You Make Beautiful Things

Good morning world!
("World". hehe.)

It's Saturday morning here in New Zealand and there is nothing like a little Call Me Maybe to kickstart the weekend! Wait... who said that... 

Anyway, I thought I would do something different and leave a little positivity for your weekend. (Maybe this will become a thing. I don't know..)

If there's anything I have picked up on over this past year (out of a zillion new things that I've been experiencing: first home, being married, getting into this blog, etc) it's the power of words, and of positive thinking. There are a lot of threads to this topic but here’s what’s been on my mind lately: Beautiful Things.

The other night as I said my prayers I heard this come out of me: “Thank you for the beautiful things in life: art, architecture, interior design and writing.”
I am truly thankful for these things. But it made me inside-smile about what different people would perceive as “The Beautiful Things in Life”.

Does it make you think of a flawless artwork?  A masterpiece of design? Maybe something which is dearly loved and therefore absolutely perfect… even with its imperfections?

What if you believed that you were a Beautiful Thing?
That you were created, designed, and dearly loved even with your imperfections?
That the things you consider beautiful, are God-given passions and that He loves to see you use your gifts?
What if you actually believed it? For real. How would that change the way you work and look at life?

In the words of the song…
You Make Beautiful Things out of us, print

Happy positive weekend!
What are your Beautiful Things?

Tips & Tricks - playing Designer

Remember when I mentioned how I learnt a lot by playing Interior Designer when I did over the Blue Room?

It's probably the only time in my life that I've painted, styled, and installed an entire (albeit simple) room design all in one go - as opposed to slowly building it up bit by bit over time.

For me it was like a practice run for doing it for actual clients in the future, so even though it was a simple decorating project and the 'clients' were my parents, I made a few mental notes that would have made the process easier, and have decided to record them here:

1) Dress the part. For me, this meant dressing all hipster and bright on the day that I was choosing accessories and moving furniture.

 ... because I am so highly visual and colour-affected that I knew this would give me some boldness with my decisions. It really made a difference!

Obviously this was super casual. If I was doing something slightly more professional {like meeting with a client, or even making calls and doing admin and spreadsheets} I would dress the part for that, too. It might still involve pink jeans, but hopefully with a tailored blazer and heels instead. My outfits completely affect my mental state. Having said that, I shouldn't be typing this wearing a T-shirt and a blanket, should I....

2) When you are on location, keep a kit on hand, with all the essentials for the job {on top of the obvious stuff like equipment you need for painting etc}:
  • rubbing alcohol or meths along with a cloth - for getting the glue left on the back of price-stickers off vases, and stuff like that.
  • painters tape (allows you to mark out areas without ripping paint off walls), a hammer, a tape measure, rags, and notepad with pencil.
  • rubber gloves. So that when you go to take a photo like this, you can look even that little bit more awkward.

{I'm not preggers. It's bad posture}

3) Buy a journal to use as a Cost Book and take detailed notes of every purchase, along with your payment method and any returns or exchanges made. Have another notebook with notes specific to that projects {to-to-lists, etc}. Keep them in your bag at all times.

4) With the above, keep an envelope (or pocket in the journal) with ALL the receipts for the project and make sure it is impeccably labelled and organised.

5) 'Shop' within the house for existing objects that could be given new life...
Amy MacLeod Interior design, pink jeans

Wait, I mean new life in the room design.... DO NOT steal client's handbag. No matter how much it goes with your hipstery gear!

{P.S this 'client' is my Mum. Don't worry - I wouldn't go creeping around client's houses and photographing myself wearing their belongings.... promise.}

Amy MacLeod Interior design

6) Instagram to your heart's content - a running commentary in picture format is kinda fun. For you at least. ;)

NOW, what I really want to hear is, what are your tips????????????
How do 'real designers' do it? 
How do you do it?

I'm beyond eager to learn!

A BIG P.S - I totally forgot to post about it with the Blue Room reveal a few days back, but I guest-posted on Michaela Noelle's blog, and you should totally check it out here. Michaela is a babe and has the loveliest blog and interior design skills!

