Archive for the 'My Remodel' Category

Free and cheap: A tile showroom in my living room

Suze Orman would not be happy with me. If you’ve seen her show, you’ve heard her intone: People first. Then money. Then things. My current lineup is: People first. Then tile. Then everything else. Back at the tile shop, where I picked up my free tiled tabletop in the alley behind the store, I checked [...]

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Free and cheap: A fleur-de-lis door on the side of the road

As you know if you’ve been keeping up with my blog, I’ve recently become enthralled and obsessed with the rebuilding of New Orleans. I visited the first time in mid-February and have been there now four times. So it was with some excitement, in my own Southern California neighborhood, that I came across this door [...]

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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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Free and cheap decorating

At the tile store some time ago, salivating over the $30-per-square-foot tile, I asked the clerk a brilliant question: “Do you have any free stuff?” I was with a friend who is pretty classy, and she gave a nervous little laugh and I wondered for a second if this question was crass. But the clerk [...]

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It’s official: barter works

So what do you do when your prized market umbrella goes flying off in the wind and breaks two spokes? And what do you do when your avocado trees are putting out so much fruit you fear the boughs will break? In my case, with this very scenario, I put a free ad on Craigslist [...]

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Lead testing made simple

Whenever I’m told to test my house for lead or radon or mold or asbestos, I get a bad case of the “yeah buts . . . .” As in: Yeah, but . . . who do I call? Yeah, but . . . how do I collect samples? Yeah, but . . . what [...]

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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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In a recession, time to amp up the nesting

I haven’t had a drink of alcohol or any other mood-altering drugs for a long, long time (it’s this addictive personality that’s to blame). But every now and again, when I get a feeling of total bliss, I think: Ah, this is why I drank. To feel like this. I’m feeling it now, in my [...]

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On the Fourth of July, this blog moves to my own website

Big changes, people! On the Fourth of July, this blog will move to my own website at www.kathyprice.com and I hope you will join me there to continue the conversation. I plan to blog more about my own projects, as well as the projects of others, green remodeling, the rebuilding of New Orleans and my [...]

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My new shower curtain: Should I toss it out?

I was so excited about this new shower curtain, which was a gift for my husband. It was at about 35,000 feet, breathing airliner air, when I saw in a magazine this really neat shower curtain. The clear vinyl on the top would allow our dark and narrow shower stall some needed daylight. And the [...]

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I’m not just enjoying my patio, I’m preventing disease

Do you ever feel you spend too much time outside enjoying yourself? I do. While the dishes and laundry and dust are building up inside, I can usually be found outside watching the birds, fiddling with a fountain, pulling weeds, keeping track of my polliwogs and frogs, contemplating the garden, pondering my fall plantings. And [...]

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Stopping the catalogs

The worst part about ordering a home-improvement item or sample online is that you know you’re going to be receiving catalogs in the mail that you may not want, even if you unclicked the send-me-unlimited-marketing-materials-from-you-and-all-your-partners-from-now-until-eternity button. And how do you stop the catalog influx once it starts? Do you call the customer no-service number and [...]

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Rate This Remodel: Carrie’s ‘Sex and the City’ apartment

I guess the apartment where Carrie Bradshaw researched and wrote her columns in the "Sex and the City" television show probably did need a makeover. Several years had passed from Carrie’s life on the small screen to her promotion to the big screen, and we all need to evolve. Carrie’s guests needed to stop sitting [...]

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Ceiling detail of the $20,000 kitchen remodel

I got a bunch of questions about the original ceiling and archway of the $20,000 kitchen remodel in the latest Rate This Remodel feature. So I thought I’d show the old and new compared here: What’s neat about the story, for me, is that Dani had a lot of time to think about her kitchen. [...]

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SoCal Garden Forum: What’s wrong with this elm tree?

Dear SoCal Gardeners: My mother-in-law gave me this Chinese elm tree (click photo to enlarge) and I planted it about five years ago. It’s never done that well. It grows fast but the leaves get blackened and the branches break off. The latest break took off about a third of the tree, and it looks [...]

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Outdoor lighting that preserves the dark sky

If this was my house I’d be really fit, and here’s why: Every evening, I’d walk back and forth, from street to front door, over and over again, just to enjoy the sensation of this lit walkway. I’m sure this would make the folks at the International Dark Sky Association happy. After all, this is [...]

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The new world order: SoCal style

My entry into the world of barter — the new world order referenced above — is the result of a perfect storm consisting of (1) a broken Pottery Barn market umbrella, (2) my ridiculously fruitful avocado trees and (3) the miracle that is Craigslist. The umbrella is a delightful red and blue paisley that goes [...]

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When bad solar fountains happen to good people

You don’t need to share with me the definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Been there (bought junk), done that (had it fail), still slipping into it. Specifically, I’m talking about the solar fountain I bought ignorantly and impulsively at Home Depot last October. I paid [...]

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The Story of Stuff

I really want to wean myself from impulsive purchases of junky household stuff I don’t really need and that won’t last. One strategy is getting clear on the implications of my actions. If my purchases of junky stuff help foul the earth and exploit its people, but I remain willfully ignorant of that, does it [...]

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The accidental froggery

I never planned on creating a gathering place for frogs, known as a froggery. But I did nevertheless. It started with a simple fountain on my back patio, which I set up in a pot to hear the sound of water. I added some water plants for variety. One day, as I was adding fresh [...]

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