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One Totally Freaking Easy DIY Idea

Canvases? NOPE.

Something about this clever AND CHEAP, very cheap, wall art set-up (and tutorial) from Spunky Junky has me jotting down all kinds of crazy ideas. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it is for those who have found themselves in possession of paint and shoebox tops, but no monies to buy canvases or other supplies. Seriously, those are shoebox tops, repurposed. Who does that? Who even THINKS of that? I’m kind of in awe because I have about $0 to spend on anything decorate-y right now but all kinds of paint.

Still, would probably look better on canvases. There, I said it. DIY on the cheap doesn’t always lead to super pro results. But it’s still cool, as is. And a great idea for the poor/thirfty/boxtop collecting souls who want some chevrons in their lives.

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Home Is Where We Love to Read

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Who needs tables?

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NtB Wants to Know: Where Is YOUR Happy Place?

Concept floor & pendant lamps by Zhao Liping.

Where in your house or your apartment – even if it’s nothing more than a corner – do you go when you need to escape the yuck of the world?

Whatever It Is, It’s All In How You Use It

Today I’m loving the idea of painted silverware as easy DIY decor in the kitchen or dining room or wherever. Because sure, it’s a little hokey, but it certainly fits in with the themes of cooking, eating, and drinking. If you have blank walls in the food prep or food consumption zones of your home, you could do worse. Or not – what do you think of these?

Pretty pastels spoonage via suburban bohemia

Adore the color combo chosen by Crap I've Made

No time to DIY; find these at Ladies and Gentleman Studio

A fun flatware display from The Starter Home (with step-by-step instructions)

Fantastic, Fabulous, and Just a Little Bit Frightening

Isn’t this just a fantastic space belonging to fashion designer David Delfin and architect turned photographer Gorka Posigo? The open plan, the loft, the amazing blends of browns and colors and black with white, everything about it. I’ll even take the dog. But, oh, that face. And there is a selection of doll head busts on one cabinet. I have this thing about faces, you see. And doll heads. Not all that uncommon, I imagine. Last thing I want to see when I wake up for a tinkle is a giant face moaning and a whole bunch of dismembered baby heads.

I'll take almost all of it, including the dog.

What do you like about this pretty awesome if I do say so myself space? What would you ditch before moving in?

Images via Yatzer: http://www.yatzer.com/2074_delfin-postigo_house_welcomes_2010

Inspiration: Simply Beautiful Bedrooms, Now Easier

Unless you are rocking the loft life, the bedroom is the one area of your home a guest may never see. So of course it’s going to come in last on the list of areas to pretty up when you’re decorating or redecorating. But come on now, how much time do YOU spend in your bedroom? That alone should prompt you into making your bedroom decor a priority, even if that means keeping things simple for the time being. Making your bedroom a refuge doesn’t have to cost a lot or take up hours and hours of time if you focus on creating a calm atmosphereusing stuff you already have. Analyze your existing possessions. Pick a general color scheme. Borrow / repurpose from other rooms instead of buying wherever possible. And end up with something like this:

Low tables, a lamp, some books, and a bench. The end.

Cool rug, tiny table, and some framed mirrors - nothing fussy here

A jug of flowers, the bright table, and a casual photo collage make the space.

Sometimes light is all you need.

And we're back to those tiny touches, framed pictures, etc. that are so easy to do.

Yellow, white, and red - and I might even lose the energetic print.

Need a more specific how-to? I’ll share my recipe. Grab that little side table or unused chair and you have a bedside table. Paint it if necessary – a sample size can is often just enough for a furniture redo. Turn old sheets into an awesome duvet cover. Think creatively: What can an old filing cabinet be? What can you put into those picture frames. What lamp do you have that would look amazing in another color with a redone shade? Don’t overstuff your bedroom – keep the art elsewhere, out for the guests, and don’t overwhelm yourself or the space. End result: You’ll have a calm, comfortable, swoon-worthy bedroom that cost you nothing but some time.

Have You Seen The Burning House Project?

