House update

Our house has undergone a major facelift within the past few weeks and I must say that it is lookin good. Remember what it looked like before? Brick with a red tile roof. Our landlords, who live on the bottom two floors (we live on the top), have replaced the roof with a black tile roof, plastered it and painted it white and added really lovely windows. And we are most happy that there is now insulation. Yes, after they tore off the roof it was discovered that there was none, which explains so much about why it’s just as cold inside as it is outside during the winter.

Introducing Lynne Millar to The Lars Print Shop

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Without further ado, we’d like to introduce Lynne Millar.

This fine art collection is perfect for your library, kitchen, sitting room, or your home office (something most of us currently have, whether we planned it or not!) I’m a huge advocate of making your space as beautiful as it can be, especially right now. Since we’re spending so much time at home, hanging some art on the walls brings a special quality you can’t find in a bland waiting room or doctor’s office (we’re trying to make you forget about going out…is it working?)

Fine Art Prints by Lynne Millar

I am very excited to be offering such high quality art in such an affordable way. That was always been the goal of our Print Shop! This collection can be ordered framed in a variety of sizes and materials. Or you can download a print yourself for just $20 to get printed and display however you like! These options make filling your home with quality, conversation-starting art can finally feel do-able.

Fine Art Prints New to Our Shop

Lynne’s paintings offer a window into beautiful landscapes that we’d love to escape to: green rolling hills, trailing pink clouds, and calm pastoral scenes. An artist from California, Lynne also enjoys painting gorgeous still lifes, a few of which we’ve shared in our print collection!

Cotswold Hills Print

Using layered brush strokes and ethereal colors, Lynne created this lovely snapshot of the Cotswold Hills. This one would be a dream in a library with a green velvet couch!

Fine Art Prints by Lynne Millar

Click here to see this print.

Gladiolas Print

One of two floral still lifes in this collection, the strokes used to create the gladiola petals almost look like wings! We think this one would dress up a bathroom or vanity nicely.

Click here to see this print.

Rose Fall Print

Gentle purples and pinks cascade against a dark background, creating much-needed contrast for your nursery, bedroom, or living room. This print would be gorgeous next to a dark wood bookshelf or above a stained sideboard!

Click here to see this print.

Stone Fruit Print

Citrus fruits are one of the best parts of winter, and you can embrace them all year long with this still life graced by nimble birds.

Click here to see this print.

Anemones Print

This one might be our favorite still life. The simple design would add sophistication and a subtle pop of color to any room. 

Fine Art Prints by Lynne Millar

Click here to see this print.

Shop Lynne Millar’s full collection in our Print Shop here! You can also find our full selection of fine art prints here.

Where to Hang Art – 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Spot(s)

The Secret to Hanging Art

…is that there really isn’t much of a secret. If it’s in your home and it’s art that you like, you’ll be happier looking at the art on your wall than wondering where to hang art. Yes, really.

a chaunte vaughn photo hanging against a textured green wall above a lamp by a headboard.

Make a decision

Yes, it’s that simple. Just pick one piece (it doesn’t even have to be that good). Base the rest of your pieces from there! Loosely coordinate colors or subjects, or put everything in matching frames. Scratch that – if you don’t want anything to match, let your taste be the unifying factor. Once you’ve decide where to hang your art, it will come together. If that lack of directions drives you crazy, pick a theme like plants, photography, animals, abstraction, portraits, watercolors, you name it. 

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.

Build Your Collection

Consider this section the inside scoop – if I could select art for your home, these are some pieces I would choose. Abby Low’s pieces offer a shot of color and geometric print and are a great place to start. Flowers are beautiful, and I can never get enough of them! I love Adriana Picker’s work. Also Picker is just the perfect name for someone who paints flowers. Consider the location of your art – these food prints by the amazing Amanda Jane Jones would be so cute over a dining table. Looking for something a little more high-brow? This cubist-style piece is a fave of mine! Photography is oh-so chic, and Chaunté Vaughn’s compositions are drool-worthy. A little bit of cheer is always welcome, and I found just that in Erin Jang’s print!

Put it somewhere fun!

