Posts in DESIGN
Baux Acoustic Panels

This post was created thanks to a gifted collaboration with Baux Designs. I love their products and am excited to share our experience with them!

We are turning the third bedroom of our house into an Airbnb space. It has a private entrance and it’s own bathroom but still shares walls the rest of our home so to help add some privacy we hung up acoustic panels. I did a lot of research and found many ugly options and some DIY ideas but ultimately found and fell in love with Baux Design. They are a Swedish design and made from sustainable materials, plus they are gorgeous.

We chose the wood wool panels. An environment-friendly, recyclable material made from wood wool, cement and water.

Installation was really surprisingly easy. Here’s the step by step:

The first thing we did was go to their website and downloaded the  toolkit  where you can create your own custom layout and colors. This is what we came up with and chose all white panels.

The first thing we did was go to their website and downloaded the toolkit where you can create your own custom layout and colors. This is what we came up with and chose all white panels.

We used a stud finder and chalk string to mark the stud lines on the wall. Each panel needed to hit at least one stud to be secure.

We used a stud finder and chalk string to mark the stud lines on the wall. Each panel needed to hit at least one stud to be secure.

Each panel had up to 6 screws depending on how it aligned with the stud.

Each panel had up to 6 screws depending on how it aligned with the stud.

We started with the first panel in the middle of the room and worked our way out from there making sure that it was perfectly level.

We started with the first panel in the middle of the room and worked our way out from there making sure that it was perfectly level.

You can see all the screws in the panels at this point. Later we painted over them and they completely disappeared.

You can see all the screws in the panels at this point. Later we painted over them and they completely disappeared.

The holes for the outlet were traced and cut out with a jigsaw.

The holes for the outlet were traced and cut out with a jigsaw.

Baux provided paint to use on the screws with made them virtually invisible!

Baux provided paint to use on the screws with made them virtually invisible!

Once all the panels were hung I used an air compressor to remove any debris or dust.

Once all the panels were hung I used an air compressor to remove any debris or dust.

You can see in this photo there is a gap around the perimeter, we used caulking to fill that gap and create a smooth finished look.

You can see in this photo there is a gap around the perimeter, we used caulking to fill that gap and create a smooth finished look.

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So, how do we like them? Can beautiful design still be functional? Yep! We did a test before installing the panels where Tim stood on the other side of the wall and talked. I could easily hear him, now with the panels it has significantly reduced the sound, it’s still there but very very muffled. The room is not completely sound proof but the panels have made a huge difference and will make it nicer for our guests, and for us, to feel Iike they have some privacy.

Progress home Tour

I’ve been putting of sharing a home tour because I wanted it to be complete but soon realized if I waited for that it may never happen. So, instead you are getting a look of how far we’ve come since moving in at the end of May.

My favorite room so far has been the kitchen because it has gone through the greatest transformation. It started out all cold and white which is not my style. Tim refused to let me paint the cabinets because they were brand new which would have been my first move. Since that wasn’t an option I found other ways to warm up the space and add personality. My go to for quick and easy impact? Paint. The main walls are painted Behr: Moss Stone and the accent wall is PPG: Deep Forest Pine. Both in a flat finish which is all I’ve been using in this house. Another game changer was switching out the cabinet pulls. My dad made these long simple wooden pulls that add so much visual interest and lead your eyes throughout the space. The last thing we did which was so easy and changed the whole look of the space was remove the molding on the top of the cabinets. It immediately made the room clean and modern. The cactus were the final touch, I love the different shades of green that play with the walls and how the pink and terra-cotta pots really pop.

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Tim hand painted and gold leafed the numbers on our house in the Pelican basketball jersey number style. I’ll share more details about this when we complete the exterior this fall.

Tim hand painted and gold leafed the numbers on our house in the Pelican basketball jersey number style. I’ll share more details about this when we complete the exterior this fall.

