the great curtain dilemma


First, please look past any clutter you see on our room divider, and keep your eyes up. Um, yeah. See how that curtain rod is all crooked there? It’s because we didn’t anchor it properly (thought we had a stud), and now it’s coming out of the wall. Sigh. So of course I’ve been thinking about curtains and curtain rods a lot lately. Our living room is one big room that used to be two (as you can see by the ceiling). Now it’s the entire front half of our house, most of it comprised of windows : one huge picture window, a smaller window, and then a clerestory window on the side. As you can see, we have had the curtains all hung at the same level, and even though the windows are all different heights, we also have the curtains at the same length (right now it’s “puddling on the ground”).
Is it curtains for me? Find out after the jump!

From our partners

this ceiling fan fix: what do you think?


This “ceiling fan upgrade” DIY at House*Tweaking really has fans, so to speak — I first saw it when an enthusiastic friend posted it to Facebook. I can certainly understand wanting to hide a fan you don’t like, and her ceiling fan isn’t the kind I’d choose, but it looked new and is fairly inoffensive — a lot better than the 1970s version currently hanging above my bed. (And we own our house so we have no excuse; we should have replaced ours by now.) I also worried that the chandelier would make noise when the fan is on (or at least distracting movement), but Dana at House*Tweaking says that it’s not an issue as long as the speed doesn’t go above medium. (And just in case Dana sees this post, I do just love lots of what’s on her site — this mini mudroom for instance! Genius!) What do you think of the fan fix, and have you come up with any other quick fixes for unattractive fixtures in your space? — Mary T.

P.S. Speaking of Facebook, just a reminder that you can canoodle with Shelterrific on our Facebook page!

From our partners

post off: what’s on your green list for 2011?


By this time next week, we’ll have installed the last of three water-efficient toilets in our house. After that, we’re kinda at a loss for our next green project. Over the years, we’ve replaced the dishwasher, washer and dryer as they wore out with greener versions; added a solar attic fan; replaced doors and windows; and tackled a host of smaller projects to improve our home’s efficiency. We’ve also ran the numbers on a few ideas that we just can’t justify the cost of, like solar panels, geothermal furnace or a tankless hot water heater. While we’re seplaceing for our next project, do have any green reno ideas to throw our way? — Sarah L.

Photo above: the Caroma Adelaide toilet, an EPA WaterSense approved high efficiency toilet (HET).

From our partners

room redesign: what a difference a gray makes!


We’ve been working on fixing up our little apartment since we moved in a year and a half ago, and for all the painting, sanding and decorating we’ve done, our smallest bedroom hasn’t seen its fair share of love. At just a touch larger than 4’x 6’, the tiny space comes with it’s own unique décor dilemmas and besides patching holes, painting and tossing in a bed and an Ikea Malm dresser, we’ve left it alone. But for a long time it irked me. The bedspread was too much; the paint color too sea-foamy, but because we may move in the next year, I was hesitant to address it. Then I finally decided to make a day of the project. Having a place I love is important to me, and the benefit of a microscopic room is that it can be painted in a day with a toothbrush if need be, so I took the plunge. Picking a paint color has always been a challenge but it proved even more difficult with such a tiny space. I wanted something light and calming, but not white, because I was planning on pulling the trigger on the pin-tuck duvet of my dreams, and what better place to glean inspiration than from someone who already owned it and was also painting her room? Rachel DeSchepper of Fresh Home shared her thoughts on my pin-tuck problem, so I popped over to her room-redo and loved what she did with a light gray (Benjamin Moore’s Whitestone) in her bedroom. After much obsessing over paint chips, I settled on Benjamin Moore’s Silver Fox, which I loved: not too light too be overlooked, too heavy to make the room look dark, or cold enough to inspire jail cell chic. And no sooner had I gleefully lugged home a gallon, I stumbled upon Shelterpop’s “Paint Color Trends to Move On From”. First on the list? “Greige”. Oy! Click to see the outcome of my mini room redesign! (more…)

From our partners

do you salvage a cracked mirror?


I had an unfortunate accident happen a few weeks ago. The hanging wire on my beloved dining room mirror gave out, and the mirror slid down the wall and crashed onto the floor. Luckily the frame took the brunt of the impact and the mirror only cracked – not shattered – into 2 pieces.

The price for getting a new mirror cut to fit the frame was exorbitant, so instead I brainstormed some ways to salvage the cracked pieces. Since the wall behind the mirror is covered with maps, I decided to let the crack help me integrate both the mirror and the wall coverings into a single piece of artwork. I used blue painters tape (perfect color!) and created a sort of abstract river covering the crack and extending onto the walls. I intend to have it branch above the frame as soon as I can locate a ladder to reach that high! What do you think? I’m pretty sure this technique would also work with vinyl wall decals as well. And the crack could easily become a climbing vine, garland, tree branch, or lightning bolt, depending on your taste and wall color.

Other options I came up with were to cover the crack with cut-out sections of maps or photos of places I had visited or use a mirror patina to age the mirror and make the crack less noticeable. What would you do? –Rebecca F.

From our partners