erzilie's Profile

Display Name: erzilie
Member Since: 3/25/14

Latest Comments...

this is cut and paste copyright law. you don't get to use someone else's name and brand to make money, sorry. this is people getting riled over big vs. small, not right vs. wrong--as though it's innately justifiable and morally righteous to profit off a company that's "big enough" (a very nebulous definition that can shift to fit anybody's sanctimonious indignation at any given moment). if ikea had lifted someone else's brand and were profiting off it without the owner's permission, people would be disgusted and outraged. a business of any size has the right to defend their IP.

don't get me wrong: i'm not a fan of corporations. there are millions of ways to screw people that corporations do flagrantly and shamelessly every single day--this just isn't one of them. if you want to nail ikea to the cross over corporate abuses, maybe check their tax records, or focus on the fact that they still don't pay their lowest employees a living wage. if you want to boycott them based on their actions as a company, you wouldn't have to look hard to find a reason that's based on more than a knee-jerk reaction.

but this is pretty cut and dry, guys. yeah, they could've anticipated the public backlash and used it as an opportunity to look like "nice guys" in the press, "sponsoring" the website, but it wouldn't have made them any nicer--their goal still would have been eliminating or co-opting a website that generates revenue in their name, which is boilerplate copyright infringement. nobody's your friend in the realm of business strategy.


IKEA Issues Cease & Desist to IKEAHackers Design News
6/17/14 02:21 PM

what kills me about the "I'LL DO WHAT I WANT" people is that they aren't considering the longevity of a piece that's properly restored and cared for. a well-made antique is going to outlive you. you're going to keel over at 70 or 80 or 90, but that solid wood bureau is going to keep on keeping on. it's going to shuffle down through your family, or it's going to make its way into someone else's hands, and as long as someone doesn't s*** it up too terribly somewhere along the way, dozens more people who aren't you are going to enjoy that piece. if you heavily, permanently modify a piece because "I'M NOT A PART OF YOUR SYSTEM", you're effectively removing a it from a limited pool because you can't look 20 years in front of yourself. you want an immediate solution, instant gratification. you want what you want right now.

using current market prices to quantify the intrinsic value of a piece that could last 200+ years given real care is hilarious. i have a chippendale desk from 1780. it's not super fancy. it doesn't have intricate, gorgeous scrolling or delicate carvings. it's not a museum piece. it's a nice desk made out of wood. and it's passed through at least 14 pairs hands, several of which were in my family, because it's 234 years old. i'm not the only person who's gotten to enjoy this desk, and i'm not going to be the last. if someone in 1830 had decided to ~spruce it up~ with some cheerful lacquer because "it's only 50 years old and chippendale desks are EVERYWHERE, who cares!", i would not be enjoying this desk today. and if i decide to paint it chevrons because it's 2014 and i'm an idiot, the next owner is either going to have to put their back into an extensive restoration effort, or throw it away, because no one in 2050 is going to want a piece of pinterest furniture. it's what makes antiques antique: they're the pieces that have managed to eke out 100+ years of existence without someone literally ruining them because "I'M AN ADULT".

like yeah, freedom, your money, you can do what you want, etc. if a piece literally has no future if you don't swoop in and save it, then sure, go for it. but i'd love it if people would think a little further ahead than "sweet i got a waterfall desk from 1930 on craigslist for $20 because art deco furniture isn't in vogue right this instant, i'm gonna paint it (current popular pantone color, e.g. jade), SUCK IT FUTURE GENERATIONS, IT'S MINE NOW". ownership is temporary! it's ephemeral. the only way you're going to be the permanent owner is if you bury yourself in it. otherwise, that furniture is going to move on without you, seeking care from nicer, prettier owners who treat it right and aren't going to dress it up all day-glo hooker orange.

sometimes things are about more than just you.


It's the Law: How To Decide Whether (or Not!) to Makeover Your Latest Secondhand Find Comment of the Day
6/10/14 10:55 AM

no no no no no. i read spiderman, i know how this ends.


MIT Builds Robotic Extra Limbs for Multitasking Design News
6/4/14 02:14 PM

right? this is way better than AT's actual april fool's joke(s) were.


How Do I Hide a Built-In Microwave? Good Questions
6/4/14 11:54 AM

this question almost feels like trolling. are we getting trolled?


