Sugru Cush (For The Win)

June 06, 2011   //  Posted in: DIY, Kitchen   //  By: Emily   //  4 responses

How about a totally un-sponsored shout-out to the amazing Sugru today? It came to the rescue again this weekend, so it rightfully deserves a shout-out of televised proportions. If I was on TV.

This is about a TV though.

And for the record, I used white this time around. I also have some orange, green, black, and blue tucked into my kitchen drawer full of all products I need to keep accessible (you know, the Sugru’s right alongside the masking tape, the business stamp, the razor blades and rubber bands, paper clips, and a lint slash dog fur remover).

White Sugru.

You’ve heard me and Pete sing our little hearts out about this maleable silicone product that has made our projects, hacks, and lives much better. You can read some of those previous projects here and here and here and here. Really, we like the stuff. And really, they’re not paying me to show it to you.

Here’s the issue: the TV we installed on the kitchen wall with an amazon-purchased wall mount is perfect. I can extend it outward, face it towards the kitchen when I’m cooking or towards the dining room when I’m working (yeah, we rarely eat in there, especially now that it’s sum-to-the-mer and we can enjoy the deck almost any night we want).

Kitchen view of the new TV!Whoa, the kitch is lookin’ messy in this shot from a few months ago.

I had just one beef about the TV but it’s more about the bracket we bought: When I’m pushing the wall mount back towards to the wall, the elbow of the bracket bangs against the wall. And I’m tired of having to touchup and patch walls these days. The cord actually fell behind the bracket in this picture without me somehow noticing until now, the moment of publication, but that’s not the norm; the hinge usually grinds right into the drywall.

Bracket wall slam in action.

Sugru to the rescue! I used a single packet and divided the doughy contents into three round piles. Molded to fit the aforementioned elbow pieces that are main offenders, I stuck the Sugru straight to the clean metal right where it would help to cushion the blow of the bracket hitting the wall.

Applied the white Sugru to three places on the wall bracket.

And it works!

Sugru cushions in place!

For real – no one here is being paid to endorse the goodness that is Sugru. Just head over to the website and peruse the other hacks that they feature and update so, so often. It’s a global craze!

Wall Rehab + Bluesy Integration

June 03, 2011   //  Posted in: Entryway   //  By: Emily   //  27 responses

I wasn’t hiding the destroyed entryway from you, really. I just forgot about it.

Back when I moved in, I painted it a nice clean white, installed some quarter round trim, and displayed loads of wooden and brass frames (all spray painted white) with random photos from my personal collection.

Here's how the entryway shelves looked when they were first installed (admittedly, it looks like a few photos had already fallen off, oops).This is no secret: Quarter round super glued to drywall is completely stupid. And the frames had to be double-sided-mounting-taped to the wall too, since the base of the trim-gone-shelf wasn’t wide enough to balance frames on. This was a project that I was satisfied with for all of… 2 weeks. And then I hated it. But I left it for about a year, slowly prying off the frames and emptying off the shelves before I carefully pryed the quarter round off the wall.

As I mentioned, I had super glued them on and that left me with a highly damaged wall. Bummer!

The wall was damaged slowly as I remove the super-glued quarter round.

Oh well, nothing a little light patching can’t fix. I secretly love spackling and would consider earning a living on a construction crew if I could do this every day.

Spackled entryway wall.

After that quick coat, a thorough sand (and re-coat and re-sand for good measure) I was left with a nice smooth wall. That I then proceeded to stare at for 2 months in spackle-happy state that is represented in this next photo. I wasn’t ready to just repaint the wall white again (because I was sure the white I had on hand wasn’t enough to do the whole wall, and likely wasn’t the same shade of white as the other walls in the entryway).

Entryway, unpainted. You can tell in that above photo that I was actually gearing up to paint the wall. And here’s how I decided what paint to use:

  1. I’m cheap. Or thrifty. Or resourceful. Yeah, resourceful. And when I have an extra half gallon of paint sitting on the shelf in the basement, you can be sure I’m going to find a reason to use it.
  2. I’m always trying to cross-pollinate my paint palette throughout the house. Cross-pollinate is the best word I can think of. I like to incorporate the palette throughout to make the transition from room to room feel more seamless. I don’t like theme rooms; it’s weird to walk into a room that doesn’t feel like it belongs with the rest of your home.
  3. The door is purple, and I briefly considered painting the wall purple too, but thought it might look too dark in the entryway given that the opposite wall with coat hooks is painted olive green like the living room wall you see poking into these pictures.

