Browsing Category


Decorating Projects + Tutorials

Engineer Prints – Large Scale Art

April 25, 2016
Tiger and Lion Photos

We got 2 more cats!! Don’t worry, these ones are just made of paper.

I’ve been loving the look of large scale art lately. One thing I’ve learned from tons of searching is that large pieces can come with an astronomical price tag. So, I started looking up some ways that I could replicate the look and I found some pretty awesome stuff, like this octopus made out of a shower curtain:322a9bffc385777cbbc51b76cd617b2f

Eventually I came across the idea of using engineer prints (the prints typically used for blueprints & other architectural work) to print photos on a large scale. There are a ton of great examples out there of people using photos they’ve taken of their kids, or even abstract photos, and turning them into beautiful wall art.

Now, I’m about to get into exactly how I did my tiger & lion prints, but first let me start by saying: if Greg had tried to tell me a year ago that we were going to have huge prints of tigers and lions as a focal point in our living room, I would have spat in his face. Usually when you think big photos of tigers and lions on a wall, you imagine tacky orange roaring creatures & a 10-year-old’s bedroom. However, when we moved into this house, I promised myself I would design it in a way that whoever walked in would get the sense that it was OUR house — not a house that feels like “this is someone who loves HomeGoods!” I’ve had so much fun creating a home that’s OURS by finding projects like this that speak to the things Greg and I love. In the 2 months that we’ve been here, we’ve piecemealed our place together with vintage finds & tons of stuff that has a lot of meaning to us, and it makes us love our home that much more.

My first step in this project was to scour the internet to find the perfect tiger & lion pictures. My first stop was Etsy since a lot of shop owners sell downloadable files. Once I came across Lila and Lola’s shop, I knew I found exactly what I needed.

I bought the downloads for $6.50 a piece. They send you 4 different sized files to use, depending on how big you’re scaling the photo.

Next stop was to head to Staples website and see if this really was going to be as easy as everyone says it is. Short answer: yes. Here’s where you can go to upload your prints.

I chose to print my photos at 24×36. I knew they’d be hanging above our new credenza, so I didn’t want them to be too big. Since Staples engineering prints are only black & white and on super thin paper, printing them is very cheap. Each one of these cost only $3.50 to print! That brings each download + print to only $10.00!

Here’s the print before I framed it:

Large Tiger Photo

I had to be very careful because the paper is extremely thin. That meant no cats stepping on it (and believe me, they tried!)

I got the frames on sale at AC Moore for $12.99 each. They are just super cheap, matte black poster frames, but I love that the edges are flat and thin (instead of fat, round & shiny like George Costanza’s head most cheap poster frames)

Oh, I forgot to mention that I did this all without telling Greg. Big cats are his favorite thing in the world, so I wanted to surprise him. The real cats were very curious & I asked Greg no less than 7 times if he thinks they can tell that they are looking at other cats. (He doesn’t think so)IMG_9840 (1)


Today we picked up our new credenza so they are finally in their rightful home now! IMG_9917

Tiger and Lion

So there you have it! It really is as easy as I read it was. I would highly recommend giving it a go if you’ve got some empty wall space to fill. There are endless Etsy shops with awesome prints to choose from (and I also read somewhere that Staples just started doing these types of prints in color!)

Here’s the breakdown of costs for this project:

Files from Etsy: $13

Prints from Staples: $7

Frames from AC Moore: $26

Total for this project: $46

The best part is that the prints are so cheap, I can easily change them out if we ever get sick of the tiger and lion. (It wont happen.)

Decorating Inspiration + Design Uncategorized

Deck Dreams

March 24, 2016
Deck Inspiration

The weather’s getting nicer & I’m dreaming about the Deck Days of summer. Since there are so many other projects happening at our house, we won’t be dropping any serious cash on new furniture for the deck. The only thing big thing we’ll be doing out there is staining and maybe painting. I’m actually kind of excited to try and thrift that entire space. It’ll be a challenge to keep it cohesive. The best part is that even if I fail, nobody will know because nobody ever hangs out on a deck sober for too long. Still, I have some ideas in my head for what I want it to look like. Hopefully I can find some great items during the summer garage sales (i’m lookin’ at you, Raddison) WAIT PS SIDE NOTE!!!!!! Two of my best friends from different parts of my life have JOINED FORCES AND THEY LITERALLY LIVE NEXT TO EACH OTHER IN RADDISON NOW. I’m excited because I’ll get to see them both alll the time in one trip  now I have not one but 2 options to stay the night on the most magical eve of the year: Raddison Garage Sale Eve. Both those betches have babies and they better find sitters because I will not be slowed down this year. I’m thinking about bringing my rollerblades to cruise through the ‘hood at a faster speed than the walkers, but not so fast that I don’t see all the goodies. People will laugh at me, yes. But i’ll have the last laugh as I make off with the best finds ‘blading and screaming THIS IS MY YEAR GOD DAMNIT.” (For real though, I take this weekend very seriously. My mom tried planning a family trip to Nashville that weekend. NASHVILLE. & I made her move the date.)

Anyway, here’s some deck inspo. that’s got me rooting for global warming.

Deck Inspiration

Decorating Home Improvement Inspiration + Design

Living Room Progress

March 23, 2016
Mid Century Modern Living Room Mood Board

Our living room floors are 98% finished! I’m so excited to finally fill this room with some pretty furniture. To recap, here’s where we began when we moved in: IMG_9741-600x400@2x-600x400@2x-1

I won’t dwell on the things I hated. Instead I’ll boil it down into one word: everything. The big window was the only redeeming quality about the room to begin with.

