Posts Tagged ‘home blogs’

The Brick House Pipe Shelving

Photo from The Brick House

I love an industrial look. You see many of my posts featuring that antique warehouse “raw” feel. So I was delighted when I cam across 2 tutorials for pipe shelving. One is on The Brick House. This shelving unit totally transformed the space. I would love to put one of these up in the studio. The other isn’t as much of a tutorial, but it features lots of nice motivating pictures. It’s on Apartment Therapy.

It looks like making your own pipe shelving isn’t so difficult according to these two DIY posts. For under $200 you can really change a space and add a bit of an open and industrial feel.

I also like the thought of using a pipe shelving unit like this as a shelving unit room divider. It could be mounted from floor to ceiling.

I do worry a little about installing one of these on our lath and plaster walls. I’m sure that installing any shelving to our walls will mess it up. It’s one of those situations. I hope that you’ll see a tutorial of our version of pipe shelving in the future…



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Cleaning antique hardware

One of 8 sets of door hardware I cleaned. About 80 years old.

Restoring the hardware in your home is typically not difficult, and not something so time-consuming or expensive that you shouldn’t learn how to do it for yourself.  Now that our renovation is mostly complete, I look back at our hardware restoration dollars spent as having the highest return on investment of any task we took on.  The value of the hardware in our home makes me want to part out my house and Ebay it like an old car.  I stripped multiple coats of paint off of all of the copper, brass, and chrome hardware in the house and most of it came out perfect.


1.  The actual condition of your hardware is unknown.  There might be a good reason it was painted.

2.  Plated metals are really hard to work with.  Chrome plating much older than 40 years is almost definitely toast.  Don’t expect much good to come out of these procedures if used on chrome hardware.  There is still hope for your chrome hardware, but that’s a different procedure than this article will address.

3.  Some of the chemicals used here are corrosive and produce toxic fumes.  Wear goggles, chemical resistant gloves old clothes, and a canvas or rubber apron.

4.  Let the chemicals do the work! Don’t go grinding and scratching furiously on your hardware or you’ll destroy it.  Then you’ll end up with hardware that will look a lot like it could have been very nice.

Your shopping list:

1.  Chemical Resistant Gloves: I got mine at Wal-Mart in the “janitorial” section.  They’re cheap, if you have much to do, buy two pairs.

2.  Goggles: get the full coverage style you remember from science class.  Probably overkill, but blind is forever.

3. Canvas Apron: a good cheap way to put another layer of protection between your skin and the stripper.

4. Paintbrush: gel stripper works best if painted on with a brush.  Buy a new one so you can be sure it’s clean.  Tag this brush so you don’t accidentally ruin a bucket of paint with it.

5.  Klean-Strip KS-3: a good gel-based stripper. Gel is safer because it clings to surfaces and is less likely to splatter.  I read a lot of people recommending citrus based stripper products for environmental reasons, but I haven’t tried it.

6.  WD-40:  You probably have some around already.

7.# 0000 Steel Wool: Don’t step up in grit and think that your work will get done faster. This is for polishing and cleaning, not sanding/abrading.

8.  Wire Brush: Get one that’s just soft enough to brush against your skin. More bristles will move more gunk and scratch less.

9.  Fine tools: toothbrush, razor blade for getting into tiny spaces where the stripper has a hard time penetrating.

10. White T-shirt Rags: just go ahead and buy a box of jersey rags because you’ll burn through tons of them.  The white color is so you can clearly tell what is getting removed, and so that no dyes or screen printing dissolves while you’re working.

11.  Metal or Glass Tray or Pan and a Soupcan: thrift store cookware will be fine here, or grab a cheap metal paint roller tray.

This is all commonly available, and all adds up to a little under $100.  I told you this was cheap! (more…)

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House and Home birdy bedroom

I’m aware that it’s popular and it will be cliché one day, but I can’t help it. I love “bird” imagery. I love nature inspired prints and home decor. It would make sense that I would like the whimsy touch of songbirds in decorating. Here are 2 bedrooms that I’ve stumbled upon. The designers of these bedrooms love birds just as much as I do.

This first bedroom was in Canadian House and Home. It’s cute, thanks to the birds and birdcage wallpaper. I love the carefree print. I have really been craving prints lately and that is very unexpected for me. Everything in the room is “cute”. I like the pieces but together I feel they look a bit contrived. Maybe they don’t look so forced “antique” in person. Pictures are difficult like that. All of the neutral colors really let the wallpaper take center stage here. It’s a charming room.

