Monthly Archives: February 2012


Every now and then you encounter an idea that makes you slap your forehead and say–“D’oh–why didn’t I think of that?”

Having lived in tiny studios for years–this is one of those ideas.  As the original posting on will tell you–this crafty couple in DC decided to mount there occasional dining table as art over their sofa.


The added benefit of this is that it solves the problem of finding large scale art for your wall.  I believe, however, that when I use this idea (and I will use this idea)–I’ll paint a geometric pattern or maybe decoupage and lacquer something on the tabletop–because it seems a little too minimalist to just mount the table on the wall.  I’d like it to read more as art first, and then…. Tah-dah!!!  It’s REALLY a table!


this week’s hot app

The good people at Sherwin Williams have come up with an amazing new app.

Here’s the gist:

  • You go to their website and download the Chip It app to the toolbar on your Apple.
  • When you a see any image that inspires you on any website–click the Chip It button
  • The app generates a color palette of Sherman Williams paints for your use.

Choosing colors that work well together is a challenge for even the best designer.  Why not borrow from the expert palette of Picasso?  Or you can find names for colors from photos of rooms that inspire you in editorial spreads.  Nice work, Sherwin.

Research Project

In the spirit of finding great stuff for cheap–I’m posting some tips from Apartment Therapy detailing how to use Google Alerts to maximize craigslist searches.  Basically–you just automate it so that Google Alerts tells you when an awesome Eames chair pops up on craigslist rather than having to pour through the listings all day.

Basically: “If you want to be notified immediately if, say, someone posts a vintage dresser on craigslist, you can create a google news alert for it. Just click here, enter your search term (i.e. “vintage dresser”) followed by site:your local craigslist site (i.e. “”), choose your delivery options, and click “Create Alert”. Be sure to enter your local craigslist web address. Google will now handily notify you if someone in your area posts a vintage dresser, or whatever you’re looking for, for sale or free.”

and even more tips are below:

  1.  Keywords: I use a lot of general keywords to browse such as “retro” vintage” “1970s” as well as color descriptions because I am generally a fan of “pink” “gold” and “white” for example. Try to think of any words that might be in the description, rather than in the title. If there are particular materials you like, search those. For example “porcelain” “brass” “linen” “glass” or “velvet.” Another option is to search for the brand or designer such as “IKEA” “Eames” or “DWR” but keep in mind that a lot of people may not know what they have. Always start with one keyword to get the broadest results and add more to narrow your results.
  2. Alternate Spelling: If you are looking for a farmhouse table, search “farmhouse” and in a separate search, search “farm house.” Each set will yield different results. If you search them together you will only get results in which both spellings are used.
  3. Software: Download free software that can search across multiple Craigslist sites such as Free CraigsList Reader Pro 4.2.3 from CraigsPal. It stores your locations (in my case NH and Boston) and allows you to type in any combination of key words. Within the software, the results appear in the top half of the screen and as you click an item it opens in the lower half of the screen. So much time is saved not having to comb through numerous sites or click on individual links!
  4. Automate: Use Google Alerts to search Cragslist for you! Type “ keyword” in the Search Terms box and select the option to be alerted to new content as-it-happens. In this case you want to be alerted immediately since the hot items go fast.

Scissor Lamp Hack

That clever, clever Dan over at has posted a really, well…. clever hack on those scissor armed magnifying mirrors that sell for $5-$8 at IKEA.  

It looks like for about $25 you can create a bedside lamp in that industrial style that all the kids are so crazy for these days.  I’m thinking about using this on a project soon. but maybe making it a little more vintage feeling.  I feel like some spray paint and a cheap shade that clamps over the bulb can totally alter the feel of this which might be just the trick for the preppy, vintage, masculine apartment that I’m about to help a friend with on the cheap.   Stay tuned.  

By the way—the lamp directly above is about $230 from Restoration Hardware.

Successful Small Space Alert

I’m always a sucker for a great use of small space.  Kudos to this mysterious seamstress for pulling off a really sophisticated and gown-up loft bed.  I also really like the subtle use of stripes—on the wall to draw the eyes up and on the rug to elongate the space.    Follow the link for the full tour.  It’s worth it!


Okay… a few things:

  1. I am almost entirely caught up with the amazing Morgan’s The Brick House blog
  2. Her fauxdenza DIY is the bomb and I plan to tweak and reuse the idea on a project soon. I mean her Pipe Shelving Unit was pretty badass but the concealed storage of the fauxdenza is more my personal speed.
  3. I should probably be using WordPress for this thing rather than Tumblr.  It took a little while but I made the transition! Tumbler just isn’t the format for what I want to do. Live and learn.
  4. I have a pretty sweet DIY of my own from the weekend that I’m excited to get up here so that I won’t constantly be posting other people’s successes.

Catching up from a few sick days though is slowing me down. Good stuff to come!

That is all.

As you were.

DIY Light Fixture

I’m kind of wiped out today with a nasty cold, which has allowed for lots of reading of .  That’s where I ran into this awesome tutorial for making custom light fixtures (chandeliers, sconces, lamps… you name it).  I will def peruse in more detail and try this out later.

Blog Crush

I know that I’m new to this whole design blogging thing but I already have a big, fat blog crush.  I’m obsessed with  I’ve been reading devouring the whole thing for the past few days—like every word of it.  I mean devouring it like it’s Hunger Games or season 1 of LOST.  While I feel kind of creepy and voyeuristic, I’m thoroughly enjoying it and leaning a lot. 

I wonder if I can make contact with her and become bff’s?  Yeah, that’s definitely bordering on creepy, huh?

Polaroid Lightboxes

I’m tucking this one away in my idea file.  I’ve actually worked with some lightboxed photography before thanks to my 9-5 job, but I have to say that the results always kinda reminded me of x-ray viewers in hospitals (way too clinical).  

This, however, I like.  I dig the proportion of the images, the fact that the frame is white (and not black), and the Polaroid style format.  It seems like a great solution for that ever-present, urban problem of a room with no view.  I mean if the creepy ass basement in this photo looks approachable–imagine what it would do in your dark hallway or entrance foyer.

Sofa Swing

Alright—scratch that swinging bed idea from the last post.

Upon further consideration, an amazingly comfy swinging sofa is totally the way to go.  You get all the benefits of a plush, cozy indoor swing without the judgmental looks from friends/fear of a spinal cord injury incurred from a swinging bed. The one in this photo really gets an A+ in aesthetics and apparent comfort departments, AND I think this could be a do-able (though advanced level) DIY project—with a little lumber, some commercial foam cut to size for cushion and some sewing skills (that I keep meaing to acquire).  Okay—so I’ll file you away in my 10 Year Goals folder, Sofa Swing–but one day you will be mine.