heathereh's Profile

Display Name: heathereh
Member Since: 10/9/13

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Adding two things to the list:
- if the floors are hardwood, drop a ball or large marble on the floor and see where it rolls. Sometimes it's hard to see that a floor is slanted. If it is slanted, find out why.

- Make regular living noise in another room, or, if you're buying alone, have the agent slam a door in another room, drop something on the floor upstairs, flush the toilet, walk across the floor. Some houses are very noisy inside, but you don't know that if you're being polite and tiptoeing around another person's space.

- Walk the neighbourhood. You might be surprised at what's down the block or around the corner one street over.

10 Things to Check Before You Buy a Home
5/23/14 11:45 PM

One of the restaurants in the underground mall has a false window which gives the impression of not being in a huge underground cave. Great for people who don't like confined spaces, even megamall ones.
It's a frame with a couple of soft fluorescent lights behind a frosted piece of plexiglass, and trimmed out to look like a window, complete with mullions. It's very similar to the large backlit advertising signs in malls, but made into a window, and not as tacky as it sounds.

You could choose a dark and mysterious room, or uplights in dark corners, under furniture (not too bright or too many), pieces of mirror cut to fit the tops of tables instead of plain glass, mirrored bookshelf backs - anything to move the light around.
Go to the library or friendly bookstore and look for a book on lighting design. Decorators often have to do extensive lighting of model homes or small condos to make them appealing and livable, so there are some good ideas out there.

Suggestions for Decorating Windowless Living Room? Good Questions
5/16/14 09:17 AM

Everyone has already given the best advice, so all I have to add is a suggestion that you scroll through the extensive 'better after furniture' blog which has pictures of before/after/in progress old furniture that has been refreshed and repurposed. Some it's great, and some scary, and one that I've seen was a Victorian antique that was repainted (be still my heart). What you will get is an idea of what this overly ornate pseudo Spanish piece will look like painted.

Advice on Refinishing Ornate 1970s Bureau? Good Questions
5/14/14 11:19 AM

OK, *except* the daily vacuuming. That's what grandma kept a dust mop for. Whatever the modern equivalent is should do. If not, the people you're living with need retrained - or trained to vacuum.

5 Chores You Should Never Skip (Even If You're Busy)
5/11/14 07:06 PM

I looked at the total first (mistake), choked, then looked at the breakdown.
Yes, labour costs in NYC are a whole lot more than what they are where I am, just outside of Toronto. The rest looks right to me, especially with the choice of appliances.

There's something very satisfying about having a job well done, done to suit your needs, and done to last, that you can't put a dollar figure on.

Jennifer's Kitchen Renovation: What It Really Cost - A Budget Breakdown Renovation Diary
5/7/14 12:06 PM

I love the look, but, with a tiny kitchen and a bad back, it's just not practical for us. That said, if I get to the age where I need a scooter/wheelchair, I might just change my mind.

Renovation Inspiration: 10 Beautiful Kitchens with No Upper Cabinets
5/7/14 10:33 AM

One good way to save money is to add up what you spend on heavily advertised cleaning products.

The WHO is saying that antibiotics are losing their efficiency due to their overuse, both by doctors/patients, and in antibacterial soaps and cleaners, and more than one (real) study has found that indoor chemical pollution is, on average, worse than outdoors. It's worthwhile looking at some of the natural cleaning sites - not those selling "all natural" cleansers which are usually nothing of the sort, but at those who explain how to use simple and non toxic things like vinegar and baking soda to clean. I've done this for years. I've had to as I have severe allergies to some chemicals, and I garden without pesticides and herbicides. My garden is great, better than the neighbours' even though it's often neglected for long periods, and the house is clean. I haven't sworn off all chemicals, but do carefully evaluate and limit those I do use.

40+ Ways to Save Money by Shopping Smart
5/7/14 09:31 AM

Excellent suggestions on this page. I don't have much to add, just couple of small things I've learned from years of stretching a dollar:
- cook food that fills you up and takes a while to digest: whole grains and root veg, for example.
- buy apples for the same reason plus they are good for you and you can do more with them than just eat them raw.
- get colour onto the plate as people also eat with their eyes. Nothing is a disheartening as a meal that's "good for you" that's beige on a white plate. Sprinkle that white fish with parsley, save a bit of tomato for the plate and pile carrots and peas beside each other, or drizzle a bit of colourful sauce on the plate like fancy restaurants do.
- eat alternative forms of protein: steak and roast of beef are expensive. Lean to cook tougher bits of meat (if you eat meat). Coq au vin was originally made with an old chicken or rooster, so it's possible. Learn to cook beans, either as salad, or soup, or any of a dozen different ways. Beans add colour, too.
- Look for neighbours who need their backyard fruit picked and ask them if they'll share in exchange for your labour. Lots of people where I live have trees that they haven't harvested in years, so people are starting to pick them for charity or just freestyle.

How To Eat Well When You're Low on Cash Budget Living
5/7/14 09:21 AM

Those are part of a 1930s waterfall style bedroom set. Google some pics of the originals and see what colour you like as they range from blonde to dark walnut originally, most with wonderful handles, some with bakelite inserts, and most in the streamline style popular then, and all with a high gloss finish. Take a look at some 1930s films, and you'll see your dressers.
These usually look good painted, too.