How Do I Hide a Built-In Microwave? Good Questions
6/4/14 10:06 AM

definitely agree with the others about landscaping. sometimes a house is too simple by design to add the amount of "drama" you want, and you need to cultivate the area around it in order to add interest. think of it like filling in the white space.

there's something about those blues that make it look cold and aloof--and i don't know about you, but when i see a cottage, i always want it to look warm. if i owned this house, i would probably repaint! (repaint it what, i don't know. i'm on a ridiculous victorian color kick for exteriors right now and every house i see i yell "PAINT IT TEAL/DARK RED/DARK GREEN/PINK/CERULEAN/MAGENTA/YEAHHHHHHH" which is not good advice. it's great advice for me and people like me, but not for cute little cottages. to be honest, white + bold shutter colors is a classic combo that you really can't go wrong with.) you can paint the door bright red, but i feel like as the color scheme stands now, it'd just get lost in the murk.


Add Character to Home Exterior with Red Door and What Else? Good Questions
6/3/14 10:11 AM

as someone who's in charge of grocery shopping and cooking for a family of 3 whose only grocery budget is $160/mo in food stamps (that's 59 cents per person per meal, for those of you who are counting!), i think it is straight hilarious when people tell me that it's easy to eat healthy on the cheap, as though poor people have been holding the magic key all this time--poverty!--of forced budgetary restrictions. like duh! fresh fruits and vegetables are totally less expensive than refined carbs!

(PRO TIP: they aren't. when you look to bulk up a meal on the cheap, because $10 of fresh vegetables only gets you two meals, you go for refined carbs. you reach for the $.89/box spaghetti, or the dirt cheap white rice. wheat pasta is more expensive. wheat flour is more expensive. brown rice is more expensive. so you don't buy those things. and pasta made from scratch with white flour isn't really any better for you health-wise than the boxed food that upstanding middle class people yell at those filthy idiot poors for buying. it's just cheaper.)

say goodbye to fruit if you hate apples and bananas. a bag of lemons is a decadent splurge, and every drop squeezed to flavor pasta or meat or plain yogurt. what's salad? we don't eat salad. lettuce is $2/head and full of hidden costs: it drains our precious olive oil, needs bulked with beans and eggs and vegetables. be prepared to beg the butcher's counter for soup bones so you don't have to buy broth or bullion. be prepared to elbow someone in the face to get that last slab of salmon on manager's special for $2/lb. be prepared for simple meals of broth and homemade egg noodles and slivers of green onion you froze at the start of the month because you're counting down the days before the card fills up again.

if you're poor, then the only way you can stretch your budget is with your own time. you have to spend time running miniscule calculations that only matter when you're down to the pennies. you have to spend time prepping. spending five or six hours in the kitchen on the weekend is not uncommon, as i cook three meals at once that will be frozen and used for lunches, or to pull out when i get home and i'm too tired to even want to exist. i have to scratch together bread and pasta dough whenever i can find a spare minute. you have to look at everything you have and strategize like a general--what and how much goes where and when. you have to know what you're doing. there's no margin for error. if something drops on the floor, you might not be eating that night.

i consider myself lucky because i have a large repertoire that gets a workout and i can adapt for ingredients that need to be used, and a large spice cabinet that's been built up over the years that lets me whip up a tikka masala as easily as a simple roast chicken. (spices are almost prohibitively expensive as a start-up cost: an $8 bottle of cardamom might last you 5 years, but when you only have pennies to spare per month, it's hard to justify making room.) if you can't cook and you don't have time? you're going to be paying for convenience. that is pretty much the only simple truth of cooking on a tight budget.


How To Eat Well When You're Low on Cash Budget Living
5/6/14 02:06 PM

if you're having trouble figuring out what to do with it, then get in touch with the style's roots.

at its core, architecture is all about elegant solutions to immediate problems, so let's look at the problems that initially informed the cape cod style: stormy new england weather; large, heavy snow loads; and settling the countryside away from established cities, which dictated the kinds of materials that could be delivered and the time it would take. the keys to the cape cod style then are simplicity and weathering. these are peasant houses, settler houses, farmer houses. they're designed to look good even when time starts to take its toll. aesthetic upkeep was not as important to pilgrims as "will this house survive the winter".

modern aesthetics look weird when applied to a house style that is so old and so constant. the boxy windows look out of place, because we're so used to seeing a ubiquitous grid-style of small-paned windows (couldn't ship giant pieces of glass out to the boonies in the 1700s without the risk of breakage; couldn't reorder more glass without it taking months--more problems solved by architecture that later became an aesthetic choice). the colonial revival didn't really do much for this house except make it look super outdated 60 years later. what's the brick doing for the house? what's the house doing for the brick? individually, these elements are pretty classic, but together, we just see "wow, that's so 30s/40s/50s".

go back as far as you can, within reason. you might not be able to (or even want to) replace the giant windows, so how do you get them to interact harmoniously with the rest of the house? do you contrast and embrace the anachronistic combination of elements in the same way we mix up eras of furniture in our living rooms? or do you make it less obvious, try to get them to "melt" back into the walls? are you ok with the upkeep painted brick would require, or would you be fine with letting it get that weathered look, mimicking the old grey shingles of coastal cape cods?

