Dining Room Wallpaper via A Beautiful MessI am soooo excited to share today's progress report! Especially since the last time you saw this room it looked like this!


BeforeAnd..... PROGRESS: 

Dining Room Wallpaper via A Beautiful Mess      Well, well, well... How the turn tables have turned. 

Dining Room Wallpaper via A Beautiful Mess We knew all along that we wanted to do a wallpaper in the dining room. I debated long and hard between a more neutral, subtle design (easier to change up, dress for holidays, parties etc.) or a more committed, intense design (the kind that makes people come over for brunch JUST to take an Instagram photo by your wallpaper... but it's scary because "what if I get tired of it?"). 

Can you guess which route we went with? 

Dining Room Wallpaper via A Beautiful Mess  ALL in

Our wallpaper is from Spoonflower. They sell fully removable, custom-printed wallpaper. The peel and stick kind is more like a sticker and has a bit of a canvas texture. This is the water activated kind. It looks and feels like traditional wallpaper. 

A lot of people have asked me how I "talked" Jeremy into such bold wallpaper. What's funny is that he actually chose this wallpaper himself! I had narrowed it down to about five or six choices, and when I showed him, he hated them ALL except for this one.

I was, of course, thrilled!

The design we chose is Redoute Rose-Hot Pink by Peacoquette Designs. I liked it because it reminded me of one of the wallpapers I saw in photos of The Greenbrier Hotel, and Dorothy Draper is definitely one of my inspirations for this house (although this is BY FAR the most gutsy room in our house, the rest are mostly just white). 

Dining Room Wallpaper via A Beautiful Mess   I'm really looking forward to decorating this room next because it really doesn't need much. Just some neutral texture and functional details. I'm thinking a big mirror above that small cart and maybe a big neutral tapestry above the wine cabinet? I think I'm going to need to live with it empty-ish like this for a couple weeks before I'll be able to tell what else the room needs. Although, if it's glaringly obvious to YOU, then I want to hear what you think. :)

Dining Room Wallpaper via A Beautiful Mess    This light MAKES the space. I cannot express in words how much I love this thing. 

I got it from Shop Candelabra and it's huge! It really balances the space above our big dining room table (our table is DIY if you were curious). And it has a dimmer switch, so it looks really pretty at night too. 

I feel like the wallpaper and fixture vibe VERY well together. And even though they're both new, I like that it's not completely unbelievable that they're from the 1970s, when the house was built. 

That reminds me! If you haven't read my articles—Brass Light Fixtures For Every Budget or 10 Awesome DIY Brass Light Fixtures, hop on over there! I get real SERIOUS about brass. 

Dining Room Wallpaper via A Beautiful Mess     The rug was a big choice. Here's what went into our selection—

-I had to factor in size, it had to be HUGE because of how the herringbone wood runs. You can see it here if you're curious. If we had gotten an 8x10 rug it would have been large enough for the table and room, but because of the way the wood floors are laid, it would have looked really awkward. So we had to size up to 9x12 to make sure it was long enough. 

-I looked at dark rugs, and no matter how much I tried to be "practical", I just did not want a dark rug for this space. And a colorful rug was out the question because it would be right next to the turquoise floor (this was before I had picked the wallpaper, it would have been weird with that too). So I really fell in love with this simple Marrakesh Shag Rug. Like, IN LOVE. 

-In regards to care, I'm sure you're like, "Are you crazy???" And that's a valid question. It's a white rug underneath a dining room table; I get your concern. :) So, first of all, I've had flokati rugs in high traffic areas before. I know how easily they get dirty and I know how to clean them. (I once "trimmed" red nail polish out of one... Haha.) And since they are made of natural fibers (wool), I actually think they are much easier to clean than flat weave rugs... and more forgiving with how they age. ALSO, we decided that when/if we get to bring home a baby, that we're going to put the high chair in the breakfast nook. It's more practical in there anyway since it's close to the kitchen. So basically this is more of a "formal dining room" (although I hate to call it that!). So far we've found ourselves eating in the breakfast nook and using the dining room more when we have guests over (which, to be fair, has been almost every other week). OK, I think I thoroughly over-explained that. Moving on. 

I love this rug. It's so so pretty and comfy.  

Dining Room Wallpaper via A Beautiful Mess       Here's a quick look at the view into the turquoise room (our sofas for that room are on the way, so I'll be sharing more progress there soon!).

This wallpaper was definitely a game changer. I feel like it demands a HUGE amount of attention and suddenly a lot of other rooms I was worried were "too boring" feel totally fine now. I like that. It's like we have our statement piece taken care of, and now I can go a little more mellow in some of the surrounding living spaces. The thought of that feels perfectly refreshing to me! 

