Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Photographs: My favorite art

Well hello all! Can you believe it’s almost the weekend already? I swear this week has absolutely flown by.

I got one project completed this week that I’m really, really happy with. (GLEE!!) And I did most of it with what I had, which is always a bonus in my book. :)

When it comes to filling wall space, we don’t have much real art in our home. OK, let me rephrase…we have ZERO real art. :)

An outlet Ballard Designs piece is the closest we get to actual art. Instead I’ve fill our walls with a bunch of molding and lots and LOTS of pictures. Bunches. Gaggles. :)

Photographs are my very favorite art. They’re cheap (most of the time I print them out at home and almost all frames are from Goodwill), they’re easy, and they add a personal touch to our home that no art could.

I’ve grouped framed pictures in almost every room in our house. The playroom:

playroom photo wall

See that squishy face? That’s my baby:

IMG_3162

The cowboy is my Dad as a boy. I could die. :)

That wall of photos is getting a redo soon. I may move the shelves around and am definitely adding new photos throughout.

I filled an empty wall on our stairwell with photos as well:

image

Don’t worry…the mice are gone. As much as I HEART them. :)

And I used photos in a wall in our bedroom as well:

image

You can see they’re usually hung willy nilly. I like the scattered look when it comes to framed photos, which is REALLY weird for me, since I’m the symmetrical queen.

When I started the impromptu redo of the living room, I knew exactly how I wanted to fill the space between the windows. I took at look at the colorway on the fabric I picked for the drapes for some color inspiration:

IMG_3208

I big fat LOVE when they do that! It makes it so easy to work with. You’ll notice there’s 16 different colors in this beautiful fabric, which gave me plenty of options to choose from.

And it turns out, I already had exactly what I needed. :) About eight months ago, I started collecting frames at Goodwill for an idea I had for the living room. I even spray painted them months ago – I bet it’s been about six months.

But when I tried my idea in the room, I didn’t care for it (more about that later!) and left it sitting for months. And wouldn’t you know it – the colors I had already painted the frames worked perfectly for my new idea:

photo art wall

I love using what I have. And I love it even more when the spray painting is already done. ;)

I started finishing off this spot with a Goodwill lamp – it was blinding me with it’s brassiness at the store, but I knew it could be a beauty:

Goodwill lamp

Doesn’t it have the loveliest curves? Oh, she’s so darn pretty. :) I sprayed it with a primer and then a couple coats of Rustoleum’s Heirloom White. I had the shade, and added a ribbon from my stash around the bottom. I love how the color in the ribbon is an exact match to the light brown in the drapes.

That is what I’m talkin’ about! Totally by accident and it worked great. Whooeee!!

I kept the accessories in the HomeGoods tray simple. I didn’t want them to compete with the art:

Homegoods tray

The rattan ball was a couple bucks on clearance at Pottery Barn years ago. The books are those faux books, and I covered them with a linen fabric last year.

The art is my very favorite part! They’re all shots I took (with my point and shoot camera by the way) last year:

I used a few of the wildflower shots (from our neighborhood) and a leaf from a hike last fall. I was going for bright colors that worked with the drapes. LOVE.

I don’t even use mats most of the time – I just cut out white paper and use spray adhesive or double-sided tape to mount the photos right on top. You can’t even tell they’re not the real thing!

Like I mentioned, I usually print my photos out at home (and usually just on basic printer paper), but this time I splurged a little bit. I uploaded them to Walgreens.com and picked them up an hour later.

Uhh, hello?? How have I missed this fabulousness all these years? I knew about it, just never did it. And I’m now hooked. I think the five pictures were about $12.

The new art is the perfect finishing touch for that part of the room:

I’m so in love with it. I smile every time I walk in this space.

There’s still much I want to do – not sure that mirror is staying on the right (it’s a little small). You’ll see a peek of a Goodwill coffee table that’s waiting for a redo. And there’s pillows to make as well. (I am going to attempt to make a pillow with a zipper people.)  ;)

And if you look close enough, you’ll notice the drapes are different lengths, still aren’t hemmed (will they ever be? I don’t know, I don’t know!), and there’s a few holes in the wall I need to paint over.

