ALL POSTS IN Design Inspiration

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String art used to be straight out of the ’70s, but new, graphic versions are still going strong. (Did you see my girl Meg’s geometric string art bear?! So cute.) This version uses a rustic slice of wood (available at your local crafts store) to juxtapose the modern, metallic monogram. See how it’s done in just a few steps:

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What do you think? I love the graphic impact of the finished piece, and it adds texture and dimension to a ho-hum gallery wall. See what I mean?

DIY Monogram String Art on Weekday Crafternoon

Want to make your own piece of custom string art? You can download the letter template here and get step-by-step instructions and materials here. As always, if you’ve missed any past episodes of HGTV Crafternoon you can find them all right here.

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Caramel is the ultimate fall delicacy in my world. I imagine walking through a harvest-inspired craft fair or autumnal festival with the scent of kettle corn wafting through the air as I sinfully nibble on a caramel apple (or better yet, a scalding hot hand pie).

Mood Board Monday: CaramelTop, L to R: Dust Jacket, Domaine, La Peche Fraiche | Middle, L to R: Tasty Kitchen, Camille Styles, Classy Girls Wear Pearls | Bottom, L to R: Honestly WTF, Finch & Fawn, HGTV.com

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Casual summer weekends are a great time to break out vintage scarves to create a fun hairstyle with virtually no effort. But now that the days are getting cooler, here’s another scarf use to consider: year-round gift wrap.

Furoshiki is a Japanese fabric-wrapping technique to add reusable, eco-friendly style to everything from packaged gifts to vases to food. Techniques can get pretty intricate, but today I’m showing you some of the basics. Take a look:

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You can find traditional furoshiki-style wraps online, but the thrift store is a great place to stock up on vintage scarves for those last-minute gifts. Bonus: Your friend can reuse the scarf to wrap another gift or spice up her wardrobe.

Small Furoshiki Wrap

What do you think? Would you ditch rolls of paper in favor of pretty fabric this year? Tell us in the comments below.

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You may not be able to wear white after Labor Day — but there are no rules against your walls.

White is almost a magic wand for interior spaces; it has the power to completely transform even the most uninspiring rooms. It also has the ability to smooth out imperfections in walls or cover up that annoying steam pipe or rough patch. This surprisingly versatile color — yes, I said color — expands and unifies any space it acquires by forcing the eyes to focus on the area within a room instead of its boundaries. However, this modern design trend can be difficult to perfect. Monochrome interiors, especially white ones, can easily look unfinished. Here are some tips for those of you looking to whitewash your living spaces.

To avoid looking flat, focus on contrasting textures. By mixing varying textures, the eye still has plenty to take in even if the color scheme is nothing but white. This makes the room seem just as rich as if it was drenched in florescent tie dye.

Grass ClothImage via Lonny

Notice that the walls are almost stark white and the furniture is minimal, but the textural element of the grass cloth brings everything together and gives the entire room a warm, inviting feel.

Inhabit Wall PanelImage via Inhabit

Go for bold with a dramatic 3-D wall panel. This ultra modern look is surprisingly easy to accomplish. Sculptural wall tiles are available at a variety of interior stores and installation is a breeze.

More White Rooms to Love

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Gallery walls are all the rage right now, and for good reason:  you can have completely unmatched pieces of art but make them work together with a common theme. Choosing a color, texture or pattern to be the inspiration for your wall lets you loosen the “rules.” The tough part about those galleries, though, is actually figuring out what works — and what doesn’t. To help you out, we’ve come up with our top tips for creating a gallery wall. Once you’re ready to test out your ideas, upload your pieces to Shutterfly’s Design-a-Wall virtual tool to see what they look like together before you poke a million holes in your wall.

Tip #1: Choose Any Wall

A gallery wall doesn’t have to be limited to a foyer or living room. Choose walls that are normally bare, such as a staircase wall. HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino hung knicknacks on a bold red wall for an instant upgrade.

