Liz Gray

"In search of Eames-worthy style on a Craigslist budget. And pie."

Liz is a Senior Editor at HGTV.com. She lives in a midcentury tri-level that’s stuck in the ‘70s…for now. When she’s not working on remodeling projects with her boyfriend and mystery breed puppy, Miles, you can find her buying impractical hats, scheming mad scientist-style in her overworked kitchen and drooling over Danish modern furniture.

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POSTS BY Liz Gray

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By now, you’ve probably heard that our August “Color” of the Month is….Watercolor! This cool, organic technique is the perfect antidote to summer’s oppressive heat. It’s also a great technique to experiment with…in the comfort of air conditioning, of course. Here are five DIY projects that embrace the flowy, unpredictable look.

Make Your Own Watercolor Flower Plates - HGTV.com
WATERCOLOR FLORAL PLATES

These stunning plates may look like something you’d buy at that expensive, boho-chic store we all love, but trust me, you can totally do this! With plain white plates, some brightly-colored porcelain paints and a few simple techniques, it’s easy to create your own custom set.
Get the step-by-step instructions here >>

Make Your Own Watercolor Tie-Dye Pillows
SHARPIE-DYED WATERCOLOR PILLOWS
This project is too cool not to try. As Marianne demonstrated in a recent HGTV Crafternoon episode, you can easily create a watercolor effect on a cotton pillow cover using nothing more than colorful permanent markers and a spray bottle of alcohol.
Get step-by-step instructions here >>

How to Make Your Own Marbled Votives With Nail Polish on HGTV.com

Nail Polish-Marbled Votives by Chelsea Costa

NAIL POLISH-MARBLED VOTIVES
Marbling — mixing several colors of paint on top of water before dipping an object — creates a similar flowy effect. This technique can be used on paper or fabric, but one of the simplest ways to experiment? Nail polish! Choose the colors of your choice and see how simple it is to customize plain glass votives for your next party.
Get step-by-step instructions for the marbled votives here >>

Watercolor Floral Notecards - Make Your Own on HGTV.com

MAKE YOUR OWN WATERCOLOR NOTE CARDS
Bring the look of blooming summer flowers inside with beautiful watercolor paintings to use as wall art or greeting cards. These step-by-step instructions make it simple to create professional-looking results.
Get the step-by-step watercolor note card instructions here >>

Make Your Own Watercolor Party Supplies on HGTV.com

CREATE CUSTOM WATERCOLOR PARTY SUPPLIES
This is my favorite project of the bunch: Marianne started these fun party decorations by painting one herringbone design. Then, she scanned and printed the design to create one fun, cohesive set of party decor — all while doing the work just once.
Get step-by-step instructions for the watercolor party decor here >>

Have you tried watercolor techniques at home? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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August is what I typically think of as the “dog days of summer:” week after week of hot, humid weather. So,when our color team met for our August session, it was with frozen drinks and ocean breezes on the brain. If you, too, are suffering through often-oppressive temperatures, our August Color of the Month is sure to offer some visual relief: Alyssa wowed us with her pitch for drippy, organic watercolor patterns.

Watercolor Wall Treatment

Via Interiors By Studio Mom

Yes, we’re breaking tradition again this month (it is summer, after all.) Just think of this month’s “color” as the design equivalent of a dip in the swimming pool. So refreshing, don’t you think?

Watercolor Wall Treatment

Wall Design by Black Crow Studios

This technique has been bubbling up through the design world for several seasons, in both more structured ombre-inspired wall treatments, and totally organic designs like this one created by the watercolor masters at Black Crow Studios. These dreamy, drippy patterns would be an unexpected (but totally amazing) element in a traditional beach house, or a natural in a colorful, bohemian bedroom.  Not ready for walls? Try a bright, swirled bedspread instead:

Via Interiors by Studio Mom

Another lovely iteration of this trend? Watercolor-inspired florals, like these pieces spotted on Society Social.

Society Social Chair With Watercolor Pillow

Large-scale, loosely-drawn flowers are a modern take on smaller-scale florals popular in the ’80s and ’90s. This version of the trend is simple to incorporate at home, too — a throw pillow or window treatment is all you need to add a cool, current pattern.

Or, try your hand at watercolor designs and create a one-of-a-kind art piece…in the comfort of air conditioning, of course. Are you a fan of watercolors in design? Tell us in the comments below.

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Congratulations to this giveaway’s random winners Melissa, Lorraine and Char. (Check your email!) Come back next month for another great giveaway.

I always feel just a little bit calmer when I step out the door into my garden. Checking on blossom progress, discovering a new vegetable sprout and even, yes, weeding mellows me out. If gardening isn’t your thing, though, there are many ways to make your yard into a sanctuary, like setting a reading bench in the shade or adding a simple decorative outdoor fountain.

For this Freebie Friday giveaway, three lucky Design Happens readers will win their choice from the three fountains below from LampsPlus.com. No backyard? These prizes would make beautiful indoor fountains, too.