I was able cover most of those with the frames though. YESSSS.

Because you know I’m a lovah of before and after pics, let’s check out the difference so far, shall we? The dark before:

And with new drapes and a little reworking, the now:

bright living room

BOO.yah. LOVE it.

I know many of you are loving the fabric as much as I am – I got it from Calico Corners and it’s P. Kaufman fabric:

P. Kaufman fabric

I’m trying to find it online and haven’t come up with anything yet. I’ll let you know if I find a link!

So, do you use photos as art in your home? I know one thing – if we ever sell our house, the realtor is going to have a heyday with us. Aren’t you supposed to depersonalize? We’ll have LOTS of empty walls! Or they’ll just have to deal.  :)

P.S. The lamp shade on the side table was a vintage find years ago. Isn’t is perfect?

P.P.S. The spray paints/colors I used on the frames were Rustoleum’s Heirloom White and Espresso and Valspar’s Everglade.

**Adding this to my friend Melissa’s party:

image

95 comments:

  1. Just beautiful! To top it off you took all the pictures, even better I must say. Who needs to buy art these days, right? Your family room is so bright now and I am amazed at how easy it was, you inspire me everyday! Thanks

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  2. Oh, you are making me BRAVE! I really love your art and your thrifty frames. I tend to do that same thing. But this time around, I think i might splurge on a few BomoBob art prints. he gets me every time with his vintage colors!

    hey... tell him to give come see me. we'll talk. m'kay?

    have a great day, sarah!

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  3. Yeah, very beautiful! I need to try this. I'm so very scared of putting things on our walls, so they stay mostly empty. They really just need this personal touch!

    (and ps, thanks for all your blogging tips...just started mine this last week and read all your posts about it :)

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  4. oh, and i had the thought that maybe you wanna add a horizontal crown-like trim across that wall in order to cozy the space up a bit. maybe across two whole walls? do ya know what i am saying here? like i did here. http://www.seriouslyahomemaker.com/2011/01/evolution-of-wall.html But, ya know... add that to the list that is already 40 million items long. or not.

    why am i giving you ideas? stop it. i hate it when people talk.

    bye.

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  5. We definitely use our photography for art in our house! W love to travel and so much of our art displays who we are, where we've been and what we love. It's so cheap and yet totally beautiful!

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  6. Sad to hear about the mice. They are going on our basement steps once we finish the painting. A. DOR. A. BLE. is what I say!

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  7. Your photos are all beautiful! Love the artwork! Those little mice scared me at first glance lol...Love what you are doing with this space...thank you for sharing!

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  8. I absolutely live the lighter, brighter room!

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  9. OMG I am insanely in love with this space. The drapes have me drooling and the way you have used photos through out your home makes me want to ask permission to just move right on in. Dreamy for sure, thanks so much for sharing. Oh yeah & we have photos all over our house too, but I need to update them so badly. I have 3 kids now & only have photos hanging of 1 ...

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  10. I print pictures off the internet and frame them all the time, as well. Your flower pictures are really pretty, and I've even done the stick the picture on a piece of white paper, then frame it thing. You're right, no one ever notices. I love the fabric on your drapes. I've been reading your blog for a while now, and just started my own at http://lavievintagebleu.blogspot.com. I hope you'll come by and check it out.

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  11. Wow, so seriously beautiful. I love everything about it.

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  12. Another inspiring post. I've had you on my google reader for quite some time and thought it was time I'd so some comment love <3

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  13. I heart the brighter look in your room! I am fixin' to (as we say down here) brighten my dining room, bathroom and family room. You have inspired me to get busy!

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  14. I love heirloom white!! It's a highly used product in my home :) You've got some great decor!!!

