All posts for the month May, 2017


“Update your house look with these panel molding ideas; this is your low cost-solution to enhance your decor!”

One easy way to enhance your decor is to add panel molding in your house.

You can get a timeless elegant look by creating frames for walls.

Sometimes the area inside the panels is finished in a different way than the rest of the wall: either is painted with a different color than the rest of the wall, or it might be used eith coordinated wallpaper.

Useful Tips and Tricks

    1. When measuring for panel moldings, keep in mind that spacing between panels, doors and corners should be consistent and balanced.
    1. Find the balance between what looks good and what works best for you, as there are no specific ways on what’s the width or height of your panel moldings.

molding ideas 01

    1. You can adjust the width or height of your panels depending on the place of furniture, paintings, windows, doors or electrical plugs. On the picture above you can see how the width of the panel molding was adjusted to nicely frame the doors.
    1. To estimate how much panel moldings you should buy, calculate the lineal feet for the perimeter of each room and add around 10 percent waste for miter and joint waist; round up to the nearest whole piece of molding.
    1. Paint all primed molding before you attach it to the wall: it will save you lots of time in long run and the mess paint does.
    1. Clean all surfaces free of dirt and loose particles with a clean cloth or sponge. Make sure area is completely dry before installing.
    1. It is important to establish a plan for the layout of the panels. You can choose between vertical or horizontal layout. If you have a feature wall in mind, start planning that one first.
    1. For vertical layout you can choose full height or split panels. On the picture above, two panels are full height, and the middle one is a split panel. Notice the use of the frames corners: they give more detail and definition to the wall. Some people prefer to include a chair rail also, and have panels either upper or lower the chair rails or both.
    1. Horizontal layouts can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical, with panels of the same or different sizes. One of the most used panel molding ideas: picture below shows horizontal panel molding with panels of different heights, all below the chair rail, creating wainscoting.

Steps To Install Panel Molding

Materials and Tools:

level, measuring tape, sandpaper, finishing nails, putty knife, hammer or miter saw, adhesive caulk, caulking gun, safety glasses

    • – Pencil mark the walls with horizontal and vertical pencil lines the height and width you want for the panels. To get a consistent height around the room, use a level to mark all the walls.
    • – Use the miter saw to cut the pieces for each panel. Cut each piece so that the panel will fit together like a picture frame.
    • – Panel corners can be mitered or you can use decorative molding corners.
    • – Apply a line of adhesive caulk along the back and top of each piece of molding to glue them in position on the wall. Secure each piece to the wall using a nail gun. If you don’t have a nail gun, you can use a hammer and 1 3/4-inch finishing nails.
    • – Work in a circle around the room to install each piece of panel molding.
  • – Apply latex caulking to joints, edges and along the edge of each piece of molding to fill any gaps between the wall and the molding. With a damp rag clean away any excess caulk and create a smooth appearance.




decorative wall plates, red and white, vintage lookWhen you say plates, you think food serving…

Think twice!…


Decorative wall plates are a great and inexpensive way to bring a splash of color, and liven up any wall, or empty shelves in any room. Display them and you will get an instant feature wall for your decor. Now it your time to get out that plate collection from your hutch and let it be seen by the world!


Wall plates decor is considered an old custom in many cultures. Some centuries ago, having displayed wall plates was viewed as a sign of social status and wealth.


Where to find them? Build your collection by looking no further than your own cupboards. Look in second hand shops, trift stores or garage sales. You will find beautiful vintage pieces that need just a good polish to look like new!


Decorative Wall Plates – Display them by Room


The beauty of having a decorative wall plates display is flexibility. You can hang them up in any pattern and any room.


Kitchen is one of the places that comes first to mind to display plates. Living

This photo, by now famous, is from San Francisco artist’s Jen Siska house. Such an inspired freeform and colorful collection of plates!

decorative wall plates




Opposite from the freeform collection above, making a symmetrical arrangement of vintage plates on an empty wall, framing the window and above the sink works as well. Colors were drawn from the color accent in the kitchen.

decorative wall plates

Country Living 


Bedroom – Use an arragement of smaller plates, arround three bigger ones. They all can follow the curves of the headboard, emphasizing it. You can choose colors that match the ones from the accent pillows on the bed, for example.




