Mar 4, 2013

Orange Cashmere

Happy Monday All!! We are going to kick off the week here with one of my favorite bloggers Coby of Orange Cashmere(great name). Today Coby is sharing a really great DIY she recently completed. The layout of Coby's apartment is open concept, she has subdivided it so that it is functional and flows seamlessly. Living in New York there is limited space when it comes to the size of a Downtown apartment  it is really important to optimize the space as much as possible. By painting horizontal stripes, she is adding visual interest without having to change the physical layout of the space- The final product tis great, can't wait to see as the space evolves!

Hello! My name is Coby and I write Orange Cashmere.  I recently moved to a new apartment and have attempted a few DIY projects to make the new place feel like home.  When Laura approached me about doing a guest post for Gracefully Searching, I was absolutely thrilled!

My approach to DIY is to take as many shortcuts as possible to achieve a satisfactory result.  There is plenty of information on Pinterest for the A student DIYers.  This post is for the B or C students.  You know where you fall. 

The topic: Painting wall stripes with as few tools and steps as possible

The before: A very drab office:


The Tools: Quality painter's tape, a pen, and a ruler.

The Steps:

1.  Figure out the look you are trying to achieve.  Fat stripes or skinny stripes?  Remember, fat stripes require less measuring and taping, and are therefore the quicker choice.  I obviously chose fat stripes.

2.  Starting from the top, use your ruler to measure down to the top of where you want your first line to be and make a mark with your pen.  Make the first stripe on your wall the existing wall color  (white) so that you don't have to paint up to the ceiling. You should draw marks about every foot or so to ensure that your tape will be relatively straight. 

3.  Place your first line of tape in such a way that it falls just above your marks.  That way you will be painting over your marks.  You should continue to mark and tape this way all the way down the wall. 

(Would not normally paint in boots, but decided to knock out the second wall after walking in the door from brunch.  And it is such an easy project, just not worth the effort to change clothes)

4.  Run your hand firmly over all the tape to make sure there are no gaps-gaps cause paint seepage and result in a bumpy line.

5.  Paint the stripes! I recommend going with a smaller roller brush because you will have more control.

6.  Pull off the tape while the paint is still sort of wet.  Otherwise you risk pulling off some dried paint which can also result in a bumpy line. 

*Note--my bottom stripe ended well above the baseboard.  And I was fine with that because it is not very noticeable, and it allowed me to paint and tape less. 

The end result:

A few notes about Paint Color:
  • Black or dark gray stripes can look circus tenty when painted vertically.
  • Your existing wall color will determine your stripe color.  Since my walls were not a pure white, but more of almond, I had to go with a much darker gray than I preferred to achieve the contrast I wanted.  Light gray would've just made the almond color look dirty.
  • Pick a sheen that matches what you already have for your base coat.  I went with flat because my walls were flat.  Or use the same color with a different sheen for a different effect. 
The takeaway:
If I can achieve straight lines without a level, and after a bloody mary brunch, then so can you!

HHahah, love that last line....A BIG thanks to Coby for such a great post- we are always looking for great tips to minimize these DIY's that great huge impact in a space, so thank you so much for sharing, and check out Orange Cashmere for lots of great DIY's!!

More pics of Coby's Apartment:

Always Stay Graceful,



  1. Wow her apartment is gorgeous! Loving the boldness of the black and white stripes.

  2. O wow! Talk about big impact! This looks great.

  3. I definitely fall in the B or C student category when it comes to DIY-- love her approach!


Thanks so much for all of the lovely comments!
Always Stay Graceful,
L. xoxo