Crazy About Columns

When life throws me lemons, I make chocolate cake (and make ’em wonder how I did it!). Often times, architectural details like structural beams and columns can present a sour experience because they are integral to the property, and cant be removed. I can not tell you guys how many times I have opened up a wall during a renovation only to find a large post or beam that is totally holding up the entire roof of the house – and I can’t get rid of it. Here are a few cool ideas as to how to reinvent posts into something rich, warm, and amazing — just like my favorite decadent desert!!

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5 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home

Diet? Check. Save more? Check. Land your dream job? Check. Often, your home is the last thing on your mind when it comes to resolutions, but I think it should be at the top of your priorities!

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1. Organize – Can be a daunting one depending on how long you’ve “let things go”.

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2. Start a project – Give new life to an otherwise unused or untouched room.

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3. Make your home safer – Make sure your smoke detector is working!

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4. Buy a plant – The cheapest way to bring life into your home.

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5. Learn to enjoy your home!!

Spruce Up Your Home With These 10 Easy And Budget-Friendly Decorating Tips

Revamping your home decor doesn’t always have to be a bank-breaking project. Here are 10 ways to give your home a fresh look, without breaking a sweat – or your wallet.

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1. Pull a room together by choosing two contrast colors – black and white, say, or white and one bright color – and use them as a repeating theme throughout, such as a row of yellow and white pillows on a sofa, or robin’s egg blue walls and all-white furnishings.

2. A simple but effective tip: Too much of a good thing is too much. Try taking all your home decor accessories and putting them in a box, then putting them back one by one where they’ll have the most impact.

3. Small details make all the difference: Beautiful coasters, interesting desk frames, a small but exquisite crystal vase filled with fresh flowers.

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4. Update lampshades with new ones in more contemporary shapes or simply fresh white shades.

5. Update your window dressings. IKEA and other home stores have reams of readymade draperies you can hem to the right size (or leave to puddle on the floor), or you can make your own from sheets or lengths of designer outlet fabric. Hang from an attractive new curtain rod, also available in stock sizes.

6. Take down all your paintings and other art and move them around to different walls or different rooms. It’ll be like seeing them for the first time.

7. Peruse Craigslist regularly for finds. It’s amazing what shows up at a bargain or even free – but like any good flea market shopper, be sure to check regularly, as good things go fast.

8. Spruce up your entrance by painting your front door a cheerful color. Pair it with a new lighting fixture, mailbox and house numbers – all available at the box store.

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9. Inexpensive frame mouldings from the box store can transform a plain wall or hallway into an instant paneled look. Paint the mouldings in a contrasting shade or white.

10. Some paint stores sell mixed paint for much less than custom-mixed paint because the color was off or it was returned to the store. Great if you’re willing to experiment on the color.

15 Bookshelves That Break The Mold

If you love reading as much as I do, then you are going to need a good bookshelf or bookcase to hold all your collections. Storing books in a rectangular or square shelf can be boring.  Check out these bookshelves that break the mold and can clear away the clutter while adding a little panache to your home.

Zelli – Duret Younes
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Infinity – Job Koelewijn
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Three Quad Styles – Nauris Kalinauskas
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Skew – Smansk
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Hang In There – OldandCold
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Books On Books – Invisible Bookshelf
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Bliss Storyline – Frederik Roije
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Hand-Carved Trees – Landers Woodworking
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Trailing Spiral – Brianna Kufa
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Library Tree Branch – Oliver Dolle
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SheLLf – Ka-Lai Chan
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Rocky Credenza – La Chance
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Tree Of Knowledge – Jamie Joseffry
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Five Tier Corner Unit – Loft Essentials
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Sloped & Slanted – Anthropologie
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5 Strategies For Decluttering A Small Space

If you live in a small apartment or home, then you know how hard it is to keep it organized and tidy! It only takes a box of papers or some folded clothes on the floor to overwhelm a smaller space…Ugh, I get anxiety thinking about it.

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The good news is that there is hope! Here are 5 Strategies For Decluttering A Small Space:

Embrace Storage Containers! People often think that they can’t fit a filing cabinet, bookshelves, or a desk into their apartment or home. You need to embrace the fact that you have stuff and like to have certain things around – That’s what makes you interesting – Just find a way to manage it all so you don’t feel overwhelmed by it.

Furniture Can Be Storage! Do you own an ottoman that you could also use to store blankets? If not, you can find some really affordable ones at a local discount retail store near you. In the market for a new bed? Consider looking at one that has drawers underneath or has at least enough height to store some under-the-bed bins.

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Think Vertical! In small living spaces it is very important to maximize all of your space. That’s why you NEED. To. Think. Vertical! If your desk is too small to store anything, try hanging some file folders above it to organize incoming papers and office supplies. Bulletin boards and magnetic boards are also great places to display artwork, school reminders, travel plans etc. These don’t require a lot of space, but can be super helpful for getting things off countertops and other flat surfaces.

Do A Little Every Day! People often say that they don’t have enough time to do any organizing, but everyone can find 10-15 minutes in their day to focus on at least one small space or project. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes – like organizing all of your miscellaneous papers into several categories: To File, To Toss, To Shred, and To Do. And don’t forget to reward yourself with a glass of wine when you’re done ;).