On a personal note—I have to say, I'm LOVING sharing a lot of progress reports and unfinished details of our home with you. In the past I always waited until it was completely done to share, and as a result, there were more than a few rooms in my last house that I NEVER shared. It feels really good to be sharing all the baby steps this time. So far, I feel like it's motivating me more and I definitely feel more connected with you guys by sharing all the in-between stages. xx- Elsie 

ps. EVERYONE is invited over for brunch in our new crazy dining room!!! 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

AColorWeekHey, friends! We're excited to share a fun way to celebrate the launch of A Color Story

#AColorWeek is a creative challenge we are hosting on the official @AColorStory Instagram account. Starting tomorrow we'll be turning our feed into a rainbow featuring YOUR photos all week long! 

Yep! It's going to be beautiful! 

Here's how to participate. Monday is red day, so post something red. Use the hashtags #AColorWeek and #AColorStory (so we know you edited your photo with the app!). We'll choose our favorites to post all day. You can see all the colors above! 

Feel free to go crazy with it and be creative! There is no right or wrong way to participate. Do it YOUR way with YOUR style. We're really excited to see what you come up with! 

If you have any questions, let us know!! We're really excited to see your photos! xx -Elsie 

 Make your own photo collages in photoshop. Get the full post over at www.aBeautifulMess.comI love the look of a grid of photos, so I decided to print them out in the same format as I would arrange them if I were to stick them into a page protector full of squares. I then went a step further and altered the collage to give it a little more depth than just a sheet of paper. As a girl that never does digital scrapbooking, this was a fun way to create a hybrid page of digital work and tactile work to get something I was happy with.

To keep it simple, I chose to use only Instagram photos so I didn't have to think about cropping and resizing my DSLR into squares. I went to my Instagram page on my laptop and clicked on each individual photo that I wanted to incorporate into this page. Then I took a screen grab and opened it up in Photoshop. I hit the crop icon and went up to the top bar to make sure the 1:1 ratio was set to get a square crop. Then I cropped my screen grab so that I was only getting the square photo. I knew I wanted to print onto an 8.5" x 11" photo sheet, so I adjusted the image size of each photo to be 2.7 inches wide (and subsequently high) and saved it. I repeated this process for all twelve of the images I thought I'd like to use.

Next, I created a new image in Photoshop that was 8.5" x 11" to mimic the size of my photo paper. I then clicked on my first photo, hit 'Select All', then hit 'Copy', and then clicked on my new image and hit 'Paste'. I moved it to one corner and then created a new layer for the next image I wanted to add. I brought each image over and played around with the placement until I was happy. Then I merged my layers. Then I printed it out and cropped my edges so that I had an even amount of white on all four sides. 

Photo Collage 1I liked how it looked but wanted to give it more depth, so I cut out three photos that I was okay with losing. If you're thinking ahead on this part, you could just leave those sections blank in the first place. Use an X-Acto knife and ruler to get crisp edges. 

Create a photo collage in photoshop and add embellishments for a little more dimension. Get the full post over at www.aBeautifulMess.comThen I filled in those squares with patterned cards in two sections and used a stamp to create a pattern in the center square. For even more dimension, I cut out a felt heart using the ABM wool felt and stapled a plastic alpha onto another square so that they overlapped the squares just a bit. Then I added a few stickers on top of other squares as well as some journaling. My page was complete! This will go in a page protector but you could also leave room on your edge for a hole punch if you like to keep some pages out in the open. 

Fun Photo CollageI did the same thing with this page but with larger photo sizes. These Instagram images were sized to 3.75" square and then printed out. I didn't do as much to these because I wanted the colors to stand out. I just cut the photo collage so that there were no white edges and adhered it onto another piece of scrapbook paper. I used the chipboard from January's Messy Box for my title and added a little journaling with a Sharpie for a bolder look. It was super easy and a great way to get more of my images from my phone printed off and into my album. 

Make a collage in PhotoshopPhoto Collage in PhotoshopIt's so fun to always experiment with new ways to create a layout, but I also like sticking to some tried and true layouts to keep the process enjoyable. This was kind of the best of both worlds for me. Happy scrapbooking! -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Rosie Clayton's favorite A Color Story filters!Happy Saturday, everyone! Rosie here! I hope you've had a fun time exploring all the fun filters and tools in the A Color Story app.

