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If Walls Could Talk...

There are a LOT of model homes here in Southern California!
Every builder creates a jaw-dropping, show-stopping block 
of every model they offer in every subdivision - to entice buyers.

Mom and I looked at a LOT of model homes when she was deciding to buy hers.
I've been touring model homes all of my life, since my teens, 
because I love seeing how they are decorated. I love the details. 
I love the designer touches that you can't get in a house -  they are 'for inspiration only'. 
And that's EXACTLY what I use them for!

Case in Point:
The WALL TREATMENTS at three new neighborhoods' models nearby,
built by Pardee Homes (who built our new house).
I saw the models earlier this month, and was impressed with
the interesting textures and patterns on the 'builder boring' walls:

Painted Wood
See that first photo up above, with the board & batten wood paneling?
I think that's what we're going to add to a niche in our entry hall.
We can't use shiplap, because the horizontal pattern will make the already long hall look longer...
so I think the vertical B&B pattern will be the best solution.

Stained Wood
I especially like the wood flooring applied to the back of an entryway cubby unit:

Stained Wood ON THE CEILING!


Photographic Mural
(it's a photo of a rusty train car)

'Wood Look' Ceramic Tiles


Stuck on what to do with YOUR walls?

Head over to some local model homes and get inspired!


Easy Chalkboard Makeover!

A year and a half ago, I discovered a HAUL of FREE stuff behind a store...
(don'tcha' love it when that happens?!)
There was a HUGE 12' tall 4' wide white hutch with shelves
which I donated the hutch to Laura's House ReSale Store, where I was creating visuals.
(the store ceiling is over 20' high so that thing works perfectly in there!).

And then there were THESE babies:

Two chalkboards that were a bit worse for the wear,
with peeling paint and dirt for DAYS.
I kept them anyway! They've been in storage ever since.

I got inspired recently, and pulled them out of the garage for a makeover...
after I cleaned them, repainted the black chalkboard surface with flat black paint,
and covered up the dark red trim with flat white paint,
I got to work on the lettering.
Here's a simple way to do the lettering:

Determine what you want to say, and what font to use, and how large it will be,
then print or draw it onto plain white paper - use pen or pencil.

Flip the paper over, and use a white crayon to color across the back 

of entire area where the words are on the front.
(Make it a pretty thick coat of crayon for it to work best.)
Flip the paper back over, carefully set it in place on your chalkboard surface -
wherever it is that you want the words to be situated - 
and then use a pencil or ballpoint pen to trace back over the original lettering.

Put as much pressure as you can on it without tearing the paper OR moving the paper.
When you've traced the whole word, carefully lift the paper straight up.
You'll have a perfect outline in white crayon of your lettering.

Now just fill it in with white paint (if you want it permanent) or with white chalk.
I used very small brushes to apply flat white paint on mine,
then I added detail using a black fine-point sharpie marker:
The 'Menu' chalkboard now hangs next to our kitchen pantry,
and the 'home SWEET home' one is in our entryway.
They add a crisp counterpoint to all of the neutrals in the decor,
and offer a place to personalize greetings for our guests! 

(pinnable images)

Want another easy chalkboard project?

Check out my tutorial for creating a chalkboard, below:
my secret? use a sheet of cement tile backer board!
sand well and paint it with several coats of flat black or chalkboard paint, 
then drill holes in the corners and screw into studs in your wall.

I used a piece of an old wood gutter as a bottom rail, to hold chalk!

It ends up looking, feeling, and SOUNDING exactly like 
an old slate chalkboard when you write on it!
(RETREAT was my former business in the vintage industry)

shared online:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}


* pumpkin palooza! *

Wow, is FALL really here already?
ok, well, it's not the 'official' beginning of fall, but
it's time to break out the fall decor...

Here at homewardFOUNDdecor
that means scrounging up materials from all over the house
and turning them into something fun to decorate with!

I've got loads of fall decor ideas for you here in my blog archives,
including tutorials for my signature & original pumpkins:
My Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins (designed 2007)

My Original Glass Globe Pumpkins (designed 2011)

Faux Concrete Styro Pumpkins (tutorial shared 2014)

Painted Pumpkin Pails (designed 1994)
... and my versions of

Yeah, I know - that's more than the '6 projects' touted in the graphic above!
Once you get me started..... ;)

My OWN pumpkin decor includes the very FIRST Sweet Sweater Pumpkins I ever made! 
Yep, I've been storing and using them since waaaaaay back in 2007.
I'll be putting those - and newer versions - out soon.... 


pretty paper posies

Things are really bloomin' here at project homeward!

