It’s time for another round of Inspired by DIY, the monthly challenged hosted by my lovely friends Jessica from Domicile 37 and Kathy from Up to Date Interiors! Each month this summer, an awesome group of home bloggers bring you DIY and decorating ideas inspired by some of our favorite designers and style icons!
For the merry month of May, we all entered the wonderful world of New York interior and fashion designer Iris Apfel, whose trademark bold colors, gaudy vintage touches, oversized accessories, iconic giant round glasses and vidid red lips have plenty of “scope for the imagination” (as the beloved Anne Shirley would put it.)
(Speaking of our dear Anne… has anyone else started Anne with an E on Netflix and been sorely disappointed? All it has done is make me long for a re-watch of the Megan Follows version I grew up with! You just don’t mess with perfection!)
Master Bedroom Update: Gallery Wall & Reading Nook
Iris Apfel’s interiors are a visual feast. I love the way she starts with a very traditional and historical backdrop, layers in glamorous and ornate antique pieces, and then tops it all off with a dose of humor and whimsy…
Which is exactly what I tried to channel in this window seat reading nook in our master bedroom makeover:
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You see, it all began with an iconic portrait of Iris Apfel wearing enormous round rhinestone-studded glasses.
And a vintage Grecian bust (named Cleo, by the way) who has a fondness for accessories…
Naturally, I decided that Cleo needed a little Iris-inspired makeover, so I hopped on Amazon and found the perfect pair of enormous round glasses to Apfel-ify!
- Oversized round black glasses – this is the pair I ordered on Amazon
- Giant rhinestone trim – I found mine at Hobby Lobby
- Hot glue gun
(Are you ready for this? It’s super fancy and involved… not!)
Hot glue rhinestones around the rim of the glasses in whatever configuration strikes your fancy!
Two lessons learned through experience:
1) Watch your fingertips with the hot glue!
2) If you make any mistakes, the dried glue can be easily popped off the plastic surface of the glasses.
Now it’s time to add another Apfel-signature: a giant beaded necklace! I found this one at a thrift store last week and knew it was just what Cleo needed to finish off her look. It’s kind of hard to understand scale in these photos, but Cleo is life-sized with a slightly-longer-than-average neck, so these beads are enormous! Very Iris.
The Gallery Wall:
Once Cleo’s ensemble was settled, I decided to draw a little more inspiration from Iris’s Manhattan apartment by filling this wall in the bedroom reading nook with art pieces that echoed the old world color palette and gilded details she loves to riff on in her interiors.
It took a few hours and some extra nail holes in the wall, but my years of hoarding vintage art pieces and empty frames finally paid off with this gallery wall nook that I like to call my little ‘salon’. The addition of a few whimsical pieces like the giant bug plaques, the wild lacquered pedestal, and some boldly patterned pillows throws it a little off-balance and keeps it from feeling like you walked into a museum.
Vintage Grecian bust: thrifted & spray painted.
Lacquered Art Deco pedestal (signed ‘Jamestone’): thrifted.
Round Imari embroidered piece: thrifted.
Floral oil painting: thrifted.
Antique French needlepoint of ‘The woman at the well’: thrifted, story here.
Gilded insect taxidermy: DIY, tutorial here.
Greyhound printable: Luke Edward Hall via House & Garden UK (free!)
Vintage pastel/charcoal art by Birdsea: thrifted.
Gilded swag decor: thrifted.
Shelf: thrifted teak letter holder screwed into the wall.
Black ikat pillow cover: IKEA.
Tiger tapestry pillow: thrifted.
Kilim pillow: a gift from Kilim Pillow Store.
Tasseled curtain tieback: Hobby Lobby.
I’m so excited to share the rest of the bedroom reveal with you soon! It’s been a slow process wrapping up the final details, but it finally came together and I’m totally in love with the space!
For now, however, I’ll leave you with a little poll… Who wore it better? Me, or Cleo?
Check out these other Iris Apfel-inspired projects!