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Design

5 Simple Steps for Entryway Designs Made Easy

February 25, 2016

Home accents from UncommonGoods

Whether it’s a coveted job interview, the cover of a book you want to buy, or even the interior design of your home, first impressions matter. Since your entryway is, architecturally speaking, the first “impression” of your home, it needs to make a statement. Think of it as a snapshot of your unique sense of design and what your home represents to you. And if that sounds like too much pressure, don’t worry. Here are some easy design steps to help you through the process of creating an entryway that screams you.

The first place to begin is simple: look at your space and think about your needs. Is there enough room for a chair and table, or will you need to focus all the attention on wall hangings? Does the area feel small and dark or blank and impersonal? When you walk in the door, do you drop your keys, mail, shoes, and umbrella here, or do you already have an organized spot for your things? Questions like these will help solidify the function of this room, which will give you a list of “must haves”—and from there comes the fun. Time for creativity to take over and start decorating from the outside, in!

The Treehouse: Hallway Turned Mudroom | Design Mom

Photo by Gabrielle Blair, Design Mom
from 
The Treehouse: Hallway Turned Mudroom

 1) Begin with your walls and floor. If color is your thing, don’t be afraid to go bold. Choose a loud hue or even a high-drama wallpaper that pops the second you walk in the door. If that makes you dizzy to even think about, keep it straightforward. White is always classy and never bores when paired with the right accessories. If you go this route, a colorful or textured rug will add warmth to your entryway without being too in-your-face.

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Maker Stories

Matthew Amey’s ‘End of Innocence’ Jumps into our Collection

May 23, 2012

With every new design challenge comes the chance to step into the minds and lives of some of America’s budding designers. The Wall Art challenge brought in over 100 entries and an opportunity for artists to tell a personal story through the paintings, sketches and digital graphics they have created.

Our judges worked through art with sentimental stories, unusual mediums and contemporary themes. They decided on some pieces that they could see hanging in the homes of many Americans yet others they loved for their niche attraction. But the piece that stole their heart was one about the uncertainty in change and straddled a fine line between hopeful and ominous.

The more we learn about Wall Art Challenge winner Matthew Amey of Maryland, the more we love End of Innocence: Jump Off and can’t wait to share its story with customers. Matthew heard about our design challenge from his wife who encourages him to share his work with others in new and exciting ways and will soon be able to say that his work is on the walls of homes across the country. Meet Matthew, our Wall Art Design Challenge winner and the newest addition to the Uncommon Artists family.

When and how did you discover art?
As a young child I took art classes during summer camp and was thrilled with the freedom that was afforded us to create whatever we wanted. My older brother was much more astute at drawing than I was so, as a challenge to myself, I set out to be a better artist than him. I believe I was 7.

What are your favorite things to design/illustrate?
My interests are many and diverse. I’ve spent the last four years studying fine art at the University of Delaware where I’ve been exposed to a plethora of techniques, materials and insight into the concept of a fine art profession.

Recently I have been enamored with cephalopods; octopuses especially but I’ve been researching and becoming more interested in cuttlefish and squid.

How do you keep yourself inspired?
I am constantly thinking of what to do next. Dwelling on past achievements, while ingratiating, can be burdensome. The process of making art, the actual moving of paint around on canvas, pushing a pencil across paper, or drawing with a stylus on a drawing tablet to create digital works, is what drives me to create more. While I enjoy the finished pieces and I’m excited to see how others react to my work, I am more enamored with the actual creation of the work. I started out as a doodler and dabbler but that has turned into a profession that is quite fulfilling.

How else do you express your art?
I have been a professional tattoo artist since 1991 and much of my work is informed from that experience. Tattoos are a very personal expression for my clients. I have built a reputation for creating high quality work in the skin and my clients know that my work excels when they give me artistic freedom to work within their design parameters.

As a tattoo artist it is very apparent that my job is to help my client express their ideas on their body. Often it is an opportunity for me to explore many different ideas, compositions and concepts that I wouldn’t normally investigate.


What attracted you to want to take part in this challenge?
My wife knew that I was searching for outlets to show my non-tattoo related artwork and she turned me on to this contest. I happened to have these illustrations that are part of a series that I recently created.


