Fall Home Decor Pieces

Who knew I would be so excited about the temperatures dipping into the 80's?  This week it's supposed to cool off just a tiny bit and it makes me so excited for the cooler temperatures to come.  This past week I pulled out a few of my fall decorations and started switching out my pillow covers for the new season ahead.  I know it's a little early for some, but I was itching for a change and, for me at least, September always feels like the beginning of fall.  One of my favorite ways to decorate for fall is with textures and layers, rather than loads of fall themed decor items.  Here are a few decor pieces that feel like fall to me and can mix in well throughout the year.

Have you started decorating for fall yet?  


DIY picture ledge shelves

Things are always changing and evolving around our home.  It's part of what I love about decorating. I like to change things up as my style changes and I also tend to tweak things after living with them for a while.  That was the case with this wall in our living room.  There was nothing really wrong with it, but I knew it could be better.  This wall is pretty large and I felt like the shelves were getting lost on it.  I also wanted to be able to pack as many family photos on this wall as possible since it's one of the few spaces we have for photos. 

So here's what it looked like before, not bad but like I said, could be better.  

I also felt like the bottom shelf was just a tad too high and it always sort of bugged me.  I knew I wanted the new shelves to be long, really long.  Like 12 feet long.  So I called my brother in law who happened to be itching for a wood working project and asked him to make me some new shelves.  He graciously agreed.  I had him make the shelves deeper than my original shelves as well so I could layer some of the frames.  There are lots of tutorials out there for these types of shelves and they seem fairly simple to make.  (This one from Ana white looks similar) Home Depot or Lowes will cut the wood to size for you and all you have to do is screw the boards together.  My brother in law also added some wood glue for extra stability.  In case you are interested in making some of your own, he used poplar wood so it would be more straight but any type of wood would work really.  He used 1" x 3" boards for the back, 1" x 4" boards for the bottom and 1" x 2" boards for the front piece.  And all of them were 12 feet long.      

I chose to paint the shelves the same color as our walls (Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray) for a more seamless look.  I wanted the pictures to get the attention, not the shelves.  And here's what it looks like now.

It really is amazing what a difference it makes, especially in person.  That wall feels so much more substantial now and we have room for so many more pictures.  You may have also noticed the chairs are different.  We switched them out after a few people bumped their heads on the lower shelves.  The higher backs on the new chairs eliminate that problem.  Plus we've had those chairs for several years and it was nice to have an excuse to change things up.     


Inexpensive Acrylic Curtain Rod

Every now and then I come across a deal that is too good not to share.  We are in the process of having our office wallpapered and I think an acrylic rod would really pop off the faux grasscloth.  I can't wait to show you guys when it's finished!  In my searching I came across this one from urban outfitters for only $34!  

Unfortunately it's too small for my space, but if you have a single window it would be perfect!  I think it would also make a great towel bar.  I'm thinking about trying this tutorial for a longer rod.  I'll  let you know how it goes!


Free Animal Prints

This may be the most drawn out nursery reveal ever, but I promise it'll all be shared soon.  Today I wanted to show you how I got these animal prints for next to nothing.  We have one large wall in the nursery that was pretty much a blank canvas and I knew I wanted to fill it with a gallery wall of some sort.  I went back and forth on how I wanted to do it, but settled on the idea of doing eight identical frames to keep things looking streamlined.  I found the frames at Homegoods, but these (affiliate link) look similar.

  Then I had to decide what to put in them.  Since I had 8 frames to fill I knew I didn't want to spend a  lot.  After a little searching I came across The Biodiversity Library and it was like a dream come true.  I could easily spend hours searching their site looking at all the beautiful old pictures.  The best part is they are all free!  You can download the pictures and print them however you would like.  The best/cheapest way I found to do this was to print them at the UPS store.  Just choose copies/quick prints and then pick your size.  I needed 11 x 14 so I just chose the 11 x 17 paper and cut off the excess.  They run specials often so be sure to check for a coupon code.  Each print cost me less than $2 which is a steal for something this size.  The paper is pretty thin, just like regular copy paper so you just have to handle them carefully until you get them in the frames.   

When it comes to searching for different images, the best/easiest way to do that is to check out their flickr stream.  You can scroll through hundreds of different images and then just download the ones you want.  I found the images I used here and here.  I removed the background and made it white in photoshop for a more cohesive look.  I do love the look of the vintage background as well though.  The hardest part is narrowing it down and picking the images.  There are seriously so many good ones!  And they have more than just animals.  There are tons of flowers, plants, sea life, pretty much anything you could think of.  I actually found the prints for my guest room here as well.  You can find that post here.  

And I should add that this post is NOT sponsored in any way.  I just like to share a good thing when I find it.  So, I hope you enjoy this amazing resource as much as I have and if you spend the better part of your afternoon browsing their site, don't say I didn't warn you :)

Nursery Bookshelves

Well that was a long break!  If you follow me on instagram (dwellingsbydevore) then you already know that our little man decided to join us a little sooner than expected, about 7 weeks early.  Of course it took us all a bit by surprise, but we are just so thankful that he is here and doing well.  He spent about 10 days in the NICU, but did really well the whole time.  I've actually thought about sharing his birth story here since I always enjoy reading those, even though it's totally unrelated to design.  Anyways, he's now 3 months old and getting chubbier by the day.  The boy likes to eat!  He is the sweetest baby and has brought our family so much love and joy! 

Thankfully I finished his nursery before he made his debut because I'm pretty sure the plans for stenciling the walls would have gone right out the window if it hadn't been done beforehand.  I'm going to share the nursery a bit at a time and then do a full reveal linking all the posts together.  In case you missed it, you can see the inspiration for his nursery here and the stenciled walls here.  

