Painted "Wallpaper".

In 2010 Justin and I were nomads. I've mentioned it before, but we spent the year traveling around the U.S. and took a long vacation to Europe. We  loved every minute of traveling. The culture, the adventures, the food...all incredible. We learned a lot that year about who we are as a couple and how we want to live our lives. One of the biggest lessons we learned is that we don't need so much stuff. That's right, stuff.

When you pack what you carry in a Honda Accord, you learn really quickly what's necessary and what's not. If it wasn't crucial, it didn't go. I've never been much for clutter, but moving every few months amplified that to the max. Since we've moved back, here are a couple rules I try to live by...

Anti-Clutter Rules

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{ 1 } If it doesn't have sentimental value and you don't love it, it needs to go.

{ 2 } Don't have more than 3 knick knacks on a given piece of furniture. For example, on a side table you could have a lamp, a picture frame, and a little memento from a trip you've taken. Any more than that and can't appreciate the actual furniture because it's covered with too much stuff. If you have a huge piece of furniture (like a hutch) that needs more than 3 items to look complete, try to keep all the items in a similar color palate. It'll keep the piece from looking too busy.

{ 3 } Negative space is a good thing. Don't feel like you have to cover every inch of a wall with picture frames/art/furniture. Most of the time, less is more.

{ 4 } Find creative ways to use paint and fabric to bring color and texture to your space. Keep reading to see a great example of this!

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When we moved into our apartment earlier this year, I was anxious to bring a lot of our personality to the space without it feeling too cluttered or costing a fortune to decorate. I wanted it to feel cozy, clean and inviting so I decided to make one wall in our living room a feature wall and do something really special there. As for the rest of the walls, I'd leave them neutral and let the fabrics and furniture add the color and texture.

For this special wall, I took inspiration from an Atlanta artist who's blog I follow and decided to do a faux wallpaper treatment like she did in { this } post. It has the look of expensive wallpaper for a fraction of the cost! Here's how I did it...

Step 1: Tape paint samples to the wall. Colors look completely different at different times of the day so live with them for a couple days to see if you really are happy with that particular color. Pick a main wall color in a matte finish and a darker accent color in a high gloss finish.

Here 's the blank wall in all of it's glory.

Step 2: Tape off the wall. I like to run a cloth over the tape once it's on the wall to really make sure it's stuck on well.

Step 3: Get a handsome man to help paint the wall the lighter matte color.

(Lovely job Mr. Smith.)

Step 4: Pick a pattern as your inspiration. I chose our rug and then drew out a similar design for the wall. If you're not very artistic, simply skip this step and use a stencil.

Step 5: Tape your inspiration pattern drawing to the wall where you can easily reference it. If you're using a stencil, pick where you want to start and tape it there.

Step 6: Start painting! I free-handed the design on the wall with a paint brush dipped in paint and then went back and filled in the design with the darker high gloss color. If you want to use a stencil, you can use a colored pencil in a similar shade to the paint color to draw the design on the wall. Then you can fill it in with paint. I would NOT use a regular pencil to draw the design. It will smudge and won't be easily covered by the paint like a colored pencil will. (P.S. The weird shadows on the wall in the above pic are from our ceiling fan light that we don't use anymore because of that very reason. Lame.)

The finished product (sans weird light)! I love how cozy it makes our living room.

In person, you can really see the contrast between the glossy design and the matte wall behind.

So much bang for such little buck! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or want help doing something similar in your own home. I'm here to help!