Wake Up Your Walls

We all know that great bones are the best starting point for a room. But not every home is bestowed with interesting bones – and we’ve all dealt with or seen downright coma-inducing walls. Walls that are so featureless that they defy any solid color. Sure, you can still make the space interesting using the right design elements, but what about the walls themselves? Well, fear not – there are so many options to be found for waking up your walls in a unique way that you have no excuse for resigning yourself to your bland-wall-induced stupor.

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First of all, an obvious choice is wallpapering the room. Beautiful wallpaper is in plentiful supply, and anything but boring or dowdy, ranging from animal inspired motifs to sharp graphic patterns.

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A great do-it-yourself option is painting your own wallpaper – really, it’s possible. Not only are wall stencils vastly cheaper and available in a variety of looks, but you can easily play with layout and color – talk about creative control.

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Take the opportunity to add a unique touch – using a metallic paint could instantly add luxe and glamour.
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Or play with using a chalkboard paint – building texture right onto your wall.

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Framing a large chunk of wallpaper is a beautiful way to liven up the walls. It brings so much more impact than a piece of ordinary wall art, and looks great in panels.

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 Bonus: it’s the perfect way to affordably work in a wallpaper that you completely love.

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Moulding can add flair in any number of imaginative ways. Some clever ideas here.

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I love the fresh innovation of an ombré wall – heck with deciding which chip on the paint strip to go with – use ’em all! This grand idea is from DIY expert Erica Domesek.

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Maps in a room are sophisticated but don’t have to be stuffy – they’re exciting and interesting, like this wallpaper-esque collage of tacked on maps. (Walked through here.)

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And check out the graphic punch that this map mural packs onto this wall! (DIY here.)

Roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty (or at least chalkboard-paint-splattered) and liven up your walls!

Bookcase 101: Ten Designer Tricks for Styling

Holy Smokes, I’m not sure what it is, but boy people sure do struggle with accessorizing shelves. Too much, too little, too small too big – it can be overwhelming to try to balance the proportion, color and volume of a styled bookcase. It takes practice, but with a little study you can achieve a well-styled bookcase that finishes, rather than detracts from the room.

1. Remove everything from your shelves (and realize they need a good dusting…) Starting with a blank canvas will help you see the space anew and replace only what you love.

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2. Edit your books. Relegate paperbacks to your nightstand. Organize your books into several stacks and sort by size.

Book stack cake. Looks so real!
3. Place your largest items – a grouping of books, storage baskets, vases, larger framed photos – on the bottom shelves to ground your bookcase.

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4. Use the top shelf to visually “frame” the bookcase by running small books of similar heights across the top.

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5. There is more than one way to skin a cat – and stack a book. Stacking books in varying directions can add interest while cutting down the need for too many cluttering accessories.


6. Layer it – layering some objects of varying heights in front of and behind each other can turn a lackluster shelf into a great vignette.

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7. Group things in odd numbers. This balances the shelf visually and keeps it from falling flat.

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8. Make it personal. Reserve a couple of shelves to just showcase things you truly enjoy –a family photo or a statuette. Finish off with small items, but use sparingly! (A pretty shell or a vintage clock, maybe.) And please. No stuffed animals.

Uttermost Blue Blue Elephants Decorative Object, Set Of Two...Bellacor $103.40 Sale PricePromotional Radiance Silver Plated Family Photo Frame | Customized Picture Frames | Promotional Picture Frames

9. Peruse the home decor aisles of Target, Crate & Barrel, and Ikea for inexpensive and seasonal items. Check out local budget bookstores for reasonably priced hardback coffee table books.

Why do I always want Target's decor?
10. Give your stuff some breathing room. Leave at least 10-15% of each shelf open.

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Step back and assess. Is there too much stuff on one side? Too many black things on that one shelf? Is it too symmetrical? Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect right away. None of these rules are hard and fast – you may prefer your shelves to have more books, less books, fuller, emptier, themed-by-color or jumbled up. Take a few days and play around with it!

Unleash Your Design Diva

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It’s really shocking how many people I come across that say to me, “Oh, I’m not like you, I’m not creative.” Why do so many of us default to this statement? Maybe it feels like an arrogant thing to say about yourself if you’re not an expert or critically acclaimed. Maybe it’s the common misconception that the “creative” people are the people that have the magical ability to create something out of nothing, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. The truth is that most of the creative process is about combining the many things that have inspired you (experiences, things you’ve seen or heard) and creating something unique from them. So intrinsically, we are all unique and creative beings, because we all have a unique set of experiences and vision.

Sometimes we may see something creative and think, “I could never think of that, so I must not be creative.” What we don’t realize is that many sources, experiences, trial, error, and failures all combined to create that person’s unique vision. Einstein’s famous statement, “the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources” really is true in this sense. Creative people don’t possess a magical unattainable power. The world is not divided into the creative and the uncreative. The distinction lies merely between those who are creatively productive and those with unexpressed potential. Don’t ask, “Am I creative?” Ask, “What inspires me to create?”

From my experience most people know what they don’t like. Few people know what they do like, and even fewer know why. The secret is to explore and discover. You will distill your own unique sense of design. I’ve catalogued some of the best ways to kick-start this process and help you unleash that inner design diva!

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1. Start a design journal. Get a three ring binder and designate it as your design journal. Consider it a working record that serves to help you discover and understand your own personal design style, a resource from which you can continually add to and draw from.

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2. Open yourself to inspiration. Get inspired by exposing yourself to new things and recognizing the way these things make you feel.  For starters, design magazines, websites and  blogs are a great resource. Examine these resources and allow them to  speak to you in some way. Open yourself to a variety of work from different designers and artists as they pull from many sources and life perspectives to create spaces that are unique and fresh.

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3. Seek visual inspiration. Clip or print  pictures from these resources (tear sheets is the industry term) and put them in your journal. Circle, scribble, draw arrows to the things you like; it may be a particular color combination, pattern or  piece. This is key to identifying your style. If you like something (but are not quite sure why) still include it and revisit it later. These “unusual” things are the fun mysteries that help  define our deeper sense of style!

If you’re not into physically cataloguing all your inspiration (or you just don’t have the time,) Pinterest is a wonderful tool that makes cataloguing and organizing the inspiring images you find around the web really easy. It’s also an incredible place to find more inspiration than you could ever keep up with, and is quickly becoming a must-have source of inspiration for creative work.

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To find out what inspires us at Jacobson Interiors, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest!

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4. See the unusual in usual things. Look at the everyday things around you with new eyes and ask new questions about old things. “What else could I use this for? If I arranged these differently what would they look like?” You will find that a simple change of perspective will create a new view of the world.

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5. Generate and capture new ideas. Once you start to understand why you find different things beautiful or inspiring you will naturally apply this knowledge to your own personal sense of style,  unique to only you! Write them down, snap a picture or draw them simply in your journal to preserve the process and look for ways to apply them to your life.

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6. Break things up.  After a while your journal will begin to fill up with inspirations and your own ideas you now have the ability to sort and categorize these things in any way you want. You can break it up by  rooms, colors or moods.

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Now you have a foundation for building on basic design principles to help you make the spaces around you into places you truly want to live in – spaces that make you feel good to be in. Personal creativity is not about intelligence or information. Creativity is about being fully alive, living courageously. The word “inspiration” is from the Latin spiritus, meaning “breath, courage, the soul.” What is it that calls forth your courage and trumps your fear of sharing your soul? Knowing this is the key to discovering the design creativity that is waiting to be expressed in your home, through you!