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Full Version: House Of The Gods! Well, actually, it is just my lil' apartment...(the home decorating thread)
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Okay, keeping you from a quadruple post. :-) Yay that you found a great fabric! I'm still waiting for pics. Wood can be great if you get the right fabric to make it pop.

Pics, I want pics!
That's great, doodlebug! I anxiously await pictures.

Okay, flea market find time, namely an antique mahogany china cabinet and a carnival glass bowl. Pics here:

The china cabinet is supposedly from the 50's according to the dealer, though it looks a bit older to me. What do you think, BUSTies? The knicknacks in it are mostly various pieces of milkglass, carnival glass, and depression glass that I had, some of which was my grandmother's.

The bowl, I have discovered, is an Indiana Glass Co. 1978 "garland bowl". So it's not pre-1930 which would make it worth actual money. Paying $8 for it was about right. I still like it even if it's from the carnival glass revival period of the 70's. I have a soft spot for carnival glass, as I have mentioned here.

Oh, ETA: and the china cabinet folds out into a mini desk with a tiny drawer and cubby holes, as you can see!
doodlebug, i want so much to see your new furniture, in place in the room!

personally, i think you're making the right choice not to paint the wood. real natural wood is SO MUCH PRETTIER than painted surfaces, not to mention relatively rare with all the MDF that goes into affordable furniture nowadays. I hate when I'm watching HGTV or something and they head right over to the beautiful antique armoire and SPRAY PAINT IT. If that was my house, I would cry.

So I'm glad you're not painting your new furniture. Especially with the cane -- real cane is so pretty and natural. While I've seen painted cane look nice, there's nothing like au naturel, baby...

Home improvement question here: once upon a time I had this fabulous plan to install built-in shelving so as to get rid of all my milk crates and junky particleboard bookshelves once and for all. But then one day I was hanging some paintings, and I discovered that it is practically impossible to drill into my walls! I'm guessing this is because the walls are plastered brick or cinderblock under about 50 years of paint (it's an old housing project built in the heyday of the Brooklyn Navy Yards, and is said to be fireproof), and that my drywall-oriented drill bits aren't up to the job. Will masonry bits work? Should I invest in a new set of bits, or just give up on my dream of built-in shelving and nicely hung art, window treatments, etc? Has anybody dealt with non-drywall wall surfaces before?
bklynhermit, oh, sweet god. I've been where you are with your walls. The sweet, sweet joys of lathe and plaster. The good news is that it is solid as hell and no sound will travel, the bad news is that hanging anything thoroughly blows.

What you need is a masonry bit, a bunch of wall anchors, and an excellent drill. I do not recommend cordless. What you will have to do is drill into the walls with a masonry bit, drive the anchor into the hole you made (rubber mallet, as I recall), and then screw your wall shelf into the anchor. At least, that's how we hung the cabinets at my old house.

Key here is the drill. My dad is an all-around handyman/contractor and we used his. The servicable but less powerful drill my then-husband had just did NOT cut it.
yeah, i have a relatively wimpy drill, but my roommate's seems to be hardier. so masonry bits are worth it? the real problem i have is that i seem to be able to drill or nail into the mortared areas between the cinderblocks, but it's not a predictable thing, so i can't align anything symmetrically or install anything that involves two or more screws along a single line.

i'm guessing the nice thing, though, is that i won't have to worry about stud-hunting.

i've gotten anchors into masonry walls without a rubber mallet, though i've always wanted to play with one of those...
Yay! Doodle, for figuring out what you wanna do with your furniture! I hope you do post pictures.

Amy, I like the carnival glass...I agree that it doesn't matter if it's the really old stuff if you like it!

Doodle, I do not think I want to replace the trim...partly cuz of the work (well, mostly) and partly because so much of our stuff is original to the house, and I don't wanna go there.

Luckily, I have a friend who can get me metallic leaf wholesale, so if I decide to do the copper leaf, I think it won't be insanely spendy. I would antique it a bit so it's not glaringly shiny.

I'm gonna be able to start mid-month, I think!
doodle, velcro is a fabulous idea! we only use the room for about 8 months of a year so i'd like it better if the bamboo didn't sit out there in the winter.

zora, that's cool that you got to witness the destruction of your couch -i wish i could have seen my last couch destroyed, i hated it too!

amilta, grey-blue and teal sounds pretty cool, i'd love to see a before & after!

i cannot wait till doodle gets a camera on that furniture -it sounds wonderful!

awesome find amy. i think that cabinet could be from the 50s made in an older style, i saw a similar one at an antique shop and it was listed as 50's as well. it looks like it's in really nice shape. i love your milk glass (i collect the milk glass shakers) & the bowl is fabulous (even if it's not that old i think it's great for $8!)!

