While up in LA for a Design Bloggers’ Conference, I had dinner at Blue Cow Kitchen and was completely drawn to the rustic, modern décor—exposed light bulbs, paper mache taxidermy and a wood pallet wall, the piece de resistance.
Scott and I talked about recreating it on one of the walls in our bedroom. After doing extensive research on using pallets in interiors, I decided pallets weren’t the best option. Dismanteling them was going to be extremely time consuming, and I worried about what the pallets might have been used to transport, like chemicals.
While hunting down Plan B, I discovered this EverTrue Edge V-Groove unfinished pine paneling. It’s not available in store at Lowe’s, but you can order it online and pick it up in the store. I took measurements and ordered nine packages of six (design for less than $100!).
I wanted to mimic the different wood tones that I saw in Blue Cow Kitchen. We bought three quarts of stain—Jacobean, Classic Gray and Natural.
Posted by Wendy
Scott cut the planks at different lengths to give the wall more variations—from six-inch pieces to 48-inch lengths. He just did it at random, but it’s wise to keep several long (we left one package of stained planks uncut), so you can cut what you need as you go.
We concocted five different colors with our three cans of stain. We used each of them in a pure state and layered the Gray with the Jacobean and the Natural. Don’t wait until the stain dries to layer. Using a sponge brush, we swiped on one color, let it sit a few minutes and used a rag to take off the excess before brushing on the second color with a different brush and a new rag.
After letting the boards dry completely for 24 hours, Scott and I began hanging.
Starting at the bottom left corner of the wall, we used a nail gun to fasten the first board to the wall. We worked left to right and bottom to top, completing each row with pieces of our uncut boards.
When we got to the window, we used a small Japanese flush cut saw to cut the boards flush with the widow frame and stained the edge to match the board.
Whether I am creating a gallery wall or just framing a few individual prints, my go-to frame is Ikea’s Ribba frame. It’s by far the best value for a nice-quality frame. The only problem is that the Swedish company’s sizing is different than what we use in the U.S.
A client of mine purchased a selection of 11” x 14”-inch surf-inspired prints at an art fair in Encinitas, California. The prints already came with an amazing grasscloth mat, so I headed to Ikea to buy my favorite frames. I had to get the 12.5” x 16.5”-inch frames—a bit too big for her artwork.
I took out the instructions, lightly traced my matted photo on them and painted a ½-inch blue (one of the colors we were using in the room and something that would pop against the black-and-white photos and neutral mat) line on the outside of my pencil mark.
Posted by Wendy
Once dry, I placed the matted photo inside my blue border and framed the picture.
I have a few go-to places for fantastic, inexpensive curtains—Ikea makes great basics that you can embellish, Urban Outfitters offers whimsical prints, World Market sells a mix of solids and ethnic patterns and Target gets the timeless patterns right. But when I have already created what I want in my head, even these resources sometimes come up short. That’s when I make them.
Let me begin by saying I am not a sewer. Before the beginning of 2012, I didn’t even know how to operate a sewing machine. But I had to learn quickly (taught myself, thank you very much) when I was unable to find the perfect curtains for a client’s salon’s manicure room.
I owned six yards of this fabulous Thomas Paul Dahlia fabric that I bought on an incredible closeout ($3 a yard) when I still lived in New York. (Yep, I moved this across the country!) It was the perfect color and the right print for the salon’s organic modern feel.
The fabric started at 54 inches wide, but the windows I was covering were small interior windows that would have been swallowed by 108 inches of fabric, so I cut the fabric in half lengthwise to make 27-inch panels. I planned to make each panel 88 inches, so I measured 90 inches, then lined the edge of the fabric up with my rug to ensure it was straight and cut four 90-inch panels of fabric.
Instead of pinning, I used my boning tool, and worked in small sections to create a ¼-inch fold on all four sides of each panel, ironing each section as I went. Then I folded each section over again to make finished edges and ironed the seams on all four sides of the panel.
I sewed each panel and used ring clips to hang them.
I did the same thing to create these curtains in the bachelor pad I decorated.
Posted by Wendy
I comb through goods in thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales looking for old, fabulous stuff. I’m always drawn to the rustic, pieces constructed from perfectly aged wood with hints of patina and rust. But age comes with a price, and my frugal self can’t always justify the cost.
So I decided to experiment with faking the aging process of wood so that eventually, I can replace the glass shelves in my brother’s Vittsjo bookcases with faux rustic wood ones. I want them to look more like this.
Posted by Wendy
I used a scrap piece of authentic old wood I snagged at the salvage yard to use as my model to recreate the perfectly weathered gray that still highlighted the board’s wood grain.
I didn’t want too much stain to permeate the wood. I figured that wouldn’t give me the weather-beaten look I longed for, so I started brushing water on to the clean board using a sponge brush.
I wiped the water away, then used another sponge brush and long strokes to apply one light coat of Weathered Oak stain. I wiped the stain away with a clean, dry, cotton rag, then went to work on the wood grain. I made my own concoction for this part—a mixture of mostly water and a bit of black paint. Using a smaller sponge brush, I traced the wood grain in small sections.
Before any of it was able to dry, I sanded the entire board with a power sander and 180-grit paper.