Posts Tagged ‘eco friendly construction’

diy project: sculptural paper orb lights

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I found this great diy project via Design Sponge. It is inexpensive, creative and the results are simply fabulous! I will be making my own this weekend, so excited! =)

Materials

  • 100–125  white standard-sized paper cupcake liners
  • 100–125  vertically striped petit fours papers
  • (1) 18–20″ white paper lantern
  • hot glue gun
  • 1 Hemma Cord from IKEA (for lighting) ($3.99)

Instructions

1. Assemble the lantern and place it top up in a wide, shallow bowl to act as a base.

2. Put a small dot of hot glue on the backside of a white cupcake liner. Starting about 1/2″ in from the wire ring at the top of the lantern, place the cupcake liner on the lantern and press until it is attached.

3. Continue around the ring, spacing the papers so that the circular bases are approximately 1″ apart, allowing the outer edges to merge and shape.

4. Apply the cupcake papers around the lantern in rings until you are 3/4 of the way down, and then flip the lantern over and gently place it back in the bowl, top side down.

5. Complete the underside, and fill in the bottom so that the papers cover the base opening.

6. Begin applying the petite fours papers, centering them inside each white paper. Three-quarters of the way up the lantern, flip it top side up. Complete the top side.

7. Go back through, gently manipulating the outer papers to the desired shape. I kept mine fairly organic.

8. Drop a light in, and voila!

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So are you dying to try a stencil?!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

I came across this great post from our friends at I heart Nap Time about stenciling. If you haven’t heard of Royal Design Studio you have been missing out! They have fabulous stencils in an array of shapes and sizes that are so easy to use! I have been dying to try this at my own home! I heart Nap Time put the stencils to the test and the results are fabulous! Below you will find the process they followed to achieve this look:

Tools

I started out with the fabric damask stencil, roller foam brushes, painters tape (which I later replaced with duck tape), stencil adhesive and lots of paper towels.

Basically what you will do is spray your stencil with spray adhesive and then tape it to the wall (lining it up correctly). Then you’ll roll the brush in the paint. Make sure to roll some of the excess paint off onto the paper towels before rolling the brush onto the stencil to avoid bleeding.

I SO wish I had a picture of me and my husband trying to tape up the stencil the first time around. It was pretty hilarious. I was trying to hold the stencil standing on a little stool, as my husband tried to tape it up. We could not get that stencil to hold for the life of us. Our textured ceilings were making it very difficult. My neck and arms hurt so bad…. we gave up! The next night I gave it another try and decided to use duck tape. Our ceilings are so textured, that the painters tape just wasn’t cutting it. Once I got the stencil up with duck tape it really wasn’t too bad. So if you have textured wall use DUCK TAPE! ;)

Process

The hard part was trying to piece the patterns together.  I love this stencil because it gives you so many different marks to line up. It was a little difficult looking straight up trying to find the little marks…however, I’m sure it would have been A LOT easier if I was looking straight at it. Once I did a few stencils and got the hang of it, it really wasn’t that bad. I would paint one stencil, take a break for ten minutes while the paint dried and then move onto the next. I did this over two nights. I’m not going to lie… my arms and neck were hurting by the end of the night! LOL!

Final Result

However now that is is done I am in LOVE! It has already opened up that tiny space and added so much personality. Doesn’t it look so awesome?! I love how it turned out! I’m already dreaming up what to stencil next.

Final Result

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DIY: Make the Headboard From HGTV Green Home 2012!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

I’m OBSESSED with HGTV Green Home 2012. The one and only downside to working at HGTV: I can’t enter to win this drool-worthy home. I could whine about it all day long, but that just means that you, my friends, need to get busy and enter twice per day, everyday, so I can come visit all the time. (HGTV par-tay!) In the meantime, if you’re dying to bring in some Green Home charm to your casa, why not take inspiration directly from the home itself? One of my favorite rooms is the master bedroom; it’s so soothing with a natural green, blue and brown color palette. The most eye-catching part of the room, though, is the raffia-upholstered headboard that goes all the way up to the ceiling. You’re dying to make it, aren’t you? We have the step-by-step instructions below, and you’ll be shocked at how simple it is.