Living Room – Space above the fireplace it’s one of other places to display plates. In the photo below, not only plates were used but decorative tiles and saucers were used. The whole grouping is held together by the color: blue and white and the symmetrical pattern.

decorative wall plates

Martha Stewart


wall plates decorDefine a corner in the entryway or a hallway with some China plates that can match the color of the vase you displayed on an accent table.

Work with the space constraints and arrange plates vertically, one above nother, so the whole group will be at the eye level.



To get a balanced composition keep about the same space from one plate to another, but no more than 4 inches in between.

Tips on Decorating with Wall Plates


Look for decorative plates that match with the decor style you have in mind for that particular room. Link your display to the colors, patterns or shapes present in the room.



To get a balanced and cohesive composition, choose a monochromatic scheme for the plates, and get a quote, with each word of the quote written on each plate.



Display a grouping of three, four, up to ten, eleven plates on the wall, to create a striking focal point in the room.

Try different sizes:put the bigger one(s) in the center, and the smaller ones on the edges.


Display wall plates which don’t have any cracks, major scratches, or discoloration.


Use grouping plates made of the same material: either ceramic, porcelain, bone China,stoneware, or even glassware or stone.Arrange them by the motif painted on the plate: floral theme or landscape or by color: blue and white China or pale yellow stoneware.


Hang your grouping at eye level, similar witht he way you would display art paintings.

How To Fix Wall Plates on the Wall


There are more than one way of fixing decorative wall plates on the wall.Here there are few ideas:


One of the safest way to do it is to use sprung plate hangers. You can buy them at almost any hardware or home decor store.



Picture hooks may be used also. Just pay attention at the weight of the plates.



Some plates are manufactured with a pierced rim, used specially for hanging. You can either thread wire or a fancy ribbon, for an eye-catching display.



Even an adhesive velcro tab will suffice for small wall plates. Make sure the velcro is securely attached to the wall.


A wall mounted wooden plate rack over the sink or dishwasher is another way to show your wall plates. Place plates you use more often on the lower part of the rack, this way making it practical and useful.

wall plates decor

Tips on how to install a glass tile backsplash


A beautiful, well designed kitchen backsplash not only is a beautiful decor accent in your kitchen, increasing the value of your home, but a way to make the wall behind the cooktop and countertop an easy to clean surface.

When it comes to kitchen decor, one easy way to get the kitchen all pulled together is to have a tile backsplash; the design and colors chosen should get an unified look for countertops, cabinets and appliances.

4 Reasons to Install a Glass Tile Backsplash

  • Easier to install by a DIY beginner, as most glass mosaics come in sheets.
  • Add texture and sparkle with the glass shining in the light; good option for a kitchen with dark appliances and/ or dark wood cabinets.
  • Cost effective way to update the kitchen walls – usually glass mosaic tiles cost less then designer tiles.
  • It is environmentally friendly – glass comes from more than 50 % recycled material

How to install glass tile backsplash in 5 easy steps, with no mortar


This is how our backsplash kitchen looked like BEFORE:


We wanted to install our glass tile backsplash with as little as possible mess and “after the job” clean-up. So we opted to use “Simplemat” tile setting mat instead of the regular mortar( it can be found at Home Depot). We also used glass tile sheets.
And this is how we did it:

  • Step 1. Plan the Layout. We measured from the top of counter to the bottom of cabinet and planned the tile layout. See how many sheets you need. If you want to incorporate any accent tiles for a more dramatic look, now it’s the time to plan for that as well. We didn’t want any accent tiles, so we skipped this part.Tip: Determine whether you will need to cut tiles or not, and plan where is the best place to cut them: either at the end of the wall, or the upper row just under the cabinets. Choose the least visible place of the two.
  • Step 2. Measure and Apply “Simplemat” tile setting mat. Using “Simplemat” gave us the flexibility to install at our own pace; so we did our backsplash in the afternoons, few hours at a time. We placed the tile setting mat in position and marked it where it should be cut. After cutting it with an utility knife, we applied it and flatten any air bubbles.
    In the picture below, you can see how the mat looks after it was applied on the wall

    how to install glass tile backsplash

    Tip: Don’t forget to remove all outlet covers and or switch plates before installation.

