Tag Archives: photography

Real Readers: Ariel

3 Aug

Thank you everyone who made getting past 3,000 views a breeze! I’m up to 3,101 — I really appreciate all of the support. I hope yall are loving the Funky Bear as much as I love writing it.

Today we are re-visiting an old friend I introduced you to in a past post, Ariel.

Obviously Ariel is artistically talented and creatively-driven. That much can be observed from her skill in wire cross making. But her life adventures and trips around the world traveling have given her a very distinct point of view when it comes to decorating. Today I’m going to take you behind the scenes of her bedroom, which I am obsessed with.

Name: Ariel Hall

Age: 22

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Fun Fact: Besides moving to Argentina in a month, like I told you in the last post, Ariel has her private pilot’s license! She’s logged in countless hours studying and flying courses so if you ever need a lift, she’s your girl.

Here are pictures of her room in her house in Houston, where she calls home. Be awed, be amazed, but most of all, be INSPIRED.

Ariel describes her style as eclectic, rustic and bohemian. She says that all of her inspiration for the color of the room, the way she displays her photos, the fabrics and lamps she chose, etc came from traveling. Ariel was lucky enough to get to go on an amazing trip to Africa and when she came back, she decided it was time to ditch the lime green, scattered pictures on the wall room of her past and move into a more “grown up” room.

Ariel decided to take matters into her own hands and paint the room herself. Hey — if she had survived the African Serengeti, there was nothing she couldn’t do. Ariel chose blue because it reminded her of the beautiful and peaceful water of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, Africa.

A large standing mirror in the room helps make the room appear bigger (a little trick you can use in any small room, and that many hotels do!) and break up the color block of one of the walls.

Her bed is something I am definitely going to try to emulate in my next place. I love how clean and crisp it looks with the white against the blue walls, and also how cozy and inviting it feels with the warm accents of the printed pillows and throw blanket. The elephant pillow on the bed is from Pottery Barn. Ariel was instantly drawn to it because it was her favorite animal on her trip. From another continent, Ariel got the throw at the foot of her bed as a gift from a trip her parents took to Vietnam. A mix of African and Asian influences can be seen throughout the rest of Ariel’s bedroom as well.

Above her bed, Ariel used a ton of pictures of places she has traveled to with her family to make an organized collage that serves as a daily reminder of good memories. See the elephant!? What a cutie.

She used a plain glass and wrought iron table to hold all of her things to one side. But what makes it interesting is how she layered the table with picture albums and books on the bottom, and a pretty flowery chandelier next to more traditional things like candles and picture frames on the top. Anyone can re-create this look by finding personal knick-knacks and casually yet artfully placing them on shelves, tables, and desks. (See my post on Table Tops for more visual inspiration!)

Even her bedside tables look like they have a story! To get a unique piece of your own, check out local garage sales, consignment stores and antique shops. I know “going antiquing” sounds like something your grandmother would do, but antiques and previously-owned pieces can really add a lot to any home.

In her bathroom is prominently displayed a piece of art her mother painted for her. I told you she (and her family) are artistic! It’s nice to have a personal touch in a place you spend so much time in. Hang up something in your bathroom that gives you happy thoughts or someone has made for you.

Ariel’s vanity in her bathroom serves as another place to remind her of her adventures around the world. Personal pictures of accomplishments (yay for graduating!) as well as street drawings she has bought in places like New York City where she lived for a summer are strewn about her vanity where she can see them while she gets ready for the day. And I think it goes without saying the I am OBSESSED with her little leopard chair. Rawr!

Ariel used a cork board to with beautiful little push-pins to organize and display her necklaces. Easy and effective!

Last but not least…even her shower is finely decorated! The neutral pattern of the shower curtain looks sophisticated next to the chaos of the little desk next to it stacked with candles. And you’ve gotta love a college girl at heart…check out all of her shot glasses stacked on the window sill!

I hope you loved Ariel’s room as much as I do!

Remember, to re-create Ariel’s look, try the following suggestions:

1) Paint your room a bold yet inviting color (think this type of royal blue, an eggplant purple, or a golden burnt orange).

2) Add a plain fluffy white comforter or duvet cover to make for the coziest looking bed ever. Spruce it up with bright colors of pillows and blankets.

3) Try Asian or African influences for an exotic and luxurious look.

4) Bring interesting pieces back from your travel or create some that represent your life. I believe that the more personal the space in your room is, the better.

5) And not matter how well-traveled you are or aren’t, don’t forget to add a splash of your own personality like this on Ariel’s door:

And on that note, I think I’ll end my post.

Obsession: Picture Clustering

23 Jul

Sloppy. Feminine. Organized. Inspired. Pretty. Thought-provoking

No, I’m not describing myself…

I’m describing my BIGGEST OBSESSION EVER (bigger than white couches and turquoise).

Picture clustering.

I am moving to Houston in the next couple of weeks 🙂 and therefore I get to decorate a brand new place! I couldn’t be more excited. When I first started thinking of things I know I have to have in my home…this was the first one that came to my mind.

Easy and fun, I definitely believe every house can use picture clustering in some way, shape or form. Like I said above, it can be organized and neat, or crazy and unexpected. You can choose which style is for you based on the location of the pictures in your house.

Just like with the table tops, every now and then I will be updating you with new and interesting ways to use picture clustering in your home. Take a chance organizing your wall art like so:

You could all cray-cray like this and fill up a whole wall! Even though it's busy, I love how each piece is an interesting little trinket on its own.