I love acrylic.  So I knew I wanted to use some acrylic bookshelves in his nursery.  I used similar shelves in my daughter's nursery and recently moved them into her big girl room.  This wall seemed like the perfect spot for them.  The clear material keeps things feeling open and modern. 

The marquee star was a lucky Goodwill find.  It was originally from Target and painted red, but I thought the silver suited the room better.  A quick coat of spray paint made that an easy change.

You can find the shelves here.  They have held up pretty well so far.  Obviously my son is too little to mess with them, but my daughter has done a pretty good job of breaking them in and so far so good.  I may drill an additional hole in the middle for some extra support.  Overall they are a great deal and way cheaper than some of the other versions I've seen.  Stay tuned for the rest of the nursery!


Bamboo Nightstands

I completed this project a few months ago but forgot to share it with you guys here.  I've always loved the look of bamboo furniture, but it's popularity can make it tricky to find, especially for a good price.  So when I was looking for nightstands for our guest room, I decided to make my own with some IKEA Rasts and pre made bamboo molding.  You can find the full tutorial over at Ehow.

Also, today is the last day to vote for me in the Bob Vila lighting challenge.  I so appreciate all of you who have voted for me so far!  I'm in second place right now and the voting ends tonight!  If you have a minute you can VOTE HERE, even if you've already voted you can vote again.  It only takes a second, no registration required, just a quick click.  

Thanks so much!


Birch Tree Stencil and Tips

Well I finally went for it last week and started stenciling the walls in the nursery.  Do you ever have those projects that seem like they are going to be huge and really ambiguous so you put them off?  That's how I felt about this, but I'm happy to report I was wrong!  Don't get me wrong, it was definitely a big project but very manageable.  It's totally doable for anyone.  All you need is a little time and patience.  

Ever since we found out we were having a boy I knew I wanted to use the silver birches allover stencil from Olive Leaf Stencils.  It was the starting point for the design board for his room.  I've always loved the Cole and Son Wood Wallpaper, but it would have cost me a small fortune to do that in this room.  So I knew I could get a similar look for a fraction of the cost using this stencil.  

Let me give you a little peek at the before of the room.  We hadn't touched this room since we moved in since we hoped we would be able to use it for a nursery one day.  The walls were the same builder basic white that is in other areas of our home.  It's not bad, but the undertones weren't right for this space.  I really wasn't thrilled about painting the whole room first, but thankfully my mom and husband came to the rescue and helped a ton with this step.  I chose to paint the walls and ceiling Sherwin Williams Pure White.  I can't tell you how glad I am that I did this.

So again, here's the before.

I learned a few things along the way that I thought I'd share with you guys in case you decide to tackle this yourself.  I have to say that this stencil is very forgiving which makes it so much easier to work with.  Since birch trees in nature aren't perfect and are a little more organic, the stenciling can be the same way.  So don't worry if it's not perfect!  I promise it will all come together in the end. 

First, I set up a little station in the bathroom with my paint, foam roller, and a stack of paper towels.  More on this in a minute.

Then I started in an inconspicuous corner of the room, behind the door, to make sure I didn't completely mess up.  I was amazed at how easy it was!  I used a laser level to make sure everything was even.  If you don't have one it's well worth the $15 investment.  I can't tell you how many times I've used this thing.  (I have this one)

Then I taped down the edges with painters tape.  If you are concerned about getting things super crisp you can use spray adhesive on the back of the stencil and skip the tape.  I was a little worried about the adhesive showing up on the white wall and yellowing over time so I went the tape route instead.  It was definitely easier and worked just fine for me. 

You want to make sure you don't oversaturate the roller with paint.  Less is more when it comes to this project.  Even if you have to do a few coats it's better to start lightly and add multiple thin layers.  So dip your foam roller in the paint and then roll off some of the excess on the stack of paper towels.  (see first picture)  Roll gently over the whole stencil and then repeat if necessary.  Slowly pull the stencil off the wall.  

I can't tell you how excited I was to pull it off and see how well it worked.

I continued to work my way around the room following the same process.  I started in the middle of the wall and waited for that to dry.  Then I would do another one right beside it and while it was drying I would do the top and bottom portion of the previous section.  This allowed me to not have to wait several minutes for each section to dry before moving on.  I also slightly staggered the stencil from side to side.  

I taped off the baseboards and ceilings to avoid getting paint on those areas.  Of course I still made a few mistakes so I just touched up those areas afterwards.  I also just sort of bent the stencil to make it work along the edges and top and bottom since it wasn't an exact fit.  Once again don't worry about it being perfect.  You won't be able to tell!  

A few other things to keep in mind.  I originally planned on using black or a dark charcoal gray.  I changed my mind because I was worried the high contrast would be a little too busy with me doing all four walls.  I'm so glad I did because it was also much easier to stencil with a lighter color.  And in case anyone is wondering I used Sherwin Williams Windstorm.  I really love this shade of gray.  It's gray with just a touch of warmth to it to keep it from being too blue.  I also washed the stencil about halfway through each wall.  You'll realize when it's time to do this.  You'll have to start pushing harder to get the paint to go through the stencil and the edges won't be as crisp.  It's well worth the effort it takes to quickly clean it.  I found the easiest way to do this was to let it soak in the bathtub for a few minutes and then I could peel large sections of paint off it and rinse it.  Since I used a water based paint it came off pretty easily.

Overall it took me three days to finish.  I tried to do a little more than a wall a day and it took me about 5-6 hours each day.  It went by pretty quickly and was well worth the effort!  

So in summary, since I realize that was a little wordy...

Now that this part is done everything has really started coming together.  We picked up a light at the West Elm outlet this past weekend and I found a great rug at Homegoods.  Just a few more projects and it will be done!  I can't wait to show you the end result!  If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them.

*I was provided with a stencil for review, all opinions are 100% mine.