Blue Room project - Finished!

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod
Dramatically, I have named this saga, and also signed it with my real name. I thought it sounded more professional. Slightly second-guessing that now......

Anyway, the Blue Room Project started this past week when I got hold of a spare room in my parent's house (while they were away on holiday) and I jumped at my chance to transform it.
In all honesty I have been itching to get my hands on not only this room but the entire house (which is mostly painted in dark, often depressing colours in my opinion), and it took all of my willpower to confine my actions to this one room. 

The room is not exactly a guest room but it is where guests put their bags etc when they come round, and where my Grandma chills out if she is around during the day, so I wanted this room to be welcoming, happy, and simple.

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

The cold, overpowering blue walls had to go.
Like I mentioned in my last post, we had leftover beigey coloured paint that I had to use, which would create a neutral and light base to build on. (In my ideal world it would have been a much less-beige colour, but beggers.... you know). So the colour had to be added via accessories: 

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod
{the pink jeans legitimately help me make more colourful decisions. I will admit I got a lot of smiles in hardware stores with these on. I'm not sure what it means, but I'll take it.}

And so the new 'blue room' was born....

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

It's amazing what a light wall colour can do... this room literally glows into the house and lightens the entryway.

If you're wondering what this project entailed, I:
- bought a kitset bedside table from Ezibuy for $130
- replaced the mouldy calico curtains with new white thermal ones
- added 2 new cushions and a bedside lamp (from Ezibuy, Bunnings and Spotlight respectively)

The rest was free. I:
- hung art on the wall that was lying around the house and never had a home. Most I painted myself when I was younger - the landscape was a gift to my mum when I was 16.
- painted a cheap orange-pine mirror with white paint
- found accessories hidden away throughout the house

In total it took 4 full days of Amy-power to prep, paint, and install the new room, plus a few days planning/product-choosing/designing.
I had started out going for a traditional and shabby-chic style in mind, but the bright accessories were yelling out to me and I loved mixing indigo, lime green, turquoise and fuchsia for a few small highlights.

Interior design project by Amy MacLeod

 The result is amazing in person - so much more light and happy than I ever imagined. I also considered this good practice for when I start doing interior design professionally - I don't have interior design qualifications (but I finish my Architecture studies in 6 weeks!!) - so I learnt a lot through this process. But that's another post.

Mission accomplished! I'll try to remember to let you know how it goes down when the parents arrive back home. Hopefully they will agree it was touched by an angel. (winkwink)


Shared on Liz Marie Blog

The Blue Room project

say hello to one ugly spare bedroom:

{And this is AFTER the tidy-up and re-arrange that I did last week.}

As you can see, the Thomas-the-Tank-Engine-blue theme going on is not working, so for the next few days I will be sneaking around to my parent's house (while they are overseas) and pimping the crap out of this room.

I have a bucket of paint and a credit card, so....

Indigo and violet room scheme, by Amy at Five Kinds of Happy blog
I'm going for a totally neutral greige type wall colour. Mainly because it's what was left over in the bucket.
.... and then I'm simply hoping to make it look fresh and homely and accessorise it a bit. I want it to be something my parents will actually like, so fingers crossed that I can pull it off while keeping it in a 'classic, homely, colourful and traditional' style. (Hi Mum! I just made up your style for you. Hope you don't mind...)

Indigo and violet room scheme, by Amy at Five Kinds of Happy blog

For the record, I don't have a tonne of moolah for this project so most updates will be pretty simple. I'm looking forward to it tho!

Time for me to put on some pants and go start painting. Wish me luck! I'll be back with the After's as soon as poss, and will be instagramming all the updates no doubt (Amy_5kindsofhappy).


