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Display Name: ReadHead
Member Since: 4/16/12

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This may have been mentioned, but instead of adding only white, I suggest you embrace the current look of it, and incorporate black. It will add a touch of class to the room, period-class, and so tone down the bright. Here's a link to a bunch of retro bathrooms in all their glory:

So, paint all the walls an appropriate white (decorators, maybe? or antique?), Accent entirely in black, perhaps even painting or changing out the door and medicine cabinet to black (or chrome retro for the medicine cabinet--it looks like chrome/silver fixture here). Black throw carpet/bath mat, towels, and just a touch of retro accoutrements. I'd resist going overboard with the kitsch--the kitsch already speaks loudly for itself.

Best of luck! I hope you post after photos. I love seeing how people handle these retro bath problems.

How Can I Make this Purple & Green Bathroom More Tolerable? Good Questions
9/13/13 11:13 AM

Puttinbuttin, I think I would have near passed-out at that one too! Fun story!

You Paid WHAT for That? More Stories of Amazing Secondhand Finds
7/25/13 03:07 PM

Basil&Bones, that's a whole different level of this discussion. I watched a Four Rooms episode dealing with this issue and none of the collectors wanted to touch or profit or encourage in any way the sale of Nazi 'artifacts'. Ended up one of the collectors purchased the thing--the seller went from an incredibly high asking to something just to get it off his hands--just so he could give it to a museum. As the collector said: 'I couldn't bear the thought of the kinds of people this memorabilia could find its way to, and knowing I could have played a part in that.' Sometimes, the stakes are a bit higher than a new laptop and grill.

You Paid WHAT for That? More Stories of Amazing Secondhand Finds
7/25/13 02:51 PM

My best/fave purchase was an 10-bay teak mid-century Danish Modern Cado Royal wall unit system - - with a drawer unit, a swing door unit, and so many large/med/small shelves I can't even use them all. I've furnished a full wall with it and could furnish more walls. Plus most pieces are in very good to excellent condition. Price: $550 CDN with delivery. Just saw a similar 3-bay unit version sells on ebay for $3000 US, and another with far fewer shelves but closer in bay size for $2500 EUR (@ $3400 US), so I figure I did very well investment-wise. But really, I just bought it because I loved the look and I held onto it for years unable to install it in my last apartment due to its size and weight. But when I bought this condo, one of the deciding factors was how the unit would look, and I must say, by all accounts it's just perfect in my home.

You Paid WHAT for That? More Stories of Amazing Secondhand Finds
7/25/13 01:41 PM

It does look better... How can it not? The before pic looks messy. One thing I've learned from all these design blogs is that a tidy room instantly transforms. (It's typical before/after shots: the woman's hair is messy; her face shiny; she's wearing unflattering clothes, then suddenly she's transformed by good lighting, a make-up artist, a better camera angle..)

While the colour palette and general decor is very '80s (it's a returning design trend whether we like it or not), I would rather the couch have been turquoise and the lamp be salmon. The couch is the single defining element in the room, and it would feel punchier if were more of a statement piece. But then, it's one of my favourite colours. Perhaps this owner prefers pink.

I do have a question for all those calling out the 'rude' comments: How is one to give an opinion--presumably what is expected from these before/after features--without being rude? I'm curious because I don't see any of these comments being rude, as much as (at worst) strongly opinionated. It would be a pretty bland site if we were only giving oohs, aahs, and 'gorgeous' in these segments.

Before & After: A Revamped Russian Hill Apartment
7/10/13 01:48 PM

A very thoughtful post, as in general, just being 'out' suggests an openness to new experience. Not all of us have a front and backyard, but the spirit of this idea can carry forward in a way I experienced in Montreal and in Europe: let strangers sit at your table at a cafe or pub, and have a conversation. In North America, we tend to be very possessive about our tables or 'spots', and taking some kind of ownership of the space.

When I lived in Montreal, one of the best things about the warmer months were how people lived on their 'balcon's. The streets are lined with those familiar terraces and balconies, and circular iron stairs. People generally greet you as you pass by, or as you sit out in your little space, maybe calling out to each other, keeping an eye on each others' kids if they were left alone for a moment. I remember having a 'waving' friendship with an elderly couple across the street, though we rarely said more than 'allo' and a few other niceties.

On the west coast, people aren't as welcoming with their spaces, it seems. I'm hoping to change that a bit this summer once my patio is finally renovated.

The #1 Reason for Hanging Out, Out Front
4/16/13 03:14 PM

How refreshing, after seeing so many overly-curated and too-carefully purchased on-trend homes, to see an honest-to-goodness comfortable, lovely, character home with just as much character filling it.

