Condo Blues: wall treatment

Showing posts with label wall treatment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wall treatment. Show all posts

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chalkboard Paint Kitchen Backsplash

Husband and I couldn’t agree on what type of tile we wanted to use on our kitchen backsplash. I wanted something sleek like recycled glass or stainless steel tile. He wanted a Byzantine pattern in travertine tile.

In the meantime, when I wiped the walls with nothing more than water, paint came off on my damp sponge because the builder used cheap watered down paint to paint our house. The wall needed something to protect it as we fought over what tile to use.

As a temporary fix, I broke out the chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard kitchen backsplash!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Dream of New Kitchens

When Husband and I went house shopping his main requirement was a kitchen in which he could take a step because that wasn't happening in our rental's one butt galley kitchen. Not to mention that sad excuse for a kitchen was stuck smack in the middle of 1976. Ew.

The kitchen in our condo is the largest room in the house.

It's your basic boring builder's kitchen but at least it's ours!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Telephone Book Wreath

I have a bunch of telephone books lying around the house. I don’t know how this happens - we don’t have a land line! We’re a cell phone as home phone family.

I figure I could do one of two things with those phone books.

  1. Complain about them – which isn’t very productive and not really worth the energy.
  2. Find a way to use them - beyond the obvious because that's why Al Gore invented Internet - so we could use it to look up telephone numbers :)
I wanted a new wreath for the door to celebrate spring. I had a wreath form from a failed project. "What if I married my telephone books and my wreath form it would be the perfect project to enter in Dollar Store Crafts April Stash Bust Challenge?" says I. Not to mention it's an ultra cheap - and green! - way to get a new door decoration because I’m using what I already have on hand.

*Enter the Condo Blues Whammy*

I opened the wreath storage bag and found this.

Once upon a time this was all in one piece.


Looks like I lost of the Stash Bust Challenge even before I started. *Sad face*

I decided to try to piece the form back together. If I got something workable I’d move on from there. If not, I’d ditch it and hop on down to the store and buy a new wreath form.

I removed the Christmas balls with a pair of needle nose pliers and put them aside for another day.

Can this wreath be saved?

I snapped the tops off of some plastic forks that have been wallowing in the utility closet so long they are practically family heirlooms. I used them as supports to hot glue the form back together.

Trash or treasure to be?

I cut a piece of leftover cardboard from I don’t-know-what to the size of the frame to stabilize it. I attached the cardboard to the chewed up side of the Styrofoam with hot glue and floral tape. I think the floral tape might be from when I did the flowers for Christina from A Mommy’s Story’s wedding. I hot glued the floral tape into place because it wasn’t sticky anymore. I also made a note to use more of this stuff up because the floral tape has to be a least 6 years old – older than Christina’s kids.

I ripped the white pages from the telephone book into approximately one inch strips. I used the business white pages because I wanted black and white paper. I tried to rip down the telephone number columns of the page for privacy’s sake.

 I shredded the leftover paper scraps and put them in my compost bin.

I used by very good friend Modge Podge to attach the paper strips to the wreath form and let it dry over night. The Modge Podge will also protect the paper from the elements. The Modge Podge is leftover from my books as wallpaper bathroom remodel. Is it just me or is this post playing out like an episode of Horders? Yipe!

Modge Podge rules!

I painted an empty toilet paper tube orange as an homage to How about orange… and let it dry overnight too.

Orange you going to say it's pretty?

The next morning, I smashed the toilet paper roll tube flat and cut it with scissors.

 I eyeballed the cuts 'cuz I'm a rebel.

I hot glued the leaf shaped rings to the wreath form and added some scrap ribbon to the back as a hanger upper thingie.

The finished wreath!

TA DA! My telephone book and paper tube wreath idea actually worked! Yay me!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Modern with a Vintage Touch Bathroom Remodel

My half bathroom was white, builder bland and boring. I wanted to do something old timey to honor the porcelain pieces that my Grandmother painted and a place put some old family photographs but with a bit of a modern twist because I'm not completely an old fashioned girl. The trapeze mirror, shelf, toilet paper holder, and towel ring are all Umbra that I got on sale and each a different store. It’s like the universe wanted this bathroom design to come together!

