What’s On Your Walls?

This summer I spent a lot of time on art and not much time blogging about decorating! I was thrilled to have a solo show of my fiber art at the Reston Community Center in August, and even more thrilled that several of my pieces sold. It’s so gratifying to have other people like what I do. Here are a couple of the pieces that sold:

fiber art, wall hanging, floral, flowers, bright colors, cheerful, colorful

Floral Landscape 1


fiber art, fabric, colorful, wall hanging, purple, gold, floral, flowers

Seismic Garden


fiber art, wall hanging, blues, night landscape, fabric, fjord, water, ombre

Violet Hour

So let’s segue from there into what you can put on your walls other than pictures or paintings. The possibilities are so much more varied than they were even a decade ago!

First off, there’s fiber art (-:

fiber art, wall hanging, fabric, graphic, bold, geometric

Good Neighbors


Then, there’s metal sculpture. This is from my own home, which I blogged about previously here.


metal sculpture, metal wall art, sunburst

Another take on metal wall art – I love these plates behind the bed that become a de facto headboard:

metal wall art, brass plates, silver bedroom

Words that express your values, hopes, dreams, likes and dislikes are a fun way to spice up your walls.

Wooden wall art, words on wall, signs, rustic wall decor


How about something really different? Not many people have doorknob wall decor!


And fiber comes in many shapes and forms, not just quilted wall hangings like I make. How about this decorative rug from joolzigens on Etsy.com?

decorative rug, wall hanging

Change one thing on your walls this fall for an infusion of new energy into your space. Try something different. Places like Target and HomeGoods are inexpensive sources for fun items that can update and enliven your rooms. We’re coming into that season of spending more time inside, so it’s nice to get things really cozy and set for a comfortable cold season indoors.



Choosing Color for Your Walls

It can seem overwhelming to decide what color should be on your walls. Lots of people paint their walls white or off-white because they’re afraid of making a mistake with color. Which is understandable, because even though one is always hearing that paint is a cheap way to make a difference in your decor, I always think – huh?? Paint has gotten expensive lately, and painting a room requires either a big effort and a lot of upheaval if you do it yourself, or spending real money to hire someone else to do it. So how do you gain the confidence to be bolder with color?

Here are some tips, gleaned from Maria Killam of Color Me Happy.

Most neutral colors (beiges, grays, grayed-down greens and blues) have an undertone. This comes from the paint formula itself. It depends upon the proportions of red, yellow, blue in the formula. More of one or the other will give the color an overall cast, or undertone. Same with grays – the undertones can be blue, green, or violet. A green might be more brown, or more gray, yellowish or bluish. The way to see the undertones is to compare a few colors that upon first appearance look very similar. Look at a bunch of beiges together, and you’ll start to see the undertones. Do this with whatever color you’re considering.

Pink – Beige Walls and Ceiling (Pinterest)

Yellow-Beige Stone Wall (Pinterest)

If you already feel that something in your room is “off” color-wise, it could be that two of your large elements are at odds regarding their undertones. For example, your sofa might be a yellow-beige and your carpet a pink-beige; they will not complement each other but will actually each make the other less attractive. Simple switching one out so that the undertones are the same will work wonders for enhancing the overall look.

Green-Beige on Walls with Green Sofa

Knowing that, then start thinking about what will work in your room. The color on the walls will be a big factor in tying the room together. Use the big pieces in the room as a guide. For example,  choose the carpet color and repeat it on the walls. This will unify the room. If the rug or the sofa is a deep shade, i.e. red, blue, dark green, etc., choose a neutral with an undertone of the same. That would be a pink-beige, a blue-gray, or a green-beige ior green-gray in the three examples above. Where you get into trouble with color is choosing a neutral with an undertone that is different from the colors you’ve got going on already. A beige paint with a pink undertone will not look right with yellow-beige furniture.

Whatever color you choose, have a small pot ($7 at Benjamin Moore stores) made and paint it onto a poster board. Hold the poster board against a white background – i.e. a larger unpainted poster board – so that the existing wall color does not distort the one you’re auditioning.  With the white background behind it, hold the new color up against your furniture, drapes, carpet, etc. to make sure it makes a pleasing combination with all of them.

The orange sofa brings out the orange tint in the stone wall, above. (House Beautiful)

If you plan to replace something sooner or later,  like a carpet you hate or an old sofa, then choose your color based on the elements in the room that you know will be staying, even if the combination with the undesirable element is not great. You will know that the overall cohesiveness of the space will improve a lot when you do get around to making the change you are planning on. Just remember to take a sample of your paint to the furniture store or carpet store. Don’t depend on your memory to tell you that the colors will go well together. You really have to see them together to ensure that the undertones don’t clash.

Call me for help if it’s still too daunting to commit to all that paint!

Stencils – the new faux finishes

There are so many fun ideas out there for wall treatments right now. Paint has always been the easiest way to make a dramatic change in the look and feel of a room. Then there were faux finishes – ragging, stucco-like looks, marbleizing, etc. Now there are these fabulous stencils out there to add patterned interest to small or large areas of a room. Check these out:

For an elegant look:


Or a botanical theme:


How about a Moroccan tiled look, a style that’s found quite a footing lately:


Or last but not least, a just plain fun look:


All of the above come from Cutting Edge Stencils. You can find them here, along with dozens of others designs to whet your creative appetite:


I have not used one of these yet, but have read of others using them. What I hear is that they adhere well to the wall so that the paint does not drip down behind the stencil, and the registration marks on the stencils are easy to use so that if the design is a repeating one, it’s not hard to get the repeat to come out accurately. Right now I’m in the process of rethinking our family room, and one of these is definitely on the list of strong possibilities!