Category Archives: DIY

Shut the Front Door!

Enhance your entrance.

Styling a front door immediately increases curb appeal, creates an inviting and welcoming first impression, and is a great way to express personality and style, all before guests even enter your home!

Five front door elements to consider in order to transform your entrance from blah to beautiful. 

  • Paint color
  • Planters, greenery, and surrounding decor
  • Door knockers
  • House address numbers
  • Welcome mats

Paint Colors: Our top 5 favorites

Navy.

A classic, traditional (and most popular!) color choice for a front door.

navy

Original photo source here.

Black or Charcoal.

A dark front door makes a chic and sophisticated statement.

black-charcoal

Original photo source here

Red.

Because who doesn’t love a nice bold, red door?

red

Original photo source here.

Light Blue.

Adds coastal, beachy vibes or a touch of calmness and tranquility.

light-blue

Original photo source here.

Green.

Another bold choice that calls out to Autumn, but works just as well as a year-round color. Just be sure to add the right decor!

green

Original photo source here.

Planters and Greenery 

Go big…

big-planters

                                   Welcome to the jungle 🙂
 Original photo source here.

 

small-planters

Original photo source here.

….or go small.

Any touch of greenery helps to make a welcoming entrance, whether it’s big and dramatic or small and subtle.

 

Nice Knockers! 

They come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and colors. Find one that works for you!

What we love: Cute animals are a fun way to add some flair to your front door.

foxy

Foxy. 

Original photo source here.

 

deer

Oh, deer!

 

Address Numbers- What’s Your Number?

We want to be able to see them from the street. Make them clear and easy to read so it’s easier on new guests coming to your home for the first time.

large-numbers

Original photo source here.

numbers

Original photo source here.

 

Welcome home!

Welcome mats are an easy, non-permanent way to set the tone, vibe, or personality of the people living behind the door. They can be done in a variety of ways, including fun and colorful via the use of cute sayings or bright patterns, or classy and sophisticated such as woven naturals and neutrals.

Cute sayings- say hello without even saying a word.

gather

Original photo source here.

Fun and colorful, and made of wood! Adds the same effect of a punch of color for those who may not want to commit to the colored door.

mat

Original photo source here.

A fun pattern; thinking outside of the box.

circle

Original photo source here.

So, maybe color isn’t for you. A natural woven is still a great option!

woven

Original photo source here.

Come up with a great combination of these five elements to dress up your door and instantly add style and curb appeal. Remember to express your personal style and set the tone of  how you want guests to feel when entering your home!

DIY: A faux terrarium for your real life

 

Want to make your space look inviting? Bring in the green stuff — and we don’t mean money! Plants add texture, depth, color, and a natural element to a space, and there are plenty of affordable, low-maintenance options to fit your style.

faux succulent plant

Image courtesy of Afloral.com

 

We’re particularly fond of terrariums. There’s just something about the contrast between glass and green that makes our hearts happy. Air plants and succulents are the darlings of the interior design world for a reason: they’re gorgeous and they’re super easy to work with. When we’re trying to keep our living spaces looking luscious — despite the fact that we’re actually living in them — low-maintenance is paramount.
Then there are those of us that prefer to opt for no maintenance, and that’s ok too. There are some major benefits to going faux and with all the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Alive! “silk” options out there, you can rock your terrarium game minus the plant-parent angst. Winning!

 

Why go faux?

  • Zero maintenance is a delightful amount of maintenance.
  • Don’t let your plants be the boss of you. Put your terrarium where you want it. Natural light optional.
  • No risk of damaging your stuff with water. Your bookshelf or tabletop will breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Fly it high! We love hanging terrariums from the ceiling to draw the eye upwards, but step stools + watering cans aren’t always the best combo (in our experience). Hang it once, then step away from the ladder.

 

 

1. It’s all about the container

A great terrarium is all about the packaging so we start with a container and go from there. We always keep our eyes peeled while thrifting for a funky vessel to fill with green goodness. Since you’re using faux plants, your container doesn’t even need to be watertight! We’ve made terrariums out of everything from conch shells to hollowed-out plastic dinosaurs (CrazyCouture sells some awesome ones in their Etsy shop).

terrarium-empty-geometric

We found this geometric vessel at good ol’ Target

 

2. Get creative with fillers

Sand makes an effortless neutral background for succulents and conforms easily to the shape of your container. If you’re not geographically blessed enough to live with a stroll of the beach, you can buy sand from a craft supply store (check the candle department) or order some on Etsy. You can also use pebbles, marbles, sea glass… get creative!

Sand (1)

Don’t hate us because we walked to the beach to get sand!

 

3. Layer plant height, textures, and colors for a natural look

We recommend starting with three different plant species, mixing height, textures, and colors. We found a great selection on Afloral.com, or you can try a floral supply store or large craft store like Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

  • Measure your container and compare to the size of your plants for a good fit.
  • In nature, plants overlap a little. Try a few different arrangements until you achieve a natural, organic look.

