‘There’s an App for That!’

Seems like you can’t have a problem these days without someone telling you ‘There’s an app for that.” Because, you know, there probably is. And if the problem you have happens to be not being able to test drive furniture from Pier 1, CB2, Stacks & Stacks, CSN Stores, Crate & Barrel and other stores, there definitely is.

The free SnapShop Showroom app for the iPhone lets you virtually redecorate with stuff from tons of online stores. All you need is a snapshot of the space you’re looking to fill, and you can test drive the furniture and accessories that are gorgeous in theory, but not always as gorgeous in practice.

What are your favorite apps for decorating and design?

‘Beaugars’ by Meike Langer

How’s this for a small-space storage solution? German designer Meike Langer created a set of reconfigurable storage racks set into a small table for imm cologne 2011. Seems to me like it would be the perfect thing for coats and bags and other grab-and-go stuff in a studio apartment.

Areas of life blend, rooms loose their fixed assignments and functions. Due to the blurring of boundaries new requirements for the environment and their products arise. In this context the furniture Beaugars was developed. It offers space to lay, hang up and store objects of daily use. Its most distinctive feature, its mutability,results from the flexibility of the two arcs, which can be rotated in 360°. Therefore Beaugars adapts easily and can be, according to the available space, either compact or expansive.

Even better, Beaugars can adapt to your needs by taking on different configurations. Too bad it’s just a concept, right?

10 Home Staging Basics for the Noob

10 home staging basics

Whenever the topic of home staging comes up, I like to tell the story of my mother-in-law. She was trying to sell her house… a beautiful house, full of beautiful antiques and fine furniture. Prospective buyers would walk through, oohing and ahing, but no one put in an offer. Why? Because all the buyers spent all their time in the house entranced by all the nice stuff.

When did the house finally sell? After my mother-in-law put the majority of her nice things into storage.

Home staging, in case you haven’t maxed out on it watching the home and lifestyle channels, is the art of creating neutral, inoffensive environments that appeal to the majority of people (or at least don’t offend anyone) and don’t distract from the space on display. There are plenty of people making a living staging homes, but with a little trial and error, most people are capable of DIYing it.

Here are 10 home staging basics to help the noobs out there who are looking to sell a house or apartment:

1. Clean EVERYTHING. When The Beard and I were looking for homes, it was hard to see the “good bones” in the dirty ones. After viewing one home, all I could remember was the big pot of nasty… something… on the kitchen counter and the gnarly smell. In another house, the grime everywhere distracted from the house itself. When there’s no dirt to look at, people will look at the space for sale.

2. Nix the CLUTTER. Your stuff is almost as distracting as dirt. Not everyone can afford to put their stuff in storage like my mother-in-law, but put away what can be put away, and maybe start packing whatever isn’t necessary for daily living a little early. Boxes in the basement are less distracting than books stacked in corners.

Continue Reading…

The House of Scrap

Yesterday, I showed you the DIY mudroom bench – today, it’s the $7 house. Am I kidding? Nope! It’s not a big house or a fancy one, but it is a livable house. Created by a group of students in Buxton, NC as a challenge to themselves, and I’d say the exterior looks pretty good!

It’s amazing what you can do with salvaged materials and what’s otherwise considered waste!

Every day after class I’d get in my decrepit ’84 Landcruiser and make my rounds. The town dump, local job sites, etc. I’d find lumber, sinks, doors, windows, etc. The dump had my cell number on speed-dial and would call me if they had something.

The waste was amazing. I once climbed in the dumpster of a local Mcmansion being built and found 27 8′ 2X6′s. Uncut, tag still on them, not warped. They had literally been bought, delivered, and thrown away. Some windows were old, some were new, for example two of the windows were last year’s display models used by the window companies. I found tile, wiring, siding, etc. It only took 2 months to be in the dry, and within 4 months it was essentially done.

While not 100% complete, it’s certainly livable at this point. It’s dry, warm, has power, etc. While the labor is a huge factor, it’s amazing how much can be done for so little money.

The best part about the house, according to one of the creators, is that walking into it, you’d never know it was built for less than ten dollars. Of course, it’s not actually finished yet. And there haven’t been any updates to the blog since September. When last updated, the interior of the Scrap House looked like this:

Could you live in a wee little house? What if it only cost you $7? And you designed it yourself?

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?

Continue Reading…

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

Continue Reading…

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