bklynhermit, i agree totally with your wood love! my whole house is trimed in wood w/hardwood floors -i love it so much & i'm pissed that the woman before us painted over one of the mahagony doors (and the brass door plate!) oh and i have similar walls, and i totally 2nd what kjhink that's what we do to hang stuff, we got a serious drill for x-mas a few years ago and it is my top #1 tool for everything! it's a very good investment.

i went to the container store this weekend and ended up spending $250! but i needed some serious storage solutions for my office/ sewing room/ craft room/ zeke's (my pup) kennel room.
You can also rent a really good drill from a place like Home Despot, if you are really in need. I'm pretty sure a good masonry bit should do the job. I have one cinder block wall in my home, and I've never been able to hang anything on it, either. BFF swears she could make it happen with her drill and her masonry bits, and she's pretty knowledgeable about this stuff. (Installed her own floor! Built her own deck!)

If that doesn't work...I saw a cool shelving system once. It was made from two wooden ladders! The person had put a long slab of wood on the floor, and attached the ladders to the wood, and to the ceiling to keep them from wobbling or falling over. Then the shelves were bolted on top of the wooden rungs. It was pretty cool and different looking!

I think with painting can be heartbreaking to see really good wood painted, but there is a difference between a quality vintage or antique piece, and "junqtique" (a new word I learned on "How Not to Decorate"). Sometimes a coat of paint is all a piece needs to make the bones stand out in a truly amazing way. I had a walnut-finished wood coffee table that languished for years (it was my parents') and no one noticed its unique shape...till I painted it black, and now everyone (including my building's carpenter!) comments on how amazing it is! (And I hate a walnut finish anyway.) So I don't think we should be as afraid to paint wood as we sometimes are. And paint can always be stripped later on (and re-caned) - but painting and stripping would de-value a quality vintage/antique piece, for sure.

In this case, I was thinking about leaving the cane unpainted...but I'm really enjoying the maple of the chairs, too. I was just worried they would look too fussy or old-ladyish (I mean, we're talking cabriole legs here)...but now I see it's just the upholstery that's causing the fussy old ladyishness!

Last night we discovered that the seats of the chairs lift right off their frames! And the upholstered back piece just rests against the back as well. These chairs are going to be EASY-PEASY to recover by myself! I hope the sofa will be equally easy...the upholstered part is only one piece, sort of a long bench-type seat (because it flips down into a flat bed).

amywoman, that glass is gorgeous - who cares if it's not "genuine"?

amilita...what kind of process will you use to age the copper leaf?
crassy, have you posted pictures of your house? I think you and I probably have similar taste. I'm angry too that there were vintage oak doors painted over (and worse, replaced with circa 1980 boring doors) in my house.

Okay, so I don't want to jinx it, but... but... we may be able to pull the funding together to build out our attic into a partial second floor. It would happen this summer. I have definite ideas about what I want as well, including vintage looking doors with recessed panels and vintage hardware, and dark stained hardwood floors. And a vintage deco bathroom, as we went with modern downstairs. Has anyone done this kind of thing before? Would anyone be interested in the pictures I get during the process? That's more home improvementy than decoratey, so I'm not sure if anyone cares to see that stuff.

eta: I agree, doodlebug. It's so much more important that I like what I have than I worry about how much it's worth or what era or collection it's from.
Drills! I hate having things with similar functions, so I always thought "Why do I need a drill when I have a screwdriver?" Ha! I resisted, but I heart my drill.

Doodle, I'm not sure how I'll antique the copper wholesale source is a master faux-finisher. (Actually, it's our friend who designs chandeliers...and the Mr. fabricates the frames out of metal. Our bread and butter.)

The Mr. made us curtian rods with finnials I picked out at the iron store, and she helped me do a rusted white finish on the bedroom look like they were white a long time ago then sat out in someone's leaky shed for 20 years. They are a little harsh, though, so I think I need to soften them up with this brown wax stuff that you wet and apply with a brush.

I think that is what we'd use over the copper leaf (I did that over gold leaf on a picture frame for my mamma) but I'll let her tell me what to do!

ETA: Pictures? Yes, please, Amy!
doodle. i never heard the term 'junktique' but i like that, there is totally a difference there.

amy, my digital camera ran out of batteries, so i'm lazy & haven't taken any pics of the house, i really need too though. my house was built in 1922 and has some original stuff, like we uncovered the original tile floor in the bathroom and it has original bathroom fixtures in there and the lid on the toilet says "1922" in pencil! it has a lot of wood trim all over and some smaller leaded windows. we're mostly going with arts & crafts & bungalow decor cause it looks best with the house, but i'm putting in some art deco touches here and there (like in the bathroom), plus some depression glass etc and a few pieces of contemporary yet sorta folkish art.

i'd totally love to see attic redos, i'm thinking of one day making my attic that spans the whole top of the house into a master bedroom.

i love the look of copper with green patina- is that how antiqued copper leaf looks? i used a lot of copper tones in my house.
crassy, that sounds wonderful. Our house is from 1925 (bungalow) so it's probably pretty similar to yours. Except at one point the 70's and 80's invaded and we've been chasing that out and putting back old or older looking stuff. We replaced the trim in the LR and DR with stained wood trim, for example, because it had about eleventy five layers of paint on it.