Lamps Plus - Beautiful Indoor and Outdoor Fountains From LampsPlus.com

Relaxation awaits! Each of three winners may choose between (left to right) the modern Column Solar-Powered Fountain, the Aged Bronze Buddha Indoor/Outdoor Fountain and the Seven Cascades Cutaway Outdoor Fountain.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What summer activity helps you relax or unwind?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 2:00 p.m. ET on July 11, 2014 and 2:00 p.m. ET on July 14, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $149.95. ARV of all three prizes: $449.85. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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If you’ve been following our Color of the Month series, you know we like to break the rules from time to time…especially Marianne. She was the mind behind our June 2012 neon color choice, and she also proposed the glitter genre in December 2012.

So when she came to our Color of the Month meeting proposing Stripes as the July color choice, we weren’t surprised, but we were intrigued. After all, stripes are practically synonymous with summer: Think crisp, preppy rooms and nautically-inspired decor. The kicker? More than half of our color team were actually wearing stripes during the meeting — a sure sign that Marianne’s pitch is perfect for the height of the season. Bring on the stripes!

Multicolored Painted Stripes  - Learn How to Paint These Stripes on HGTV.com

Image Courtesy HGTV Magazine

The wonder of stripes is their versatility. Depending on the color combinations, they can be everything from playful to classically preppy.  Vertical stripes in coral, white and blue look playful when painted in varying widths, as seen in HGTV Magazine,  while navy and white horizontal stripes in this kids’ room create a soothing, symmetrical look.

Classic Navy and White Striped Wall in Kids' Room - HGTV.com

Design by Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design

More Clever Ways to Use Stripes

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Congratulations Sara P. on your win! We hope your cat enjoys his new treats.

Behind almost every Design Happens blogger is an adorable, spoiled pet. Kayla is our resident cat lover with her 4-year-old feline D’Artagnan, while many of the rest of us share our homes with dogs of all shapes and sizes. I love coming home every day to see my Corgi-bulldog mix puppy Miles beaming at me through the window. And if I bring him a new toy? The money I spent is totally worth the look on his face, not to mention the hours of enjoyment we both get as we play fetch or tug-of-war.

This month, we’re giving the fellow cat lovers in our midst the chance to win a prize pack complete with everything needed to delight a favorite cat — and you don’t have to spend a dime! Read on to see what you could win, and enter for a chance to take home this prize pack in the comments below.

 

Cat Supplies on HGTV.com

One lucky winner will receive:

  • Litter Genie® Cat Litter Disposal System
  • 1 Bag Purina ONE® SMARTBLEND® Adult Cat Food
  • Grreat Choice® Ball and Mice Value Pack Cat Toy (18-count)
  • 2 Whisker City® Zebra Meow Cat Bowls
  • Grreat Choice® Breakaway Shimmer Cat Collar, 1 Pink and 1 Blue
  • 1 Toys R Us Bird Dangle Teaser Cat
  • 1 KONG® Plush Turtle Cat Toy
  • 1 ToyShoppe® Pop-Open Play Cube Cat Toy
  • 1 Cat Lover’s Daily Companion (book)
  • 1 Whisker City® Animal Print Cuddler Cat Bed

To enter for a chance to win this prize, leave a comment below. This month’s question: What’s your pet’s favorite treat, toy or activity?

This post brought to you by Litter Genie® Cat Litter Disposal System, an ultimate hassle-free solution for controlling cat litter odors. Keep your home fresh and cat happy. Click here for up to $5 off a Litter Genie® System. Purchase the Litter Genie® System at these retailers.

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on June 20, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on June 23, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $127.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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It’s amazing to see what Jonathan and Drew can accomplish by working together on Property Brothers, but it’s equally fun to watch them one-up each other in friendly competition. In honor of the season two premiere of Brother Vs. Brother (this Sunday, June 8, at 9/8 c!,) we want to know: Which brother’s flea market transformation from HGTV Magazine do you prefer?

Drew and Jonathan Scott - HGTV's Property Brothers

Drew and Jonathan Scott

It’s amazing what a little paint can do! Drew used two coats of orange-red paint and some updated hardware to transform this basic lacquered sideboard into a sleek, modern piece.  Get the how-to instructions here >>

Drew Scott’s Sideboard Makeover

Jonathan, meanwhile, turned this dated side table into a modern piece using soft gray paint and a geometric stencil. The yellow handle adds an unexpected touch of color. Get the how-to instructions here >>

Jonathan Scott Table Makeover

Jonathan Scott’s Table Makeover

So, which makeover is your favorite? Vote for your favorite below, then check out other HGTV stars’ smart paint transformations. And don’t forget to tune in to Brother Vs. Brother this Sunday at 9/8c.

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With Memorial Day behind us and summer vacations on the horizon, our color team was craving a bright, beachy color this June. So when Briana proposed this gorgeous Burnt Coral, we were all smitten. Can you believe the vote was nearly unanimous?

