Condo Blues: architecture




Showing posts with label architecture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label architecture. Show all posts

Thursday, April 7, 2016

How to Hang an Old Window From the Ceiling

On sunny afternoons, the sun hits the kitchen window just right to make a prism on the ceiling.
Lacey thinks this dazzling array of luck and science is a formidable threat to our house and home. She barks her head off all. afternoon. long. no matter how many times we try and fail to shush her.
Apparently light theory is lost on dogs.

A window treatment will solve the nefarious prism problem. I want something that lets in light, is easy to clean, and won’t wrinkle like my DIY cardboard corner window cornice and curtains I made that brought out the haters on Hometalk.

Call it shabby chic, Fixer Upper, or my own Mid-Century Modern-Bauhaus-Contemporary-Found-and-Funkified-Retro-DaDa-Danish decorating style. I repurposed an old flea market window as a kitchen window treatment.
 

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Here’s how.

DIY Old Window Window Treatment

Sunday, March 13, 2016

How to Make a Corner Window Cornice

Our Master Bedroom has a windows on each wall in a corner and high ceilings. Installing a corner window cornice will tie the windows together and solve several window decorating problems:
  • A window cornice will add visual height to the wall while also visually bringing down the high ceiling.
  • I can use small scale curtain rods I already have. I don't need to buy new curtain rods that  meet in the corner or need to have a custom corner window curtain rod made or cut to order.
  • I can hang off the shelf curtains lower on the wall and just touching the floor so they look like custom length curtains. The cornice hides the curtain rod and hardware.
  • I can make a lightweight custom window corner for practically nothing because I am using cardboard boxes to build it.
  • It’s a no sew project. If you can use a stapler, you can make this project!

How to Make a Cardboard Window Valance

 

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tiny House Living Lies

I think tiny houses are twee and adorable. I have dozens pinned to my Pinterest boards (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest, pretty please?) I applaud living in a small ecological footprint. There positive financial aspects too. I understand how freeing that can be.

But.

I find it hard to believe that living tiny is nothing but utopia.


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We never hear about the downside of living in a tiny home. Sure, there is talk of how difficult it can be to decide what to keep and what needs to go. However the elephant in the itty bitty room no one will openly admit or discuss especially on tiny house TV shows is this:
  • It is illegal to park and live full time in a tiny house on wheels in most parts of the United States. Legally parking a tiny house is the most problematic issue and absolutely not addressed. Most camp grounds and mobile home parks forbid tiny houses - which is their right - as they are privately owned. Buying or renting land and plopping a tiny house on it may not solve the problem either. Local zoning laws often include minimum square footing for a house on a foundation and prohibit full time camping in a RV which is how tiny houses on wheels are classified. And sometimes what must be done to make a tiny house legal makes living in it all but impossible as Rowdy Kittens discusses here in her post On the Road Again…
 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Make an Office Chair Mat

The plastic mats under the rolling chairs in our home office have seen better days. No matter what kind of office chair mat I buy, it eventually cracks, breaks, and sheds plastic chunks all over the carpet in the office.

I need to use a chair mat under our rolling chairs to protect the carpeting we aren't ready to replace.  Replacing the mats every couple of years isn’t sustainable. More than that it is a pain!

I solved our problem by making durable office chair mats from laminate flooring I bought at the Habitat Restore. I went with laminate flooring instead of plain plywood because I was concerned the plain plywood office chair mats would crack and break. Laminate flooring isn’t my favorite look but it is built to do the job I need it to do – be a floor.


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Monday, December 14, 2015

How to Make Evergreen Window Swags for Free!

We’re bumping up our outdoor Christmas decorations this year. We have a house full of energy efficient disco projector Christmas lights to replace our dead strings of LED Christmas lights.

I saved some Amazon Subscribe and Save boxes and wrapped them as Christmas presents and put them in the barren flower beds. We’ll recycle them after the holiday because storage space for holiday decorations is at a premium.


The front yard still needed a little something and when I saw a pair of dachshund Christmas decorations (learn more about them here.) in a neighbor's yard I had to have them too as a tribute to Lacey. What can I say? We are dog suckers through and through.
 
 The dachshund lights come apart for storage after the holiday. They make make me insanely happy.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

How to Decorate a House with Christmas Lights in 15 Minutes or Less!

I like decorating with Christmas lights. I admit my Christmas light obsession may not be very green, but I never promised you a perfect green life, just an honest one.

I honestly like the look of a house full of Christmas lights.

 I also honestly hate standing in the snow and cold putting away a house full of Christmas lights after the holiday. The weather is always colder when the outdoor Christmas decoration have to come down than when they go up. That’s our motivation behind decorating our house with lights only on the porch rails.