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway master bedroom

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway master bedroom headboard

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway headboard project

Cut fabric into 16″ x 16″ squares. Lay a single fabric square down, center the padding on top of the fabric, and then center a 12″ x 12″ plywood square on top of the padding and fabric square. Press one side of the board down, sandwiching the padding between the fabric and the board. Fold the fabric over the side of the board and staple, starting in the center and working toward the edges. Leave 2 inches upstapled on each side of the corners. Continue stapling all other sides.

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway headboard project

Staple the corners. Lay out five of your finished upholstered squares, face-down, edge-to-edge. Make sure the squares are perfectly aligned, and then add a 1″ x 4″ board on top of the seam between the two headboard segments. Place pilot holes (one per square) in the board, centered along the edge. Continue this process for the remaining upholstered squares. Follow the instructions for the French cleat packaging to attach your completed headboard to the wall.

Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions >>

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How to fix dents in wood floors & furniture!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

I was on Apartment Therapy’s Blog and ran into this useful article about fixing dents in wood, with an iron! So helpful, I would have never thought about this easy solution. Thank you for this great DIY fix Apartment Therapy!

Oak 1.jpg

Many years ago a teacher told me that you could steam out a dent in a piece of wood (one where the wood fibers had been compressed, not a where they had been removed) using a wet rag and an iron.

This technique was meant for unfinished wood, but unfortunately, most of the wood we deal with in our homes has some sort of finish on it. With some research I learned that this technique can work with finished wood but it depends greatly on the type of finish you are dealing with. So I decided to do a couple of tests to see the results for myself.

NOTE: BE CAREFUL! SOME FINISHES MIGHT TURN WHITE WHEN EXPOSED TO STEAM. PLEASE TRY THIS IN A HIDDEN AREA BEFORE DOING IT IN A VISIBLE PLACE.

The first test was a on a birch table from IKEA. Although this technique works better on new dents I decided to try to steam out a dent that had been there for quite a long time.

Here is what I did:

1. Wet the dent
2. Apply a wet cloth or paper towel
3. With the iron on High apply the iron to the wet paper towel or cloth and make a circular motion, don’t keep it in just one position as this might burn the surface of the towel. Make sure there is a lot of steam being generated. Do this for a few minutes and check your results. In my case I did this for about 3-5 minutes.

Birch 1.jpg

Birch 2.jpg

Birch 3.jpg

The dent came up almost completely and there was no damage to the finish!

My second test was on our hardwood floors. I found a dent that was pretty deep. I followed the same steps as above.

Oak 1.jpg

Oak 2.jpg

Oak 3.jpg

Although the dent came up, the surface of the finish had been broken and some dirt had gotten in side the cracks. If you know what type of finish you are dealing with you might want carefully sand the area and reapply the finish.

Oak 4.jpg

In the spirit of this experiment I tried sanding and got most of it out. Then I applied some Tung Oil that I had at home. It’s probably not the same as the original finish but the area certainly looks better than before. Here is my result:

Oak 5.jpg

Has anyone else given this method a try? Have any other fixes to recommend? Please share your smarts in the comments…

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Cube Court House, Tokyo

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

I came across this amazing Tokyo residence and was instantly captivated. The single family residence is extremely minimalist and yet so beautiful and serene. The residence was designed by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates and it is truly a masterpiece!A large frosted glass wall on the principal facade allows natural sunlight in to the main living / dining / kitchen area. Intimate inside with a enclosed courtyard and connecting rooms, completely exposed with a outward looking glasshouse above. Wow!

Cube Court House, Tokyo

Cube Court House, Tokyo

Cube Court House, Tokyo

Cube Court House, Tokyo

Cube Court House, Tokyo

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9 Remodeling Tips to Make your Home Feel Bigger!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I came across this interesting article on www.cnnmoney.com and thought I would share it with our followers. The article provides useful information about using existing spaces in your home and re vamping them to make give them a different purpose at a low cost. Enjoy!

9 Remodeling Tips to Make Your Home Feel Bigger

By Josh Garskof, CNNMoney.com
January 23, 2012

Photo: Thinkstock

You don’t have to be underwater on your mortgage to feel trapped in your home.

Now may be a less than ideal time to put a house on the market or to take on big debt — icing your plans to trade up or build an addition anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck living in an uncomfortable home.

For a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, you can make your place “live” bigger without actually making it bigger, says architect Sarah Susanka, a small-space specialist and author of “Not So Big Remodeling.”