This color takes the classic peachy pink coral and turns up the color value a few notches — think something a little more cinnabar or vermillion. This darker, orange-red coral is au courant and looks great with other spring and summer colors.  Take a look:

Burnt Coral Nursery on HGTV.com - Design By Kendall Wilkinson

Design By Kendall Wilkinson

Guest editor and Fixer Upper host Joanna Gaines is also a big fan. “Burnt coral is a nice accent color that is fresh and fun, yet still sophisticated,” she says. “I love to incorporate this color with pillows, vases and other small accents. I tend to blend white with burnt coral, because it offers a really nice contrast that is easy on the eye.”

Design by Tobi Fairley

Design by Tobi Fairley

Burnt coral also plays well with light, airy blues, soft grays and dusty lavender. It can be surprisingly soothing when paired with cooler hues, as seen in this retro dining room:

Contemporary Dining Nook by Brian Patrick Flynn

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

For just a little bit of burnt coral, add a chic throw pillow on the living room sofa or atop the bedspread. (Trendy nautical motifs optional.)

Burnt Coral Pillows - HGTV's Design Happens Blog

Burnt Coral Pillows, Clockwise From Top Left: Persimmon Dora Pillow, Rivulets Standard Shams, Coral Sand Cuttlefish Pillow, Coral Ombre Velvet Pillow

This color lends itself to both eclectic…

Burnt Coral Bathroom Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

…and more traditional spaces, from this bold boy’s bathroom to the classic beachy style featured at HGTV Smart Home 2013.

Burnt Coral Guest Bedroom From HGTV Smart Home 2013

Design by Linda Woodrum

Do you love this new take on classic coral as much as we do? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Whether it’s picking a paint color combination to create a certain mood or customized color matching, True Value has the solutions. To help you choose the perfect color scheme for your next interior or exterior painting project, visit TrueValuePaint.com.

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This month we’re celebrating indigo as our Color of the Month, but it’s not the only blue hue our staff has a color-crush on. Ever since Made + Remade editor-in-chief Kelly Smith Trimble pitched classic cornflower blue in our monthly color meeting, I’ve been noticing it everywhere from decor to recipes to fashion.

Cornflower and Yellow Wedding Color Palette

Both bright and cool at the same time, this hue lends itself especially well to outdoor spring weddings. I love the combination of striking blue bridesmaid dresses paired with cheerful yellow and pink flowers as featured on Elizabeth Ann Designs. And don’t limit this color to your decor — you can use real cornflowers or bright-blue violets to create wedding-worthy cocktails and desserts, like these found on Adventures in Cooking. So, what do you think — will you try this bright blue hue this spring?

Get more color palette inspiration from our previous Tuesday Huesday posts.

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Congratulations to this month’s random winner, Michelle R.!

Insect-inspired pieces were everywhere at this spring’s recent High Point Furniture Market, from fabrics to decorative objects to wall decor. My favorite take on the trend, though? The Pheromone by Christoper Marley collection of original insect art pieces. Marley takes mounted butterfly art to the next level, arranging some of the most colorful bees, wasps, flies, dayflying moths into an amazing mosaic that is a focal point from afar…

Freebie Friday on HGTV.com - Win a Christopher Marley Original Insect Art Piece

…and even more amazing up close:

Freebie Friday on HGTV.com - Win Original Insect Artwork From Christopher Marley

If you’re a fellow fan of the insect art trend, good news: You could win this gorgeous 2o x 24 Aesthetica Mosaic to bring some nature into your home this spring.  To enter for a chance to win this art piece, leave a comment below. This month’s question: How do you bring nature into your decor?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 3:00 p.m. ET on May 16, 2014 and 3:00 p.m. ET on May 19, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $1,620.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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After spending the last few months obsessing over pastel hues — Grapefruit in February, Orchid in March and Magnolia in April — our color team was ready for something new. Something…blue! Four of our team’s six color pitches for May were shades of blue. For the final decision, we turned to our new guest editor (and star of HGTV’s new show Fixer Upper) Joanna Gaines.

Her pick? Farima’s deep blue-purple pick. “My pick is indigo,” Joanna says. “Maybe I’m biased to the indigo because it’s the color that is currently blooming in my garden!” ‘Tis the season for deep blue hydrangeas, irises and more spring blooms. Check out these gorgeous cornflowers, plus 19 other true-blue plants, over on HGTVGardens.

Cornflowers on HGTV Gardens.com

Somewhere between blue and violet, this color gets its name from the deep blue natural dye made from the indigo plant. Though most commercial blue dyes are now synthetic, you can make your own natural indigo dyes the old-fashioned way, or buy instant indigo powder or an indigo tie-dye kit.  The natural version creates colors that are brighter and more fade-resistant than the synthetic stuff.

LEARN TO MAKE YOUR OWN INDIGO DYES >>

Once you have the dye in hand, spend a warm May weekend experimenting with the trendy shibori tie-dye technique.  Or, buy a big or small piece — like this stunning shibori-dyed sofa or indigo-dipped throw pillow — to embrace the hand-dyed look the easy way.

Shibori Dyes on HGTV's Design Happens

More Ways to Use Indigo This May

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  • A fireplace in the living area adds to the cozy ambiance.

  • A rustic circular table fills this small corner breakfast

  • Although the overall color scheme of this basement is white

  • The farmhouse look is added to this basement remodel