Out With The Old! Chances are you don’t need most of the papers that you’re keeping — so shred them. If you haven’t worn that sweater for three years, donate it. Clearing out even a few items always makes me feel wayyy more relaxed.

Tiny Origami Apartment In Manhattan Unfolds Into 4 Rooms

Even though you see me on T.V., I’m still a regular girl on a budget. And I live on an island…In an apartment! I’m always turning to the internet for inspiration on how to maximize every square inch of space. That’s why when I found about Eric Schneider and his closet-sized studio apartment, I just knew I’d be inspired! In 2005 the third grade teacher bought a 450-square-foot studio for $235,000 (Holy Manhattan Batman)!

“It was basically an open rectangular space,” remembers Schneider. “There wasn’t much to it, there was just a couple of old closets, an old corner kitchen and that was it”.

He let architects Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects design a way to pack more density into his small space. “Initially we were looking at different ways we could subdivide the spaces into smaller spaces,” explains Chen, “but pretty quickly it became clear that there wasn’t really enough room to get like a real bedroom in here and if you did then there wasn’t really room to have a real living room area and Eric is a pretty serious cook and so a tiny little kitchen wouldn’t really work for him.”

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In order to fit more apartment in a small footprint, they created an object that’s bigger than furniture, but smaller than architecture and that morphs with the changing activities of a day.

It’s a large, blue, oversized cabinet that houses all of the walls/bed/tables/shelving/closets needed for at least 4 full-sized rooms.

To create a bedroom, the cabinet door swings out to create a wall dividing the living room from the sleeping area, then the Murphy bed folds down revealing a built-in nightstand complete with lighting.

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By continuing to unfold, or fold differently, Schneider can create not just the bedroom with accompanying closets, but an office plus library, a guest bedroom, and a living room. Or close it up entirely and simply flip down the small bar and the room becomes entertaining space for a dozen.

The Normal Projects architects called their creation the Unfolding Apartment, though given Schneider’s affinity for the Japanese sense of space (he spent his first year post-college living and teaching in Japan), it could as easily be called the Origami Apartment.

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The morphing cabinet had to be custom built and while it packs in a lot- even kitchen storage and lighting for the room- Chen warns it’s not about hiding stuff, but about strategically creating division and overlap.

“It’s partly partitioning the space, it’s partly making its interior available and its partly also creating lots of different areas of overlap where you get like a living area and a bed area and a dining area and a lounge area and they’re not necessarily separate but they’re sort of leaking into one another in a way.”

In total, Schneider spent $70,000 total remodeling his new apartment and this includes not just the cabinet, but the bathroom renovation, all cabinetry, kitchen appliances, furniture and dishes, etc.

In this video, Chen shows us his custom cabinet of rooms and Schneider unfolds a few of his favorite configurations: his bedroom (& closet/changing room), office (& library), guest bedroom, kitchen, dining bar, living room and lounge.

How To Install A USB Outlet In Your Wall

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Ever find yourself juggling multiple chargers on a two-socket outlet? Fix that problem once and for all by swapping out a traditional outlet for one that includes USB ports. These work great in common areas like the kitchen!

Things you’ll need:

USB Receptacle
USB Receptacle Cover
Flat Head Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Needle-Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters
Cordless Drill
Wire Insulation Stripper

Safety first! Make sure to TURN THE POWER OFF to the receptacle you plan to replace.

Steps:

1. Remove the original receptacle cover with a flat head screwdriver
2. Take the receptacle out of the wall box. There should be one screw at the top and one at the bottom.
3. GENTLY pull the receptacle out of the wall. Begin disconnecting the 5 wire (2 black, 2 white, and 1 copper) by unscrewing the screws.
4. Remove the wires from the old receptacle (using a flat or Phillips screwdriver) and attach them to the new one.

The only trick here is attaching the different colored wires to the right spot:

Black (or hot) wires always attach to gold or black screws.
White (or neutral) wires always attach to silver or white screws.
Green or unsheathed wires (ground wires) always attach to green screws.

5. To attach the wires to the new outlet, use a pair of needle-nose pliers or a wire stripper to make a hook with the wire, loop it around the appropriately colored screw on the receptacle, then tighten the screw.
6. Once the wires are securely attached to the new receptacle, shove everything back into the electrical box, and screw the new receptacle into the box.
7. Turn the breaker back on. Check to make sure the receptacle is working, then install the faceplate on the new receptacle.

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VOILA! Did you geek out like me when you realized these outlets existed?

Furniture And Home Décor Trends To Watch For In 2015

What better way to kick off the new year than by redecorating your home? We’ve broken down 2015’s must-have furniture and home décor trends for fearless new year’s makeover.

Heavy Metals

The use of metallic elements in modern interior design is not new, but we are starting to see it being used more frequently. I personally love seeing shiny metallic metals in juxtaposition with furniture from raw, natural materials.

The best way to integrate metallic pieces into your home is with cool accessories, candles, or tabletop decor.

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Tone on Tone

Getting the Tone on Tone look in your living room is all about layering. Use the same color in different saturations and textures throughout the space. The easiest way to recreate the monochromatic look is to mix and match patterns, keeping it all within the same color family. The end result will be soft, calm and sophisticated.

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Natural Elements

Adding natural elements to your space will give it warmth and depth. The easiest way to get the natural look in your home is by using furniture with natural woods. Woods that are lighter in color create an open and airy feel, while darker woods evoke glamor and masculinity.

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