Call it thinking inside the box; here are nine creative solutions for cramped homes.

1. Multitask the dining room …

Cost: $500 to $2,000

If you have an eat-in kitchen, your dining room is probably used for special occasions only.

“Why have a prime spot sit vacant except for two or three holidays a year?” says Susanka.

Use it every day as an office or homework room without giving up dinner-party capabilities. Install doors ($300 to $500 each, with labor); add shelves or a cabinet for supplies; and invest in fitted pads to protect the tabletop.

For more flexibility, try a table like homedecorator.com’s $629 Mission Table Cabinet, a sideboard that — amazingly — telescopes into a full-size dining table.

2. … and the guest room

Cost: $100 to $3,000

Stop dedicating a whole room to infrequent out-of-town visitors.

With a decent air mattress, futon, or pull-out couch, you can lose the spare bed and use the room for day-to-day needs. (If you go with an air mattress, make sure to choose one with a built-in reversible motor to simplify the inflating and deflating.)

Add furniture, and what was only a guest room can double as a media or game room or home office.

3. Add a powder room

Cost: $3,000 to $6,000

Adding a first-floor powder room is simple if you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace for running the new pipes. Look for an existing room — a coat closet, say — and you won’t have to build walls.

To save more, forgo the tile. The minimum space required by code is typically 2½ by 4½ feet, but you can often get an exemption to go even smaller.

4. Build a home office closet

Cost: $100 to $3,000

If your family is already bursting the seams of your abode, a home office might seem out of the question. But every household needs at least a small desk for paying bills and to anchor a wireless Internet system — and you can often fit it all in a closet or armoire.

At its simplest, all you need are five or six deep, sturdy shelves made from wood or a composite product, which can total less than $40 at a home center. In a closet, set the lowest shelf at 30 inches high so you can wheel up a chair.

5. Bring the laundry upstairs

Cost: $5,000 to $7,000

Hiking up and down the stairs with laundry is enough to make anyone wish she could trade up. Instead, just move the machines.

Today’s full-size high-efficiency washers and dryers are all designed to stack. You can steal the space — a little more than four square feet — from a closet, hallway, or nook.

You’ll need to run new pipes and wiring, so being near an existing bathroom helps keep costs down, says Raleigh, N.C., architect Tina Govan. Make sure to include a drain pan to collect overflows or spills.

6. Open the floor plan

Cost: $2,000 to $4,000

A choppy layout of undersize rooms can make any house feel claustrophobic.

“People like the look of older homes, but not the way they function,” says Seattle architect Thomas Lawrence.

To open your floor plan without major expense, remove doors from rooms that don’t need them. Interior walls can come out for $2,000 to $4,000, unless they support the building or contain pipes — in which case a window or pass-through may be a more feasible solution.

7. Use built-ins to replace a closet

Cost: $4,500 to $6,000

If you choose to eliminate a closet to expand or enhance your living space, create some built-ins to get back the lost storage. A run of four- to 10-inch-deep shelving along a wall has almost no effect on the size of a room, says Corvallis, Ore., architect Lori Stephens.

And it can handle many times the capacity of a closet. You might spend $4,000 removing the closet and another $2,000 on new built-in cabinetry, or just $500 if you use assemble-it-yourself home-center cabinetry, such as the Billy collection from Ikea.

8. Build a bump-out

Cost: $6,000 to $12,000

Another trick to expand a home without a full-blown addition is called a bump-out. You hang extra space off the side of the house, sort of like an oversize bay window.

Structurally, it can’t extend more than about three feet from the existing exterior wall, but it can run nearly the whole length of the building — enough space to add an eating area to your kitchen or a closet to your master bedroom suite.

Because there’s no foundation work, a bump-out costs about $150 a square foot — or just $100 if you can tuck it under an existing roof overhang.

9. Finish non-living spaces

Cost: $15,000 to $30,000

Converting a full-height basement or garage into living space gets you an addition at half price. You’ll need a floor, ceiling, walls and more, but no structural work, no foundation, and no roof, so it’ll cost $50 to $100 a square foot — vs. about $200 for a true addition.

Attics are fair game, too, but more complicated because you may need to add a stairway and probably extend the plumbing, heating, and cooling systems a flight up. Doing all that brings the cost to around $150 a square foot.