Deciding where to hang art is the last step. And the fun part! I rarely see a piece of art and think it doesn’t belong where it’s at. That’s the fun part about art – it makes wherever it is placed more lovely! Growing up, my dad decided he wanted control over where the art would be placed and guess where he put it. The bathroom. All of his favorite pieces of art, including the pre-k finger paintings went in the hall ball. His rationale went like this: “Where in the house has the highest foot traffic? Where are guests most likely to see?” Though it might seem like a strange place to put your most treasured works, it kinda makes sense. 

Openness is Essential To Creativity print by Lisa Congdon among plants and booksIris Apfel print by Rosie Harbottle against a sage wall surrounded by stationary and paper plants.

Get Creative

One trend that I’ve noticed lately and loved is art just… leaned up against a wall. This is an awesome example because it shows the organization well enough to replicate it. This is another example of art leaned gracefully, nay, artfully, against a wall. I love the way this particular arranging method works with transparency. 

a photo by chaunte vaughn in a bookshelf surrounded by colorful books.

Bookcases are another clever place I love to put art in! Let’s be honest, books are art. Add to the look with a framed piece like this or like this. Perhaps you have a lot of art to show off, and it just won’t fit in a bathroom, bookshelf, or propped up somewhere. The gallery wall is the perfect way to showcase your pieces! My friend Meta Coleman wrote a piece for us a while back on how to style the perfect gallery wall, or salon wall as they used to be called. It is a gamechanger!!

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

So no more head scratching over where to hang art! There’s no need to hire a pro when you can learn do-it-yourself online. 

You can find all the art pictured in this post and much more in our shop! Check it out, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite artist.

I’d love to see how you hang art in your space. Tag us with #LarsAtHome to share. 

All the renovations we did to our rental

All the changes we’ve made to our rental

Admittedly, it’s not the tiniest of apartments. In fact, when we first moved in we thought it was ginormous, by Denmark standards. We moved here from Copenhagen 7 years ago and did leaps around with “all the space” we had. We started out renting 2 bedrooms and they had another bedroom in the basement, which they rented out to me after about a year for my home studio. It was the biggest room in the house so it was such a step up for me and Lars at the time.

In 2015 I got a studio space in the neighboring town (I should show you all the changes we did to that space, because that’s also a good one!) and then we had a baby in 2018 and things have become CRAMPED! And since COVID we’ve REALLY been feeling cramped in. It’s probably what motivated us to start looking in the first place. Anyone else experience this?

WHY change your rental?

A lot of people have asked us why we’ve done so much to our rental and sometimes I’ve wondered the same thing, but ultimately, it comes down to this: your environment affects your well-being and I was feeling the need to catch up our space to how I wanted to feel. We knew we wouldn’t move until we bought a house so we wanted to make it a home in the mean time. PLUS, our landlords, who own the house and live upstairs, have become our second parents so we haven’t considered anything a loss. We love the idea that we can improve the space for them.

Kitchen

  1. Here’s the timeline of the kitchen. We started out with the top left photo: oak cabinets, laminate flooring, laminate counters, stainless steel sink and faucet, fluorescent lighting. Everything was functional and nice but not our vibe.
  2. Next, our landlords surprised us by painting our cabinets white. Score!
  3. Then, we did a partnership with Pergo flooring and they replaced all of our flooring, besides the bedrooms, with their wood laminate flooring. We’ve loved them! It really improved the space.
  4. Next, we did a partnership with BEHR paint and we did the two toned painted cabinet trend–white on top and blue on bottom. We also changed out the hardware and our landlords replaced the appliances.

Details of my New Kitchen

Finally, we worked with Caesarstone to replace the laminate countertops with the quartz and we LOVE it so much!

Blinds.com

Living room

Our living room is basically our living and family room combined. It’s definitely where we spend the most time and it’s gone through a transformation for sure!

  1. Once again, we started with beige carpet.We initially replaced the lighting fixture with this gold one from Schoolhouse and that made an impact. We also replaced the vertical blinds with curtains.
  2. Next, we got a new green sofa and that changed the whole tone of the room. You can also see when we switched to the laminate flooring.
    Living Room Reveal
  3. Two years ago we updated the living room with this wildflower wallpaper and got a new sofa to go with it. This is the state we’re currently in
  4. You can see the furniture combos I was looking at for the living room here.
  5. Here’s our first iteration of the gallery to showcase our Frame TV, which we LOVE!!!!My new TV looks just like a painting!

