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My New Chevron Wall!

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 in Design & Decorating | 7 comments

My favorite pattern of the moment (sorry damask) is chevron!  I love it and had to incorporate it into my home somehow.

*paint colors: Silver Sateen by Behr, Alabaster by Sherwin Williams, Warm Yellow by Rustoleum

I wanted to do a gray and white chevron wall, but had to decide where to do it. Our guest room has been gray, yellow, and brown for a few years, so I chose that room.  I liked the brown walls, but thought it was time for a change.  I then had to decide which wall I wanted to create the pattern on.  Originally I was thinking the wall behind the bed, but then thought that it would be too busy (with the window breaking up the pattern, sconces, lamps, etc).  So I decided on the wall adjacent to the bed.  Wall before:

Wall is a custom color = email or comment for the color 'recipe'

**Basically, no matter what I have done or will do to this room is a vast improvement from what it was when we closed on our house (it was a destroyed foreclosure and I am creating a page with before and afters of the whole house, so check back soon!).  Here is the beast when we closed on the house back in September 2008:

This is me (behind) and my friend, Christina, in ’08 painting the ceilings of this room (can you BELIEVE I BOUGHT THIS PLACE?!!?!?)

I will take you through the adventure of how to create a chevron wall.  If you need assistance with figuring out which wall might work well in your home or calculating the measurements please comment on this post or reach out me on my ‘contact me’ page with your email and I will get back to you asap!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • a ruler (I like metal…nice sharp edges)
  • a yardstick or long perfectly straight stick, rod, etc
  • paints and painting supplies
  • painter’s tape (I spent a little more on the kind with ‘edge lock’ for this project…I wanted very clean and crisp lines on my chevron)
  • a razor blade

1. The first thing I did was calculate and plan out my chevron pattern.  I measured the width and height (from the top of the floor trim) of the wall.  I wanted to make sure that I had full sides of chevrons ending at the walls, so the pattern wasn’t cut off.  I wanted the pattern to be fairly large in scale, so it wasn’t too busy.  I decided I wanted 5 points going across and each row to be about 9 inches wide.

Refer to the below image that I color coded to hopefully make sense to you. The width of the main wall (not including area above the door)  is 103.5 inches.  I divided that by 5 (number of points) which meant that each chevron needed to be 20.7 (20 5/8) inches apart.  I divided this number by two and figured each diagonal section needs to be 10.35 (10 5/16) inches apart.

**Spending a little time before you get started will save you frustration and confusion.  I am visual, so I drew the layout of my pattern and referred to it throughout this project.

2. I removed outlet and switch covers, taped off the floor trim to protect it, & set plastic down. I painted the whole wall white.  I painted it the lighter color first, so when I later painted the darker gray I had good coverage.

3. This is where I felt overwhelmed.  I had to measure out all the dots that I was going to connect with tape to create the pattern.  I started at the top corner.  I measured 10 5/16 inches over and marked a dot.  Then I measured another 10 5/16″, etc, etc, etc until I had the top row of my chevron marked out.

4. After that I measured down 9 5/16 inches down from each dot to create my second row.  I repeated this until I had a bazzillion dots on my wall.  I made sure that my rows were staying straight by taking a yardstick every once in a while and lining up the dots.  If I thought they were starting to get a little off I would adjust my dots a bit.


5. Time for a drink.

6. I now had to connect the dots with painter’s tape to create the pattern.  I made sure that I was placing the tape so it would be on the outside of the rows that I was about to paint gray.

7. I then cut off the extra tape that overlapped into the rows that were to be painted gray.  I used my metal ruler to use as a guide to score the tape with a razor blade (you don’t need to cut really hard into your wall, just slice through the tape).

8. I painted the necessary sections gray with a small roller.  I did paint one row at a time and then removed the tape before painting a new row.  This prevented the paint from drying to the tape and then pulling up when I removed the tape.

*I think gray paint is the hardest to get right.  It can have so many different undertones and can look very different in various light.  Make sure you compare various grays between each other, against something gray that you like, and look at your paint samples in different lights before choosing one*

9. Finally it was done! I re-attached outlet and switch covers (and painted them gray, so my pattern wasn’t disrupted).

10. The last step was to get the room back in order, sit back, and feel proud of my new trendy wall!

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Create a swanky and romantic feel with a wall of candles

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 in Design & Decorating | 6 comments

I love the glow of color and warmth that candles create.  I don’t, however, have the luxury of placing many candles around my home (fire and 1 year olds don’t mix very well).   By placing them on the wall I am able to enjoy candlelight and create a focal point on a wall that was very plain before.  I have framed art and mirrors on the rest of the walls in my living room and wanted to have something different on this space, especially since there are quite a few objects on the sofa table a few feet in front of this wall.



I purchased these votive holders at CB2, which is a sister company of Crate & Barrel; it has a more modern approach and less expensive merchandise.  I bought a few extra of the glass votive holders, to replace any that may break.  The votives I get at JoAnn Fabrics, but you can find them fairly easily other places.  The key with this is to get votives that have clear plastic that holds the wax, instead of metal.  This gives a cleaner look and when the candles are lit and the wax melts clear it gives a great see-through effect.

And this is where you get to practice those math skills you never thought you would use!  Figure out how many rows of votives you want across and high.  Then calculate how much space you want in between the rows and add that up.   If you want the candle display centered, measure the distance of the whole wall and subtract the total width of the rows.  Divide that by 2 and that is how far in from 1 side of the wall you will want to start your candle display.  Figure out how far from the ceiling you want the top of your votives.

I used painter’s tape (I use it for everything, even to reclose food packaging…it’s my duct tape).  Tape around the perimeter of your planned candle display.  Then mark how far in between you want the rows and place the tape accordingly.

Figure out the distance where nail holes from one votive to the votive above or below it will be and mark the tape.  Use small finishing nails and make sure they are angled up – with the same angle and distance sticking out from the wall.

This makes a great look day:

….or night:

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Change the Look of Outdated Trim

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 in Home Projects | Comments Off

When we bought our home all the trim was dark and damaged.  Generally I like the look of stained wood trim, but in some cases it is necessary to paint over it.  Changing trim to white (I like the color ‘Alabaster’ by Sherwin Williams) or a glossy black can really change the way your whole room looks.  I spent so many hours redoing ALL the trim in our entire house that cumulatively it was probably a couple weeks of time that I refinished the floor, window, and door trim.

It is important that you use an enamel paint for durability.  I like to work with latex instead of oil based paint.  It’s easier to clean up and you don’t have as many harsh fumes.

What you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper or sanding blocks
  • A good angled paintbrush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Primer
  • Enamel paint, I prefer the look of semi-gloss

Here is an example of the trim before and after.  This is our upstairs hallway.


  1. Sand the trim in order to smooth out the wood and remove any previous shine from polyurethane
  2. Wipe the trim clean with a damp cloth
  3. Use painter’s tape to mask off the end of the trim (if you are painting trim that is on carpeted floors you will need to remove the trim, paint it, and renail it back on the wall)
  4. Apply 1 coat of primer
  5. Apply 1 coat of enamel.  Use a good amount of paint, but make sure it doesn’t drip and run.
  6. Remove the painter’s tape after your 1st coat of enamel.  This will prevent the paint from drying to the tape and then pulling off the trim when you remove the tape. *if paint does dry to tape – take a knife and score along the edge of the trim before removing the tape
  7. After the 1st coat of enamel is dry, apply a 2nd coat. You can be more sparing with it and don’t have to go to the edge (there isn’t tape anymore!)
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