Friday, April 29, 2011

A Bookcase-Staircase; A Computer-Key Table Top. Oh yes!! And More DIY Ideas.

Meredith Launches 50 Innovative DIY
Ideas in its New Readymade Magazaine
on newstands today

Last fall, Meredith Corporation -- the publishing house responsible for releasing a whole host of regular favorites . . . Better Homes and Garden, Traditional Home, Renovation Style and other shelter magazines -- announced a contest. They were on the search for the 100 most innovative ideas. And, so, they invited creative types to vie for this grand prize:

* Three-night stay in NYC.
* VIP guest at ReadyMade 100 party.
* The cover of the April/May 2011 issue of ReadyMade
* $500
* The opportunity to contribute regularly throughout the year to the magazine.

The Grand Prize Winner




Tess Wolfe-Stelzer from Seattle, WA, was named the grand prize winner or “Main Maker.” 
She will be feted at party this month in NYC, along with 24 other top innovators. 
 Her winning Literary Lamps (above) are made from old book pages and spines recycled into three-dimensional—working!—lamps in various complex faceted shapes.

“I work in a hematopathology lab by day and make arts and crafts by night. I have my late grandmother’s contempt for waste, so I make every effort to repurpose, reuse, and recycle.”

You can visit this link to see what the judges said -- and what her project looked like upon entry.




All entries got a stylist's touch -- by Rational Beauty.
All photos are by Patricia Heal.

The Other Winners


Staircase Bookshelf, by Adrienne Romine (Orlando, FL)
Build a multifunctional and space-saving solution (that’s also pet friendly).

“When I found myself constantly lifting my faithful terrier, Chiquita, into the new bunk bed I bought to maximize work space in my bedroom/studio, something had to be done.” —Adrienne Romine


Geeky Bar Top, by Liz and Nate Gordon (Ames, IA)
It doesn’t get much better than this custom-made bar top covered in keys that double as a word search.

"What’s better than a custom-made bar? A custom-made bar with a top covered in keys that double as a word search.” —Liz and Nate Gordon




Snug Mug Spoon Wall, by Christian Ward (Austin, TX)
Store utensils with this sustainable design.

“I was asked by a committee of students and teachers to come up with a method for storing reusable personalized mugs for 60 students. The storage system uses an assortment of secondhand metal spoons, where the convex head of the spoon acts as a clip to hold the mug snugly in place against birch plywood.” —Christian Ward


Recycled Lightbulb Chandelier, by Kelly Malone (San Francisco, CA)
Create a statement light for less than $100.

“I made this from recycled bulbs that I collected in our studio over a few months. It’s now the centerpiece here at Workshop, and it cost less than $100 to make.” —Kelly Malone 



Can Decor, by Ebony Towner (Emeryville, CA)
Craft a towering art piece using paint cans and use vertically or horizontally.

Make this hanging wall or doorway decoration out of used paint cans. Lean or hang it vertically or horizontally.


TV Shelf, by Julie Brzezinksi (Green Bay, WI)
Put those old TVs to use with this funky and functional storage unit.

“I work full-time as a catering supervisor. When I am not creating food displays on the job, I am re-creating items at home or restoring vintage mopeds.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Green Toad: A Princely Paint Brush! Tools and Tips for Today. Also Announcing a GiveAway Winner.

First and Foremost . . .
the Winner of the Ramsign GiveAway is:

"Sunny" who loves the Arrowhead design.
Please send me your name, email and contact info, Sunny, as soon as.... Congrats!
And thanks to all for entering!!
********************************


Now, Let's Talk About Painting:
Tools and Tips
The Green Toad
I don't know how they came up with the name, The Green Toad. Except that it is green. But what I do know is that it's royalty when compared to other paint brushes lining local store shelves. 



Definitely in a class of its own . . . this ergonomically designed paint brush is both biodegradable and compostable! Designed by Margco International -- in consultation with physical therapists -- The Green Toad paint brush kit features a comfort-grip handle and a 360-degree pivoting brush head that reduces hand and wrist strain.


The plastic surround, including the bristles, have been treated with a patented Earthgreen polymer that makes the brushes green in the truest sense.