Jasper’s bedroom

We used Jasper’s room as our office before he was born and didn’t touch it, clearly! So, we had a bit of work to do.

Baby boy nursery mural

You can see the transformation of his mural in this post when we worked with Behr paint.

And then the full nursery reveal here. We changed out the blinds (worked with Blinds.com), added furniture (care of Crate and Kids).

The only changes that have come to his nursery is the AMOUNT OF STUFF that we’ve somehow accumulated. We are bursting at the scenes here.

Master bedroom

The master bedroom was PITIFUL. I’m so sad looking at it.

And I’m still in love with the results. We did our partnership with Spoonflower and I used them from head to toe, well, from the wallpapers to the bedding to the matching curtains. I love this room! I think this is the one I’m most sad about leaving. I just love the vibe. You can see the full transformation here.

Guest bedroom

The last room that we did before we bought our house is our guest room with Crate and Barrel earlier this year before COVID.

The guest bedroom we added in an alpiney feeling and lots of accents of color and art. You can read about it here.

Ok, that’s it! Looking back, that’s 5 rooms we switched up, some larger than others. Some were just decorative like wallpaper and curtains, while others, like the kitchen, were more involved and more expensive like switching out appliances, countertops, sinks, etc. Would I do it again? For sure! Yes, they were mostly all for sponsorships so they were considered work and we were paid to do them, but even then, I definitely would suggest customizing your space in some way or manner even if you don’t plan on being there for very long. A happy space creates a happy space in your mind too and that’s soooo important!

I’d love to hear if you’ve done changes to your rental and what they are! Tell me more!

royal wedding souvenirs. better late than never!

Dear readers, I’m so pleased to announce a little project that Cramer and I, with support from our British counterpart, have whipped up in a few short weeks. Although we’re a bit late entering the game, we have arrived with GUSTO to present our line of souvenirs celebrating the wedding on Prince William and Kate Middleton later this month.
Now, to all of you who have known me since I was a wee little one, this will come as no surprise as you and I both know that I was going to marry Prince William. After a couple of trips to England with no royal invitation to meet HRH, I knew it was time to MOVE ON. So, I met and married my Danish prince and William, clearly heartbroken, finally decided to move on too and propose to his gf of 10 years. About time, buddy! And I give my full support. We have come up with tote bags, keychains, mugs, commemorative plates all celebrating the wedding of the year. Check it all out now on out Etsy shop and place your pre-order. Our products will be ready any day now so now’s your chance! Not only that, but Paul and I will be in London the weekend of the royal wedding selling souvenirs with our dear friends on PORTOBELLO ROAD so come and visit and tell your friends! We can’t wait to be there with the masses in our little booth exploiting this wedding! I’ll be the one in the mock wedding dress.

Go check out the full line at The House That Lars Built Etsy shop.

Becoming interview: French Papercut Artist Julie Marabelle

French papercut artist Julie Marabelle

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

I guess all of the above. 

My background is in visual art and stage design. Over the years my work has evolved towards a mix of illustration, painting, craft and design. 

I started my career in London as a stage and costume designer for the theatre. I have been working with lots of different media from making small scale models in the conception of a stage design to orchestrating large sets with carpenters. 

For over 10 years, I have been running my own business Famille Summerbelle where I design a line of illustrated products for the home. I love the creative diversity involved in my work, from paper cutting illustrated maps, researching and sketching, to handling the production, styling, shooting and editing the images of a new product and finally bringing it to market. 

Who helped you “become” who you are? 

It’s a combination of how I was brought up, my life experiences, and inspirational people I have worked with along the way. Most of all though, I would say that my family has shaped me most. 

I have inherited the creative side of my mother. As a child, if I liked a piece of clothing that I saw in a shop my mum would say “you can make it yourself, it’s so much better!” So we would go to buy fabric and then design and create it together. 

