Alyson is a twentysomething decor8 reader seeking advice for her IKEA ANEBODA dresser. She says, “Okay, so I have this dresser from IKEA that I am sending the picture of. At first I loved it but now I am hating the clear poly thing! You can see how incredibly disorganized all my clothes are! Do you have any suggestions of how to either cover it or something? Any sort of advice would be appreciated!”
My first thought is to use paper or fabric applied directly to the interior of the polypropylene drawer fronts. This post over on the IKEA hacker blog may help you do something like this in a single afternoon. Casa Sugar also shows another good example of using paper and how to do it.
Anyone have DIY ideas for Alyson?
(image from IKEA)
I was out last night with a group of 11 creative women here in Hannover, all independent artists and designers who sell on DaWanda, and we met at this charming 100+ year old tea room called Teest?bchen in the old part of the city to discuss art, design, travel, you know… Girl talk! We had a really nice evening. One designer there asked me what my thoughts are on wallpaper border as she was thinking about making and selling some borders with her gorgeous illustrations on them.
My first reaction was No! but then as I was talking to her I realized that we cannot always do what is popular, we must sometimes do what we simply like and see what happens with it after we send it out into the world. Thing is, I do not like wallpaper border so my opinion of it was a bit negative and though I felt bad being so honest to this lovely lady, she did ask me for my opinion and I told her plainly that I did not like them at all.
Wallpaper border is in NO way a new concept, it has been done before and most of us dislike it because we still have visions from the 80s and early 90s when EVERYONE HAD IT in EVERY SINGLE ROOM sporting motifs that ranged from trains to roosters to mauve flowers. I think we associate it with tacky interior styles of the past (at least in America) and the rather tasteless ones found today in stores like Home Depot. Then again, years ago before Domino and Kelly Wearstler many of us HATED WALLPAPER WITH A PASSION. When I started blogging nearly 3 years ago, I remember writing about wallpaper and readers hating its comeback and commenting rather nasty things about it and now it’s trend and most people LOVE it.
The point is, do you think wallpaper borders could in fact make a comeback as wallpaper has? Do you hate it? What do you hate about it? How do you see borders being designed so as to have a positive response? I’d love to hear what readers from all parts of the world have to say on this topic so please voice your opinion!
And if you have no clue what wallpaper borders are, click here to see some…
(image from Flickr via Ellenspenellen)
Jen is a reader looking for some help today with her front porch. She cannot make any structural changes but needs help with color and perhaps some furniture ideas and placement.
Jen says, “It’s a fairly useless porch and it’s waaaaaay too white. We are going to replace the screen door and I’m thinking of painting the front door a bolder color (it’s now black). The walls of the porch have been primed and I’m just trying to decide what color it should be painted. I’d like to warm up the house a bit. And I’d like the porch to reflect the style within our house, not necessarily the 60′s split level style. Our *style* could be described as eclectic–contemporary cottage, perhaps. Cozy with lots of books and comfy furniture but not cluttered. Oh–and the picture does not properly show the planting that is to the right of the front step. I’ve got a huge bunch of black-eyed Susans there right now, but would happily change it if someone has ideas. The whole area is just plain awkward.”
Hmmm… Perhaps a lovely before and after from blogger Tissue Papers may inspire Jen a little?
Or maybe Martha Stewart can help (link)? Do you have some tips to help Jen add a little curb appeal to her porch? Thanks for writing in, Jen!
(images: top from reader jen, bottom two from the tissue papers blog)
Reader Kimberly wrote in looking for some help with her office space. Here’s the room needing a little love…
Kimberly recently installed gorgeous new hardwood floors, repainted the walls, and replaced all the trim in the home they purchased last year. As a successful >wedding photographer, she needs an office space that is more inviting to her clients. “I don’t have a ton of room, but I want something where they can come, sit down, peruse my sample work, watch a slideshow on my computer, and chat about their wedding day with me,” she says. Here are some current photos showing the space as it is today.
Style: Her office is currently gray, red, and turquoise, all colors that she really enjoys so these colors are staying. She loves vintage and thrift store finds, mixing old with new, and loves anything mid-century.
Notes: The room has four closets, one holds photography equipment, another is a dedicated craft supply space, the third is random storage of office and business supplies, and the last is a clothes closet.
