I am re-posting this amazing write-up I read on Meta Picture, which I thought all of you should see, if you haven’t already. Here’s how a man, who claims he has no drawing skills, transforms a boring wall into a room with personality – with some impressive wall art that he paints all by himself. It’s so clever and yet so simple, and I bet it’ll make you want to try it yourself! Read on!
I’m not done with kitchen organization ideas just yet! You cannot say your kitchen is organized unless you have labels to identify some, if not all, cooking ingredients. That’s not an empty statement, mind you. It comes with disastrous cooking experiences! Like a brownie that was baked with rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. Like using baking powder instead baking soda for fritters. And the (unintentionally) healthy cake made out of whole wheat flour instead of self-raising flour. It may be silly to label things that just take a quick look to identify, but that’s seldom the case with flours and powders. And so, the pursuit of kitchen labels becomes top priority! I didn’t look towards sticker labels much because they start peeling off in no time, and that would just annoy me. So it’s all about stable labels!
This is probably the simplest, neatest and easiest labeling idea that I can think off. Just pick up that marker, and write neatly. The person who did this as a DIY project did use a stencil, but the only stencils I’ve found at stationery shops are hard plastic ones that won’t bend around much. But how hard can it be to just write a few alphabets in full caps? So even if your handwriting looks like the scrawl of a drunken spider, don’t hold back! Just do it!
I attended classes to make paper bags last year, and one of the things I found fascinating is how metal eyelets are fixed onto the bags! I’m sure there are machines which automate the whole process, but we poked the the eyelet in with a driver and then hammered the back side till it was flat and secure. And if I could use those skills to make tags for my kitchen containers, I would grab the opportunity without a second thought! Of course, you could also just punch a hole and string a pretty thread or ribbon through it. And though this one’s dipped in blackboard paint, I’d probably use a strip of lovely handmade paper for the tags to beautify it even more!
Do you remember that day in school when someone showed you how to wet chalk and make it write differently? I still remember, and I’m still thrilled by it! So once when I visited a Korean bakery that had its front windows beautifully and intricately sketched with wet chalk, I was so happy to find out that someone had invented a chalkboard marker! The best invention of this century! I mean, who cares about televisions, cell phones and the internet! As soon as I get one of those markers, I’m going to get a tin of blackboard paint, and implement this project. I saw it last year, and I’ve been so tempted to try. It’s easily the most versatile label idea. This one’s actually a sticker, but you could as well just apply blackboard paint directly onto the jar.
Another variation of the blackboard idea that I took an instant liking for!
Etching cream is like the fairy-god mother of mason jars. One touch and those mason jars are transformed into elegant, understated beauties that you’d think were store-bought. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with etching cream much though, because it seems rather expensive and available only in large quantities. But they’re definitely my first preference for glass bottles and containers.
I’m not going to be mean to refrigerators. I don’t think they’re particularly ugly, but they can look drab if the rest of your kitchen is spectacular. Seeing all the different ideas people have used to camouflage the refrigerator makes me aware that I’m not the first one to go down this road. I do have my reservations on many such ideas though. A popular way to make a refrigerator vanish seems to be to build it into your cabinetry (click here to see what I’m talking about). So the same laminate that’s used for the the cabinets is stuck onto all the doors of your inbuilt fridge to make it look like just another cabinet. Here’s my problem with it. Your kitchen cabinets are very likely to outlive your fridge. Will refrigerators be the exact size, say, 10 years down the line? A salesperson at a modular kitchen store told me that the standard sizes of refrigerator have, in the past, changed by a few inches. So when you do buy a new fridge later, it’s either going to make room for dust if the fridge is a tad smaller, or it might just not fit into the space dedicated for the fridge. And will you still have extra laminate lying around? Even if you do, since your existing cabinets have been out in the open for a while, they’re definitely going to be a few shades darker (or dirtier) than the laminate that’s going to be stuck on the new fridge.
I’m also averse to the concept of an under-counter refrigerator. It makes your fridge disappear, alright, but the convenience you’re trading off is simply not worth it. You will not only have to bend to reach out for the vegetable pan, but for everything else too! And a full-fledged under-counter fridge would necessarily mean that you have three or four separate fridge units. When you can’t remember where you’d kept that bowl of lasagna, you’re going to have to open all of those units to find it. And of course, under-counter fridges are definitely more expensive than the regular ones. I’d be happy to pay a premium on an innovation that makes my life easier, but that definitely isn’t the case here.