My parents were doers, very hands on, always renovating homes, and many creative side projects. 

I am the second of five children and I am very close to my siblings. Family means so much to me and how I have developed creatively. As kids we were very resourceful and independent. There were too many of us to have the full attention of our parents! Also I wouldn’t be doing what I do today without my three children. Famille Summerbelle started as we started our own family. Making art with my children is what I enjoy most. It’s a constant work in progress. 

collage art with kids

What more would you like to “become”? 

So much more, I don’t think that ever finishes. I like to see it as a lifelong journey! There are so many skills I would like to improve and new things to learn. 

Becoming better at painting, learning new languages, being better organized, more patient, better at running a business, those are all goals of mine. 

I am often juggling too many balls at once! I have three children that are still young so my days seem often too short for all the things I would like to do on the side of running my business. 

Where did you study, and what did you study? 

I’ve always been lucky enough to be educated in a creative environment. All my primary years were spent in a Waldorf school so thinking creatively and using my hands to make things was very much part of my upbringing. 

I studied Visual Arts in Paris at l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art. In my graduation year I saw a play by Robert Lepage ‘The Far Side of the Moon’ that blew me away. I then wanted to become a stage designer, so I moved to London to study a BA in Stage and Costume design at Central Saint Martins. My time there was amazing. Being in London was incredibly stimulating creatively. I was seeing the best art exhibitions, fringe to West Ends plays and Operas to underground art installations. While studying I was assisting set designers like Es Devlin, who had a big impact on me. I loved my life in London so much that I ended up staying for 10 years. 

Was it an easy decision to begin working as an artist? 

Yes, it was an easy decision. I was working straight after I graduated designing for the stage in various theatres in London. Also I worked on many TV commercials and film sets which was very exciting. 

How did you get started doing art/design? 

I always loved drawing and I knew from an early age that I wanted to do something related to art and design. As a teenager I would take the train to Paris every Saturday to take life drawing classes. We would go to the Rodin or Louvre museums to draw sculptures and study the masters. I was passionate about art in general. Studying in art school gave me a solid base in art in general, to think creatively and solve problems. However it doesn’t really prepare you for being a professional artist and working with clients. This is something I have had to learn along the way. 

Famille Summerbelle papercut art prints in the Lars Print Shop

When did you discover your love for art/design? 

As I mentioned above, I had a very creative education. We would study music, dance, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, wood work as much as the other more classical subjects. This is where I realized that art was a great way for me to express myself freely. 

Were you scared when you first started looking for jobs? How did you overcome this? 

Of course! I was dreading contacting people and selling myself. I still do. This is not something you learn in art school. I learned it while assisting art directors and set designers. Also by making errors and asking for help. You get more confident as you gain experience. 

What’s your dream job? 

Bit boring as an answer but honestly it’s my current job. I’m very happy with it and as much as I challenge myself I can never come up with something I could imagine more fulfilling. 

What are you most proud of in your career? 

As a general point I would say that I am most proud to have created and maintained a developing business over the last 12 years while having lived in four different countries and juggling the chaos of having three children. 

If there is one project that I am most proud of, it’s difficult, but perhaps I would say the collaboration that I did with Issey Miyake and my world map papercut. I have a really deep affection for Japan, visiting many times and working with great Japanese partners. To see my designs in Issey Miyake boutiques across the world was something really special, somehow cementing my relationship with this country and culture. 

Papercut world map by Julie Summerbelle

How did your childhood influence what you have become?

As kids we would spend our summers in the South of France with our cousins in the small village where our grandparents lived. As long as we were back for lunches and dinners we had a lot of freedom to run errands on our bikes in the village, build cabins in the woods, dress up and organise a new show every evening for the grown-ups. This family bond with my siblings and my cousins is still very strong. None of us would miss our annual summer trip to see each other. It is so fun now to watch our kids following in our footsteps. 

Did you feel pressured in any way to pursue a certain career path? 

Not by anyone else but me. From an early age I knew that I wanted to do something in the creative field. We were lucky to have open minded and supportive parents who encouraged us to be independent and pursue our dreams. I knew I had to work hard to get to where I wanted to be but as it was something I was passionate about I was always putting in the hours. I quickly realized that I wanted to be my own boss and create the work instead of waiting that it would come up to me. 

