My beloved grandfather taught me many things, including how to mindful, crafty and repurpose whenever possible. One of my favorite memories is that of my grandfather lovingly helping me to sew curtains. Upon his passing, I certainly couldn’t let go of his vintage Singer sewing machine and the stool paired with it. The sewing machine… View more
Color wash is a great technique that results in a unique, multidimensional look. A few years ago, I painted a sample board that is hands down the most popular display item at Blue Sky. It is a cabinet board with two colors of Chalk Paint – Duck Egg with a color wash of Aubusson Blue…. View more
The first time we posted this furniture painting technique on Facebook, Annie Sloan herself messaged and told us to use the proper name (I originally called it “smooshing”). It’s called “frottage” derived from the French word “frotter”, meaning to rub. There are also erotic connotations to the word. But we are talking about painting. Frottage… View more
Embellishing your painted furniture with stencils is a simple way to add excitement to the design. It’s also the perfect opportunity to add a textural element and make a unique statement. Adding a raised stencil (as opposed to just paint) is easy and fun. To create a raised stencil effect, all you need is plaster. Before you get started on… View more
Distressing paint gives a feeling of age and history. At Blue Sky we love to play with color and texture. For this sample board, we put away the sandpaper and crackle mediums and opted to simply use a putty knife to achieve a rustic look. The colors used are regularly associated with Gustavian style –muted, dusty grayish-blues,… View more
How do you feel when something is described as “imperfect” or “incomplete”? Does it have a negative connotation? Consider the positive to the imperfect. Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy that celebrates the beauty in nature’s imperfections. The concept supports an appreciation of the natural world in its current state. Wabi-sabi helps recognize the beauty in things that are not planned or constructed to be a certain way, such as crumbling stone, peeling paint or weathered wood. This philosophy can be applied to art, design and as a general way of life.
“Imperfection is in some sort essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change. Nothing that lives is, or can be rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent.” — John Ruskin
Like many words from the Eastern culture, there is not a clear translation for wabi-sabi in the English language. The closest word is “rustic”, but this only represents a limited dimension of wabi-sabi. While the two words are abstract ideas of beauty that celebrate simplicity, there are many differences between them. Wabi-sabi goes hand-in-hand with intuition, uniqueness, and organic form.
When Japanese individuals are asked to explain wabi-sabi, they usually answer that they cannot explain it, because wabi-sabi is something that one feels, not verbalizes. There are not any clear cut rules when designing with wabi-sabi. Materials generally show the natural process and can be in any state of growth or decay, being chipped, rusted, tarnished or warped. Under this philosophy, these items are glorified because their imperfections are a testament to their history, which strengthens their character. Want to learn more? Check out Wabi-Sabi for Artist, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren.
The next time you think you have made a mistake on your DIY project, or you accidentally chip a piece of pottery, remember that irregularity and imperfection doesn’t have to be something negative. Try looking at your project in a new way; maybe you have created an interesting line or design. Perhaps that old piece of furniture, actually has an authentic, weathered appearance. There is something simple and calming about re-envisioning with wabi-sabi in mind.
Do you want to do a room makeover? Or are you just bored with your space? A feature wall adds beauty to your living space in a bold way. It’s a fun element meant to draw attention and lift your spirits. It also allows you to inject your own style and personality into your room…. View more
By H.M. Shaw We learn best by doing. When we do try our hand at something new, we are most likely going to make serious blunders. The mere thought of learning how to use a product that requires delicacy and patience makes you want to do anything but learn how to use that product that… View more
Do you consider yourself a creative person? Until recently, I didn’t consider myself creative because I lacked training in art or design. But creativity isn’t about artistic flair. Its idea generation and manifesting a vision. All of us have natural creative ability. But similar to athletics, practice makes the difference between the little league and… View more
Look at any home décor blog and you will see design enthusiasts continue to love the distressed furniture look. We all love the character and depth distressing adds to painted furniture. Most often “distressing” is done with sandpaper or a sanding block. But sometimes sandpaper just won’t do. Perhaps you want to eliminate the flying… View more