With those in mind, I chose blue. The blue that you saw in yesterday’s post about the guest room slash Cody’s room. There actually isn’t any of this bright,  light blue downstairs yet (short of a few accent decor pieces) and I thought it would look really nice when put in closer proximity to the greenish walls and the purple door.

And it did. From a distance, the entryway radiates light and an ever-so-gentle shade of blue. It’s like a little ice in a room of warm greens and yellows, and I like the freshness of ice.

Entryway painted blue. With the door open it looks pretty too:

Door opened in the new blue entryway.Sidenote: That’s my favorite Amber Perrodin print in that white frame. Her etsy shop has a sweet deal this month: 30% off your purchase with offer code: BlockParty

Appropriately transitioning into print-chat, I’m planning to extend the stairwell gallery into the entryway, starting with these frames:

Frames for the future entryway gallery.The eagle in the dramatic clouds won’t be staying, sorry. The frame was a recent garage sale find, and the print just happened to come with it. In any case, eagles or no eagles, I think the extension of the gallery will do a nice thing for the entryway.

I’ll be getting around to that project sooner or later. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Headboard Fun

June 02, 2011   //  Posted in: Bedrooms, Decor, DIY   //  By: Emily   //  25 responses

I bought a mattress and boxspring for the guest room during the winter, which has since only been used by my Dad, master-in-command of house-and-dog when me and Pete are out of town. He tells me it’s comfortable.

And comfy is good and everything, but I’m glad he hasn’t been putting up much of a fuss about the state of the room overall; for example, since this new mattress is a queen, I bought one single set of queen sheets but don’t have a quilt yet. And while I moved in a nice trunk to act as a bedside table, the guest room also serves as storage space for winter jackets, toilet paper, random dressers that don’t fit anywhere else, and the dog (who uses the floor as his bedroom at night and when I’m not home, no lie). Nice assortment. Not nice looking.

A very ignored guest room. At least there's a bed in there now though.

But I’m still hoping to fix it up, and that is what this post is about.

When Pete + I replaced an old window in his parents house back during the late winter, I kept it. Instead of trashing the very old panes, I saved them, cleaned them up, and brought them home. I considered many different uses for them, and I had a new idea every other week, which is maybe why it’s taken me almost 4 months to do anything with the salvaged glass. Should it be a basic picture frame? Or maybe make some painted glass if I was feeling artsy? Make side tables with glass tops? Paint them a fun color and hang them emptily?

One banged up window pane.

Finally, I decided that maybe it would make for a nice headboard treatment in the barren guest room. The room really needs all the attention it can get, and this seems to be a good starting point.

I’ve also been seeing lots of radical projects (on pinterest) that use paint swatch samples (read: free!) from the home improvement stores. Some people have made amazing wall murals, others have made crafty garland, and I’ve even seen some cool framable art that make for intriguing home decor pieces. OK, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this rainbow bike wheel hack that kicks butt. My latest paint chip scavenge occurred around the middle of last month when I got my hands on a facebook coupon offered by Benjamin Moore (free pint color sample valued at $6.49 according to my local Ace Hardware). So, when I was at the store picking up my freebie color sample, I did find myself leaving with a handful of swatches that I wanted to compare against my own color palette, and voila, this project was essentially born right there on the spot.

Sidenote: I don’t know the general policy about taking these swatches at no cost, all I know is I’ve been hoarding them ever since I became tall enough to reach the display when home-improvement-shopping with mom. Creativity blooms at a young age. OK, glad that’s off my chest, onward with my totally freebie-licious project.

You may or may not know that I’m also a big ol’ fan of herringbone patterns. Let’s be honest – who wouldn’t be. This photo that I took in central park last summer was an inspiration to what you’re about to see unfold.

My name's Emily and I'm crazy for herringbone.

And don’t get all excited; this isn’t rocket-science or for-The-Louvre-type art in any way, just a snip and a chop and a tape into a fun pattern.

Before I got going on my project, I did take some time to refinish the original wooden window frame itself; a little clean up, sanding, spray primed and hand-applied a coat of white paint really helped the overall appearance of the window.

Covered the pane with newspaper and blue painters tape prior to spray priming and painting.

The original plan was to use both panes above the bed, positioned vertically, side-by-side; they’re exactly the same size. When I got to this next part of the headboard process though, I changed my mind a little bit.

I had bought a floating picture frame from IKEA months and months and months ago, but never installed it. Another one of those “waiting for the right spot” excuses… well I finally had one; it was not only an adequate length, but also a nice chunky width and I decided it would be perfect to install right above the pillows on the bed as something the panes could sit on.