Sophie & Michael Collect, Enjoy & Live House Tour
4/5/13 05:38 PM

Once upon a time, I didn't care what my parents thought (or so I thought) but I never invited them over because I knew (or assumed) they'd react negatively.Who needs negativity in their lives? But at my last apartment, when I was renting a very low-rent place that looked just like what I was paying for, I was saving for a downpayment. I let my parents into my domain and steeled against the criticism just three times in 12 years. My father, I just laughed off (he was hardly one to judge); but my ever-critical mother was a bit harder to handle. As it turned out, I do care a tad too much what they think, but I never actually make my decisions based on what my family (or friends) would think. Two different things.

Now that I finally do own, my mother coos about my place, even the stuff that doesn't suit her taste. I find her stealing my decor ideas now, which is amusing. She's helped me out quite a bit with this condo, but only with painting and putting up with my anxiety when I bought the place. I was grateful for that help, but I've had to tell her to back off a few times, and I think she now gets the message.

It's a dance that many of us seem to do with parents. I would love to truly not care what my family thinks, but they always thought I'd be a bit of a bum of some sort, so I admit it's kind of nice to be the one that surprised them. And I did it on my own terms, which makes it all the more sweet :)

What Do Your Parents Think of Your Home?
4/4/13 05:50 PM

I agree that volunteering is one of the better ways to make new friends. If you're into the arts, arts organizations everywhere are very dependant upon vollies. When I moved away from Vancouver, BC, then returned 3 years later, I vollied for every arts organization I could find. So many of my friends had left town or moved on, so I knew very few people to go have fun with. Now, in my 40s, I've found myself reassessing some long-term friendships and I've whittled down to a handful of great sincere friends, but I'd still like to meet more people. Meeting people is one way to keep life interesting. It does get harder, especially if you're single and don't have kids, and you're over 35 years old. People can be very insular and self-protective.

Someone above mentioned Vancouver being similar to Seattle, and in fact a study was recently completed on just how lonely and insular Vancouverites have become. The study attributes it to being a city of neighbourhoods (as is Seattle), where people relate on a small-town scale in their little pockets and cliques. The study also showed that the loneliest people are the Gen-Ys. Fascinating, since that's not what's presented in their 'sell'.

What I think this means is, including how many here are relating to the topic, we're all a lot more lonely than we tend to admit. Articles like this and the NYTimes one resonate because they articulate something we didn't really know we were 'allowed' to feel.

So, how to minimize this? Engage. A bad 'chatting' instance on a bus shouldn't shut you down, or cause you to recoil. It's one instance. Try again. Smile. Say, 'No that seat is not taken' when someone asks. Not everyone 'wants something'. I've travelled a lot, and I find it interesting how people in my hometown (Vancouver) are so reticent with strangers compared to most of the cities I've travelled to. I'm not sure if it's a North American thing or not, though; I've never tried to make long-term friends with people there.

10 Tried & True Tips: How to Make New Friends in a New City
4/4/13 03:51 PM

I lived in Verdun a few years ago. It's the 'cut-off' point for where the property taxes increased, hence it is much cheaper to live. For $500 Cdn we had a 5-1/2 (that's 2 bedrooms, a den, a living room and eat-in kitchen with a back porch) and a terrace off the den, top floor of a brownstone walkup; half a block from Wellington, and LaSalle with the parc along the north river (although, holy hannah, that wind off the river can make your eyeballs ache with winter chill). A few blocks from the metro. Wellington Ave is amusing b/c they actually play music on loudspeakers. Some cute little cafes and some diversity in the community. No, it's not le Plateau, but it is its own distinct community. 10 minutes from Atwater. For the number of times I had to cab it home with my roommate from MileEnd or St Laurent, it still made up for the savings of nearly 250/month for something comparable nearer the city hotspots. Btw, the Wellington fripperie--if it still is there--was a hidden gem, too.

A Renter's Life in Montreal: The Inside Scoop Apartment Therapy Renters Guide
3/26/13 06:42 PM

I just have to say one last thing about the Made in America thing: it's also there for those of us who don't live in the US and need to determine duty fees for when we bring product back to Canada (and presumably Mexico; it's a NAFTA thing). We don't have to pay duty on products that are made in the US. So, there is value in labelling items 'made in America', even for those living outside of the US.

Budget Basics: 5 Comforters Under $100
3/15/13 04:34 PM

Btw, thanks for posting down alternative lists. It's too bad there's no review of them, but I appreciate the starting place.

(Also, further on the prison-made in America dilemma, is this article:

It's really a good idea to do one's homework about where our products are from and how they're made.

Budget Basics: 5 Comforters Under $100
3/15/13 01:26 PM

Perhaps some of the folks here don't realize that 'made in America' is fast-becoming 'made in American prisons' with woefully cheap and sometimes free labour. The practice is actually putting small businesses (and one could argue non-criminal) folks out of work:

Whether it's "Made in America" or "Made in Canada" does not presuppose it is "made ethically."