I also would like to see the copper leaf stuff if you're going to take pictures, amilita. I think that's a cool idea for the trim. How high is it? Is it chair rail?
Ok, I'm gonna do some lamp switcheroo-ing tonight. I need a reading light by my green IKEA chair now.

So....seeking feedback:

doodlemama brought me this macrame she found in grandad's attic (now her attic, I guess!). It is a plain, off-white macrame, but it's not a plant's got three thick, round wooden "shelves"...the largest on the bottom tier is 12 inches in diameter, and they go down in size...and they are all dark brown stained wood, and there are some same-coloured macrame beads in the macrame design. It has a short but fluffy end on the bottom.

The question is, is this now too dated or weird to use? It's kinda cool looking, but I'm trying to think of a good context for it, so that it won't look fussy or odd, or like I'm stuck in a time warp...especially with all these plants of mine, and now the old-fashioned furniture. Should I just use it for plants, or should I use it for displaying objects, or something else (lights, or...I dunno)? It is very well made...but is there a way to make such a thing look funky and modern?

Thoughts? Ideas? Advice?
i think as long as you don't put it in the same room as the old lady furniture, you're probably ok.

it might look really cool with interesting small books if you have anything that would fit and this thingie can bear the weight. i have all these tiny foreign language dictionaries and handmade artists' books i've been needing a cool place to display, and that thing sound perfect! it could also be a nice showcase for other interesting small objects, the randomer the better.

I'm having a similar issue in my place - my roommate is South Asian, and my taste runs toward orientalist kitch. We're also both travelers, and both studied anthropology in college. Needless to say we have A LOT of Subcontinental stuff, and then all the rest of our stuff is also sort of 'global': african masks, japanese doodads, foreign language phrasebooks, Mexican pottery, Tibetan incense, and on and on. At this point, as much as I love the global look, I'm starting to fear pigeonholing my space or creating some kind of godawful colonialist theme. It's just starting to be too much...

Also, i spent 2 hours mucking out my kitchen tonight! I got rid of tons of stale spices, scrubbed all the grime off of everything, and started reorganizing some of the cabinets. I realized I have this problem where I tend to stack unsightly stuff i never even use up on my counter space, and then for some reason all the appliances I constantly need are stashed away. I also discovered these totally cool old painted aluminum canisters, which were stashed empty on top of the fridge rather than holding valuable flour, rice, etc.

Between my South Asian bread-making roommate and crazy wannabe pastry chef me, we have like 4 different kinds of flour, all of which are virtually identical by sight, smell and taste... and none of which are actually in the canister labeled "flour" (that's the oatmeal, duh...)
Doodlebug, I'd paint the shelves and the beads (I'm assuming they're wooden) a tangerine color to make the lime-green pop and hang it next to the Ikea chair with lights on it for your reading lamp. You could run the cords up the macrame. I've always liked the look of white christmas lights just tangled up in a pretty, opaque or clear vase.

Or...could it go in the kitchen to hold those little spices and stuff somewhere in the vicinity of the stove?

TP in the bathroom?
doodle, i think you could use it as a shelf. i guess it would depend on if the color, shape, and size went well in the room. maybe it would look neat if some modern objects were displayed in it? i also like treehugger's idea of painting it, do you think that would work?

bklynhermit, those canisters sound cool. your flour arrangement sounds so confusing, how do you keep track?
i know, it is. and what makes it worse is that i have a suspicion that other than chickpea flour, his 'special weird different flour' is really just regular white or wheat flour that comes in a funny looking sack from the indian grocery, but is in fact just regular flour. which would mean we have duplicate canisters of the same thing, because i don't make indian bread and he doesn't do deserts, and we're both absolute morons.
Hummmm...I'm not sure it would be very easy to paint the wood, since they are all knotted up in the macrame...I wouldn't want to ruin the macrame! Actually, I don't mind the looks like pretty good wood.

I do love the idea of minilights, though! Thanks treehugger, I hadn't thought of that! I am thinking of hanging the macrame in my bedroom when I get that project more off the ground...and I think the minilights might be just what I need! I do have some minilights in the living room, inside a glass head from Pier 1, but there's no funky lighting in the bedroom...I think minilights will funk that macrame up just perfectly! Hey...I might even have some extras put away....