As usual, I employed the trusty 1/8″ anchor bolts. (I bought a nice bulk pack of these and am relieved to have them on hand so I can hang heavy things into drywall in 3-minutes flat.)

If I were you, I'd always keep anchor bolts on hand. OK?

I’m serious when I say 3-minutes flat. This shelf went up lickity split, and sure, maybe it was because I had just hung the brackets in the dining room, but I had the drill bit and level handy and ready for action.

A floating IKEA shelf to support the new guest room headboard.The height was decided on based on by the typical height of the pillows and the likely tendency to cram said pillows against the wall; and if there was any chance of Dad whacking his head on it in the middle of the night, I knew I would be hearing about it so I aired on the side of precaution. You’re welcome, Dad. With pillows in place, as you’ll see, it looks perfectly positioned.

But one other thing happened when I decided on this height…

I realized that hanging the two panes vertically side by side would make the whole artsy headboard seem really… tall. Tall, as in, out of proportion with the rest of the room, the windows, the fan, the bed, everything. So instead of proceeding with developing herringbone for two panes, I just stuck with one, and decided to lay it horizontally. The other painted pane will come in handy in another way, I’m sure.

Deciding that even I could make the paint chips form a herringbone pattern framed as a headboard, I proceeded with the samples that I had on hand. Like I already mentioned, I had chosen colors that were similar to my own palette and/or were complementary tones (and I’ll note, this design came easily because the strips were large solid swatches, not consisting of multi-color palettes).

I started by cutting them in half lengthwise before sorting them onto one of the glass panes.

Chopped (free) paint swatches.

The herringbone arrangement in the next photo seemed to work well. The original idea was to leave some transparency between each color but I quickly aborted that plan when I realized I didn’t have a good way of locking them in place (and I didn’t want to clutter the whole project with lots of scotch tape).

A first attempt at making the herringbone pattern in the allowable space.Truth be told, I did this next step blindly to make things interesting. I left all of the color swatches upside down, shuffled them like I used to shuffle the cards when playing Go Fish as a kid, and then started picking and taping them to one another. I didn’t peek until I had the whole thing taped down, but trusted that I’d get an assortment of colors and tried not to be too concerned as to whether or not the pinks were being clustered in a particular corner. Organized chaos. I was also doing this part of the project at night, hence the sad white balance effort.

Taping the paint swatches blindly into place.

To make sure the whole display stayed right in place, I cut and popped a piece of plexiglass in on the backside to keep the paint swatches to keep it flush with the glass pane. (I happened to have the plexi on hand from an old, no-longer-used poster frame that even had some scratches and nicks in it, fortunately you can’t see those since they’re hidden behind the swatches.)

Once it was secured in place, up it went!

Herringbone glass-paned headboard!

Those purple pillows aren’t doing anything for the picture, but you can see how how my Dad isn’t going to accidentally shove the pillow or the back of his head into the shelf, right? Truthfully, I wasn’t happy with the white either. You can’t tell in the photo so much, but the Sherwin-Williams white I was using is clearly not the same as the IKEA white on the floating shelf.

I took the pane down and whipped out one of my Benjamin Moore Color Samples (the $6.49 reduced to total-freebie that I mentioned earlier). One thing I will say: Benjamin Moore claims to use premium paint in their sample, unlike the Sherwin-Williams Color-To-Go products that I had been testing out earlier in the spring. For not much more money, you’ll get a better product with BM… just my observation. I applied some Fresh Olive green (also one of the swatches in the herringbone) to the front edge of the frame to break up the whites a little bit. I think it worked.

Updated headboard art with some fresh-cut azaleas. Alright, well he’d probably manage to knock the fresh-cut azaleas off the shelf with his head, but they look pretty anyways. The glass pane itself has been carefully attached to the wall with heavy duty mounting squares (sticky on both sides) so there isn’t any fear of it toppling down and smashing (on Dad’s face, oi vey).

I had some of this IKEA canvas laying around and wonder if it’s worth trying to incorporate it into the future room design at all:

Glass-paned herringbone headboard with some IKEA canvas too.

A little close-up of the herringbone art.

The next steps for the guest room will involve incorporating more of this bright vibe into the space in accessories and linens. It’ll all come together. Not this week, but eventually.

P.S. You might wonder why I have the bigger more lux bed in the guest room instead of mine? The guest room is slightly bigger and the window placement allow a queen-size to fit in easily. I tried it for an hour in my room, which I like because even though it’s smaller, it has a nice view of the beach. Full-size bed it will remain unless I get wild and start tearing down walls and reshaping my bedroom. Wink. NO, I have no plans of that.