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.
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!
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!
I haven’t used a teapot at home in decades, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Is it because we’re now diet conscious and no long sip cups after cups of tea? Or is the microwave effect? I’m not sure. But here’s a great way to bring out all those dusty tea pots and put them to good use. Just look at how it’s prettified that hopelessly ugly railing. I think they’d be rather nice to hang in balconies too. To use them as permanent flower pots, you might..well..have to destroy the tea pot as it’s going to need a hole to let the water drain. So if you plan to turn that pot of tea into a pot of thyme, be sure you’re not going to miss them when you’re pouring your morning cuppa! Have a great long-weekend, everyone!
The source of inspiration for today’s post might have been the clock-faced vintage door knob that featured in my post yesterday. It’s amazing how things can work on you subconsciously! So to keep things interesting (and perhaps just to defy my mind for playing these little tricks on me), I decided to keep vintage out of the clocks. Or at least to a minimum. Now you be the judge of whether my mind still got its way!
I should warn you that I can be a big baby when it comes to clocks because I hate clocks without the numbers. Laugh all you want, but I find it rather confusing to to tell time on a naked, numberless clock. I could live with one that has at least four numbers, or even a clock that has dots or objects in place of numbers. But clocks without any of these are a complete no-no for me, and so quite obviously for this post too.
This clock is dedicated to all the caffeine addicts out there. If you drink coffee round the clock or don’t believe that there’s any such thing as ‘the right time’ for a cuppa, then you’re probably going to love having this clock around. I wonder if I can turn this into a DIY project in some way.
If the Flintstones used a clock, I’d bet this must have been what it looked like!
Now I’m not sure why I liked this particular clock, but it’s probably because, being a DIY clock, it’s exciting to think of all the different ways in which I could improvise and customize from this basic idea. And the gorgeous needles, of course! Does anyone else think the hour needle looks like an owl?
Another DIY project! I love it for it minimalism. Although in my project, some of this minimalism would be lost once I’m done painting the numbers on 😦
Talk about a multi-color sweater for a clock! This, I would think, is the perfect way to add some life into a boring clock that you’ve been meaning to throw out, but can’t get yourself to because it still does its job! Now I don’t know much about knitting, but that looks like an intricate pattern to me.
Remember Hickory Dickory Dock? Ever wondered what that even meant? Was it the name of the mouse? Or did they name clocks back then?! I can’t remember. Sure sounds like a pretty drunk and desperate attempt to rhyme with ‘clock’!
A trail of websites and blogs led me to the world of stencil art today. It had me thinking about the limitless possibilities in which it could find its way into homes. Paper, cloth, wood, metal, ceramics are just a few mediums that take to stenciling. And stenciled walls? There’s so much I want to say about them, but I’ll save it for another post at another time!
Mint green. Gold. White. I would never have dared use these colors in the same sentence, let alone on the same piece of wood! This one photograph changed my whole perspective of wood and paint. From being vehemently against painting wood (and depriving it of its woodsy glory), I decided to make two exceptions to this rule – for bad wood, and stencil art like this! A few brilliant minds behind Design Love Fest stenciled three different designs into planks of wood, transforming them into the most gorgeous open shelves I have ever laid eyes on. And in my opinion, an art piece too! I would so love to show them off as drawer fronts – that would do truer justice to these beauties. Just think of how art like this could break the monotony of wood, say, in your kitchen.
The next photograph is the best evidence I have seen of stencils and their reformative power. See for yourself how simple Chevron stripes transformed a rusted iron desk into one that could fetch you many a compliment in your house!
I don’t think there’s a better way to add color to a kitchen, bathroom or even a reading corner with a pretty shelf like this from Lines Across. Notice how they’ve made it a tad more interesting to look at by keeping two sides stenciled, the insides yellow and other sides white. I have an old, boring white bathroom cabinet (of low-quality wood) that I’m now dying to do this to!
And now if I’ve got you thinking that furniture is as far as stencils can go, prepare yourself to be blown away with what you’re about to see next! When Berlin sang their famous track, ‘Takes My Breath Away’, I didn’t know these stair risers were what they were talking about!
And planters. Any plant would grow twice as fast if it only knew what its home looked like! The chalkboard used to identify the plants is pretty sweet too.
If you’re tempted to give stenciling a try, here are few things to think hard about. Painting a piece of furniture and then changing your mind is painful. It will cost you either time or money to chip all that paint off for restoration. Also, have no doubt that stenciling is labor intensive; it is rewarding only for those who experience constant joy seeing the fruits of manual labor (or can afford to hire labor). If that doesn’t describe you or what your pocket can fetch, give wallpaper a serious thought. You’d probably be surprised to see the similar results it could get you.
Certain curtains can, purely by themselves, transform a room almost miraculously. That’s why I firmly believe it’s criminal picking neutral colors for curtains. Forget about matching the curtains with the other elements. Not letting curtains be themselves is nothing short of oppression, and there should be laws protecting these curtains! These summery yellow curtains triggered off my DIY instincts almost instantaneously, so now I can’t wait to have something similar made. Notice how the yellow fabric is used not just for the tie-backs and heading, but the leading edges too. Just looking at these curtains reminds me of summer – sunshine, foliage, flowers and…mangoes!
I saw bangle curtains at a summer house I once visited, and they haven’t left my mind since. The pattern was a lot like the one below, except that the cloth that was used came in brighter hues. What was absolutely remarkable about those ones were that the strips of cloth had no order of color to them – just a beautiful chaos of colorful fabric and bangles. Yet another DIY project to get working on slowly!