  • Step 3. Lay the Glass Tile Sheets. Next we removed clear plastic from the top of the setting mat. We cleaned back of the tiles with a damp sponge to make sure they are clean and let them dry. Starting with lower part of the backsplash, we applied the glass tile sheets to the setting mat, and pressed them firmly in place. Use plastic spacers to keep consistent grout lines between tiles as you go. In our case the grout line on the mosaic sheet was 1/8″, so that’s what we used.You can add accent tiles or liner bars where you designed them.Tip: Use a level to keep the vertical and horizontal lines.
  • Step 4. Cut and Polish Tiles. You can cut glass tiles to size either using a manual tile cutter or a tile wet saw. we used a manual one. First, we scored the tile at the width we needed. Then we pulled down the handle and snapped the tile into two.If you have lots of cutting to do, especially around electrical outlets, it’s better to use a wet saw to cut the tiles.Tip: Plan to buy more tiles than actually needed. We did some mistakes when cutting, so it was good we have few extra glass tile sheets.
  • Step 5. Grout the Tile Backsplash. Backsplash should be grouted within 24 hours. To avoid scratching the glass tiles, we grouted with bright white SimpleGrout pre-mixed grout, according to the manufacturer’s instructions We applied the grout with a rubber grout float, at a 45 degrees angle. In about 20 minutes after applying the grout, you started removing the excess material with a damp sponge. To minimize smearing, we used clean water and changed it frequently. As the job dries, a light haze will form. When the grout was dry( in approx. 4-5 hours), we polished the haze off the tiles with cheese cloth. You can also use a soft cotton one.Tip: Clean tools and hands with water before material dries.

These were the 5 easy steps on how to install glass tile backsplash with no mess. And this is how our glass tile backsplash kitchen looked AFTER:


All photos courtesy of “AB Home Interiors”

Today, talented Interior Designer expert and Feng Shui Master Amanda Gates from “AB Home Interiors – A Home and Lifestyle Blog” will be joining us for an inspiring and insightful look at her work and life.
Her decorating approach to a room is focused on “bringing you beautiful interiors, no matter what the budget“.


Words that define her style( but not limited) include elegant, relaxed, easy, fresh, timeless, inviting. Throughout her website and blog she gracefully shares with on-line readers a wealth of knowledge and experience.


Over her distinguished career, Amanda completed projects across the United States and has been recognized as a trusted designer; she was selected by prestigious Nashville Home and Garden magazine as one of the top designers to watch in 2009.


Her design projects have appeared in several publications including Nashville Home and Garden, At Home Tennessee, Greater Nashville House and Home, and The Brentwood Home magazine.


Please have a seat and let’s welcome Amanda!



1. Hi Amanda, thanks for joining us today and welcome to “Art For Your Walls”.

Your designs are beautiful and elegant. When did you know you wanted to become an interior designer and decided that interior design is what you want to do for the rest of your life?

It wasn’t my first choice. I was in Med school, and after working at a prestigious out patient surgical firm I realized I didn’t do well with all the structure and wanted more creative freedom.
I blew off med school for a boy, got married and by sheer luck fell into an interview for a well respected design school in California and the rest is history!

2. Do you remember your first project as an interior designer? How was the experience?

I really don’t remember my first design project. It’s a culmination of two or three projects that I remember most. I never had a mentor and never worked under anyone so my designs have always been truly my own, the good and the bad ones!

3. After graduating with honors from the California College of Design, you relocated to Las Vegas and then, moved to Tennessee where you began your own design firm “AB Home Interiors”. What type of architecture and decorating style are you personally drawn to?

I am Californian to my toes. The south has definitely had an influence on me, however my style and education are deeply rooted in California design. I was born and raised there and it shows in my designs.


4. In 2008 you launched your own design blog “AB Home Interiors” – A Home and Lifestyle Blog”. How did you enjoy the experience of sharing your creativity with the world?

At first it was my corner of the world to rant and rave about things I liked. I treated it more like an online diary of sorts.

Then it gained in popularity and I realized that people were actually reading it which was an odd experience.
Knowing that people were really enjoying it and learning from it was surreal.

But as a blog author and now having it done it for so many years it has really evolved and I love that it puts me in touch with so many across the world. Many of my readers have become dear friends!