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  15. Decorating with photography is my favorite. It's almost all I use. I have a small photography business on the side and am proud to say all of my photography on display is my own. Here's a link to the photography display in our living room.

    http://camachohouse.blogspot.com/2010/09/theres-no-place-like-home.html

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  16. Looks nice. Good colors. Yes we have heaps of framed pix,too- but I love colored mats.

    PS-On a totally different note...
    I just have to say something about when you write the words "I could die" or something to that effect...ouch.
    To those of us who have been widowed, or have suffered the loss of a loved one, that phrase is nothing short of offensive. Makes me flinch. Maybe a different, kinder phrase could be used? :)

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  17. Do you make your own curtains? I wish I could sew! Ugh!!

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  18. that looks so great!! We have framed pictures all over our house, too. I love it.

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  19. We do use photos as decoration- they're a nice complement to the original pieces we picked up on our travels.

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  20. Gosh I love it all. The colors are great on the new flower framed wall. All the changes you made to the new living room look great.

    I love the photo walls! Purely amazing.

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  21. Beautiful work! I love photographs as art. We generally theme our rooms, so the office contains photographs from our world travels, the hallway contains "vintage" (read "old") photos on one side, current family photos on the other.

    And I say that if you ever sell your home, the buyers can deal with the photos. :-)

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  22. I am completely overwhelmed with how much brighter the whole room looks!! It is such an amazing transformation! I love it!

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  23. Wonderful! Does not matter if you only have photo's for art. I don't think if someone would walk into your home n go, wow no art. They would walk in and go wow nicely decorated,I wish my wall looks that good! :)

    I am scrapbooker. I have a very bad addiction to it as well. Instead of just being in books, I have moved it into picture frames! It has kicked up some of the plain pictures to a different level of art. I still love plain pictures, matted pictures, but some scream this would look awesome this way!

    Great job!

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  24. LOVE IT! You've given me ideas for what I want to do with some space in our family room! I love what you've done, it turned out so great!

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  25. Absolutely love it! I'm working on a photo wall as well, they are the best.

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  26. I love the idea of using photos to decorate! It makes a home so personal. I'm not a big "art" person either, so I'm on the lookout for cheap frames now...

    One year I found a calendar on clearance ($2 maybe?) that had beautiful up-close flower pictures. I'm planning to try and find frames that match to make a grouping of my favorites from there!

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  27. Love how it's turning out! The art is great, and I love the colors of the frames. We are trying to lighten things up a bit around here too.

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  28. I am completely in love with those drapes but more importantly I love your idea of using plain white paper for matting and adhering your photos on top. Fabulous. I will definitely be borrowing that bit of brilliance. Thanks so much - the room is really coming together.

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  29. So cheerful and inviting now! Love the willy nilly, the frame colors and the drapes! xox!

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  30. I am in love with that room! Those curtains are so light and Spring-y...

    I have only a few pieces of art, otherwise I use photos ALL THE TIME.

    I started putting up photos of FOOD (!!) in our kitchen (because I have a love thang for food photos!)

    Our house is for sale and it is tough to take done the personal photos of family though...oh well. At least my fridge door has nothing on it!

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  31. i one-billion-percent agree with you! i love using photos to decorate. i just can't bear to put them away in albums, hardly to be seen again! plus i think they make the atmosphere cozy....and i like cozy :)

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  32. I love the lamp transformation you did. Check out my ugly lamps that I am about to do..http://www.theinspiredhousewife.com/2011/02/save-the-lamps/

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  33. Sarah, I've been using my photographs and 'matting' them the same way for years, too. It's so much fun!

    I love that your frames aren't all the same color, too! Great job.

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  34. The room is really coming together! So bright and Spring-y. The way you painted and grouped the pictures just looks so happy. It would make me smile every time I walked into the room.

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  35. Nice! That look would also be very nice in a bedroom.

    Di

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  36. As a Home Stager, I can tell you that the photos (of people) would have to go....but since you aren't selling, they are just gorgeous and make your house a HOME.

    I am crazy about the fabric for your curtains! I just love the whole look!