My pretty privvy

The inspiration for the wallpaper came from a stack of books I was going to donate to charity. I flipped through the yellowed pages of a paperback reference book and thought it would be a great wall color. Being that the book was out of date, I doubted it would actually sell at the bookstore and thought, "Hey, why don't I use it as wallpaper instead?"

Even on bad hair days, I get a thumbs up whenever I look into the mirror

I went to the thrift store to get more books to use as wallpaper. I didn't want a story, just random interesting pages. I used watered down white glue as a DIY Modge Podge to paste the book pages to the wall. I used a combination of orphaned encyclopedia volume, a New York city travel guide, 2 almanacs (one from the year we were married, the other from the year we bought the house), a Portuguese soccer book, and a movie listings book, among others. After pasting the pages to the walls, I tea stained them with old tea bags and coffee grounds to age the pages from the newer books. A coat of clear glaze protects everything from moisture. It cost a grand total of $20 to do the walls because I had a gallon of white glue and glaze left over from another project.

Black fabric trim adds a little interest to the trimwork and might hide a few paint mishaps

The shelving is a wicker shelf from my old house painted black. The wall switches are the original white ones that came with the house and repainted black as well as the base boards. I got a deal on the paint because the can was dented and the put it on clearance.

I installed this myself! Black cording is used as molding where the wall meets the ceiling

There are CFLs in the new light fixture I installed. Husband admired a similar one in another store so when this little beauty was on sale at HomeGoods I snatched it up and installed it.

My first plumbing project!

I replaced the boring builder's sink and vanity with a vessel sink and black granite topped vanity. I did all of the work myself - this was my first plumbing project ever! I use a porcelain bowl my Grandmother painted as a soap dish. It holds a bar of homemade soap I bought at a craft show.

Stylish storage

All of my cleaning supplies are discretely tucked away in a trunk that held TV promotion information for a syndicated TV show. I got it when I worked in the promotion department of a local television station.

Method featured my bathroom on their blog and said “Lisa's a 2010 gal with a 1950’s soul.” I suppose it’s true. How did they know I’m pining for the next season of Mad Men to start?

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This is an entry for PartSelect’s $5000 GE Giveaway contest


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Keep in the Heat: How to Easily Insulate Outlets and Light Switches

In my effort to keep my natural gas use and heating bills low I sealed all the gaps and air leaks around my windows and I put door sweeps on the outside doors. In certain areas of the house I felt a little chill. I found the culprit when I put my hand up to an outlet on an outside wall and it was cold – another air leak.

Looks like I’m not the only who has air leaking into their home from outlets and switches on outside walls. Val, Mike and Brax asked me:

“We noticed the other day there was actually frost forming on one of our electrical outlets, accompanied by a very heavy freezing cold breeze blowing out of the outlet holes! My first concern is that condensation/moisture and electricity don't typically go well together, besides the fact that it was like an AC blowing in our house. This outlet is on an exterior wall, of course. How do you fix this? Right now we just have those child proof plugs in the outlet holes!”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wood Crate Craft Storage

I wanted my spare bedroom to be a sewing/craft/guest room when we moved in. Unfortunately it quickly turned into a place where old furniture came to die.

Fortunately I used that to my advantage. Free and repurposed craft storage? Yes please!

My craft table is an antique enamel top table. It was the kitchen table my mom used to eat at when she was a little girl. It is a dream to cut fabric on because it’s slippy when I need it to be. Slap a bath towel on it and it makes a good impromptu ironing board for small projects.


Now to store all of those bits and bobs and stash waiting for creative reuse. Using the old “if you can’t build out build up” and a bunch of wood fruit crates a former tenant abandoned in the basement of our old rental (clearly they were insane to leave these gems behind) I stacked them on the table to use as shelving.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wine Box Wall Treatment

While I was in Chicago, met up with some of the other members of the Green Moms Carnival and went out to eat at an Italian restaurant. After we were seated at our table, I looked at the focal wall in the restaurant – it was covered in the fronts of wine boxes – genius!

I think this wall treatment would work in a dining room or bar area in a home as a focal wall.


Fortunately I was eating with a bunch of fellow bloggers and good friends who thought nothing of me whipping out my camera and taking a few photos of this creative reuse wall treatment in public.

