In The Mood: Hamilton Inspired Home Decor

How to fill your home with the feeling of Hamilton

If you are unfamiliar with Hamilton, you’ve got to remedy that. Allow this piece to be your introduction into the hit musical. It chronicles the life of Alexander Hamilton who was one of the Founding Fathers of the USA. He was born in the West Indies as an illegitimate child, and his parents died before he reached adulthood. Through hard work, sacrifice, and a fair bit of schmoozing, Alexander made his way to New York and befriended Revolutionaries, forever tying his fate with that of the Fledgling United States. Since the play is based on history, spoilers aren’t really a thing… Just to pique your interest, there is a love triangle, rumors, and even a gun duel. Spoiler: it ends in death. Oh and there’s rap. It’s definitely worth the watch. 

Below you will find our tips on how you fill your home with inspiration from this hit musical!

Be inspired by Colonial Style

Before writing this piece, I actually looked up pictures of Alexander Hamilton’s home. It’s  called The Grange and still stands in New York City though it is much changed. It is totally symmetrical with matching piazza patios, stately lines, mouldings, and mantles. As a result, it has an incredibly airy feel. Neoclassical design deeply influence the Colonial Era. That last bit is super important, as it is what separates Hamilton-inspired design from the Farmhouse look. Alexander Hamilton would shudder if someone were to suggest his architectural choices had anything to do with farming.

Hamilton inspired decor for your home’s exterior

Curate meaningful collections

The easiest way to incorporate this kind of design into your space is through careful collection. It might not be realistic to build ionic columns throughout your whole house or rebuild it to be symmetrical. But, you can collect pieces inspired by the Neoclassical Era. Handmade wooden furniture, ornate trinkets, classic colors, statuettes, gold or brass fixtures, and elaborately patterned textiles all have their place in a Hamilton home. I recommend you search high and low. Buy some pieces new from fancy stores, but also enjoy the hunt in antique shops and the exhilaration of winning an eBay or Facebook marketplace bid. If you can curate a collection of similar items, like antique candlesticks, lanterns, or porcelain dish-ware, those pieces will shine together and become showstoppers.

Hamilton inspired decor for your living room

Fill your home with nostalgia

Part of why the musical is so popular is because it plays on America’s own heritage while reinterpreting it. Alexander Hamilton personified the American Dream. He came from hardship but made it through. He also made mistakes and was complicit in the evils of his time. Despite these contradictions, he tried to set up a nation that would build a better future. People respond to that kind of thing. We’re all complicated. As you curate a Hamilton inspired home, think about your personal history. How can you incorporate that into your home? Paintings that remind you of your favorite places, old books you loved long ago, and photographs of days gone by are all great pieces that will make your space yours. Don’t fret  about it all becoming too complex or not cohesive. You are the unifying theme

Hamilton inspired decor for your bedroom

Form a modern interpretation of the past

If you’re worried about this style complimenting modern ones, don’t be!! The contradictions of Alexander Hamilton and within the play are what inspires good design. The play is a contemporary take on Colonial themes. Your interpretation of Hamilton-design will also be a contemporary take. Design inspired by the musical is bound to be lively, yet stately. That combination really excites me. Colonial America is the setting, but the music is totally inspired by contemporary hip hop and rap. Translating all of this into a visual style requires a keen and selective eye. You got this. Be willing to do a little mixing-and-matching as you incorporate Hamilton into your modern home! 

One of our past interns, Jess Whittaker, illustrated these Hamilton inspired prints we love! This is a fun way to add some Hamilton inspiration into your home without needing to embrace full on colonial style. You can find them here in her shop! You can read more about Jess here and find some of her whimsical work in our shop as well!

More Hamilton Inspired Home Decor

For your kitchen

For the bathroom

 

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

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

Where to make important investments in your cheap renovation (hint: flooring!)

Is there such thing as a quick and cheap renovation?

