Archive for the 'DIY' Category

The new chic: decorating from the dump

I knew we were on our way to a Depression Era decorating mentality and now we have arrived. Thank goodness we have artists living at the poverty level to show us the way. As seen in this feature in the New York Times, an artist who makes sculpture from driftwood and his resourceful partner have [...]

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Joni’s condo kitchen remodel: Coming into the final stretch

Joni’s condo kitchen update is nearly done. (See the project up to now.) Joni’s friend and fellow nurse Patti is helping out, and she files this report: I’m home from the mountains and went to see Joni’s kitchen today. It’s beautiful! I am thrilled and so is she. (Click photos to enlarge.) Joni opted to [...]

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Feel like cheaping out? Don’t make the same mistake Charles made

Everyone likes a deal. A steal. A feeling that you just saved more money on your remodel than anyone in the history of the world. But sometimes that quest can bring regrets. That’s what happened to Charles Chang, who did a complete remodel on a very trashed property for about $40,000. See the whole story [...]

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Casting Call — ‘Professional Grade’ on HGTV

Think you can renovate better and chaper than a contractor? Do you live in the Los Angeles area? Then HGTV’s popular new renovation show Professional Grade is looking for you. The goal is for you to find high-end materials on the cheap, do most of the labor yourself, and hire and manage subcontractors — such as plumbers [...]

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Laundry room appliances too cute to hide

When Kristina Johnson and David Franke remodeled their California kitchen and laundry room, they did a surprising thing: left the door off the laundry room. Of course, I had a question about that missing door: “Why?” You might have to love appliances as much as Kristina and Dave do to understand the reasoning: The high-end, [...]

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Stunning butcher block counters . . . are not for everyone

Butcher block counters are so gorgeous! They evoke French country kitchens and a slower, more thoughtful time. In truth, they are not for everyone. More than one homeowner has rued the day butcher block was chosen, If the finish is not rock hard, they can get stained, gouged and encrusted with years of accumulated foodstuffs. [...]

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Would you sacrifice square footage for charm?

When famed kitchen designer Susan Serra visited Copenhagen this month, she stayed in this apartment and sent back this photo. In this living room, I was struck by the deep-set windows, which add so much charm. It creates a feeling of thick walls, and provides shelves for plants, flowers and other things of beauty, and provides a [...]

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Before & After — Ikea kitchen island on steroids

This is one of the best budget kitchen remodels I’ve seen. While you can see a dramatic change from before (bottom) and after (top), notice that the cabinets are the same, the window is in the same place, all the appliances are in the same locations and the floor and ceiling are the same. So [...]

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Etsy Find of the Week — Super cool wall decals

I just can’t get enough of these removable vinyl wall decals. They are made by a lady and her Chinese husband, who is the artist. The little bio on the Etsy website is so endearing: “We are a family run shop,my husband is a chinese artist,he design the graphics,I do some computer work.we are very [...]

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Hanging your own drywall? Please, I’m begging you, learn from a master

So you’re doing some remodeling and it occurs to you that, hey, you can hang the drywall yourself and save some money. How hard could it be? You just nail some paper-covered chalk board to the studs and voila! You’re an expert. Whoa! Hold on there. I want you to hear me out. I think [...]

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Headboard made from a church pew — very cool!

I’m totally in love with this headboard made from an old church pew. See the whole story at AOL’s DIY Life.

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Book Report: The Homeowner’s Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting

I admire the entrepreneurial spirit, and passion about one’s work, and courage. So when Steve Broujos, a painting contractor and educator in Wilmington, Del., asked if I’d like to see his new book, I thought: Why not? The title is not exactly dynamic: “The Homeowner’s Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting.” But I’ll tell [...]

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The Vanilla Ice Project: A revealing Q&A with the rapper-turned-remodeler

In 1990, he created a sensation with his hip-hop single, Ice Ice Baby. Two decades, several public controversies, and many life lessons later, Rob Van Winkle emerges from the shadow of his alter-ego, Vanilla Ice, to debut a mellow, more mature attitude and a new show, The Vanilla Ice Project, on the DIY Network.  We spoke exclusively with [...]

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New Product Review: KILZ Clean Start Primer

One day, when I wasn’t looking, my once-charming front porch went from shabby chic to just plain disgusting. I waited for the crew from HGTV’s Curb Appeal to show up. When they didn’t come, I decided to take on the job. Here’s the porch I started with: As you can see, I had many challenges: [...]

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What do you look for in a flea market chair?

What do you look for in flea market chairs? Kitty Bartholomew of HGTV fame shares two tips: 1) Look for chairs with a seat that can be taken off and recovered. Turn it over and see if there are screws holding the seat to the frame. If there are, the potential for recovering the seat [...]

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Jennifer Aniston’s sumptuous bed: DIY instructions here

When Jennifer Aniston’s home turned up in Architectural Digest last month, the bed in the master bedroom really caught my eye. As you can see above, it’s an oversized platform with two “ears” for low-slung night stands. I can imagine one of those ultra-comfortable memory foam mattresses sitting atop this platform. It’s just too yummy. [...]

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Create the Look for Less: Lance Armstrong’s kitchen

There’s a good reason Lance Armstrong‘s kitchen is so comfortable and inviting. This is not merely a showplace, but the heart of a family home where the cycling superstar is raising three young children (he shares amicable joint custody with his former wife), and where he plans to live until his kids graduate from high [...]

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10 ways to love your Valentine during a home remodel

In the middle of a home remodel this Valentine’s Day? No doubt it can be stressful. But instead of bickering and lashing out at the one you love, how about making this a time of sweetness? Here are some ideas to ensure a romantic weekend, despite all the dust and rubble: 1. If the kitchen [...]

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The drain that never clogs

The last time my sink clogged up, I tried muscle power and the force of a plunger to unclog the drain. When that failed miserably, I switched to liquid drain cleaner, then graduated to crystal drain cleaner and finally moved up to a thick gel. Nothing helped. At all. Finally, I called the plumber to [...]

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2P-10, the Super Duper Glue

From DIY Life: When the corner of my favorite wooden picture frame broke apart during a move, I pondered the ways I could fix it elegantly, preferably with a thin and quick-setting adhesive. Wood glue would be sloppy on the finely crafted joint and slow to set. In typical carpentry, a joint can be held [...]

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