Tag Archive | DIY

My Cabana Boy

The world of blogging decorators is full of husbands. The behind-the-scenes kind that don’t grumble about having to hang a blind or put together furniture. At Young House Love, they work together as a team and live and breathe their blog and they are successful. I cannot begin to speculate about their marriage.

I was reading The Inspired Room and Melissa, the blogger-in-chief, was asking her readers (like all 400,000 of them) to “please remind my husband to hang my kitchen blind,” so she could take the final after pictures of the space. I get that. I have a handy hubby who does A LOT of work around here. Much of it because I pester him into it.

Sunroom.... Before. Scary!

Sunroom…. Before. Scary!

However, there are times when back-up is needed. Maybe not all of us have a husband, or a husband who is handy. Or maybe your husband is handy, but is too tired after 12 hours in the field of hard labor to bother with your “pesky”  jobs list. Or maybe, the blogger/reader should consider that she (or even he) can hang the blind herself. And then, there is the option of… The Cabana Boy.

A crack on the ceiling.

Even “Chicken Little” was afraid to help.

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I got one this week. He is working in my sunroom. He is tackling cracks in the ceiling that are large enough to contain mythical monsters. He is sanding old windows and priming them with Kilz. He is wrestling with the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don’t know how long he will stick around for this project, but every day he shows up for more work is a good day. Find yourself a strapping young college boy and put him to work. I know mine would even sit and have a drink with me, cause he is that cool.

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Don't get excited, it's only Photoshop.

Don’t get excited, it’s only Photoshop.

Inspiration from Pinterest.

Inspiration from Pinterest.

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My Cabana Boy is handy with Photoshop and math. He helped me figure out the dimensions for the pattern we plan to paint onto the floor, and put the pattern in with Photoshop, so I could have a preview. The progress is unbelievable. He is not finished, but he has given me the push I need to keep it going. Even after he has wandered off to his next gig or I have run out of money, whichever comes first.

Paint sample.

Paint sample, Benjamin Moore’s Skydive.

The best part is, Stuart can take a breather and I am inspired.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio.

Reusing an Old Red Door

My decorating career has come to a staggering halt. I am required to spend the next five Saturdays learning how to be a foster parent. Yes, I am already trying to look at the bright side. Perhaps I can apply any new techniques I learn to the brand-new teenager in the house instead. That may be a better use of training.

However, I have made progress on an office for myself. I had to lay claim to my new office space like a homesteader staking out his land in the wild, wild, west. I had to fight off the Foos-ball table, the television, and the X-Box, for my own room. It was a gruesome battle and I have won.

Fighting for my own room.

Fighting for my own room.

Much like the pioneer days, the wind whistles through the cracks in the windows and the temps regularly fall below zero in my new office. But I am not to be deterred. It is a big room that gets warm with the sun and needs so much work that even I feel a little overwhelmed. I have plans for this space.

It all started with a red door that appeared in the driveway. I called my husband to ask where it came from and why was it there. He explained he had picked it up when someone advertised they were getting rid of it on Free-Cycle. He thought I could use it for my desk.

Brilliant! I was so excited! We even had red sawhorses in the basement to match. I love the view of our old house through the window.

The Red Door turned into a desk.

The Red Door turned into a desk.

After placing it on the sawhorses, I cleaned the door with Bona Wood Cleaner and repaired the veneer using Elmer’s Wood Glue and clamps. I removed the hinges and peephole so a piece of plexiglass would sit flat on the surface, making it usable for writing, drawing or sewing. I placed a chair on either side to welcome any new design clients that might appear, and I chose a paint color for the room.

Old red sawhorses support the desk.

Old red sawhorses support the desk.

Repairing the door.

Repairing the door.

Clamps holding the veneer flat.

Clamps holding the veneer flat

Removing the peephole.

Removing the peephole.

My son wants the peephole installed in his bedroom door. I may do it, just to humor him.

Office Art Wall.

Office Art Wall.

The things left to do on this porch are too long to list. But this is a start. Next up: Paint! I can’t wait to keep you updated on the progress. But first, I have to do my time in foster parent training class.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio.

CAUTION! Extra Punctuation!

