Decorating Projects for Big Impact

Bring that designer feel to your home without spending big bucks or hiring
a professional designer.

Studio 5 Contributor Cara Shimizu shares 5 easy décor ideas that will make
a big impact in your home.

Make your own large canvas

A gallery wrapped canvas has a nice thick, bold edge and doesn’t require
framing. They can be purchased at a craft store such as Michaels (use a
coupon for 40% off, often found in their weekly mailing) or buy the
canvases online at
). Gallery wrapped canvases come in a whole range of
from a small 4×4-inch up to a large 5×6-foot size.

“The writing is on the wall”: Gallery wrapped canvases come primed and
ready to use, or you may first paint over your canvas in a light color. Then,
ask a loved one to write out their favorite poem or scripture on the canvas
with a Sharpie marker,writing onto every edge of the canvas. This can be
preserved with a light final coat of a clear acrylic spray. (Mod-podge makes
a good clear acrylic spray, which may be found at Michaels.) This is a
beautiful way to preserve a loved one’s thoughts in their own handwriting.

Jackson Pollock-inspired painting: Just grab acrylic paints that coordinate
with your house colors and let the kids paint all over the canvas! This
always turns out looking sophisticated, and it’s quick and personalized!

A canvas like one of these, or group of them, can be a great solution to an
awkward space, like a big tall wall. And these projects are fun and totally
unique and personal to you and your family!

Simple ceramic sculptures: Ceramic animal sculptures are right
on trend in
the interior design world. To make a look-alike, get a smooth animal
figure, anything without fur or cloth, such as a toy animal or even a lawn
ornament made of plastic, resin, or aluminum. Clean and prime it if
needed, then spray paint it white, and finish with a few light coats of glossy
clear enamel spray. Rustoleum’s “Crystal Clear Enamel” is good for the final
finishing spray, and can be found at Lowe’s. These animal “sculptures” are
sturdy and won’t chip as real ceramic does, and can be made in any size to
fit your space.

Sequins: Sequins are a really fun way to add big impact in a small
Bling up your blooms: Put sequins in a clear glass vase (use a funnel if
needed to make this easier), fill with water, and add a few flowers—easy,
and so pretty! When done with this arrangement, strain water and sequins
through a sieve, then let the sequins dry on a paper towel to reuse later.

Sequins dress up a candle display: Nearly everyone has a white platter and
white candles—give them both big impact by filling the tray with sequins,
then nestle in the candles.

Gallery: The key to making a super simple, inexpensive, and
gallery is to use all the same frame and all the same subject matter. Buy
several of the same frame at a craft store such as Michaels; go for large
frames about 16″x20″, then spray paint the frames all the same color. Cut
out a “mat” to fit inside each frame—white paper from a large sketch pad
works well. Next, place a picture onto each mat. I bought a used book of
Japanese art, cut out my favorite prints, and attached each one to a mat
with a piece of tape. To prevent yellowing, use acid free tape and an acid
free mat. Instead of prints from a book, the subject matter could be black
and white photos, maps of places you’ve gone on vacation, or even pressed
flowers from your garden. A couple of tips: If hanging these frames in a
stairwell, leave about 10 inches between each frame; if hanging behind a
bed in place of a traditional headboard, hang less than 3 inches apart.
Making a gallery like this can transform an awkward space into a beautiful
and interesting focal point!

Urn side table: Look for a large urn planter that is about the
same height as
the item it will be near, such as the same height as the arm of the couch for
a side table, or about the same height as the bed if making it for a bedside
table. Top with a mirror that is slightly wider than the urn. Throws,
blankets, or pillows can be stored inside. This turns the common outdoor
garden urn into a unique and beautiful table!

About Cara: I’m a pharmacist turned full time homemaker and mother to 3
children, which I love! My philosophy is “Easy Expert Home,” that is, easy
techniques that give expert results for all things home. I love creating
inexpensive, sophisticated solutions for decorating, organizing,
entertaining, and gardening, all designed to make family life simpler and
more fun!

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