What kind of modern objects do you think might work, crassy? So I can start hunting them down on my thrift store haunts!

bklyn, I was kind of worried about the "colonialist" theme, too! Heh! That's funny. I have a whole bunch of Asian/Pacific Rim stuff, too, as well as Aboriginal Canadian art - not to mention the plants - so the new furniture with it's old-fashioned curvy maple and cane made me really worry about that "colonizer" imagery! (I'm almost scared to dig my Emily Carr prints out of storage.) I think the chartreuse is going to make it all ok, though. :-)
Well, I bought a light olive green blanket today, to cover the pink floral upholstery of the sofa. One chair is wrapped in a chartreuse shawl, the other in a purple one. I cannot decide which I like better: the chartreuse brings out the yellow in the maple, but the purple makes the wood look much richer, more orangey-brown.

Anyway, now I'll be able to live with them "as is" for a little while...realistically, it may be summer (maybe even late summer) by the time I can get to re-covering them.

Of course, the pink floral upholstery is by now intolerable to me. I'd rather see blankets and shawls!

Oh, I also...shouldn't have, but I did...bought a denim duvet cover today. It was 40% off, so I caved in. Anyway, as much as I love that embroidered denim in the closet, I was feeling weighed down by the prospect of having to make a huge duvet cover, on top of all the other stuff I need to do in my bedroom. And I figure by the time I buy the materials and notions I still need, it would cost me as much money in the end. So. As for the embroidered denim, I still have many pillows that need re-covering!

Or maybe...

...a couple of chairs?

bklynhermit, it would be funny if it was the same flour!

doodle, i was thinking little vases and stuff like perfume bottles in modern shapes. i agree, the chartreuse will snap that decor right back into today!

so this weekend i did tons of stuff! i hung the bathroom door that was giving me so much trouble. i put on a white ceramic door knob in white with brushed nickel back. then i picked out nice matching towel rods to attach to the door after i paint it (i'm doing it in white w/black trim to match my tile floor). i also replaced the white ceiling fan in the living room with a nicer dark wood and brushed bronze one. then i took the old one and moved it into the kitchen to replace the light that wasn't working --it's not how i want to keep it, but it's a solution for now. (i totally want
this one when i can afford it) i also started on the reorganizing of the office, i shredded like 2 years worth of old documents, reorganized my desk and started reorganizing my sewing area. i'm about halfway done on that room --which is a huge project! so now i'm tired and need a weekend to recover from my weekend!
Good for you for getting so much done, crassy! And that's a cool light fixture, too. That's not a bad price for it, either...though I the meantime, could you paint a stripe around a plain (and much cheaper) white glass fixture? Just till you can get the real thing! Krylon does make spray paints for glass now, so if you just taped off the shade, it should work...?

I got a few things done...finally got the lights in the living room rearranged. The glass head with mini lights inside is now on the TV cabinet in the corner, with a bunch of plants, and the green ikea lamp is in the black wall unit.

Also, I had to decide what to do with all the big floor pillows and the spare chair, now that I have all this furniture. So the excess went out on the balcony, which works. Two of the pillows (purple) went on my blue deck chair (a folding camp chair), and the other chair (which is the same purple) is now a deck chair with an embroidered denim pillow. It's all very colourful!

I wound up putting two of the cats' jungle gyms (the small ones) on the balcony too...heaven knows what I'll do with them when the wet/cold weather comes, but there's no room in the living room, so I'll have to think up something new!

Also...FINALLY set up the bed. Still have to move a few things around in the bedroom, but at least it's sort of back to normal, with all the cluttery things back underneath the bed, where they are supposed to be. Hallelujah for reclaimed floor space!!!

Speaking of cats...has anyone figured out any particularly clever ways to hide the cat litter trays from sight? I don't have any appropriate closet space, so right now one is in the bedroom and one in a corner of the hallway. I COULD get one in the bathroom, but I'm worried about scattered litter + damp floor...and also, there's still the other tray...I don't want to spend a lot of money, so that special litter-tray-hiding furniture is not on my options list...

Ideas? Thoughts? Anyone?
doodle...on the kitty litter front...i put jakes pan in the tub...since we have a separate tub and shower..but in front of it, i put a fluffy floormat--it catches all the loose litter that he kicks up and none of it gets tracked out of the tub....we also did this when we had a spare bath--works pretty well. and then you can throw the rug in the wash later for cleaning.
i've seen a lot of litterbox bathroom combos, so i'm assuming it works out. if it was a real hazard, everybody i know wouldn't do it that way. right?

now, a question: yesterday i scavenged a lovely rolling bookshelf off the street in pristine condition. the only problem is that it's entirely made of MDF, with an extremely fake grain laminate that looks extra tacky. how can i hide that? will paint adhere and look ok? contact paper? shall i decoupage it to match my night-stand? some clever arrangement of fabric? how do you hide the ugly fake wood look?
Well, using an unused tub is a great idea, and I'll remember it in future spaces! Unfortunately, I only have one tub/shower combo, and I use it all the time, for clothes-drying as well as de-stinking the old body.