My dinner companions. Left to right ; Micaela of Mindful Momma, Maryanne of Not Quite Crunchy Parent, Karen of The Best of Mother Earth, Jennifer of The Smart Mama, Beth of Fake Plastic Fish, Me! Lisa of Condo Blues, Lynn of Organic Mania

Public photo snapping in inopportune times is quickly becoming a blogger occupational hazard – especially when I want to document a great recycled art project like this.

What do you think?

This post is part of Trash to Treasure Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Help Me Pick a Shower Curtain!

I painted the second bathroom in The Condo a blue that is a little lighter than the Caribbean ocean and a little darker than a Tiffany’s box. It goes with my plan of enlarging and framing some photos we took of the ocean while on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Which I still haven’t done, because I keep changing my mind about what should go on the wall.

I hung the flamingo shower curtain from my old rental’s John Waters Memorial Bathroom (named by my gays, because I dealt with the 80’s pink wallpaper that we inherited by decorating the room with pink flamingos. This of course is the name of one of John Waters’ most notorious early films.) I’m not really trying to do a themey bathroom again, but I like the crisp white curtain against the blue walls.

Pink Flamingos - the shower curtain, not the movie.

Unexpectedly, I now have a choice in shower curtains. My real life friend Anthony of the TFormers Transformers Podcast was having a bad day so I brought Blitzkrieg over to visit so Anthony could lower his blood pressure by petting my dog. Blitzkrieg was happy to help out because Anthony is one of his favorite humans. Anthony always has treats for visiting dogs and he doesn’t even have a dog!

I saw a shower curtain in the package on Anthony’s dining room table. I pointed to one of stripes in the pattern and told him that I painted my bathroom that same Tiffany-esce blue. “Want it?” he said. Turns out Anthony’s mom had an I’m-Your-Mom-so-I’m-going-to-buy-you-things-I-think-you-should-have-for-your-house moment and bought him a new shower curtain to replace the one he already had and liked and that didn’t need replacing.

 Anthony's mom bought this

I put the new shower curtain up in the bathroom but I’m not sure if I like or not. I’m not trying to do a monochromic room. Some days I think it’s OK, other days I think its too much blue. What do you think? Which shower curtain should I choose?

“Don't worry. I'll make sure Lisa does something clever with the other curtain. Or else.”

Monday, March 16, 2009

10 Green Decorating and Craft Projects

I’m searching around the Condo and the Internet for ideas on what to write about for St. Patrick’s Day. I have the Scotch-Irish bloomers that I made for a show. Not historically accurate by any means, but still fun way to hide my unmentionables in case my skirt flew up during a fast and vigorous Scottish Country Dance turn during the show.


I can’t believe I just showed my underwear to you people!

(Granted it’s underwear that goes over my underwear but it’s still underwear.)

But as the subject of a whole blog post - meh.

I think I’ll take it another way and
be lazy
do a recap of some the green (literal) and green (figurative) things we have around The Condo because I like to decorate with both types of green.

1. I made chew toys for Blitzkrieg’s dog cousin Chopper from scrap fabric. I’m also responsible for his festive t-shirt.


2. Blitzkrieg has he own green blanket I made from a cast off baby blanket and paw print scarves.


3. My first attempt at organic gardening! Sadly it doesn’t look this nice anymore. I replanted a couple of diseased plants and they spread pestilence throughout the garden bed . However, on the bright side, this year I get to completely redo the flower beds and make them 100% organic.


4. A green/green project. I repainted and recovered these old doctor’s office chairs that Husband had in his bachelor apartment. The chairs now sit on our front porch.


5. Organic gardening gone right. Once I figured out the nuances, I got a bunch of tomatoes from the plants growing in my upside down tomato planter .


6. Another double green project. The light fixture in my craft room I made from old stemware!


7. Don’t forget my green/green burlap rice bag turned shopping tote bag . I was so happy to find a good reuse for those old faded green curtains.


8. Something I see everyday – the green tissue paper wallpaper behind my desk in my computer room!


9. A row of green halogen desk lights on top of these bookshelves works as energy efficient overhead lighting in my computer room. Our builder didn’t install junction boxes in the ceiling of this room. This was a much easier fix. Cheaper too because I scored these sweet lights on sale at Target.


