My kids were home for a mid-winter five-day break last week and I was RESTLESS. I probably should mention that I was also neck-deep in planning my husband’s 40th birthday extravaganza (which was a SURPRISE) and had 1,098 things on my to-do list. I sat sipping my coffee one of those mornings in front of my very-loud brick fireplace, picked up my pencil and notebook and wrote PAINT FIREPLACE!! on the top of the list. The jazzy colors, mixed with my deep love for graphic prints and tchotchkes were making me even more crazy, as you can see in the image below.
Now, I collect textiles like Dolly Parton collects sequin dresses. Kilims, suzanis, and tribal runners are slowly taking over my house. I love the stories they tell and the fun they create! But with a busy backdrop like this fireplace tile, it’s pretty much design ADD. I needed to calm it down, ASAP before I started throwing plates instead of blankets.
That tile was just SO GRAY to my eyeballs and gray, at least the cooler version of it, is NOT in my vocabulary.
So after a trip to Lowes, I returned home with a gallon of bonding primer and white glossy paint I had leftover from a kitchen project. I don’t have pics of the ‘during’ stage because I was a madwoman possessed by how quickly I could apply the paint and make it look like it wasn’t a mistake before my husband got home and freaked out everywhere. I can tell you that it felt so good to have white, dear, dear white in my home.
(When we moved in, the previous owner’s style was more traditional and had beige as her neutral color of choice as you can see in the adjacent wall color. Beige is MEH and tolerable, but I dream of white walls someday.) If my husband is reading this, don’t worry. I’m not doing it until at LEAST next month.
Here’s the finished scene, as it currently looks.
Voila! Operation Warming Things Up is starting to feel really, really good!
Can we just create a new word for this? Magifying. Like magic-fying without the c. That’s what happened, in my experience of three hours time. I used a formula for creating magic with my space which I’ll share with you here. MEANING (how it makes you feel) + INTENTION (what you want it to do)= MAGIC. Whatever you do in your home or wardrobe, big or small, you can apply that formula and it will satisfy you on a soul-level, I promise!
Let’s break down the #magiccarpetstyle elements, shall we?
1 — After painting the tile white, the beige curtains had to go. Also, I’m personally not a fan (at all) of grommet curtains and prefer hooks, especially if those hooks are a yummy walnut to match the legs of the chair, which I scored (the hooks) from Lowes on a different trip. (Side note: I often order curtain hooks on overstock or amazon, but it really does make a difference to see them before buying them. I’m awful at knowing size and color or making up my mind until I have them in my hand.) I found these gauzy sheer curtains at Homegoods and paired together, they make me feel cozy and add to a surprisingly-emerging tropical theme.
2 — I do declare, I’m a slave to texture. Especially when it comes to feathers like this ostrich trio above. Putting feathers inside a tiny vase is for some reason mischievous to me, and adds an element of surprise to a vignette since flowers are more expected. Mischief and surprise is so very #magiccarpetstyle.
Also, the Jazz Covers book here makes my inner child happy. Besides its fun color, it has a lot of meaning. One of my favorite memories as a little girl was coming up the stairs on Sunday mornings (my bedroom was in the basement) to the smell of breakfast sizzling and jazz playing on the radio. Jazz and bacon and Sundays. Again, cozy cozy.
More feather madness, but in such a lovely way. Just lying a single feather in front of a metallic or strong edge of something can have a big impact. To create the feeling, think in terms of how you can play with opposites in your space. Soft and edgy or shiny and earthy can really have fun flirting together.
3 — I had a daydream one day about a painting of clouds against a bright blue sky and how much I wanted something simple like that on my wall, an image that I could imagine flying into. I shopped around and pinned and eventually, found this photograph of the sea on etsy that brought about the same feeling in my daydream. I bought it for maybe $6 as an instant digital download (which I totally dig because they are cheaper and non-committal and best of all IMMEDIATE and I don’t have to wait for them to be shipped from Denmark or something.) I uploaded it to my snapfish account, had it printed at my local Walgreens in a 16×20 size and brought it home.
The amazing brass frame was from a vintage painting I picked up from a local thrift store. Tip: don’t pass by a second-hand painting just because it’s bad art. A lot of people spend a lot of money on framing bad art and you can recycle those frames for your good art! Or in this case, an oversized photograph that is perfect for the dreamer/boho/mystic aesthetic I always find myself going for.
5 — The newly white tile really does allow for the brighter color and textures to take centerstage. If you’re painting over existing tile work, make sure you use a really good bonding primer. Ask for recommendations at your local paint store.
6 — I found this vintage Fiji poster and though I loved it because I honeymooned there fifteen years ago, I didn’t really have a place for it. I find that objects with a lot of meaning will always make a place in your home if you’re patient and hold on to them. After painting and adding a few tropical plants to the hearth, this space appeared perfect for the framed picture to play peekaboo with the disco ball. In fact, although subtle and somewhat hiding, it really became the energetic inspiration for the entire scene.
7 — I love making design decisions that go outside the status-quo, like putting plants in baskets instead of boring old ceramic planters. (Have you seen how much those planters cost anyway?) I think I paid $14 for this woven basket from Homegoods that I absolutely adore because (1) it adds warmth and texture and (2) the fun triangle shapes play (flirt!) with the throw pillows I picked up from Walmart. I know, I know, Walmart is not the most conscious place to shop and I always feel dizzy when I walk in one, but these pillows were meant for my living room. That’s how it is sometimes. You go in for toilet paper and leave with throw pillows.
So what do you think? What area in your home or office currently needs a makeover to feel more like ‘you’? Share your comments below! Remember to apply the magic formula (meaning + intention = magic) and you’ll be surprised at how quickly a scene can come together!
To more love & magic,
PS. If you want to make some magic like this in your own space and want to discover your own unique #magiccarpet style, check out my latest course! It’s a mix of private and group discovery and it starts next Monday. Space is limited so click here and tell me you’re interested and I’ll send you all the details!