Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Remodeling To Make An MCM Atomic Bedroom

From the moment that we bought this little house, I knew that, one day, I would remodel the bedroom and make the MCM, atomic, retro bedroom I have always wanted.

Well, it took three and half years, but I finally did it! The whole project cost less than $200. Here's a cost breakdown:

Pearly White Paint: $40
Aqua Paint: $20
Other Colors of Paint: $4
Mirrored Stars: $25 shipped
Curtains (colored and white): $60

I took some "Before" photos... kindly pardon the mess. Before the remodel, my bedroom was a dumping ground for things we didn't really know what to do with as far as storage went.

That last one there is after I emptied everything out of the closet in order to paint.

As you can see, there is a LOT of ugly, cheap paneling. I HATE this kind of paneling. I always see weird images in the fake wood grain. It's disturbing. 

I had painted over every single piece of this kind of paneling in the house EXCEPT here in the bedroom. Here's a video overview of the room before I started:

So, I painted the closet first, Saturday night:

Then, I painted the walls. Here is a "before" shot of one wall:
And the same wall after one coat of paint:
 A short video showing the way I found to paint paneling SUPAFAST!

And the same wall, again, after four coats of paint, finished: 

And the opposing wall, finished:
Here's a sneak peek shot after I started painting colors:



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kitchen Sputnik Starbursts

I have fallen in love with vintage-style starbursts. I adore them, those long-legged, atomic, Sputnik-style stars. And I started putting them in my kitchen when we put up tile and painted last year. I continued that design as I finished the kitchen and hallway remodel this year.

After painting the whole kitchen and hallway the same color (Angel Food by Behr) as the rest of the kitchen, I stuck chrome Sputnik stars in automotive chrome vinyl stickers all over the kitchen wall as an accent wall. In the various sizes, it looks like a retro star field, and I am thrilled with it. Take a look:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Office Redesign

When we first moved into the house, we knew it was going to be super small, especially when it came to my home office. My Tommy Lee built me a little room off the front of the house out of scrap lumber, repurposed lumber, and a few new pieces; the total cost of initially constructing the little room was $400. Most of that cost was laminate flooring, paint, and nails. Anyway, my office has seen a few dozen configurations in the three years we've lived here, but none of them worked for me... at all. So, this year, I decided to make the office I have always wanted. The first step was finding the right desk.

I fell in love with a vintage tanker desk I found on Craigslist for $20, so I sent Tommy Lee and my son to fetch it. They cleaned it up and painted it creamy white (1960s Ford Tudor white) with bright orange drawers. I then searched the Internet for a good long while and found just the proper accoutrements to my new desk: an atomic starburst clock with colorful balls, a bendy tree floor lamp, a retro-style radio (for listening for the radio ads I make on the local radio station), a suitcase-style record player, and, the coup de grace, a landline telephone styled like the rotary phones I grew up with.

I then pared down everything in my office, got rid of a lot of things I never used, and then organized my files and office equipment. I bought a retro-styled TV, too, but the resolution didn't look right for using it as a computer monitor, so now, I am trying to figure out how to make it work in my ever-shifting bedroom design that I plan to undertake later this year.

Here are some before shots of the office:

As you can easily see, it had become a catch-all spot. Being as it is the entrance to the house, people just tended to leave stuff in there... and stuff from other areas of the house that didn't have designated areas tended to migrate into my office because, hell... Mom just works in there; no big deal, right? Well, I am one of those people that can't tolerate mindless clutter, and the older I get, the worse I get about it. So, I redesigned the whole thing. I am in the process of still figuring out where things go, but it is getting better. Here are some "after" shots:

 As you can see it is far less cluttered, a lot more clean and neat, and it has that MCM, retro style that I have fallen in love with, thanks to Pinterest. Here are some photos of my favorite pieces:

Tulip tree lamp - $40 on Amazon; colorful atomic wall clock
from Retro Planet.

