Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Frugal Creative: Dyeing Custom Colors for Your Home

My long tradition of personal frugality has inspired all sorts of creative ways to get high-end interior design style into my life. During the early years of my art career, I worked hard making ceramic tiles or painting for this or that art exhibit or whatever was going on. About 10 years into the process I noticed that I lived in a boring house that didn't reflect me at all. At the time, I was painting tiles then shipping them to ta-ta addresses in Beverly Hills and Vero Beach. I was a go-to girl for high end interior designers and shipping my art work to addresses all over the country, meanwhile none of the creativity I so easily gave to others was part of my life. I needed to revamp my thinking.

I remembered the axiom, "the cobblers children have no shoes," and decided to change my ways. I made a vow to lavish my creativity on my own life, not just on others. It took a while to get into the practice of being generous with myself, but it worked. I started by painting a set of ceramic dishes for myself; tiled the stair risers with my daughter's help; painted the house; and framed and hung paintings and photos. I got my husband and daughter in on the home decor work and we re-did everything. Together we made mosaic lamps, mirrors and flower pots; painted floor mats; built garden art, and whatever I could think of. All of these years later, our house looks great!

Here's an easy way for you to start bringing your creativity into your home. There are three things you can do to immediately change the mood of your house -- Color, color and color! The obvious way to bring in color is with wall paint. Another way is with fabrics. Think about all of the textiles you have in your home. Bed sheets, fabric lampshades, rugs, curtains and most any textile can slip into a dye bath.

Dyeing fabrics is fun and surprisingly easy. If you can follow the recipe on the back of a brownie mix box, you can dye fabrics. My favorite fabric dye and supply catalog company is Dharma Trading Co. Not only does Dharma Trading Co have hundreds of supplies including fabric dyes and fabric paints, they also have a big selection of "blanks" or plain items of clothing or fabric yardage you can dye or paint. On top of that, The Dharma Trading Co. catalog has great directions! The front of the catalog has all sorts of useful info about the fabric dyes and how to use them.

The stack of sheets in this photo shows you the great collection of colors I created for my bedding. I shop at Ross or TJ Max (discount retailers) for bargain cotton sheets with a high thread count and create great looking bed sheets for a fraction of the interior design prices. So . . . take the plunge into color and start dyeing fabrics. Not only will you save money on home decor, you're going to love the results!

1 comment:

  1. I think it is great that tou have lavished your home and family in your artistic gifts! Not only does your home look fantastic and feel alive, you also done a great job with Fung Shway!