Did you have anyone along the way that was instrumental in the trajectory of your life? 

My husband Simon always supported me in my career choices and he played a big role in the making of Famille Summerbelle. He helped me turn my creativity into a real business. Famille Summerbelle has been and remains a family affair! 

What’s your work space like? 

Since we moved to Germany 2 years ago, I work from home. We are lucky to live in a beautiful house from the early 19th century with very high ceilings and big windows. My studio is located on the first floor in a large room with a balcony. I have the sun pouring in all day which is a blessing – I couldn’t work without natural light!

I have three desks in my studio: two along a wall, one for my computer work, another higher table for packing the orders and a third very long table in the middle of the room where I draw, paint and do all my paper cutting. Hanging on this long and high wall are colourful cutouts, postcards, paper samples and paintings that I am working on. On the other side of the two desks, I have all the Famille Summerbelle stock with my prints, paper cuts, trays, wallpaper and so on. 

Papercut art studio and home office of Julie Summerbelle

What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from? 

I can never remember or attribute quotes or specific advice. Somehow everything I have absorbed, all the advice I have received, manifests in a few key thoughts: I strive to be present, be open to changes, trust my feelings, stay focussed, stay true to myself and enjoy the process. Whether in my personal or professional life. 

What does your dream retirement look like? 

I don’t feel that I ever want to retire, I will keep on making things for as long as I can! I would love to have a big studio in the South of France so I can paint all day with the windows open with a view of a blue sky and the smell of the eucalyptus trees. Of course I would have a big kitchen table for long family lunches! 

Floral papercut art prints

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to? 

Makoto Kagoshima, Ulla Johnson, Jonas Wood, David Hockney, Picasso, Matisse, Es Devlin, Sanna Hannukka, Erin O’Keefe, Anna Kovesces, Ilse Crawford, Hella Jongerius, Mizuki Goto, Alexander Girard, Ellsworth Kelly, Miroslav Šašek, Sempé. 

You were one of the first artists I ever followed on social media. How has social media influenced your work? 

Oh thank you and it is reciprocal! Lars was one of the first blogs I read that inspired me to start my own creative business and my blog back in 2008. 

Living abroad, I am delighted to be part of this creative online community and to interact with people interested in my work. Of course, as an artist with an online shop, being on social media is essential. I love Pinterest and Instagram to discover the work of talented designers, artists and photographers that I could never have found elsewhere. It is an amazing tool for all creatives but which also has its limits.

Personally I am much more creative and efficient in my work when I am not connected. My inspiration comes from my daily experiences, my travels, my books and especially my imagination. 

Who is your work intended for? 

Honestly I would say that I first make everything for me and for my family home. I made the House Boxes for my kids bedroom and my studio as I wanted a fun box to store away all of our small objects and toys. The first city map I made was of London, a city I love and where I lived for 10 years. I designed it as we were returning from our long world travels settling in France. It was designed as first for us as a souvenir of our time there. I make and test all my products in our home first and of course I always just hope that other people will be inspired by what I make and would want to have it in their home as well! 

Colorful home boxes by Famille Summerbelle

What’s inspiring you lately? 

Most things Japanese! I am currently designing a map of Tokyo after just launching a map of Berlin. For the 11th anniversary of Famille Summerbelle, I did an exhibition of my work  in Tokyo last year at the Galerie Doux Dimanche and while I was there I made lots of sketches and took photos of the different places I wanted to feature in my paper cut map. It makes me so happy to dive back into my research. I still have lots of drawings to make before I will start cutting the map. 

Whimsical store front window art

What did you want to be when you were young versus when it was time to decide what to actually do? 

I tried fencing, ballet and the violin. None for more than a few weeks! Boring as it perhaps sounds I have always loved drawing. It’s still my favourite hobby even when it’s my work and income.