But it got me thinking, and I was just now eyeing the space in my under-sink cabinet...I'm thinking of taking the doors off and hanging a curtain (or something - part of a bamboo blind, even) that goes halfway down (so it's still open on the bottom), and putting the litter in there. I'm pretty sure that I can store everything that's under there somewhere else, and it would be the perfect size for two litter trays.

Or would this be the act of a truly insane person?

bklyn, you can totally paint that shit. I used to have matching end tables with hideous fake wood laminate, and I painted them a new colour every year or two - whenever I got bored! I usually just took them outside and blasted them with spray paint. If you can find oil-based melamine paint, that would be the ideal, but I understand it's difficult to find in the U.S. If you can't find it, I'd STRONGLY recommend using an oil-based paint, because it will dry harder and tougher. Oil paint is smellier, and it needs at least a week to dry before you can use it, but...while latex paint is great on walls, it gets wrecked faster on surfaces that are used a lot, like it seems to get "tacky" or "sticky" when it gets warmer...meaning that the things you put on the shelves may stick and sometimes even pull off bits of paint. I had that problem when I painted the MDF I attached to my black bookcases. Just make sure you sand the laminate a little bit to rough it up, and use an oil-based primer before you paint. (But - I know you know this, but just in case - if you decide to go with latex, use a latex-based primer.)

I love scavenged stuff! Quite a lot of my stuff is scavenged...usually from family, but I've got a few "street finds." I used to have quite a lot more when I was younger. I usually leave my unwanted stuff beside the dumpster, and people almost always take it. Once, I had a guy take the aforementioned end tables right out of my hands, before I even put them on the ground! He said, "Are you throwing those out? My son just moved into his own place, and he has no furniture!" I prefer to leave my stuff out for people who need it, rather than have a religious-based charity, or worse, a for-profit thrift shop, make money off the poor via my used crap.
ooh, melamine paint...

if i can't find that, i think i'll just get a hi-gloss oil based. i feel like several coats of slick shininess will probably camoflage the fake wood really well...

and i have to say my favorite thing about living in a college kid neighborhood (but not being a college kid) is that there is absolute treasure on the streets this time of year. unfortunately it's been rainy all week, so this year most of that treasure is going to waste. but i did get a bookshelf out of it.

as for you litterbox idea, i think that could definitely work, as long as you don't have crowding issues in terms of making that a high traffic area for both humans and cats.
ooh, melamine paint...

if i can't find that, i think i'll just get a hi-gloss oil based. i feel like several coats of slick shininess will probably camoflage the fake wood really well...

and i have to say my favorite thing about living in a college kid neighborhood (but not being a college kid) is that there is absolute treasure on the streets this time of year. unfortunately it's been rainy all week, so this year most of that treasure is going to waste. but i did get a bookshelf out of it.

as for you litterbox idea, i think that could definitely work, as long as you don't have crowding issues in terms of making that a high traffic area for both humans and cats.
doodle, i actually made a stripe on my existing shade with red electrical tape, and it looks ok for now, i'm thinking of making another stripe with the red and then one with a thin black strip in between & seeing how it looks.

i have a little downstairs bathroom that has been sort of designated the "cat's room" even though we use it too. i got one of those trays with the cap that snaps on as a sideguard. i pushed it up against the wall so enzo can only get in from one side, then i gave him one of those cat litter mats to 'wipe his feet', i don't get too much stray litter in there.

i think that curtain might do the trick for hiding the litterbox, if the cats are willing to go there. the first place i put enzo's box when i moved was apparently an unappealing location to him and he went on my floor until i moved it to a location he liked --now i'm scared to move it. cats can be so fussy!

bklynhermit, i can't seem to find melamine in north jersey, if you find it let me know. if you don't find it i do think that decoupage would look really cool, especially if you already have a piece that it will match.

which reminds me, i have a hideous grey computer table that i hate and a georgia o'keefe calendar from last year that i love -what do you think the best way to attach the pictures to the table would be? (i don't care about messing up the table --it's hideous!)

doodle maybe you should go into the business of sending melamine paint to the u.s. --you could probably make big money --it's so useful! i'm dying to use it on my kitchen counter.

my biggest problem on house stuff, is that i have a million ideas at once and can't get to them for a while --i have a huge book of things i want to do and it keeps getting longer. is this the case for anyone else?

eight months ago i moved into this apartment with BIG plans. almost none of which have come to fruition yet. I have done a great job on small projects, especially serious deep cleanings (my roommate, who lived here for seven years before i came along) is a serious packrat. But my plans include:

repainting the kitchen. this will probably finally happen this weekend, actually. but i started picking paint colors in february.

