Archive for the 'DIY' Category

Uptick in lead poisoning cases related to economy?

State health officials say an increase in childhood lead poisoning cases in Iowa could be tied to the economic downturn. Kevin Officer, with the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Lead Poisoning Prevention, says many people living in older homes are choosing to do their own repairs and they’re not always following lead-safe practices. [...]

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Kitchen renovation under $1,000 in 2 weekends

Above: After Below: Before See the whole story. Tip of the hat to The Kitchen Designer.

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What’s your least favorite DIY task?

When I visited Arnie and Lily Richards at home in Downey, California, they were naturally proud of the new dining room they added, and the adjacent kitchen they remodeled. You can see it here and it’s nice, isn’t it? And the couple did every single thing themselves, with their own hands — demolition (friends helped [...]

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Eco-decorating is suddenly hip

I guess my friend and co-author Kitty Bartholomew is a visionary. For many years, long before it was eco-hip, she was finding new uses for old things that have served their purpose well and that deserve more than a slow ride to the landfill. Old leather belts are a case in point. Consider how much [...]

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How to build a brick pizza oven in your kitchen

The article is here. And the video is here: (Video: L.A. Times)

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Some assembly required . . . on steroids!

Behold the lovely Ikea Varde cabinet for $329 — sleek, elegant, understated. However, when you see how much work this requires for assembly, you may have a different opinion of it — confusing, complicated, mind-boggling. Check out this set of photos of a guy putting together the cabinet (click on Play Again when you see assembled [...]

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The Tightwad Remodel — Patio furniture on the cheap

It's time to get thrifty, people. This patio furniture was bought by Felix Neals and Arleen Flores-Neals, a young couple I met in L.A. Arleen found these pieces at a big-box store and she noticed they were faded and scratched from hanging around the store too long. So she haggled with the manager and got [...]

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Fun with IKEA’s $40 Varde wall shelf

IKEA sells a pretty nice $40 Varde wall shelf unit. But actually, it’s a little bland. A couple of designers from Los Angeles offer some variations in the L.A. Times. Above you see 1) the original in the center, 2) a metal grate and chain treatment on the left, and 3) the shelf embellished with [...]

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Where there was darkness, I brought light

This morning, as I walked down the hallway toward the bathroom, I felt startled when I saw light coming from there and I thought: “Darn it. I left the light on all night.” But the illumination did not come from a light bulb. It was natural light from a high window that, until yesterday, had [...]

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Joni’s kitchen remodel: Mystery of the slipping tile solved

Patti here. Since our weekend tile project, which Joni and I wrote about in a previous post, we have gathered some valuable information. First and foremost is that thinset should be the consistency of peanut butter! Ours was more the consistency of sour cream, so it was too thin. (Notice the food references; it is [...]

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Joni’s condo kitchen remodel: Setting the tile, finally

Patti here. I'm helping my friend and fellow nurse Joni spruce up her kitchen. See the whole project. Well, we got some tile up over the weekend. Whew, it was a lot of work. With this, as with everything else, there was quite a learning curve. We were extremely careful to plan the placement, have [...]

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Joni’s condo kitchen remodel: a little snag in setting tile

Patti here. I'm helping my friend and fellow nurse Joni with the update of her condo kitchen. We were supposed to be laying the backsplash tile this week, but we hit a little snag. Well, it's a time snag more than anything else, probably costing a week and $100. As it turns out, we need [...]

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Joni’s condo kitchen remodel: virtual backsplash tile

As Joni waits for her new backsplash tile to be delivered, and we all wait to see how it will look installed, clever POD Person* Mike did some computer magic to show us the end result. Above, on the right, you can see a representation of what Joni’s tile might look like up on the [...]

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Joni’s condo kitchen remodel: Picking wall color is not easy

Progress is being made on Joni’s condo kitchen remodel. See Joni and her nurse-friend Patti in their scrubs working on the kitchen. See the kitchen before any work was done. So far, the overhead cabinet that blocked the natural light has come down, and a fun s-curve track light has gone up. The boring wood [...]

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Condo kitchen remodel: Picking the palette

Here’s an update on the condo kitchen remodel being done, girlfriend style, by fellow nurses Patti and Joni. The two spent a few hours in surgical bonnets and surgical masks sanding the boxes of Joni’s cabinets. Patti took the doors home and sanded and primed them, laying them out on her kitchen counters to dry. [...]

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Joni’s condo kitchen remodel: Loving the glazed green top coat!

Hi, Patti here, with an update. My friend Joni and I have decided to paint all of her cabinets green but leave some chocolate brown (base color) for relief on the kick plates and in a couple of mid-sections on the top cabinets. Painting the bottom cabinets first gave us a feel for how the [...]

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Joni’s condo kitchen remodel: Light goes up, cabinet comes down

Patti here, blogging about the kitchen remodel I’m helping my friend and fellow nurse Joni accomplish in her SoCal condo. I blogged about the beginning of this project last week. On Saturday my husband, Gary, and I stopped by to help. And Joni’s next-door neighbor helped as well. I appreciate all your votes on the [...]

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Indoor air polluted by paint fumes? Not for me, thank you

So I asked the guys at my local paint store about no-VOC and low-VOC paints. As you may know, VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, but you could also call them volatile chemical compounds. They are emitted as gases from paints and glues and sealants and other products and make people sick. Or, as the [...]

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Home Depot tile clinic well worth the money

The title of this post is a joke, of course, because there is no charge for clinics at Home Depot, Lowe’s and other places. It’s just a matter of signing up and showing up. The clinic I attended today consisted of a talented guy named Zac in aisle No. 7 with a table and some [...]

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Joni’s condo kitchen remodel: Act 1, Scene 2

Hi, this is Patti posting. I’m helping my friend Joni with her condo kitchen project. A little update: We are focusing in on a lighting solution — a track in the middle of the ceiling where there is now a single fixture. The track will allow Joni to direct the various bulbs where she needs [...]

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