Dreaming about… open shelving

Even though the kitchen has to still wait till I’ll be able to begin any renovation, as my Mom’s bedroom is first on the list, I does not stop me from thinking a lot about it. It will be a huge project, as I have to combine it with the living room make over. It will take a lot of time, effort and probably money, so I guess I will get to it someday in the early spring.

But to sweeten the waiting time, I will share some ideas that pop up in my head. First, what it is like now:

old kitchen

The cupboards are older than me… But we can’t afford getting new ones, so it will be a lot of playing around it, using what we have and making smart choices. I want to get rid of everything above the counter.

old kitchen

To the right is a very strange, wasted space leading to my Mom’s bedroom. The division from the rest of the living room made some sense 20 years ago, but not anymore.

old kitchen

The other side of this weird room/hallway next to the kitchen, DIY-ed by my Mom with furniture… all of it has to go!

And now some examples of spaces that make me smile and inspire me:

Open shelving

I would like to use as much open shelving as possible. It opens up the small space, forces you to edit your stuff and makes even ordinary things into decorating objects. I am not sure if the under-counter open shelving will be an option in our situation, but for sure wall shelves are realistic.

Open shelving

I love how the open shelving and glass doors open up the space. I also like the nice crisp whiteness of the shelves contrasted with darker wall’s color. I am planning on painting walls in the kitchen vibrant, red (with slight terracotta shade).

dining nook

But what I am missing the most is a nice, cozy dining space. I want to use the space by the window, to create a place for four diners. A round table would probably work best, but this one above is also beautiful. I am still not sure what style I want, that will probably come up later.

dining nook by a window

I love this clean, inviting dining place. I would love to create something like this in my space.

Let’s see a few more photos of inspiring kitchen spaces:

Open shelving and dining nook

Open shelving and vibrant colors

Simply stunning! I wish I could use such dark colors, but I am not living alone ;-)

Just add color :)

I can't stand the color, but love the lively vibe

Now that’s a really great idea

I am searching for ideas to use for the two free walls in my bedroom, and one at the home office. And I think I found something to play with!

I found this on Apartment Therapy, or rather their sister-site, Unplggd. I think this is a very clever idea and I love the esthetics of it. Visual art inspired by music… what’s not to love?

I am seeing a variation of it, directly on the wall, in a shade up or down from the wall’s color. I love the effect of the first one, which would be difficult to replicate… I never do exactly the same thing, I love when I get an inspiration, when the wheels begin to work inside my mind.

Rast chest

I am pretty sure that if there were some surveys done, IKEA’s rast chest would have won for being the most beloved by DIYers. As I am joining the ranks of rast-modifiers, I have been searching for inspiration. Below are the finds I loved the most:

from nouveaustitch.files.wordpress.com

I am not a big fan of that particular fabric, but I think it’s not too bad.

I love the simplicity, clear and sharp edges. Great stuff!

from IKEA hackers

This is of course a very different idea, as it’s a desk and not a bedside table… but I add it here anyway. I love the industrial slate grey, the general feel of it.

This is gorgeous. The simplicity of it makes it a pure perfection.

And for now my rast looks like that:

:)

Finally: new lamps!

As I wrote earlier, I didn’t like the result of my attempt to save the old paper lantern from the home office. It was simply ugly. But I also didn’t have the money to buy something spectacular… so a paper lantern it is, again, but this time a bit nicer. I went to IKEA and got what’s needed. So without farther ado, the new lamp:

Simple, clean and nice. The rest of the office is still in a mess, so don’t pay much attention to it, soon it will get the proper attention it deserves.

Both this lamp and the lamp in my bedroom were attached with the great help of Mr. Geniek, mentioned earlier. The electric cords¬†is so old and messed up, even he, a true specialist, was working for a long time on this. So now let’s move to my bedroom:

(the sheer courtains’¬†color is off, but that’s not the point here)

I absolutely love the result. The walls are still bare, but almost everything else is already in place. I am planning on tackling a small chest today. After that it’s only warming up touches, photos etc. Soon there are clothes and books and other things coming with the shipping, it will help finish up the room.

curtains’ epic fail and WIN, this time with a little help from my friends.

Or should I rather say: “with a little help from my neighbor”.

But let’s begin from the beginning. The concrete of the walls presented themselves as a huge problem once again. I got curtains and hardware for them at IKEA (duh) a month ago. Finally I tried to attach it. I saw an ad for a super glue that was supposed to replace nails, screws and generally help with home things. And in the beginning everything was all right:

I actually didn’t take a photo of the curtains hanging, and ten minutes later it was too late ;-) I was on a phone with my brother at the time and when it fell he asked me if I fell off a ladder. At least it didn’t broke anything on its way.

Enter Mr.Geniek, the best “Golden Hand” (handyman) I know. He came to help with hanging lamps (about it in the next post) and without problems came later with a drill and did all the job.

He is amazing, I was scared to begin drilling in concrete, I have enough holes around the walls already! But now I have beautiful curtains. These are the same sheers I had in apt in Baltimore, which is a nice, nostalgic touch :)

The purple haze is back! I was truly happy to wake up today and see the pink light.

And here is what the same sheers looked like in the old apartment, in Baltimore:

The (mis-)adventures with the office table.

This was the office table after it was painted red from the original white:

To be honest, from the beginning I didn’t like the result all that much. There was just too much of this sharp red, and the whole room looked cheap and screaming because of it. But I was tired and didn’t feel like starting everything again…

I guess it’s good then that the paint was really bad, it didn’t want to attach properly to the surface (even after a lot of sanding) and was peeling the minute I put the table up. You can see what it looked liked now, after a few weeks of use:

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to paint it again, and was a bit scared of even trying. The only other solution was to cover it up. Even though I just finished (or maybe because of it?) covering closet doors with fabric, I thought to do the same with the table. Other ideas I had were laminate stickers (pricey), thin carpeting, oilcloth… But I think the fabric wins. I hope the maintenance issues won’t be too bad.

Well, below is the result. The shelf is only for fitting/planning purposes, it’s still in plastic. I want to stain it dark. I am really looking forward to my computer arriving, this huge screen takes half the space!

I think the result is great, and adds some nice elegance to the room. Another example of usefulness of mistakes/mishaps!

There are limits to design.

I have seen this “cute” design on Apartment Therapy the other day. I am glad I am not the only who felt there is nothing “cute” about using someone’s heritage to create a cat’s shelter. And here is the offensive item:

And even if there are some Native Americans who have nothing against that particular kind of cultural appropriation, it doesn’t make it alright. Native American tradition in particular suffers from this kind of abuse. From “fashion” choices of using headpieces, to “Pocahontas” Halloween costumes. It’s as if the people don’t exist anymore, and their traditions, in very simplified, childish, flat versions. They throw away the spiritual meaning of the items and use it as selfish tools of “self-expression”.

I think it wouldn’t find as much acceptance if the for example the cat house was made of big teffilin box (the prayer box religious Jews put on during prayers), or in the shape of pope’s head-piece. But with Native Americans? Everything goes.

Look at my ideas! Do you think I can make some good money on those?