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The dining room clearly is still a work in progress. We had a dining table but it ended up not being quite right for the space so the hunt continues for just the right piece which means I search craigslist and facebook marketplace every day until my eyes bleed. I’m practicing patience in a very impatient way ;) One of my favorite details in this space is the painted door that stretches up and across the ceiling accentuating the 12’ walls. The color is Farrow&Ball: Setting Plaster. Then there are the dramatic yellow velvet floor to ceiling curtains! They were custom made by Tonic Living. The fabric is Mason Velvet, Yellow Sunshine which is incredibly fitting for this room that is flooded by sunlight in the morning. If you’re looking for pillows this is my go-to source as well. The dining chairs were an amazing facebook marketplace score as well as the mirror next to the door. The crazy tooth-looking console which is my prized possession was found at Nadeau. The shelves and brackets are from Rejuvenation.

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Through the dining room and into the living room. Still looking for just the right something above the couch and some large statement lighting. Paint color is PPG: True Peach. The couch was free, the coffee tables were thrifted as well as the leather chairs, tulip lamp and the curved coffee table being used as an end table. We (mostly Tim) built the floating shelves out of stud and plywood for $100 dollars which I’ve covered in a previous post : Floating shelves. I’m taking my time collecting pieces that mean something for the shelves. A good collection doesn’t happen over night.

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One of my favorite details in here is the orange accent in the door frame.

One of my favorite details in here is the orange accent in the door frame.

Tim’s office will have a gallery wall of his collected art and we have these great benches which I explained how to make in an older post. The walls are painted Farrow&Ball: Pigeon.

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The laundry room finally has amazing storage thanks to Tim and I plan to wallpaper this WHOLE ROOM. Here’s a few progress shots of the cupboards being built.

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Of course the guest bathroom of my dreams and the one I actually use every day. We warmed this space up with the same green paint in the kitchen (moss stone) a wooden mirror from Nadeau, gorgeous vintage rug from Swoon Rugs and frond wallpaper from Anthropologie which, yes, we hung up by ourselves. No budget to hire people to do the work in this house so we figure it out ourselves! We used extra glue to secure it to the ceiling and I plan on using an additional clear coat for the top to protect against mold. I’ll be doing this in our master bathroom as well with a different paper and will share the step by step in a new post so keep an eye out.

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The master bedroom has a ways to go still but so far we’ve got this great brownish orange-ish paint which I love! Behr: Toasted Bagel. Sconces from Schoolhouse and end tables from Nadeau. The white lamp on the dresser came all the way from Australia in my carry on luggage. A $20 thrift score! The wire cactus was handmade by a women in Portland Oregon, she sold it to me before she moved. The bedding is from The White Room Interiors and the cute little pillows custom made with our dogs faces on them from Indie Bungalow.

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I have no updates for the master bath but that is our next project! Stay tuned.

Put down the paintbrush

I’m sure you’ve been there. You bought the paint, thought it was going to be perfect, finished the whole room only to discover it’s all WRONG. Now what? Do you start over? Do you live with it even though you hate it?

Recently I had one of these moments and to make matters worse it was a mural that I painted.

I started out painting the main walls of the kitchen green (Behr: Moss Stone) which was great and then thought an orange accent wall would be perfect.

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When that didn’t seem right I added two pink sections to the wall and a little curvy line. I could have stopped at this point. It was different and fun and received good feedback. But something wasn’t working for me.

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Added a green curvy line. No, not good.

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Went full on crazy and added more colors. What was I thinking?! This was becoming stressful.

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How could I fix this? I had now invested three days of painting and couldn’t help but feel that if I started over now that all that time was for nothing. Welcome to my experience with the sunk cost fallacy. It’s a tendency for people to continue moving forward with a decision or action because of invested money or in this case, time. I felt frustrated like if I can’t make this work I’ve failed. What was it all for. But the truth is, at this point I had to face the fact that what was done was done. I spent all that time and it wasn’t going to get any better by investing even more time. I had to start over. I can’t help but relate this to other aspects of my life but for now we’ll stick with the mural ;)

So, after coming to this realization I said goodbye and painted over the whole thing with a different shade of green (PPG Deep Forest Pine) and finally, I was satisfied. A very complicated way to end up with a plain green wall but here we are. Happy at last.

Whether it’s painting a wall or some other aspect of your life sometimes you just know what’s right and wrong. Listen to your gut and do what’s best for you. Start over, change direction. Don’t worry about the time you’ve lost but focus on what’s ahead instead.

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Rachel & John Home tour

While we’re busy working on our home I thought it would be fun to share the house of fellow New Orleans residents and friends Rachel and John. It’s a comfortable, beautifully curated space of collected treasures found over time.