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  37. I love your curtains too! A very beautiful pattern choice. Thanks for the tip on faux matting technique. I have a tip you may want to try. Swap the mirror with your picture in the white frame and then maybe add another frame on top of the white frame to fill the wall where the mirror is now. I love breaking up photos with other shapes, but you may not since you love symmetry. Just a thought to fill the wall where the mirror is too. Keep on inspiring!

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  38. I have a quick question about your lamp spray paint redo. Yours looks SO good, and I picked up a great lamp for $2 at a yard sale last summer and I'm just nervous to get started. Did you sand your lamp or anything before spraying with primer? Maybe your lamp isn't as old as mine, or as worn, but the brass isn't in the best shape. Any ideas about smoothing it out?
    Thanks!

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  39. Mary@lookingupforhelp.blogspotFebruary 24, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    My daughter took gorgeous pics in the botanical garden greenhouse last week, and I immediately wanted to frame them. But you have given me the tutorial on how to Really Make Them Pop! Love everything about your room! Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

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  40. Love. Seriously so gorgeous! I also really love to use photos for art, mostly family pics and nature shots. I'm really inspired by this transformation, and how genius that the fabric came with color swatches like that?! Maybe I've been living in a hole but I've never seen that before!

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  41. I would smile walking in to your new room too! It looks fresh and beautiful!
    Debbie

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  42. Sarah-
    Your new space is GORGEOUS!! LOVE!!! I also mostly used photos of the family to decorate my walls...I don't own any real art either!

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  43. This has to be one of my favorite transformations you've done in a while. I just love how light and airy this room is now!

    I've never really been one to display a lot of photographs but I've really been trying to get out of that mindset lately. Thanks (once again) for the inspiration!

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  44. I love the curtains and new bright look! The addition of the colored frames with the curtains brings a tasteful "tropic" in and am definitely loving that! One question...do you plan anything for the walls above the lower windows & other tall wall(s)? Bare they don't seem "done" to me. What d'ya think?

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  45. I have very similar photos in our bedroom of local trees, flowers & beaches. They are even more precious to me because my teenaged daughter is a very talented photographer & she took most of them. I am going to add couple of picture ledges with painted frames for our ever changing family photos. The look will be very much like you have used in the playroom. Thanks for the inspiration. I know I must have good taste if my ideas are similar to yours!

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  46. You have a FIREPLACE IN YOUR BEDROOM!!!!!!!

    OH SO LURVE. Uhm, if your house should suddenly just disappear, uhm...I'm just sayin'. :-)

    Photos look great. Love the white lamp, too!!

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  47. I have been checking out decorating blogs for inspiration to decorate our new rental. I stumbled across yours and i'm addicted! I check it every day!! I love the ideas you have on a small budget, they are so helpful in my redecorating adventures in our bedroom. I have been trying to find curtain fabric and i love yours! And that lamp is to die for!!! In the picture of your family room you have a wonderful TV stand- where did you get it? i'm hoping to find one at a spring garage sale re-do. Love your blog!!!

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  48. This looks great! I love a mix of different frames hung together! I feel the same way about fabric with the color way on the side - makes life so much easier :)

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  49. I love it! The room is so bright and happy!

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  50. Oh my gosh...but I heart those mice too!!!! Thinking about my basement stairs!!

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  51. Love P. Kaufman fabrics! My bedroom curtains and my soon to be breakfast nook curtains are P. Kaufman. Your space looks fantastic and you certainly know how to rock the photo wall. I could just die *wink* at how fab it looks!!!

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  52. Those pictures are wonderful! I thought at first that they were from a calendar. Love what you've done it's just beautiful!

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  53. Stunning!! I love the way your style is evolving! I'm kind of going through the same thing here! I am a very seasonal decorator. The problem is, I want to paint every season too!
    Love it!