Finished product (1)

Check out that overlapping action!

4. Style in your space

Because you don’t have to worry about making your plants happy, you can choose a home for your terrarium that makes you happy! We like a terrarium perched atop a stack of books, a coffee table tray, mantle, or on a table in the entryway. You could even suspend one (or two or three) from the ceiling.

image 1

All styled up!

 

Do it North Fork Style: Add a little something!

Depending on the look you’re going for, a miniature figure, crystal, shell, tiny toy, or other object of interest can add personality to your terrarium or spark a happy memory. The key is to keep the object small in proportion to your plants — something you’d only notice if you looked closely. A little whimsy never hurt anyone!

il_570xN.729425606_45hl

We found this little lady in the TierraSolStudio Etsy Shop. LOVE.

 

 

We tried temporary wallpaper and we liked it

Let’s talk about wallpaper. It has a bad rap for good reason: we’ve seen some serious wallpaper trauma in our tenure as interior designers. Installing (and removing) traditional wallpaper is a majorly messy, nerve-wracking undertaking and requires serious commitment. If you hate it, you’re stuck with it. Literally.

wallpaper-1441983066

Source: MTV.com

Enter temporary wallpaper.

Used thoughtfully and sparingly (i.e. as an accent wall), wallpaper can lend depth and major visual interest without feeling claustrophobic. Even better? Temporary wallpaper! Temporary wallpaper is self-adhesive. It applies to your walls in vertical strips like big stickers and when (if?) you’re over it, you can peel it right off without damaging the paint underneath! Win.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 10.57.41 AM

Deep breaths. Steady hands. Don’t let ’em see you sweat.

We decided to take our first plunge into the temporary wallpaper arena using it as an accent wall in a guest room/office of our Haywaters project. You can check out another guest room from this project here.

We chose a timeless, graphic design called Kaleidoscope from Tempaper Designs and while the instillation was a little bit nail-bitey (it was our first time!), the finished product was GORGEOUS and oh-so-worth it.

 

North Fork Design‘s top 5 tips for installing temporary wallpaper

Your supplier will include detailed instructions with your purchase. Here are a couple of our best tips.

 

1. Go slow.

It took two of us about 2 hours to install temporary wallpaper paper on one wall, which is not too shabby. It’s super exciting to see it going up, but go slow anyway! We recommend taking frequent breaks and stepping back to check your progress as you go.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

2. It takes two.

This is not a solo project so make sure to enlist a patient friend. Bonus points if the patient friend is the type to enjoy lining up his/her pencils in a perfect little row on their desk.

 

 3. Measure all of the things.

Before you stick ANYTHING you will need to measure. And then measure again. And measure some more. Measure, measure, measure.

  • Measure your wall height. Measure it again.
  • Decide which part of the pattern you’d like to have at the top of the wall. It’ll be the same all the way across.
  • Measure your first strip from that point. Add 2-3 inches at the bottom of the strip (you’ll trim that part off after it’s stuck), double check your measurements, then cut with an Exacto knife.

Photo May 09, 1 54 48 PM

 

4. Measure all of the things again.

Did we mention that you need to measure? Measure! Make sure that each strip of paper starts (at the top) with the same part of the pattern so they’ll line up perfectly. Use a level and a yardstick to ensure a straight cut with an Exacto knife.

 

5. It’s all about alignment.

Starting with the left edge of your wall, apply a strip from the top down.

  • Make sure you’ve got a totally straight top horizontal edge.
  • Match the pattern to the pattern on the seam of the strip to the left.
  • Smooth down and out to the right as you go.
  • If you mess up, you can gently peel it back and realign.

Ta da!

Major impact, minor commitment.

final

 

More ideas for temporary wallpaper

If you’re not ready to commit to a whole wall, consider using temporary wallpaper to back a bookshelf, or the inside of a closet. You could also use it to spice up a boring laundry room or half-bath.

Have you tried temporary wallpaper yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

North Fork utility: a DIY clothing rack for an unusual nook

One of the things we love about the North Fork design vibe is its candid embrace of utility. Objects are selected with–and for–a purpose. They have jobs to do. And when an object does its job simply and effectively? It’s a beautiful thing!

Recently we were presented with a design challenge: an unusual little nook in an old home that needed a job to do. A quick brainstorming session, a trip to the hardware store, and an afternoon spent tinkering was about all it took to fashion a utilitarian custom clothing rack from rustic plank boards, rolling casters, and plain metal plumbing supplies. The rack’s design echoes the nook’s delightfully odd shape: working with it rather than against it.

Now the owner uses the rack it to line up a week’s worth of outfits and shoes. There’s something meditative about selecting what you’ll wear to face the world in the coming week: honoring those pieces by getting them out of the depths of your closet and placing them somewhere you can see and enjoy them.

It’s a purposeful object that gives a nook a job… and looks good doing it!