Beautiful on the Outside,Decor,Design

My Creative Escape

There are lots of different ways to deal with stress.  Some healthy, some not so healthy.  Some people go on vacations, some run or do yoga.  Others hit the bar or binge eat (I have totally eaten my feelings in the past).  For me: I build, paint and create.

My outlet when I’m sad, mad, stressed, frustrated, etc., is art.  That is just how my mind copes. I just came that way.  It relaxes me and helps me to focus on something that I can control.  I can get lost in my wild imagination as I’m creating and building my own world.  It’s like reading a really good book that you can’t put down because you are so immersed in the world and characters that the author created.  And that’s just it: I’m creating another world that’s out in the open for everyone to see.  Art is a physical, touchable, real expression of how I’m feeling.

When my grandmother was anxious or frustrated, she would put her nervous energy into cleaning… DEEP cleaning.  That was just how she decompressed and dealt with her difficulties.  One time, my mom said to my grandfather, “Why is mom pounding away at the rug outside?”  His response was, “Let her be.  That’s just how your mother works through her frustration.”

So, when you enter my house, you’ll see A LOT of art that I’ve created.  Some of my close friends and family chuckle when the come to visit and they’ll say, ” Wow, Melessa! You’ve got a bunch of new projects up in your house. You must have had a lot of frustration to work through!”  If they only knew.  😉

I know that most creative/design blogs come off as a little too perfect.  Let me be totally honest with you.  My house is NOT perfect. I don’t have a cleaner. I do the best that I can when I can.  There is no show.  While I am a professional designer that is paid to make things look flawless, funky and beautiful, I am human and very flawed.  I have daily struggles and I am my own worst critic.  So, I share my designs and creations with you because I love art and art is meant to be shared.  Please know it’s not because I’m putting on a show, but this is who I am, and it’s how I cope with my feelings.

That said, I wanted to create a funky textured wall with different pieces of trim in my entryway that served two purposes: 1) Distract from the random location of junk on the wall (I hated that the builders of this house felt like they had to place the thermostat in that location and not even line it up with the door bell or light switches) and 2) add fun texture and layers.


It’s funny, because when I was trying to describe to Nate what I envisioned for this wall, he was a little nervous.  He said, “Why not just paint a large painting? Why drill a ton of holes into the wall?”  I could see his point.  Drilling each individual piece of wood into the wall would do some pretty serious damage if we ever decided to take the trim down, so we came up with a plan that would not damage the wall and limit the holes to only 15 anchors in the wall.  Plus, the plan would add more strength and support to the wall.

We put a thin board up so I could hot glue the trim right onto the board without worrying about damaging the wall.  Yes, I said hot glue!  It was that easy!

Then Nate built a frame around the board.  We did that because I wanted it to look like framed art.

After that, I began to start cutting, measuring and glueing the trim up on the wall.  When I create for myself I don’t usually have a plan.  I just jump right in and start.  That’s just how my brain works because I already have a vision of how it will look when it’s finished.  Only when I’m paid to do a project is when I’ll plan everything out, so my client or boss can see how it will look and give them a chance to make changes.  That’s another huge thing for me!  When I’m working on my own projects just for me I get to say when it’s done and I don’t have to present anything to anyone.  I can just get started and finish when I want to.  I LOVE THAT!!!

I found trim from lots of different places.  Some pieces are scraps that were in the garage.  Some were pieces from an old vintage door I bought from an antique show.  Others are reclaimed wood various antique stores.  I also picked up some wood from Home Depot to fill in some of the gaps.

After that, I wanted to paint some of the wood different shades of whites, ivories and soft gray tones.  I also decided to keep a few pieces dark just because I thought that it would pull in the color of the floor and add a touch of modern.


Here is a little fun fact about the red paper roses.  When Nate and I were just married, we were crazy poor.  The paper roses were the very first decor project I made when we were married.  That’s when it all began!

So there it is: creative projects help me work through stress and frustration, calm me down and make me feel better.  What’s your favorite (healthy) escape?




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  • Sonya Payne
    March 10, 2017 at 7:07 am

    I love it…it makes such a statement yet it is very subtle with its soft colors. When I’m stressed I tend to isolate and read a book or work on my cross stitching. It helps me to focus and keep my hands busy.

    • Melessa
      March 10, 2017 at 7:29 am

      I know a lot of women who love to cross stitch and read as way to focus and unwind. I always smile when I hear about ladies getting together to stitch because I know of class in Mpls. where you go to socialize, meet new women and cross stitch. It’s called Stitch & Bitch. I don’t recommend the gossiping part, but it’s a cool/funny concept to pull ladies together. It got my attention! No, I haven’t gone to any classes. It just makes me smile. Thanks Sonya for commenting!

  • Leann
    March 10, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I wish I had that kind of energy to build something like that when I felt like escaping! It’s beautiful! I like to get lost in a good book or watch a good long movie or series to help me unwind. This usually happens after the little ones are in bed!

    • Melessa
      March 10, 2017 at 7:46 am

      I love a great mini series too! I’m a hopeless romantic so I can get into the period movies! I’m a big Masterpiece Theater fan!

  • Elane
    March 10, 2017 at 8:06 am

    I LOVE THE WALL. But you know if I tried that it would look like I had just tried to piece together a bunch of wood. You are amazing!!!

    • Melessa
      March 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      You know what? It’s not as bad as you think. You can keep it very simple and have a basic symmetrical pattern. Remember, I put them up with hot glue. Thanks for your kind comment!

  • Martha
    March 10, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Wow!!! It’s art in the wall!!! For me scrapbooking or have a little me time (go window shopping or wacht TV 😄)

    • Melessa
      March 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      I totally love those things too! I could never get sick of window shopping. 😉

  • Lillian
    March 10, 2017 at 11:15 am

    It’s so cute and creative! Really fun way to add personality to a room!

    • Melessa
      March 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      It was a lot of fun! Again, when I don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone but me and my hubby, it makes it so much more relaxing and enjoyable.

  • janahogan
    March 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    This is one of my favorite projects you have done! I love it. I am actually working on one of my favorite outlets today, organization. I am moving extra food upstairs from the pantry so that everything is in one place: our tiny kitchen where it belongs!

    • Melessa
      March 10, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Yes, yes, yes! Organization! That is such a great feeling! Thank you for your kind comment.

  • Anonymous
    March 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Melessa – I love that wall. I relax by reading when I’m stressed out. So far a couple million books and counting. Pat D.

    • Melessa
      March 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      That’s awesome! Ha! And look how much more educated you are! I love it!

  • Barb
    March 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    The soft colors don’t distract from the lines, shapes and texture. I love it!

    • Melessa
      March 10, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Thank’s! It looks really soft in person too!

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