July, 2010 | Manolo for the Home - Part 2

Archive for July, 2010

Project: Easy DIY Wall Art

Monday, July 19th, 2010
By Christa Terry

I wanted to share this cute, simple project from Donation 2 Decor. Cheap or – even better – found picture frames get a makeover and some new contents using spray paint, masonite, some printed words, and sealer.

The instructions are here, along with several other neat projects for the home. If you give a go, be sure to send me an email with your results!

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NtB Loves: Couch Cushion Architecture

Monday, July 19th, 2010
By Christa Terry

I can’t recommend Build Blog’s analysis of couch cushion architecture highly enough. As something who is looking very much forward to building couch forts with my daughter once she’s old enough to understand that pillows and cushions aren’t just pads upon which to throw oneself as hard as possible, I loved both Part I and Part II of what should really be an ongoing series.

How could you not love a critical analysis of couch forts? Especially when it reads like this: “A clear derivative of the Miesian box, this handsome project is ‘informalized’ with the use of colorful, freeform roof panels.” (i.e., blankets) and “As a side note it’s always disturbing to see the finish details carried out with such haste in the presence of true structural achievement.” (referring to a hastily tossed blanket)?

Am I the Only One?

Friday, July 16th, 2010
By Christa Terry

Am I the only one who can’t quite decide if she’d like her house to look like this?

Or like this?

Black and white… color… black and white… color. I just can’t decide! Right now, my little Cape is colorful. So much so, in fact, that it’s often the thing people notice first and it’s certainly the most commented on characteristic of my home. But not infrequently I find myself thinking how chic it would look if I switched up my interior with a monochromatic palette.

(Images via)

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Making Me Want to Get Extra Clean

Thursday, July 15th, 2010
By Christa Terry

There is a rule in my house that says we cannot buy any soap, no matter how cute and amazing. It’s circumstance, not anything against soap. For whatever reason, at Christmases and birthdays, The Beard and I have been the recipients of an inordinate number of soaps. Black soaps from Spain that my uncle maintained were good for pregnant women. Bear shaped soaps meant for the baby. Olive oil soaps from Greece, eco-friendly soaps with hollowed out centers to decrease waste, and even one clear soap in a bag with a toy goldfish in the middle. And then, you guessed it, I gave soapmaking a try.

And normally, this soap moratorium doesn’t weigh heavily on my mind. In fact, I can honestly say I hadn’t thought of it at all until, that is, I came across Soapylove. Soapylove, created by Debbie Chialtas, began as a hobby and evolved into a line of soaps, a shop and an Etsy shop, a magazine for soapmakers, and a book! But as cool as the Soapylove story is, the Soapylove soaps are even cooler!


A Room They’ll Remember

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
By Christa Terry

How awesome is this room from lakbdesign?

Love their design philosophy:

every child needs a special place at home, a place where they can learn to be alone, can have “away” space from the rest of the family, but children also need comfortable gathering spaces, where they can play board games or video games with friends, or where siblings come together to create a lego village. lakbdesign children’s spaces. easy.fun.perfect.done.

It’s the little details that really make this room for me – the elephant wallpaper… the disco ball in the corner… the zither (which is both pretty and fun).

When I was growing up, money was extra tight and my immediate family had no real eye for design, so my room was what I could make of it, which wasn’t much. Sure, there are those amazing seven year olds who manage to out-decorate the pros, but I was not one of them. That’s part of why I’ve been spending lots of time on my daughter’s room – I want her to have fond, happy memories of her childhood space.

So do like me and DIY it:

elephant wall decal

Modern Kitchens: Too Stark or Just Right?

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
By Christa Terry

Not one, but two blogs I love (Kitchenisms and emmas designblogg) featured this very modern kitchen that calls the Swedish town of Eskilstuna home. How would I describe this space? It’s a bit industrial and very clean, but also a tad countryish, if only because it reminds me somewhat of the kind of working kitchens you find in farm houses. But those bright green chairs certainly cut through the sanitized look, which is a good thing.

Speaking of sanitization, however, is anyone else a little meh when it comes to the floor to ceiling white tiles? I’m sure the warm wood floors help keep the abattoir feeling to a minimum, yet I can’t shake the idea that I’d start seeing myself inside a slaughterhouse (or maybe just a train station restroom) the longer I spent in the confines of this kitchen.

But back to those green chairs! I’d love to recreate that look in my own kitchen, maybe with these lime green chairs from Umbra:

lime green chair

Living Room Storage Plus Toys: Is Chic and Uncluttered Possible?

Monday, July 12th, 2010
By Christa Terry

The wonderful and lovely Tiffany wrote with this query:

Um, Miss NTB? Do you take requests? If so, may I request a home entry on incorporating kids toy storage into your living room? I mean like, serious storage. Not just one or two cute baskets for decor. We have the world’s smallest living room, which is now also the world’s worst decorated (thanks, kid-proofing). I have been TRYING to come up with something somewhat stylish and utilitarian, but I end up with dumpy and cluttered. I WOULD LOVE YOU FOR A BAZILLION YEARS.

A bazillion years? I like the sound of that. Of course, before I could effectively answer Tiffany’s question I needed to know just how small the world’s smallest living room actually is. The answer? About 14’x12′, which I think is about the size of my own, so I can definitely sympathize with the very real fact that a tiny space plus childproofing plus toys can equal a major bummer of a room. The good news is that you don’t need to be all LOOKIT MAH TOYBOX!


Serious Upcycling

Friday, July 9th, 2010
By Christa Terry

As tables go, I find this one an enigma. Is it modern? The lines are so clean and sharp. And the table top that seems modeled after a beautiful hardwood floor feels like an art piece.

But there’s something rustic about it, too. Something I can’t quite place my finger on.

Except I can because I have the Internet! Von Tundra‘s beautiful Rockwell table is unique in that it’s crafted from reclaimed and refurbished pallet wood (as are many of this Portland-based design house’s creations). Isn’t that cool? Recycling is awesome, especially when the end product turns out looking this good.

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    Christa Terry
    (a.k.a. Never teh Bride)


    Manolo the Shoeblogger