Kalakala's Profile

Display Name: Kalakala
Member Since: 4/1/08

Latest Comments...

I love candles and good smells, but most scented candles are a huge disappointment; I'm usually sick of the smell long before the candle is burnt out. I've always liked beeswax but been put off by the price. Then I discovered a nunnery (!) nearby that makes 100% beeswax candles that are very reasonably priced. They're not scented with perfume, but the natural beeswax scent is lovely and mellow. Their shop is called Quiet Light Candles (good name!).

Tell Us: What Are Your Favorite Scented Candles? Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/25/14 12:40 PM

"It'll dry darker" and "Wait until you see it with two coats" ... so true!

I have repeated these phrases to myself over and over again in the midst of a disappointing paint job. Note to self: if you don't like it after an hour, it's not going to get better over time.

Share the Pain: What Was Your Biggest Paint Mistake? Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/13/14 01:29 PM

I had a roommate once who, in a fit of what must have been winter madness, decided to paint the hallway of our popcorn-ceilinged, textured-walled, 70s horror show apartment a shocking pink color. He did a horrible job -- there was paint all over the place -- and the end result had a undeniable "cut-rate bordello" vibe. I referred to it privately as the love tunnel.

As for me, I thought I had picked a nice earthy green for my treehouse-level living room. I tested at least five variations on the wall, looked at the sample patches in all sorts of light, solicited feedback from anyone that happened to pass through ... but once the whole room was painted, it turned out to be not the mellow green I'd anticipated but an uncomfortable institutional green. I hate it but I've been too dispirited to paint over it.

This is not the first time green paint has turned out far more zingy than anticipated. Note to self: greens are tricky.

Share the Pain: What Was Your Biggest Paint Mistake? Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/13/14 01:24 PM

Do the bookshelf and bike need to stay? If not, this would be a great space for some full-width seating that takes up the entire back wall. To me, few things are cozier than a luxuriously large couch. You could go DIY with something along the lines of Mark's DIY Case Study Bed or this multiple-use Danish daybed. Bonus: the space could do double duty as a guest room. If you wanted to take the cozy to outrageous levels, you could paint the walls a dark color and add curtains to the front so that the whole room can become a sectioned-off bastion of coziness.

If the stuff currently in there needs to stay, as other commenters have mentioned, some lamps, comfortable seating, and a nice rug would go a long way toward upping the coziness factor.

Ideas for Transforming Corner into a Relaxing Sitting Area? Good Questions
3/4/14 05:43 PM

My apartment has incredibly cheapo berber -- I saw the same carpet at Lowe's and it was 18 cents a square foot -- throughout. Since we're renting, replacing the flooring isn't an option. So I have rugs throughout (inherited Turkish carpets). Since the rugs are wool or silk and fairly heavy, there isn't a problem with tripping or migrating -- those suckers stay firmly in place. And they definitely make the ugly cheapo carpet less noticeable: since the the wall-to-wall stuff is a neutral color and the rugs are bright and multi-colored, the eye is always drawn to the rugs and the background carpet kind of fades away. My preference will always be wood for floors, but rugs over carpet is definitely better than carpet alone in my book.

Are Rugs on Wall-to-Wall Carpeting Really that Bad? Good Questions
3/4/14 11:28 AM

When the Mister and I moved to a small town in Alaska for a few months, I was really surprised at how many of our household costs went up. Yes, rent was half of what we paid in Seattle, but pretty much everything else (groceries, eating out, gas and other car-related expenses, health insurance, etc.) was more expensive ... sometimes shockingly so ($11/pound tomatoes, $5/roll toilet paper). The extra costs would have been okay if we'd been earning Seattle incomes, but we weren't, and we realized pretty quickly that we couldn't afford to stay.

I know Alaska isn't necessarily a typical small-town experience since nearly everything has to be transported at least 2,500 miles from "Outside", but it made me realize how much I take cheap freight costs -- and the economies of scale that living in a city provides -- for granted. I'd guess at least 90 percent of the stuff I buy in Seattle is from far, far away, but I don't notice the transportation costs since getting stuff here is relatively efficient and inexpensive. When you live in an out-of-the-way place, you definitely notice the premium freight charges.

Another big change in the household economy was a shift in the way we ate: pretty much every meal was cooked and eaten at home; we ate out maybe once a month. Cooking at home was a tremendous time sink. On an average day I'd spend at least three hours on cooking and cleanup (no dishwasher). I generally enjoy being in the kitchen and I wasn't working much so I had the time, but had I been working full time, I think it would have gotten old really quickly.

Big City To Small Town:
A Personal Cost-Of-Living Update

2/28/14 02:38 PM

"... {B{asically a tree house"? LOL. I've never seen a treehouse with a toilet and shower, not to mention the small-but-perfectly-formed kitchen this place boasts. Yes, it needs to be hooked up to the grid, but so does pretty much every other house in this country. Why do small houses get judged by a different standard?

A Peek Inside Alek's Tiny Project House House Call
2/5/14 07:27 PM

"To be totally self-sufficient, you cannot rely on someone else for utility hook ups." Sustainable isn't the same thing as self sufficient. Where does it say that tiny houses must be electricity and water independent? It's not an RV.

As for property taxes, the tiny house dwellers I know most certainly pay property taxes: those who own their land pay directly to the county, and those are renting space pay the same way the rest of us renters do: via our rent.

I think it's interesting that tiny houses inspire such strong negative feelings in some people. It's as if the who-could-possibly-live-there people find the choice to live in a small space offensive.

