Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5 Things That You Need To Get Rid Of

I'm feeling the Spring Cleaning vibe lately. And, for me, Spring Cleaning generally constitues of getting rid of stuff to make some more space. Here are some suggestions of how we can all lighten the domestic load. As soon as you're done reading these things, log off your computer, and get rid of them! Trust me, you'll shed at least 50 pounds off your home!
1. Purge your closet of any clothes that don't fit you. (no excuses)

2. Donate a small appliance that you haven't used in over a year.

3. Your living room is not a doctor's office- recycle your old magazines.

4. Convert old movies onto DVDs and then get rid of your VHS collection.

5. Objects that you don't like- even if they were gifted to you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

DIY Pendant Light On The Cheap!

I've been eyeballing some of these web-like pendants from Design Within Reach lately. But they can run up $650 just for a small one! Ack! Here's a simple DIY on how you can acheive the exact same result for under $20.

-Yarn (any color of your choice!) You'll probably need a few balls of it to get going.
-A balloon.
-Fabric Stiffener
-Some plastic sheeting to lay down, so you don't make a mess!
-HEMMA Light Cord Set
-Fishing Wire

1. Blow up the balloon to approx 85% of its capacity. Tie the balloon shut with the yarn, using a simple slip knot.

2. Drench the yarn in the fabric stiffener. Make sure that it is very saturated! Begin to wrap the yarn around the balloon in random circular patterns.

3. Keep going until you've covered the balloon to an amount that pleases you.

4. Untie the end of the balloon, and blow just a bit more air in (as it dries, the balloon can have a tendency to sag- blowing more air in will lessen the sag).

5. Hang the balloon to dry for 24 hours. And pop the balloon.

6. Insert the light into the pendant, and keep the light centered by wrapping some fishing wire to the light cord, where the pendant and cord meet.

7. Hang and enjoy!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What Would You Change About Your Home?

The home- such a treasured place. It's where we recharge after a long day. It's where memories are made and cherished. But, I think we'd all agree, that even when our homes are at their most presentable, they all could use some improvements.

If you could reno any part of your home (and money wasn't an issue), what would you update? And why?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Great Bathroom Adventure Pt. 2

As recently chronicled here, our bathroom has recently undergone a bit of a facelift after we had a bit of a color disaster occur. The paint has settled, and is looking wonderful- especially the blue ceiling! The hooks that were installed are keeping clutter done to a minimum, and we purchased the final component for the room the other day at IKEA- a third and final picture frame. A year or so ago, when the topic of buying a condo came up, our intention was to buy a unit that also had an ensuite- which I was hoping to paint a dusky lavender with gray and silver accents. At which time, one of us (I think it was me) thought it would be humorous to have two framed caricatures of us on the toilet- in a tasteful way. And figured that thesevdrawings would generally only be seen by us. On a trip to Target, we found 2 cheap frames, snapped them up, and I drew the dream into reality. As you may know, we did not end up with an ensuite- just one bathroom for the 3 of us. Which meant that a third caricature for Hazel was a necessity! After some woe with finding a picture frame for her image, everything finally fell into place. I had this idea of having each of our caricatures over our corresponding towel hooks- as a way of personalizing the space. I'm really thrilled with how they turned out:




There were a few more additions planned for the update, but some things fell through, and will be explained all in good time. So, stay tuned for part 3 of this epic journey!

Trend Alert: Polka Dots!

I'm seeing spots! Polka Dots to be exacted, and they seem to be following my every turn. I'm not sure why, but I have this issue with round objects- they bother me. I prefer all my lines to be clean and straight, and round things just throw everything off-balance. Nevertheless, a trend is a trend, and there's not much you can do to stop it- just go for the ride! And so, enjoy a little bit of polka-dotted bliss!:

KLIPPAN Love Seat:
Red Dot Teapot:

Circa Linen:

Polka Dot Glasses:

Multidot Serving Set:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Color of the Week: Egg Yolk

This Color of the Week is a stretch for me because (1) it's yellow- my sworn enemy and (2) it's not a Benjamin Moore Color. Yes, it's true, I'm dancing with the devil herself- Martha Stewart's Paint Collection. I'll admit- she does have a lot of interesting colors, but very few actually floor me. And the few times I have worked with her paint, I've noticed that the colors don't always match the swatches very well. For example, a few months ago, I picked this nice blue/gray to paint the lunchroom at work... and it came out this depressing jail-house tone. It was pretty distressing.

Egg Yolk (MSL 8176)

Anyway, back to yellow. Yes, yellow. I really really want to not like it. But I am a sucker for colors that are true reflections of their name. Can't you just picture a sunburst egg yolk sizzling on a frying pan?- it's beautiful. Sometimes, I daydream about a yellow kitchen, or maybe a contrasting bright yellow and white throw pillow. Caution- use a color like this in highly contained doses. A little bit goes a loooong way. But still keep in mind Steve's rule of 3: An accent color must be incorporated into a room at least 3 times for it to flow.