I’ve asked Vanessa De Vargas from Turquoise in LA, who recently launched her e-decorating service, to visit us today and share her decorating ideas with Kimberly. Here are some tips and products that Vanessa suggests for the space…
“First, remove your current client seating area — both of the little chairs and mini table near the door. Replace with two more (or just one) comfortable chairs with matching upholstery. Place all storage currently under the white shelf into a closet. Wallpaper closet doors and place two upholstered chairs in front of them. You could also do a L shaped desk so clients can sit at the L to look at the monitor. If you go this route, instead of chairs already mentioned, find cute matching chairs to fit your taste and upholster the seats. Move red lamp to the lucite side table and install some art work on the wall where the chairs were (or your own photography, it’s suggested you have your work on display somewhere in the room) and incorporate on small shelves in between some of your vintage cameras. To keep this budget-friendly, I’ve gone a little overboard with Urban Outfitters items but here are a few product suggestions along with a few examples of displaying photography that I’ve pulled together for you.” - Vanessa De Vargas
Vanessa’s suggestions: Chandelier in white $36, 2 chairs from overstock to reupholster in a fun print if you do not opt for the l-shaped desk idea $269 each, lucite table $88, pillows for the chairs if you do not reupholster them, floor rug $68, wallpaper for closet, a desk chair in white in case she wants something more comfortable,
And to add some of my own advice (me, Holly). Kimberly: I also suggest an L shaped desk, in fact I like the idea more than two chairs near the double closet because clients should be seated at your desk to view your portfolio on your screen. For the desk my only suggestion is to avoid wood tones and/or glass (fingerprints!) and go with something light and airy vs. a solid heavy piece. You may want to check where you purchased your current desk to see if they sell additional pieces to create the L using your current desk. Another advantage in having this set up is that you can install a pendant light that hangs directly above the desk so you don’t have to worry about anyone bumping their heads! I like Vanessa’s overhead pendant suggestion, but also think a simple FADO globe from IKEA would be a nice look. You are currently limited so you use overhead lighting that is flush against the ceiling. I suggest keeping the wall paint as is, it is so lovely, and if you want to wallpaper on the closets as Vanessa suggested I would go with something crisp and graphic, like Ferm Living’s Berry Black, Birdweed, or Kingflower. Another idea for your double closet is that you can turn both doors into a giant chalkboard with simple chalkboard paint. If you buy magnetic paint to coat the doors before the chalkboard paint, you can use the doors to organize your work and since they are not the focal point as clients enter the room, they are in the perfect spot. I think a rug below the L-shaped desk is important to avoid scuffing the floors, you may even want to look into FLOR carpet tiles. I’d go for some texture in the room, perhaps a jute boucle rug in platinum from West Elm. I think your current desk chair is fine, I’d just add a pretty cushion to the seat or slip the top of it to coordinate with your guest chairs. Also look for armless chairs for clients for extra space, and try to find chairs on wheels. Sew some pretty chair covers to spruce them up or seat cushions. If you opt for guest chairs and no L shaped desk, I would try to locate some armless, slim slip chairs because they will take up less room. Crisp white would be lovely. The IKEA Stockholm chairs may work. Add a pretty pillow on each chair, a bolster or rectangular one would be good, but square is also okay. Since you photograph mostly people, this K Studio pillow in black with white stitch is darling and fits the look of the room nicely. You can add your red and turquoise accents in the form of your current desk lamp, a new red leather portfolio (vs. current black one), and red frames on your shelf or a turquoise vase filled with fresh flowers on your desk. Flowers are an absolute must when clients visit, puts them in total wedding mood, just keep them out of the way of arms in case of accidental spills. And of course… specialty candy or fresh baked cookies (or cupcakes, again think wedding) never hurts. All the TLC you can give a client meeting in your home to make you and your work stand out, the better! If your work has received press attention, you may want to show that off in a single frame or post it neatly on the chalkboard. And by all means, show you work on the walls. Dedicate a space to showcasing your best photography. Whether it’s near the door as Vanessa suggested, creatively displayed on the chalkboard (you could frame them using vinyl frame decals in white), or displayed in frames on the current long shelf you have, your work truly needs to be out and in view. Also, when it comes to lighting, you need some behind where your client will sit, so consider a floor lamp like the Adjustable Enamel light for $68 at Urbans. Or try to locate an industrial accordion style light (since you love vintage) with a clamp and attach it to the long shelf to provide some illumination in that area of the room. Here’s a visual to give you some help…
If anyone reading would like to also chime in with suggestions, please do! I’m sure she’d would love to hear from everyone — the more the merrier!
(images from kimberly hurst)