(easy holiday decor + tour)

Just sharing a few pics and tips from our Christmasfied home for anyone that may be hosting this year and looking for some quick and easy inspo.  If you are a procrastinator like myself or just too busy watching all those horrible yet addicting Netflix Christmas movies (hey, they’re not going to watch themselves), these tricks are all easy enough that you can get them done in a few minutes – and still have time to finish The Princess Switch.Artesian Designs | Holiday ...Buffalo plaid, ivory curtains

Without realizing it, I went mad for plaid this season.  I picked up the red plaid ribbon on the tree from Costco last year and haven’t stopped using it since.  It easily adds the perfect amount of classic holiday flare where ever you may need it.

Artesian Designs | Holiday ...Buffalo plaid, ivory curtains, Birch Lane Montgomery Sofa, Fiddleleaf

We rearranged our living room to make the tree the focal point – although our little engine that could fiddle leaf in the corner refuses to be ignored.  Our living room typically looks like this…Artesian Designs | Holiday ...Buffalo plaid, ivory curtains, Birch Lane Montgomery Sofa, Wayfair

Absolutely love this sofa from Birch Lane via Wayfair; the white fabric (has miraculously stayed clean) and makes the perfect backdrop for holiday pillows and throws, which really cozies up the room.  For me, the more layers the better when it comes to holiday decor 🙂Artesian Designs | Holiday ...How to hang garland with velcro

TIP #1:

Use velcro to hang garland along your staircase railing.  See that green strip under the ribbon?  That’s the velcro.  Wrap the garland and railing together just before a baluster post to keep it from slipping.  Then take that fabulous ribbon you picked up and tie a pretty bow around it.  It easily covers the velcro and adds that extra flare you’ve been looking for.Artesian Designs | Holiday ...Powder Room Swag

TIP #2:

Easily add some festiveness to your powder room by cutting off  a small branch from your tree and hanging it from your sconce with that same pretty ribbon.  I wrapped a rubber band around the stem and then pulled the ribbon through the loop to keep the branch hanging properly.  Side note: photographing a powder room ain’t easy – these pics don’t do it justice.Artesian Designs | Holiday ...Powder Room Swag

TIP #3:

For instant holiday glam, fill a bowl with shiny ornaments and put on display – DONE!  I recently bought these ornaments (and bowl!) at Target for $5, but you can use whatever you like – even add some lights for extra pizzaz.  Is it socially acceptable to say pizzaz?Artesian Designs | Holiday ... Easy DecorArtesian Designs | Holiday ... Easy Decor Dining Room

TIP #4:

Lastly, the instaworld has been set atwitter with wreaths hanging from the back of stools.  If you don’t feel like making that investment/hassle, take that same pretty ribbon from before and tie a bright bow on the top.  Super easy, gives the kitchen a fun touch, and ties all your decor together (pun absolutely intended).Artesian Designs | Holiday ... Easy Decor Bow on Stool

Now go get that ribbon and get on your horse reindeer!

Wishing you a merry, merry Christmas, happy Holidays, and happy New Year!  xoxo

6 Tips for an Easy Gallery Wall

For months, every time I would walk past the giant blank wall in our living/dining room, I would grumble to myself “I should do a gallery wall.”  I kept putting it off because a. I didn’t have enough pieces and 2. I thought it had to be a very complicated process.  I scrolled through Pinterest for inspiration and was intimidated by the pin after pin of paper cutouts of different sized frames on the wall – I knew I would never do that, I just don’t have the patience.  BUT, as it turns out, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.  Here are my six tips for an easy gallery wall.

img_5803Collect your art

  1.  Use pieces that make you happy
    • Obvious, yes, but initially, I was tied to the idea that all the frames had to be the same color (I, of course, wanted all gaudy gold frames), but then I found some sketches in black frames that I really loved.  So after much deliberation I finally said “eff it, who cares if it doesn’t match as long as you like it and it makes you happy.  You’re the one who lives here…”  So don’t restrict your wall to a certain color scheme or theme.  Instead, take the “more the merrier” approach and pick pieces that will make you smile whenever you see it.  Be original.
    • Hot tip: if you have an odd-sized piece you need framed, try ArtToFrame.com – I used it for the Musee d’Orsay piece on the far right.  I went rather basic, but you can input your size, frame color/material, and matting colors for an extremely reasonable price- this was $60!  Can’t beat that for a custom framing job.
  2. Pairs create balance
    • The above being said, it doesn’t hurt to have a few pairs of the same frame to help create a visual balance.  I filled the two 8×10 gold frames with wedding photos and then used the two black-framed sketches to create some uniformity amongst the rest of the wall.
  3. Include 3d objectsimg_5798
    • Incorporating interesting, 3d items will add an extra dimension and texture to your wall and bring that flat wall to life.  My husband had a bust of a Springbok collecting dust in a box for years.  It was from a hunting trip he went on with his grandpa as a kid.  Not only does it hold a lot of sentimental value to him, but it is also quite a beautiful animal that even a non-hunter can appreciate.  We paired the Springbok with a cool, metal-caged mirror from Homegoods to offset the flat art.  I realize not everyone has a Springbok in their basement, so try a mirror, wall-planter, or sculpture to add some depth. Go shopping in a realtive’s basement or try Homegoods – my go-to source for these types of pieces (and frames).