MSL's Egg Yolk used sparingly on
french doors for entryway impact!

Modern India Living Room to Go

In 2008, a movie called Slumdog Millionaire graced theatres, and since then, Indian subculture and style has invaded the rest of the world. And why not- the colors are bold, the textures are intricate, and the designs carry a flavor and scent of their own. Once again, I'm probably in over my head... (but what else is new?). Here's my interpretation of a living room with a modern India twist. The colors are necessarily bold: hot pink's presence becomes a neutral backdrop for other colors to sway across, while orange takes flight amongst teals. 

Wall Color:

Crushed Berries 2076-30

Blythe Chair, Ruby Ikat:

Saturated Zig Zags Rug:

India footstool:

Random Light:

Nixon End Table:

Shahadra Wheel Trunk:

Preeti Cabinet:

Moroccan Pouf:

Green Printed Flower Pillow:

Green Ombre Paisley:

Lakarri Curtains:

Casablanca Lanterns:

Pierced Metal Tealight Centerpiece:

Pagoda Lamp:

Darjeeling Tea Pot:

Cut-out incense Burner:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Painting Projects You Can Complete In An Afternoon

The reason why we never get anything done is common- a lack of time! There's never enough time in the day to get the necessary chores done, so how can one possibly find the time to do a project or two around the house? Well, not all projects will occupy your entire weekend, and indulging in a mini project or two can be extremely therapeutic. I think we all can prioritize to find an hour or two. And if you do find some time, here are some quick and easy painting projects that will make a big difference!

1) Update your a piece of furniture with some paint! You don't necessarily have to re-upholster an entire chair, but try painting the legs only. Use a high gloss in a bold color to add sudden impact, and then inject the color again by adding a matching throw pillow.

2) Paint a runner on your staircase. This one may sound a bit timely, but really, once the area is taped off, you can cruise along with your brush and roller to be done in no time! Again, choose an unexpected color, and frame it with a complimentary color to create an instant focal point. Or choose a color palette that will tie in the upstairs to the main floor for seamless transitions.

3) Collect a diverse group of picture frames and spray paint them to create a uniform arrangement. And then hang the frames with or without art.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Painting Tips!

We don't really have any set rules at our house... but if we did, I'm pretty sure one of them would be:

At no such time should Steve ever paint a wall surface.

I have almost 4 years of working in the paint industry- have helped hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people troubleshoot their painting projects- and I cannot paint a wall and make it look good! I have the know-how, but just can't execute. Thankfully my wife knows how to wield a roller and brush!

Nevertheless, over the past few years, here are some of my tried and true helpful hints that I have offered to people on their painting projects!:

-Never brush or cut in on an exhaled breath. To acheive true steadiness of hand, brush while inhaling or hold your breath.

-Working with quart size paint cans can be very messy. Eliminate the sloppiness by wrapping an elastic band vertically around the paint can. When you go to dip the brush, run the bristols along the rubber band to catch any excess paint. This will result in a cleaner job and proper storage for the paint can.

-Buying tray liners is a big waste of money and such an inconvenience. Stop it! Instead, grab a grocery store plastic bag, wrap it around the painting tray, push it flat, and start painting. This trick can also be done with a sheet of aluminum foil.

-How much paint should you buy? Calculate the wall area to be painted and divide that number by 350. That's how many gallons you'll need. If you're doing two coats- double that number.

-Once the project is complete, store the paint properly by ensuring the lip of the can is free of paint. Place a sheet of Plastic Wrap over the can before hammering the lid on. The plastic wrap will keep an even tighter seal on the paint, allowing it to last for a long time.

Pesto's Bedroom To Go

Forgive me father for I have sinned.... I went back to my gray ways! Ahh! But I did it with secret motive: to create a bedroom that is seemingly bland in color with a single focal point- the pesto colored throw on the bed. It screams with boldness and silky texture! The appeal of combining very neutral furniture with a single accent color is this: that accent piece can be switched out effortlessly and often to instantly change the dynamics of the room. I know, I technically cheated on my month of boycotting gray- but I like to think that I did so for the greater good :-)

Wall Color:

Frostine AF-5

Modu-licious Bed:

Labyrinth Dove Duet Set:

Mongolian Lamb Pillow:

Bukhara Pillow:

Mohair Throw in Pesto:


Small Ghost Buster:

Milk Bottle Lamp:

Channel Rug:

Lean Mirror:

Chicago 3 Box:

Buttercup Rocker:

IKEA Stockholm Floor Lamp: