8.19.2010

I MIGHT BE GOING CRAZY

...but at least my kitchen looks nicer, or so I think.

Last night after the Crystal Castles/Rusko/Sinden show, I couldn't sleep at all.  In my middle of the night internet browsing, I came across Apartment Therapy's post on cupboards without doors.  It was 3AM but all I could think about was taking off the doors to my cupboards.  So after doing that, and some more cleaning and moving and organizing (all of those words make me feel like sighing by now), it was 6:30AM.  Hmmmm....sleep?
But still, those cupboards--better, but not great.  They were in need of a paint job.

See the difference?  The top picture already has the bottom left side painted.

And now with dishes.  I'm not sure if I want to only have all white/off-white dishes, or if I prefer the small splashes of color yet.  I'll give it a few days.  But really, I do love the openness of this.  It's sort of the same approach that I'm taking to having a neat and tidy wardrobe by foregoing the closet--things have nowhere to hide.  Also, don't you always hate it when you can't figure out which door contains which things, and when you're cooking/using a lot of dishes and you have to keep opening and reopening the doors?  Done and done.
Simultaneously, I was also trying to take care of that annoying white mark on the hot pink living room walls.  I found some "magenta" paint in the closet, that only turned out closer to a Shining-red-rum-red than anything else.  Plan B: mixing that paint with a pint of lavender paint that I knew I would never use again.  Too bad I didn't think to only use some of the red and some of the lavender, and then add a whole bunch of white paint, instead of the half and half combination that I did, because it probably would've turned out a lot lighter (and nicer) than this color.  So our living room kind of looks like the kids section of Ikea now, but that is a fine temporary change from that white spot that was driving me crazy.  Yeah I know I did a terrible paint job, I can live with it.
As a reward for all this madness (I've also been eating fudge around the clock...), I bought myself the Twin Peaks gold box set at last.  True love.
I'm off to Baltimore for the weekend tomorrow.  When I return: dealing with those hideous doors in my room.

8.17.2010

WORK IN PROGRESS

I kind of didn't want to post photos of the rest of the apartment, or of my room for that matter, until everything has been settled and received its proper make-over so that I could do some nice before/after collages.  But really, I don't have the patience for that, especially since my roommates still haven't moved in yet!  So here's a little mini apartment tour:

The largest bedroom, currently storing some of my stuff/subletters' stuff as I am still organizing.
The bathroom.  Still need to replace those moldy shower curtains and bleach the blue out of the bathtub, but I'm going to save that for later today.  But I did put up a window curtain, which the bathroom has been sorely missing for the past 2 years.  (My room is between the largest bedroom and the bathroom)
The third bedroom.
The fourth bedroom, currently storing more stuff, to be made into a breakfast/tea room :)
The living room, which needs a good cleaning still, in addition to getting rid of some of the stuff that's there (the pile in the lefthand corner, the fridge, the stuff on the couch and chair, the white chair and cushion).  Also need to figure out a solution to that glaring white paint mark on the wall...
And the kitchen, which still needs a bit more organizing.  Also, still trying to figure out a way to not have this fridge block half the entranceway.
So, a la Joyce's Finnegans Wake, this is really a work in progress right now.  Unfortunately, I don't have too much time before now and Friday (when I head down to Baltimore for the weekend) to complete any large projects (a headboard, finishing the curtains), so those will have to wait til next week.

8.16.2010

APARTMENT INSPIRATION: MARIE ANTOINETTE

This is a little out there for anything I'm planning on doing with the apartment, but who wouldn't feel inspired after watching Coppola's Marie Antoinette?  There were a lot of things about the movie that I didn't care for (like, dialogue), but visually, it was like opening presents on Christmas day.


I've been home (Connecticut) for the past few days, hence the lack of barn-related updates.  The differences between there and my apartment could not be more extreme.  Everything is so clean and new and well-functioning and orderly.  It's sort of like taking a vacation at some resort.  Sighhhhh.

8.08.2010

I JUST BLUE MYSELF

Sometime after watching Just Like Heaven last night (for the second time, admittedly), I got this idea that I didn't like the color of my current desk chair.  It was this beige-yellow herringbone tweed, and although I usually love things in that color palette, this just wasn't working for me.  I thought about how I would reupholster it, but that seemed hard given that I like the material/texture anyways.  But I realized I had some packets of idye lying around, and decided to test one out.  How does one dye a chair without removable cushions though?
In the bathtub.  Especially since our bathroom isn't particularly clean right now and everything needs a good scrub down of bleach.  So I just filled the bathtub, dropped the idye in, and dunked that whole thing in there.
But I forgot to put on gloves first, oops.  In the words of Tobias F√ľnke, I'm afraid I just blue myself.
And here it is!  Still drying though...but it's safe to be out of the bathtub now that it's not dripping anymore.  The lighting is a little weird here, but I am pretty satisfied with how the color looks in real life.
Of course, since I had a whole bathtub full of dye, I wanted to not waste the opportunity and scrambled around looking for things I wanted to dye blue.  Not very many things apparently--if only I had white sheets because I definitely would've dyed them.

8.07.2010

IKEA IS THE SWEDEST

Ok, I had to use that pun because my friend Nick used it all the time while we were in Copenhagen and since he just got back to the states a couple of days ago, it just seems so darn appropriate.