When asked to give the paint brush a try, I pulled out this old side table (above) that had been waiting patiently for new color. It didn't immediately occur to me that I was rescuing myself from carpal tunnel syndrome or some other hurtful and lingering ailment. I did notice more immediate benefits . . . such as it's virtually drip free. In other words, my hands didn't match the table in the end. And -- and this one is a biggie for me -- no loose brush hairs stayed behind on the table during paint strokes. (With most other brushes, I have had to stop and pinch out single lost bristle strands. And then try to paint over my scrapes.)

Now, I really wish I had known about these brushes when painting my cabinets (below). I could have had those various brush heads right there at my side. I was using various sizes back then to accommodate some challenging angles. The Green Toad is versatile. Meaning . . . you can easily change brush sizes or paint colors by simply snapping a new brush head into place. No stopping to clean each one between colors. Since it easily pivots, you can also tackle those awkward angles.


They tell me The Green Toad is compatible with any type of paint, stain, varnish or sealant. And you can use it on any surface. Available paint head attachments include 1.5-inch and 2.5-inch tapered brushes, 2- and 3-inch straight brushes, and 4-,6- and 9-inch rollers. Earth friendly trays, the company adds, are under development.

Here's my "new" table, which I placed in our beach cottage:


Thanks to The Green Toad for making it easier -- and a lot more fun.
Check it out on this Youtube demo

And for more info: http://www.thegreentoad.net

A Few Painting Tips:
From Sherwin Williams

How to decide on a color:
  • Look at existing space. What will stay? What will be replaced? If the carpet and drapes stay, then look for a complementary color for the wall and ceiling.
  • Take one or two of the Idea Cards available at their stores for real-live looks into rooms.
  • Grap some inspiration from your own closet . . . what colors do you wear and like?
How to paint a large open format room:
  • Use monochromatic colors that are featured on each paint strip card. (They start light and go to the darker shade.) The six or so shades on their paint cards are all complementary to one another. You can paint the lighter shade, for example, on the ceiling and then use the next darker one for the trim and baseboards, and the next darker one for the walls. 
  • Look for natural "breaks" in this type of space before applying a different shade, even if it's a monochromatic palette. 
From Benjamin Moore:

If you're painting a house to sell, go neutral, say Benjamin Moore experts. That way your potential buyers aren't distracted by a certain ambience or style. And, by the way, neutral doesn't always mean white. Here are some suggestions to neutralize a space:




If you wish to update and refresh a space . . . Benjamin Moore suggests applying a discreet color that will highlight the architectural details and/or feel of a home. They pulled these for consideration:

If you want to maximize space -- or give a home the illusion that it's bigger than it really is, then try out these, they suggest:

From Farrow and Ball:

Light affects paint colors, depending on whether the room faces northward, southward or so on.

Northern rooms offer the greatest challenge, especially if you're trying to lighten them up. They say it's best to not fight the light. Consider, instead, strong dark colors to enhance the intimacy of the space but in a dramatic way.  Always select shades with green or grey bases -- even if you're intent on going with lighter shades, such as yellow or creams. 

Southern spaces mean you just lucked out. The great light coming into these rooms -- unless you have no windows -- awards you with a broad selection of color options. Go cool. Go warm. Bask in your selection.

Eastern rooms can appear a little blue, thanks to the incoming light's influences. They say to go with it -- select a color either in the blues or greens. And know the light will change dramatically during the day.

Western spaces go from cool to warm during the day. They suggest grey neutrals or soft pinks. Whites look great and will flatter any color of furniture.

Good luck with your painting projects. If you have any tips you'd like to share, please do in the comment section. Thanks again to Ramsign for the GiveAway. And to The Green Toad.







Friday, April 22, 2011

Lovely in Lucite. And from Waverly --Spring-time Flowers. Make Your Own Bouquet!

House Beautiful Recently Said:
"Just one piece of acrylic furniture can remake an entire room. "

Of the 17 pieces that wowed them, this chair ranked among the first in this slide show:

Along the same time as when the magazine saluted lucite, I ran across these clear "winners" in my inbox, from Designer Pages:

TheWork Chair

The Summers Chair

Viktor Harmen’s Clear Chair

Alexandra von Furstenberg’s Limited Edition Lucite Desks

These conversation pieces certainly can lighten the mood of an otherwise serious room. What do you think? Do you agree with House Beautiful's statement . . . . Could you liberate your own space with a little lucite? 

Also in my inbox: Waverly Blooms

Another great DIY project from Waverly Fabrics.

Lucite images from House Beautiful and Designer Pages.




Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ramsign GiveAway: Old-World Porcelain House Numbers!

