Archive - January, 2011

The $3 Hall Tree? Yup!

For some reason, really cool, really cheap DIY projects using scavenged materials keep showing up in my inbox. Okay, the reason is you perfectly wonderful people! This find came to me via the lovely Leane:

Looks good, no? The handy folks at The Corner Lot put together an entire hall tree or entryway bench or whatever you want to call it using old door jambs and real beadboard. Stuff from their basement, too. What cost $3? The wood dowels that make a perfect drying rack for wet mittens and socks.

All that’s left to do is finish it, and I hope that there’s a new post on The Corner Lot when they do. Don’t leave us hanging!

What have you done on the cheap lately?

Mismatched Dining Chairs Take the Blah Out of Budgeting

When outfitting the kitchen or the dining room with somewhere to sit, don’t feel like you have to buy four or six or eight matching chairs – especially if buying eight of the chairs you love is way impossible within the confines of your budget! Mismatched dining chairs can be a lot of fun when you make the effort to have fun with them. Let’s say you can get ONE of those chairs you love. Why not source the rest of thrift or consignment shops or Craigslist? Look for interesting shapes that complement that favorite chair – but don’t worry too much about color, because paint and glaze can go a long way toward achieving a unified look. See?

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Great Ideas: Separate Your Sleeping Space

How restful is this gorgeous bed nook photographed by Michael J Lee Photography? Besides the fact that the design of the nook itself is such a fun nod to Arabian style, finishing it off with real walls makes it feel like a sanctuary from the rest of the room, the rest of the home, and daytime life. It’s a place to go curl up and read and a place where the real world can’t intrude on your dreams.

Something like this can even work beautifully in a small bedroom, even though it’s going to chop up an already tiny space, because it creates areas of specialization that make that space more useful overall. Here’s where you relax… here’s where you get dressed… maybe there’s a little desk over here where you pay bills or do a little weekend work. And your bed remains just a bed, never stressful or cluttered up with stuff.

Tolix: One Cure for the Boring Dining Room

Let’s say you’re bored with your current dining area outfit: a wood table, four wood chairs that feature precisely the same shade of stain. It’s basic, maybe there’s a padded seat or cushions, but nothing to showy. And let’s say, too, that you’re looking to get away from the whole matchy-matchy thing in your entire home. Your newest obsession is mismatched…everything, from mismatched bedside tables to mismatched headboards and more. First step? Lose either the table or the chairs – and right now, I’m thinking it’s the chairs that have to go. You can replace them with these:

And just what are they? Those would be classic Tolix chairs – Chair A, specifically – designed by Burgundy artisan Xavier Pauchard in 1937 for the Tolix brand he himself launched.

It was the fifth time that day that Xavier Pauchard had left his office and headed – impatiently – to the workshops. Walking towards his foreman’s workbench Xavier Pauchard pushed back the black beret that seemingly never left his head and examined with his expert’s eye the prototype stackable chair that was the object of the team’s unstinting endeavours. “This will be the Model A” he said to himself. Tinsnips in hand he deftly began to fashion a new seat base from a sheet of steel. Working on his tinsmiths block he then started to hammer away, curving the steel to the exact shape he wanted. “Tack it together please,” said Xavier Pauchard, who was keen to see a trial assembly. Pierre Moreau roughly assembled the various elements with a few dabs of weld. “That’s enough for today,” Moreau said as he left the workshop, glancing as he went at the strange metal chair that so obsessed Monsieur X.

That’s a pretty romantic backstory for a chair, non? And why not? It’s a rather romantic chair, appearing as it has in just the sort of French bars and brasseries that you and I would no doubt like to be sitting at right at this very moment. But let’s get back to that wooden table of yours. There’s nothing wrong with a nice sturdy wood table that will last for decades under the stresses of both dinner parties and children wielding crayons like daggers. It just so happens that the strong straight modern lines of the Toilix Chair A look amazing next to an old wood table that’s a bit beat up. You could go scouring the world for originals, but they’re not easy to come by from what I’ve heard. It will probably cost you less in the long run to get the re-issue, which is sold in lots of places in various colors and finishes.

(For those who, like me, can’t afford a set of Tolix chairs just at this moment, there are always basic brushed aluminum chairs to fill the gap until the money rolls in.)

Inspiration: White Brick Walls

Once upon a time, I helped a pair of friends paint an apartment in a cool industrial part of Brooklyn. This particular apartment had charming exposed brick in both bedrooms (along with less charming exposed pipes everywhere else) and I was absolutely stunned when said friends informed me that painting the walls white also meant painting the brick white. Quelle horreur! But looking back now, I think maybe I was in the wrong and they were in the right, because a painted brick wall in an interior space looks a lot fresher and more inviting than brick that looks like it belongs on the outside of a building. Don’t you think?


via UXUS Design

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Office Inspiration from Turquoise

The home office can be an afterthought for a lot of people – that is, if you have the space to devote an entire room to working. This is especially the case among those who don’t work at home and would honestly rather not feel compelled to give up precious square footage to work-related gear. But since I work from home, I tend to empathize with those who do, too, and would probably like somewhere sweet to sit as they endure the daily grind. I used to have a nice home office, until I gave it up during the renovations, and now I fear that I’ll never again work from anywhere but the kitchen table. I’d prefer to be working in here, though:

Seeing this oh-so-inviting space designed by Turquoise makes me long for my old office. Oh, we’ll have another home office someday, but it will be shared and that means it will be at least halfway to messy most of the time. But a girl can dream, right? I’d love to know what your home office sitch is. Do you have one? Is it grand? Would you love to have one, but the space just isn’t there? Or are you content to leave work at work where it belongs so that extra room can stay a den/guest room/nursery/gaming space?

Image: Turquoise

Mismatched Bedside Tables: Yes or No?

As mentioned in a post earlier this week, I’m devoting a lot of my excess brainpower – what little there is – to putting together my future bedroom. When it comes to furniture, the only matching stuff we have in terms of furniture is the bed and two matching bedside tables. Which, frankly, is fine with me because I’m not a big fan of coordinating bedroom sets. And since I much prefer the look of rooms with lots of different kinds of furniture and accessories, I’m leaning toward using the existing bedside tables elsewhere in the house and pulling two other tables from who knows where to use as bedside tables, bringing me to the question I posed in the headline. What do you think of mismatched bedside tables?

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Not Necessarily My Style, But I’m Still In Lust

I don’t know the story behind this table – I found it on my wanderings and a Tineye search yielded nothing – but I’m finding it really, really inspirational. Normally, I lean toward Saarinen’s beautiful Tulip table when I think of how I’d like to outfit my kitchen. But there’s something about invading my rather artificial and absurdly colorful cooking and eating space with natural, unfinished wood that makes me feel a little giddy.

Does anyone else get a kick out of doing that – of taking something ridiculously out of place and making it the focal point of a room that’s decorated in a completely different style?

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