What makes a house a home? The answer for Dena, acclaimed designer and author of “The Painted Home,” is simple: Look at every room as an opportunity to reflect who you are by surrounding yourself with the things you love.
From the kitchen, a warm and welcoming space, to the bedroom, a haven for relaxation and dreaming, Dena offers a host of insider tips and practical, whimsical DIY projects in “The Painted Home” that can bring out the designer in anyone.
“There are countless yet inexpensive ways to transform the everyday into something special,” says Dena. “With a trip to the flea market, some needle and thread, a glue gun and, of course, paint, there’s no limit to what you can do to turn your home into a place that is uniquely yours.”
Dena Designs’ home products include everything from rugs and wallpaper to stationery and children’s decor and can be found in more than 15,000 retail outlets, including Dillard’s and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Dena’s favorite DIY home design projects include:
Layered Glass Vases: Create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece with a collection of different-sized, clear, cylindrical vases. Print out color copies of fabric or use wallpaper, sturdy gift wrapping paper or other patterned material. Use double-stick tape to adhere the paper to the inside of the vase. Insert a smaller vase into the larger one and fill with water and fresh-cut flowers.
One-of-a-Kind Slip Cover: Slip covers are a great way to revamp a chair and make it washable. Dena recommends a white slip cover that provides a clean palette to let your inner designer flourish. Cut circles, leaves or any shape out of a mix of favorite fabrics. Place the slip cover on the chair and arrange the shapes. Use a simple over-and-under running stitch ¼” from the edge of the fabric to add charm and secure the cutouts to your slip cover.
Stenciled Wall: Stenciling a wall is easy and inexpensive-and adds an interesting focal point to the room. Dena includes a stencil in her book, or you can create your own. Beginning at the bottom corner of the wall, adhere the stencil with low-tack masking tape. Put a small amount of acrylic or stencil paint onto a palette. Using a stencil brush, apply paint perpendicularly to the wall. Repeat the pattern until the wall is covered.
Decoupage Plates: To help create an eye-catching wall, Dena suggests grouping together a collection of similar objects, such as decoupaged plates. Using thin paper, print copies of fabrics, colorful designs or family photos to adhere to clear glass plates. Cut the copies to fit the plates, leaving a ½” border around the edge. Use a foam brush to spread thin coats of Mod Podge on the back of the plate and the front of the image. Adhere the image to the plate and work out any air bubbles. Dena uses a cork to gently roll out bubbles. After the plate dries, use a metallic gold marker to create a border around each plate.
— Courtesy of North American Precis Syndicate