if this were my house, i'd paint. it'd paint a white with rich black accents, or a humble grey with stark white. i'd take off the screen door and paint the front door something bright--an old-school response to the lack of ornament, the dourness of monochrome color schemes. i'd plant whatever beautiful things would bloom in the yard. i'd let the paint sit and chip and weather for a few years before i attacked it with another coat, relishing the sweet spot between well-worn and neglect. i would take off the awning and i wouldn't add another one. (guests can come in through the back. it's mostly natural. and if someone's there to sell me something, then they can stand there in the rain for a little bit.) i would probably replace the windows someday with those old colonial grids.

but that's just me. what it boils down to: keep what you love, and let the style do the rest.


Exterior Color Ideas For My Brick Home? Good Questions
5/6/14 11:55 AM

agreed here--it's almost never about the price of the paint, and almost always about the prep. expensive paint is not a one-way ticket to a single coat job. i've watched people cry in their living rooms mid-job because they budgeted out for a 2 coat job with their $50/gallon benjamin moore paint, only to realize they have to double their time and money spent because the flashing is unbearable or they're getting bleed-through because they didn't take the time to prep appropriately.

i recently went from beige to dark green and it took two coats of a behr color in a glidden base because it was the cheapest they had at home depot. can't beat a $20 job.


Splurge or Save: What You Need to Know About Buying Paint
5/5/14 01:36 PM

sell it and get something you actually love. it seems to me that you don't want any of the set--you'd rather have the farmhouse look, which requires a different table, and then you later went on to mention having the table refinished and shopping around for cooler chairs, so you're not actually all that attached to anything here.

it's silly to hang onto something because it's old, or it was given to you. don't "make" something work if the base of it isn't what you want. if it's with you because it was in the family already, then try to see if someone else in the family wants it. if not, set it free! get it into a consignment shop or sell it on craigslist. and then go on the hunt for what you actually want.

there are probably a lot of people out there for whom a tiger oak pedestal dining set would be perfect. let them have it. go get what you love.


Ideas for Updating Antique Oak Table? Good Questions
5/5/14 01:07 PM

right? if i came back to this guy's apartment for the night and saw that over his bed i'd laugh and turn right back around.

but i would stand in the living room and ogle that shelving for awhile before i left, though. jesus! damn. i just want to rub all over it like a cat.

really gorgeous space in all. but i cannot get over that light. combine military mottos with the aesthetic of 90s neon beer signs and i feel like i'm in a frathouse or a basement rec room. i just associate it with the terminal manchild. i can't help it!


Moody & Masculine in Manhattan Professional Project
4/27/14 06:58 PM

some of these prices make me glad i come from woodworker stock. the restoration hardware one looks killer, but $1600! and that's on sale! damn. i'd love to make some plans and tackle that. it'd be a fun project.


Top Ten: Best Media Consoles Annual Guide 2014
4/25/14 02:17 PM

while you would be hard-pressed to get me to agree that large flower print anywhere on anything is wonderful, i love seeing off-trend elements being showcased. that blue room in particular is striking.


10 Small Spaces with Wonderful Wallpaper
4/24/14 01:00 PM

something gorgeous? probably not. something that would look great in the proper space with the proper treatment? sure! if you think of it from a perspective of value vs new furniture: as soon as you hit "wood" (even pine!) instead of "mdf and cardboard", furniture starts to get a bit expensive. a set like that, brand new, would set you back a couple hundred bucks at the absolute minimum, which would make it a steal on craigslist--if it's what you want.

i can see the appeal in the set. (i grew up with stacked bookshelves and dressers and hated them, so i kind of instinctively turn my nose up at any i see out in the wild, but people without design-ptsd are probably fine.) if you're after a ~prestigious mcm treasure~, you might want to move along. but if it's the right size and right style for the space you want it in, then hey, go for it.


Is There a Possible Gem Under the Terrible Paint on Mid-Century Bookcases? Good Questions
4/24/14 09:44 AM

i live about 5 hours from an ikea, actually, so the only time the local craigslist is filled with castoffs is at the end of the spring semester, when all the graduating chicago kids don't want to take back what they brought down with them. the $140 was for the thinnest glass available at the specific size i need, 3/16", with eased corners so i don't bust myself to hell on it. (i am clumsy and busting myself to hell is a thing that happens on a regular basis.) the cheapest glass top ikea's got in their catalog right now is the torsby tabletop at $79, but i'd have to get it cut down to fit, and by the time i factor in the gas it'd cost to drive up and get it, i may as well deal with the local glass people.

it's awesome that they were able to do it with what they had on hand! that is the essence of diy--especially ikea hacking--and i'm stoked that they made a piece they love. but recreating that if you're like me and don't have that specific (no longer in production) table or access to an ikea because you live in the middle of a backwater nowhere, and the project starts to get pricey.

but i mean all told, recreating this project from the ground up with wood and custom-cut glass, it's still way cheaper than buying a piece of furniture that isn't made out of MDF, so it's totally worth it in the end.