Budget Basics: 5 Comforters Under $100
3/15/13 01:17 PM

It's not just renters who want white! I rented for years, and had horrible bedroom wall colours. Now that I own I want to change the blah 'designer' beige/taupe in my bedroom, but the only 'colour' I keep coming back to is white, of all things. I've walnut floors, a huge wall-to-wall window and a bit of a view, so I figure this could work for awhile. The modern whites appeal to me most, but narrowing those down has been a challenge equal to choosing the grey I used in the living room and kitchen. I love the greys I chose, btw, but I don't want my whole apartment in greys. And white can be so fresh when paired with wood. As someone noted, the floors in most of these shots are almost all white, which isn't all that practical in my world. (In many worlds, I imagine.) Research white walls and wood floor and it's amazing what kinds of lovely rooms come up.

Kelly + Olive have a helpful post on choosing white:

Loving White Walls: Rooms with Colorful Furniture Renters Solutions
3/7/13 11:35 AM

Paul, I want to see more! I live in a similar era condo in Vancouver that's about the same size, and would love to see how you've styled it. Mine has a large patio, so the inside space is weensy bit smaller, but essentially it's the classic older Van condo, with that long wall that's so difficult to figure how to break up and look interesting. Your kitchen, however, seems completely reno'd. One day mine will be too. Along with my very dated bath...

Nice place. Hope you do a tour!

Paul's Smart & Stylish Space Savers House Call
2/14/13 05:28 PM

This is a great solution; one that looks as though the owners just 'finished the job' the builders started, with windows perfectly placed for a loft. (IMO, those narrow townhouse foyers rarely look regal even with the openness, just sort of cold.) While the owner may have solved one problem most impressively, she might have created a wee temporary one with the more enclosed foyer (and which may explain why there are no photos of the foyer). Nevertheless, all the posts about the lack of light seem odd to me, since there is clearly a window right beside the door. I have a nice bright foyer and I don't have the luxury of a window, so I'm sure this owner will be able to figure out something splendid there as well.

Before & After: From Ceiling Space to Playing Space
1/28/13 11:12 AM

I think this is a great transformation. And a good solution to the lead paint problem. Goodness, sometimes folks really don't read the intros clearly. Alysha wrote she wanted added workspace, so a round table and chairs wasn't doing what she needed the space to do. The rectangle table with bench is a great solution, and great looking. It's hard to tell, though: is the wood on the wall stained or protected? (I'd be nervous about flying project goo, mucky fingers and scuffs. I'm currently considering a corner nook in my dining area. It has a round table, but then, it's just for eating and socializing. It's the wall I'm worried about.)

I'm intrigued how the b&w tile matches the counter, judging by the first photo. I like the mix of industrial, wood and retro. But then I'm a fan of eclectic/retro styles. Looking forward to seeing what the whole kitchen looks like.

Before & After:
A Renovated Breakfast Nook Old House New Tricks

1/14/13 12:59 PM

I moved in almost a year ago and I still haven't committed to where I'm going to hang all my art. I have some lovely pieces, but they're heavy, with walls that are concrete and freshly painted I've put off hanging for about as long as I can! Now it's time... So instead of finding art to frame, I'll use this as a day to research how and where best to hang what I have. I know my place will be transformed :)

Day 6: Choose a Piece of Artwork & Get Going on Framing It Apartment Therapy January Cure
1/9/13 02:21 PM

I love that I'm not alone in being a license-less, car-free citizen :) I live in a city with fairly decent transportation options, and driving just looks to be more of a hassle than it's worth in this town, so I never bothered to get my license. Besides, it's just one 20-minute bus to work; 10-20-minutes to most places I want to go; 40 to the outer reaches of the city. A car in this traffic would save me 20% in time and I'd get much less reading done.

What I especially miss, however, other than what you've so eloquently noted, is being able to wear un-sensible shoes! I have a closet full of shoes I would never be able to wear running for a bus, or hauling groceries and paperwork home. I can get a way with some pretty great casual/semi-casual options on a daily basis, but I dress around my shoes. So the fancy-cute ones get star treatment a few times a year for events with taxis/chauffeur (as in friend-with-car).

Will I ever get my license? I sometimes think I'll be Maude's (as in Harold and Maude) age by the time I get around to it :)

Car For a Day: What Would You Do?
1/7/13 02:22 PM

I think I accidentally already did this :) The other day, I bought a new flowering plant and Method products were on sale... I've been meaning to regularly buy myself flowers. I did, however, order the Apartment Therapy Cure book, too, so I've got 'spoiling myself and my home' covered this week!

Day 3: Treating My Home to Flowers & Green Cleaners Liveblogging the January Cure
1/4/13 04:38 PM