A Peek Inside Alek's Tiny Project House House Call
2/5/14 07:25 PM

Mille Bornes! It's a car-racing game with awesome 60s graphics. Fun for kids and adults alike.

10 Best Board Games for a Night In Apartment Therapy Game Room
1/10/14 07:18 PM

On a different note, $69 a month for gas and water? That sounds pretty good to me! My gas (and gas alone) bill averages around $60 a month, and water/sewer/garbage (they're all on one bill here) is another $50 each month. And I'm pretty conservative in my resource use (see above).

Trying To Cut Down On Heating Costs?
Go Gradually

11/15/13 11:46 AM

The Mister and I like to challenge ourselves to see how long we can go without turning on the heat. Last year we almost made it to November, but this year we broke a few days into October. It got cold early here in Seattle! Or maybe we're getting softer.

I've always preferred cool to warm -- ugh, summer -- so keeping the thermostat around 60 isn't a problem. When I'm home, I'm usually either moving around or cuddled up with a blanket, At this point, 60 often feels too warm, especially when I'm sleeping, but Himself insists that anything less than 60 is unacceptable. If it were up to me, the thermostat would go on the lowest possible setting overnight and the window in the bedroom would be cracked.

Trying To Cut Down On Heating Costs?
Go Gradually

11/15/13 11:40 AM

The idea of soliciting donations for a family meal makes me shudder. It seems just as gauche as charging family members a fee to stay overnight.

That said, there are ways to help allay the costs of providing a meal to a large group of people without resorting to cash or gift cards (ugh, gift cards). I'm not a huge fan of the everyone-bring-side-dishes plan -- as someone who's hosted Thanksgiving dinner for almost a decade, I find it results in lots of crazy-making distractions right when you're trying to get everything on the table -- but it seems to work really well for some people.

If you know that money is tight for the person who's hosting, why not offer to take them to the grocery store (and pay) for supplies? Or provide the bird / wine / other expensive components of the meal? Even at my poorest, being offered money / gift cards for the meal would have been humiliating -- I haz my pride -- but I had no problem with my mom driving me to the grocery and announcing matter-of-factly that since I was putting in the effort of hosting and cooking, she was going to buy the groceries.

Money or a Dish: Monetary Compensation for Holiday Dinners?
11/14/13 11:54 AM

Dreamy! Shows that dark wall colors done right can be really serene. And that incredibly well-organized closet in the master bedroom: I'm drooling!

Sabreen & Terrence's Industrial Modern Loft House Tour
11/7/13 05:31 PM

I use an indoor/outdoor rug (originally from Pottery Barn, long sold out) as a bath mat and it's worked out really well. The rug is made from plastic fibers, which seems weird in the living room or bedroom, but makes sense in a steamy place like the bathroom. Washing it isn't really an issue. Since it's plastic, nothing seeps in, and any particles get swept off when I clean the floor. I give it a good scrub down outside once or twice a year, but that's really all it needs.

Where to Find 2x6 Bathroom Runner Rug? Good Questions
11/7/13 05:23 PM

My husband has a pretty flexible schedule and it's generally not a problem for him to work from home part of the day, but I used to have to use vacation time. It sucked.

It amazes me that so many tradespeople still keep "banker's hours". There have been huge demographic changes in the past 75 years. It's far less likely that an adult will be available for errands during business hours, and yet my local lock shop still keeps the same hours they kept in the 1930s (9 - 4:30). Why not open at 11 and close at 7, thereby making yourself available for at least a couple of hours when most people aren't at work?

How Do You Get Home Repairs Taken Care Of When You Work 9-5?
10/17/13 01:17 PM

This isn't about painting, but one of the 2011 Small Cool Winners was a woman with a Williamsburg railroad apartment that looks similar to yours: http://community.apartmenttherapy.com/contests/smallcool/2011/entries/1803.

Could provide some inspiration for furniture placement and decor!

How To Paint Our Railroad Apartment? Good Questions
9/27/13 03:36 PM

What care_bear said!

It's been a while since I helped anyone move, but back in the day, at least three out of four people needing to be moved had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING packed. Not even a coffee cup. Some folks didn't even have boxes. Not cool.

I hired movers for my last move. It was $250 (including the moving truck and a very generous tip) to move everything in my one-bedroom apartment down four stories via a tiny elevator and then up 52 steps to my new house. The whole process took less than two hours. Best move ever.

No-Fail Tips for Keeping Your Friends Happy While They Help You Move
8/5/13 11:36 AM

Love the paint job in the bedroom. The darker color is like a room-size headboard and makes the space feel very cozy.

Evan's Garden Apartment Small Cool Contest
5/24/13 05:57 PM

Wow, this is pretty much the best argument I've ever seen for not trying to hide the bed! What a gorgeous space. Yes, it has amazing bones -- dear lord, those windows! -- but the big-lounge-ready-bed-as-centerpiece, the subtle-but-interesting patterns and color, the use of vertical space ... all great choices that make the place feel restful and serene. It's my favorite place so far by a long shot.

Emily's Brownstone Studio Small Cool Contest
5/17/13 12:16 PM

Oooh, natural light in the bathroom ... I'm jealous! Love the openness and corner seating area. And unlike many mostly white apartments, I don't feel like I'd be permanently on the verge of making a mess.

Stephanie's Best Year Yet Small Cool Contest
5/15/13 01:41 PM