painting and drastically rearranging my bedroom, as well as installing built in shelving. the shelving is on hold until i get around to finding the right drill bits and finally deciding on the fixtures. the painting is on hold until the shelving is actually in the works so that i can make sure everything is going to look right. i was just being lazy about the rearranging, but now that it's going to take weeks to paint my new bookshelf, i will probably hold off even longer.

the bathroom is actually a newer idea than the bedroom, but it seems more feasible so it will probably happen first. i have this fabulous dove grey/charcoal grey tilework that is poorly served by the white walls and blue and white decor. so i'd like to paint the walls a tomato-ish or poppy-ish red. except that i have to wait till i can also afford to replace the bathmat and shower curtain, because they are blue and will most likely clash with the new walls. i also want to paint the ugly sink cabinet, which is formica, as well as changing out the pulls on the drawers. i haven't decided what to do about the sink (white) and built in enamel toilet paper thingie and towel bars (also white). would the melamine paint work on those, too, or am i stuck with orphaned white fixtures?

so basically i have a lot of ideas. and have only accomplished an absolute bare minimum of them.
Heh...that's not a bad idea, crassy! I wonder what the penalty is for trafficking illegal paint over the border?? Hee!!!

Actually, more seriously...I wonder if it would be hard to ship? I could at least obtain it for a few friends, aka, busties, right? It only takes the small can to do counters. If someone wants to find out the rules for shipping that stuff from Canada to the U.S., I would be happy to help out, if I can.

crassy, your desk...what if you painted the base and then either decoupage the top, or just stick the pictures down and have a piece of glass cut to fit on top?

bklyn, I don't think painting the sink is a good plan...especially if you don't own it! Although you can have sinks and tubs refinished professionally. As for the towel bars and toilet paper holder...are you allowed to paint? If so, I'd take them apart, take the parts outside, and do them with a spray paint in order to get smooth coverage. On objects I'm not sure about painting, I've always used the spray paint specially made to prevent rust...never had a problem with it peeling or otherwise getting damaged. I tend to think white goes with everything, though.

And I wouldn't fret about it taking a long time. Decorating is work, but it's fun work, and I always figure it's better to enjoy the process than to rush through everything and get frustrated (and subsequently make more mistakes). Hell, it took me from January to August or September last year to get my kitchen done, because of all the stops and starts I had. I do have the problem of having too many ideas, though...especially complicated ones. The more I watch shows on HGTV and TLC, the worse it gets! I'm having to force myself to slow down and make the best of what I've got, instead of jumping up and buying things I don't need yet for projects I'm not going to get to for awhile.

For a small nicety, though, I went to the dollar store yesterday and bought a bunch of nice, big, chunky glass rocks...bright coloured ones. And I put them in the pots that hold my fake fig trees on the balcony. It's a nice treat, having that colourful glass glinting in the sun! Plus I have all natural stones in the indoor plants, so it's kinda quirky...fake plants/fake rocks outside, real plants/real rocks inside....
Yeah, decorating does take time...I have decided to just enjoy it, because as much as I like the idea of being done with everything, I actually really like decorating and doing little home projects. What's that's the journey, not the destination? It's corny, but I'm really trying to live like that.

At my last apartment, I was approaching this point of being done, and I was already starting to think about how I wanted to change dangerous!

Now that I have the time to paint my walls, I'm sick! Bleh. Came in here to see what others are up to...
Huzzah! I got my camera working! Pics of Carmella in the Kitty thread...I'll try and post some shots of the new furniture this evening. I tried now, but the sun is coming in the windows and making the shots too dark.
Ok, well, I've posted some photos...hope y'all like the "new look"!

New Pics (click the top link for furniture)
doodle, that furniture is awesome! and it looks good with just a quick cover, i can see why you weren't feeling the pink floral upholstry --with that wood color, i don't know what they were thinking --but maybe it's why you were able to get it at such a steal! awesome about folding out to be a bed too! your place is looking awesome--very inviting and cozy.

for your newly appointed outside chair maybe you can spray on a clear coat of krylon or something? maybe that would keep it from rusting?

and georgie is gorgeous too! i have such a soft spot for big black boycats! how much does he weigh? enzo is up to 12lbs! (oh and thanks for the tip on the catgrass, no wonder mine always dies early!)
oh my goddess.

doodle, that furniture is incredible! have you re-done the chairs already, or are you some kind of slipcovering genius?

i sorta misspoke myself when i mentioned painting my sink - i have no intention of painting that, or the bathtub. those will stay white because unless i'm ready to gut the bathroom or get a professional in to refinish them properly there's nothing i can do that would look any good. though it bugs me that the sink is a slightly different shade than the tub and fixtures.

