Posts tagged dining room
A handmade scrap-fabric birthday banner

With so many new additions to our extended family in recent years, birthday season is now pretty much all year round. Except August. I don't think anyone was born in August, thank goodness - it's nice to have a whole month off... But in our immediate family, we have six a year to celebrate - that's six weeks in a year we leave the house decorated with banners, balloons, streamers or whatever else we threw up for said birthday person. We each get a week for the house to look special (or, frankly, until the balloons pop or the streamers dampen in the cool air, stretch and are tripped over. Then it's all over red rover.) To add to the specialness, I've been meaning to make a proper fabric bunting for, oh, the best part of 10 years. I always thought it would nice to have one bunting to suit all family members. Instead, I've spent the last 10 years worth of kids birthdays making paper versions!

Last week I was looking at all the scrap bits of random fabric I have in my fabric box and just started laying them out in a pattern that went together: blues, greens, greys, whites, dusty pinks in stripes, florals, solids and textures. I realised there was a piece of fabric to represent each of us. And some special bits in there too - vintage fabric from my Nana's estate; a dress the girls all wore to death that could not be repaired; one of Steve's old business shirts; new pieces I loved; older faves I've made other clothes out of. Some of the fabric was too small to create proper triangle bunting bits, so I got to cutting them into random strips - some fat, some skinny, some short, some long. I'd seen something similar a few years back at Purl Soho, which I loved and was inspired by. I did back-to-back pieces so it would be the same from either side and stitched it all together, adding ribbon-like lengths to the ends to hang. I hung it up last week for my birthday and haven't taken it down yet. It kind of looks nice just hanging there - not too birthday-ish! I love that it's made with tiny pieces of our family's history, that it's made with basically scrap and useless pieces and that it is the right amount of girlie and masculine to suit the four of us girls as well as Steve and Zak. And also that its rough edges will likely fray over the years, ageing a little more each time it makes an appearance - just like the birthday boy or girl it'll be hung up for when it does.
gallery wall inspiration + hanging tips
Image by Domino magazine

Despite ripping out 5 walls recently and replacing with either a kitchen bench or a wall of glass doors, we still have one decently long wall in our dining space I think our gigantic Parker sideboard will fit on. Since I found this sideboard on the side of the road, it's been in my bedroom and used as clothing storage. Now it's time to get it into the dining room and fill it with all the plates, vases, decorative things I have stashed in a box next to my bed (all rooms were equally filled with kitchen/living/dining/laundry/playroom crap when these works started). Steve was looking at the large non-painted surface the other day and suggested a gallery wall. Now his idea of a gallery wall and my idea of a gallery wall are very, very different. He wanted to do a vertical line of photographs hanging from a string (or something). I was thinking something a little more modern - gold, white, timber frames of different sizes and styles combined with a few homemade artworks and some 3D items like feathers or a mirror - all against a black wall (Dulux Domino, like in my old bedroom). And underneath it would be my sideboard styled with pretties on top.  Kind of like this, below. And OBVIOUSLY my sideboard would not sit on top of the benchtop or squash bananas and the frames would actually be parallel to the wall's lines!

Every time I've ever done a gallery wall of some kind, I always make sure there is more than just artwork included. I like hanging jewellery from a frame. Or sticking up some nature (driftwood/shells/antlers). Or adding something meaningful like a wooden love spoon we bought in Wales to celebrate our upcoming wedding (which turned out to still be 3 years away when we got back! ha!) That's why I was drawn to these images - especially the Domino one (top) which has pretty much been in my inspiration folder since before Pinterest. As in I actually colour photocopied it when I was working at Real Living magazine - because that's what we did in the old days. To give you an idea of how I envision it looking, here are some of my recent fave gallery walls - funnily enough in the same palette of black, white, timber and gold!

Image from Smitten Studio 

Image by Made By Girl

Aren't they all so pretty? Hopefully I can manage to get something relatively decent looking myself. I have no idea which artwork yet - I don't really have anything worthwhile aside from Steve's HSC Art Xpress Sydney drawings and a couple of gold-leaf art ideas. So I'm on the hunt if you know of anything good? 

The day after we agreed to this gallery wall idea, I spotted the Country Road video sneak peek on Instagram on How to hang a frame wall. I didn't think I'd need any help in that department and yet there was a great tip in there on how to easily measure the hook and how to transfer that to your wall as well as the best eye-approved spacings. So I will be referring to this when the time comes.

And because it was Country Road, I of course had to check out their goodies and found three things I can totally see on top of my sideboard, below. And also? At Christmas time I scored a pair of garden snips for just $9.95 - if you've ever seen a half-decent floral vignette on Instagram you will know this is an essential prop :) Actually, I bought it on behalf of Steve to give to me at Christmas time - we don't really give each other presents (seeing as we just spend tens of thousands of dollars on our house renovations!), but I did buy us one small thing to give to each other. And by small, I mean small - I managed to get him a hat that didn't fit. Oops.

 1. Tinto Platter, $49.95 It's 100% marble which should be enough to want it, but I can imagine it looking oh-so-pretty underneath my glass cloche. Not sure what will go inside the cloche, but I can work that out later.

2. Mio Brass Paperweight, $24.95 Shiny and gold geo-cool paperweight that'll look tops on a pile of books.

3. Tio Timer, $14.95 I predicted a couple of years ago that these hourglasses would be an interiors trend. The shape is simple and sleek and the colour will pop against the black backdrop.

Add to this a Freedom lamp I spotted from their upcoming Autumn/Winter range and some other bits and pieces and I think I'll be happy with that space - there is nothing really styled in my home at all yet, so I'm looking forward to having at least one good-looking vignette in the living area!

If you have some suggestions for great affordable art prints you think might be my style, please leave a link in the comments! x