What makes a house a home? The answer for Dena, acclaimed designer
and author of “The Painted Home,” is simple: Look at every room as an
opportunity to reflect who you are by surrounding yourself with the
things you love.
From the kitchen, a warm and welcoming space, to the bedroom, a haven
for relaxation and dreaming, Dena offers a host of insider tips and
practical, whimsical DIY projects in “The Painted Home” that can bring
out the designer in anyone.
“There are countless yet inexpensive ways to transform the everyday
into something special,” says Dena. “With a trip to the flea market,
some needle and thread, a glue gun and, of course, paint, there’s no
limit to what you can do to turn your home into a place that is uniquely
Dena Designs’ home products include everything from rugs and
wallpaper to stationery and children’s decor and can be found in more
than 15,000 retail outlets, including Dillard’s and Bed Bath &
Dena’s favorite DIY home design projects include:
Layered Glass Vases: Create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece with a
collection of different-sized, clear, cylindrical vases. Print out color
copies of fabric or use wallpaper, sturdy gift wrapping paper or other
patterned material. Use double-stick tape to adhere the paper to the
inside of the vase. Insert a smaller vase into the larger one and fill
with water and fresh-cut flowers.
One-of-a-Kind Slip Cover: Slip covers are a great way to revamp a
chair and make it washable. Dena recommends a white slip cover that
provides a clean palette to let your inner designer flourish. Cut
circles, leaves or any shape out of a mix of favorite fabrics. Place the
slip cover on the chair and arrange the shapes. Use a simple
over-and-under running stitch ¼” from the edge of the fabric to add
charm and secure the cutouts to your slip cover.
Stenciled Wall: Stenciling a wall is easy and inexpensive-and adds an
interesting focal point to the room. Dena includes a stencil in her
book, or you can create your own. Beginning at the bottom corner of the
wall, adhere the stencil with low-tack masking tape. Put a small amount
of acrylic or stencil paint onto a palette. Using a stencil brush, apply
paint perpendicularly to the wall. Repeat the pattern until the wall is
Decoupage Plates: To help create an eye-catching wall, Dena suggests
grouping together a collection of similar objects, such as decoupaged
plates. Using thin paper, print copies of fabrics, colorful designs or
family photos to adhere to clear glass plates. Cut the copies to fit the
plates, leaving a ½” border around the edge. Use a foam brush to spread
thin coats of Mod Podge on the back of the plate and the front of the
image. Adhere the image to the plate and work out any air bubbles. Dena
uses a cork to gently roll out bubbles. After the plate dries, use a
metallic gold marker to create a border around each plate.
-- Courtesy of North American Precis Syndicate
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