corporate office decorating – typographic artwork

Arid Designs Poster Mashup

One of the things I mentioned in my previous post about my side job as a corporate office decorator, was the need for artwork for our walls. With a full blank slate to work with we needed something to add life to our space. Luckily, I run the in-house creative team. It is quite a fun job to direct three talented designers on a variety of projects. Fun stuff like office decorating, makes it even better. 

Two of my very talented designers worked with me on the posters and other design features throughout the space. Arivia from Arid Designs worked on this handful of typographic artwork for our space. It is so rewarding to find quotes that inspire me, get others from the team, and then see them designed, printed and displayed in our space. It has made such a visual difference too.

Here are a few collages of Arivia’s work that is currently on display throughout our office.

Arid Designs Poster Mashup

Arid Designs Poster Mashup


This is the funny thing, this can’t be considered a sponsored post since she works for me and I technically pay her. One thing I hold firm on is that designers I work with should always be building their own personal portfolio and brand, which is what I am encouraging Arivia to do. Arivia currently sells versions of her work on RedBubble in the form of t-shirts, posters and other items.

More soon from one of my other amazingly talented designers, Janay. These two “kids” have taught me a lot about myself as a creative person, as a person, and as a leader. Cheesy as it might be, it is really rewarding to grow and mentor “young” talent. I’m lucky to be their boss. I mean, really? I get to hang up their artwork and say I directed it. It can’t get much better than that? ;)







a little nyc trip – photo recap


We just got back from a whirlwind trip to NYC. We honestly did not stop at all except for a 30 minute nap early in the evening on Saturday. If you follow me on Instagram you got a few little tidbits of the trip.

Highlights? Seeing Neil Patrick Harris on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Epic show. I was in love with NPH as a kid when he was on Doogie Howser, MD. He was my first real celebrity crush. So I relived that and waited at the side door to get his autograph on my playbill. And I got it!


The rest of the trip was full of art, friends, drinks and good food. Couldn’t ask for a better NYC trip than that.

I’ll be back this week when more projects. For now, I’m still trying to catch up on sleep.



the side job – corporate office decorating – the befores


Let me tell you something about myself, you may already know. I tend to take on more than I should and I have a really hard time telling people no. That will explain the craziness I embarked on last year at my day job. Our office was relatively new and completely white. Not an ounce of personality, nothing to make it ours. Considering our culture, the office didn’t fit. Our execs were considering paying some over-priced and out of touch designers to give the space some life (I’m not saying all designer are over-priced but if you would have heard the ideas that were walking through our space without understanding who we are, you would agree). I decided to open my big mouth and take on the task of decorating our space. Because of course, just leading the marketing and creative teams would have not been enough, I needed to add corporate office decorating to my to do list ;)

I have had a board on Pinterest since then, collecting ideas for quotes, furniture and more.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 11.23.31 PM

The renovation actually  started in September/October of last year, but there is still a way to go. I wanted to give you a before tour so you know what the overall space feels like.  I’m missing a few shots for a full tour but those will come with the afters. We have a nice white, open space. Beautiful, except that everything is white! According to many, it starts bordering on feeling like a sanitarium with all the white.


The double door in the corner here leads to the lunchroom, which has major updates coming to it. So does that wall with our team picture. Imagine a collaborative recognition wall instead.


These two walls are going to get some major accent wall treatments. Think bold colors, patterns or maybe a word wallcorporate office decorating - directions not included.jpg

White, white and more white. We are a FUN office. This spaces is so desperate for some fun…and color. 

DSC_7378 DSC_7393DSC_7389

More color needed and a library for ever-growing book collection are the plans for this space. Yes, there is writing on the walls. Our walls are white boards in many spaces. Each office has a Wink wall and some common areas like this one have them too. The drawings on this one are courtesy of “Bring your child to work day”.


Our bar is going to be getting more seating, an accent wall, and something to conceal that kegerator. And yes, we have a kegerator in the office. How else would happy hour starts at 4:30 – 5:00 pm every Friday?! We also have wine for the non-beer drinkers like me :)


When the office space was built out, the furniture company they used suggested all these collaboration areas for the team. Great idea, except the furniture is the most uncomfortable stuff ever. No one ever uses them so I’ve replaced the funky stuff with a large, gray leather sectional. So much better for chatting while watching ping pong, working from your laptop or having a drink on Friday. Yes, there is a ping pong table right there ;)


Now, the desks and some of the office furniture, window coverings, flooring, etc are non-negotiable in this project. What I have done is a lot of paint, a lot of artwork, additional furniture, and more fun.

Here is a teaser of some of the colors based off our brand colors. As a marketer/brander I had to stick with our palette for personalizing our space. We haven’t used the hot pink on any walls but it has shown up in the artwork and some accents. The grays, yellows and blues have all made a major impact on the space. There is a also glimpse of our floor plan.

Colors - Directions Not Included

While it is stressful because I don’t have time to be doing something like this (remember what my house looks like), it is still so much fun. The team is liking the changes so that is reassuring. Reveal photos coming soon. Honestly, looking at Pinterest and other places for corporate office decorating ideas was so much fun. It would be great full time job if I got paid for it ;)


munchkin outdoor playroom – stenciled nautical art

Stencil1 and FolkArt Paint - Close up of stencil quality

DNIFavicon.fwThis post is sponsored by Plaid Crafts. I received materials for this project and compensation for my time, but all opinions are most definitely my own! DNIFavicon.fw

Stencil1 and FolkArt - Stenciled Nautical Art

If you’ve been around here for even a bit, you know I love stencils. Even with my ability to make my own stencils from freezer paper or vinyl, good quality, reusable stencils are always great to have on hand. I was really excited to try out the new Stencil1 line because their edgy, modern designs are fun and different. To be honest, my fingers were crossed that my package would include one of their large format stencils, which are perfect for walls, floors and furniture, but alas beggars can’t be choosers ;) And when you receive a cool set of stencils and some FolkArt paint, you get to creating!

