February 26, 2010

DIY Inspiration - Future Stair Project?

This is what our staircase looked like when we bought the house.  Since then we've pulled up the carpet runner and painted the walls (we've painted ALL the walls seen here - no more orange sherbet or mint green!).  Now we've got these beautiful wood treads, but UGLY risers full of staple holes and cracked wood.  I think the cheap luan they used to cover the risers would need to be replaced, and that just seems like way too much work, so I started wondering if wallpaper might conceal some of these flaws.  Not that wallpapering would be an easy task, but I do think it would look pretty frickin' cool! 

Shawna's stairs, from Door Sixteen, using Ferm Living Bindweed wallpaper

from Sugar City Journal, using a fabric pattern printed on regular paper, applied with Mod Podge

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February 25, 2010

The simple things

I bought a can of spray paint for $ 3.44 at Lowes (Valspar metallic aluminum) and it's changed my life. Seriously, it's really that easy? Yes! This light switch cover was hideous.  I wish I had a good before photo, but you'll just have to trust me.  It was a terrible antique brass finish. I almost threw it out, and then I remembered the spray paint. 3 coats with drying time in between, and I was done. I'm not sure how long the finish will last, but who cares - at least the cover didn't end up in the trash!  Plus I can always buy another can of spray paint... 

Note the screws.  Aside from the fact that they're the wrong color (need to replace them), the slots line up vertically.  A little side note about me.... in the rest of our house all of the screw heads are horizontal.  Yes, I'm quirky like that.   The reason I obsess about this is because I learned in my tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey house that he insisted on the same thing with the screw heads, another way to emphasize the horizontal lines of nature.  This is my tribute to him.  However, in this instance, the horizontal lines just didn't work.  That being said, you'd never find a switch cover like this in one of his homes anyway.

Oh, and I decided to spray paint the plastic ivory doorbell cover too, because I could.
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February 24, 2010

Mom & Dad's Kitchen Facelift

It was about 2 years ago that we remodeled my parents' kitchen.  We did it all in 1 week!  So here's what it looked like before:

We're talking original 1977 kitchen, complete with mustard yellow fixtures (other appliances used to match the sink, but had already been replaced.)

Now this is what it looked like when we were done:

In one week's time, with a ton of help from others (mom, dad, boyfriend, sister, brother-in-law, cousins, and a very talented uncle), we did all of this:
  • Removed the peninsula wall cabinets and installed them on a separate wall, one on top and one on bottom
  • Painted the cabinets (ask me how if you're interested)
  • Painted the walls
  • Installed new cabinet knobs
  • Replaced the countertops
  • Installed laminate flooring
  • Installed new undercabinet lights
  • Installed new sink, faucet, and disposal
  • Installed a tile backsplash

Crazy, right?  AND.... it all cost less than $ 3,000!  Don't get me wrong, I love designing new custom kitchens just like anyone else.  But this is a great example of what a little time, money, and creativity (plus LOTS of teamwork) can accomplish.  

February 23, 2010

Outdoor Kitchen Charcoal Smoker

Wow!  I just went to the NKBA meeting about outdoor kitchens at Kimball Distributing.  To suit the theme, they served smoked pulled pork barbecue.  Again, wow!  The pork was smoked for 11-1/2 hours at approx 120 degrees in the Viking gravity feed charcoal smoker.

I guess I just didn't realize things like this existed for residential use.  Between smokers and grills and outdoor warming drawers, I'm psyched to design an outdoor kitchen!  Though I'm still not convinced there's a huge demand here in Utah.  Plus the price tag of $ 3,700+ just for the smoker won't help.  A girl can dream though, right?

February 22, 2010

Ikea Hack (sorta)

What do you get when you combine an Ikea Utby table base (similar to this, though no longer available in square) with a few random leftover cabinet doors found in the basement of a kitchen showroom?

You get this awesome pub height table!

We (okay Mike) worked on it all weekend.  We (again, Mike) cut the doors to form the square, then used the cut pieces plus strips from the 3rd door to give the top the appearance of extra thickness.  Then we (yep, Mike) cut 2 layers of 3/4" plywood to use as the base.  For what it's worth, I got the doors and drew the plans on CAD.  But obviously Mike did all the hard work.  I just get to sit and admire it.  Next step:  barstools and something to hang on the wall above the table.  And new blinds / window treatments.  The list never ends.

February 21, 2010

DIY project - Footstool

Last summer I took a beginner upholstery class and we all made our own footstools.  I used a Michael Miller fabric (Feeling Groovy, color: spa) that I found on etsy, along with simple furniture feet from Lowe's (I painted them a dark, dark, almost-black brown).

I'm currently in the next class and am working on 2 mid-century chairs.  Will post these soon!

February 20, 2010

What's this all about?

Hello!  I'm starting this blog for a few reasons:
  1. I need a new creative outlet, and since I spend a ton of time looking at design blogs every day, I figured my own blog would be a good place to start.
  2. I've got a gazillion DIY projects that I want to do, and if I post them here I'm hoping I'll be more motivated to actually complete them.
  3. I've been inspired by so many blogs and images I've found online, and I vowed to myself that I would somehow post photos of my own work in hopes of inspiring others in the same way. 
So come back soon - I've got a lot to share!