Rachel is originally from NYC and moved to NOLA in 1998 to go to college. She moved back to NYC right before Katrina to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology for accessory design but returned shortly after because she couldn’t stand being away from New Orleans. She is now a psychotherapist. John is from Buras LA but has lived in NOLA since he was 18. He is a para legal/court runner.

Aside from their jobs, spending time with John’s daughter and working on the home they love music and are in a synth pop band called Baby Bats!

They spent 7 months renovating their home built in 1899! It reminds me so much of Portland Oregon for some reason which may be why I feel such a connection to it (before New Orleans we lived in Portland) When I was feeling at a loss and like I was hitting a wall in our house all it took was a tour through their space to feel invigorated and inspired again. I hope you feel the same way.

First impression to the home. Original chandelier and a collection of vintage thrifted items.

First impression to the home. Original chandelier and a collection of vintage thrifted items.

Into the living room. Rachel combined two different lights to create these unique hanging pendents.

Into the living room. Rachel combined two different lights to create these unique hanging pendents.

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A dining room made of online thrift scores.

A dining room made of online thrift scores.

A small nook in the dining room, no space wasted in this home.

A small nook in the dining room, no space wasted in this home.

The dining room is open to the kitchen which is my favorite space in their home.

The dining room is open to the kitchen which is my favorite space in their home.

They exposed these beautiful beams in the ceiling!

They exposed these beautiful beams in the ceiling!

What the kitchen used to look like….

What the kitchen used to look like….

First bedroom upstairs.

First bedroom upstairs.

Bold black accent wall to add drama in the space.

Bold black accent wall to add drama in the space.

Collected art and treasures.

Collected art and treasures.

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This bathroom, like most of the house, was completely gutted. I love how they chose a furniture item for the vanity and unexpected mirrors.

This bathroom, like most of the house, was completely gutted. I love how they chose a furniture item for the vanity and unexpected mirrors.

A progress shot in the bathroom.

A progress shot in the bathroom.

Brilliant use of a sconce candle holder with a small ring attached used to hang the towel.

Brilliant use of a sconce candle holder with a small ring attached used to hang the towel.

Second upstairs bedroom.

Second upstairs bedroom.

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The dreamiest closet full of all the fun New Orleans gear you need on a daily basis.

The dreamiest closet full of all the fun New Orleans gear you need on a daily basis.

A small bathroom that makes such a big impact by having the tub situated at an angle. Totally unexpected and totally works.

A small bathroom that makes such a big impact by having the tub situated at an angle. Totally unexpected and totally works.

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Now go create some magic in your home.

Floating Shelves

Here’s how we created the floating shelves in our living room for $100. We kind of winged it as we went along to make them fit right so I apologize that these instructions are not very specific. Hopefully you can get enough info to figure out how to make your own.

Like most of our projects, we used plywood (3 sheets of 4x8) and had it cut at Home Depot into 12” strips. Because the sheets of wood only come in 8’ lengths and our wall is 10’ long we had to use 1 strip and a bit to make each shelf.

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We used 2x4 stud (5 pieces I think) to make the base and structural part of the shelves.

First thing was to find the stud in the wall and mark it out so we would know where to screw the base into the wall. We also marked out a straight line of where each shelf would be on the wall.

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We determined that structurally each shelf would need support at about every 10” so we cut another piece of stud into smaller pieces 10” long and attached them to the long piece of stud that would run across the wall and screwed them in from the back side at 10” increments. That whole piece was then screwed into the wall making sure to hit the stud in the wall so it would be very secure and hold a lot of weight.

Some of the smaller pieces are further apart to adjust for the stud in the wall.

Some of the smaller pieces are further apart to adjust for the stud in the wall.

Next the tops and bottoms were attached and then finally the front and side pieces. We used a nail gun and tiny nails that hardly show.

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We hit a few snags along the way and had to make some adjustments to make it level and all flush.

The stud was not flush with the top piece which meant the front wouldn’t meet up nicely so I filled in the gap with some double sided sticky tape. The front was then nailed into the stud.

The stud was not flush with the top piece which meant the front wouldn’t meet up nicely so I filled in the gap with some double sided sticky tape. The front was then nailed into the stud.