So I had a small list of things that I knew that I wanted: a desk, wooden hangers, and maybe sheets if there were any that caught my eye.  I ended up leaving with exactly what I came there for, and I was already sitting in my car when I realized that I wanted a tall slim glass to hold pens on my table.  Going back inside, I realized all the ones I liked came in packs of 6, so I decided to just leave, which of course took forever because it is seriously a labyrinth in there.  Before I made my way to the exit, though, I happened across the clearance section.

An Ikea clearance section.  What?  How come no one ever told me about this?
Outside the section entrance there were also a ton of boards, and I decided I might as well get one here since they seemed roughly the size of headboards and were wayyy cheaper and seemingly better quality than Home Depot (.99 cents per 4.5 foot wide boards of varying lengths).  So I picked one out that was a good size, and put it aside while I explored the clearance section.

Ummm, where else could you find headboards priced between 2.99-4.99?  There was actually one that screwed on to a bed frame and was pretty nice, but it was definitely for a king sized bed.  I decided on a beveled one for 2.99--the swedest deal, indeed.
So now I just have to decide what color to upholster it with.  I am leaning towards a darkish gray linen, but I still have fantasies about draping everything in my room in blue velvet, for perhaps obvious reasons...

Here's my current desk setup.  A full view later when I actually organize my bookshelf and maybe re-upholster the current beige-tan tweed material that my chair's covered in right now.
And the "closet", which is still pretty disorganized.  I still am working on paring down what I have, and I also need to pick up two more sets of wooden hangers (hence the ugly non-matching white ones) when I go back to Ikea for kitchen/bathroom related things.

8.05.2010

LIKE WATCHING PAINT DRY

Well, not exactly.  More like multi-tasking 123123085 things at once.  Including trying to keep my room clean enough to paint and finish wallpapering while having to move in all of my stuff.  Luckily, most of it will be contained in the semi-empty room next to mine for now.

I woke up at 7AM this morning and had a burning desire to...paint while it was still cool out.  In a closet I found several cans of paint.  There was less than half a can of the neon green currently on the walls, so I decided to mix it with another half can of baby blue paint.  The resulting color is a lot more green than I anticipated, but you can definitely see the difference:
See that wallpaper?  Terrible job. 
There's one important thing (of many) missing right now though: a bed!  I have a mattress on the way in the mail, but it won't get here til Tuesday at the earliest...luckily sleeping on a couch on campus is always an option.


I realized that the random boxspring in our apartment right now works with my futon mattress that I used all last semester, so I will be promptly returning my "mattress-in-a-box" as soon as it gets here--too bad, I was sort of looking forward to how those things work.  I really need to do something about the boxspring though--it is looking all sorts of dowdy.  After I catch a breath, and maybe buy myself a cupcake (or five) from Brown Betty's as a reward a tomorrow, I'll brave Home Depot again and buy a nail gun and set to work on upholstering.

The other problem with the boxspring was that there was about a 3-inch gap between the wall and the base, because a pipe in the corner.  It seemed to weird to leave that space there, so I thought I'd used the cheap wooden Ikea bed slats that were constantly getting in my way today while getting stuff from our utilities closet.
So I tried to make my sleeping area as livable as possible for the night...I don't think I can do much more for now, but I have a long weekend ahead of me of finishing my semi-botched wallpapering job (I realized that even if there is more overlap, cutting small panels is wayyyyy easier than trying to do floor to ceiling ones), finishing my curtains so that they match and are completed, replacing the desk that is currently in the room, and probably a zillion other things that I can't really wrap my mind around right now.  Good night! 

8.04.2010

WALLPAPER, NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS

Oh my god, where do I begin.
Wallpapering is about a thousand times harder than I thought it would be.  I googled "how to put up pre-pasted wallpaper" a couple of weeks ago and found elaborate tips and instructions for the task.  Special tables for soaking the paper, priming the walls, etc. etc., i.e. stuff I don't have time for.  But gosh, I did not realize that it would actually be hard to do, after all, the primary age group I associate with wallpaper is the 60+ crowd.

Problem one was soaking the paper.  When the instructions say to SOAK the paper, they really mean it.  At first I thought it would be ok to apply water with a brush or paint roller.  Wrong.  Problem two was being too short and not having a tall enough chair, so that I had to strain to reach the top.  Problem three was not having a proper smoothing tool.  I quickly realized my metal paint scraper would tear the paper, especially because of problem four, the much loved, but uneven last paint job.  Picture evidence of all of this tomorrow.

I don't really know what to do at this point, except to trim what I've put up so far, and patch up the parts that simply WOULD NOT adhere at the top.  And then finish the rest of the wall.  Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow, but god I am not looking forward to it.  And as for the other 3, I am sticking with the idea of making this a "wallpaper accent wall".

DIY: RUFFLES


I really hesitated when deciding what kind of curtains to buy/make because between the wallpaper that I plan on putting up and the already bright green walls, less may be more.  But I had been seeing ruffled curtains making the rounds on tumblr and various blogs, and became sort of enamored with the idea of really soft and frilly curtains.


Urban Outfitters sells "waterfall" curtains for both showers and windows, but there was no way that I would be paying $78 a panel.  Plus, I checked them out in person and the material is soft but not particularly great, so I decided to pull myself out of my DIY slump and buy some fabric.  At $1.49 a yard, cotton muslin has the perfect off-white shade I was looking for, and a certain bit of roughness to off-set the girliness of it all, although I couldn't help getting some pretty eyelet too...


I spent the greater part of my evening almost finishing one curtain.  I have to add the ruffle panels to the second one still, and to finish the first one (I'm leaving the last panel for measuring out more panels).  So far, so good, even while working in the most constrained situations, as evidenced below.