serious fun's Profile

Display Name: serious fun
Member Since: 11/26/13

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Normally I have no problem irreverently painting over wood, but the wood trim in your home looks so integral with the architecture that painting it would really take away from it's design. I agree with others, the current wall colors aren't doing the wood trim, or the home, any favors. The wood adds a lot of warmth to your interior so you'll want to balance it with some cool tones. Bright white walls with that wood trim and a cool toned blues/greens area rug would look pretty design-mag worthy. Clean/polish the wood, paint the walls and ceiling (no muddy colors), and give the fireplace some TLC by restoring or replacing the tile.


To Paint or Not To Paint Our Abundance of Wood Trim? Good Questions
4/22/14 11:34 AM

Overall, the updates added character to this kitchen and were executed well. Regardless of whether or not it's my personal style, I can see it's a more interesting and personalized room.

The look would further benefit from painting those rods either brass metallic or matte black, or replacing with brass rods, which could age with a nice patina. The black plastic utensils aren't display-worthy and the coffee station set-up would benefit from removing the additional utensils hanging on that side.

The pendant lights might need to be replaced eventually or, if experimentation is an option, try painting the interior and/or exterior with a warm metallic or matte black finish, which would coordinate nicely with the black patterned paper or brass accents.


Before & After: It's All About the Details in this Kitchen Makeover
3/11/14 02:00 PM

Huggable hangers make a big difference. I wouldn't have guessed they'd have as much impact as they do, it's not like they change the volume of the clothing that hangs on them, but they really do increase the amount of items you can hang neatly. Their nonslip surface means that adjacent items aren't shuffled when you remove one item, their slim profile gets more on the closet rod. These changed my closet.

Another thing that dramatically changes a closet is adequate light. So many closets are under-lit, diminishing functionality. Even adding a few LED lights on the ceiling or under shelves in strategic places can have a big impact. I lined the walls behind hanging clothes and shelves with a few panels of mirrored contact paper, it reflects light, making the closet appear larger and brighter. Any reflective surface/mirrors could achieve the same effect (I know contact paper isn't exactly a high-end solution) and if there's no way to add a light source inside the closet, it still reflects light coming from outside the closet. Again, light doesn't increase storage capacity but it improves the feel/function of any size closet.


Space-Savers for Small Closets Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/4/14 01:06 PM

I've also been logging meals in MyFitnessPal, great for tracking calories but it has encouraged me to eat mostly stuff that has a barcode, it has an easy barcode scan feature that makes logging super fast. Making something with more than 5 ingredients becomes a little tedious to log, which is how I've fallen into this lazy breakfast cycle of toast with peanut butter, toast with an egg, toast with PB, toast with an egg... Looking forward to a new breakfast world, I know better, I'm just lazy.


Day 1: Make a List of Everything You Ate for Breakfast Last Week The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/3/14 12:41 PM

These are fairly chunky pieces so they aren't going to look very modern no matter what. They would look good stained a lighter, more neutral color (the current honey/slightly orange toned stain is making them look dated), or painted white or other neutral light color that coordinates with your decor. The interesting feature is the concave form on each drawer, which the handles take away from. If there's a way to go without drawer pulls altogether, that would allow those shapes to take center stage and give the pieces a cleaner, more modern look.


Ideas for Updating Bedroom Set? Good Questions
2/12/14 11:22 AM

Indicating that the designer used most of the existing big ticket purchases seems inaccurate. None of the items in the before photo stayed, except the sofa (reupholstered) and perhaps the occasional table.

There are a few big impact, substantial costs not mentioned that push this beyond a simple "refresh" level: can light installation, custom roman shades, a new area rug (maybe this was taken from another room in the home), and the sofa reupholster job (the before picture doesn't show piped edging whereas the after does, I had initially thought it was just different lighting/filter but the piping leads me to believe they did reupholster).