Where to find Julie’s work

Her collection in our print shop!
On Instagram
On Pinterest

They ship worldwide from www.famillesummerbelle.com

Portfolio site: www.juliemarabelle.com

Photos by A.Lecuyer and Julie Marabelle

Our apartment in Apt, France

On Monday I talked about our arrival to Provence, Apt more specifically. The trip was just my mom and me and we had been talking about a trip to Provence for ages. You see, once upon a time Mom had a shop in Corona del Mar, CA called “En Provence” where she sold beautiful French country furniture (made by my uncle!) and gifts. But between you and me, she had never been! She’d get comments all the time, “yup, this feels just like it” and she would just smile and nod, “merci.” Most likely because of this, I grew up a French country disciple and devoured anything Provence-related like Peter Mayle’s Year in Provence. You can imagine, this was a bit of a dream come true for us.
Knowing that Mom was coming to visit us in Denmark we just knew we had to go south for a bit and make it a reality. Then the question arose, WHERE to stay? I asked you dear Lars readers for suggestion and you were SO helpful. Thank you! If you want to go there yourself, read some of their suggestions here. I was tipped off by a friend of mine that Katy Elliot, whose blog I’ve adored for many blog years had stayed in Provence and after seeing her post about her stay in Bonnieux I KNEW that that had to be us. The apartment is owned by an architect/designer couple in Maine who also have properties and an antiques shop in New England called Marston House and other properties in Southern France. We didn’t stay in the Bonnieux location, but their 2 bedroom apartment in Apt, the town right next door. The pictures of the apartment showed a really beautiful, simple interior in neutral colors with a mix of antiques and new pieces. They later told me that they completely renovated it themselves including the statement staircase done by local craftsmen (go local!). I loved their whole vibe and their love for the area so I was sold. 
Read more about our experience below.

Like I said, the apartment is a mix of antiques and new pieces including the linens, which included personalized monograms from previous owners. I loved these touches, like on the window curtains.
This is the bedroom that I stayed in, above, and I didn’t get a great photo of my mom’s room which was the bigger of the two.
The apartment overlooked this quaint courtyard, which we could have used, but ended up leaving early in the morning and returning after sundown each day, so we gawked from afar.
If you want to stay here, or at any of their rentals, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Their taste helps transform your experience. I wouldn’t say that Apt was my favorite town that we stayed in. There was a tinge of grittiness that I didn’t prefer, but when you’re in Provence you end up renting a car and seeing all the towns anyway so you may not spend so much time in your place. It was a great home base for us.
Marston House rentals website here. I’ll be posting more about the markets in the area and our day trips. Guys, this trip blew my mind and I can’t wait to show it to you.
All photos but two taken by me. The two are from the Marston House website

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.

Bias Tape Weaving Pillow

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Bias Tape Weaving Pillow

We loved our DIY Bias Tape Weaving so much that we knew we had to make something with it! The trick was deciding exactly what to make with it. After much deliberation, the Bias Tape Weaving Pillow was born! This eye-catcher is the perfect puff to grace your couch this summer. In punchy colors, it adds a splash of color and an interesting texture. It would look equally lovely in muted shades for a more subdued look. Just pick your palette, whip out some bias tape using our tutorial, and get weaving!

Bias Tape Weaving Pillow

See how to make your own Bias Tape Weaving Pillow!

DIY Beaded Chandelier

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The Inspiration

You’ve probably seen this amazing bead chandelier before, as it has made its way around the internet (others found here and here and here). I love how relaxed and elegant it feels – that’s a difficult but essential pairing. The layers of cascading beads have such a graceful look, but the natural wood keeps it fresh and easy to incorporate into any setting. And the tiers remind me of the scallop trend that is super hot right now! So often I see pieces I love but have a hard time imaging in my space. This one though fits right in! I think it could look good in any space.

A Penny Saved…

Is a penny earned! This Pottery Barn Hack for a DIY Beaded Chandelier will save you so much money. While I love the original chandelier, the $800 price tag would present a big dent in the monthly budget. In times like these, I don’t exactly want to spend that much on anything nonessential. Save where you can so you can splurge where you can, right? You don’t have to splurge to have nice things, but you do have to be willing to try new things.

You CAN Do-It-Yourself

Since I just had to have this piece, I automatically started to think of how we could replicate this beauty. With a box of wooden beads, a handful of embroidery hoops, and a season of Friends (yes, this one’s a bit time-consuming folks), I got just what we wanted! This DIY Beaded Chandelier could easily pass for the original. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you could even play around with different colored beads. While I didn’t actually put a lightbulb in mine, you could easily find a cheap hanging lightbulb like this one and place the your DIY beaded chandelier over it. Let your imagination run wild! We’ve taken care of the rest with our DIY instructions.

If you’ve got pennies to pinch and time to spare, this is the project for you! Total cost of supplies, $170. Score! See here how to make it.

Learn how to get the DIY below!

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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Brittany’s Master Bedroom Makeover with Spoonflower

 

We partnered with them earlier this year on some new pillows for my living room and some custom fabric to make a lampshade (see here) so I was already familiar with their great quality and options. And, because I had already done a lot of research on artists and fabrics, I knew exactly where to look. Their marketplace can be overwhelming because of the sheer amount of designers and products, so I spent a good deal of time making collections for each room. That was the easy part. Narrowing down the favorites list was the tricky part. You know the feeling, right? You can take the design so many different directions so you don’t know where to start???

What do you do??! 

How to concept your interior design

Start slowly! I decided to start with mock-ups by placing the products together to see which ones were really pulling me in.

Playing around with options I was able to visualize how to put together different patterns and colors, one of my favorite things to play with. I had so many favorites that I knew it would be tricky to put them together so this helped me narrow down.Spoonflower concepts

To custom headboard or not?

I contemplated making a customized headboard, especially because the beauty of Spoonflower is that you can pretty much customize ANYTHING you’ve ever wanted. They have the ability to put any design onto any products and now, even more so! There are curtains, throws, wallpaper, bedding, you name it. Ultimately, I decided against the custom headboard because I wanted to save on time and headache so I knew I was probably going to find a solid colored one, since those were my options out on the market. Because of that, I wanted to add something decorative to the walls.

Concept 1

There’s one designer, Amy Vail, who references a lot of William Morris patterns and I’m INTO it! Look at this beautiful leaf pattern. I thought it could be fun to play around with some red gingham, like this one from another favorite designer, Peacoquette

Concept 2

I’m loving on some pink right now and wanted to try it out on my walls. Here’s how it goes:

I also contemplated this fun berry and vine stripe pattern in pink from Danika Herrick. I still love it so much, but I think I’d love to try it for a girl’s room one day. Danika also has some really lovely chinoiserie patterns. 

Concept 3

I knew I wanted a wallpaper, especially since theirs is renter friendly, so most of my mock-ups kept that in mind. However, in case my landlords wouldn’t go for it, I came up with a solid color paint choice that would still work. A beautiful grey/blue could do the trick:

I found that blue and white stripe and I thought it was so so pretty (clearly I thought it was pretty, as I eventually decided to do the entire bedroom with it!). The stripe is by designer Jenlats.

There’s already a blue theme going in Jasper’s nursery (see here) and I knew it would be fun to switch it up a bit so I tried out a blush pink (you know, because we haven’t seen that color ANYWHERE these days 😉 

Concept 4

I love bringing greenery into a space because it really refreshes it, so when I found this green botanical print, once again from Peacoquette, I thought it would fit the bill beautifully. Then, I spotted this black and white striped headboard that would allow me to play with color and patterns all along with these pink art nouveau daisies that would be in the Spoonflower curtains. Top it off with this calico throw pillow and we’re good to go! 

As soon as I spotted these headboards (here and here), I knew they were the perfect way to contrast the busyness of the wallpaper with the bedding. It needed a respite with a solid color. 

Final concept

The more I looked around and played with the arrangements, I was able to gain a stronger sense of what I wanted so I started bringing in more furniture. My natural inclination lead me to go to the yellow headboard and that’s what I ended up basing my decisions off of.

When I have elements that are more whimsical and botanical like the butterfly bedding, I typically like to have a few other elements that are more streamlined like the lighting fixtures. I found this rad surface lamp from Cedar and Moss called Belle and though it could have leaned too modern, I love how it toned down the whole design and made it feel less, for lack of a better word, “frou frou”. Plus, I loved the idea of bringing in traces of black throughout the room because of the black in the butterfly bedspread.

I’m SO into rattan and wicker right now. You too? I love that it’s slowly been making its way into our vocabulary again, and not in the 80s overdone, fluffy way. It’s become cleaner yet still warm. If found these sconces that did not break the bank and I love them so much! They add the perfect amount of texture.

Finding the right side table has been a bit trickier. I still haven’t bit the bullet yet. I loved the idea of bringing in another color and pink would be great so I found these side tables that would be great but then I also love this peacock blue one. Which one would you go for? 

Before photos

Now, before we get more into the final photos, I want to show you the mess that we were working with. You ready for this? Big gulp….

OUCH! This hurts. I didn’t even clean up for you! You’re welcome! It’s a small room, about 10×10’ with plastic vertical blinds, beige carpet. I painted it white a few years ago so at least there was that. I like to say that the worst before pictures make the best after photos.

Now, you ready for the full reveal???

Final bedroom design

This chair above is one from my grandparent’s home. I haven’t changed the fabric at all, but I kind of like how it works.

I had a little helper who loved jumping his way into the scene. Can you spot him? I’m sure it’s tough 😉

Bedding

Who doesn’t want glorious bedding to sleep in? This duvet, sheets, and shams not only make the design pop, they also make your bedding luxurious. The bedding pieces are made of cotton sateen, which has such a lovely polished look and feel. Jasper loves to snuggle up in it and spread his cracker crumbs everywhere. Yay!

Ok, sorry, I got distracted there…here’s the rest! 

Curtains

I decided to continue the stripe from the walls to the curtains. I loved the idea of an all over pattern (anyone remember Chloe Sevigny’s bedroom?!). And with this particular stripe, it’s just small enough where it’s not too contrasty and because it’s all over it begins to feel more like a solid. I wanted to add a bit of pizzazz into them so I found some yellow trim and handstitched it onto the edges. Love how it turned out! Voilà!

Throw pillows

Spoonflower offers SO MANY choices (over 750,000 patterns) which can be overwhelming but more importantly inspiring!  I loved that there were so many choices for the throw pillows and I had many options to mix and match. PLUS I love supporting independent artists and Spoonflower brings them all to one convenient place. You can find the links to the individual pillows in the product round up below!

Surface mount

Here’s the gorgeous surface mount I was telling you about from Cedar and Moss. Isn’t it so pretty in the space?! 

And let’s end on a few more of the Boo because he just makes everything better. 

So sweet–trying to hit the camera lens. Doh!

I was showing my good friend, Merrilee, pictures of my new room and she reminded me of one of my favorite inspiration images of all time that I realized I was unconsciously referencing. Right?! 

This was also one of our This Girl’s from a few years ago. Take a lookie here.

Spoonflower selections

Here’s a round-up of all the Spoonflower products we used to make this bedroom happen. From the curtains to the wallpaper and bedding, it was all Spoonflower!

  1. Stripe wallpaper
  2. Throw Pillow
  3. Throw Pillow
  4. Throw Pillow
  5. Throw Pillow
  6. Throw Pillow
  7. Throw Pillow
  8. Throw Pillow
  9. Bed sheets and Pillowcase set
  10. Stripe Curtain Panels
  11. Queen Duvet Cover & Shams

 

And here are all the accessories and furniture I used and/or I need your help deciding on! 

  1. Cedar and Moss surface mount
  2. Curtain rod from Anthropologie
  3. Pink side table from West Elm–should I go with this one? 
  4. Rattan Sconce from World Market
  5. Velvet mustard headboard from Target
  6. Peacock blue side table from Schoolhouse Electric–or should I go with this one?
  7. Metal side table from Schoolhouse Electric–or this one??

The flower decorations below the sconces are vintage items that I found at the Brooklyn Flea ages ago!

I really do love working with Spoonflower because of the limitless opportunities to customize and find great designers. I know that if I want to tweak the color for whatever reason I can approach the designer. I didn’t do that in this case, but it’s good to know that I can.

Head on over to Spoonflower to check out their new bedding and product collections. They’re so good!

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower. Thanks to the brands who allow us to focus on clever and original content for you!