Here’s the thing–when we were first planning our “quick and cheap” renovation, I was literally going to put the ugliest, cheapest carpet on the market EVERYWHERE in the house. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to get invested in it. I wanted to take the decision making out of everything and go cheap and quick. I spotted some carpet scraps at ReStore and was ready to move forward. End of discussion.

And, though I run a DIY blog, my husband and I are not, how do we say, “handy” people. I mean, like I can nail things into a wall and screw in lightbulbs and such and Paul is really good (talented even) at lifting heavy objects, but ummm, we are definitely not getting a show on HGTV anytime soon. I’m more of a lightweight in the home improvement arena. And Paul is good at cooking.

But…we were going to attempt to do it ourselves. Ugh. I cringe just thinking about it! I don’t know how to put carpet in. But they make it look SO easy on YouTube!

And THEN, you realize ok, if we’re spending even just a “little” bit on ugly carpeting, well, that’s $—- on something when it could be applied to something nice and then it avalanches from there. PLUS, it’s such a waste in general to put in stuff you’ll just be taking out.

This is what I had resolved to do:

You see where I’m going here.

So then we decide, well, maybe flooring is the one spot we should invest in since it’s really the foundation for the whole house. And it’s so bare now and would have to do a lot of work to rip it back up again…

I went on the hunt for some beautiful flooring and came across Stuga and I was smitten. And maybe you can see why: Stuga works directly with Scandinavia’s most innovative manufacturers to curate a selection of sustainably harvested, crafted, and engineered floors that you can easily browse, sample, and buy online.

So, first they roped me in with their Scandinavian angle. Having lived in Denmark for the first few years of our marriage with my Danish husband, this was big a bonus because I know that Scandinavia does floors excellently. They are hardwood fanatics. PLUS, they believed in sustainability long before it became a buzzword and designed their products to preserve forests. They also removed all solvents and toxic glues found in other engineered floors. Plus, they’re beautiful!

I first spotted them over at Chris Loves Julia and I LOVE how it turned out. So beautiful! I especially loved the treatment to the stairs. So I requested a number of samples:

Lighting is always the curse that comes with seeing examples of flooring online, well, in person too for that matter. Here’s what we are considering and I’d LOVE your feedback on which one you would choose. I’ll be walking you through it over on Instastories too.

A few things to note about our preferences: I tend to gravitate towards warmer tones. And though I love wide plank, I feel like our traditional home needs to be slightly more narrow.

Perhaps I’m going too much into the little details. I know most people like a good before and after, and we’ll get there at some point, but because this is such a big project for us and there is so much $$$$ and time and investment on the line, we are going into the nitty gritty. You can tell me when it gets boring, capeesh?

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

In the Mood For: Monet inspired Interior Design

First, a special announcement!

I’m writing about Monet for a few reasons – the first you know, the second is kind of a secret…  This summer we are launching an online summer camp to teach kids all about some master artists, including Monet! It will include daily projects (with videos!) to help kids dive deep into new mediums, art styles, and the lives of great artists of myriad colors, genders, and time periods. Stay tuned for more details!!! Sign up for our newsletter here for early access and a huge discount on this course when it is released! Now onto tips for interior design inspired by Monet:

1 – It’s all about lighting. 

Much of Monet’s passion as a painter was driven by a desire to capture light! He would paint the same scene over and over again at different times of day to capture the shadow play and different colors created. Within the walls of your home, you are somewhat limited with regard to natural light. When choosing a place to live, consider how natural light will affect your space! Select fun curtains or shutters (tres French) and outfit the windows accordingly. 

Monet inspired interior design

You may not be able to control the sun, but a lovely invention called electricity does give you the ability to control light! It is amazing how a simple lamp or light shade can transform any space. An old apartment of mine felt dingy and small. The walls were a funny yellowish color that I thought was terrible, but I couldn’t change it! Eventually I got a floor lamp with a bright, white light. Suddenly, I realized the color wasn’t as bad as it had looked before. With just a lightbulb, I achieved the same effect a can of paint would have had. While lighting might not be the first thing you think of when you hear “interior design,” it should be when the phrase is followed by “inspired by Monet.”