Staircase Gallery Wall

Tip #2: Add Personal Touches

Create a custom look by arranging your favorite photographs or souvenirs from your travel experiences in shadow boxes . Bonus: This idea serves double duty as a storage solution.

Vintage Shadow Box Gallery Wall

Tip #3: Pick Unexpected Items

A gallery wall doesn’t just have to be framed pieces of art. This wall of hollowed out, cloth-covered books was hung with upholstery nails in each book’s four corners.

Book Gallery Wall

Tip #4: Placement, Placement, Placement

Once you’ve chosen all your pieces, it’s time to think of placement. This is especially important when you’re creating a gallery wall above furniture. Be sure not to hang pieces too low or high — a good rule of thumb is eight inches between the base of the frame and top of the furniture piece, according to Jen Bekman, founder of the popular online art shop, 20×200.

Gallery Wall

Tip #5: Be Fearless

A gallery wall is your opportunity to express your passions. So, have fun and don’t worry about going a little crazy. Mixing up your gallery wall with your personal treasures will make your house feel like home.

Electic Gallery Wall

What are some of your tips for creating the perfect gallery wall?

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Can you believe it’s already time for kids to head back to school? I feel like summer just started! Whether your family is already in the swing of early mornings and after-school homework or you’re preparing for the first day, this cute, inexpensive teacher gift is worth a look. Check it out:

Stuff the mugs with anything you think your child’s teacher might like: think candy, art supplies or a coffee shop gift card.

Decorated Teacher's Mug Gifts

Even if you don’t have kids in school, these porcelain pens are really fun to use and a great way to dress up plain mugs and plates for gift items or your own kitchen. Tell us: Have you played around with porcelain pens?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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Everyone is talking about coconut oil — the benefits, the uses, the reasons to have it at home, at work, etc. I’m an advocate for the superfood and love having it in my medicine cabinet as well as in my pantry. Beyond that, I can’t get enough of coconut water and milk, especially in my smoothies. So let’s just give a round of applause for coconuts! What’s your favorite way to use this fruit?

Mood Board Monday: CoconutsTop, L to R: Santa Fe Dry Goods, Flickr, My Baking Addiction | Middle, L to R: Justina Blakeney, Celebrations at Home, Vintage Blog | Bottom, L to R: Roxana’s Home Baking, Free People Blog, Honestly Yum

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Let’s do this AA style: “Hello, my name is Camille and I’m addicted to buying old boxes.” (Well, and jewelry too but that’s another matter). Old boxes are a great decorative way to stash unattractive, everyday stuff in plain sight. For instance, I have a little cane-covered box filled with crafting essentials in my living room so if the crafting bug strikes while I’m watching TV, a project is within easy reach.

I particularly love old boxes with drawers so I couldn’t pass up this cutlery box (AKA silverware chest) at an estate sale recently for just 9 bucks. The box’s blond or maple finish was popular in the 50s and 60s so it’s safe to assume that it’s more than 50 years old. Personally, I’m not a big fan of mid-century blond finishes and this one was in particularly rough shape with lots of scratches, dings and a big water stain on the lid so refinishing it with a more traditional, darker stain was definitely on the menu. If the felt liner had been in better shape, I might have considered leaving it as-is but the fabric was dirty, picked and even worn through in places so I decided to re-line the box as well.

Here’s what I started with, it truly is massive, easily double the size of most dresser-top jewelry boxes:  Cutlery Box Before
And here is my new upcycled jewelry box, fully refinished and re-lined:
Silverware Chest That Has Been Turned Into a Jewelry Box
Read On To Learn How I Did It

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Hello, my name is Marianne, and I am a paper craft addict. Whether it’s colorful paper flower wreaths or a 3-dimensional cloud mobile, there is something so satisfying about taking an inexpensive stack of paper and turning it into a show stopping craft. With that confession out of the way, let’s get to this week’s project because y’all? It’s one of my favorites. Just one of these giant paper dahlias would make an elegant wreath on your front door, but the real impact comes from grouping several of them together.

