Friday, March 30, 2012

glass candelier; mirror tile fireplace

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Here are a couple of DIY projects we have in our dining room.  A side note, the dining room is the first room you walk in when you enter our rowhouse.  This works quite well for us - not because our dining room has a front door, but because the living room / kitchen creates a great space for both entertaining and living.

First, the fireplace surround now doubles as a mirror-ball.  I like the way the aged and worn, glossy-white-painted mantel looks with the bright, square tiles.  By the way - they do not actually create a mirror-ball effect.  They do, however, bounce natural light around in a place that is normally pretty dark. Take a look:

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I got these at Kit Kraft and installed them with a tile-mastic for fireplace surrounds.  This is not a working fireplace and I'm not vouching for their ability to withstand heat - but I will vouch for their ability to prompt a random, "Girl, that fireplace is fabulous!"

Now onto one of my favorite projects - this glass candelier that hangs over the table.  The tealight holders came from Crate & Barrel.  The different heights and shapes are interesting from just about every angle.  The glass base came from a trusty glass shop called Caplan that we've used for a few projects.  They cut the piece to specification with three holes evenly distributed around the edge.

From there I added the hardware that you can see in detail in the pictures.  The biggest tip of advice (courtesy the glass cutter man) is to have non-metallic washers.  There should be no metal touching the glass at any time.  The glass is fairly heavy and sometimes covered in a small fire.  I heeded the man's advice and have been eating worry-free ever since.  While you can't see it in the picture, I used vinyl washers to keep everything properly protected.

A special thanks goes to our wonderful friend, Kim, who made the table runner with her own little hands.

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I know, I know - you want to see what that thing looks like when it's lit.  I'll get around to that...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

office; color coordinated bookshelf

...and we're back.  While the blog has collected dust, progress at Project Rowhouse has continued.  Here's to some spring cleaning.

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Our home office has changed a few times over the years.  Take a look at the transformation.


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No need to see the rest, right?

Here is a look at the first version.  While the orange was a fun, bright color, it wasn't the soothing environment we wanted for an often-used telecommuting work space.




And - here is what it looks like today:

I'm hoping to keep things a little less dusty around here - wish me luck!

Monday, April 26, 2010

cork art

If I saw a blot post title that said “cork art” it would serve as the immediate red flag preparing me for something hideous. People do truly terrible and tasteless things using wine corks.

Despite the typically tacky fate, I understand and share the mutual desire to use these little barriers in creative ways. I like the color, the aesthetic, and the fact that it’s the only thing separating me from that scrumptious nectar within. Hopefully you'll agree that we used cork in a way that doesn't rouse your gag reflex.

We started this project because we wanted something interesting behind the dart board. Because it ended up looking pretty sweet and it would have required every cork under the Tuscan sun to cover our intended area, we decided to stop at this size and hang it in the dining room.

This took more corks that we anticipated. Thanks goes out to our fellow wine-drinking friends for the supplemental art supply. Of particular note is our roommates parental units, the often drunk Greg and Carol of Vermont who shipped in a box full! Other materials: plywood, mastic, construction adhesive, polyurethane and a few picture hanging supplies.

Initially I used some leftover mastic (from the kitchen backsplash) and just pressed each cork in like a tile. I went completely random, which provided a nice mix of colors and height.

The mastic worked okay, but construction adhesive proved vital for completing the edges and reinforcing loose corks throughout the center area. For the edges I allowed the corks to dictate the somewhat organic lines and tried to keep thought OUT of the process (a gift in which I excel).

Once everything was securely in place, about ten coats of leftover glossy polyurethane (from the floors) was applied over the course of a few weeks using a paint brush.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

window boxes

In celebration of spring we built window boxes and put up a flag. The shutters are also new [to the blog].

The bottom is lined with copper flashing to add some interest (to otherwise perfectly fabulous window boxes). We're looking forward to a patina surface as this ages.

We built and installed these ourselves. There is nothing too ingenious here. After measuring and sketching out a few design ideas we picked up the materials for about $250. Note: the copper flashing was $40 alone. This could be left out of the process if you're okay with mediocrity.

After making all the necessary cuts, we set up a painting station on the pool table. Even though we used pressure treated lumber we figured some extra weather protection was appropriate. Every side of every piece was painted. Two coats with exterior latex paint - prior to construction. (The color is Lincoln's Cottage by Valspar. aka "black")

The pieces were then taped together with duct tape. This is a lie. Outdoor, galvanized screws were used on all accounts.

The copper flashing was surprisingly easy to work with. It cut effortlessly with some strong scissors and readily bent into shape. This was adhered to the bottom of the box using construction adhesive that is specifically designed for flashing materials.

I found that a wallpaper seam roller worked great to press the copper into the wood.

Add the trim and say, "Ta Dah".

Prior to installation, one more post-construction coat of paint was applied. I then used a nailset to punch holes through the copper for drainage (the wood was pre-drilled to keep the copper in good shape).

Can't wait to fill these with flowers!

And a few more shots of Project Rowhouse:

Reminder - a before picture:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

snowy baltimore; dining room fireplace

I recently attended a party at Leigh and Corey's place (see Baltimore Rowhouse). There was a theme: Jersey Shore. As much as I enjoy Pop Culture - this one has yet to join my television repertoire. Nonetheless, I met another "blogger" while there. Summer, who has not blogged in, like, months, pointed out that "[I] sometimes blog a lot, and then not for, like, weeks." She's sweet - and honest. I'll follow her lead and just do this when the feeling strikes - or when the snow forces me indoors for 100 hours.

There is a ridiculous amount of snow here in Baltimore. These were taken during the first storm...

...and the day after. The backyard drifts are taller than a person - not to mention a huge dog.

Considering there is a step down when you exit that back door, this is an official crapload.

Now - Here is a before shot of this fireplace:

We first removed the rock and mastic, which left terribly damaged brick:

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of the process. I used a fireplace safe backerboard to smooth things out. Then, I adhered a small, mosaic tile: