Filed under: DIY
By Elisa Krovblit
Luckily we have our connections so that we can bring you the best of the best in everything for your home.
This week our most mention-worthy connection is our Editor-In-Chief’s mother-in-law. And we’re grateful that this inquisitive woman came across The Daily Buzz. thedailybuzz.com.au
This helpful gem originates in Australia and has some savvy solutions to life’s little dilemmas. The kind of dilemmas that you don’t actually lose sleep over, but once someone shows you a better way, you think to yourself, “Thank goodness someone finally figured that one out!”
Visit thedailybuzz.com.au for their 25 tried and true techniques to solve life’s little problems.
Here’s a few of our personal faves:
Baking a pie? Making jam? Forget the paring knife and grab a straw. A simple stab will have strawberries hulled in a split second. Wonder if the name was a clue that someone finally figured out.
Cut down on linen closet disarray. Fold your sheet. Fold your flat sheet. Now neatly tuck them all inside one pillow case. Voila. Sheet set in a sack.
Don’t lose it just because you lost it. From little screws to small earrings, just put a piece of pantyhose over the end of the vacuum, secure it tightly with a rubber band and turn it on. The suction will pull up those little lost treasures.
And clearing up cleaner clutter is easy now. Just attach a tension rod in your cleaner cabinet and hand your spray bottle cleaners on it.
January 30, 2012
by Elisa Krovblit
I have been on a mission to find the perfect door for our bedroom.
It’s not easy to find door perfection.
The problem with having a less-than-traditional home is that you need to find solutions that are less than traditional. One day I’m going to open a store called Untraditional Home Hardware, but for now I’m stuck sifting through websites and going to hardware stores to question the construction savvy staff.
Our bedroom is just beyond an interior room. That poor little interior room is lovely, but oddly enough, it doesn’t have its own window. The bedroom is a sunroom, two full walls of windows. The dream? A door that will allow natural light into the interior room. The problem? I don’t want a framed-in door and I can’t have a pocket door.
The solution? A barn door that slides open and is basically one big framed in translucent window. Enough to let light in, enough to conceal the slippers and robes.
The lofty barn door idea would work, if I could find the right door. When you go on a search for a very odd-sized door, you never know where that search will take you. Logic would dictate that I should just have the door fabricated, but my love of the hunt and my visions of a big old door with vintage charm and frosted windows trump logic at every turn.
The hardware was easy. Johnson manufactures a great kit.
The dream door, not so easy. I want one that has presence. It can’t have knob holes or lock holes drilled into it since I can’t use a knob on a sliding barn door. It has to have lots of window. I’m hoping something jumps out at me. One big window? A French nine-panel door? A five-panel door? Frosted windows or patterned glass would be nice, but I’m willing to do some glass etching myself to get the look.
Once I find my dream door I’ll use a matching wood board as a valance to cover the kit. Oh, you can get dreamier kits than this. Anything from an authentic antique version to the proper barn door hardware you’d find in a barn. Various decorative models, ideal for a big old hard loft conversion can run from $250 to $2000, but has that ‘look.’ I didn’t want ‘the look’ – just the feel of that look. I’m telling you, my logic battles it out with my vision all day long.
Luckily for me, there are several stores in the city that make it their business to salvage gorgeous old everything from homes far and wide and resell it for a major profit. They save treasures from Victorian homes whose new owners feel ‘out with the old, in with the new’ is the way to go with a gut renovation. These businesses take what they can when buildings are slated for demolition. I’m more of an ‘out with the new, in with the old’ type personality it would seem. So I’m on the hunt. More door stores will fill my weekend until I find the perfect door. I know it’s out there waiting for me.
And when I find that perfect door we will once again have privacy in the bedroom and our lovely little interior room will fill with sunlight once more.
September 30, 2011
By Elisa Krovblit
Ever have a moment where you realize where it all went terribly wrong?
Having a modern, loft-styled bedroom (and two small children running around) my husband and I opted for clean lines and minimal furniture in our bedroom. No night tables, ergo no night-stand for table lamps.
I’ve been driving him crazy to install wall sconces for me.
I love to read in bed and he loves to work late. Perfect combination for couples who have bedside tables with lamps for reading in bed. Not for me.
He’s resisted, saying that the wall sconces wouldn’t be strong enough for the kids to swing from. While I laughed at the visual it gave me, I was certain my little preciouses wouldn’t rip my wall sconces out of the wall.
Well, ripped wall sconces won’t be the worst part of this adventure, but they are part of this adventure. You can see it coming a mile away. Not the first day, though! That is my only victory in this game of “Does she dare to read in bed.”
The wall sconces I bought were pretty, perfect for our room. The combination of chrome and milk glass fit neatly and seamlessly into our décor. I bought two, begrudgingly. My husband would have the luxury of a wall sconce whether he wanted one or not. I wasn’t being kind, I was being true to my deep-seeded need for symmetry.
Day two arrived early when a cute little boy decided to rush in and wake me up and excitedly play with my wall sconce. Actually, ‘swing’ and not ‘play’ is the most appropriate verb. And it didn’t take much, but the wall sconce came down on my pillow. A soft landing for milk glass and son.
I thought I’d outsmart everyone and rehang the wall sconces properly, towards the middle of the bed – yes a unique placement in our unique room. It was to be a spectacular save to my husband’s ‘I-told-you-so’ that was sure to come at some point.
Except, here’s where it goes bad. Upon inspection of the wall sconce, I realized that the sconce had failed me – had failed in general. Bad design – and not poor planning – was to blame. The design of the sconce had screw holes that, once attached, were covered by a plate that self-adhered into the channel, hermetically sealing in the screws. Forever inaccessible.
These disposable, single use sconces had no way to be reattached to the wall. They were a one-shot deal – and sadly, I’d missed my shot.
My husband came home. I blamed poor design and I’m sticking to my story. I hope he’ll rip out the remaining wall plugs and fix the holes soon, because even though it ISN’T technically MY fault, I’m not dumb enough to do THAT again. I shouldn’t have to live with my shame, clearly visible as I continue to use the bright overhead light to read by at night.
September 7, 2011
By Sara Duck
This easy step-by-step project from the nifty book Wallpaper Projects by Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith will take an ordinary bookshelf and transform it into a fabulous backdrop to showcase your treasured library. $30. Visit raincoast.com
Hammer and brads (optional)
1. Remove everything from your bookshelf and lay it flat on its
2. Measure the space between the shelves and cut your wallpaper
to size using a utility knife and metal ruler as your guide.
3. Apply an even layer of spray adhesive to the back of your
wallpaper and press firmly to the back of the shelf.
If your bookshelf has a detachable back, simply remove it and
measure the entire piece. Cut your paper to size and apply it to
the back. Reattach using a hammer and small brads.
June 29, 2010