New art for my living room from Artfully Walls.

*This is a sponsored post written by myself.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I received product to review but in no way influenced my opinion about my experience.*

Finding the right piece of art can be tricky.  Most of the time picking a beautiful piece is first determined by your budget.  Hey, I’d love an original Van Gogh but…
And I’ll be honest, “I’d better be better damn sure I like for EVER if I’m gonna pay that much…” has gone through my mind a time or two.
So then you go looking for something you can 1)- first afford, 2)- something that speaks to you.
Let’s face it, art can be a pressure-filled experience but it shouldn’t be.

I recently came across ArtfullyWalls which is an online art store with thousands of pieces ranging from all styles and all prices.  I’ve shopped art and know how outrageously expensive it can be.  I was delightfully surprised at how affordable most of the pieces were.

I’ve been wanting a large piece of art to fill the blank wall above my fireplace mantel for some time.  Something modern but not just some personality-less colors blended together like so many modern pieces and be.  I came across this piece and found it fascinating.

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It’s called Yellow Zebra by Kristi Kohut.

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It’s a print of several cut up pieces of lined paper taped together by yellow washi tape repeated in a pattern.

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It’s totally different than anything I’ve seen.  Everyone who sees it walks up to study it.  I realize art is subjective…not everyone likes the same things but that’s the beauty of art…
it’s a way to express oneself.

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And it fills up my mantel space just how I wanted it to.  The great thing about ArtfullyWalls is that you can purchase just the print or have is custom framed in one of their many frame selections (which is what we did).  So convenient.

I also couldn’t pass up this 6×6 little bird on canvas (Bird on a Black Background):

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When I saw it I was reminded of a mom and dad bird who laid some eggs in a next in our front yard tree.  The bird hatched and fell out of the nest.  Then the neighborhood cat (nicknamed el gato) got to the bird.  The little men and I rescued it the bird and put it in a bird house.  The mamma bird kept watch until the baby was strong enough to fly away.  Wherever el gato went, the mamma bird stayed right above it chirping a warning to alert the baby bird.  Admittedly a mushy story to justify an art selection.

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It’s the perfect little addition to the bookshelves in the living room.

If you’re looking for art you should check out ArtfullyWalls.  They have thousands of selections in all styles that can be framed (or not).

You can also follow them on Social Media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Vintage light fixture reveal with HomeAdvisor.

This poor stair wall has many identities over the past years.

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But believe it or not, I think we may finally be done with this space (but don’t hold me to that).
I posted about the installation of the planks (part 1, part 2) a couple of months ago thanks to some help finding a great carpenter through HomeAdvisor.
The space was almost complete but there was just one more thing that would take it from good to great in my mind.

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When we we renovated the home about 4 years ago I tried to think of everything we would have needed and wanted in this home.
Lighting is tricky…you know you need lights but what kind?
Cans? Pendants? Flush Mounts? Sconces?
Fast-forward to 2015.  The space looked fine and perfectly functional but from a design standpoint the stair well needed some visual interest.
I tried art but it seemed to make the space feel claustrophobic because it’s so narrow so instead I decided a light fixture might fit the bill.

I found this vintage barn enameled shade on Etsy.  It was perfectly imperfect with the dings, rust, scars and scratches.

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My sweet Mr. wired it all up and got it ready to hang.  Only problem is the can wasn’t centered over the stair well.  I decided to call a few electricians to see how much they would charge to move it a few inches.
Enter HomeAdvisor.
If you’ve ever tried to find good help you know how difficult it is.  Trying to even get someone to pick up the phone or return messages feels like pulling teeth.  Bids are often all over the map and customer service is non-existent in many of my past experiences.  Then it’s always a gamble if the work will be up to par.

HomeAdvisor has been my best tool in finding good quality home improvement specialists.  You type in the services you need then it matches you with home improvement people in your area.  It’s like a dating site but for home improvement.

In my latest search I was looking for an electrician to move the electrical box in the ceiling about 10 inches then switch it to be able to accept a hanging pendant.  I called four people from the site.  One never called back, one was booked out a couple of weeks, one quoted me $250. (too high) and the last one was sent by an angel.
No literally, when he arrived he had a glowing halo above his head.  He was awesome (RELCo Electric).
How many times have you ever said that about someone coming to work on your home?
He was going to be late on the day of our appt so his scheduler called to ask if that would be all right or if I’d like to reschedule.
People. That is RARE to receive a phone call if they’re going to be late in this field.
He showed up right when his scheduler said, was courteous, knowledgeable, put a drop cloth down, cleaned up after himself, and charged me less than what he originally quoted (about $90.).

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I shouldn’t have been shocked.  I read his reviews before I called him and they were all stellar.  That’s the best thing about HomeAdvisor is the reviews and he had six pages of them.

homeadvisor This one

You can get a pretty good idea of what you can expect by reading other people’s reviews.

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To save money we opted to patch the hole (tutorial on that soon) and hang the pendant ourselves.  Drum roll…

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I love how it turned out and I’ve gained a new electrician for life.

If you’re looking to hire some home improvement help you should first start with HomeAdvisor.
It’s free to use and the reviews are the most priceless piece of information you can get before hiring someone.

You can also follow HomeAdvisor on their site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Laying an interior brick wall

I have an obsession with marble and brick.  I’ve pretty much clad as many surfaces with marble in my home that I can think of and now I’m moving on to brick.
Brick can be tricky though.
You have to be careful where you put it or it can look out of place.
Brick is typically used on fireplaces or outter walls…or older buildings or lofts but that doesn’t apply here.
I would put brick on every wall of my home but that would be overkill. Plus I live in a 1970’s rambler and they didn’t typically do interior brick walls back then. I like to try and stay within some kind of character style of the home (most of the time). But because my home has an all brick exterior I figured applying brick on an outer wall wouldn’t be that much of a stretch. Capiche?

If you follow us on Instagram I showed a little teaser pic…here’s how the application went…

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This is the outer wall of my son’s room (and me trying to duck out of the way for the picture).  On the other side of the wall (outside) it’s all brick.  I wanted to carry that theme as if it were one big thick brick wall to the interior.  I found an online company called Brick-It which carries reclaimed brick from old buildings.  They cut the brick down so it’s 1/2″ thick veneer.  The back is smooth and the front has all that old worn character.  I ordered their New York Used brick veneers to apply to this wall.

The application process is SOO easy.  You first apply these Designer Metal Grids to the wall.

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It was pretty straight forward and my 10 year old helped out a lot.

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We first tried to cut down with some nipper scissors.  We then found that using a metal cutting blade was a lot quicker.

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Once the whole wall was covered with the DMG system we were ready to apply the bricks.

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Using a caulking gun you apply a line of glue (which they sent) on top of the grid then lay they bricks right in the panels.  I’m telling you it was SO easy.  This little man did a good majority of the brick laying (I mean it is room, he should do some work in there, right?).  :)

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Doing this much brick took just under an hour. I’m loving the perfectly imperfect look.

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We need to go rent a wet-saw to cut the bricks around the window then put the mortar in.  Stayed tuned for that step but all in all it has been a pretty fun project so far.  I’m still debating whether or not to white wash them which was my original plan.  I’m leaning toward doing it because the room is starting to feel heavy with the navy wall and now red brick.  Three people who have seen the wall say “NO” but we’ll see.  We’re hoping to wrap things up and have the room completely done in the next two weeks.  Yipee.

*I received product to try with no obligation to blog about.*