First order of business was to paint, and paint we did. We chose Benjamin Moore Classic Gray for the walls. At first, going over the green, the gray seemed so light that we were a little nervous that it looked too much like white. Thankfully, the second coat dried a lot darker.IMG_1280 IMG_1281 (3)IMG_1311

So after we were all painted up (kitchen too) it was onto the floors. We chose Antique Hickory laminate. We were searching around for someone to hire to install the floors for us, but then we realized Greg’s dad was our secret weapon. He renovated the entire kitchen in Greg’s parents house (I think he was hoping we’d forget that important fact so that wouldn’t ask for too much help, heh) He showed Greg how to install the laminate we chose (SUPER easy) and since the existing floors were so flat, we were actually able to just put some padding down and layer the laminate right on top. Some people may frown at that idea, but it saved us tons of money and time and nobody would ever know! (Except you. Now you know.)


March Madness was the perfect time to do this because I did a ton of jumping, screaming, spinning/rolling/beer spilling during it all. The floors passed all the tests.

IMG_1543 IMG_1283

Please lets never forget this hideous transition to tile.

And now…

IMG_1599 IMG_1593 IMG_1598

SO MUCH BETTER! For this whole room, the laminate cost ~$400. Not bad! We just need to get new molding, paint the back of the door, sheetrock the weird window in the middle of the wall, and fill the room with pretty things! That last step is my favorite part, so I made a mood board of the feel we’re shooting for in this room. Lots of color, plants, gold accents and modern style furniture.



Decorating Inspiration + Design

Critters and Couches

March 15, 2016

I’m sitting here at Greg’s work because there’s most definitely a grizzly bear, Siberian tiger, or a Short Spined Peruvian Mongoose under my stove. I heard the gentle creature CRUNCHING on something and I got out of there real quick. Luckily, I have 3 cats living in my house, so I can only hope the beast will be taken care of upon my return. Once I heard the beast feasting, I calmly left the house  grabbed some survival tools (my laptop and purse), wished my cats “good luck” and sprinted out of the house. I’m usually not that much of a baby about these things, but it’s a new house so for all I know it could be a homeless guy chilling under the stove. Can’t take any chances.

Here are my predators keeping watch of the beast. My furry protectors. I can only hope that upon my return, they will have savagely murdered this evil intrusive creature and left it’s bloody and shredded body as a show of their love for me. Is there anything sweeter???


So anyway, let’s get to it. I’m on a wild sofa hunt for my upper living room. I don’t have any photos of the entire room just yet because Greg’s dad is in the middle of installing our new flooring, but the vibe in the room is going to be eclectic/mid century modern. If you check out these snapshots you can see a little bit of how the room will look. I know I want a funkier sofa in that room since It’s really just going to be the ‘pretty’ living room, so i’m not too worried about comfort. What I mean by that is that I don’t need a couch so plush that I could lose a puppy in it. It also doesn’t need to be something that I can binge watch Netfilx on. We have a lower living room where we will do our ugly lazy lounging, but upstairs will be our “people can’t know we sit” room. << please watch that.

I’ve looked at a LOT of sofas for that room, so here are some of my favorites and their different price points. At the end is the real MVP (the one I chose)

Red Velvet Mid Century Modern Couch

Cullen Apartment Sofa – Crate & Barrel – $2599 (This ain’t Downton Abbey. I would probably never spend this much on a sofa for that room but I wanted to throw it in because it’s pretty)

Target Charcoal Soft Sofa

Zuo Pacific Heights Sofa – Target _$1,197 — Getting closer price wise…



Isn’t she pretty?! I read a few reviews and people seem to really love this sofa and think that it’s pretty comfortable for the price point. One blogger said it was “two steps above Ikea and 3 steps below pottery barn” which is good enough in my book.

*Sorts low-to-high for life*

Check in soon to see how the new floors turn out & also to find out if I survive through the night!

Decorating Inspiration + Design

Killin ’em with Kilim

February 17, 2016

Update: Here’s the rug in a little corner of my house! Kilim Rug - Mid Century Details


I’m on a serious rug kick lately. If you read my last post, cleverly titled, Rugs!, I talked about the jute rug I bought and how I want to find the perfect kilim rug to layer on top of it.

If you’re wondering what the heck a kilim rug is.. let me explain. (I only found out recently because I had seen a few and fell in love with them so I googled “flat colorful aztec patterned rug”)….and that actually worked to lead me to the actual name. Kilim is used to describe a type of rug (similar to how we might describe an oriental rug) They are characterized by their flat weave and vibrant colors, and they are most typically made in Pakistan.

WELL, the bloggy gods (blods?) must’ve read my post because today I found the most perfect of all rugs. I had said that I was going to wait until I found the sofa for that room, but this rug changed everything. Here she is:


Isn’t it so pretty? It’s hand woven and made in India and it’s going to look so great on top of my jute rug. The best part… she was on sale to start and then I also found a 10% off coupon to use! So, all in all for 2 gorgeous (and large) rugs for my living room, the cost was just over $300. Not bad, eh? I’ll be sure to update this post with a photo when it’s delivered.  That actually brings me to another point… can we talk about the real heroes of the world? The people who leave reviews of products with their own pictures.  SEE!


photo photo-1

These people are SAINTS (and not the Kardashian-West kind). It helped so much to see a photo of this rug in a regular living room from a regular human being. Thank you to those Web Warriors. You the real MVPs, and I promise I will upload photos of my products in reviews from now on. Just not like.. underwear or dental floss or anything like that.

See ya later, go kill ’em kilim. heh.. heh….


Subscribe to the Hickory + Hearth Newsletter and Receive Weekly Updates
Subscribe Now