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  54. Despite the recommendations from realtors and home stagers, the decor of a house, the photos on the wall, the paint on the walls - none of it means anything to me when I'm looking to buy a house.
    I don't live in a museum and I don't expect to move into one - in fact I get tons of ideas about decorating and arranging and painting from the homes we visit while we're looking for a house as well as the house we wind up buying. The more important things to look at are the things you CAN'T change (well, without some major renovations!) - the flow of the rooms, the size of the rooms, the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.
    If I want your house when it's for sale, then the picture of your dog or the 246 pictures of your kids aren't going to put me off.
    People LIVE in these houses, you know...
    I'll go with the whole staging idea if the house is empty - rooms with furniture of some sort of another help you imagine... but again, an empty house, if that's the one I want? Not gonna make a bit of difference...

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  55. Love. Love love love love LOVE LOOOOOVVVVVVVEEEEEEE! Lurve? Yes, Lurve and love. It's so bright and happy. Your house is gorgeous but this room is my favorite. It's so bright and colorful. I *heart* color. And walgreens.com is my BFF. It saves me from hassling with my evil printer.

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  56. "Willy nilly"...I like that! I love the three-color combination you chose for the frames above the dresser. It's all so lovely!

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  57. The photo of your Dad is priceless!

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  58. The pictures in the room are so cheery. These are great and just put a smile on your face. Good job!

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  59. That looks so good with the pictures - they ad just the right amount of color burst!

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  60. I just LOVE this post! Your ideas look great. I just love when I can use what I have; the projects always turn out best and make people appreciate them even more when they find out!

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  61. I just started reading your blog about two weeks ago. You totally inspired me! You are so fearless, so I decided to try a couple of projects myself. Last weekend I made 7 throw pillows (two with zippers) and I haven't used a sewing machine in over 20 years. If you can use a saw and cut molding than you can sew a zipper into a pillow! Good luck!

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  62. Love your blog.....pictures are the best, family pics, botanicals, kids artwork. Whats a home without them. Have it hanging all over my house. I just starting this blogging thing not too long ago and am getting so inspired by all of you wonderfully talented women!

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  63. Love the photos you took and I love the idea of using photos all over our house. I too am usually a symmetry goddess, but our family collage going upstairs is also willy-nilly! And we love it. I also like to use art from online photographers or my friends who have a much better eye than I do.

    Here's a current favorite:
    http://www.debcampbellphoto.com/

    You can order her prints at a reasonable price. We're originally from Central IL, but now living in East TN and her pictures of this area are nothing less than spectacular!

    Susan

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  64. Didn't have a chance to comment until just now, but I had to tell you how fab I think the room is! Other than a couple of family art pieces and some tchotchkes, I think just about all of our art is made of photographs. So much more personal. :)

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  65. I love the new redo. I like that mirror. I would hang a bigger frame around it to make the mirror it's own art piece and to make it a bit more substantial. But that's just me!

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  66. I love the new colors. The room is really starting to look beautiful! I'm a big fan of family photos, as opposed to artwork as well. I want to be surrounded by touches of "us" when I am home. I want it to be a home, not a house.

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  67. I love decorating with "my people" pictures. My favorites right now are my son, my niece and my nephew. They are my world right now. When I look at their little faces-- I smile.

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  68. I love decorating with photos...although I still need practice and how to use my camera better. I love the fabric you found for the curtains - beautiful! The entire room looks so pretty and so comfy! :)

    Roeshel

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  69. I love how the room is coming together for you!!! Looks awesome.

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  70. Your room is quite lovely. The color is perfect and your framed images work wonderfully. I too use white paper for matting lol. The real stuff is pricey! I recently hung printed out images in frames in my living room. I simply turned the stock image around to the white side for matting and used spray adhesive to afix the art! Quick and easy.

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  71. I LOVE how much brighter everything looks! We have a D-A-R-K family room and I really wish I could brighten it up. You have inspired me...

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  72. If I had as many professionally shot, gorgeous photos as you I would have many more framed pics out for sure. Your photos are just beautiful.