The other room was featured on Room Envy. This room is much more colorful, but it still has the same vibe. Both rooms have beautifully printed wallpaper, white linens, and a lovely iron bed. This is a bit more “lively” version of the first bedroom shown here. I love the accents of teal. Teal is one of those colors that I

bird bedroom featured on Room Envy

have liked for such a long time. I love the mix of prints and the crisp white linens. I love the wallpaper print and would love to have that print on linens or curtains. Adorable.

Bird wallpaper in cute prints is expensive. Often retailing for about $100 a roll, so many to choose from if you type search “bird”, here. I found a nice bird print with lots of teal for $27.99 a roll here. I’ve never dealt with these companies.  I just know, that I like these prints. I’ve also learned that it pays to shop around and to “give in”. Sometimes you must have vague wants such as “blue bird wallpaper” when you’re remodeling on a budget.

Off subject…I made a plum frangipane tart yesterday and it turned out delicious! I’m really taking this cooking thing up a notch. And I purchased a rolling-pin for $5? I’ve complained for 5 years over something that is $5? Why do I not buy the kitchen items that I need? I’ve decided that if I need it then I will buy it. Having a retro kitchen has motivated me to have “retro” kitchen items such as sifters, rolling-pins, pie weights. You know those things that grandma had around but most young moderns couldn’t identify out of a line up?


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Powder blue, robin’s egg blue, whatever you choose to call it, is a beautiful color for any room. People love it. It’s light and airy. It fits so many different design styles. It is one of those colors that I have liked for decor my entire life. It seems to always change. It’s a classy color. It goes with mid-century modern walnut furniture to frou-frou Marie Antoinette styles. Here are 2 robin’s egg blue guest bedrooms that I swoon over.

Guest bedroom found at Design * Sponge

The first one is from Design Sponge. I came across this picture a long time ago. This is the direction I wanted my house to go. I still love it. It is very dreamy. There is nothing I would change about this room. That’s rare for me. They even made me want to go to Ikea and purchase that pendant lamp (again, had it in my 1st apartment)* But, I think this lamp is the real deal, I’d settle for the Ikea. I love all of the elements here from the modern lighting  to the farmhouse prints. It’s all looks amazing against those powder blue walls. The white trim pops, the dark frames pop, and the natural wood tone of the beds is delicious. The light blue paint changes the feel of this otherwise ho-hum country styled room. (Well, that and the lighting). I love the mixing going on in this room. This room makes me want to completely re-do our bedroom.

The other room I found on Martha Stewart’s website. It is another guest bedroom painted in a light as clouds light blue. This entire room is much “fluffier” than the other. I love the white accents. It’s all so dreamy. Of course the room appears light and airy because of the awesome natural lighting. The windows are stunning, especially when draped in barely there white curtains letting the light in. I would change the textiles to something younger and funkier. I don’t want it to look too traditional. Oh, and don’t you love those hydrangeas in that robin’s egg blue porcelain vase? I need to get one of those. I love hydrangeas.

We didn’t get much done around the house this long weekend (well, we did paint the bathroom and get the studio mostly in order, we did work). We are enamored by seasonal produce and spent most of the time at various markets.

Martha Stewart Living powder blue guest bedroom

This took me to Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table where I didn’t see anything I needed. (I’m waiting for my food processor in the mail, so stoked!) We went to a  few antique shops and didn’t see anything worth buying. We had lots of great food, that’s why I love Seattle! I think all we needed was time off and a little sunshine. Hope everyone had a great weekend and a 4th of July! I’m now planning for Bastille Day…


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I must apologize for totally neglecting our home blog. As you can imagine, we’ve been really busy with life outside of renovation. We both work full-time. David got a new job and a promotion! His nerd skills worked in his favor earning him the title of manager of IT. I’ve been working and going through the grad school application process. Tons of other things have happened these past few months. Including a computer issue that left me without my home inspiration folder and a few of our before and after pictures 😦 This last thing got me down. But, hey, maybe I needed new inspiration. So, I’m pulling up my boot straps by admitting that I’m a slacker. I’m on the hunt for new inspiration. We have done so much to the house that I haven’t share. I have so much to show you and I’m manic with design ideas. This blog will be updated 5 times a week. (Thanks, to my new lady-of-leisure schedule. Now I remember why I don’t work in private sector and instead in the schools: summer!)

And you have to forgive me. (More apologies!) Since I have so much more time on my hands, I’m getting a bit more Martha Stewart-ish. And I’m currently obsessed with creating new and exotic fro-yo flavors. My newest dream, forget my current career, drive around and sell exotic fro-yos and custards from a vintage ice cream truck in Portland. I’ll have to share my creations with you. Forget cupcakes. Designer fro-yo is what all the cool kids are doing.