Denmark Sign Maker
Invites Everyone -- Worldwide -- To Enter This GiveAway!
It's Just too Easy Not to Give it a Try.


Twenty years ago, Ramsign revived the long lost European tradition -- and art -- of creating hand-stenciled, porcelain enamel house numbers and signs. 


With the help of skilled craftsmen, the company creates beautiful signage that is made to last a lifetime. Each enamel sign can be compared to the production of blown glass; there are no two exact copies of any.


Ramsign invites readers and visitors of Love Where You Live to enter a drawing 
for a house number sign. One sign -- up to 5 digits -- will be given away 
next Tuesday, April 26.

You Can Enter Once or Three Times.
This is what you need to do to enter -- pick
one way or all ways:

(1).  Leave a comment on this blog.

(2). Leave a second comment after visiting RAMSIGN (click the name) to select which 
of the five category of signs you like.

(3).  Leave a third comment after signing up as a follower on this blog.

***Be sure to leave an email so that I can contact you for mailing info.

I will post the winner's name on Tuesday, April 26, at noon EST.
(If no email is available to pass along to Ramsign in a 24-hour period, I will
select another winner.)

Good Luck!



Sunday, April 17, 2011

ASID Showhouse in Missouri City, Texas! Take the tour.... Announcing Upcoming GiveAway, too!!

A Benefit 
-- for Those Seeking Ideas & Inspiration
and for a Local Children's hospital

The Gulf Coast Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) tapped 19 
of its 18,000 members to help decorate -- for public viewing -- a Regan custom home in a residential community called Sienna Plantation. The home had been open to the public; proceeds from ticket sales benefited the Children's Memorial Hospital.
5,000+ square-foot home built by Regan Custom Homes.

In the post prior to this one, Interior Designer Carla Aston showed us her hip and stylish teen room, a featured space in this Texas Hill Country-inspired showhouse. Read her interview and see the cool retro-mod space that she designed, here.

Here are some favorite rooms:
By Interior Designer Hallie Radcliffe-Canalli. 
Hallie wanted to create a Texas Hill Country experience by also incorporating a Spanish Colonial style -- a tribute to days preceding Texas' statehood. 
She brought in an old farm table with barley twist legs and matched
it with antique Spanish carved chairs. Of course, it's not Texas without a large painting of Texas longhorns.
This one was created by San Antonio artist Diana M. Hendrix.

Interior Designer Debra Sabrsula selected the large natural orb chandelier.

By Interior Designer Amilee Wendt.
Amilee wanted a strong yet simple office decor that also reflected a certain masculinity.


By Interior Designer Dawn Frazier.
While the "Crabby Red" walls energize the room, the neutral fabrics keep the decor grounded
-- for a busy family wanting and appreciating both style and comfort.

By Interior Designer Mary Lindsey Wilson.
"My design concept is sophisticated yet relaxed and comfortable." She added "found" pieces
to create personal style. 
She found the crusty 19th century brackets in Galveston and then worked
with Bill Peck of Peck & Co in Houston to create this one-of-a-kind night table.



By Interior Designer Sharon Staley.
A family-friend gourmet kitchen. Mellowed Benedetti alder cabinetry resembles
the look of furniture. The floor is slate.

The custom glass, slate and stone backsplash picks up the subtle sparkle of quartz
in the granite countertop. The range hood is copper.

By Interior Designers Connie LeFevre and Amanda Lockhart.
The white concrete table on a reclaimed elm base is the striking anchor in this room.
(Even though it is concrete, it's weight matches that of a wooden table, thanks to its special construction.)

by Interior Designer Cris Hosrich.
She wanted to design a contemporary yet rustic mudroom and office combo. 


By Interior Designer Pamela Hoffer.
She aimed for a marriage between hill country and industrial chic -- for the bed and bath suite.
She created a warm "cocooning" ambiance and added the white bedding to bring a "crispness"
to the space.
The barrier-free bath meets certain ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.
The shower, for example, is "curbless" to enable easy wheelchair access.

By Interior Designer Leslie Hasler.


Other participating designers included:
Teena Caldwell
Saima Seyar
Donna Jarnigan
Nicole Ramirez
Diana Walker
Keron Weathered

The Lone Star College interior design team in Kingwood, Texas, made their contributions in the utility room.

******************************************
Announcing an Exciting, Upcoming
GiveAway -- from Denmark!
Details Released on Tuesday, April 19.




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