Category Archives: DIY

Bedroom Reveal

Remember the contest I won . . . the one where I got some help redoing my bedroom. Well here’s the big reveal.

Ta-da!!! See that paint color? That’s Glidden’s Dolphin Grey. I thought it was going to be gray. Nope. It’s totally lavender.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me give you a little recap. In July, some folks from Apartment Therapy and Glidden showed up to help me make over my bedroom. They brought a film crew to tape the whole process. And Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely played design guru. See the video here! Continue reading

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Bathroom Updates

Or the title of this post could be “Making the Best Out of an Ugly Rental Bathroom.” Because it is ugly. Not even cute retro ugly. More like 1980s Motel 6 ugly. Please turn your attention to exhibit A . . .

Exhibit A

Every single wall in the bathroom is tiled, and these floral beauties are scattered throughout. They match the little floral border that runs along the ceiling. Lovely, no? Yeah, no.

But retiling the bathroom is not an option. We did, however, take down the sliding glass shower door. (Actually, the shower door fell apart, we attempted to fix it, we failed, and then we took down the sliding glass door.)

No glass door means room for a shower curtain and an opportunity to add some much-needed color. The shower curtain purchase happened a few months ago. But the room needed something else. Continue reading

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Very Exciting News

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I won an Apartment Therapy contest! That means I got to spend all day yesterday with Nicole Balch from Making it Lovely. She came over to help me redo my bedroom. Yes, Nicole now knows all about the dust bunnies we keep under our bed.

But it wasn’t just Nicole who showed up at 8am, oh no. I had an entire video crew here to capture the transformation, a paint crew to help with the redo, and Anna Hoffman and Chris Phillips from Apartment Therapy. It was crazy amounts of fun and a lot of hard work. (PS. I don’t see an acting career in my future.) (PSS. I’m terrified that I may have made a very unfortunate wardrobe choice. Why did I tuck my shirt in? I NEVER wear it that way. Sigh.)

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The swatches. Really ANY of these colors would be an improvement!

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The makeover was low budget — we painted, we moved some things around, and Nicole added a few touches of her own. But the room looks COMPLETELY different. The video is going up on Apartment Therapy in August, but until then here’s a tiny sneak peek. I can’t wait to show you the whole space!

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Can you guess which color I chose?

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Tutorial: How to Rewire a Lamp

Note: This is a very basic tutorial that worked for these lamps. The exact steps can vary depending on the type of lamp you have and the type of socket you’re using.

1. Buy your supplies. You can do this at a big box store, your local hardware store, or you can order supplies online. You’ll need a cord kit (or you can order wire and put your own plug on the end), a socket (I ordered one with a push through switch), and some parts to assemble the lamp. Typically the socket will screw onto a hollow piece of threaded pipe called a nipple. And you’ll need a washer and nut to hold the nipple in place and keep everything snug. If you’re using a shade with a spider attachment, you’ll need a harp. There’s a great cartoon of most of these parts here. Many of the parts — the nipple, washer, nut, and harp, for example — you should be able to salvage when you take your lamp apart. But replace anything that’s rusty or corroded.

Lamp cords come in SPT-1 or SPT-2. The designation has to do with the thickness of the insulation on the wire. For these small table lamps, I ordered SPT-1, which has thinner insulation. For this big hanging lamp, I ordered SPT-2.

2. Unplug the lamp. Very important. Continue reading

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Lamps, Blinds, and Beaches

A couple of weekends ago, I spotted a pair of green ceramic lamps at a yard sale. Such a lovely green. Such a lovely shape. So so perfect for my green, green dining room. “How much for the lamps?” I asked. The woman wanted $60, I offered $30. To my surprise, she accepted. (Reason #45 to hit yard sales late in the afternoon).

The lamps weren’t a steal. Both needed to be rewired, and they were shadeless. But I assumed I could rewire the lamps myself and save some money. Besides, I loved them. What’s $30 bucks when you’re in love? Continue reading

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Office Makeover

I am an incredibly lucky freelancer. Although I live in New York City — a place notorious for cramped apartments and ridiculous rents — I have my very own home office. It’s not big, but it’s all mine. And it used to be a pretty sad space.

Sad, sad junk yard

You can’t tell from the photo, but this tiny room held two desks, two bookshelves, two filing cabinets, and a bunch of other random crap (that black thing sticking up behind the ‘before’ is Soren’s guitar case). Cramming all that in was quite a feat when you consider that I had to work around the room’s three doors (two entrances and a closet), two windows, and one radiator. In the above photo, you’re looking in from the hallway. I should have taken a few more shots of the old office, but you can’t blame me for not being inspired. My office needed a major overhaul. And FINALLY it got one.  Continue reading

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Movin’ On Up

I’ve been in full-on nesting mode ever since I got married. That means tons of small upgrades to our apartment. This deer head hook is a recent addition. I only ordered it because I wanted to get free shipping on a shower curtain (I’m a SUCKER for free shipping), but I’m so glad I did. I love the little guy. Initially I thought he should go in the entry to hold my keys. But he seemed more at home in the bedroom, so he became Soren’s hoodie hook. Yes, my husband still wears hoodies.  Continue reading

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