For the first time since my older sister Alyssa moved out of the house for college (5 years ago), we are finally living together again! This summer we got an apartment in St. Paul, and it’s been amazing! We’ve been best friends forever, so it couldn’t be a more perfect living situation. We spend most of our time cooking with ingredients we’re growing in our garden and gathering at local farmer’s markets, reading while lounging on our thrift-store furniture, and exploring some of this beautiful city.
Our apartment was built around the 1950s, so it’s got quite a bit of character and we love it! So as I set to work decorating it (Alyssa didn’t quite inherit the creative genes in our family…just kidding Alyssa!), I thought carefully about what we had to work with and how I could get away with not spending much money. For my bedroom, I had a blue and white vintage bed spread and a wooden bed frame, so I scavenged all my belongings for blue, white, and brown items that were pretty and worked well together. It’s always a good idea when decorating to draw inspiration from a central piece in your room. Whether it’s a pillow, a painting, or a rug, it helps to have something to connect everything to.
To my surprise I had a lot more to work with than I thought, and my findings all happened to have something else in common. Birds. I had found a painting I had made a few years ago of a bluebird on a page from an old dictionary, a handmade dream-catcher with teal blue feathers and wooden beads, an antique license plate with eagle symbols from Alaska (my mom’s birth place), and a wooden pair of birds that I had recently acquired at a garage sale. To go along with these was a clay cross I got in Guatemala and a handmade driftwood jewelry hanger. All that was missing was a large central piece that would bring it all together. I already had a really pretty faux wood frame, I just needed the right something to put in it: a layout my mom had made fit the scheme very nicely, so I had it printed to fit the frame and hung it up. The rest of my found objects were then dispersed around the frame (I changed my mind many times) and attached to the wall.
michelle shefveland. supplies
In the dining/living room of the apartment, there’s a little nook where we put the kitchen table and there is a huge open wall that was just begging me to do something with it. Since large scale prints are expensive, I thought of a more frugal way to go about it. I’ve been collecting old records for a couple of years, never really having a plan for them, I just love the covers. So with the help of some handy little 3M poster strips, I hung the record covers along with some plain records in a 3×4 rectangular collage on the wall. This could easily be replicated with 12×12 layouts as well. It was super fun and easy, anyone could do it!
Stay tuned for more of my apartment decorating adventures and make sure you stop by our DIY photo displays board on Pinterest for more creative and thrifty ideas on how to show off your art!
Happy printing! Rachel and team