New artwork from Artist Chaunté Vaughn

New work in the Lars Print Shop from Chaunté Vaughn 

Click here to see the full collection!

Chaunté has the unique ability to capture beauty in the mundane. She focuses on the everyday, even decayed or traditionally non-beautiful subjects, but through her use of lighting and composition transforms them into stunning works of art.

Her color series in the collection highlights items from the grocery store and stuff that should be in the trash, but with the magical touch of stylist Kate Stein, they take on a new life where color is celebrated and lighting transforms them into an elegant still life.

Yellow Mustard” is our featured art print for our book club, Yellow by Michael Pastoureau. It’s a celebration of all things yellow–the color of happiness and optimism made even more so through the comical smiley face.

“This collection of photos is an oddball selection of exercises I’ve done thru the last few years. It’s one of my favorite things to be able to uplift someones home with art I’ve made. I’m so happy these might make it to you someday!”
– Chaunté Vaughn

Interview with Chaunté Vaughn

What do you consider yourself?

I consider myself a photographer. I like to do other creative things, but photography is how I earn a living.

How did you get started in your field doing what you do?

I started by taking pictures of my sisters when we were kids. I loved styling them and playing “photoshoot”. It feels like I’m still doing the same thing all these years later.

What did you study? Did you go to school specifically for what you do?

I originally studied painting and graphic design. I moved into photography because it was a faster medium.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My ability to repeatedly carry 50 lbs of photo gear up and down multiple flights of stairs.

What’s your work space like?

I shoot in different kinds of places all the time. Anywhere from big beautiful studios, to cramped offices, to muddy stormy beaches. It’s different every time.

What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in a creative field?

Have fun and be nice. Draw or write what you think about, no matter what your medium is.

What’s coming up for you this year?

2020 has been really hard for everyone. Hopefully we can come out of it with a new and better perspective. 

How has the current situation affected your work flow. Any pivots?

I’ve started shooting more from home. The crew is much smaller:)

 

Where do you live? How does that influence your work?

I live in Brooklyn NY. Luckily, being here provides me with tons of inspiration. The creatives here are excellent, and there is no shortage of galleries to visit and see it all.

What does your dream retirement look like?

A beach, a lime drink, and a cabana boy:)

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to? Both historical or present

Not many- because I’m 5 foot 10:)

How has social media influenced your work?

It’s made me hate squares.

What’s inspiring you lately?

I recently watched documentaries on Andrew Wyeth, Franca Sozzani, and Slim Aarons. I love hearing their stories and looking at what makes their work special. Also, I saw a retrospective for Agnes Denes a few months ago, her work resonated with me and reminded me that all artists touch the divine when they create.

 

Where else you can find Chaunté’s work

At chauntevaughn.com and on Instagram here

And click here to find the perfect print to brighten your walls.

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.

 

 

 

Dye in every shade of the rainbow using natural ingredients and DIY Napkins

Nectar, which one might describe as being the Yellow of the Gods. Yellow, as defined by the dictionary, “is the color between green and orange in the spectrum, a primary subtractive color complementary to blue; colored like ripe lemons or egg yolks.” In the dictionary of Brittany Jepsen, I like to define it as “the happiest color.” Nectar is the most vibrant perfect yellow you have ever laid your eyes upon.

The second color of the year is…Artichaut! It’s a deep, rich green (think artichoke!). Some shades of green can be hard to use and fully appreciate at times when it’s not quite the right shade or hue, but it is impossible NOT to appreciate Artichaut.

Green is essentially the color of life. It is associated with nature, growth, harmony, and also envy but trust me, you aren’t going to be feeling any of that with this green in your kitchen! It is the perfect green to go in any home and it’s definitely the green that is going to get me a-cookin’!

Speaking of cooking, I decided that the best way to start cooking would be to “cook” up some natural dyes in the color of the rainbow to create the most beautiful linen napkins to accompany these gorgeous colored cookware. What can I say? Baby steps! From red cabbage to raspberries, the Lars team cooked up some colors that your eyes will not believe! 

