rkmw's Profile

Display Name: rkmw
Member Since: 5/9/12

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Helpful and cute - but I'd call it more of a "modern approach to setting the table"... where a more casual lifestyle and restaurant dining have had major impact on what people expect to see on a table.

Usually, your cutlery is placed in the order of use, outside in (not by size), and some utensils may be brought with courses. But who dines by the course in the average American household?

Nor would a bread plate ever make an appearance at a formal dinner. Despite what restaurant and catering businesses would have us believe, bread is not invited out to a formal dinner.

You can split hairs over proper table settings all day long - based on everything from tradition (whose? American or European? Casual or formal? With servants or without? Family or company?) but the bottom line is simple:

It's about time someone got back to teaching Americans the pleasures of the table.

How To Set The Table Properly
7/22/14 01:36 PM

To answer the question:
Short of removing and renovating - you could consider leaving it exactly as is but filling it up with things like kitchen towels, pot holders, and other things you need to keep on hand when cooking.
If you really want to remove the temptation to use it - unplug it.

To all the nasty comments:
Oh knock it off!
You're complaining about her description of throwing out a microwave - perhaps a more constructive method might be to educate instead of condemn.

And who cares why they ditched the microwave? It's their choice. I haven't had a microwave for many years now - I moved from a place with a built-in to one that had no microwave and I never got around to buying one. I don't miss it. If I ever move into a place with a built-in, I'll probably either remove it, or use it for storage. I am so out of the microwave habit, it just doesn't make sense for me anymore.

The arguments over what's healthier, what's more energy efficient, what's more... whatever are all basically BS. For every study showing the health benefits of a microwave, there is another stating how bad they are. For every savings in energy, there are studies showing the level of waste involved in the manufacture, shipping, and eventual disposal of the darn things.

Good grief - it's someone's life choice. Let them live it.

How Do I Hide a Built-In Microwave? Good Questions
6/5/14 02:08 PM

If you have any doubts at all - do not paint. Removing paint is a much larger task. And I agree with what someone said above - painted, they're just like any cheap, hollow-core door you can buy at the hardware store.

Consider tackling one door at a time to break the restoration project into smaller pieces if you don't want to do it all at once.

Should I Restore 40s Maple Doors or Paint? Good Questions
5/22/14 10:07 AM

What a great save! I really like the black accent - it's a great update to the table.

Way to make the most of something!

Before & After: Was Beth Successful in Removing this Painted \"O\"? Good Questions Revisited
5/13/14 03:40 PM

What a fun topic! And those of us who've been the DIY route a time or two probably have more than a few oops stories to share!
I vividly recall doing a sponge-painting technique on a bed frame back in my college days... Ugh!

Reader Regrets: An IKEA Oops
4/7/14 12:28 PM

Wow! From dated and drab to classic and fab...Really well done!

Before & After: A Faux Fireplace Gets One Inexpensive and Easy Update
3/13/14 11:09 AM

Wow! The difference is amazing! So much brighter and fresher looking.

Before & After: A Cramped Kitchen Gets a Big Change
3/10/14 11:21 AM

Tight spaces and even tighter budgets can make it challenging, but with a little creativity and some DIY, you've got several options.

Go up, version 1 - build or buy a loft bed and put Junior underneath. The advantage there is that there's enough space for a toddler bed and a small "play" area.

Go up, version 2 - you could go a bunk with a larger bed on bottom and a smaller one on top. Yes, little kids and bunk beds can be risky, but it is an option.

Go up, version 3 - it looks like you have some storage furniture in there. You might be able to put the bed up a bit and use the under-bed space for the storage. Hang that TV on the wall. With all of that out of the way and off the floor, you should be able to fit a toddler bed in the room. If necessary, during the day, it can be pushed against your bed (allowing access to closet and whatever else you need) then pulled out into the room (and blocking the closet) at night.

Closet - someone suggested the closet could work, my kids had a shared room and the closet became a nice reading nook where they also liked to nap. Make space by taking the bed up a bit and moving clothing (and other closet contents) to drawers or storage bins under the bed.

A room of his own - when I was very young, my mother's bed was in the living room. During the day, it looked like an oversize, kind of funky couch. She had it piled high with big bolster pillows and covered in a heavy Moroccan rug. It worked. If you have space, you could do something like that - either by using a futon-style bed that makes into a sofa, or creating an oversize daybed of your own. Then use the bedroom for your son, but keep a section of it for your personal things so the only "bedroom" thing in the living area is your bed.

Ideas for 2-Year-Old's Separate Sleep Area in Our Small Bedroom? Good Questions
3/10/14 11:11 AM

Love it!