So today’s post stays clear of ideas that involve structural alterations to your kitchen. I’m just focusing on the fridge! Can’t there be ways of prettifying your fridge instead of tucking it away somewhere? Of course, there are! If you can draw fairly well, then you should definitely think about sketching on your fridge with a permanent marker. And it’s not as risky as drawing on a wall or using paint. A swoosh of thinning solution or a nail-polish remover is all you need to wipe away your mistakes and start all over. This one’s the most amusing fridge sketch I have seen!
Another option is to turn your fridge into a sophisticated chalk board. I love this idea for so many different reasons. Chevron stripes on my fridge is like a dream come true! The dull colors are just right if you don’t want to draw attention to your fridge. And when someone does notice it, you’re sure to be flooded by compliments! If you like the idea, click on the photograph to check out step-by-step instructions on how to make this your fridge!
Now, this fridge sticker has given me a sketching idea that I’m giving a very serious thought to. If you like an organized fridge, then you probably have a floating idea of what kind of food goes into which row in the fridge. How about drawing that out on the fridge door to make it easier for the hubby and kids? I’m talking about drawing three rows of food art. So let’s say you draw a milk carton, bread, cheese, and desserts on the top row. Fish and meats on the second. Salads and pasta on the third. You not only have an artsy fridge, but written instructions for the rest of the family to follow when they’re putting things back in! Two birds with one stone, I say!
If you can’t sketch or paint for nuts, then look towards full-size sticker! There are shops and people selling fridge stickers, and you might find interesting ones like these!
I haven’t ever lived with wallpaper, so I’m not sure if it’d be very high-maintenance around food. You don’t usually make much contact with any part of the fridge besides the door handles, a food stain from a spill doesn’t seem far-fetched. But wallpaper definitely throws open a whole world of decorative patterns and prints for your refrigerator.
With all that I can do to beautify my fridge, I am convinced never to go in for an inbuilt or under-counter fridge. For anyone who thought fridge art is just about fridge magnets, I hope this has been an eye-opener! But, sure, you could have art and fridge magnets too! Fridge art will surely need a touch-up at some point of time. But if it’s just about darkening a sketch with a permanent marker, how hard can it be? So what’s stopping you from grabbing that permanent marker?!
Product design is usually all about combining functionality with aesthetics. On rarer occasions, it offers the designer a chance for some tease and mischief. They say that opportunity comes knocking at our doors in all forms, and clearly, even in the form of a humble milk bottle. With some etching cream and a stencil, this would now be a fairly simple DIY project. But I continue to be awed by the kind of ideas and thinking that go into these products the first time they’re rolled out. I sometimes envy the deviously creative minds, and I wish I could rent it from their owners just once in a way!
I’m lucky to have the sun shine right through my home. We got greedy with windows, and sometimes greed really does pays off! It’d be a pity not to have indoor plants with all the sunlight pouring in. Even if you have pockets of sunlit space in your home, indoor planters are a great way to decorate and oxygenate your home. However, no matter how great they look, I wouldn’t bother with planters without a drain hole; my experience is that plants will soon rot and turn smelly as the water has no place to go (even if it’s fitted with a sponge).
I’ve had my eye on these leather-strapped hanging planters for a long, long time. Aren’t they just fabulous? They don’t occupy much space and can be hung next to almost any window. Their shape reminds me of half-boiled eggs that have been bonked hard on the head!
These wooden herb planters can’t be too hard to get made. What I particularly like about them is that each planter seems detachable. That’s very handy if you’re growing plants that need the occasional trimming and pruning.
And another favorite! Combine wood, ceramic and rope, and you have the perfect planter. You could give it a nice twist by painting the pots in your favorite colors. Better yet, you could paint the rim of the pot (that’s above the wooden slab) with one color, and paint the rest in another!
Remember floppy disks? Those extinct storage devices that would always crash when you needed them? These are definitely not the prettiest planters around, but they (and whoever made them) did put a big smile on my face. Well, they were the totally unreliable storage devices, no doubt, but they seem to have found their true calling as DIY planters!
Here’s a better DIY project that just needs a couple of jars, pipe hangers and wooden slabs. Mason jars are definitely one of the best things around the house to up-cycle, but I’m not sure if or how a hole can be drilled into a glass jar. So I would substitute them with plastic jars that I can easily nail a hole into.
Not all plants like being home-grown; a lot of them need direct sunlight and just won’t adapt inside. You’ll find a lot of material online on the kinds of plants that can be grown indoors, but my advice would be to verify independently if these plants grow well in your climate and soil conditions. Go local, experiment a little and happy gardening!