Never Stop Playing With Toys: DIY Grown-Up LEGO Table IKEA Hackers
4/23/14 02:42 PM

it might be different sitting at that computer, but looking at it on a monitor from a pulled-back perspective is definitely giving me a little vertigo. (hilariously i don't think prison uniform--those stripes were horizontal, y'all!--but rather beetlejuice. it is a great association to have.) i like the style and the idea, and if you're a person who doesn't feel woozy when you look at it, then i say hell yeah, go for it!

if i were doing it in my own space (like if i were turning part of my closet into desk space, which i would love to do!) i would definitely add a lot of artwork with white to break up the endless expanse of it, but i don't think i would bring the colors any closer in terms of value or paint the stripes any thicker. i like the stark contrast. i would just have to figure out a way to keep from feeling like i'm gonna fall and hit my head on something.


DIY Project Idea: Painted Black & White Striped Walls Color Therapy
4/23/14 12:03 PM

every time i see this i get so tempted to do it! the biggest problem is how cost prohibitive the glass is. i wanted to do this with a desk i'm making, but sourced the glass out to about $140 alone. it's still a damn fine price to pay if a lego table works perfectly for the space, but people who snap up buckets of legos off craigslist for a song might be disappointed to learn that it's not a super cheap DIY.

i pretty much always have this project in the back of my head, though. someday i will buy my $75 worth of specific brick colors and my $140 of custom-cut glass and make the most nostalgic tabletop ever.


Never Stop Playing With Toys: DIY Grown-Up LEGO Table IKEA Hackers
4/23/14 11:03 AM

weirdly, furniture is A Thing in my family. i was gifted a hand-crafted bench with wrought iron legs and a horse decoration on the apron. the upholstery, while not The Worst, definitely doesn't go with anything in my house. it's all super southwestern and not in my style at all. i kept it, planning on passing it on to someone else who'd enjoy it more, but honestly? it grew on me. it's quirky and weird and one-of-a-kind and i'm kinda in love with it now. to help it along, i made a cover for it out of faux leather to match it to my space so i can tell my relatives, "oh yeah, the original upholstery's still intact, i just made a cover so it's more flexible, i can change it back whenever i want," and not feel guilty for altering the spirit of the gift.

but i've also been a giver of unwanted decor, so i know how it feels! i looked around my sister's place, saw an artist she enjoyed and had multiple pieces from, and wound up buying an (expensive) framed print by that artist that matched with her style and decor. it never got displayed, and last time i visited her it was still in its original packaging tucked in the closet of the guest room. after a brief flare of anger where i considered taking it back because "I SPENT GOOD MONEY ON THAT AND IF SHE DOESN'T APPRECIATE IT I'LL JUST F****ING USE IT MYSELF RAUGHGUHRHR" i realized i just gave her a crap present she didn't enjoy, and that was that was that. my bad. lesson learned! don't ever give decor presents unless you're 100% sure it's what the person wants, or at least grant them clear, undeniable permission to pass it on (or return it. or give it back!) if they don't want it.


How Do You Deal with Unwanted Decor Gifts?
4/21/14 11:31 AM

to clear it up, i wasn't advocating using short pieces in the finished product, just as a way of measuring it perfectly for someone who might not have any experience with this kind of project at all. i've used this technique to walk a couple people through projects where they were intimidated by the cost of errors if they just went whole hog right off the bat. someone who's experienced will be able to measure it out and do it right in one fell swoop; someone who's asking the internet "how do i do this with three mirrors?" will probably need some training wheels when it comes to cutting the angles.


How To Frame 3 Adjacent Builder-Grade Mirrors? Good Questions
4/21/14 10:09 AM

yeah, i'm feeling that too. i adore cerusing on super-dark stains, but it's not doing it for me here (even though jacobean is a pretty dark stain itself). if it were my table, i would've gone waaaay dark, as is my usual style.

but hey! that's some really gorgeous grain (especially the close-up pictures on the blog--daaaaaamn, that pattern), an amazingly accomplished DIY project, and she has a table that she loves to pieces. that's what matters here! congrats on your table and great job on the project, kristie!


Before & After: Kristi Tries a New Technique: Cerusing
4/21/14 09:56 AM