Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Breaking Rules and a Thrifty Wall Makeover

If you've heard us say it once, you've heard it a thousand times. Never underestimate the power of a good thrifting adventure.  If you're one of those people who's all "Suuuuure, thrift stores are full of treasures, but I never find them...." or  "Ewww, thrift stores are full of useless junk ..." you should definitely keep reading.

A few weeks ago, we were called upon by a darling client (DC) - who asked us to help her finish a project that had been weighing her down for quite some time:  Hanging family pictures on the dreaded stairway walls. 

A self-proclaimed Type A, our DC had avoided the project many reasons - including her uncertainty around "the rules" attached to mixing color photos with black and white, candid shots with portraits, wood toned frames with metallic frames, etc. She also wanted to share her family's story - their love of the outdoors, history, teaching, their Irish heritage - but she was unsure how to blend it all together to create a look and style that made sense. She enlisted us to help her break the rules, rescue her from wall paralysis, and create the collected style she envisioned but couldn't achieve on her own.

At the in-home consultation, we talked our DC into giving us access to her decorative accessory graveyard treasure trove (you know you have one - maybe a dried floral arrangement or two, some bright, gold candlesticks, a few empty picture frames maybe?).  We sifted through her trove, uncovered a few gems, then set out to hunt and gather for more goodies that would help tell their story.

First stop? A thrift store, of course, because that's what this blog post is all about. And then... a beautiful thing happened called - we found a fantastic, storytelling, character-infusing collection of accessories, artifacts and frames for under $70.  Swear. Here's the list:
  1.  A nature-inspired, framed, original oil painting
  2.  A vintage mirror
  3.  Framed Irish blessing
  4.  A natural wicker vase
  5.  A small ceramic vase
  6.  An iron bird's nest
  7.  A framed cross
  8.  2 vintage, copper candlesticks with glass flutes
  9.  5 natural, wood picture frames
  10.  3 brushed metal picture frames  
With plenty of budget to spare, we purchased a few new items to complete the stairwell gallery wall space plus, spruce up the base of the stairway. We added a pair of gold candle sconces, some dried florals, a homey burlap wall hanging, a chalkboard sign and a collection of U's.  Our DC explained an apparent letter U maker conspiracy that makes finding a U equal to finding gold - so we snatched up every one we could find and created a U collage! Take that letter U makers! For all you letter U seekers, we found a few more at Hobby Lobby, one of which we Modpodged with book pages. Our favorite is this clever, little U created from a book...


Aren't they fantastic?! You can buy book letters here!

Next, with a quick trip to our DCs village office, we were able to snag a village map which we aged to perfection (dark wax is the bomb), honoring her request to represent their strong ties to the community in which they live. 

Our DC's treasure trove produced a few good finds as well - a fun Irish sign and a couple of metallic frames. We also rescued a decorative urn which was hidden beneath dated greens. After pulling those babies out, she was good as new! Tucked away in the sitting room cabinet, we found a pair of vintage books that we placed on a shelf. Unbeknownst to us, they were our DCs Grandfather's books from long ago. She was touched to see them displayed and we were reminded how much we love what we do.
We threw all of this collected deliciousness into a pot, seasoned it with a little craftiness and rule-breaking know-how... and voila!

A thrifty, wall makeover that made our DC and her family feel right at home - while we had fun breaking the rules!

We leave you with this, Collected Society....


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