Sweet Pea Cafe

Five Kinds of Happy Blog: Sweet Pea cafe

Five Kinds of Happy Blog: Sweet Pea cafe

Five Kinds of Happy Blog: Sweet Pea cafe

Five Kinds of Happy Blog: Sweet Pea cafe

Five Kinds of Happy Blog: Sweet Pea cafe

Five Kinds of Happy Blog: Sweet Pea cafe

Five Kinds of Happy Blog: Sweet Pea cafe
Five Kinds of Happy Blog: Sweet Pea cafe

I seriously wanted to take photos in this cafe all day long, whilst wearing some kind of fluffy tutu, only stopping intermittently to reach behind the cupcake cabinet and stuff big mounds of icing in my gob.
But that would have been rude to my cupcake-date, and also, I'm still a little self-conscious about pulling out the big SLR camera in public places. Maybe someone should invent a blogger cafe specifically for people who want to make every coffee date look like a fully blown, styled photoshoot. Which is all of us, right? And then we could all be vain and weird together whilst practising our editorial photo skills and taking 3 hours to start eating our cupcake. Yusss.

I went to Sweet Pea cafe on Friday with a good friend - we have a tonne of amazing cafes here in Wellington New Zealand, but the strong Scandinavian influence (all white and light) was something I haven't seen in this country so far. Check out the pink fittings in the toilet. Now I feel like marshmallows.

Are you loving it too?

Bedroom vignette: I hope you're not scared of colour

First up, before I launch into my latest colourful little project, let me say a big THANKS for your comments  and messages on my last post, The Truth about Blogging. I braced myself for deafening silence but instead got a resounding "ME TOOOOO". Ya'll are the best! I felt so much more at peace after writing it that I think I would have been happy no matter what, but your responses make me realise that honesty will from now on be the rule around here. No fakes no phoneys. I hope I can keep in touch with each of you! Now onto blogging.

Recently my Grandma gave me some old, old books including this one full of botanical rose prints.
I will seriously lap up any kind of old book like this because they look so freakin awesome on the coffee table.
But having sentimental value and pictures that are frameable...? Bonus.
Five Kinds of Happy blog: using old botanical prints in modern decor

The dilemma was how to use them on the wall without them looking all old and....frilly.

I've never really done floral before in this way, and all those pink roses just didn't look right in our bedroom.
Peach-and-white-and-girly intentions look awful in here. I blame the green-tinged walls...

I dream of painting them a soft white. Specifically, Wan White by Karen Walker for Resene. But until then..

Five Kinds of Happy blog: bright bedroom vignette and wall art
{Not in my dreams; the orange stained pine dresser.}

If you have seen our bedroom, you'll notice that yellow is no stranger in here, so I selected a yellow print from the book, ripped it out (nicely) and put it in an old white frame. That has no glass on the front and looks like I painted it myself with poster paint....... because that happened.
And I kind of love it in there.

Five Kinds of Happy blog: bright bedroom vignette and wall art

I discovered the art of mixing old and new...with this 'Pixel' print from Meikle Design it's a-okay and looks just like me.

The jewellery tree was driving me up the wall because jewellery is constantly either falling off or getting stuck to it. So now it only holds these crazy bright beads... I just keep them for eye candy.

Five Kinds of Happy blog: bright bedroom vignette and wall art
{The Happy Tree! this would look cool in a kid's room... or my room. Whichevs.}

Five Kinds of Happy blog: bright bedroom vignette, art for perfume tray

 This 'tray' is a piece of art I banged out ages ago and never intended to really keep, but it works! And for once the bright orange Eascada bottle (my favourite scent) doesn't look heinous with the colour combo.

Five Kinds of Happy blog: bright bedroom vignette and wall art
I don't know, sometimes I get self-conscious that it will look like a 5 year old's playspace... but I do love the overall effect!

Five Kinds of Happy blog: bright bedroom vignette and wall art
{Now imagine whitey-grey walls and some kind of revamped dresser. mm}

Five Kinds of Happy blog: bright bedroom vignette and wall art
See how it ties into the yellow pillows that live on our bed?

Here's how it was before:

And after:
Five Kinds of Happy blog: bright bedroom vignette and wall art

How bright is too bright for you??