So it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog, however, a recent occurrence made me realize that I do, indeed, still need an outlet for my nerdy obsession. While studying at the library, I got a little distracted. This clearly is not a shocking statement for any college student, however I was not stalking on facebook, or checking out perezhilton, or even reading updates on apartmenttherapy.com (a frequent sucker of my time). Instead of doing assigned readings for political science, I spent nearly an hour and a half online shopping for knobs. Not even door knobs (as if that’s somehow less strange), I’m talking drawer pulls and cabinet handles. As usual, I began in fantasy land. Looking at the hardware section on anthropologie.com, I came across a ton of decorative, vintage-inspired knobs.
Most, however were quite pricey ($8-$12 a piece). And while that’s fine for a cabinet with two doors, I’m not dropping $60 to add pizazz to a dresser. They do have clearance knobs which are slightly more reasonable (“clearance knobs” is also the name of my fake Brooklyn-based indie band). So rather than giving up my search and returning to homework, I turned my attention to homedepot.com and discovered something wonderful: knobs by Martha Stewart. Apparently she now has a line of home improvement goodies, including paint, at Home Depot (seriously, when does this woman sleep?). Simply elegant with a touch of vintage charm (just like Martha!), these delightful knobs are sure to add a little something extra to any project.
At around $3.50 per knob, the one featured above is perfect for an already ornate dresser, or one with a lot of color. These little hardware pieces can transform any thrift store, yard sale, or childhood bedroom find from run-of-the-mill to showstopper! Even if you don’t have a bureau to modify, try adding knobs to something else. A large framed mirror perhaps? Adding a row of pretty knobs to the bottom makes for a perfect necklace holder. Larger knobs screwed into wooden pieces or into the studs on a wall are great art pieces / coat and hat hangers. Try them on the side of kitchen cabinets for pot holders or aprons. The possibilities are endless, so go forth and hob knob, just maybe get your homework done first…
While I love the act of gift-giving, I hate the process behind it. Trying to figure out what someone will love and can be purchased in a timely manner, all in the right price range, is an arduous task. However, if you have a little design nerd of your own in your life, or just someone whose place needs a little t.l.c, I have some helpful gift ideas to help you out. I promise this is not just an elaborate way to hint about what I’d like to find under my Christmas tree this year, but if any Designphile fans happen to feel extra giving this year…
Why not give the gift of interesting walls this season?
These interesting and adorable wall decals are from whatisblik.com They’re perfect for anyone and everyone, especially apartment renters or dorm residents. They are non-permanent and easy versions of a cool mural. Decals are $20 and up and come in a huge variety of animals, plants, abstract designs and patterns. The owl scene above is $65. And best of all? Anytime the recipient sees these nifty designs on their wall, they’ll think of how perfect a gift you gave.
While thinking of other ways to inexpensively decorate my apartment for the holidays, I remembered a craft project that I had done years ago. It was first featured in Martha Stewart Living (yes I did read this fine publication in high school). While it adds a glamorous look to your place, I also see it as a more updated and mature take on those paper snowflakes we all know and love from our childhoods.The main ingredient is cardboard, so it’s another recycled craft! To make it even easier, you can just glue glitter to one side and then affix the flakes to walls, kitchen cabinets, or doors. The instructions are easy, but there is a helpful video as well.
The holidays are quickly approaching, and my bank account is emptying just as fast. Between buying gifts, holiday ensembles, and ingredients for cookies, I certainly can’t afford to spend extra bucks on holiday decorations. I can, however, use a little imagination to craft free and recycled decor. Now, I swear I am not a hoarder, but I happen to have saved old Christmas cards. They’re just always so pretty and festive that I hate to throw them away. And apparently, they do come in handy! Thanks to Good Housekeeping, I now have a use for those old cards. The instructions are pretty easy and all you really have to buy is a foam wreath form.
Upon seeing that craft I began wondering what else could be made using leftover cards. I then created a super simple craft of my own. Normally, I would just upload a picture and type up the directions. However, this past week I was also working on a project for my online journalism class. One of the parts of the project was to create a video. I’m not exactly an on-camera type of person. I like the behind the scenes kind of anonymity that writing gives me. But, alas, I created the video (with a lot of help from my roomie Sam) and uploaded it to youtube. So, who knows, maybe it will be the next “Charlie bit my finger“.
Everyone has those things in their apartment. Maybe it’s that weird kitten statue that your great aunt bought you, maybe it’s a kitschy Betty Boop lamp that was so cool five years ago, or maybe it’s something that you loved as a child, but now collects dust in a corner. You try to release it into the world, but no one buys it at the garage sale, and none of your friends will take it either. We’ve all heard that old saying, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” but for one artist, one person’s trash is inspiration. Courtesy of The New York Times, a great and interesting slide-show for any pack-rat: “Accumulation and its Discontents“. While I’m not suggesting that everyone run out and create an exhibit honoring your old Mr. Potato Head or something, I am a huge proponent of perusing yard sales and flea markets for a formerly neglected decoration. Most people have a dedicated junk space, so ask your relatives if they have anything that they want to get rid of. When decorating on a budget, it’s really fun to try to re-purpose free items and changing them from forgotten to featured item.
I think I may be having a bit of an identity crisis. I never thought of myself as having a real concrete decorating style. Yeah, I enjoy the modern-stylings of Ikea and the 60’s inspired accessories of your average vintage store. I like the traditional lines of a wing back chair and fall hard for anything with caning. And while I enjoy the occasional floral print and shabby-chic accent, I NEVER thought of my style as being country. That is until I stumbled upon Country Living magazine and subsequently visited their website…and found myself drooling over their designs. Who would have thought? Me: the young college student from New England, a country fan? What’s next, a trip to Nashville? Buying the latest Keith Urban album? While I don’t think I’ll go that far, I will begin to open my eyes and realize that country style is more than just roosters painted on the wall.
or maybe it isn’t… While, yes, this picture does include a rooster, it’s more of an antique meets pop-art rooster (which is way cooler, I swear). This old, country shelf adds a much needed bit of storage to a kitchen corner. The open shelving is great for storing and displaying your culinary wares. Vintage dishware, tins, glasses and linens are a perfect way to add interest to an otherwise neglected space.
Another beautiful way to display a collection is on a windowsill like these glass bottles. These can be found in a variety of places, most usually at flea markets and estate sales. Don’t feel like digging for these treasures? Try ebay or etsy!
And last but not least…This photo is what initially made my jaw drop. Now, I have to admit that walls of bookshelves are kind of my weakness, but this more rustic, barn feel is a whole new take on library chic. There’s just nothing like rows and rows of books and accessories all the way up to the ceiling. And with that handy dandy ladder, there’s no need to worry about reaching things off that top shelf. Maybe it was a childhood of Beauty and the Beast watching, but to me, library ladders just always add that extra touch of class. So if a love of vintage kitchen ware, colored glass, and hefty built-ins make me a country girl, then so be it! If it’s good enough for Marie Osmond, it’s good enough for me…
No, no, this is not a post about a re-design inspired by those golden arches, I’m just always looking for fast and cheap ways to update a space. I know I can always redecorate inexpensively by really thinking it over and collecting free items, and maybe taking a trip to the craft store. However, sometimes you just want a quick spruce-up. Maybe you have guests coming over, or maybe you just really need a change. Unfortunately for apartment renters, it’s not as easy as painting a few walls, the changes must be all in the details. Luckily I found this great CBS Early Show video with actual do-able ideas to liven up a boring bedroom, or any room for that matter.
I’ve already visited picnik.com to try to make my own custom photo art. So have fun embracing the details, and color coordinating your bookshelves…