Materials to dye with natural ingredients: 

Directions: 

Fabric Preparation: 

  1. Cut fabric to 17” x 17” squares using a rotary cutter. 
  2. Prep fabric for dyeing with vinegar and salt. For all of your vegetable based dyes, use vinegar to set them and for fruit based dyes you will use salt. 
  3. For the vinegar, pour 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water into a pot and bring it to a boil. If you have a larger dye batch, be sure to adjust liquid measurements accordingly.
  4. Place your fabric into the vinegar water solution and let the fabric boil for one hour. 
  5. For the salt, pour 1/2 cup salt and 3 cups of water into a pot and bring it to a boil. If you have a larger dye batch be sure to adjust salt and liquid measurements accordingly.
  6. Place your fabric into the salt water solution and let the fabric boil for one hour. 
  7. Rinse and it’s now ready to use! 

While these are boiling you can get going on dyes!

How to dye red using natural ingredients

  1. Skin and cube the beets. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dyeing. For every 1 cup of beets you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the beets into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with beets to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour.
  7. Bring the beets and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove beets with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye pink using natural ingredients

  1. Remove the stems from strawberries and any leaves from raspberries. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of fruit you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the strawberries and raspberries into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with fruit to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the beets and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove beets with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye orange using natural ingredients

  1. Peel the dry skin off of the onion. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of peels you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the peels into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with peels in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the peels and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove peels with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye yellow using natural ingredients

  1. Peel your oranges and lemons. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of peels you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the peels into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with peels in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the peels and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove peels with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye green using natural ingredients

  1. Measure out 1 cup of spinach. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of spinach you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the spinach into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with spinach in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the spinach and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove spinach with sieve.
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye purple using natural ingredients

  1. Measure out 1 cup of blueberries and blackberries. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of fruit you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the spinach into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with spinach in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the fruit and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove fruit with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye blue using natural ingredients:

  1. Slice the cabbage. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of cabbage you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the beets into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with beets to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the cabbage and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove cabbage with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

Sewing a napkin:

We decided to complete our table with a homemade napkin using our dyes. Here’s how to get the look.

  1. Cut the fabric edges straight and trim away any strings that have frayed.
  2. Press the edges ½-inch to the back of the fabric and pin in place.
  3. Repeat step two so that all of your sides have been folded down twice. Press the edge fold and mark along the inside edge of the second fold with chalk.
  4. Once you have all the sides marked, unfold the second fold. Mark with a dot where your lines have intersected on all four corners.
  5. Bring the corners to meet the dots you have made.
  6. Make a deep crease and mark with chalk on that line. Make sure it is visible as this is the line you will be stitching through later.
  7. Fold the fabric so the corner is pointed and the line you made earlier is visible on both sides. Stitch through the line you marked. Start and end the stitch with back stitching.
  8. Cut the extra seam allowance and press the seam open.
  9. Turn the edge inside out and stitch along the folds to keep it in place! 
  10. Once you have completed these steps you can finish the napkin edge with a tight zig-zag stitch along the edge. 
  11. To create the zig zag edge place your machine on the zig-zag stitch, your stitch width at 1 and your needle position at 5. 
  12. Finish each edge with the zig-zag stitch in a  contrasting color for a fun decoration!
  13. Trim any thread hanging off. 

Le Creuset colors of the year

We loved working on this rainbow project that was so beautifully brought to life by our friends at Le Creuset.  We now want to dye everything these incredible shades of the rainbow and do all of our dying in their dutch ovens! *Hint* we’re thinking tablecloths! I may not be the best cook but something tells me I may just be doing a bit more cooking thanks to these gorgeously colored items!

Be sure to tag us so we can see your incredible creations with #larsmakes!  

This post is sponsored by Le Creuset. We love our sponsors who allow us to create beautiful, original content for you!