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Apartment Therapy, My Bedroom Retreat Contest

Rob's Eclectic & Vibrant Bedroom

The folks over at Apartment Therapy are holding a bedroom design contest and our entry was chosen to be part of the competition. I need to give a shout out to the Twin Cities Ikea store and specifically, a designer named Raven. Her room is what inspired our overall look. Go take a look at the entries and vote on your favorite here. To vote, (You have to have be registered with Apartment Therapy) just click on the room you like and scroll down and click the favorite button on the right side.  The initial round of selecting favorites will close on 4/1 and the top four entries with the most votes move on as finalists. The final round of voting to select the winner, will open on 4/2 and close on 4/3.

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Houston, We Have Contact!

I’ve touted the benefits and alternate uses of contact paper as being great for more than just lining the shelves of your cabinets in another post but thought I would share some other ideas that I’ve dreamed up. Contact paper is great because its non-committal. You can change your mind anytime and rip it down. It’s the perfect material for folks who like to change it up a lot or who live in an apartment and can’t paint. I also love that the process is as easy as peel and stick. Plus, imagine trying to get the same sharp lines if you were using paint and tape. Not possible! The best thing is that you can buy it at the Home Depot or  in most home decor stores. Here’s a gallery of a few projects I’ve done recently. I’ll spare you the play-by-play but if you have questions just ask.

1) A STRIPE FOR INTEREST: Adding this stripe behind the TV makes it appear larger and creates a more visually interesting focal point than the TV on the wall just chillin’ by itself.

Contact Paper Stripe

2) RISER DECORATION: I had seen this idea before but like it more using contact paper because it can be changed at anytime and required half the amount of time it would have taken to tape and paint. Every other riser gives your eyes a little bit of a break. I mounted LEDs under the stair rail to illuminate the stairs at night.

Chevron Stair Risers Using Contact Paper

3) BACKSPLASH: This was the perfect material to cover up an ugly backsplash that will eventually be replaced anyway. The pattern hides any indication of texture behind it and its as easier or easier to clean than tile.

Contact Paper Backsplash

4) WALLPAPER: Since this tiny hallway had tons of trim and tiny spaces to fill the contact paper was the perfect choice. Imagine how long this would have taken if you were taping and painting!

Contact Paper as Wallpaper

Hope you enjoyed! As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Easy iPad Control Center

The iPad is a great tool to have in the kitchen for having recipes handy or just listening to music. We wanted it out out of the way but within reach so mounting it on the wall seemed like the most logical solution. Also, wall mounting it meant we could use it as a digital picture frame. Since we didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on a fancy device we decided to just make our own. We used a left over piece of 3/4″ X 3/4″ trim and another piece of moulding with a lip so the iPad wouldn’t slide off.

A few screws and wood glue were all that was needed. We finished it off with a coat of paint to match the wall. Easy.

Here’s the final product.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Inexpensive, Easy, Great Looking Headboard

While sprucing up the guest bedroom I was looking for a quick, easy, cheap and great looking headboard idea. I didn’t find any inspiration online that I wanted to execute on but I did find a box of click together, glueless laminate flooring in the basement that the previous home owners left behind and knew it would work perfectly for what I needed.

For a double bed it only took 8 pieces, about half of the box and no glue, nails or cutting. I literally just snapped the pieces together. The whole headboard rests on the floor and is held in place by the weight of the bed. For more depth and a little something extra I added 1″ X 1″ ledger boards on the back and threw an extra set of Ikea LEDs behind it for night-time ambiance. You could also mount it higher on the wall on a ledger board for a more dramatic look.

You can purchase this product or similar products at most home improvement stores and I found the same product at Home Depot for $22 a box. Cheap, quick and great looking. My kind of project. Here is the final product.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Junk In The Trunk

Who couldn’t use more storage? I know I could. Here’s one more way to hide your junk so no one can judge just how much unnecessary shit you have. This is my favorite kind of project… free and functional. I found this old steamer trunk in the alley. Its pretty beat up but I like that it has so much character. It’s  a little rusty…real worn.

It looks like it’s been around the world and quite literally, I think it has. On the inside of the trunk an envelope is taped to the lid. It says the trunk was sent from Saudi Arabia to Lexington Kentucky. No, the phone number doesn’t work. I tried.