I have a large shoe collection that I used to store on bookshelves in the bedroom - yes, right toe in, left toe (placed to the right of the right shoe) out saves space and looks great, you can see both toe and heel of each pair.

When we moved, our new place has this gorgeous extra wide, extra long hallway that was the perfect home for shoe shelves. As for boots - they used to just sit on the top shelf, but I recently bought boot inserts, so now they stand up in a gorgeous line on the top shelf!

Photo of shoe shelves (before buying the boot inserts):

Smart Solutions for Storing Shoes Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/4/14 03:08 PM

Discoloration like that can be caused by several different things - flames too high, grease (or other gunk) burning off the bottom of the pan, cooking smoke, a wok ring, a very large pan on high heat, etc, etc, etc.

Preventing them - use the right size pan and the right heat setting. Yes, that means it may be avoidable when searing meat, or doing other cooking that requires super high heat. Also, make sure the outside of your pans is super clean, and mop up any spills or boil overs immediately.

Cleaning - as said before, the surface is probably scratched. Short of refinishing the stove, you can get burner liners to help cover the ugly stuff and make clean up easier.

Try to avoid abrasive cleansers if you can, they'll just contribute to the scratching. Bar Keeper's Friend has been my go-to for my old stove. It looks like cleanser, but it's not abrasive. It's actually an acid, so wear gloves and don't leave it to sit on the surface. But it works like magic to remove smoke, grease and other cooking stains.

What's the Cause of Stovetop Discoloration and How Do I Get Rid of It? Good Questions
2/20/14 11:32 AM

I agree - embrace the stone cottage look.

Paint - something other than white. Depending on your area and preferences, either a darker neutral, or a bright color.

Door - go something more cottage-like.

Landscaping - find plants that work in your area, and make sure to include something evergreen. Short term, a few potted plants around the porch, and trimming/mulching the rest will get it looking like there's something cool going on.

You don't have to go English country garden here... you can go rustic, or whimsical - think fairy tales, or fantasy. Or even go modern by mixing in sleek elements, make sure to blur the lines even more with things like traditional wood pieces painted in high gloss black or white. The trick to making a modern look work is to avoid looking like you just stuck modern elements on classic architecture - so you need to create a mix of old and new. Old looking finishes on modern style pieces, and vice versa.

Above all, enjoy! It looks like a cute place with lots of potential!

How To Add Curb Appeal to Inherited House? Good Questions
2/18/14 01:41 PM

I love vintage bathrooms. Especially when the vintage elements are embraced and combined with a sleek, modern edge. Me? I'd take my cue from the black tiles, and take the rest of this room white and black, with an occasional hint of tan/brown.

Crisp white on the walls, a quality fabric shower curtain in white, with black accents. And continue the black and white accents throughout the room.

The window screen thing - if it's for privacy, get rid of it and add some frosted window treatment or cafe curtains that go with the shower curtain.

Use a large, flat area rug to help cover the floor.

Change the hardware on the under the sink cupboard to simple white or black ceramic knobs.

Additional upgrades if you can/want to:

Paint the sink cabinet and window frame to match (I'm not normally into painting wood - but it would look really nice in this space).

Resurface or replace the counter. Think smooth, sleek and clean.

Replace the faucet fixtures throughout the room - opt for something with a sleek retro feel.

Paint Color & Shower Curtain Suggestions for Classic '50s Bathroom? Good Questions
2/11/14 11:01 AM

Three words:
Wow! More please!

Before & After: Condemned Meth House Gets Majorly Modernized
2/11/14 10:34 AM

I'll second lemonadefish - use a tiny screw eye and wire. Though I wouldn't just go straight up and down. To prevent further sagging or warping, I would do a line in either direction - like a "+" sign, and if there were any signs of twisting, I'd add an "X" as well (total of four lines).

If you can't screw into the frame, you might be able to get a similar effect by gluing a flat, non-stretchy ribbon (like grosgrain) or thin webbing to the back and pulling it tight before gluing down the opposite side.

Ideas for Fixing a Sagging Frame? Good Questions
1/15/14 12:03 PM

As much as I love light, bright, open spaces, I think this one sadly sacrificed too much of the beautiful details that make older places so charming. What once had character (and admittedly was in need of freshening, updating and serious brightening up in my book) has become just another generic white box. Ho hum.

Before & After: A Pre-War Pad Gets Some Post-Modern Love Professional Project
1/15/14 10:17 AM

I've been in a similar situation - moved into a darling Craftsman bungalow that included a rather beat up vintage Wedgewood stove. The landlord said they were going to remove and replace it (with a cheap modern stove). I made an offer on the stove instead.

You may have to negotiate a bit to find something that works for both of you, and only you can decide if it's worth it.