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Doesn’t that make you want to bust out the paper cutter? These abundant paper flowers would also make great decorations for an early fall wedding or even adorning the walls of a dorm room. The possibilities are endless!

Giant Paper Dahlias

Do you love paper crafts? What’s your favorite thing to make?

How to Make Your Own Giant Paper Dahlias

Catch all the episodes of HGTV Crafternoon, and more projects from Marianne, right here.

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As an experienced traveler, I never tire of the map and globe decor trend. Every time I go to an antique store, I scour through the bin of old maps to see if I can find any that have some significance to me or anyone I know. For me, maps offer up memories that found artwork just can’t. I look at South America and instantly think of my Chilean backpacking trip to Santiago, the Andes Mountains and Valparaiso last year. South Carolina reminds me of my time at College of Charleston and my first year away from home. Give me a world map and I’ll drift into a land of nostalgia.

Mood Board Monday: MapsTop, L to R: Kara’s Party Ideas, HGTV.com | Middle, L to R: Wendy’s Lookbook, The Hunted Interior | Bottom, L to R: HGTV.com, from HGTV MagazineLingered Upon

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

DIY Map Crafts From HGTV.com:

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It’s that time of year again! Time for newly sharpened pencils, first-day outfits and anxiety-ridden dreams about forgetting to do your homework (or was that one just me?) That’s right; it’s back to school season! To echo Briana’s sentiment, where did summer go?! It absolutely flew by! I was dumbfounded when I saw back to school was trending on Yahoo. But sure enough, for everyone from Pre-K to college, the school year is just around the corner. In the spirit of heading back to the classroom, I’ve put together a complete schedule of 8 school-inspired rooms. Look for decorating ideas based on your favorite subject! I promise there won’t be a pop quiz at the end.

8 Rooms Inspired by School Subjects
7:30 AM — Math
Our school day begins with an early math class. Brightly painted red, white and black number blocks are used to offset the bold wallpaper in this adorable nursery. Cute accessories that double as tools for learning how to count — definitely an A+ combo.

THE SCHOOL DAY CONTINUES

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We’re in the dog days of summer here, and sometimes you just want to get inside, out of the heat and into the blissful air conditioning. If your kids are in need of a project to occupy their time, I have just the thing for you. These sandpaper transfers are as fun to make as the resulting t-shirts are to wear.

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I love that in two simple steps you can turn your kid’s work of art into a t-shirt. Make sure you put the finished t-shirt in the dryer on high to set the color, and wash it alone the first time.

Crayon Shirt

What’s your favorite way to beat the late-summer heat?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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When it comes to school, the old saying goes: “The tassel is worth the hassle.” I know our younger readers aren’t jumping up and down for their first day back to class, so here’s a trendier twist on cap tassels to make it seem less daunting. Just remember, you’re one day closer to walking across that stage!

Mood Board Monday: TasselsTop, L to R: Tell Love & Chocolate, Flax & Twine, Ruffled | Middle, L to R: Catherine Nicole Blog via Vogue, Honestly WTF, Ruche | Bottom, L to R: Mom’s Best, Love Maegan, Honestly WTF

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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As crazy as it may seem, it’s already time to stock up on school supplies. There’s nothing quite like a fresh pack of ballpoint pens and a color-coded assortment of spiral notebooks to start the year out right. But for many, it’ll be more than just basic supplies on the shopping list. Some of our HGTV.com readers will be packing up and heading into the brand-new cramped quarters of a shared living space. Yay, college! The key to this new living adjustment is making the space feel as comfortable and homey as possible. And just like living in a rental, there are plenty of ways to add decorative charm to the walls, floors and doors of your temporary living space without breaking the bank.

