23 January 2019

Paintings and Porches and Puppies, Oh My!

A few of you have been asking about the "imigongo" style mural behind the bed in The Art House Airbnb space. I thought I'd take this opportunity to go back and show a detailed look at that painting and how I did it! Take a look:

I started with my chosen paint colors...

Then I nailed canvas into the wall, in case I'd want to keep the "mural" when I was all done! ;)

The whole Art House was pretty bare. All I knew is I wanted to make that mural first. The rest would follow!

I pressed into the canvas to adhere it to the wall and I was all set to paint!

I started off drawing the design on a small piece of paper, and then free-handed it onto the wall, making any additions or edits I wanted as I went.

I colored it in, from the top to the bottom, color by color.

By the end of the night, I had the color blocking done!

There she was, greeting me the next morning! 

Then I detailed by adding the black edges, starting on the bottom right. 

It took all day...

I spent the whole last day evening out colors all the way to the edges, and adding coats of paint...

Ta daaaaa! This photo is with the bed added, and temporary curtains.

We then slowly added some furniture to the kitchen too. This shot was taken before any art was hung, or the tiles were replaced.

Rearranging and designing to perfection!

Then all the furniture was in, the curtains were in place, and it was ready to go! (You remember the finished photos from last week's blog here.)

Meanwhile in the front porch of the Main House...
It was the very last room we worked on, and I have no idea why! I LOVE being outside on the front porch. I started by getting these sheer curtains made and hung. Nothing says relaxation like a breezy white outdoor curtain, in my opinion.

Then I made this modern outdoor sofa... which works perfectly!

And I think every porch needs a rocker. Even if it's modern. And especially if it's for 2.

Much family time is had out here. (The coffee table was also added!)

New rug, same chandelier! 

And this is where we'll leave you! The final pics of our main house, including the porch, are coming soon. So stay tuned!! And thanks again for reading.


16 January 2019

The Art House

Hey everyone! I'm SO excited to finally share the finished product photos for The Art House, our small backyard house-turned-Airbnb!! (Click here to see the live listing on Airbnb!)

We chose the house we're in, almost solely because of this small separated house in the back. We asked if we could renovate it- like REALLY renovate it- and the landlords seemed positive. But it was a risk! (Read how we decided here on the blog.)

We tore down the interior walls and renovated the space in May 2018. (You can see the photos of the the whole process, and all the before photos in this blog entry.)

Since then, I have been designing and filling it in to be the comfortable rental studio (equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, living room, work area, and bedroom) that it is today! ;) What a process! Please enjoy the big reveal of The Art House and all the love we put into it!


Living Room 


Work Area 


The Art House Exterior

We're so happy with how it turned out!! The Art House is now filled with style and energy. It also doubles as my personal art studio when we don't have guests- Bonus! I wanted to maintain a colorful hip vibe in there, and the outcome feels bright and contemporary, homey yet unique. 

You can go through the blog to see all the blood sweat and tears that went into it, but I'll leave you with a few gems of how it used to look when we moved in below too:



Living Room/Bedroom 


I better stop with the Befores, I'm getting anxiety! ;) It has been so fun to transform this space, and now we can't wait to welcome more guests to our little studio guest house in Kimihurura! Please think of us for your future visits/visitors to Rwanda! :) And for more After pictures or to make a booking, find us here: The Art House

Thanks so much for reading!


10 January 2019

Sip 'N Paint

Having all the space in the world now with our Kigali house has been wonderful for me getting back into painting. And luckily our new house needed artwork on the walls too! 

While furniture had mostly all been ordered and renovations were done, now was the phase of thinking about art. We had a big blank wall in our kitchen, and a big open space above that apothecary in the entry too. So what better way to fix it than with a Sip 'N Paint date night at home for me and Patrick! 

Now he is a very patient man. Not my painting style however. So he tackled the measuring, taping, and meticulous painting of lines in the pattern on the kitchen wall. 

He had this vision of a very light faded pattern on that wall, almost unnoticeable. He then also came up with the idea to make it a strip of detail, instead of a whole cliche accent wall... Creative too!

Meanwhile I had been dreaming up this painting of a woman with windblown hair covering her face, using neutral solid colors and hard lines, and finally tried at it with Patrick and a glass of vino! (or 3)

Check out the results!

We're still considering putting a little shelf across the kitchen pattern. What are your thoughts?? 

Here's just a few more images from solo painting days here too. 

I wanted to get large art pieces up on the walls in the smaller back house, since we renovated that to be our AirbnbIt's called The Art House, so it needed lots of art! More updates and final pics on that in the next blog though. ;)

I normally use the Art House as my studio when we do not have guests. And Patrick just got me an easel for Chrismas too! No more painting on stools or the floor for this girl in 2019!!

I'm excited to officially call The Art House complete, and share the final pictures with you in the next blog. (remember what it used to be) Yikes! Thanks for reading, and see you next time!


07 January 2019

Lemons into Lemonade!

In the following months, new furniture was arriving in the house every week! How fun! Patrick would come home every day wondering what he'd find. I was drawing up designs with different carpenters, and essentially testing out who I would like to continue working with through NAFASI as a business for future clients as well! I found some great people to work with, and of course some hiccups along the way too...

You saw my pretty apothecary being made on last week's blog. They delivered it without finishing, as I requested, and just leveled everything out and added my apothecary pulls. I was thrilled with how it turned out!! 

Then I shopped around for the best wood stains, and tried a few out. This stain is great, and I think it turned out really beautifully, but it was a hugeeeee pain to work with. It stains everything. EVERYTHING immediately. Including my hands and nails for 2 weeks. :/ My own fault for not using gloves. But that's pretty difficult to do too in my opinion. :) But now that it's over, I forget all that and just love on my apothecary. :)

This nice chunky coffee table came unfinished too. On this one I tried an oil based stain that you brush on. It's much easier to work with, but the color is a little more orange. The biggest problem with this one though, was the wood glue they used while making it was all over the wood, and so it didn't stain so evenly. I was so upset! It looked pretty bad. 

But then I thought, why not just paint over the bad parts!?!?

And now it's one of my favorite pieces!!

Although hard to compete with the bar...
Patrick had the idea to paint this guy black instead of stain. I always love painting things black soooo

yessssssssss 😍

Everything was looking so good! And progress was happening every day. Here are a few more pictures of the additions

This chair was key to the design. Masculine and simple, it makes the living room.

Patrick brought some batik art back from Mozambique!

A new comforter from the States!

And the rug from home that everything was designed around. Aaaahhhhhhhhh... Everything was coming together. 

The entryway

The dining room with the table stained.

And the living room grounded with that rug!

That's all for now! We're almost done, so stay tuned!!