Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quick + Cheap Change: Frames and Mats

A few years ago my parents brought me a set of five beautiful watercolor prints of Nice back from one of their trips.  At the time we were living in a lot of leafy greens and dark red.  So they were put in black frames with light olive mats.  With each move (2) and slowly figuring out my style they have had less and less of a place in the house.  

This is pretty much exactly what it looks like.
Now we own our home and have been able to pick any crazy colors we want for the walls.  Martha Stewart's Rainforest is what ended up on our dining room walls.  Unfortunately, I can't replace all my decor accessories that don't match (most of them) as quickly as I can paint a wall.  Slowly I have been moving new things in...very slowly.  We had't been spending much time in our dining room.  Lately, however, Brady has been refusing his high chair which has forced us away from eating at our island and into the dining room.

See those frames above me and my beautiful ladies?? AHH.  Kate, I stole your picture! 

Without really planning it I found myself at HomeGoods last week looking for things to go on the shelves.  I ended up with a few blue and blue/green things.  My (very wonderful and organized and amazing) friend Stephanie threw me a baby shower this weekend and when I saw the above picture I felt repulsed by the picture frames above our heads.  Need. to. change. immediately.

Oops....the print is falling down on the right.  

The wall color has been begging and pleading for more gold.  It has only been getting louder as I spend more time in there.  What to do? What to do?

Prime and spray paint the frames gold?  Easy and done.

Prime and spray paint the mats?  Not so much.  Fail.  Thankfully, I didn't ruin the mats.  Applying the spray paint evenly was impossible and as much as I love graffiti I don't think anyone could get away with mixing bad, back alley graffiti-looking mats with beautiful water colors of Nice, France.  Right?!

Day two.  Round two.  I found a blue craft paint, thankfully, in my existing paints that worked with the prints.  Easy and done.  Phew.

I do like the outcome.  I wish there was more gold frame and more purple in the blue but it's much better than black and olive.  Crazy how a seemingly little thing can change how you feel in a room.  I am so much more comfortable in there now.

Regarding placement...the frames are not going to live like that/there.  The green mat version was bearable just sitting on top of the bookshelves because they kind of hid there...but now the blue really pops and I think I need to move some more things up there for balance or find a new home for them on the shelves.

We went from three packed Billy bookshelves in our previous apartment to 5.5 Billy bookshelves in the dining room and a bookcase in the living room.  We can't read as fast as shelves are entering our home right now.  So until we catch up the shelves are going to be a mix of bare and slightly tchotchke heavy.  

Incase you were wondering....I put on quite a show while spray painting.  Big, pregnant me in BRIGHT orange painting my front yard....paint mask....beautiful.  Whatever, I got things done.  


  1. i'm beginning to think my neighbors only see my in paint & gardening clothes. they must think i am crazy always out there always sanding on something!

    i saw the guy across the street at costco and he commented on how i clean up nice. that a compliment, or a dig on how i typically look. i'm with you...anything to get a project done! ;)

  2. HA. That is hilarious and rude....but mostly funny. They probably think you are making tons of money fixing up furniture...which you should be. One day.... :)


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