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:
*Today’s post may contain affiliate links, which generate income to help keep The Gathered Home running and never cost you anything extra!
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!
Up to Date Interiors | Domicile 37 | The Gathered Home – you are here!
Semigloss Design | Jest Cafe |PMQ for Two | The Rath Project
Cassie Bustamante says
that last pic is my fave… you are hilarious!!!!! love how this all looks together and t hose glasses just make it! ha!
Aw, thank you Cassie! I can’t resist a good dress-up op! 😀
Love how it turned out! Glad I’m not the only one who names and dresses my bust. 😉
I started Anne with an E the other night with my daughter. She kept hiding because it made her feel too much. It’s nowhere as good as the other version or book. Anne should be delightful, but she’s just kind of annoying.
Yep, you definitely are not! It’s just too much fun!
I feel the same way about Anne with an E! I will stick to my classic 1985 version 😀
ha! Those glasses are pretty amazing! And I’m glad to see that the taxidermied bugs have found their place in the new house!
Thanks Gretchen! Yes, I’m so glad I was able to pull those bugs out of storage and give them a place on the wall!
Love the gallery wall! Interesting, pretty & fun! Great job!
Thank you so much, Patti! It’s the first gallery wall I’ve hung in a long time and I’m sure it won’t be the last now!
Diane Rath says
If Cleo happened to walk down a New York side walk with those glasses and jewels (if she ever grew legs that is), I may confuse her for Iris herself ; )
Ha! Love it, Diane!
You are too cute!! That gallery wall is amazing, you are SO talented!!
Aw, Laurie, thank you! You are so sweet! I love when I get the chance to be a little goofy 😉
Oh my word. Love the pic of you and Cleo. Great wall gallery too.
Thank you so much, Marty! Cleo and I have a blast together 😉
You and Cleo are adorable! love this idea.
Thank you Mila! Wasn’t it a fun challenge this round? Now I just need to cram some colorful velvet furniture in the space!
You killed this post! Iris would be so proud. I love how you defined her style, it was spot on and I can totally see this set up somewhere in her home.
Thank you so much, Jess! That’s such a lovely compliment!
You and Cleo look fabulous! Love that you drew inspiration from her interiors and fashion style and executed it brilliantly. Those giant bug plaques are so cool and I think Daphne and Cleo could be kindred spirits. 🙂
Aw, thank you Kathy! I agree – Cleo & Daphne would be great pals!
I happen to watch the first episode of Anne with an E last night and loved it! I never read the books , so I can see it with my own fresh eyes. I cried at her heart break of wanting to be wanted. I think this will be an outstanding show for me to watch. I love the ‘feels’. 😉
Oh, that’s great that you’re enjoying it! I think fresh eyes are the key! It’s hard when you already feel like you know how it should look/be! 🙂 But I do think the young actress they cast did a wonderful job!
Love the photo of you with the glasses. She’s such an iconic amazing person. So fun and I love it.
Thank you Julia! Love Iris Apfel!
Girl, why is your house always so perfect?! I must say though, I find the elongated neck on the lady a little disturbing, BUT I love her glasses and the gallery wall. Pinned!
Aw, thank you Ariel! Such a nice compliment! Ha! I totally get what you mean! But I love her anyway 😉