10. Lastly, Husband’s childhood Mego Hulk stands guard over the washer and dryer in the laundry room. He’s green/green too because I decorated the laundry room with what I already had. Yes, it looks like a dorm room but fun for visiting kids.


Now if only I could convince those visiting kids to do a load a laundry while they’re at it….

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nintendo Decorate My Walls!

Oh blik how I love you! Your big fun graphic wall decals go right in line my with my retro-modern-Bauhaus-contemporary-found and funkified-Da Da-Danish decorating style. (Bonus points to you if you recognize that I’m referring to the Bauhaus design movement and not Jello Biafra’s band.) The only problem with blik is trying to pick one design to use. Personally, I’m leaning towards the Keith Haring dogs for our guest room.


If I had a hard core gamer in da house, I’d go with the old school Nintendo series.

Space Invaders!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Inherited Bathroom Décor That Works

One of the nice things about being the first buyer of our newly built Condo is that I didn’t inherit any wild and wacky or otherwise tacky decoration from the previous owner. ThatNanda of Craftster wasn’t so lucky. She writes:

When we bought our house, it had all the original decor from the late 50's -
awful shag carpeting, chandeliers, orange and brown appliances, the works. We
were able to fix all but one room - the horrible, pink, and black tile bathroom.
Since it's too expensive to redo at the moment, we decided that, rather than
fight it, we'd just go with it. So we painted the upper walls teal, a la retro
50's diner, and I made a pink, frou-frou poodle curtain.


I think going retro with her bathroom decoration is an excellent example of the Tim Gunn, “Make it work!” edict in action.

Personally, I’d be sorely tempted to keep the retro design as it since I’m going through a retro-modern-Bauhaus-contemporary-found and funkified-Da Da-Danish decorating phase of my own. What do you think?

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Evil Dead Laundry Room (Really)

Husband and I had a bunch of action figures, toys, and posters in the computer room of our rental. It looked like a cross between That Old Guy Who Still Lives In His Parent’s Basement, a geek’s dorm room, and a cubical in an IT firm. Long story short – Interior Decorating Hell. 


Doesn't everyone have a Bruce Campbell bobble head on their dryer?
 Actually we have two.

Then Husband and I buy The Condo. We have a mortgage. That officially makes us Grown Ups. Grown Ups don’t decorate their homes with toys. That is until those Grown Ups have children. Grown Ups With Children are allowed to have toys strewn all over their homes without getting a citation from the Decorating Police. However, those toys aren’t decorations they are just children's toys.

The botched paint job distressed wall treatment in the laundry room gave me an idea. The walls reminded me of a roughed up cabin in the woods. Cabin In The Woods? Hey, wasn’t that the working title of the movie Evil Dead ? The nieces and nephews gave Husband some Evil Dead and Army of Darkness toys collectible action figures as gifts. 

Hmmm... I could use them to create an Evil Dead Laundry Room! Why not? It seems appropriate; after all laundry is an evil chore.

How I Decorated a Room with Toys

Monday, May 12, 2008

How to Create a Distressed Wall Treatment

Before we bought The Condo, my painting experience was limited to finger and tempera. I wisely decided that my first attempt at painting an actual wall should be in the laundry room because if I screwed the paint job up horribly, who would see it?

Turns out I did screw up the paint job horribly but was able to save it by creating a distressed wall treatment. Now I take everyone to see it.

Distressed Wall Treatment 

When bargain shopping, I love nothing more than The Thrill of the Hunt. I definitely found it at Habitat’s Restore . The Restore is a thrift store that sells donated new and used home improvement materials and the proceeds go to support Habitat for Humanity. I bought a new gallon of dark red paint for the walls and a 32 oz can of tan paint for the ceiling for under $8.00. Environmentally friendly because it keeps the stuff from going into a landfill and a steal because this paint usually goes for $24.00 at Sherman Williams.

The following weekend I cleared the laundry room of stuff, put down drop clothes and started painting the walls. The first coat of red paint was streaky but I figured that that the second coat would even things out. No such luck. After the second coat of paint dried, I still had blotchy walls. I used up all of my red paint and I couldn’t get more of that color because it was a mistint. Looks like I wasted a whole weekend painting. Gone. Kaput. Fineeto.