I'm so excited to share my favorite A Color Story filters for fashion and colorful backdrops, two things I love to photograph most! Although I definitely have a few go-to filters that I check before others, there's no rule as to how each filter will affect your photo—it all depends on the colors and scene that you're working with in your picture. I think this element makes the ACS filters so unique and able to produce the most varied range of images! I'm going to show you a few examples of three types of looks I showcase in my Instagram feed (@rclayton): looks that pop against a colorful background, looks that compliment a colorful background, and looks that match a colorful background. I'll go over each of the filters I used for the photos so you can see how they affect each image.
I love working with bright, bold colors that pop and the best way for a look to stand out is for the colors to contrast against your backdrop. I really love color blocking. I think it produces strong images that are balanced and make a statement.  
Primary schoolThis photo is edited with Heart Eyes from the Chroma pack. As a general guideline, the Chroma pack is great for bold compositions, colorful subjects, and everyday settings. Heart Eyes adds brightness, pops the colors, whitens whites (or in this case, the sidewalk), and adds a soft, warm effect—here, it helps highlight the yellow in my coat and red in my sweater while making sure the blue of the wall doesn't get too cool.

Blue steelThis photo is edited with Lipstick from the Essentials pack. The filter helps bump up the sweet tones in the pink wall without adding too much warmth to the photo. I also think it brightens and evens my skin tone and makes the blue a bit deeper to stand out against the pink wall.
Array of colorThis photo is edited with Everyday from the Essentials pack. This is definitely a go-to filter and looks great on practically every photo; I actually try not to use it too much, just so I can force myself to branch out and play with other filters from various packs. Everyday whitens, brightens, and adds a touch of sunny personality to the photo without deviating too much from the original. It's just a nice, overall color booster. Consider it the "date night" version of your photo, still the same but with a little oomph. 
Outfits that compliment a colorful wall are so fun to put together because it allows me to stand out from the wall but produces a cohesive image. I try to take a particular color from the wall and use that as the main element of my look. This way, both myself, the outfit, and the wall get the same amount of attention from the viewer and there are several points of interest in the photo!
Cloud nineThis photo was edited with Punch in the Blush pack. It brightens colors and cools a tiny bit, so it was great for a photo with so many warm colors in it already. I also think it helps give my skin a soft, naturally warm glow.
Degrees of colorThis photo was edited with Bright from the Organic pack. I find Bright to be the slightly more subtle version of Everyday when you compare the two at the highest opacities. It does exactly what its name says, brightens without de-saturating any colors in the photo.
GridlockThis photo was edited with Tulip from the Fresh pack. It produces happy colors, highlights bright moments, and whitens whites. It adds a tiny bit of cool, sunshine yellow to the photo so the deep reds become more of a tomato red and the blues are lighter and brighter.
Looks that match to a wall are my absolute favorite because the stars really have to align in terms of what I have in my wardrobe and what walls my husband and I find during our mural expeditions. There are varying degrees of how much you can match a wall and different ways to match via color or pattern. I like both and it really depends on the wall we're shooting.
Mouth to MouthThis photo is edited with Chroma from the Chroma pack, which again, is great for bold compositions and colorful subject matter. This filter is the bolder version of Everyday and adds a bit more contrast and some very slight blue/grey tones. Here, it deepens the red of the lips and brings out the details in the garage.
Make an entranceThis photo is edited with Star Gazer from the Chroma pack. This filter deepens color, adds clarity, and gives a very slight blue/green tone to your photo. I used it here because I think it made the turquoise pop a bit more. I would say it's the "cooler" counterpart to Heart Eyes in the same pack.
Punch of colorOK, so I did a little combo action on this photo—Everyday from Essentials AND Summer Day from Blush. Everyday gave me a color boost while Summer Day brightens and warms just a touch!
Before + after
This photo is edited with Pop from the Essentials pack. This filter gives photos a brighter, whiter look and overall clean feel without losing details. The colors in this photo are more earthy and muted, so I needed them to come alive. I wanted the colors to pop! You can see how much of a difference there is from the original, but the essence of the photo hasn't changed.  
Rosie Clayton's favorite A Color Story Filters!Lastly, I wanted you all to see the above filters applied to the same photo, side by side. I set each filter at 50% opacity and chose a photo with various colors mixed with white so it's easier to see the effect each filter has on the photo. 
In general, I tend to set my filter opacity at 20%-50% no matter which filter I use, and then I make a few slight adjustments using the Tools. Don't forget to use the Tools. They make a big difference and clean up your edit. No one filter will magically do it all! 
I hope this was helpful and showed you that there's no rule for filters, you really have to try a handful to see which looks best for the particular photo. Have fun, play around with your edit, and don't forget to try layering filters too! I hope you'll visit me @rclayton on Instagram and enjoy all the colorful spots and walls I love so much! Rosie
Credits// Author and Photography: Rosie Clayton. All photos edited with A Color Story app. 