Check out a few of my favorites:

DIY Desk Accessories

Keep Your Desk Tidy: Make these custom desk accessories >>

DIY Corkboard

Hang Custom Artwork: Make a corkboard map to showcase travel adventures >> 

Top Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

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Sometimes the simplest crafts are the most fun. This week we’re taking cheap cork coasters, dressing them up with paint pens, and turning them into adorable party favors and hostess gifts. Check it out:

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I was able to make a dozen of these coasters in minutes, and they have me in the mood to throw one last end-of-summer party.

Decorated Cork Coasters

Missed an episode of Weekday Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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Nothing takes me back to those innocent childhood years quite like blowing bubbles … or trying to catch them.

Mood Board Monday: BubblesTop, L to R: Style Me Pretty, Sprinkle Bakes, Camille Styles | Middle, L to R: Green Wedding Shoes, Colin Cowie Weddings, Etsy |  Bottom, L to R: The Sweetest Occasion, Wired (Photo by Melvin Sokolsky), Armelle

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun,” said 19th-century painter Vincent van Gogh. And he’s so right. Nothing is more bright, beautiful and summery than yellow. So on this overcast Monday, I plan on basking in this bold, lemony hue.

Mood Board Monday: YellowTop, L to R: Julep, UO, Tumblr | Middle, L to R: Brit + Co, BHG, Studio DIY | Bottom, L to R: Ruffled, The Guardian, Averie Cooks

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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You know the saying: nothing says party like a piñata. Isn’t that a saying? It is now! I had so much fun making this adorable beehive piñata that I can’t bear to break it. I think I might hang it in my daughter’s room instead.

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Pretty cute, eh? Those puffy bumblebees are the perfect touch. This would make any summer party one to remember, don’t you think?

Bumblebee Pinata

I haven’t done paper mache since I was a kid, and it was good, goopy fun. Have you ever attempted a homemade piñata?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? See them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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You all love the nautical look just as much as some of us HGTV.com staffers. And after a beautiful and relaxing weekend on the water, I just couldn’t resist this week’s mood board pick. Happy Monday!

Mood Board Monday: SailboatsTop, L to R: HGTV.com, Coco Cake Land, The Hearabouts | Middle, L to R: Erika Layne Photography, Style Me Pretty | Bottom, L to R: HGTV.com, Jagger Photography, Colin Cowie Weddings

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Summer is a season for travel. I’m not much of a go-on-vacation-to-relax kind of girl, but I do love exploring new places and taking in different cultures. Decorating my room to remind me of the places I’ve been is a fun way to keep those memories alive. Every time I see the mini Dutch shoe I bought in the Netherlands, I remember how wonderful it was to go there with my family. And I love that I can simply look at my shelf to spur those memories, rather than yanking out scrapbooks or browsing Facebook albums. (Although, who am I kidding? I definitely still do that, too!)

If you’ve gone somewhere incredible in the past or you’re heading on a new adventure this summer, consider translating your travels into decor. Whether you plan on completely revamping your home or just incorporating a few trinkets acquired on your journeys, here are 7 tips for creating a room inspired by memorable trips:

Travel Design Inspiration: Start With Souvenirs

Photo: Courtesy of Ore Studios

Start With Souvenirs
You may not have bought that magnificent hand-carved chair you saw in Morocco, but you did bring back a colorful vase. Good news: Small souvenirs are a great way to add global charm to your space without breaking the bank (or your back)! Simply placing your find on a bookshelf or coffee table will add some fun flair. But, if you’re feeling more ambitious, use the souvenir as inspiration to redesign an entire room. Pull some bold colors from the piece, like the orange on this vase, to use for accent pillows or a bright new wall color.

Travel Design Inspiration: Throw in a Textile

Photo: Courtesy of Thibaut

Throw in a Textile
Every country has a unique textile heritage, so while you’re traveling, keep an eye out for traditional fabrics! Whether you bring back a Moroccan wedding blanket, tribal rug, or French toile curtains, use them to transform a room. Like the beautiful French fabric in this space, a textile can be a lovely way to add a sense of your travels.

MORE TIPS

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