Archive for the ‘after’ Category


Friday, September 11th, 2009

Almost half a year ago I picked up this pair of trashed bubble lamps. A dealer I had been bartering with pulled them out of a house in Orange County and proceeded to poke holes in them accidentally on the trip home. They were smoke stained, beat-up and sort of wilting in his garage storage; but I thought they were pretty rad. He didn’t think he could sell them in their terrible condition so he let me take them for free and try my hand at restoring them.

Well, they never got restored. I had BIG plans, and the lamps sat and sat and sat.

I started to enjoy the weird color and tattered vintage quality. It’s what The Boy likes to say when I bring thrashed stuff home or we accidentally break something, “its character”.

For $36 I bought I couple of pendant cord kits and decided to wire them up, flaws and all.

We installed them in the master bedroom hovering over each nightstand. Lighting around the bed has been consistently on my mind and I think this pair is a good fit, especially with the glam ceiling fixture.

Now I just need to style up those nightstands…

Shelving Unit

Friday, September 4th, 2009

The other side of the living room needed something large. A statement piece I think real designers would call it. Well, I fell in love with the bookshelves in the lobby at The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and thought, “hey, I could build that”.

And I did!

We sold the old wall unit and embarked on the master planning of the new plumbing conduit shelving unit. You know, I don’t even know where to begin with a How To. It took over a week, a lot of frustration (with many changes to the original plan) and about $200.

The unit is 8’8″ wide by roughly 7’6″ tall and 11 1/4″ deep

Here is the supply list:
Plumbing pipe and fittings (all at 1/2″)

Supply list:

18 – 90º Elbows
14 – 3-Way Tees
8 – Base Flanges

6 – 12″
7 – 18″
1 – 32″
3 – 30″ (Custom cut at home depot)
1 – 43″ (Custom cut at home depot)
14 – 8″
4 – 9″ (black gas pipe for the top flange connectors)

Wood Shelves
2 – 1″ x 12″ x 10′ pine planks (cut down to 8′8″)
2 – 1″ x 12″ x 6′ pine planks (cut down to 4′8″)

Minwax Stain
1 – Dark Walnut
1 – Walnut
(Mix 1/2 and 1/2 to get the desired color)

Rustoleum Gloss Spray Paint
3 – Black

3/4” Hole saw
Medium grit sandpaper (#120)
Dish soap / water-based degreaser
Ladder or step stool

We drilled holes in the pine planks for the pipe to fit through. We used a 3/4″ round drill bit to allow some wiggle room. Clean all the grease of the pipes (dish soap will do) and spray paint all the pipes black. Then sand and stain the wood.

After that it just all screws together. The hard part was figuring out all the math and prepping everything. The Boy and I assembled it by ourselves pretty quickly and surprisingly easily and then secured it to the wall with some screws through the flanges. That thing is SOLID.

Some in progress installation shots…

I couldn’t resist vignetting it up a bit after it was all installed. I rushed to get it styled up before the sun set.

A super quick and dirty styling job.

Unfortunately the sun set before I finished playing around with it, so of course it’s already styled differently. I will probably need some time to mess around and get everything looking fabulous.

This shelving project is what led me to install those controversial doors on the fireplace bookcases. I knew I wanted a big wall of open shelving in the living room and didn’t want the two areas to compete. I have open shelving in the den, kitchen, dining room and now a whole wall in the living room, so I thought we could sacrifice those bookcases being open – especially since I could never could get them to look right.

Mission C.A.H.L.R.S.P. has been accomplished. Holler!


Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

The readers spoke and I listened. The art in the dining and living room got the old switch-a-roo.

The mantel vignette in the living room is one of those things that will probably change shortly. It all depends on when I find awesome things, that perfect piece of art or sculpture can be elusive when your thrifty.

While my vintage art collection can be a bit disconcerting to some folks (or squares as I’d like to call them) the right piece of art gives a room a hella lot of charm and loads of quirk. An art collection can speak volumes about its owner and is one of those things that can be sourced and purchased over time and at any budget. Plus art makes a bland space EXPLODE with style.

You really don’t need a ton of cash to start collecting. I’ve never paid over $40 for a piece of art. Most of my collection was picked up at thrift stores (mainly), flea markets, garage sales and occasionally ebay. I also trade art with friends or sometimes make my own – even if it is a knock-off.

When in doubt buy original paintings, not giclee prints (or the bane of my existence) those crappy ink jet prints on canvas. Silkscreens, lithographs (well any printmaking for that matter) and drawings are all fabulous and have a great texture and that rich handmade quality.

Full disclosure; my background, ie. education, employment, ect. is in visual art. That’s probably why I dig modernism and wanna collect, collect, collect – especially when it comes to paintings, furniture, ceramics, blah blah blah. I like art. I like design. I like pretty pretty things. I am an aesthetic junkie and total art whore.

Art really seals the deal when it comes to taking your decor to that next elusive level. Real art (be it vintage, on etsy, or from a real life fancy gallery – hooray galleries!) is pretty easy to find and buy. So NO ONE has an excuse to buy that goddamn Audrey Hepburn fake painting at Ikea.