Mar 3, 2011 |

Black and White Home Update

Citrus green paired with black and white creates an energetic, modern environment, even when used with eclectic furnishings. Try hanging black-and-white papers in exciting patterns on a narrow magnetic board or bulletin board for an inexpensive and unstudied work of art.

Black trim adds sophistication to the playful blue beaded board walls in this entryway, but a graphic paint treatment on the door keeps it bold and fun. A neutral rug ties the look together without overwhelming the space.

Black and white makes an utterly graphic statement, so feel free to experiment with different pattern combinations. Punctuate the look with a few colored linens, like the pink napkins shown here.

Make a wall vase

Turn a shadow-box frame into a vessel for your favorite things from the garden or the florist.

Flowers or cuttings extend through the opening of a picture mat to create a vibrant and organic work of art that truly has a third dimension.

Group two or three frames on the wall or use one for a tabletop display. Change the background and cuttings for a new look each season.

Shadow-box frames and mats can be found at home or art-supply stores; floral pin frogs (spiked metal disks to keep cuttings in place) are available at floral-supply and craft shops.

You can line the back of the box with colored paper or fabric, or simply let the color of your wall shine through.


Each frame starts with a ready-made open-backed cube or shadow box deep enough to hold a small saucer. The measurements below are for the 10-by 10-in. cube shown below; adjust as needed to fit another cube size.

Picture mat with precut window (we used an 11- by 14-in. mat with a 3½- by 5½-in. window)
Wall cube or shadow box with mounting hardware (our cube, 10 by 10 in. and 6 in. deep, is from Target; $13) Ruler
Box cutter or utility knife
Sturdy cardboard (optional; our piece was 11 by 17 in.)
Colored paper or fabric (optional)
Glue stick (if using paper or fabric)
Transparent tape
Floral pin frog
Saucer deep enough to hold frog
Turkey baster for watering

The Live Book by Soo-Yeon Yang

Designer Soo-Yeon Yang has come up with a cool way to make your library come alive! The Live Book has a removable vase with a simple drainage system that actually opens up into a real book. I think with a little creativity we could try this at home!

Diy Photo Cubes

Black-and-white images of nature form photo cubes, which can also be used as bookends.
Plain wooden cubes are available at crafts stores, as is the soft-gel transfer medium needed for this project. Bear in mind that the blocks require a fair amount of drying time as each transferred photograph sets.
Tools and Materials

Laser printer
4- or 6-inch wooden cube
Small craft brush
Acrylic craft paint in white
Small glass bowl
Soft-gel transfer medium
Freezer paper
1-inch foam brush
Spatula or burnisher
Paper towel

Photo Cubes How-To
1. On a computer, resize six photographs to the size of the cube, and convert each to black and white. (The image will be reversed when printed on the cube, so choose or adjust accordingly.) Maximize the contrast and adjust the brightness to make the black in the pictures as strong and sharp as possible. Print them onto regular printer paper, and trim to fit the sides of the cube.

2. Using the small craft brush and the acrylic paint, paint the cube. Let dry.
3. Fill the small glass bowl with transfer gel. Lay one image faceup on a sheet of freezer paper. Using the foam brush, apply a smooth, even layer of transfer gel; avoid letting ridges and bubbles form. Repeat, applying gel to each of the six images. Let dry (about 1 hour).

4. Using the foam brush, apply gel to one side of the cube. Lay one picture facedown on that side. (The white side of the paper should face you.) Press the spatula or burnisher across the paper, applying light pressure to squeeze out excess gel and to make sure paper is flush with edges. Let dry 1 hour.

5. Repeat step 4 on remaining sides, working on opposite sides as you go.

6. Dampen a paper towel in cool water. Applying a bit of pressure and working in a circular motion, use the paper towel to rub off the paper. (Rewet paper towel as needed.) The transferred images will remain as the paper comes off.