Archive for the ‘before’ Category


Friday, June 19th, 2009

Domino (RIP) at some point featured this little bedroom with black sputnik chandelier.
(BTW – does anyone hate their new subscription to Architectural Digest? Yuck.)

I really like the look of a small sputnik counter balanced with a modern and minimal room. It keeps it looking sculptural and veers it away from kitschy atomic. I thought it might be fun to install a black sputnik in my bathroom and ended up buying a small vintage brass sputnik chandelier from Craigslist for $40.

Well, that was like 5 months ago. I don’t know if most people go through this pattern…like focus on one stupid thing and obsess obsess obsess. I do this ALL THE TIME and this week it was the stupid Sputnik.

I had a weird nervous breakdown about having the light lying around in my guest room and that maybe I wanted a different kind of light for the bathroom and oh god I need a new light for the kitchen and dammit where will I find a new light and WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO WITH THIS F*ING THING.

The solution.

F*ck the kitchen light, its coming down.

The Brick House’s kitchen came with this plain white metal light whose main talent seemed to be collecting dust (I cleaned about three inch layer of gross oily dustiness off of it when we first moved in. Ick.)

Here is the $40 vintage brass sputnik. The Craigslist selling couple pulled it out of their lovely mid century house when they started remodeling it to NOT look mid century – BOO. It was originally installed in their entryway. They told me that I just missed out on the really BIG light from the dining room. Oh well.

Before…and After. Glamorous.

And because I really like pictures…

Now I’m wondering if it should be black or BIGGER or if its just TOO retro in the already retro kitchen. I’m a big fan of mixing metals and would like to avoid being too matchy-matchy. Maybe it shouldn’t go in the kitchen. I could always install it in the guest bedroom and find something else for the kitchen…


Obsessing never wins – you just don’t think very clearly. Now I’m obsessing on how I might not like it…I think I might have a wee bit of installers remorse. Although, I do like the sputnik a gazillion times more than the white lamp. I guess I can wait and see if a fabulous and perfect light pops up.

It must be perfect…eventually.

Black is back

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I love spray paint. Especially glossy spray paint.

I have this black Bertoia side chair that I use as a desk chair. I bought it years ago from a cracked out lady at a “prop” warehouse in Los Angeles. I followed a mysterious Craigslist ad to a downtown warehouse FILLED with crap. For $30 I walked away with the chair and left the scabby, twitchy “prop” crew to sort through their stacks of junk.

Needless to say…the chair has seen better days. I decided to touch up its peeling matte black paint job with something a little sexy and glossy. And since my thrifted butterfly chair frame had also seen better days, I threw it in to get a touch up.

Here they are ready to get painted.
*Don’t make fun of my weedy dirty backyard. I know its HORRIBLE. Give me some money and I’ll fix it.

– I ran some sandpaper over the frames to knock off any bits of flaking paint or rust.
– Hosed them down to get all the dust and crap off.
– Let them air dry a bit.
– Then wiped them down with a clean towel.

You can imagine that right? I forgot to take pictures.

-Then I sprayed them with Rust-Oleum Professional High Performance Enamel in a glossy black finish.

All in all its a super duper simple DIY.

Here is the rusty bit BEFORE and the glossy bit AFTER.
I know. Super exciting.

All done. Painting something black more black isn’t really a huge AFTER reveal…they look much nicer in person than they did before.

The best option would be to have them powder coated – which is mucho $$$. Spray painting is a quick and easy DIY solution to touch up something vintage that has seen better days. Maybe if you fall in a big bag of money you could have them stripped and powder coated later.

I’ve been using a small sheepskin as a chair pad for the Bertoia chair. I need something a little more cushy as my bottom feels a bit like swiss cheese sitting on it for long hours in front of the computer. I also soaked the butterfly chair cover in bleach to try and get some of the stains out and lighten it up a bit. It worked OK, but it is still pretty torn and stained. I still dream of a brown leather sling

For about $6 it turned out awesome.


Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

All the June gloom has made me a little stir crazy…and when I get stir crazy I usually get to vignetting. Much to the Boy’s frustration.

I’ve got a lot of stuff and I like to move it around.

Also, I wanted to incorporate some of the new thrifty things I found to see if they fit in the house or if they need to get on the Etsy train.

Below is the tension shelf unit in the den before.

And here it is AFTER the vignette storm.

So, why do I crop the tension shelves so close and always justify to the right?

Oh, because of this big hole.

Shizzz. We gotta fix that.