What was the inspiration behind End of Innocence?
In 2008 I returned to college after a 20 year hiatus. While studying fine art at the University of Delaware it became apparent that I was surrounded by young, soon-to-be adults who were going through some major emotional and physical changes. One day a tattoo client of mine requested an image of his daughter on a rope swing under the silhouette of a tree. After doing the tattoo on him I started to think about the image and how it had the potential to tell a more compelling story. I started putting together images of different trees with children on rope swings and ended up with a series of 5 disparate images.

Each image has a tree, a child either on the swing or jumping off, and varying types of birds either in flight or perched on a branch. The tree represents stability, safety, comfort, excitement and all the positive attributes of a loving family. The child is enjoying the ride and seems oblivious to what lies just outside of the trees reach, the future. The birds represent the varying societal norms that the child could eventually grow into.

Any advice for someone interesting in taking part in a future challenge?
Take a chance. You’ll never know how your work will affect others until you put it in front of them.

All photos courtesy of Matthew Amey.

Design

5 Tips to Redecorate Your Home for Under $50

December 27, 2011

With January comes the excitement of a new year, and with your resolutions come the prospect of a shiny new you. But after the holiday decorations have been taken down and the intoxicating smell of cookies has subsided, you are stuck with the same old house.

If you’re like me, you probably resolved to save some money in the New Year, so bringing in a professional to decorate is not an option. I got an early start working on my resolution for a fresh new home in 2012 so I could share some simple ideas to revamp and reorganize your space on a budget.

Move accessories from one room to another.

Seriously– it works! Rearrange the décor items in your home by transferring them from room to room. Move the armchair from the sitting room to a bedroom, or bring the office lamp into the hall. I have a bunch of vintage dishes that I use to store jewelry and other things. I moved this amber compote from the living room into the bathroom. Perhaps a guest might not pick up the change, but my familiar eye notices a difference.

No new supplies. Total, $0.

Color-block the books on your bookshelf.

I love our library of books and DVDs but the wall of bookshelves in our office looks messy and overwhelming. I experimented with color-blocking each shelf and the result is so neat and tidy. First, I pulled all the books off their shelves and sorted them in piles by the color of the spine. You will probably have large piles of black or white books and you can also sort by the color of the main font.

I assigned one color to each shelf and played around with the directions of the books. Lastly, I put back our collection of vintage cameras and lenses into the open spaces on each shelf. I had no idea this technique would also help highlight our eclectic collection!

No new supplies. Total, $0.

Start spring cleaning early.

My crafting supplies overflow from canvas bags, starting from my closet to the corners of my room.  My coworker Julia shared that she started sorting her yarn and supplies by color in old oatmeal and coffee cans after she saw the idea on Leethal. This is such a great way to store any group of small items like paperclips and crayons in a cabinet or drawer, and you will be recycling too!

Can of coffee, $6. Can of oatmeal, $3. Total, a month’s worth of breakfast and the satisfaction of doing something good for the environment, priceless.

Give a lamp a facelift.

There really is nothing a coat of paint can’t fix. Repaint one of your luminary pieces in a bright color to make a bold statement.

My boyfriend bought this monkey lamp when he was in college and despite my love for the tailed creatures I have always found it dark and creepy. Knowing I wanted to keep it in my almost-completely-white bedroom, I covered it in a bright marigold spray paint. I purchased a plain lampshade that I covered in fabric from Ikea, a skill I picked up from years of watching Trading Spaces after school.

Spray paint, $6. Lampshade, $9. Fabric, $7. Total, $22

Deck the walls. Chances are the pictures that have been hanging on your wall for the past year are looking as stale as the ones that came with the frame. I decided to ditch the frames and hang photos on baker’s twine with binder clips. It wasn’t long until the line accumulated cards, stickers, tickets and other tsotchkes. It was an interesting and colorful mixed-media experience that was easy to change more frequently than framed pictures.

Baker’s twine, $16. Binder clips, $4.50. Total, $20.50

We all know change comes from within but sometimes forget to consider within our own homes. Revamping your home may sound less impacting than a resolution to help others, but getting out of a decor rut by making small and inexpensive alterations can change your whole perspective on yourself and the outside world. It’s a really great place to start!

Gift Guides

Remake, Renovate, Redecorate

March 1, 2011

These are the three R’s of springtime. After a long winter, who doesn’t want a new look for their home? We just showed you some great ways to liven up your bathroom, but we’re not stopping there.

What’s next on our redecorating spree?

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