The Empty Bedroom Wall Dilemma, Part 2

Ahh, June. My birthday week, the Game of Thrones season finale, and some of the most hectic days of work await me.  Best of all, I got to participate in an awesome fundraiser today: a 30-mile bike ride for diabetes research with the American Diabetes Association!  I was a proud member of Team Special K’s, with my amazing dad and husband.  It wasn’t easy, but we had some fun moments along the way.

Like I said in last week’s post, I’ve had some limited timeframes to get things accomplished! Finally, after weeks in the making, we’ve gotten serious about our bedroom decor.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about our sweet garage sale find: the windowframe mirror. After snagging it for a few bucks and busting out my industrial paint sprayer, I finally had a really great accent piece for my empty bedroom wall. As much as I loved it, that wall was still kind of feeling… well…empty.

As much as I love a good gallery wall, I have to say that I was pretty stumped on how we were going to tackle this space. We have an Instagram collage wall above the bed that we put together last summer, so I didn’t want to duplicate design decisions by adding more personal photos. It was time to move out of my comfort zone and spice things up. I started looking at windows on Pinterest, like this one and this one, but most of what I found was pretty simple and didn’t have any complementary art.

Dan and I took a trip to Old Faithful (also known as Target) to get inspired about some decorating decisions. I swear, the way they lay out their store could make anyone want to become an interior decorator. We came across these adorable ceramic flowers on the shelf (above and on the right) for $19.50 each.  They are unfortunately out of stock online, but you might be able to get your hands on some of the last remaining flowers in stores!

I immediately noticed that the flowers perfectly accented our current color scheme: Palladian Blue walls, soft pink and tan accents, and white frames (especially the windowframe mirror!). You may remember a little blog post I shared on our bedroom decor here.  We bought four flowers: two coral pink, one yellow, and one white. The green flower was a little too close to the color of our walls, so we decided to double up on the coral ones.  The flowers were really easy to hang up: we used picture frame hooks and it was done in just a couple of minutes!  We didn’t use any official method of placing the flowers, we just hung them randomly in between the windowframe and the corner of the wall.

Next, Dan and I brainstormed something even more fun: what if we accompanied the ceramic flowers with actual flower prints?  Since I happen to be married to an amateur photographer, we don’t have a shortage of flower photography around here.  In fact, here’s one of a salvia that was taken in our own front yard:

Of course, that’s not all.  We went through Dan’s collection of floral photography and decided on four prints that we really loved in light, bright colors.  We also decided to go all out with our color scheme and made the decision to use – gasp – colored frames!  Like I said earlier, this project has really been pushing me out of my comfort zone.  I decided not to use more white frames since we already have that area covered in our Instagram collage wall and our windowframe mirror.

All of these frames have a different shade of brown in them, which is great because our bedroom currently has different pieces of furniture that are in different tones of brown.  Clockwise from left to right: one is a gray and brown matted frame, the next is an  antique, distressed brown, one is a darker chocolate brown, and one a softer brown.  I actually had three of these frames lying around (okay, they’re in an actual basket full of frames that I have stashed under my desk) and we bought the distressed frame at Target for about $12.  The print in the matted frame is 4×6 and cost less than $1 to print at CVS, whereas the rest were 5x7s and cost a little over $1 each.  Once we printed and framed the flowers, it was time to hang them.

After a discussion on how we wanted to intersperse the frames with the flowers, I decided to cut out the shape of our frames in different pieces of white paper.  I chuckled to myself as I nicknamed each flower with the word “bean” (my nickname for Dan): white bean chili, tall purple bean, big pink bean, and yellow bee-an (there’s bees in that picture).  Wasabi even got in on the action.

After feeling confident in our placement (we used painter’s tape to hang the photos), we measured the distance from the top of the frame to the hook and poked a hole in each paper.  Then we took the paper down, hammered a picture frame hook in the wall, and voila!  Houston, we have a decorated bedroom.

I’m loving the fun that the floral decor brings into the bedroom space.  Light, bright, and summery! What projects have you been up to this weekend?


For those of you who follow my social media adventures, you know that I’ve been on a happiness kick over the past year.  More specifically, I am an active participant in the #100happydays challenge on Instagram.  The premise is this: take 100 photos of things that bring you happiness for 100 days in a row.  The results intend to help participants enjoy the little things in life and focus on the positive rather than get overwhelmed by negativity.  It also helps keep focus on a task and builds up to a consistent project with a great outcome.  I actually started the challenge on January 2, completed it, and decided to continue for a full 365 days a year (I’m currently on day 293).  Even on those days when nothing seems to be going my way, I’m able to find a cute cat portrait or an inspirational quote that helps me keep things light.  Here’s a blog post I wrote about the challenge back in February.

About six months into the challenge, I decided it was finally time to get my Instagram frame game into gear.   I’d take some of my favorite snapshots and translate them into… you guessed it… a DIY project! I was inspired by this Young House Love post about making art more personal and used Picplum to print some of my favorite snapshots from the past year.  Each print comes out to $1 and is 5×5 inches – their website is designed to print your Insta-photos!  I went a little wild…

After sorting through my favorites, I decided that I wanted to highlight some of my favorite people, places, and cats, so I chose the eight photos below.  It worked out perfectly because we have some pink and green accents in the bedroom, where I planned to hang up these bad boys.  And now for a project four months in the making…

Yes, you read that correctly.  It took me four months to actually complete this project.  We all have busy lives, and I know I’ve lamented about it before, but it’s really important for me to press pause on all other life tasks to get the creative juices flowing once in a while.

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Before I started the DIY process, I selected and arranged my favorite eight photos from Instagram over the past year or so.  I also made my semi-annual pilgrimage to Ikea and bought eight 12×12 Ribba frames.

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Next, I chose an off-white cardstock from Jo-Ann, more of a cream color than white, and decided to use that as the internal photo mat for the frame.  I measured the cardstock to the back of the frame and cut it to size.

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At first, I planned to attach the photos right onto the cardstock, but it looked too plain.  I really just loved the idea of a double border around such a small photo.  Luckily for me, Dan has a photo mat cutter.  If you don’t have one of these, you can create the same border (albeit without the depth of the mat) with white cardstock and a traditional paper cutter.

For the cutting part, we bought a photo mat board at Michaels.  Dan did the measuring.  We measured the exact size of the photo, which was 5×5 inches.

We then cut the cardstock to fit the photo in its center which created the double mat effect.  This mat cutter was pretty fancy and created the beveled look, which leaves an indent in the mat paper to give it some depth.

In terms of cutting, the next step was to cut the mat to fit the cardstock.  We chose a one inch border to create the second frame around the photo. Here’s what the photo mat frame looked like on its own:

Next, we placed the cardstock behind the mat.  I taped the photo just using two pieces of tape on the top and bottom to secure it in place.  This would make the photos easy to change out in case we wanted to do a quick refresh in a few months..

Each photo took its proud place in the center of the double frame.  Below you can see the difference in color between the cream cardstock and the white photo mat paper.  I really like the contrast that it created.  The two colors definitely generate more interest for the eye.

When we hung the frames we left two inches in between on the top/bottom and sides, creating a gallery wall of eight Insta-frames.  It’s currently centered in the middle of our bedroom wall, but it is not centered over the bed (we still need to rearrange some furniture).  One day you’ll see the big reveal in all its glory.  For now, I’m happy with this personalized art update to complement my #100happy days progress!