When I am King, overuse of the exclamation point will be a criminal offense. Punishable by at least one day in the stocks per extra exclamation point. I believe that there may also be a correlation between morning people and extracurricular use of the exclamation point. Perhaps even coffee is the culprit.

My fourth-grader has to invent something next week, maybe I will suggest anti-virus/exclamation point software that I can run occasionally to remove every extra exclamation point from my computer screen. I know, it seems a bit curmudgeonly, but there it is.

Funny that I feel this way as I asked Angela to write up a blog post about her awesome Moroccan-inspired dresser. And she did well. I felt as if I should put on my mean-teacher glasses when she handed it in. Surely she was expecting some sort of grade back…. D+ or worse. After all, I am thirteen years older. However, I liked the post, I just told her we needed to weed out some of the exclamation points. And her response was, “BUT I am so EXCITED about this that I had to use them!!!!!”

So, without further ado, I present Angela’s post with only one warning: CAUTION! Extra Punctuation…

Once I find something that I like, I gotta have it! I fell in LOVE with this pattern that I first saw on my friend’s bedding. I searched and searched for this pattern and for the name. I went to TJ Maxx and saw almost the exact same bedding: Moroccan! Thats it!

Moroccan bedding, inspiration.

I had to have it! I brought it home, and of course my lovely other half didn’t fall in love with it like I did, so it was war! But I thought, “hey if I can’t have it on my bed, I will put it somewhere!”

I had an old hand-me-down dresser that was originally dark blue. I painted it white and thought, “it looks too plain”. Lets go Moroccan!

plain white-painted dresser.

Cardboard stencil.

Pencil sketch.

I made my own stencil out of thick card stock. Measured the center of the dresser, and started with a pencil sketch. Next step was to begin painting!

I was liking the way this was going!

And Voila! I love it!

Finished!

Next time I’ll tell you about the pictures above the dresser. This adventure involves the kids’ discovery of a secret passage, an old mouse-peed wallpaper book, and some bargain frames. Who knew design could be so much fun!

© copyright 2012 Angela Hunanian and Mariam d’Eustachio.

The Dining Room Saga

I had this idea that I would replace the light fixture in the dining room with a fa-beaux new one. The old ceiling mount fixture was #1 on my hit list, and it had to go. I wanted something large-scale, that did not obstruct the visual space, something that said WOW! I wanted the room to have a cottage feel. I wanted it to feel warm and cozy and different.

Dining room light, before.

Dining room light, before. The Hit List.

I eventually found one that was perfect, although not exactly. I had to transform it from it’s original brass finish before it would be perfect. It was a lantern that would capture the feel I was going for. It was hexagon-shaped, oversized with delicate lines and would do nicely in my dining room. I rescued it from Community Forklift. It cost $119.

The almost perfect chandelier.

Working on the chandelier                                                      

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BEFORE!
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I spent days painting this behemoth chandelier, taking it apart, letting it dry between coats. I eventually got Stuart to hang it, with the help of at least one neighbor. It was shimmering and I was so pleased! Then, I sat down at the table under my new light, and opened up the latest Pottery Barn catalog. A few pages into it, my jaw dropped and I thought, “NO Way!” How did they know? There was a lantern-like light hanging above a beefy table, and it looked a lot like mine:

http://www.potterybarn.com/products/bolton-oversized-lantern/?pkey=cchandeliers-pendants

I did not know whether to be happy or sad about it. I liked my version, and it must have been a good idea, but really? Did they have to go and ruin what I thought was an original-ish idea? At least I could take comfort in the fact that they had not painted theirs first and it cost three times what I had paid at Community Forklift for mine. My light was recycled to boot.

Dining room chandelier, after.

I figure one of the following things happened:

  1. I must be extremely stylish and capable of keeping up with the latest trends (Ha!)
  2. I am receiving subliminal advertising messages from the stores I like and it sunk in without my knowledge or consent
  3. Coincidence
  4. Pinterest is to blame

Most likely, it is a strange combination of all of the above.

Dining room chandelier, after.

Dining room chandelier, after.

I am thrilled with the way my dining room looks, but this project wore me down. Next time, I may just buy it directly from Pottery Barn and save myself the trouble. But where is the fun in that?

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.