This post was inspired by ants. A troop of affectionate ants who thanked me for sharing my coffee with them this afternoon. Well, that’s how best I can glorify today’s stinging bug attack. My coaster went missing – somewhere between a mountain of files – and I was too occupied to go hunting. So what I had on my desk was a week of coffee rings, and of course the ants came marching. A few stinging ant bites that itch for days, or some ugly, brown stains on your favorite furniture is probably where the seeds of a coaster crush are sown!
Moroccan designs are so versatile. With the right colors, they can make almost anything look good. Isn’t it amazing how those cork rims complement the white-and-blue prints? I don’t think I’d ever get tired of seeing these lovely coasters on my breakfast table everyday. And believe it or not, this a DIY project!
I’ve been laying off paisley designs for a while now; I was seeing too much of it everywhere. But I think I’d be ready to embrace them once again if I could make these mine!
I guess things that you’re really passionate about never leave you; they just find a way of coming back to you in different forms. I once loved collecting and pressing ferns, and used them everywhere. Bookmarks. Greeting cards. Wall frames. They all had ferns. And now that they’re back, I realize I still love them just as much!
Who says coasters can’t be multi-functional? Look at these swirly coasters. You can use them as one coaster. Or two separate ones. If you can use the same coaster for two cups of coffee or together for a single cup, I say that’s multi-functional! Yea, I know. I’m stretching definitions a bit here!
And now for some fun! I love my scrabble set, and I wouldn’t destroy it for the sake of a coaster. But I suppose I might one day, when it’s time for a new one. Wouldn’t it be a fun challenge to find four four-letter words that make sense not just when read horizontally (like in the photograph below), but also vertically? Well it’s only fair to play by scrabble rules even when the game is about a coaster!
Scrabble tiles not for you? How about Cadbury blocks? I would never buy this. I think I eat too much chocolate already. Just staring at this coaster everyday would be enough to make me diabetic in a year or two! I wonder why the chocolate conglomerates don’t give these out as gifts and prizes!
No chocolates, please. But I could sure do with some toast! I can’t help but grin at this streak of brilliance: using cork as a look-alike for brown bread!
If words can do magic, these surely do. I just love everything about these letterpress coasters.
And what’s written there is a reminder to self today. Dream big. Create. Enjoy life. Make things. Be passionate. We could all probably do with a coaster that reminds us everyday to do just that!
I didn’t think that Easter eggs could go much beyond polka dots. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the North Dakota Senate considered it an art fit to subsidize! And when I saw this photograph, I couldn’t help visualize how nice it’d be to have competitions and exhibitions to display works in this rather quaint artistic medium. Although I doubt it’d see much activity during the year, besides Easter week. I’ve seen these kind of patterns on expensive gift-wrapping paper, but I must say they look pretty darn neat on Easter eggs too!
This post was meant to be about good foot rests. But my computer was suddenly invaded by photographs of ottomans (or should I call them ottomen?!) And it had me wondering why everyone doesn’t just use the multipurpose ottoman as a foot rest. Put them in front of the couch, and they’re heavenly to prop your legs up on, after a hard day at work. Kick them next to the wall, and there’s extra seating for the party you plan to host. Perfect, right?
If you like to rest your legs up high, then be sure to get an ottoman that’s about the same height as your couch.
I don’t know if it’s just me and my multi-color mania, or if they all just happen to be multi-color. But I can’t imagine anyone saying no to having this felt-ball ottoman around their living room. Ain’t she a beauty!
Being a big fan of up-cycling, this is easily one of the best examples I have seen of the concept. I’ve covered beer bottles with rope and turned them into aesthetic vases, but turning a tire into an ottoman is another league altogether. Who would have thought, right? I really wish (or hope) that there are official awards to recognize and appreciate home-style ingenuity like this.
If you liked the last one, but you’re not the DIY type, then you might be able to pick one of these up for a price. I find the shape rather intriguing, and there’s probably a good amount of storage space in there too.
You’ll find tons of ottomans with removable lids, capturing every bit of storage space beneath. The ikkat ottoman below doesn’t maximize storage space that way, but there’s still an eclectic charm of discovering a drawer where you least expect to find one.
Now, these are just plain exotic! The cushion fabric looks like it was born to compliment the color of the wood and wicker. And they’re shaped so beautifully.
There’s a child in everyone of us, they say. And I’m unraveling mine right here! No, I wouldn’t tuck this into some part of the kids’ room. I would flaunt it quite shamelessly, actually! Just look at those elephant prints! It makes me wish I could have a pet elephant around!
The ottoman traveled half way across the world to afford us a few comforts. Their origin dates back to 16th century Turkey which was ruled by the powerful Ottoman Empire. The upholstery style and decor of that time and place found their way to European homes, and possibly to yours very soon!