 This year, I found a way to decorate a house full of energy saving Christmas lights and it only took 15 minutes! It will take even less time to take them down after the holiday. Woohoo!

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick and Easy Boat Cleat Towel Rack

I need to to organize the towels in the guest bathroom and found my design inspiration at the vet’s office. Wha? Let me explain.

Lacey’s vet has boat cleats on the main desk which allows you to anchor your pet’s leash (pun intended) over the cleat so your hands are free to make payments and sign paperwork.  It is quite genius and something I’d totally expect seeing growing up on Lake Erie.

The guest bathroom is taking on a nautical vibe. I like repurposed and reclaimed design elements. So why not organize my bathroom by repurposing dock cleats? Sounds like a plan.

How to Make a Boat Dock Cleat Towel or Coat Rack

 
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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Decorating with Real Pumpkin Topiaries and Mosaics

I appreciate carving and decorating with real pumpkins for fall and Halloween.

Doing it is another story.

 Pin this post for pumpkin decorating ideas!

Carving pumpkins is messy, goopy, and if you do it too early, moldy by the time Halloween rolls around. Besides, if don't carve the pumpkins, we can make fresh pumpkin puree (learn how on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef) and use it to make fantastic food after Halloween. Lacey likes this idea very much.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to Build a Rain Barrel Drainage Pad

Late summer/early fall is a great time to do garden landscaping projects. The weather isn’t as blazing hot as it is in the middle of summer and most of the materials are now on clearance to make room for fall and winter merchandise.

  
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Or in our case, you end up with a bunch of extra bricks from repairing your vintage brick garden border and want to do something with the lovely, worn, and free reclaimed bricks.

Thanks to two months of never ending rain and me replacing the broken spigot on the rain barrel (read the tutorial here) before the rains came, Husband and I have plenty of water to use for watering our new plantings. Eco Dork that I am, I get positively giddy watering my plants with rain water but I’m not happy with stepping in the mud that sometimes surrounds the rain barrel spigot.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

10 Amazing Pirate Ship Beds

Ahoy ye matey!

In honor ‘o International Talk Like a Pirate Day I be roundin’ up a bevvy of pirate décor for ye children be they wee pirate lads or wee pirate lasses. Yaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr!

 10 Incredible Pirate Ship Beds
Pin for later ya scurvy dog! 


</end pirate voice mode>

I’m using International Talk Like a Pirate Day as a big fat crazy excuse to dive head first into my Pinterest boards (follow me @condobues on Pinterest pretty please?) and share with you 10 of the most spine twinging, shiver me timbers and blow me down pirate ship kids beds that will make you the coolest parent on planet earth.

Or if you can fit one into your master bedroom, make your inner pirate child happy.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

5 End of Summer Projects and Adventures

Just as our unseasonably cold and soggy summer finally gets around to acting  like a normal clear and blazing hot summer the season is officially over with Labor Day weekend. Ohio weather is certainly an adventure!

That’s not to say, Husband and I have not had our share of projects and adventures in between thunderstorms. Since most of them are tidbits rather than full blown blog post I figure why not wrap up the summer with a wrap up of our summer fun?




After spending a little over a year driving past it and silently sending the place “build it faster” vibes

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to Repair a Crumbling Dry Stack Garden Border

Husband and I finally got several days without rain in a row to repair and landscape the front yard – again. I think this is Landscape 4.0 of our promised “easy to care for landscaping’ that keeps dying and makes us sing the condo blues.

But at least I got the name of this blog out of the deal. So there’s that.



We were so sad when the harsh winter killed our lavender bushes.We spent many cool summer evenings chilling on the porch and watching the biggest bees you’ve ever seen flit and play amongst the flowers. The on demand organic lavender is something I miss too.

We tilled the soil in the front flower beds and planted lavender instead of traditional evergreen bushes. Next I turned my attention to the crumbling brick garden border.


Why Your Dry Stack Brick or Stone Garden Border is Falling Over and How to Fix It

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pistachio Screen Door

They may not be as energy efficient but I can't help but wish my HOA allowed us to add wood screen doors on our houses. I spent many, many summers in houses and summer camp cabins that had wood doors that opened with a "SPRONG!" and closed with a mighty "TWAK!"

Followed by a shout, "DON'T SLAM THE SCREEN DOOR!"

To this day I still think springy screen doors need to be closed with a TWAK!

"SPRONG!" "TWAK!" remind me of happy summers.

And mosquito bites as big as my head.

But I digress.