This is not to take away from the useful, smart tips offered by the designer, which are themselves budget-friendly and very effective in refreshing a room. But framing the entire before/after as a budget-friendly refresh is misleading. I guess I felt compelled to comment because, as a designer, one of the biggest challenges of my job is managing expectations when it comes to impact versus budget, resources and schedule. Had this designer only done the four things outlined, the room would have been improved, but she did so much more and that's how you get a great looking room. The photo stretching does this room a disservice because, stretched perspective aside, I can see that the new palette, textiles, artwork and finishes created a more cohesive look.


Before & After: From Blah to Beautiful Professional Project
2/10/14 12:43 PM

In LA I take our expired meds (incl OTC) to the UCLA Hazardous Household Waste drop-off (open 8-2 every Th-Sat) since no nearby pharmacy accepts them (oddly). So if you also lack a pharmacy that accepts expired meds, look for a similar program nearby for at least an annual drop-off. I also had to convince my boyfriend to stop buying meds at Costco, we could never get through a bottle of 300 Motrin before the exp date.

Real Simple has a helpful list of beauty product life spans, there are many others, theirs is just well-edited and on one page (no slide show). Paula's Choice also has a one-page informative article on expiration dates and storage guidelines.

For unused, unexpired beauty products, consider donating to a woman's org. With free samples and gifts with purchase, I end up with a lot of stuff that doesn't work for me or my friends.


Declutter & Organize: Bathroom Cabinets Cleanout The January Cure: Assignment # 15
1/22/14 11:56 AM

You could mat either in front or behind your art (letting the edges show), I agree that leaving a slight gap between the glass and the art is best since the art has texture. The gap will really highlight that great texture and it will be more interesting/look more high end. For the larger piece I'd definitely take the extra steps and get a custom sized frame.

Always, the frame and mat should showcase the art and not necessarily match the decor/color scheme in the rest of the house. Sounds like your eclectic collector style allows this to happen already. Focus on the art, trust your instincts and you'll end up with two great pieces to display.


How Should I Frame These Prints for The January Cure? Good Questions
1/14/14 12:44 PM

I mentioned this last year but it's worth repeating, there is a great website/free app called Still Tasty that is a searchable glossary for almost every food, indicating standard expiration time frames for unopened/opened food items. It also tells you the best storage methods and you can set alarms for foods if you need help keeping track of what to use up before it expires (a problem I had that really bothered me). I'm not affiliated in any way with ST, I'm just a fan and think it would be handy for all who are purging their pantries/refrigerators and starting fresh this weekend during the cure.


Weekend Chores: Flowers, Kitchen Organizing & Cleaning, Make a Meal January Cure: Assignment # 7
1/11/14 01:56 PM

I mentioned this last year but it's worth repeating, there is a great website/free app called Still Tasty that is a searchable glossary for almost every food, indicating standard expiration time frames for unopened/opened food items. It also tells you the best storage methods and you can set alarms for foods if you need help keeping track of what to use up before it expires (a problem I had that really bothered me). I'm not affiliated in any way with ST, I'm just a fan and think it would be handy for all who are purging their pantries/refrigerators and starting fresh this weekend during the cure.


Weekend Chores: Flowers, Kitchen Organizing & Cleaning, Make a Meal January Cure: Assignment # 7
1/11/14 01:56 PM

I'm 100% committed to finishing our entryway. It's the first impression for visitors and sets the tone for us when we come home, so it's a no brainer as my first project for this year.

Last May, after two years of searching, I had finally found and bought the perfect console table and rug. But since then the project halted; this month I will replace the sconce, hang new artwork (waiting in a pile in the office), possibly install wallpaper (that I've had a sample of taped to the entry wall for the past 6 months), reupholster or replace the two stools, and install a coat rack and/or closet rod inside the coat closet. Feeling motivated already!


You Can Do It: Pick a Project to Cross Off Your List January Cure: Assignment # 5
1/8/14 01:53 PM

If open shelves aren't an option for whatever reason, consider installing 180 or 270 degree hinges on your upper cabinets, these allow you to swing the door all the way open, as opposed to the more standard 90 degree right angle, When you don't have to navigate around the doors to access the cabinets it feels a lot more convenient, it made a huge difference in my galley kitchen, when I was on the verge of removing every upper cabinet.


Open Shelving: Love It or Hate It?
11/27/13 10:28 AM