September 28, 2009

1981 Shows You How

So there were more than just pics of snazzy 80s interiors in that book! They had some interesting DIY ideas I wanted to share.

Window shelves for plants - I've been kicking this idea around for a while, and am going to do a simplified version in my apartment! Single shelf, painted wood.

This could be a cool way to cover a problem floor - it's a "rug" made by tiling a thin board, and adding quarter round to the edges - a floating tiled area rug! (click to see the drawing better)

These are hand cut vinyl tiles. Looks like a mind boggling amount of work, but an amazing floor!

For a small space - check out this desk/vanity/bed construction.

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September 25, 2009

Inadvertent Help

Here and there I get an email thanking me or asking more detailed questions about my chair project, which I love getting - I'm so happy other folks are out there saving these chairs!

I wanted to share a email from Annika - "I've wanted to redo an eames knockoff ever since I saw a great before and after on design sponge. I found one on craigslist for 50$, in great condition, and even though the woman got so many more calls, begging for her to sell it to them for more, she stuck with me being the first caller and sold it to me! I just wanted to tell you that I have been working on it for a few weeks, and have found myself going back over and over to your tutorial (found through apartment therapy). Thanks you so much for all your (inadvertent) help! Great instructions and photos. Anyway, thanks for all your help!"

She also sent me a before and after pic - I LOVE that she recovered the chair with something bold and uniquely personal - awesome animal print.

fantastic job!

Update - Annika has put the original leather covers for the Selig chair on ebay! A great shortcut for anyone looking to recover one of these without the headache!

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September 24, 2009

Amped for my new Lamps!

I've had these two thrift store find lamps hidden in my closet for over a year, waiting to find the perfect pair of authentic vintage 60s lampshades. Having a new housemate means making changes, so I broke down and just ordered new shades, and I can't believe I didn't do it sooner!! A really nice change from the atomic style 50s lamps I had before.

Both lamps have a white ceramic base and wood neck, but have unique shapes, making them a semi-matched pair, I love how the matching shades unify them, but it's more interesting to have them be individuals.

I got the shades from Lamps Plus - $29.99 each. These were the cheapest pair of drum shades (with spider fittings) I could find, and the quality is great - nice neutral color, and natural linen texture, plus they sent free harps.

If you have lamps with uno Fittings - I recommend these $19 drum shades from Target - I mistakenly ordered them first, and they looked great, but wouldn't fit the lamps.

(link to lamp fittings information)

PBTeen also has some fun shades on sale, though they can be too cutesy maybe? Restoration Hardware is also having a sale on their silk drum shades, but I wanted more of a rough texture.

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September 22, 2009

1981 New Decorating Book

I have to admit that I LOVE finding these vintage home decorating books, I want to find more, more, more!! Here are some of my favorite rooms from Better Homes & Garden's 1981 new Decorating Book.

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Small Things, Knew Knob

Sometimes it's little projects I love - like the new closure on our medicine cabinet - hello new fresh paint, inside cabinet closer, and a glass knob from Anthropologie. Only took a few hours, the hardest part was waiting for the paint coats to dry and getting the interior latch parts to line up properly.

I've been using Olympia low-voc paint from Lowe's for the bathroom project, and I have to say - it's good paint - nice coverage and minimal smell. Next step is a coat of "Quill" a light shade of grey, hopefully this weekend. Then solving the rug question, and it'll be done!

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September 18, 2009

Random Friday

I'm having guests this weekend, so I haven't had much time to blog whilst cleaning and getting organized, but I wanted to share some random stuff before the weekend.

Aren't these "Love" Stamps fantastic? (Almost as good as the Eames stamps, but not quite)

I'm also very tempted by these 6' jute rugs on overstock - the prices are good, and they look fairly cat proof and I like the modern, but natural look. Maybe for the entry foyer or kitchen, Hmmmm?

Round, Round with Fringe, Hexagon

Run My Errand - Pay trusted folks to run your errands for cheap! Sign up to run errands for people! Currently only in the Boston area, but how interesting - check it out.

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September 14, 2009

Cursed with Calcimine

So our apt is in an old house - turn of the century - 1902 I think? - which can be interesting. One of the not so fantastic features of the apt are the Calcimine coated ceilings!

From Wikipedia: "Whitewash, or calcimine, kalsomine, or calsomine is a very low cost type of paint made from slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and chalk (whiting). "

Basically, it was a cheap way to "paint" the plaster ceilings. Unfortunately, modern paints do not adhere to calcimine. Exacerbated by the lack of a venting fan in my bathroom, the coat of flat paint my landlord put on 3 years ago was peeling off pretty badly.

Over labor day weekend I scraped, primed with Zinsser Bullseye primer, (I learned later they have a specific Calcimine coater called Gardz - oh well!) and rolled two coats with a white semi-gloss. I also used some joint compound to try to fix the poor condition of the bottom half of the walls - painted over plastic tiles. The "grout" lines were easy to see, and the old paint had split in certain areas.

It's far from perfect - I couldn't scrape off all the peeling paint, and was unwilling to spend days going through the entire scrape, sand, scrub process that is recommended. I'm hoping the semi gloss will act as a better moisture barrier than the old flat paint, and I'll touch up as new areas flake. The ceiling is now..."rustic", ha ha ha. The only real solution would be new drywall, and since I don't own the place, this temporary solution will have to do!

I'll post about how this fix holds up over time - hopefully this will be good for a while.

For more info on Calcimine: Cures for Calcimine Ceilings

Next step is to coat the white base walls with color! We chose a soft grey, and I'll post pics when we get it done. Bye Bye horrible red and yellow!

Update - here's the finished ceiling - I call it "rustic"

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Back to the Blog

Whew - a little more of a break that I intended. Change can be difficult! Anyway, my new housemate is in - and I couldn't be happier that D has moved in. The apt is still needing a lot of work, but I'm confident that once we get some key things done, and hopefully get some help from the landlord, we will eventually settle in and be proud of our place.

It was such a strange coincidence that Apartment Therapy posted a recap with my Fall Color contest submission from 2008 last week - it's funny to see the apartment from then, to see what's changed and what hasn't. It also makes me remember how long it took me to get to that point, and that the apt is always an ongoing, imperfect project. I think I can sometimes get wrapped up in reading design blogs and magazines, and put too much pressure myself to create some unrealistic, perfect, pristine space. I realized yesterday that I had spent the last few weekends totally engrossed in the apt and not being social with my friends or enjoying the city! So I've made a list of the things I want to do, and will work on them slowly and reasonably.

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