Refinishing Suggestions for 1950s Dressers? Good Questions
5/7/14 09:04 AM

Do the table a favour and sell it. You can't buy oak like that any more, and tiger oak usually goes for enough money to buy you the modern table of your dreams.

If you paint oak without sealing the pores first, it will be a refinisher's nightmare to remove the paint and restore the table as getting paint or liming chalk out of those pores is nearly impossible.

Ideas for Updating Antique Oak Table? Good Questions
5/5/14 09:38 AM

I think it's about time the offenders were retrained. It takes a while, but it's worth the effort. I've retrained the people who feel obliged to give me gifts on holidays and birthdays to give money to one of the charities I support. I've given them a list. I get a card, someone in need gets a donation, and we're all happy.

I'm also a thing maker. Anything I knit/sew/crochet for someone goes with a card that says: "If you don't like it or can't use it, please give it to someone who does or can, or donate it to charity." Making things is usually it's own reward for the maker. If someone requests I make them a particular thing, that's different. Otherwise, it's the pleasure I take out of making something that counts. I make things for charities which support women, children and the elderly. The first thing you learn is how much real need there is hidden in our affluent societies and how much a warm sweater is appreciated by someone who has none.

I say take the bull by the horns, retrain those givers of useless gifts, and donate the lot. If they know you or have ever been to your home, they know very well what you like or don't.

How Do You Deal with Unwanted Decor Gifts?
4/21/14 11:34 AM

Make a lambrequin for around the window and mirror the insides of the box to reflect light into the room. Or, stand a tall mirrored screen beside the window to do the same. Or, attach a mirror to the ceiling above the window, tilted at an angle to reflect light into the room. The last one requires a willingness to live with odd comments from people who don't understand.

Paint the room a pale yellow. I prefer a buff yellow, nothing acid in the colour, as yellow is said to reflect more light than white. Or paint it white, but with a slight yellow undertone.

Put uplights under any heavy furniture or in dark corners. If you've ever seen one of the "Sell this House" programs on TV, you'll notice that that's what the resident designer does to lighten up a room and make it look larger. The way he does it, the lights aren't obvious or silly looking. There are books in the library on lighting that non-technical people can understand and use. It's worth hunting one up as good lighting makes a huge difference.

Ideas for Maximizing Light in Northern Exposure Room? Good Questions
4/15/14 09:59 AM

There's always window film:

What Would You Do With These Large Windows? Good Questions
4/1/14 08:54 AM

While you're waiting for the landlord to act, fill a spray bottle part way with bleach, and spray the bath - with the window open or the bleach will make you ill. If you are finding old mold under new, you're uncovering a problem the landlord knew was there an hid under a quick fix. If you have a tenants' rights group in your area, contact them for advice. Some jurisdictions have very strict regulations when it comes to bathroom ventilation and mold in general (but most don't.)

Is Blackish Mold in Shower THE Black Mold? Good Questions
3/26/14 08:31 AM

Not fair. I want them all.

Pet Madness Day 2: The Next 4 Battles! Apartment Therapy's Pet Madness: Cats vs Dogs
3/21/14 02:20 PM

I'd trade you mothers. Mine always used to complain that I kept my house too neat and clean. She, on the other hand, used to all but sterilize whenever one of my great aunts visited because that aunt was domestic perfection (she could grow, cook, make, clean anything), even though that special aunt wasn't the type of person to gossip or snipe.

I finally gave up and said something like "Well, I'm sorry you don't approve, but this is me and this is how I live. Is there anything wrong with it?" I didn't get an answer, but I did get peace.

Embracing an Open Door Policy: Your Guests Aren't Judging You Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/21/14 02:17 PM

This post is right on the mark. Love the suggestion! I've always liked washable (wash out) markers for prizes as they won't permanently stain clothes, and regular cookies or cake to the ultra fancy bakeshop cookies with hard icing on them or cakes that are more icing than cake. and a treasure hunt (in selected rooms) for games. Anything that keeps the little terrors moving and wears them out works for me as long as the space is safe and your precious things tucked away. It's usually the parents who check out the party gifts while the kids are just happy to be having a party and getting an unexpected present.

Throwing The \"Perfect\" Kids Party When You're Not A Pinterest-y Parent Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/21/14 01:52 PM

I picked up this from listening to a well known decorator several years ago when I was stuck with a brown kitchen (with navy wallpaper and brick floor, no less) and couldn't change them right away: Love it to death.

Add the colour you really want, like turquoise, but with a bit of the hated colour you're stuck with on it. For instance: a print with turquoise, brown and white for placemats or turquoise kitchen towels with a brown owl printed on them. It works. It's not fun trying to find things that go with the colour you don't want, but it's worth the while.

How To Tone Down the Brown in My Kitchen? Good Questions
3/18/14 12:34 PM

I've sworn off Ikea lamps as the only shades and bulbs that fit them are Ikea's own - BUT - the laundry basket lamp looks like a laurel lamp base. Hmmm.

Spotted at IKEA: PS 2014 In Stores
3/18/14 12:23 PM

Really? The door comes apart? I didn't know that. Must re-read the manual, sigh.

I've been lining the bottom of the oven with foil for decades without a problem. If I think something might overflow though, I put it on a foil covered cookie sheet - the not so great one I keep just for that.

Do or Don't? Foil as an Electric Oven Liner
3/17/14 12:23 PM