FolkArt and Stencil1 - Supplies

FolkArt paints are great on multiple surfaces, inside and out. These nautical-themed stencils reminded me that I had not provided any sort of the decor for a favorite little munchkin’s outdoor play space. A blank framed wood sign, stencils and outdoor safe paint = inspiration found.

I wanted to give the stencils something a little more to stand out against, so I whitewashed the wood. My very technical way of creating the right whitewash was to pour some leftover white latex house paint in a plastic cup, add some water and mix it all up. I’m sure there are better ways and more accurate recipes, but this worked just fine.

Stencil1 and FolkArt - Whitewashing.jpg

Once the whitewash had dried, it was time for stenciling. Using some handy tape, I held down the stencil so my hands were free. These type of stencils can slip so don’t be afraid to go crazy with the tape, especially if you are trying to do something at an angle or slightly off center with your piece. Now, these are good quality mylar stencils that are very easy to clean and very durable. As you can see here, I clearly did not clean them after I tested out the stencil for the first time. Have no fear! -Messy crafters can still use these and experience no harmful effects ;) But seriously folks, clean your stencils. These are dishwasher safe so you have no excuses.

Stencil1 and Folk Art - Easy to clean stencils

I used the gray FolkArt paint on the rope texture stencil to frame the piece since it was my favorite out of the bunch. Then I used the FolkArt blue paint for the anchor. If you are going layer a stencil over another stencil, or even tape over it, make sure the bottom one is dry. Don’t be impatient and smear your work.

Stencil1 and FolkArt - Layering stencils.jpg

You will hear all sorts of advice on what the best brushes are for stencils. I honestly have no favorites, but the one thing I always advise when using stencils is to not add too much paint to the brush.  I always pour a little, dab my brush in it, then dry it off a bit before applying. This technique helps prevent bleeding of the paint under the stencil.

FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint - Don't use a lot of paint to stencil

Here is a close up so you can see the details of the stencil. Very good quality stuff. A a nice stencil will give you a clean edge even if you are messy like me.

Stencil1 and FolkArt Paint - Close up of stencil quality

So there you have it. Stenciled nautical art for a playroom, kid’s room or anywhere else that needs a nautical or beachy theme.

Stencil1 and FolkArt - Stenciled Nautical Art

My munchkin’s outdoor play space is currently covered in snow and I’m in sunny Florida so all these shots are still from here. I have a few more projects in mind with these stencils for his space, but it has to stop snowing before I will even consider visiting. ;)

If you are interested in checking out the Stencil1 line (which I highly recommend you do!) you will be able to find them at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft stores soon.

Don’t forget to connect with Plaid Crafts for more inspiration: The Plaid Palette Blog / Pinterest / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube


Want more Stencil1 inspirations?

project nursery – harry potter light switch

Lumos and Nox - Harry Potter Light Switch

While I have 800 projects in the works right now, it really seems like I’m trending with the Harry Potter themed items for you. This time, a Harry Potter light switch. Yeah, I’m out of control for the upcoming birth of my new niece or nephew, and my geek tendencies are showing.  I’ve seen many variations of this project on Pinterest, so I knew it would be an easy but cute addition to the nursery. I used my trusty Silhouette to set up the text for the project.

Harry Potter Light Switch - Direction Not Included - Silhouette plan

Applying vinyl using transfer paper is so much easier on plastic items than it is on items with a texture like canvas or walls. It honestly takes two seconds.

Harry Potter Light Switch - Direction Not Included - Lumos and Nox

Such a simple craft. This is a great way to personalize any kid’s room or nursery. You can use all sorts of quotes or designs to add a bit of extra whimsy to a room.

Harry Potter Light Switch - Direction Not Included - Lumos and Nox

Here is the Harry Potter light switch up on our bedroom wall. It is kinda hard to tell in the other photos, but I used a metallic silver vinyl for the words. I know these photos are all atrocious but the sun has not been cooperating with me at all.

Lumos and Nox - Harry Potter Light Switch

I’m hoping I can get Ray to commit to finishing up the house stuff we have going on right now so I can start showing what progress we are making. I think we just need 36 hour days to get everything done.


changes on the horizon – rethinking the floor plan


Ever make it halfway through the insanity of renovation and then decide you want to change things up a bit? That is where I am right now. We bought the house in late 2010 and moved in 2011. I’m thankful we have taken a LONG time to finish this renovation. We haven’t even started with an addition, but I’m already ready to swap things around. Here is our current floor plan for reference. Please remember we live in the room called extra since our master is not even close to being finished.


We have major plans for that master and the overall addition, which will add to the studio, laundry room and backyard. So while I LOVE my craft room, I have a hard time working in it because of space. I might be spoiled, but what I end up doing is crafting in the family room on the floor, outside, or on the dining room table. I use the table for my initial sewing or Silhouette work but then move somewhere else. Just in case you are new here, Ray currently uses the guestroom as the photography studio. So here are my thoughts…

  • Craft room —> New guestroom. Attached to bathroom and a decent sized space.
  • Extra bedroom –> New craftroom. Extra large room, plenty of space for both of us and possibly a craft room island.
  • Guestroom –> Storage room/photography studio. This is where pottery sales and craft blogging will come to life.

Now to make this all happen, we need to move into the master bedroom ASAP. Anyone want to send extra $$ vibes to us so we can finish up the rest of the house?  I selfishly want a bigger craft room and somewhere we can both take pictures. These are still just dreams. Ray might think I’m crazy but we have the space and the rooms can be better planned out.

Have you ever wanted to switch things up after living in a space for awhile?