and the biggest sign of the state of your mind. A tidy kitchen makes a world of difference!

Living room organization

With all family members at home more than ever before, add in some simple storage options to get everyone on board with a quick clean.