Because not everything lined up perfectly I used wood filler to close the seams and make it look like one long piece.

After a layer of the plastic wood is applied and dry sand it down with a fine grit paper to create a smooth finish.

After a layer of the plastic wood is applied and dry sand it down with a fine grit paper to create a smooth finish.

Final result, clean modern shelving.

Final result, clean modern shelving.

Vacant home tour

I took these photos the day we signed for the house and it became officially ours. Even in that moment I already had ideas swarming around in my head for each room. I thought it would be fun to show you the vacant spaces with my mood boards and descriptions of my vision so you could see where it all started…

So, here we go!

To start off with, our home is in New Orleans located in the Central City neighborhood. This area has been going through a lot of changes over the years and we have been renting only 4 blocks from our new house for the last two years. We love this area so much, it’s close to everything, we feel safe and there’s so much character. We are a few minutes walk to St Charles Ave and from there straight into the Garden District which is one of my favorite areas to walk around and take photos.

During our house hunt we looked at so many homes ranging in degrees of work needed. This was the 5th house we put an offer on and it needed the least amount of work. Originally we thought we wanted a fixer upper but now realize that a renovated home really suites our lifestyle at this time with everything else we have going on.

The house itself is over 120 years old. It was renovated right before we bought it by an amazing guy who put so much love and detail into this house. It was apparent when he walked us through the space that he felt a lot of pride in the work he did here. He created a beautiful updated modern space but still retained all the important history and charm that every New Orleans home should have. The house originally was a double (a very common style home in NOLA split down the middle to created two identical sides) but was converted into a single. It has 12’ ceilings which is very common here and I’m afraid I’ll never be able to go back to standard ceiling height after this!

Because the home used to be a double we have two front doors. We chose to make the door that opens into the kitchen our primary entrance.

We are so glad the builder chose to keep the fireplace in here. It’s not functional but it adds so much character to the space. There used to be 8 of these in the home but to make the most functional layout he removed all but this one.

The kitchen is gorgeous but I really want to warm it up with natural tiles, a colorful light fixture, either wood or black cabinet pulls and eventually a rug and kitchen island.

The kitchen is gorgeous but I really want to warm it up with natural tiles, a colorful light fixture, either wood or black cabinet pulls and eventually a rug and kitchen island.

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Next to the kitchen is the dining room. This whole area is so bright with all the natural light it feels like a greenhouse in the morning, my favorite place to be.

I’m choosing bold yellow curtains and a pop of orange in the dining chairs. Going for a simple and clean look in here.

I’m choosing bold yellow curtains and a pop of orange in the dining chairs. Going for a simple and clean look in here.

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The dining room looks into the living room through the original pocket doors. There are no windows in this room which I actually appreciate. We will have our TV in here and I don’t mind a dark moody space for watching movies.

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This room will be all about color. Pink walls, orange sofa, teal and green coffee tables. Plus huge floating shelves along the TV wall.

This room will be all about color. Pink walls, orange sofa, teal and green coffee tables. Plus huge floating shelves along the TV wall.

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Next to the living room is the office.

I didn’t put together a mood board for this room but I see soft grey walls and pops of contrasting bold color.

I didn’t put together a mood board for this room but I see soft grey walls and pops of contrasting bold color.

The guest bathroom is next to that. Yes, this is the GUEST bathroom. Are you shocked? Me too. I still walk in here everyday in awe. I feel like we’re in a luxury hotel and I don’t mind one bit!!

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I would love to change out the mirror for a wooden one to help warm up the space. An updated light fixture and faucet will be in the future as well.

I would love to change out the mirror for a wooden one to help warm up the space. An updated light fixture and faucet will be in the future as well.

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Across the hall from the bathroom is the laundry room. It has my favorite doors in the whole house.

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The next room down the hall is the master bedroom and master bath. Yep, another crazy good bathroom. Feeling really spoiled right about now.

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No mood boards for the master yet. I always seem to focus on decorating the bedrooms last….

No mood boards for the master yet. I always seem to focus on decorating the bedrooms last….

I do know in the bathroom I want to warm it up with some paint. Maybe a deep teal or shade of green with a jungle wallpaper on the large wall across from the vanity. A wood slat accent wall that wraps onto the ceiling would look really great behind the toilet as well with some open shelving.

