Top 10 Tackiest DIY Design Projects

Filed Under: Crafts, Do it yourself, Redecorating    by: ITC

10. Self-Designing a Room –With all Matching Furniture

When you purchase a complete bedroom furnishing set, your house will start looking like it’s a showroom. In addition to being boring, and extremely visually hefty, it’s an indication that you do not care about an individual sense of fashion since you have let others perform your decorating job, by letting some place such as a furniture store create it for you. Read more…

How to do up small spaces when living with children

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Walls and ceilings

It is fun to do your own mural and paint a child’s favorite story on the wall. Use a base color for the background and paint the details on top with emulsion and/or gouache, similar to the technique except that the picture takes the place of the wash coat.

An ocean-with-fish theme is easy even for the inexperienced, with the help of illustrations from a book. Children won’t expect you to be Michelangelo and will be delighted whatever the result. You can get a landscape onto one small wall or a whole ocean of sea creatures and all the stars in the firmament on the ceiling, given an extra twinkle by the addition of self-stick glowing stars and moons. Friendly pictures of this kind will help children go to sleep at bedtime and will give them something to look at when they are ill.

A section of wall covered in cork tiles provides an exhibition space in which to pin up children’s own paintings. Cork tiles covering a whole wall will act as insulation in rooms which suffer from condensation, particularly attics or rooms which open onto a central staircase where drafts make them feel chilly.

Another idea is to have one completely white, washable wall on which children are allowed to draw and scribble. When it is full of artwork, you simply paint over it again. Fixing a blackboard to the wall takes up less space than having a free-standing easel and blackboard. Painting and scribbling activities are very absorbing, keeping children occupied for a long time, and they are good for manual, visual and artistic skills so it is worth providing a permanent place for them.

Work and play

There should be plenty of room for books and writing things, as well as a well-lit place to write comfortably. There should also be adequate background lighting in the room, and reading lights by the bed and over the desk area.

If toys are played with in the living room, try, if you can, to put up with them for the whole day and then sort and store them in the evening, otherwise you will be putting things away all day and will be resentful when the children want to turn a new lot out onto the floor.
Crawling babies and toddlers love to get under tables and discover electric sockets. Socket guards are available for when a socket is not in use and it really is sensible to invest in one or two of these cheap and effective safety devices.

Lighting

There are a number of ways to provide gentle lighting. Wax nightlights were the old-fashioned way of giving children assurance, but they didn’t last the whole night through and were superseded by tiny glass lamps in the shape of animals or birds which glowed in the dark. Nowadays there is a whole menagerie of lifelike geese, rabbits, ducks, pigs and sheep to keep a child company at night.

Children really seem to love these lit-up creatures and often make friends of them. Other lamps include ceramic pixie and mouse homes, old women in shoes and suchlike which light up inside, giving a cosy feeling. If you place a nightlight on the floor, be sure you choose a safe model where the bulb socket is inserted in such a way that a child cannot pull it out.

Even the ceiling light can be used as a nightlight if it is on a dimmer switch and can be left as just a faintly luminous glow when the child is asleep.

A shared bedroom

If you have to share a bedroom with your new baby, the most pressing need is to provide a degree of privacy for the parents. Again, planning the space is important. There are advantages to sharing: you know at once if the child is restless at night and can comfort it and get it back to sleep almost before it (or you) has woken up. Nursing mothers may also find sharing the room convenient for night feeds.

A very young baby does not take up much room. A small crib and a storage unit are the only essentials, although a comfortable low chair for feeding is a good idea. A folding screen will help to provide a certain amount of privacy and can be fitted with rails or hooks for hanging tiny clothes, so that it becomes dual-purpose.

Alternatively the cot area can be screened by a row of chests or shelving units, either tall or low which will also act as storage. Nappy-changing can take place on the parental bed, with its essential equipment stored in a bedside table. Play equipment can be stored in the living room if necessary, or spread around there and the bathroom and perhaps the hall.

Doing up small spaces — storage galore

Filed Under: Crafts, Do it yourself, Redecorating    by: ITC

Hanging storage

Never underestimate the importance of hanging things up. Coats, jackets, umbrellas and hats all need to be accounted for and most people have several of each, so one or two hooks in the entrance hall are really not going to be enough.

An ideal solution is the Shaker idea of a wooden strip with wooden pegs which runs right round the wall at shoulder height. A simpler version is a wooden batten with cup hooks or other hooks screwed into it. This will hold an endless number of outdoor items holds electric plugs at a (tennis rackets and so on), and even equipment such as a broom or vacuum cleaner.

In the kitchen, a metal rail fixed below the ceiling above the cooker and worktop and hung with butcher’s hooks will hold any number of utensils otherwise floundering about in unnecessary cupboards. It should be positioned so that the utensils are not hanging so low that they will brain you as you stir the soup, and not so high that you need a stepladder to get them down.

Cup hooks are the time-honored way of storing things with handles, such as cups, mugs and jugs. Don’t choose the smallest hooks but get generous-sized ones which will take big, fat handles, and set them far enough apart so that things won’t knock into each other when they are hanging at an angle.

Furniture that folds

Folding chairs and tables are absolutely invaluable in a small home.

Doing up small spaces when designing your home — jewellery

Filed Under: Crafts, Do it yourself, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Some of the most decorative objects we own are our jewelery, yet they are the most difficult to store and display. Strings of beads get mixed up with each other and tangled, rings are scratched and earrings become divided as easily as socks so that you can only find one of a pair when you want to wear them. It is worth searching around for different ways to store jewelery because when it is displayed in the open it looks very rich and exotic, and is certainly safer from damage and easier to find.

A row of hooks on the wall over the dressing-table is a simple answer but there are other ideas. A bamboo-framed mirror, where the frame includes small shelves, looks very pretty festooned with beads and bangles. A collection of individual metal hooks attached to painted metal pictures covering a whole wall would make a very intriguing and decorative ‘jewelery bank’. A tailor’s dummy will carry necklaces, scarves and hats, and a bentwood hat stand will hold feather boas, hats, scarves and dangling strings of beads. Screens can also be useful for draping scarves and jewelery. Stylized “hands’ will hold numerous rings, cut them out of stiff board, paint them and fix them to the wall so that they lean away at the top.

Earrings are especially tricky things to store. A collection of small boxes will do the trick, or you can create a display. Cover a piece of board in fabric (velvet makes a good backdrop), with a little wadding in between, and hang it on the wall. Loop the earrings on pins stuck into the fabric, and add stray brooches, hatpins, etc.

Once you start thinking of the possibilities, more and more solutions begin to emerge. A pair of antlers or the protruding parts of wooden-framed mirrors all make good hangers for necklaces, and a champagne bottle is ideal for bracelets; spray it gold if you want it to look even more exotic. If you prefer a high-tech look, plastic-coated wire storage units are very practical for jewelery and are also invaluable for keeping track of scarves, ties, socks and gloves.