Retro, rotary-style push button desk phone in Tiffany blue.
(I wanted it in yellow, but it was sold out... :-(

Retro radio
Suitcase record player... so my vinyl can finally see the light
of day!
I am sure that I will be doing more in here (changing curtains, adding a curtain to the closet door opening, fixing the one open panel in the drywall), but, for now, this is so much better for me... I feel more productive; maybe I am just happier in here... who knows?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quick Tip for Smooth Boxed Mac & Cheese

Ever get tired of working out the lumps from the powdered cheese sauce that comes with boxes of Mac & Cheese dinners? Here's a quick tip tip avoid it: mix the powder with the required butter or margarine before adding out to the pasta! Simple, and gets rid of all the lumps!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kid's Bedroom Remodel - Turning a Teenager's Room Into A Pink Princess Haven

When my eldest daughter moved into her own place, it coincided nicely with my youngest being ready for her first big girl room. Little girl wanted pink and white stripes and some diamonds, so I took to Pinterest and researched a bunch of designs and things that I wanted to do in there before we ever started.

The room isn't very big; including the closet floor space, it's 10'x9'. Three of the four walls had painted paneling and one was a flat surface. Here is a "before" shot:

After we cleaned it out and removed those gawdawful sliding closet doors, I went to the hardware store and chose a very, very pale pink as the base color, a darker pink for the stripes and diamonds, and a dark brown and a dark pink for polka dots in the new reading nook, for which her Daddy made built-ins for her out of some scrap wood.

After three coats of pale pink (almost white) paint, we had this:

And then came the laying out of the harlequin diamonds, which took a surprisingly long time. I had no idea so much math was involved in it; there's a reason I became an English major. Anyway, while I was at work, my Tommy Lee taped off and painted the diamonds and then painted the stripes on the paneling sections.

I added the polka dots right before we moved in the custom bed her Daddy made for her out of her old crib and some scrap wood and some pink paint and all the bright pink accoutrements.

Here is the "after" shot: a pink princess's dream bedroom.

It's a lot of pink, but she loves it and it fits her personality perfectly. I've since touched up the dark pink paint and ran a little bit and put a second coat of color onto the polka dots, too. Turned out super sweet, I think. :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

What Can You Make With Barbeque Skewers & Dental Floss?

BBQ skewers from the dollar store +
2 rolls of freebie dental floss from the dentist =
I was reading the latest issue of HGTV Magazine on my Nook Sunday morning while watching the Steelers game and saw this decorative spiky ball thing. The article said it was $25 at (though the price today on that link is $29.95). With school back in session and a ton of things to budget for with winter approaching, even that is not in my budget. But I really wanted that spiky, atomic-style ball. And that got me to thinking: how could I make one with stuff I already have? Lightbulb time! BBQ skewers and dental floss!

Crazy, right? I have an old tissue box almost full of sample containers of dental floss that I have collected over the years of taking the kids to the dentist, and I have two packages of BBQ skewers I got at the dollar store, and BBQ skewers tied together a certain way would look an awful lot like that spiky ball thing.

So, Steelers game over (Steelers won in a squeaker!), I grabbed a box of floss and the skewers and set to work. I tied the floss to one skewer right in the middle, and then started twisting the floss around more and more skewers at odd angles until I got this:

But it needed a coat of paint. I had purchased a can of chrome spray paint a couple months ago for another project and had some left, so I spray painted it with that, and the end result of an hour of tinkering with random objects got me this:

It looks great! It shimmers and shines in the light, and it cost me a grand total of $1 to make. Can't complain about that, and it looks AWESOME sitting next to my retro lamps. :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Duct Tape Canister

If you've read my post about making decorator bins out of cereal boxes, you'll know that I am always repurposing stuff. I have had my eye on this cardboard bread crumb canister since I bought it, and I saved a couple of them, but someone threw them away. Anyway, I finished another box of these last night, and decided today - after I had run out of work stuff to do - to do what I was planning.

You see, I had purchased a roll of retro-ish decorator Duck brand duct tape, so I took this...

...and made it into this:

I don't know what I am going to do with it yet, but it looks pretty cool for a five-minute project.