And I’m sure I’ll be doing so much to the house this summer. We still have much to do. And I’ve got to raise a well-adjusted frug. He needs constant enrichment. Does snacking on paint chips count as enrichment? Oh, and we have a garden! Our first one ever. I’m loving it.

Stay tuned…


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Maire Claire Maison moody black bathroom

Marie Claire Maison moody black bathroom

I love black and really dark rooms: squid ink, aubergine, merlot, soot; however, I think these rooms are only photogenic. I don’t know how they would feel in real life. Every time I see one in a magazine or decorating blog, I fall for them. They are dramatic, rich, deep, moody. In middle school I had a friend who’s parents let her paint her bathroom a deep steel shade. It looked like crap. They didn’t use primer and it just looked uneven and felt very claustrophobic. I imagine that dark shades do take much work to appear even and true to color. You can’t be lazy while applying these pigments. Since I am in renovation mode and totally overwhelmed, I have decided to admire dark rooms from a distance.

I can’t deny that I love this Marie Claire Maison black bathroom. It is so dramatic, moody, and elegant. It has a slight purple tinge. Black bathrooms are scandalous. We are so used to seeing them stark white or light and airy sky blue. There is something very rebellious about a black/dark bathroom. So, I love it. I love to look through books of the homes of Old Hollywood stars. Many had these luxe OTT black marble bathrooms. I will never forget the elegance and drama of Valentino’s black marble bathroom. Of course the pictures were black and white, extra dramatic. But we all know that black marble looks good pretty much all the time. However, the more I look at this bathroom with its pop of harvest gold, milk chocolate clawfoot, and jade green floors, I get more of a 70’s drug lord vibe.

It's very Scarface in design.

It's very Scarface in design.

Umm, I’m thinking Scarface in his office surrounded by blow. Don’t get me wrong. I love Hollywood’s perspective of drug lords, especially their girlfriends with their Halston dresses and head scarves, I love the style that Hollywood gives the “gangster”. It’s a bit Studio 54 and  a dash of Dictator Style. When I watched Pacino in Scarface I was more smitten by the fashions and tasteless but expensive Rococo like decor than the story or message. I wanted a bit of Scarface design in my home. There is nothing wrong with self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and tasteless design in the home. Maybe I do want a black room after all? Actually, there has been a change of plans and the bathroom is going all out moody, dark deco, but I’ll share that a different day.


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Southern Living kitchen

Country Living kitchen

I plan on painting our kitchen a mint. It’s going to be kitschy and retro. This is today’s project: paint the kitchen. The groovy wallpaper has been removed, the faux fur has been pulled off the cabinets, everything has been scrubbed. We are ready to start painting.

While poking around online (when I had the time to do that) I found this kitschy turquoise/teal kitchen in Country Living magazine. It’s a bit prop-ish for a kitchen but it is adorable. I love the pairing of teal and red. It’s a sunny and a happy hausfrau kitchen. It means business with a touch of love. It’s a nice eat-in kitchen. I love the repro appliances. Those are drool worthy. And the repro linens used as curtains is cute. I think I saw these exact same ones at Anthropologie one time. I am always looking for a function for vintage linens. Anyways, this is a cute kitchen and pretty versatile really. It is made 50’s by the use of accessories. Take those out and you’ll have a very different looking kitchen.

This other kitchen is a real kitchen from www.trickmybrick.blogspot.com. This is an awesome blog about  the renovation of an otherwise plain mid-century home. (David and I always thought we would be fixing up a ranch home, but we’re in the Pacific Northwest now and there are many more bungalows.) Anyways, I adore this blog. I love their clean, modern style. Oh, and I am a sucker for “before and after” shots. (Heck, I was a makeup artist). This is the “after” of their kitchen. It is such a pretty shade of teal. I have always said it and this just proves it, a sputnik chandelier will always make a room look like a million bucks. This kitchen is the perfect example. It totally jazzes up the place. (Like I needed another reason to lust for one). Also, I love the cabinet hardware. It’s simple and fitting. This is what we are looking for. Visit their blog for many more pics. You’ll love it.

Trick My Brick kitchen, after.

Trick My Brick kitchen, after.

These are two very cute “retro” kitchens. Teal is a great color because it is vintage but very clean, airy, welcoming. It’s the perfect color for a “working” home. Plus, it looks amazing with white. I see a teal room and just think “happy family”. So, I hope I like the results of the hardwork that we will be doing today.


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