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a black & white winter garden

these are my own images, 
capturing the beauty of winter in my gardens
at two of my previous homes in Washington state.

displaying black and white scenic photography 
is another way to introduce a dash of black in your rooms
and a perfect way to make seasonal changes easy...

btw, this is my 100th post since launching HOMEWARDfound in August!
thank you all so much for your support and interest in my original content

stay tuned, because TOMORROW
we begin the 30 Day Valentine countdown! 


Spice Up Your Winter Decor with Black!

my last post showed the winter decor in my Cottage, all in tones of brown, tan, and white.
the photos here show the same rooms in another year,
where BLACK was added to the scheme for graphic impact and a fresh new look.

like adding a dash of black pepper to a recipe,

a fresh coat of black (or color) paint on a few accessories
can really change the flavor of a room
and spice up your winter decor!

this vintage victrola cabinet has been re-purposed as a bar
and the black paint makes the sparkling glass and silver accessories POP

 painting the chairs, lamp base, chandelier, and mirror frames 
added just the right modern touch to the dining room.
[here's my tip on painting chandeliers:
use Krylon Appliance Spray Paint in gloss finish. No primer needed.
use two LIGHT COATS and let dry completely in between. FLAWLESS finish!]

the victrola 'bar' cabinet was a great addition to the next house we lived in,
joining a newly-refurbished black buffet in the dining room...
and yes, i made the glam lampshades myself. i LOVED those!
okay, so maybe you don't want to PAINT anything black.
that's okay!
what about using black in small accessories that are easily changed?
what about using your DISHES?

take a look at how bringing a few of those everyday items out 
and putting them on display in your home
can really spice up your winter decor!
the damask-pattern mugs and plate came from Marshalls
and the stack of art-deco border plates is vintage.
all of the other pieces are clear or white, but your EYE goes to the black patterns!


Warm Winter Decor

 today i am simply sharing these images of one my past homes
[known as 'the Cottage']
showing some easy ways to warm up your winter rooms using color and texture

the decor in these images show how the room was decorated
immediately following the holiday decor scheme seen in this post

 you'll see some of those holiday elements re-used in a new way
 to lighten up the rooms and make them warm and inviting, 
while remaining spacious and uncluttered.
it's a great way to start off the year!
simple elements and color add comfort and warmth
that wrap around you like a cashmere sweater
the mantel's arrangement of branches brings nature into the composition
and a collection of quirky letter K's adds interest without clutter
i collect letters from everywhere, and i also make them myself:

*a K cookie cutter, painted black
*a clear glass cylinder vase with a cursive k painted on with a paint pen

*a carpenter's ruler forms a K
*a cursive k cut from a piece of vintage sheet music
*a chipboard K covered with white glitter

a quick-change of the lampshades on the chandelier and the addition of clear crystals to bounce light
branches, pine cones, and bird nests bring the feeling of the winter woods indoors

if you aren't into neutrals
[and that's perfectly fine!]
it would be easy to replace the dark brown and tan colors in this room 
with bright or pastel hues - and you'd have a completely different look!


get organized - on the cheap!

 organization, office, studio, creativity, decorating, diy, home decor, office decor, farmhouse style, vintage, use what you have, repurpose, fall, back to school
here's the story of how I created my absolute dream office / design studio... 
using reclaimed + thrifted items + what I already had, without spending much! 
In winter of 2011, I moved into my dream house,
and enjoyed the opportunity to design a whole new studio/office for myself
I undertook this project exactly as I would one for a client: 

start with what you have and look at it in a fresh way.

continue reading to see how i get organized!