i'm more wondering about those little enamel fixtures and the sink cabinet, which is formica and UGLY. my roommate and i have been given free license to do whatever we want to the place. i'm divided between trying to paint the fixtures or leaving them. though they are mysteriously affixed to the wall with no visible screws, so i have no idea how one would take them off to spray paint them. which might be the answer to my question. the cabinet however, has to change. it's one of my least favorite features of the entire apartment. i'm actually wondering (though this might be getting into 'why bother when you rent' territory) whether it's possible to do a wood veneer over formica?
bklynhermit, my sink cabinet is formica in white and it had this fake wood trim around it, so i painted that black to match my black & white tile floor. i also replaced the handle with a cool jade colored milk glass knob to match the green tile. then i painted the around the wooden mirror so it's white with a black trim. it looks a LOT better! i want to get a pedestal sink and a arched mirror but for now it sure is an improvement. i used regular trim paint and then a sprayed a clear coat on it to make it shiny --it's been there for over a year with no chips.
Aw, thanks youse guys!

bklyn, no, I didn't slipcover them yet. The sofa has a woven cotton blanket on it, all tucked in, and the chairs each have these semi-sheer shawls wrapped around them, also tucked in. You can see the back where the purple shawl is tucked in, in one of the photos. It works because the seats all lift up...the chair seats lift OFF entirely! And the upholstered back part of the chairs isn't attached at all.

crassy, George weighed in around 7+ kilograms at his last vet visit, which is around 14 - 16 pounds, I think. He is a big boy, and very long. But actually, I think Carmella weighs more than him! She was 6+ kg at the last visit, but I think she's put on some since her hysterectomy. She feels like she weighs more than George...but it is distributed differently, too, so who knows?

blanche, I tried calling her Stimpy to see if it rang any bells, and she did kinda perk her head up a bit...maybe Stimpy is reincarnated?? I think she looks like a striped cougar!

bklyn, you can totally paint that's the same process as painting that laminate shit on that bookcase. The fixtures...are they those kind where there's a metal part screwed into the wall, and then the fixture somehow slides onto the screwed-in part? I have a towel bar like that. It's a bit of work to lift it up and off, but it does come off.
on closer inspection, the toilet paper thingie and towel rack fixtures are GROUTED to the wall along with the tiles. so they're not going anywhere, and not getting painted!
Oh, what a drag, bklyn! Though you could mask off the area around them and give it a go anyway...perhaps not with spray paint, though! :-)
speaking of painting in the bathroom does anyone know how to refinish porcelain tubs? it's white with some bits of finish off. i want to try to make it as new looking as possible even though it's from 1922. and can i do this inside the house with the windows open?

this weekend i plan to finish the reorganization of the office/sewing/craft/zeke's room. i took all my old bust magazines that i've been saving and took out the articles i wanted and put them in page protectors in a binder--that itself saved a lot of room. & i've got the mr. in on the act, he's actually putting the cd's in alphabetical order! i think i'm also going to sell some books. has anyone done that on amazon or barnes & noble? the 2 used book stores that were near my house closed!
We have a new dining room table and chairs that we bought from craigslist, and our modernish looking one that matched nothing and clashed with everything sold on craigslist. Pictures forthcoming.

Also, while I had the truck I ran into an estate sale and found an old waterfall style dresser with a mounted round mirror for $15 US. Judging by the color (blond) and style I'm guessing it's from the 40's, and at that price on a day that I already had a cargo van, I couldn't pass it up. It needs a LOT of work, including probably a new back, but I stripped most of the finish off yesterday. It will be a different color when I'm done, more cherry/mahogany. I took before pics and I will take during and after pics as well. I've never done this before and I was a little worried because waterfall is always veneer. You have to be more careful with veneer, but I found some Formby's refinisher and that's taking the varnish off nicely without any scraping. I'm not repairing the veneer anywhere that it's missing or cracked however. I think that's a bit beyond my abilities just yet.

And if I ruin it, it was only $15. But, uh, a lot more than that in refinishing supplies. Hm. Maybe I have a new hobby.

I'm tempted to make a website like doodle's so I don't lose all these house changes to the mists of time. I have pictures but I don't have them in a cohesive order and I haven't told the story about it all.
doodle, thanks so much for the pics. i was inspired to move some stuff around in my livingroom, i have a similar patio door area and it was just crowded out with my desk on one side. there was a chair on one side and i put another on the other side and it looks great! really cosy. once i clean all the little kid handprints and window markers off the glass i'll take some pics of my own to post.

went out with the neighbour and picked some wild lilacs, three colours, and wild honeysuckle and filled an enormous vase for the table. wow. they make a HUGE difference to the whole space. not just the lovely shades of violet, lilac, purple and green, but the fragrance. flowers are the BEST home decorating trick i know.
amywoman Room/?sc=1&multi=1&add type=local&media=image

