Thursday, July 21, 2011

Steel this look.

No-that's not a spelling error in the title.  I'm talking about galvanized steel-  Gorgeous, industrial and versatile galvanized steel.  About a week ago, I noticed a huge piece of metal hanging out in the rafters of our garage, and not wanting such a fabulous found piece to go to waste,  I dragged it down and inspected it. Turns out it was the perfect size for an outdoor dining table that we badly needed (okay, I badly wanted).  There's not much to it, but I'll take you through step-by-step to the final glorious product.  And I did it all for under $100!

Step 1: Drag enormous piece of steel down from garage rafters...or find some....or buy some.

Step 2: Clean it up and cover it with industrial strength adhesive.

Step 3: Have a piece of plywood cut to size at a place like Home Depot.  I went with 3/4" as this is a sizable table and it needed the support.  Drop that ply on top of the steel with the help of a friend or loved one, or in my case struggle through doing it alone.

Step 4: Weigh it down with something heavy, like the multitude of stones I dug up during a recent landscaping project.  Let it set for at least 2 hours.

Step 5: Screw in the legs of your choosing.  I went with galvanized steel sawhorses that I got for $17 each at Home Depot.  They have the added benefit of folding into themselves for ease of transport later on.  Remember to consider where you or your guest legs will fall under the table-position the legs accordingly.

Step 6: Flip the table over and carry or drag it to the spot of your choosing.  Get someone to help you with this...that or just hoist it onto a couple of flower pot bases with wheels and push it to your destination.  No seriously, get someone to help you with this.  I just happened to not have my boyfriend around at the time and wanted to get it done.  See the result of this act of impatience in the photo below. (I know you're impressed, I was too.)

Step 7: Do a little dance and high five your dog (true story-thanks for your support Morris), or whoever is around, because you just made an awesome table for under $100.

Now I just need the perfect chairs to complete the look...Next post!

Friday, July 15, 2011

chalkboard fun for adults.

This isn't the most original concept in the world, but I've been wanting a chalkboard wall for a long time now, and I finally did it!  My plan is to have guests leave notes when they come over, as well as putting up funny quotes that are said in the house.  You'll note that the hook the chalk is hanging on says "Budlong Pickle Co", and it's from Chicago-fun fact.  If you're wondering about that smart looking red/white striped string around the chalk, I took it off a paper wrapped sandwich in Brooklyn, but you can actually buy it at Paper Source.

You may have noticed the ugly oak trim-rest assured I am working on painting it white.  Our house was built in 1910 and the trim is original, but it's not in great shape, and it just doesn't play nicely with the killer grey wall color.  I'll post more photos once we've had a few folks fill up the wall and the trim is painted!

Friday, June 24, 2011

(Almost) Wireless.

Blu Dot Juice Box Digital Dock
In reference to item #11 on the post below.  Here's an option to keep those pesky cords at matter what the cost.  I like the walnut and the clean boxy-ness.  You can find this puppy on Design Public by Blu Dot for $99

35 Apartment Tips from a 25-Year Old Man (My Brother)

This excellent blog post was written by my 25-year old younger brother.  Those older than 25 also need to take note...hell, I need to take note. Who knew Bose speaker systems weren't okay anymore?  

Time to go shopping!  

1. Your apartment is a set. Always be prepared for it to be photographed and shared via social networks.
2. The best question ever asked is, “who is this song by?” Never forget the importance of a well cultivated playlist.
3. Anything you set out in your apartment will be judged. Do you really want to be known for having old j. crew catalogs sitting on your coffee table?
4. Cheap magazines equate a lack of taste and hygiene. If you do need to purchase a sports illustrated, make sure it is thrown away before the pages begin to curl.
5. DVDs, more than anything else, date you. Don’t let your high school film dalliances color the way acquaintances view you.
6. It’s obvious when you’ve bought a coffee table book, for that reason have an explanation ready for every book and be sure to have at least 4 on the table at all times
7. 1 coffee table book is an afterthought, 4 means you spent time curating the look
8. Don’t ever allow your television to dominate a room. 
9. For that matter, make sure your television is tasteful in its proportions. No one is impressed by a 52” television playing ESPN.  No one is impressed by a 52” TV period.
10. By a weekend edition Financial Times. And leave it out. When friends come over on Saturday, you immediately hold the intellectual upper hand.
11. Hide your cords. No matter the cost.
12. Your bathroom is one of the most viewed rooms in your apartment. Remember, your friends spend a minute alone in there with only your toiletries, and shower curtain to look at.
13. A dirty bathroom, means a dirty person.
14. Head and shoulders is a nice way to prove your nonchalant manliness, but please, close the cap.
15. If you must drink Bud Light, do it at the bar. In your refrigerator should only be high quality six packs. Removed from the box. Lined up straight.
16. Dust your apartment regularly. People notice and appreciate spotless windowsills.
17. The Bose iPod Speaker system is ugly. I don’t care how convenient it is.
18. A white wall is better than a white wall with a movie poster on it.
19. If you must put up a poster. Wait, check that. Never put up a poster.
20. Artwork is difficult for a reason. Be prepared to wait until you find the perfect piece. And then buy it at whatever cost.
21. A cheap chef’s knife immediately destroys any culinary credibility.
22. Would you ever fill up that goblet of a wine glass? No. So why do you own it? All wine glasses should be of a size that fits a formal dinner.
23. You’ve graduated college, it’s time to buy a nice flatware set.
24. You’ve graduated college part 2, please throw away all plastic cups. That’s not nostalgia you feel, it’s complacency. And above all, they make every drink taste bad.
25. Make your bed.
26. Change your sheets weekly.
27. Change your towels weekly.
28. Always have fresh hand towels available. Otherwise people will seek out your personal towel to dry their hands. Do you want to dry off in that the next morning?
29. Don’t ever let yourself depend on computer speakers. It proves you aren’t prepared to host.
30. Keep fresh fruit on hand at all times.
31. Plastic bottled water is bad for the environment. If you must, be sure it’s glass bottled water, and be sure it’s sparkling.
32. It was expected that you would graduate from college. Keep your diploma in a safe place. Away from your guests eyes.
33. Your book shelf will start most of your interesting conversations. Don’t let it get uninteresting.
34. Cut the chord. Control your media intake. People will appreciate the seriousness with which you choose programming.
35. Don’t be afraid to grow plants in your house. They add life and people assume you are responsible. Aren’t you responsible?