I do know in the bathroom I want to warm it up with some paint. Maybe a deep teal or shade of green with a jungle wallpaper on the large wall across from the vanity. A wood slat accent wall that wraps onto the ceiling would look really great behind the toilet as well with some open shelving.

At the end of the house is the third bedroom. This room will eventually become an Airbnb. It has it’s own entrance, bathroom and huge closet which will double as a “kitchen” (fridge, microwave, coffee). We have ordered some amazing acoustic panels for this room as well to help keep it more private and quiet. I’m really looking forward to sharing. Stay tuned this summer.

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I plan to paint the tub a fun color and add wallpaper to the walls. We also need to add a shower head and curtain.

I plan to paint the tub a fun color and add wallpaper to the walls. We also need to add a shower head and curtain.

Large closet will have a built in counter and open shelving, fun wallpaper and lighting!

Large closet will have a built in counter and open shelving, fun wallpaper and lighting!

That’s the whole interior of the house! I’ll share the outside of the home and the yard soon.

Room transformation + DIY frame

I’ve been so excited about helping our neighbors refresh their living room. Sometimes decorating a space can be daunting, you don’t know where to begin and there’s a fear of spending a lot of money to make it happen.

For this project, to make it easy, we reused some of the items they already had, thrifted about 80% and found a few perfect pieces from small businesses. Plus we came up with a great affordable way to frame large art that cost a total of $80 to make TWO frames. Details at the end of the post.

Let’s talk thrifted items. Some people love thrifting, some people hate it, some people just aren’t sure. Our neighbors were the last category and I can confidently say they are now addicted! We found the couch, huge rattan shelf, mirror, two camel colored chairs, one green chair and table lamp combo all from either craigslist, facebook marketplace or thrift stores ALL for under $700. That’s basically the cost of on cheap sofa.

Enormous rattan bookcase found on facebook marketplace. Rug from Swoon Rugs, pillow from Holistic Habitat.

Enormous rattan bookcase found on facebook marketplace. Rug from Swoon Rugs, pillow from Holistic Habitat.

Now, as much as I love thrifting I do love mixing old with new and see value in investing in good pieces that you love and intend on keeping. We found some great items from some small companies that blend so good with all of our thrift scores.

We chose two rugs from Swoon Rugs, one vintage under the chairs and one new under the coffee table. She has a rotating collection of unique and gorgeous pieces.

Rug from Swoon Rugs. Chairs and glass table lamp combo thrifted.

Rug from Swoon Rugs. Chairs and glass table lamp combo thrifted.

This terra-cotta plant stand with the pots was so unique and fit perfectly in this spot, it was a must have from Holistic Habitat. We found our pillows there too. A good quality pillow goes a long way!

Artwork from Christina Flowers.

Artwork from Christina Flowers.

Face pillow from Holistic Habitat. Green chair found on Craigslist.

Face pillow from Holistic Habitat. Green chair found on Craigslist.

The sconce above the TV is truly AMAZING. What a statement piece! Locally made here in New Orleans by Sazerac Stiches.

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Lastly these two piece of art created by Christina Flowers. I love the abstract shapes and perfect color combo.

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So now let’s get into how we created these custom and affordable frames.

Supplies:

1/4” 4ft. X 8ft. sanded plywood

Any moulding, length depending the size of the art

Gorilla glue heavy duty construction adhesive

Blue tape

Ruler

Saw

D ring picture hanging kit

Screwdriver

Instructions:

Plywood can be cut at Home Depot. Our artwork measured 32” x 40” and I wanted a 6” boarder around the art so I had the plywood cut to 42” x 56”.

I always have wood cut here before trying to fit it in my car. Saves time and effort.

I always have wood cut here before trying to fit it in my car. Saves time and effort.

The moulding was cut to fit around the perimeter of the art. We did this at home and cut them at a 45 degree angle.

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Measure the board to find out where the art will sit centered on the board and tape it in place. Measure so the moulding will cover half of the art and the other half on the board. Place tape in the corners so you can quickly set the moulding in the correct spot once it has glue on it.