Warm Winter Whites

 making use of what we've got on hand or can get for a bargain makes decorating fun!

gathering together some items in tones of white 
was the starting point for some fresh winter decor over my desk...
i started with what i have on hand - everyday stuff and craft supplies -
then i picked up four new items, and spent about half an hour arranging them all.

what i already had on hand

vintage sheet music, postcard, and white-bound book
scrolly white picture frame seen in this post
vintage ivory carnations and new silk tulips
the sweater-wrapped bar glass with candle from this post
vintage white rosary
white ironstone & ceramic creamers, white ceramic coffee cup,
and white milk glass slipper
tiny ivory doily and the resin crystal in the small creamer
two white shelves on the wall

what i added

three felt snowflakes
[these are christmas ornaments, found on sale at target for 50 cents each!]
one white scalloped dessert plate with a snowflake pattern on it
[found on sale at HOMEgoods for $2.99]

what i spent: $4.50
[and THAT is why it pays to hit the after-Christmas sales!
you can find all kinds of things to use for winter decor] 
the shelves hang over my desk, and are a great place to play with small seasonal changes.
you don't always have to do big things to make a big impact!
in a small room like my office, this is enough.
by mixing up various shades of white and cream, and several textures, 
it becomes a three-dimensional collage to play with...
a close up of the small plate from HOMEgoods reveals 
the 'damask'-like tone-on-tone snowflake pattern
vintage sheet music and books make a warm backdrop for the white felt snowflakes
and this charming glass slipper
this photo looks dark, but i actually wanted it lit this way...
 it highlights the engraved print on the sweater-wrapped bar glass.
i paid 45 cents for that glass at a Goodwill store over ten years ago!

what do you have on hand already that you could gather up
and use to create a fresh new grouping?
clear crystal? white ironstone? or perhaps some vibrant colored glass?
take a look in your cupboards and see what is waiting there!
another thing i did with the 50 cent snowflake ornaments was add them to a wreath!

this cozy wreath was made by simply wrapping a long scarf around a straw form,
and then embellishing it with the dangling crystal and the snowflake for winter
(i made the scarf by sewing scraps of various sweaters together into a patchwork)

you can find the easy step-by-step instructions on my tutorial page.
[no, it's not my original idea! but it's a GOOD idea, 
and i love to share those, too!]

shared online:
common ground |  be inspired friday 


Fast, Cheap & Easy: framed sweaters as art!

 well, before we move off of the sweater subject, 
i gotta' share THIS ONE with you:

framed sweaters as art!

this came about one day when i was working on a wall assemblage of mirrors and frames:

 i didn't like that the scrolly little frame was empty...
so i had to 'do something' with it.

which, generally, is how the best projects start!

so i grabbed a vintage cashmere sweater that i had, 
which had an embellished beaded snowflake on it
and cut that part of the sweater out.
i STAPLED it to a piece of cardboard to fit the frame.
then popped it into the frame
and hung it back up on the wall.

and now i can't find a photo of that wall collage when it was finished. 
i don't live there anymore, so.... just imagine it on the wall, ok?!

of course you could use any fabric, any motif, in any season, to create this.
you could embellish the fabric yourself, too.
i just happen to be a lil' bit crazy about sweaters!


Sweater-Covered Vases

 I love sharing creative ideas for EASY seasonal decor... like
wrapping thrifted glass vases with sweaters!

Way back in 2007, I saw a great idea for these on green design pro Danny Seo's blog,
and I created some of my own using hot pink and chartreuse green angora sweaters.
Sadly, I've lost the photos of both Danny's AND mine :(

...obviously this idea really appeals to me, 'the sweater queen'!
it's a great way to 'cozy up' accessories for winter... and SO EASY
that I've done this every winter, in many color combinations

i use the entire arm of a sweater to cover various sizes of glass cylinder vases
 you simply cut the sleeve off of a sweater, and slide it over a glass cylinder vase.
pull the sleeve all the way up the vase for a smooth look,
or scrunch it down like legwarmers for more texture.

small children's sized sweaters work well over drinking glasses as votive candle holders
regular adult sizes fit well over almost every size of medium or tall cylinder vases

the largest vase pictured needed a different approach to surround it with a sweater arm,
because it was too wide for a sweater arm to slip over it.

here's what i did:
 while I prefer to stick with my pale neutral palette,
you can use any color and texture sweater for this project -
though thicker textures work best on larger vases.
[be sure to keep flammable fabric away from candle flames]

Linked Up:

A Crafty Soiree
a crafty soiree / yesterday on tuesday

be inspired friday / common ground

and thank you to Jen on Social Salutations for featuring this post!