Me? I'd talk the landlord and lay it out there. "I took this unit in part because of that stove. I'd like to find a way to keep it and I'm willing to discuss options with you." Then go from there. Make a list of your options, in order from the least expensive to you, to the most, eliminate those you are unwilling to even consider, then sit down to negotiate with him.

Possible options:
~ Complain that the stove was part of the unit and a selling point and it's disingenuous to replace it (accurate, though not very friendly)
~ Offer to split the cost of repairs
~ Offer to cover the entire cost of repairs and either deduct them from your rent (in installments if necessary) or transfer ownership of the stove to you.
~ Offer to buy the stove outright. If you can't afford repairs immediately, do you have a place to store the stove until then? And would he be willing to purchase an inexpensive stove that you are eventually going to have him remove?

Do be aware that a vintage stove is not like a modern one. They have idiosyncrasies and repairs can be challenging. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to find a competent repair person to come to you - you may have to take your stove to them. It's an ongoing commitment.

Should I Offer to Buy the Vintage Stove in My Rental from My Landlord? Good Questions
12/11/13 09:25 AM

Are you asking for how to instructions or suggestions for style/color?

If how to - you've gotten quite a bit, but I would add, invest the time to completely remove the old finish and paint. If you do decide to leave the old paint on the legs, sand it down well and apply primer before painting your chosen color. The finished result will look much better and be worth the effort.

The rest depends on your style. Me? I'd go ultra light on the top and black legs, but that's my personal style.

You could take the top a really dark stain and go for a cream or white on the legs for a modern twist on the country style.

If the tabletop doesn't take stain well (and it might not), you could always paint the top, or sheath it in thin stainless or copper.

What's the Best Way To Refinish the Top of This Table? Good Questions
12/9/13 03:05 PM

When working from home, I found that I had to get up and get dressed in something, otherwise I felt too sloppy and not pulled together. And I just don't feel very professional or productive when wearing jammies.
Day-to-day, I opted for the kind of casual, comfortable things I would wear on weekends - stuff I wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in, or wouldn't have to think twice before saying, "Sure, let's get lunch" to a friend.
Dressing down didn't affect my productivity in the short term, but it did impact how I felt - I felt disconnected and isolated when I was sitting around in jammies. And it made it easier to play hermit and not go anywhere.
Today, when I work with people who are just starting to work from home what I advise is simple: Get up and get dressed in a way that makes you feel comfortable and good about yourself. You don't have to dress for the office, but you should put on something you're willing to go outside in.

Does What You Wear Matter When You Work From Home?
11/15/13 02:22 PM

I think this comes down to preference. There really isn't a right answer - both layout options work, both have solid pluses and minuses. It really boils down to what is more important - the view or the space? Obviously, the two of you disagree on that.
This is more about personal preference than design sense. Are you both open to considering both possible layouts? If so, then write down the pros and cons of each layout - beyond just "view" and "space". How are the traffic patterns in each? How do you spend most of your time in the room?
Are you big TV watchers? If so, which position offers the best view (and least glare) on the TV? (nevermind the rest of the furniture for now)
What other purposes does the room serve and which layout makes it easiest to achieve that?
How often do you spend time in the room actually enjoying the view of the bridge? It sounds lovely to have a great view of the bridge from your couch, but do you actually sit on the couch and just admire the view? (some people do... others like the idea, but in reality are spending more time watching TV or playing games).
There are so many other ways to look at the question rather than simply narrowing it down to "which is better - the view or the more open space" dilemma.
Instead of focusing on something you disagree on, try tackling the question with an attitude of teamwork, looking to find the furniture arrangement that best suits the needs of the life the two of you live.

Would You Maximize Space or Brooklyn Bridge Views with Living Room Layout? Good Questions
10/17/13 03:21 PM

Like many have said - it can be a challenge. There isn't one easy answer since it all depends on the amount of time needed, how far you are from work, what type of work you do and how flexible your employer and your position both are. Most people wind up doing a little bit of everything.
~ Small DIY projects accumulate and you do several in one big weekend.
~ Bigger DIY projects are done in evenings and weekends.
~ You find companies willing to schedule early in the morning, or late in the day so you can just go in late, or leave early.
~ You find companies with more flexible hours, and you're willing to pay a premium for it.
~ You take time off work, or work from home.
~ You have a retired friend or family member you can call on for help.
~ You hire someone - yes there are people who do this - to handle that stuff for you.
~ You have packages delivered to your work address, to a friend, or you get a box at a place that receives packages for you.
~ You live in a managed rental with a repairman on staff who handles all the repair things for you.

How Do You Get Home Repairs Taken Care Of When You Work 9-5?
10/17/13 12:43 PM