Inspired by: The Decorista

A few well-placed large pieces of art can create an interesting and colorful wall.

Inspired by: Design Sponge Online

Even above a big media center, you can still use the clustering method. This especially works for extremely tall rooms/ceilings.

Inspired by: Pottery Barn magazine

Neat, organized, and all in a row is a good look too. Especially for those of you OCD peeps out there who can't handle the chaos of other types of picture clustering.

Inspired by: My  Blue Hydrangea

This style still maintains a semblance of order with all of the rectangular frames. But with different sizes and rotations, it is still super eye-catching. I am decided between using this style and above a couch -- maybe both!

Inspired by: Lonny Mag

I love this set. The different levels and textures with the W, random framing and colors is FABULOUS. It is a great way to fill up a big old white empty wall, which most apartments I will be looking at have.

Inspired by: The Decorista

Here is a modern way to use picture clustering in your house. Try darker images or matted on black with thin black frames (like poster frames you can buy at Michael's).

Inspired by: Living Etc.

Here is the original picture that launched my obsession. This is in a family home along a staircase, and I've seen it done on a smaller level in lots of homes over the years. What sets this apart is that it goes all the way up to the ceiling, and looks both purposeful and artful.

Above the mantle is another great place to use pictures and art to add a centerpiece to your room.

Inspired by: Design Sponge Online

Ah this is another one of my favorites. First of all, I'm definitely down for the above the couch placement. Secondly, I love the order of the frames but the colorful different-ness of the prints draws me too. Try getting vintage prints of old magazine covers or play bills.

Inspired by: The Decorista

Don’t you love it now too? Seriously so easy. Just make sure that if you are going for the clean and polished look, that you have a level handy to check the straight-ness of your frames and so that they all line up evenly. If you’re going for the haphazard, eclectic art look, then have at it — no rules!

Alphabet Soup: DIY — Word Art Photography

18 Jun

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful day and gearing up for the weekend. To celebrate (and mourn) the last day of this week’s Alphabet Soup theme, I have prepared a Do It Yourself project for you.

So far, we’ve seen wall sticker quotes, Scrabble pillows and picture frames, but today’s DIY is a more artsy-fartsy way to use letters in your decorating.

Word art photography is a unique way to fill up wall space with interesting pieces and could also become a personal project if you’re willing to put in the time.

Here are a few websites that specialize in this kind of photography. If you’re too lazy to do it yourself or completely lack the artistic and/or motor skills required (which I doubt because all you have to do is point, click, and print), then you can order from one of these companies.

Alphabet Photography http://www.alphabetphotography.com/

Cost: Expensive. Can be upwards of $150 for custom photography and framing.

Such an attractive piece of art. Oh wait, is that my name? Imagine that.

Alphabet Pix http://www.alphabetpix.com/

Cost: Expensive. Can be over $160 for custom photography and framing.

This one is in "sepia" tone which is a washed out brown, yellow, and whitish color as opposed to a simple black and white.

Okay, so these are pretty darn expensive. But does anyone else notice anything eerily familiar about the subjects of these photographs?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

If you haven't seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," then you are cray-cray (as in crazy).

Answer: All of these photographs feature mudane things found around the house or out in nature. Anyone armed with a camera can re-create these letters. All you have to do is find them.

A few months ago, I went on this exact mission and came up with my own version of word art photography.

This was my final product (excuse the blurry iPhone quality):

It’s not exactly the same, but it’s another way to do it.

Here’s how you can create your own rendition of either of these methods:

1. Figure out what you want to spell. You can be self-absorbed and go for your own name (like me!) or choose another favorite word. Perhaps “Love” which seems to be a recurring theme on this blog…(see comment by Penny and Scrabble post)

2. Find the letters. Anywhere with letters or things shaped as letters will do. Be inspired by the above websites and find interesting piping, shadows, plants, rocks, etc., or go out into the world and make your own. I used a close up of a license plate letter, my hand’s shadow, the monogram on a necklace pendant, stones in a row, the “R” from an old theater (the Georgia Theater!) marquee, and I got impatient at the end and drew an “E” with Sharpie on a tree.

I gave myself the cushion of both options: Black & White and full Color.

3. Take the pictures. Use a digital camera to snap the letters. Zoom in as close as you can without creating a blurry picture. You can always crop and re-size on a photo editing program later if it’s not centered or otherwise perfect. Take as many as you need even if the angle only changes by a smidge each time. It’s always better to have too many than too little.

4. Upload the pictures. Either upload them onto your own computer or to a picture-printing machine at Walgreens, Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, etc. Here, you can use the program of your choice to edit, crop, or alter the colors.

5. Print the pictures. Order the pictures from one of the above-mentioned stores or your photo center of choice. I spent the money on both black & white and color images so I could decide later. (I ultimately decided on the color because my room was full of bright colors and black and white seemed too out of place in my life…)

6. Place in a frame. You can visit your local craft store to find a wide array of frames. You could try the professional website version with a nice, custom frame and a matte and line up your photos within that, or do the Funky Bear method of buying cheap random frames and unceremoniously, haphazardly hanging them on your wall. It’s your  choice — although I ultimately loved the way mine turned out.

7. Hang! Hang how you like it and take a step back to admire your work. You are now artsy-fartsy.

That was just a quick overview of how you can create word photography on your own. Take a few days over the weekend to try it out! I have faith in you. Send me your pictures so I can update the Funky Bear blogosphere with your results! Until next week…

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