Archive for the ‘before’ Category

MAKEOVER

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Apparently this is Hazel’s house? Or maybe Hazel is a bit of a camera hog? Is it possible that this kitty likes to work it for the camera? Hmmm.

I have no excuse and will not apologize. I cannot resist photographing pets.

Anyway.

I had been crashing on Laure’s couch while we worked on the home makeover portions of Extreme Clutter this past summer. Production hours can be nuts and after a full day of creating pure magic and transforming cluttered homesteads into places that were both organized and stylish, we would stumble into Laure’s pad and pretty much pass out. So, when the second season wrapped up, it definitely felt like time to tackle Laure’s 450 sq.ft apartment – which might have suffered it’s own touch of the neglect style clutter. You know, seeing as Laure was working all day, every day for months on end and I was making myself at home in her living room.

Check out some of this BEFORE action for reference.

Now scroll back up to those afters. I’ll wait.

See? That was amazingly fun.

Over the course of a day or so I helped tackle (what my terrible with names brain is calling) a No-Cost Makeover of Laure’s living room and bedroom. We reused the furniture and things she already had in the apartment, pulled a couple things out of her storage and then fairly quickly the whole apartment functioned better and felt way more cohesive with just that basic rethinking of the floor-plan and restyling of her accessories. So, in total, we spent about $40 at Home Depot for a smattering of plants and a couple light bulbs. Cheap, quick and good-looking to boot. In the end everything came together so well that I’ve been testing out this makeover idea and love how quickly a space can transform with a couple layout tweaks and careful editing. Sometimes it takes someone with a fresh pair of eyes, ruthless ability to edit down all your crap (with fantastic taste, obviously) and style it all up to pull that space together.

The No-Cost Makeover : One room. One day. Solving those big design problems with the things you already own.

Sound like fun? Maybe something you might need at your house? I think this could be kind of amazing, but need to figure out the having time issues. I’ve been super slammed and now my house is suffering the neglect clutter. To the EXTREME.

Maybe if I can get past the shame of it all, I might share my dirty secret. The clutter. All that clutter!

KITCHEN PLANS

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The kitchen needs a bit of help.

After sixty odd years of use, some parts of the kitchen (*cough* countertops *cough*) aren’t faring so well. Worn out, busted up, whatever you want to call it, this not looking clean thing isn’t cool anymore.

Seen from afar? Not so bad.

In person? Kind of gross.

Here’s my idea mash-up board. Now get in my kitchen all you things.

Of course any updates need to be affordable and the plan is to reuse some stuff that’s already laying around the house.

NEED

Counters :  IKEA Numerar. Cheap easy lovely wood. Not the dream top, but sometimes budget wins.
Hardware : Brass pulls you said? Possibly.
Paint : BM Kendall Charcoal. Actually just for use inside the cabinets.
Faucet : Still working on that. Something simple. Something affordable.
Backsplash : Kismet Tile – C4BW S17

HAVE

Floors : Black VCT
Lighting : Danish copper cone
Chairs : Eames wire chairs
Sink : Our sink

Laure shot an incredible floor installation of Kismet tiles at Jon and Tyke’s new place. I’m in love with Tracey’s patterns and colorways and just the finish in general with these Moroccan-made cement tiles.

Hey now. This is the Kismet tile patten I’m currently digging.

Our black-splash area and the space behind the stove is pretty petite; we really only need about 60-ish sqft of tile to do the whole kitchen. I’m hoping that a nice dose of graphic black and white might just be thing to bring the wowser factor into what would be pretty basic overhaul and tweaking of the current kitchen…since the gut and rebuild strategy isn’t ever going to be an option.

FIREPLACE

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

A little while back Laure and I went through her storage and pulled out a few portfolios filled with large scale photos she had taken during art school. We framed one great landscape for her bedroom and it looked so crazy amazing that she graciously let me borrow this softly colored desk shot so I could have a big ‘ol framed photo as well.

I hung it and looked at it and then texted her a picture of everything installed.

While it’s a great piece, we both agreed that it was being completely overpowered by the fireplace. Off to another spot with you!

The area above the fireplace has been an ongoing struggle, with many unsatisfactory incarnations including these – HEREHERE - HERE.

The problem is scale.

Our ceilings are a standard 8′ tall, but the fireplace rides pretty high on the wall allowing for a mere 37″ of white space above the mantel. Two thin windows flank the fireplace on either side and their top moldings create a weird invisible horizontal line across the wall. When anything hangs near or above this strange visual trickery the ceiling begins to feel really low, while conversely, the art appears to be hung way too high.

Then there’s that mantel.

Blech.

Overly fussy and completely under-scaled, this has been one of those “I’ll get to it projects” that never seemed to be gotten to. All I’ve ever imagined doing was installing a simple but chunkier wood mantel over the top of this thing. Something boxy, something easy to build, something budget friendly.

Excuse my terrible photoshopping, but a solution as simple as this uncomplicated wood box would be better scaled and suited for the fireplace mantle, easily constructed and pretty cheap materials-wise.

Screw it. Why not go all change crazy and paint the brick a lighter color like a soft gray/almost white. Or go slightly less nuttier and paint the thing a true black.

(I’m leaning lighter – if for no other reason than to shake things up)

Over the mantle art-wise is still an issue. I’ve hunted for the perfect long and lean piece to snuggle up into that strangely proportioned spot and have come up with ZERO things after almost four years of searching. Time to DIY.

Surprise surprise. I can’t afford a Stella or a Judd or any blue chippy art. I mean, I wish I could – that would be INCREDIBLE – but I can’t even find an affordable no-name modernist abstract painting or mid century fiber art wall hanging, let alone ANYTHING that’s both famous and super long and lean.

Making some fauxart has long been a noodle in my brain (and something I have done before). Why not. Faking it is fun.

I’ve been mocking up a few different (easily made) options – but SHOCKER – this long/thin composition isn’t widely popular with artists whose work I dig. Or really any artists. ‘Cause it’s weird.

Firstly, a fake Ed Ruscha, well actually it’s from his art book THEN & NOW. I don’t know, it’s not a favorite – I just always liked that project and this typography. Plus this would be so easy to make.

Next idea was a fake Matthew Brannon. I always liked his larger scale installations – like the Whitney limply coiled eel, a reoccurring motif in his work. It’s the right scale and I love an eel.

Otherwise, most of the artist’s work that I love looks awkward as hell squished into a format like this or is too labor intensive for my quick and dirty faker style. I though I could pretty easily pull-off something text based like a Weiner or a Holzer or a Shrigley or a Nauman or even a Baldessari – but nothing felt quite right (even though I love me some Weiner).

I’ll always remember this story a teacher once told me about going to another rather famous artists studio. He was admiring all the Jasper Johns and Warhols (or things equally blue chippy) and asked about the pieces. “Oh those? They’re all fakes – I just made them. Come on, I can’t afford that shit.”

Mantel first, forgery later, methinks.