inspire creativity, design great style, & create a better life

50 Shades of Grey Book Club Party Ideas

Posted on May 14, 2012 in Entertaining | 3 comments

A few years ago some friends and I started a book club….a dirty book club. We have read a handful of R-rated books, such as Some Girls, Sugar Babe, Candy Girl and more.  However, we also switch it up with ‘normal’ books…Shanghai Girls, The Shack, The Other Boleyn Girl,  etc.

We get together every couple months, a different person takes a turn hosting, and we all bring different bottles of wine to share. This month’s read was 50 Shades of Grey and I hosted. Below are some ideas for you to decorate with a gray theme (that don’t require a ton of budgeting) whether it’s for a similar book club or just because you like the color!

Of course, I had to glitter something for the night. Below are some wine glasses that I made to help identify our beverages.  Learn how to make these: Click Here

This cake was fun to make.  I used boxed cake mix (make sure you buy a white cake and use only egg whites, so the food coloring stays true…same goes for the frosting.  Get white cake and frosting, not vanilla – as it’s creamy in color).  I separated the cake mix in 4 equal parts and added varied amounts of black food dye.  I then separated the frosting in 3 equal parts, added varied amounts of color and then blended them together up the side and top of the cake.

These are medium sized doilies that I painted various shades of gray, cut in half, and taped to string.  I also made the gray tissue poms.  For directions on how to make them Click Here

I bought a 12 pack of glass votives at the craft store and decorated them with different materials.  Some are wrapped with different gray ribbons, lace, glitter, and scrapbook paper.

I love spray painting sticks.  It’s an inexpensive way to make a large centerpiece with a bold statement.  I painted a bunch glossy white and held them in place in the vase with gray toned rocks.

I made these bookmarks for the girls (but forgot to pass them out that night!).  I printed them on a silver linen paper, glued that to a cardstock weighted scrapbook paper, and finished them with a ribbon.

Look in the center…I even found gray M&Ms at the party supply store.

I used paint cans to vary the height the decor.

Read More

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!

Read More