Hanging the art

  1. Lay it all out on the floor before you hang anythingthe artesian project gallery wall layout plan
    • This is my version of the paper cutouts and it is even better (imo) because you can actually see how the colors play against each other.  Balance is the goal here, so just keep rearranging until you get there.
  2. Use anchor piecesimg_5778
    • I used this vintage buffet passed down from my grandparents as the main anchor on this wall.  It offers some structure for the gallery wall and acts as a good first focal point and allows your eyes to move up and wander from there.
  3. Don’t be an exactoimg_5808
    • There is no need to measure each piece out when you actually start hanging – that defeats the idea behind a gallery wall.  Just be consistent with the spacing between all the pieces to create a sense of harmony.

Et voila, just like that, you have yourself an exquisite gallery wall, custom-tailored to you.  Now go have some fun finding your art!img_5794

6 Tips for an Easy Gallery Wall | The Artesian Project | www.theartesianproject.com

(wood you like to know the recipe for adding instant character?)

Woodshop101I have always had a penchant for vintage things with loads of character, but after taking Woodworking 101 at the ReBuilding Exchange in the Spring, I want salvaged everything. I took the class with my future sis-in-law and we absolutely loved it. We hand selected our own timber and used real badass power tools over the course of the 4 week class. I will eventually be using my tabletop as the basement bar counter top – chyea!  Sidenote: if you live in the Chicago area and have never visited the ReBuilding Exchange – GO! I have found many a pieces there for projects – including the mantel that turned into our headboard and is my favorite project to date.

So naturally, I now feel compelled to sprinkle the magic of reclaimed wood all over the new house: the recipe for instant character.  I have already designed built-ins around the family room fireplace that will be using the wood pieces as counter top and shelving (contrasted against white cabinetry) which I am incredibly stoked for.  Also, as mentioned above, I will be using the tabletop piece I made in class as the counter top for the wet bar in the basement – I also plan on taking a trip to ReBuilding Exchange to select a few thick pieces to turn into open shelving above the cabinets.  I have been hemming and hawing about adding beams in the family room or the master bedroom and I think we are settled on the master (I was worried the dark beams would bring down the ceiling height in the family room).  So without further ado, here are some of my fav uses of salvaged wood that I found on the interwebs that will *hopefully* be incorporated more or less into House Wagner 2.0.

Happy Friday!

(make a chandelier look expensive on the cheap)

DIY Chandelier for $30 | How-to-tips on https://theartesianproject.wordpress.com/

Last week I mentioned that light fixtures are like jewelry for your home and can sometimes be an affordable fix to an otherwise dull space.  Well, here is your step guide on how to take a cheap-o light fixture and make it look mighty ex$pen$ive (© Ke$ha).

brass chandelier

1.  Find your chandelier. I found a brass chandelier on Craig’s List for $20. Chances are, there is already one in your house/your parents’ basement.


2.  Set your chandelier in a box that can support it during the painting process.  It should be able to slightly rest on the sides and not touch the bottom so you can paint all the angles without sticking to the box.  Then either use painter’s tape on the candlesticks or remove them completely and tape up the sockets so that no paint seeps into the electrical parts.  Then give the fixture a quick wipe down with soap and water to remove any old dirt, dust, etc. so you have a clean surface.


3.  After drying the soap and water off, prime the fixture.  I used Rustoleum Ultra White Primer.  Rustoleum is great on metal surfaces and comes in a spray can, so it is super easy to use.  You can find this at your local Home Depot for about $4.  Once your first coat is dry, flip over the fixture to hit the areas that were previously on the box and another areas you may have missed.  BE CAREFUL: remember the method “less is more.” If you overspray, you run the risk of having hard to see drip marks harden onto your fixture.  Have a rag handy to wipe up drips.


4.  Time to add your color!  I chose a light teal color as this light was going to be a focal point in my family’s beach house.  I would also recommend using a Rustoleum product in this step.  Spay the first side, let dry, then flip to spray the bottom and let dry.  And again, remember: less is more.  You may want to add a very light coat of spray polyurethane to make sure it is sealed.


5.  Step 5 is the last – and optional – step.  Adding some BLING.  Since this fixture would be in a cottage, I wanted to add some shabby chic-ness to it with some crystals.  I found a lamp supply dealer online who happened to be in my neighborhood.  I bought varying size prisms for each tier and a string of garland to drape around the center.  The tricky part was attaching these pretty babies to the light.  After some serious brainstorming, I ended up using very thin earring hoops from Hobby Lobby.  They were the perfect finishing touch to this beachy glam chandelier.

Et voila!  You have a custom chandelier in the wheelhouse of $30.


(the magic of mayo)

So the Wagners undertook the daunting task of re-staining our deck on Saturday in order to improve our condo’s value when comes time to list it. deckstaining It was such a perfect day in Chicago that there was nothing I would rather do (plus or minus about 30 other things) than stain our deck.  Alas, it turned out great.  I mean, look at the face.  Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a few cold ones on this deck while listening to a concert at Wrigley Field?  Did I mention it will be for sale soon?

Anyways, anyone who has dealt with stain before knows it’s a messy business; we learned this the hard way when we stained our staircase railing a few months ago.  You can scrub your skin so hard you’re about to tear it off without any luck…UNTIL you wash your hands with mayonnaise!  It sounds really disgusting (some people won’t even allow it on their turkey sandwich let alone rub it on your body), but it really, really works.  So without hesitation, upon completion of this really fun project, I grabbed the mayo and jumped into the shower.  I know, I know, but just trust me on this one.  It’s science!

neil degrasse tyson animated GIF