Make your own comfy floor pillows with this easy tutorial over at www.aBeautifulMess.comI spend a lot of time on the floor at my house! If I'm not crafting on the floor, I'm crawling after a child or reading a story. This can make for sore knees or a numb rear end. So we've recently added a few floor pillows to make things a little cozier. As much as I appreciate a soft place to perch, I also love an excuse to sew something that makes our space even prettier and thought you might want to know just how easy it is to create a few oversized pillows, too.

Floor Pillows with Pom PomsWhen picking out fabric for your floor pillows, you want to think about color and durability. I used quilting weight cotton because I loved the patterns and colors they came in, and I knew the cotton was pretty durable. The navy print is from one of Alison Glass' collections and the black and white is by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel. These were purchased online from Indeed Fabric if you're interested in some great print options.

If you know your pillows will get put through the ringer, you might want to check out the print options available in canvas or upholstery weight fabrics. You can also make these from canvas drop cloths and print or paint your own designs if you're not finding something you love on the market. 

Floor Pillow SuppliesSupplies for a Rectangular Floor Pillow:
-1 yard of printed cotton fabric
-1 skein of yarn (130 yards)
-2 lbs of polyester fiber fill
-sewing machine
-straight pins
-needle and thread
-pom pom maker (optional)

Supplies for a Square Floor Pillow:
-1 1/2 yards of printed cotton fabric
-1/3 skein of yarn (40 yards)
-2 lbs of polyester fiber fill
-sewing machine
-straight pins
-needle and thread
-pom pom maker (optional)

FP1If you're making a rectangular pillow with pom poms on the short ends, make twelve pom poms using a designated pom pom maker or another method. Make sure you leave at least three inches of tail length to stitch to your fabric later. If you're making a square pillow, you'll only need four pom poms.

Fp2Fp3Rectangular Pillow

Find the shorter end of your yard of fabric and fold it in half with wrong sides together to create a rectangular shape. Pin your pom poms just to the top layer of fabric with the tails sticking out to the edge and pom poms sticking in about 1" from the edge. Repeat for the opposite end. Again, be sure to only pin them to the top layer of fabric.

Square Pillow

Cut your fabric to get two pieces that measure 27" x 27". Place one of the cuts of fabric on the floor with the right side facing you and pin a pom pom in each corner with the tail facing out and the pom pom facing in. 

FP4For the rectangular pillow, unfold your fabric and stitch a line down the pom pom edge so that you're stitching about 1/2" from the edge. I suggest backstitching (stitching in reverse) over the yarn tails to add extra security. Remove your pins. Repeat for the opposite end.

For the square pillow, stitch over the pom pom tails in each corner a few times using the backstitch button (or reverse), but you don't have to stitch all the way around the perimeter.

FP5For the rectangular pillow, fold your fabric in half with the right sides facing each other and carefully match up your two sides. Pin them together. Be sure your pom poms are tucked in and out of the way. Repeat with opposite end.

For the square pillow, place the second cut of fabric on top of the first with the right sides (printed sides) facing together. Match up your corners and edges and pin together. 

FP6For the rectangular pillow, stitch a second line down the length of your edge but stitch it between the first line and the pom pom so that your first line of stitching doesn't show when you turn it right side out. Trim your tail ends, remove pins, and repeat on the opposite end.

FP7For the rectangular pillow, line up your two long sides to match and pin them together. Stitch down from the top corner about 1/3 of the way and backstitch. Then stitch from the bottom corner up about 1/3 of the way and backstitch. This will leave you about 7" of space open near the center to add stuffing.  

For the square pillow, start in the center of one edge and stitch all the way around about 1/2" from the edge. Stop stitching when you get about 6" away from where you started so you have space to stuff your pillow. 

FP8For both pillows, remove your pins and turn right side out. Be extra careful with your pom poms as you move them through and then push out the corners with your thumb. Fill with polyester fiber fill and stitch closed using a blind stitch with a needle and thread.

Floor Pillow 2Floor Pillow or Bed PillowFLoor Pillow DIY for A Beautiful MessFluff your pillows a bit for an even shape and then find a good book or a craft project to keep you busy and test them out! The rectangular pillow does double duty as an oversized bolster pillow for a queen or king-sized bed but is also really fun on a twin. Not only are these great for extra company or impromptu lounging, they instantly add that extra layer of something special to help a room feel even more inviting. If you've been wanting to learn to sew so you can make even more lovely things for your home and wardrobe, check out our sewing e-Course, Sew With Us. -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


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