Sprongy screen doors scream SUMMER!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

DIY Downton Abby Doorbell

Sometimes putting a bit more effort into the design of the day to day functional bits of your home pay off in unexpected ways. For example, doorbells.

Most people, including myself, take that plain Jane button beside the door for granted. As long as it connects to a functional door chime unit inside the house doorbells are something you typically don't think about replacing until it breaks.

That's a shame. Especially if you are lucky to have a period home.


 Is it possible to fall in love with a doorbell? I think I have.
 Photos courtesy of Home to Cottage

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tiny Treehouse House Tour

 Tiny houses are all the rage. They are cute, twee, and have a ridiculously small carbon footprint.

What could be better?

How about a tiny house built in a tree that's a little B and B? That was originally built to be a tiny tree house brewery until the owners converted it into a rental cabin?


 I am completely smitten with the gorgeous arched stained glass window!
Photo courtesy of The Mohicans.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How to get Rid of Ants in a Pet and Kid Safe Natural Way

After nine days of consecutive rain my yard is waterlogged. A bunch of ants decided to seek higher ground and wanted to use my kitchen as a summer vacation spot.

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I wanted to kill the ants but I am leery of using borax, conventional ant bait traps, and sprays because I don’t want to kill my dog along with the ants. Death by shoe is more natural and personally satisfying but it not a good long term solution.

Five Things You Absolutely Must Do to Get Rid of Ants

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Indoor Allergies and Air Pollution but Didn’t Know You Should Ask

  This post is brought to you by a partnership between Condo Blues and Air Filter Buy.

I thought I had reducing household air pollution and allergens all figured it. As soon as I change the filter on our HVAC system and clean regularly with green cleaners I should be good when it comes to my air born allergies, right?

Nope. Not so much.

My new allergist not only gave me a more comprehensive list of my allergens, he also gave me marching orders to reduce the amount of indoor pollutants in our house. 

I’ve been doing a ton of research on indoor air pollution. I found this info graphic called Everything You Need to Know About Indoor Air Pollution helpful and want to share it with you.  I personally found it helpful because it shines some light on the health issues related to indoor air pollution as well as telling you what simple steps families can do to protect themselves.




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Not to scare you or anything, but do you know indoor air pollution caused nearly 8% of worldwide fatalities in 2012?

Help a girl out, what do you do to reduce dust and allergens in your home?

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

18 Awesome Playhouses You Have to See to Believe!

I think one of the best thing about being a parent is being able to build your child a playhouse or tree fort. Sure, you can buy your kid  one of those  little plastic huts at the toy store and call it a playhouse. But why when there are so many crazy fun and unusual playhouses out there to build instead?

18 unusual playhouses
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How fun is this little crooked house on  A Place Imagined? A former Disney artist built this whimsical fairy playhouse from found materials.


wimsical playhouse
Adorable!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

10 Small Homes with Big Curb Appeal

It’s time to think Spring!

Spring planning, Spring planting, and spring blooming (hopefully.) Since I have a blank slate in my front yard – again. I am looking for garden and curb appeal inspiration where ever I can get it.
Housekaboodle has a fabulous roundup of 10 Cottages with Curb Appeal I pinned to my Pinterest boards (follow Condo Blues on Pinterest pretty please?) and want to share with you.

10-Cottages-with-Curb-Appeal-4-717x1024


Which one is your favorite?

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Can Your Laminate Flooring Kill You?

Last Sunday, 60 Minutes investigated Lumber Liquidators Chinese made laminate flooring for unsafe levels of formaldehyde in  Lumber Liquidators Linked to Health and Safety Violations. 

questions about lumber liquidators and formaldehyde


The basics of the story I linked to are this:

  • 60 Minutes bought 150 boxes of laminate flooring from several Lumber Liquidators stores throughout Californian.

  • 60 Minutes asked three independent labs to test the samples to see if the formaldehyde in the laminate flooring (mostly in the glue used to make the laminate) meets California’s strict formaldehyde emissions standards, called CARB 2.

  • The lab results showed all of Lumber Liquidators Chinese made laminate flooring was from 6 to 7 times over the state limit and some laminate samples were up to 20 times over the state limit.

  • Lumber Liquidators American made laminate flooring as well as Lumber Liquidators flooring they purchased from Lowes and Home Depot passed testing.

  • 60 Minutes then purchased 31 Chinese made laminate samples from Lumber Liquidators stores in four states and sent the samples to two certified labs for formaldehyde testing.

  • Both labs reported that 30 samples were over the formaldehyde limit, some as high as 13 times. 1 sample of Chinese made laminate flooring passed testinga.