Fact about me: Fire is probably the thing I am most afraid of. I can sit near and enjoy a campfire, but I won’t sit too close and I have a healthy respect for the fact that the cheerful crackling blaze toasting my marshmallow could melt my face right off. So I was pretty fascinated by The Burning House Project, a newish blog that made headlines last month and is still making the rounds. The premise? People send in photos along with a list of what they’d grab if their home went up in flames. As it turned out, what I thought would be a stimulating look into what people care about is more like a lookit mah cool stuff fest.

Will you be so hip when you behold the scarring of your skin?

Things people would make a grab for in the event of a fire include: my favorite vinyl (kraftwerk/kruder & dorfmeister/stone roses/dj shadow/pixies/smiths/blumfeld) “Grenson x Albam city brogues (you never know when you’ll want to look sharp, house or no house)” “the one and only dollar left from my first trip to the us twenty years ago” etc.

Really? Here’s my list:

  • La Paloma.

If I felt like conditions were safe, I’d shoo out all the cats, grab my handbag (if it hadn’t been in a convenient place to grab with La Paloma). Even safer? My work laptop. Done. Because every other single thing in my home can be replaced and isn’t worth risking my life for. Even photographs. I still have the memories. Sentiment be damned. I look at the lists of things people claim they would try to rescue and I balk, but maybe that’s because I find fire so terrifying and I have a child. And yet, I’m still enjoying The Burning House Project. What redeemed the site for me? This entry in particular, written by someone who actually was in a fire, which ends thusly:

Word to all the folks with big piles of stuff: You have way less time than you think.

What would you REALLY risk your life for if your life was indeed on the line?

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Would You Try a DIY Finished Basement? If So, Keep These 8 Tips In Mind!

Having a usable finished basement can add a ton of value to your home, but not everyone has the money to drop on a down-downstairs reno. So what about a do it yourself finished basement? Insane? Maybe not, provided you don’t have a lot of moisture or flooding issues and you’re not starting with a dirt floor and cracked foundation walls. Maybe you want a man cave or a rec room complete with extra classy globe mini bar or extra office space. Trust me when I say it can be done, but the results you achieve will always be better when done right versus done half-assed.

Would this work for you?

So how do you do up your do it yourself finished basement while also staying on the right side of the law and the wrong side of pesky stuff like mildew? Follow these 8 tips, for starters!

1. Do you have a building permit? Do you need one? It may seem like yet another hoop you have to jump through to finally get your exercise bar media room, but having the proper permitting in place before you do anything is the way to go. Do you have a plan? Now is the time to figure our your basement reno, not as you go along. Which I think is how our finished basement came into being *sigh*.

2. Let a pro handle the electricity if you need more outlets. It’s just the right thing to do, whether you’re finishing a basement or expanding a bathroom. For real.

3. Your basement needs to be DRY. Bone dry. Especially if you’re putting up walls and laying down floors and plan on putting furniture up against the walls. Mold and mildew sure do love that damp that so many basements are famous for.

4. For those putting up walls – as opposed to just using something like this to seal up foundation walls – should make sure there’s AT LEAST a half inch gap between the wall and the foundation. That’s what furring is really for – as opposed to what, say, Urban Dictionary would have you believe.

5. Buy this book. Or check it out of the library. Seriously, the Black & Decker Guide to Finishing Basements is awesome.

6. Drop ceilings aren’t the most attractive option, but they’re the option that lets you continue to access pipes and wires running through the floor/ceiling that may prove important or broken in the future. More than one contractor has had to get at stuff in our finished basement’s ceiling, and as much as I hate drop ceilings, I’m glad it was there.

7. Speaking of wires and pipes, you may have some that stick out in weird places. It wasn’t an issue when your basement was housing a workbench and unopened boxes from your move four years ago, but if you’re trying to class up your finished basement, you may want to do some buildingaround these. Still keeping in mind the possible need for future access.

8. Finished basements do not have to be a second living room or an entire apartment or a full-fledged movie theater. As in the picture above, sometimes some walls, some shelves, some furniture, and a coat of paint on the stairs will do the trick. If you’re okay with your basement’s existing climate, no fancy flooring necessary. You can just throw some paint on the concrete floor and call it a day.

And there you have it. Would you consider finishing your own basement? Or have you actually done it?

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