Current (and some old) dining room pics. The old table with the orange and green is gone. Sold! Yay, as it didn't go with anything else.
so last night i FINALLY bought the paint for the kitchen. i'm not entirely sure when i'm going to do the actual painting -- i think the deep cleaning and prepping will happen today, but i'll wait till either tonight after dinner and dishes or tomorrow to start painting.

i also came home with swatches for the bathroom. i'm trying to paint the bathroom a really warm orangey red so that it looks nice against my dove grey tilework -- it's proving to be extremely difficult to find a shade that isn't too orange, isn't too pink, isn't too brown, and also doesn't look like a safety cone.

has anyone had luck with color matching from an object or item? i have a shirt i rarely wear anymore that is almost the exact shade i want. i'm willing to cut a swatch, but i don't want to bring home a gallon of custom paint only to find out that this, just like all the other colors i've tried, is too bright, or too orange or whatever. any advice? i think i'm in for another 4 months of insane color pickiness...
I'm not sure, bklyn, but could you even take the tshirt in without having to cut a swatch? I think the orangy red will look great with the grey tiles...and I hear ya on orange being tricky. It can be tricky to get a red that isn't too this or that, as well.

I do know that when they do the color matching, it is pretty accurate.

I need to start painting our walls! I really just need to jump in and start! I've got the colors all picked out. I'm a little worried about kitten Wally jumping around in the paint, but we'll work that out.
i have taken paint samples from kmart to home depot and they have color matched it. i would go for it...worst they can say is "what, are you nuts?!!?" LOL...
holy crap.

the 'cleaning and prepping' part of painting is harder than i thought. there are all these baked on clumps of oily dirt on the walls around the stove because it's right next to a window, and the oil from cooking mixed with the dust and soot that comes in the window get mixed and then bake in with the heat... i've been using a paste of vinegar, baking soda, and salt (which makes a sort of foaming scrub paste) and a lot of elbow grease, but to little effect. i think i'm going to have to break out the ajax, or even bleach, but i don't wanna!

usually before painting i just spray some all-purpose cleaner or vinegar/water mix and then wipe it down with a sponge. but this is crazy! i think i might give up and just hope the paint adheres despite the gunk.

as for the shirt matching, i've done color matching before for work and they generally need a piece of the item they can keep, i'm guessing so that they can daub on the mixed paint to make sure it matches. i also know that, when matching a shade of paint to a textile or piece of art in the room you're painting, one shouldn't give them the original. my concern, however, is not preserving the shirt (it's an old shirt i almost never wear anymore) but making sure i'll be happy with the color. i guess i could hang it in the bathroom for a few days to make sure i really do like that shade against the tile...
Has anyone used combination polyurethane/stain? It's harder to work with than doing two separate steps. Any hints on fixing mistakes? Most notably drips. Thanks.
bklynhermit, the best thing for pre-paint cleaning is TSP. You can buy it at the hardware store or paint store. It's very cheap, comes as a powder in milk carton packaging, and you mix it with water. I always clean with TSP before I paint...and yes, the prep is 75% of the work in painting! If you can't get it all off, it's probably a good idea to seal it with something to prevent mold from bleeding through your paint. I'm not sure what would be best to use...polyurethane, maybe? A paint store could help.

amy, weirdly enough, I JUST read an article at Digs Magazine where someone refinished a chair with that stuff. It's here. She says that she got drips, but that they weren't as noticeable once it was dry. Also that the only way to fix the drips is to re-strip and start all over again, with the stain and polyurethane as two separate steps. :-(

crassy, it looks like there might be a couple of articles here that might help you with your tub issues.

pepper, that's great that it worked for you! I used to have my desk on one side of the patio doors also, and in retrospect, it made no sense. I can actually see the view more from where the desk is now, than I did when it was right beside the window!!

amilita, the dining room paint job and then the mural happened when Georgie was a kitten...he was more interested in playing amongst the newspapers on the floor, than in the paint. So maybe you could distract yours from the paint by laying a bunch of newspapers around!

go get yourself some trisodium phosphate. That's what the professional painters use to get walls to pristine condition. It's pretty potent but it doesn't make's a powder and you mix like a teaspoon into a quart of water and use it to wash walls.

Goof Off is also really great stuff.

*edited to add* cross posted with Doodlebug! *waves*
Thanks, doodle. I'm going to see what I can do with the more obvious imperfections, but like the author of that article, I don't think I'll be using the poly/stain in one product anymore. Too hard to correct mistakes and it dries too fast. By the time you notice your mistakes, it's already gooey.

I will say that I think using Formby's varnish remover is easier than sanding. It won't take the stain off, but there isn't any scraping or real sanding to do with this stuff.

I could always say the imperfections are "patina". Heh. And if nothing else, it looks a thousand times better than it did when I brought it home. That's the really important part.

I second the TSP and Goof Off, or maybe Goo Gone. You can get non-rinse TSP also, which is easier to use than standard TSP.
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