Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunny Stairwell

When my clients bought their second floor condo, they really loved it inside...but the stairwell leading up to it left a lot to be desired. It was dark and didn't have a lot of natural light except for the window in the door to the outside at the bottom of the stairs.

The previous owner had decided to paint the stairwell a dark color on the stairs, doors and all the trim. Aside from my dislike of the dated blue and yellow combination, it was just too dark a color for the space. Short of putting in a skylight (a few thousand dollars but well worth the cost if your budget allows for it), the only other way to light up this space was with paint. I knew that using white would make a big difference and I kept the walls a soft beige to add some color without losing any light. The floor and stairs would be left a dark color for traffic and wear but this time I chose dark brown.

What a difference a coat of paint can make!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Terrific Table

I've had this kitchen table for many years. I bought it second-hand when I was moving in to my first apartment. It has always been painted but I was told when I bought it that it was teak.
I knew that whatever work that went in to restore this table would be worth it.

I started out by stripping the paint off the table and found the beautiful teak wood underneath. When I started stripping the chairs, I realized that this certainly wasn't a set. The chairs were made of a different wood and had been painted black stain that wasn't coming off. The chairs were going to have to stay painted but I didn't mind, I've always liked this look where a table and chairs don't match. I chose a lighter color of blue this time for a fresher look and to have more contrast with my darker teak table.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Favorite Things: Glorious Gourds

This time of year, I love to walk around Atwater Market and pick up some gourds to decorate with. I found this woven basket at a garage sale a little while ago and it looks beautiful filled up with all the colors of fall.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mini Makeover

This week I wanted to show my own bathroom makeover. My apartment was built in 1907 and my bathroom is as small as they come. I'm fortunate to have the original cast iron tub but it takes up most of the space and believe it or not there is no room for a sink! That's right, there's only a tub and toilet.

Since this was such a small space, I knew only something custom-built would maximize what little area I had to use.

The first thing I did was remove the little corner shelf and the medicine cabinet both of which haven't been that useful.

I still had some leftover wood from the pallets I had found a little while back (check out my previous blog post "Great Garbage") and I wanted to use it in my bathroom to give it a rustic look.

Thrift stores are always somewhere I check first when doing a decorating project and amazingly they had a larger medicine cabinet with a beautiful mirror! Since I was building my own cabinet, I only needed the mirror part and the piano hinge it came with. I based my dimensions on this new mirror and luckily the pallet wood didn't even need to be cut on the top or bottom, it was already the right length and depth. I only had to cut 4 small pieces to make the small shelves on either side of the mirror.

My mom had some beautiful vintage blue floral fabric that was exactly what I was looking for to make a curtain. I decided to paint the walls and ceiling a soft blue to keep the open and airy feeling. Another vintage piece I added was a metal garbage can in the corner.

The bathtub was another thing I painted to add some color to the space and I used a teal enamel paint I had leftover from a previous project.

I used a longer piece of pallet wood for the side wall to hang some bath accessories.  I bought some beautiful porcelain knobs at my local Habitat for Humanity Restore (another place I always check for supplies before heading to a big box store).

My last item to tackle for this bathroom makeover was to figure out what to do for a toilet paper holder. I didn't want something that would stand out too much so I built my own.

I never thought I'd say this....but I really love the toilet paper holder I made!