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DIY: Wine Crate Display Cases

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Check out these unique DIY Wine Crate Display Cases! I was looking for an interesting / inexpensive  solution to display art and I found it at Design Sponge!  I love the rough look of the wooden boxes against the elegant print.  So unique!

Wine Crate Display Cases!

Here is what you will need to complete this project:
Metal ruler
Crate
Gift wrap or other fancy paper
Pencil
X-acto blade
Bone folder
Spray adhesive
Sawtooth hanger
Hammer
Small nails
Rubber bumpers
Hanging hardware

Wine Crate Display Cases!

First, use a metal ruler to measure the interiors of each crate to make sure you have enough fancy paper to line all of them. Next, draw out the measurements in pencil on the backside of the paper. In order to avoid any potential gaps along the interior edges, add a 1″ “allowance” as follows:

Long pieces: add 1″ to each of the three sides that border the interior of the box.
Short pieces: add 1″ allowance to the side that borders the back of the box.
Back piece: no allowance necessary

Using a straight edge and an X-acto blade, carefully cut out each piece of paper (five per box). Create fold lines by scoring along your pencil marks with a bone folder. Finally, miter each of the interior corners by cutting a 45 degree angle from the outside edge in, along the 1””allowance.

Now it’s time to glue. In a well-ventilated area, apply spray adhesive to the back sides of each of your long pieces. Carefully place them carefully inside the box, lining up the folded edges with the edges of the box and smoothing out any air bubbles that may appear in the paper. Next, spray and apply the short pieces. At this point, all four sides of the box will be lined, and the back will have a 1″ border all the way around it. The last step is to spray and apply the back piece to the box. Smooth out bubbles and let dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Decide which direction you want to hang your boxes, and attach a sawtooth hanger along the top edge of each box using a hammer and small nails. Apply peel-and-stick rubber bumpers along the bottom corners of each box, to ensure that they hang straight against the wall.

Mark the position of each box on the wall with a pencil, and attach them using the appropriate hanging hardware for your wall.

Thank you Design Sponge for the inspiration!

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Creative Christmas Tree Ideas!

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Tired of your tree looking the same traditional way every year? Here are some creative Christmas tree installations I found online to get you guys inspired! Perfect for making a statement with the family this holiday season! There is a tree inspiration for everybody, what’s yours?

For the little kid in all of us:

For the little kid in all of us

Touch of whimsy

For the Eco Conscious:

Made from recycled paper

For the bookworm:

Total of 800 books!

For the Minimalist:

So chic and simple!

For the Foodie:

Creative use of silverware!

For the Builder:

Creative use of a ladder!

For the practical:

Wall decal + art, no fuss to remove!

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Bond Street Social!

Friday, November 18th, 2011

A couple of months ago I was contacted by a well know restauranteur from Baltimore, MD. He was working on a new restaurant / bar called Bond Street Social and was interested in some of our materials. The overall feeling they wanted to achieve in the space was a warm, contemporary industrial vibe. By combining natural elements such as wood, rich leathers, natural stones, stainless, ceramic and glass mosaics, they achieved a perfect balance of earthy & sleek. Bond Street Social specializes in “high end comfort food” and specialty 80 ounce infusion jars. Served in a glass jar on a wooden stand, the cocktails are a unique blend of infused fruits and liquors. Bond Street Social combines an original, upscale dining experience with a hip, lively social scene. With cozy fireplaces throughout the lounge and such a cool atmosphere, who wouldn’t want to “socialize” here? Thank you Bond Street Social for letting us be part of this cool project! Here are some images of the space:

PS: How cool are the Natural Stone walls with the wire retainers? LOVE!

Bond Street Social

Bond Street Social

Bond Street Social

Bond Street Social

Bond Street Social

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Unique Bathroom Installation!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Check out this unique bathroom installation by our client David B! Such a creative combination of the Ocean Pebble Tile (shower pan), Standing Spring Rain (wall border) and the IPE Wood Deck Tile as the edging! By combining all of these natural elements David not only created a serene atmosphere but really proved that eco friendly does not = boring design. Using the larger rectangular ceramic in white on the walls gave the space a contemporary twist. The wood vanity with the copper sink is to die for! Great job David, we love your bathroom!

Unique Bathroom Installation

Unique Bathroom Installation

Unique Bathroom Installation!

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