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Use gorilla glue construction adhesive to attach the moulding around the artwork making sure that only the edge of the moulding that touches the board has glue on it so if you ever decide to remove the art it won’t be damaged.

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The glue needs to be held down for at least one minute, we used books and let it sit overnight to be sure it was secure.

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24 hrs later attach the D rings and wire to the back of the artwork. All done and ready to hang!

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Upholstery

This post is thanks to a gifted collaboration with The Whole 9 Yards.

I recently decided to reupholster our couch cushions. The first time I paid someone to do it for me because it felt overwhelming, this time I decided to attempt it myself and it wasn’t so hard. I found the fabric at one of my favorite stores I discovered in Portland Oregon called The Whole 9 Yards. They are a small business with a great selection of fabrics. The black and white upholstery fabric on the couch was from them and unfortunately it’s out of stock but I found a great pattern called Campfire that would be a similar alternative. We had this fabric on the couch for three years with two wild dogs and it still looks like new!

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We also used a gorgeous palm fabric called St Kitt for our RV dining benches and it was excellent.

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I’ve documented each step of the process below so if you are considering a project yourself this may be a good reference of how to start.

The first thing I did was remove the old cover so I could get an idea of how she sewed it. I was surprised to find out she used one large piece of fabric and simply folded the corners to create the rectangular shape.

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So, I took measurements and cut the fabric to the correct size, then folded it in half, right sides together, and sewed along the two edges. The fabric I chose is called Vivo Spicy Spice and it’s velvet.

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After that I pressed the corner into a triangular shape with the seam running down the middle and measured in 2.5” from the tip. I drew a line across and sewed it. When the fabric is turned right side out you can see it created the corner for the cushion which measures 5” thick. I repeated that step for the other three corners.

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Next I removed the zipper from the old cushion and pinned it along the edge of the new fabric which I folded back a half inch. The area circled in red is very important. A little piece of fabric should be sewn on to each end of the zipper to prevent the pull from fully sliding off the teeth of the zipper.

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The whole process took me about a day to figure it out and sew.

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I love the new bold orange cushions, it feels like a whole new couch.

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I’ve chosen some of my favorite upholstery fabrics they currently have in stock listed below. I actually had to stop selecting fabrics because there were too many and my list could go on forever…

If you are interested in any of these fabrics or anything else currently in stock on their website (Whole9yards) you can call or email them to order and mention you found them through my blog or instagram to receive a discount! Valid through August 31 2019.

Pattern Mixing

Mixing patterns can feel daunting so, here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to create that perfect mix in your home or in your wardrobe.

Opposites really do attract:

Try mixing a floral/curved pattern with a geometric/straight line pattern. Or a really large print with a very small print. Find colors that can tie the whole look together.

Mixing both large and small patterns plus geometric and organic shapes in our stairwell.

Mixing both large and small patterns plus geometric and organic shapes in our stairwell.

My pants are a very small curvy pattern and my top has straight lines. The pants are black and white but the insides of the flowers have a soft blushy pink orange color which I pulled into my top.

My pants are a very small curvy pattern and my top has straight lines. The pants are black and white but the insides of the flowers have a soft blushy pink orange color which I pulled into my top.

Neutral stripes paired with an organic shaped blue kimono.

Neutral stripes paired with an organic shaped blue kimono.

Florals and checkers, match made in heaven.

Florals and checkers, match made in heaven.

Two large patterns, one neutral and one colorful.

Two large patterns, one neutral and one colorful.

Choose one color:

If you’re intimidated by mixing color and pattern just stick to one color and find a variety of patterns to mix.

Erin Williamson from  @sterinwilliamson  has created a perfect blend of patterns using only blue.

Erin Williamson from @sterinwilliamson has created a perfect blend of patterns using only blue.

Choosing the same color palette or neutrals almost guarantees what you pair together will work.

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Large and small neutral prints.

Two large patterns, both neutral.

Two large patterns, both neutral.

Our RV in particular is a huge blend of patterns. For the most part I consider each of these neutrals and because they are all different sized patterns it works. A small intricate pattern for the wall, a large organic pattern for the bench fabric and ceiling plus a pop of blue fabric in a medium sized print.

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Try these tips and see if it helps you create that wild look you’ve been dreaming of. Over time mixing and matching gets easier, just have fun!