5. You also introduced informative classes Design Strategies 101 and live tutorials for DIY-ers.Can you expand on that?

Because the blog was gaining so much attention and popularity we noticed that a lot of readers and avid DIYers were really talented at design but lacked the right tools to really take it to the next level.

Originally the class was a group of six local women who I helped consult on their homes (and many of them lived on the same street!) Word got out that these six women and myself were getting together for a design “pow-Wow” and others wanted in.

We added more women to the group, talking about design while sipping a great merlot….the problem was the group was getting really large and there wasn’t enough of “me” to go around….and thus the design class was born.
All of the women in the group had the same concerns and issues when decorating their homes, as my blog readers. It was an aha moment. So my team and I developed a class that focuses on the four major hiccups that every homeowner faces when designing or building their home.


6. What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Working with the clients and seeing them get a space that elevates them in every way possible…beyond anything they can imagine and seeing the joy that it is THEIR space to enjoy!

7. What are your favourite interior design shops and inspiration sources?

It really depends on the client and budget. One of my favorite places to shop is Atlanta Georgia. They have incredible vintage shops and I love repurposing furniture from the 60’s and 70’s.

8. Can you share some simple design tips for readers to implement in their own homes?

Oh there are so many. The best place to start would really be my blog. There is years worth of information on how to start a project down to picking the perfect accessory. But if it had to be one thing it would be paint. It can completely change a space and transform your mood in an instant!


9. How do you manage to be so creative and what is it that inspires you to create?

As a business owner being creative can be a challenge. It would be lovely if I were able to “create” 8 hours a day, but it is also a business.
Peoples livelihoods are at stake so there is a responsibility to owning a design business. Creativity comes naturally to me, however it does not have an “on or off” switch. When inspiration hits I have to run with it while it’s hot.

I think a lot of people think it is something that we can instantly tap into on a moments notice, and while I can roll things off my head pretty quickly, design is all about careful consideration, immersion and time. I like to call it the marination process. Initially I have good ideas, but as I sit on the project longer, and allow my creativity to take flight the inspiration turns into design magic!

10. For our last question, please tell us about any exciting projects you have on the horizon that you’d like us to know about?

I am currently working on a 50’s ranch house that is being completely remodeled down to the studs. Everything is being remodeled with a cool vintage vibe and modern amenities. The clients are great to work with, super cool and the project reflects it.

“Everyone needs to live a glamourous lifestyle. A true lifestyle is a home that surrounds you with things of meaning, and effortless luxuries. Luxury is not about money, it is about the simple pleasures in life that influence your mood. A good night’s sleep on sumptuous linens, a wonderful cup of coffee in your favorite chair, or fresh flowers on your vintage nightstand. When the things that surround you bring you ultimate joy, that is living graciously and that is a lifestyle!”
~Amanda Gates~

We want to thank Amanda Gates again for taking the time out to speak with us at Art For Your Walls!
I’m sure her website and blog will inspire you towards beautiful interior decors, so don’t forget to stop by and find out what is inspiring her up today! If you’re far away from Nashville, consider her Virtual Design Services and get some expert design assistance to your design questions!

Empty Frames Wall Decor Part II

Empty Frames Wall Decor Part II: Arranging and Displaying


First I gathered my frames and then refinished them in white to unify the future assembly. If you missed this part, you can catch it here!


Now, the big decision: arranging them!


I had enough space in my living room, on the floor, to do a mock arrangement. That took me the most of the time. Because it won’t be just me going by these frames several times a day, I asked my husband and son for their opinions too :).
After lots of changes, we all came up with this final look( still on the floor):


I didn’t want any holes in the wall, so I bought 3M Command Small and Medium Picture Hanging Strips Value Pack at Home Depot and attach to all my ready to hang frames.


All said and done, I did a photo of the”approved” frame arrangement with my camera and used this photo to ballpark the position of the frames on the wall!


This is how it came out:


On the thinner frames you can see the command strips, but I believe it’s nothing you can do to hide them!

And these are another two pics from each end of the hallway( my hallway is long, so there is no way I can do a front photo of all frames):


Well, what do you think?

Lessons learned
– don’t skip the mock up arrangement of the frames( it really worth the time!!)
– paint the inside of the frames the same color as the front to have a finished look
– the horizontal center line of the wall frame gallery should be at the eye level( same as you would hang paintings on the wall)