    I really like your arrangements of the framed photos too. :)

    @Armelle: GREAT idea! I think I will do that! As soon as I am employed and can get frames or find decent frames at Goodwill anyway. :) Really, though, awesome idea!!! Thanks!

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  73. Actually, I love the before pic as much as the after. I love warm and cozy and I also love light and airy. I think that we go through different "seasons" in our lives,and we go with that "ebb and flow" decorator wise.

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  74. Love the space - it really brightens everything up now. And I love just following along with your writings. You are funny! Good job!

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  75. I love the bright light airiness of the room! And your art photos are just gorgeous and beautifully framed to go with the curtains, but I love what you've done with the family photos too, resting them against free floating shelves. I've picked up some wonderful ideas for my home! Thanks!

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  76. Love how bright your room looks now. Also loving the curtains, I bought some from jcpenney that are a bit similar to yours, they are called Deanna thermal floral pinch-pleat.

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  77. Love your blog! It is so nice to get inspired to finish projects when I see your gorgeous results!

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  78. It looks so great! Love the pop of green frames. The light and airy curtains and fab, too!

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  79. I am LOVING the new light and airy look! The framed art is the perfect touch. It looks wonderful. If I ever printed any photos, I might be able to use them as art. I am THE worst about printing my photos. I need to work on that.

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  80. This makeover is FANTASTIC. The brighter colors make the room have an entirely different feel. It is so much more inviting and cozy. Great job! I LOVE the fabric. You can't go wrong with Pkafmann.

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  81. Hi Thrifty Chick! I just found you and am loving everything about your site. I just committed myself to my own blog, trying just to write on a regular basis. The layout, content and graphics will have to evolve more organically. If you have a moment to take a look let me know what you think. So glad I found you - keep it up!
    agoodlifewelllived.blogspot.com

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  82. Today TDC will hit 10,000 fans.....Congratulations!!!!!

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  83. This is awesome! I always decorate with photographs, too, as that is what I have available (especially fond of my kiddo pics.) Just stumbled on your blog and I'm definitely adding you to my favorites!

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  84. Love how your pictures turned out...and just in time for Spring!!

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  85. This is gorgeous! Great job!! Pleeease post about making the pillow with the zipper! I've been toying with the idea of recovering all of the pillows on our brand-new couch. (my husband is going to kill me!:)

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  86. Love the art & frames! Great choice. So fun to use what you have, isn't it?

    I bought tray you have too, well actually I bought 2 of them! :) Couldn't resist. Bought the small & medium sized.

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  87. The LAMP = Love ! :)

    http://youngcheathams.blogspot.com/

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  88. I love it:) Now I want to find all my pictures and frame them! Great ideas...

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  89. Congratulations on hitting 10,000! I really enjoy your blog; it gives me inspiration although I don't get near as much done as you. Too many other irons in the fire, I guress.

    I think my favorite thing you did this month was the little hooks for the Bubs. That was a great use of that space and looks great.

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  90. I think decorating with photos is awesome. Check out my hallway that I did using my husband's face in different emotional poses. I get the sweetest compliments on it.

    http://notflashysparkles.blogspot.com/2011/01/hallway-project-of-faces.html

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  91. Hi there... I know you've probably been asked a million times but I wondered if you'd found that fabric as of yet? I LOVE it and am wanting to transform my brown brown brown living room with some color! I've searched for p kaufmann all over online but haven't found anything yet that looks identical. Is it a light blue-ish gray-ish green background?

    Thanks!

    Nicole
    nic073@Yahoo.com

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  92. Love all your photos, girl! They are the best gallery walls of all...seeing those people we love is priceless!!

    Thanks for sharing your wall with the Gallery Wall party!! xo

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  93. Just popping over from The Inspired Room. It is great to see your gallery wall. Mine is #10.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    Gg - Notes on the Journey

    ps. Your home is beautiful, even more your wee boy.

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  94. You are so inspiring!! I couldn't be happier to find your work right before the move to a new house!! Thanks!

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!