There is also a fascinating little label on the outside of the trunk. “Life and Death. Questions for us all.” I can only imagine what kind of things this trunk used to contain.

To hang the trunk on the wall I used a support to position it where I wanted before attaching it to the wall. I think it was a shoe box or something. Anyway, anything will work to hold it up while you fasten it to the wall. I just used drywall screws. Depending on how heavy your trunk is and what you plan to stuff inside you might want to use anchors. That’s probably a good idea actually. Although, I like breaking the rules…which I will probably pay for when it comes crashing down in the middle of the night and I think a robber is trying to break in. Anyway, here is the final product.

Hope you enjoyed. As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Infinity and Beyond

So its a been a while since my last post. Sorry about that. I’ve been multitasking the shit out of life but trying to reign my focus back in. I love the idea of chalkboard art since its infinitely changeable. You get tired of looking at it, you wipe it down and put something else up. Never did I realize how challenging it would be to choose the content of the art. Somehow, staring into the face of a blank, black canvas is even more daunting than a white one. Anyway, other than that, this project is super simple. I started with three sheets of 24″ X 48″ melamine, 1/8″ thick. They run about $3.50 per sheet. I also picked up three cans of chalkboard spray paint, about $4.50 a can. Here’s what they look like.

I chose to skip the primer part that the can always recommends. It’s fine. I like breaking rules. So I sprayed these suckers down, two coats each and then clamped them together and drilled holes in all 4 corners. If you go with a thicker melamine it won’t be so subject to bending but that’s easily solved with nails in the lower corners of the boards too. I finally bought a level so if you think these are crooked, you’re wrong.

I chose to hang them above my bed as a pseudo headboard. Bold, I know, since the black makes this beast look pretty massive. I had intended to give them a little breathing room but the width of the three panels combined turns out to be exactly the width of a queen size bed. Go figure. Here’s where shit got real tricky. I will leave out the details of the first and second attempts at various content for the blackboard and skip straight to the final product. Oh the magic of the internet. I settled on a quote I had seen a while back on the back of a shirt that I really loved and hadn’t yet found a good use for…until now. “MY IMAGINATION MAKES ME INFINITE” TYPING IN ALL CAPS MAKES ME FEEL IMPORTANT. Here’s the final product.

I skipped over all the boring images of taping the boards off but basically I laid the type out on the computer and then transferred the measurements over to the full size boards using masking tape to lay out each word block. Its easier than it sounds just takes a little measuring. Here’s another view.

I like this quote because after all, isn’t the whole point of art to inspire? I figured this would be something that I could look at every day and feel inspired by… at least for now. I’m sure my graphic design cohorts will say to themselves that the kerning isn’t exact and for me this was a big exercise in excepting non perfection. But, isn’t the charm of handset type that it’s not perfect? We’re just so used to seeing it on the computer where you can dial it in to the millimeter. Here’s the final, romantic, night time shot.

Hope you enjoyed. As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Getting Hounded

When I started considering how I wanted to spruce up my living room I knew I wanted something bold. Given that I rent and I don’t like painting, I wanted something that would be easy to put up and take down. I found some faux leather contact paper at Home Depot and started brainstorming.

What I settled on was an overscale houndstooth pattern. I pulled a pattern that I found online and took it first into photoshop and then into illustrator to isolate it

With the pattern now isolated and vectorized I pulled into an 11″X17″ document since I knew this was about the scale I wanted one of the single “teeth”. Next I printed out the pattern and spray mounted it to a piece of cardboard and cut it out.

The beauty of this pattern is that each piece fits into itself. So the front of each “tooth” fits into the end of the one in front of it when you’re cutting out them out. This makes cutting out all these shapes much easier. You can also just cut one long strip of contact paper the width of the pattern so it really saves time.

Once you’ve got a suitable amount of “teeth” cut out its time to stick em to the wall. I started in the top left corner and worked my way across the top first and then down. Its tricky with older walls as they typically aren’t plumb or level so sometimes eyeballing it to compensate works well. In this case, it had to since I didn’t have a level or a chalk line. To make this step easier I would recommend using either one of those tools or both. Here is the finished product.

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