A few weeks ago, I posted the paper flowers that I created,
 using vintage book pages and sheet music.
Find my Paper Flower Tutorial HERE

When my Mom saw those flowers hanging on the wall in my studio,
she got VERY excited and asked me to make some for her bedroom.
She's been buying decorative wrapping paper ever since for her flowers!

Wednesday was the day... 
I cut, glued, stapled, folded, fringed and fluffed various papers
and the result was the pretty posies you see in these images:

We did add ONE thing to these that I don't have on mine: BLING!
A couple of sparkly earrings are the perfect finishing touch.

It was a lot of fun working on these together
(we were working on them on the kitchen island, and Mom called herself my 'sous chef'!)

She loves the way the flowers brighten up her bedroom...
she's re-using the linens that she had in the master bedroom from the old house,
and that room had a lot of bronze and brown in it. It was more masculine - for Dad.
The use of aqua and white in her new room is much more feminine and cheerful
and Mom definitely deserves cheerful <3

wouldn't paper flowers like these make great party decor?
warm oranges for fall, reds & whites for Holiday, yellow for spring,

baby blues & pinks for a baby shower...
just THINK of the possibilities! (wink)

Shared Online:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}


project homeward: coffee table makeover

In the course of our move to the new house, we had to decide what to keep.
The coffee table was a keeper, simply because we needed one and didn't know what we might want later.
Later, we discovered that while the glass top was totally out of character for the room,
the nicely-shaped wrought iron base was pretty cool, even if the charcoal color wasn't.

So what can you do with a pretty cool metal table base that's the wrong color?
First, you paint it!
I chose an aged rust faux finish because it coordinates with another decorative element
that I can't share yet (because it's not in the house yet).
I use a particular process and products to achieve this effect,
but I'm not sharing that.
Read my comments at the end of this post in regard to that....

Moving on....

...after the base was painted, I brought in a cable spool top that we had purchased.
(tearing these cable spool suckers apart is a hefty job,
and I was happy to pay someone else who had already done the hard part)

I cleaned it and thought about sanding it down (for all of ten seconds) then had a better idea:
paint it! 
It's easier, yes, but also - look at that photo on the right above:
Everything is BROWN. Floor. Table. Sofa. SOOOOO much dark brown.
On the other side of this big open room is the kitchen with white cabinets....
so I needed to pull some white over here into the living room to balance it.

Some flat white paint dry-brushed onto the wood took care of that in short order -
applied heavier in some areas (so it would cover up the stamped words) and lighter in others.
I didn't sand this, I just applied the paint with varied pressure.

In the end, it's got a kind of vintage beachy farmhouse worn look that I love.
Actually, years ago, I found a table top that looked very similar washed up on the beach...
I hauled it home to my island farmhouse, and put it on a pedestal as a table.
I loved it. And I love this.
(My dining room table is gonna' get this same treatment soon!)
The paint dried quickly because it was such a thin, dry application...
so I was able to put the succulent planter in the center.

Then I looked at the holes where the bolts had held the cable spools together,
and thought 'votive cups would fit in there'....
and when I located an old candleholder that we had,
it held exactly SIX votive cups with rounded bottoms
that fit into the SIX bolt holes so perfectly
that it was like they were designed for each other!
I love it when a plan comes together!

shared online:
Cupackes & Crinoline
| Project Inspire{d}

So.... let me say this about my aged rust faux finish 

*just so it's clearer here than on my fb page 
and will not spark a controversy with anyone*:

Over the course of fifteen years or so,
as I was refurbishing furniture and accessories to sell at vintage shows and painting murals,
I learned a lot about paint and techniques. I invested a lot of time practicing the art of faux painting.
I developed some of my own processes & mixtures that are my own 'secret' formulas, so to speak.
Big companies like Disney, Coca Cola and Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery refer to this as 'proprietary information'  - and it is basically highly sensitive and guarded stuff.

That's my faux rust technique/process/procedure/products, folks.
Proprietary, Secret, and highly guarded information. Mine.

Sorry, but I'm not sharing it.
Someday, I may develop it into a class, or a book, or even a product line.
Gee, I'd love to make money from one of my ideas!!! ;)
Anyway, that's the reason I refer to it as my 'secret formula/secret weapon' etc. -
 because it's a secret, and I'm not telling.
Not to be rude to anyone out there, but just to protect my own interest.
( I have shared my faux concrete painting technique -
including my 'secret ingredient' for realistic effect -
and y'all loved it. It's a really popular post! And I am glad you like it! )

But this is different, and I just want to be clear about not divulging the specifics of it.
Being up front here, and asking you not to ask me to -
AND requesting that if you think I'm greedy or mean for not sharing it,
Not interested in hearing any rants about how I owe it to the public to divulge all of my secrets.