Monday, August 17, 2009

Decorating Therapy

I used to wonder why the heck my mother was always rearranging things in our house. Every so often she'd call one or all of us to hold a picture frame in place while she stood back and assessed. Occasionally she'd ask us for our opinions on a new picture frame/candlestick/knickknack arrangement. The last time I was home she had purchased something new (a lamp, wasn't it?) and was waiting patiently for my father to notice.

Now I get it. Here's what I did between Friday and Saturday night:

The bedroom before. I was in the middle of rearranging the closet when I decided to give up. Those metal shelves are cumbersome and heavy.
This is what happened to the living room in the process of cleaning the closet. I have no excuses.
The closet after.
Yes, yes, I know. It's amazing. The dresses are only on the wall because the rod in the closet kept falling down and I had to lighten the load. Turns out that all but one of my dresses are black/gray or green. That big wood thing is the table which my desk replaced. I will ditch it someday. I will. I must.
Sure, it doesn't look all that much better, but see how I moved one of the shelves to the living room? When I move back into my bedroom/rabbit room I will put the futon in there, but I need to figure out better storage for it. Some of that mess is my purging of unnecessary items. I'd put up what it looked like this morning, but I moved another set of metal shelves to the patio. Ergo, the mess from the shelves is now the mess on the couch, and I was focusing on cleaning up the porch outside. Baby steps.

Also, I had mentioned in this post that my kotatsu and chair projects had been ruined by the rain. The kotatsu, at least is no longer an orange green monstrosity. Look under the television on the left and you will see a white and green monstrosity. Progress like a boss.

My first Ikea. I found this "Rimfrost" chandelier at the thrift store on Friday after work. I had intended to purchase a light fixture to replacing the glaring fluorescents. I know that good decorating means less reliance on overhead lighting, but I have limited electrical outlets and even less space.

I had posted pictures of the fixtures I was eyeing here. The triangular one would have worked nicely in the genkan (entryway) and the round one would go in the living room. 4,800 yen would have made me the proud owner of a cool living room light. I didn't have the funds to buy that and have Italian with a friend the next day, so I perused the aisles. Kim and Paulette were also cruising for good second-hand finds, and thanks to Paulette's interest in lighting we noticed the boxed lights. Things in boxes, not on display, but still with price tags. I saw the Ikea name on the outside.

Cheap and easy Ikea! Huzzah! Enter the happy dance. For only 2,000 yen I was able to snag the chandelier and the necessary light kit to add a little kitschy class. I wanted to put it in the living room, but it's not a dimmer light. The ceiling lights in the bedroom and living room don't have switches, so any fixture has to have a pull cord. Kitschy class got moved to my kitchen. The kitchen light is now in the bedroom, the bedroom light is in the living room, and you can see the living room light one the floor. Your thoughts.
This is actually an older project, but I finally took a decent picture. This is a repainted, recovered chair. It wasn't a stellar job, but it was the first time that I had used spray paint on wood. Also, I screwed up and accidentally got water-based paint. Not a good idea when I have to paint outside during rainy season. Thanks, Matt Farrell, for pointing out my kanji misreading. You saved my sanity.

The BOE doesn't seem to care about how many color pictures I print. Maybe they don't care like printing pictures is me singing Journey, while making too many copies on the wrong copier is me singing Dionne Warwick. If you don't get the reference, watch the first video of the previous post. Either way, I have hated the color and weird texture of my walls since I noticed it. I can't paint, can't wallpaper, and the walls are too bumpy to throw up one of them newfangled decals. Inspiration struck while at work, and I turned the above into…

wait for it…

This is the cheapest DIY wallpaper ever. I covered this entire door with free materials, including the owls in the middle from IndieFixx's free art download. The room already brighter. I plan on covering the living room's entire south wall in this manner (though with fewer pictures). How do you feel about it? Is it tacky? Too cheap? Fun? Trying to hard? The best thing you've ever seen in your life? It was an experiment. I'd love to read opinions.

Tell everyone you know—there is such a thing as free, easily installed and easily removable wallpaper. Let me know if you want step-by-step instructions. I documented the whole process. I can rip it all down in a minute flat. Or I can make another in an hour. I can also show you what the chair looked like in its super-ugly days. Then you can tell me, "Naw, Laurel, the new version doesn't look that bad." Up to you, blog readers.

Last home update is my genkan light shade. Double-sided tape and a cloth placemat. Czech it out. That's not a typo. It's a little jacked up because it's actually too short to fit all the way around the bulb without touching it. I get paid on Friday. I'll show you what it looks like when I have two placemats* with which to work.

I have DIY fever! Stop me before it gets out of control!

Last note: I have two-day ALT orientation coming up tomorrow and Wednesday. I may or may not end up eating out with new JETs after the boring times. On Wednesday I'll go to a friend's for dinner after calligraphy. I've been trying to post more frequently, but it'll likely be on hold for the next couple of days. Email and Facebook, too, will suffer. Blech. Orientations. For my reaction to last year's orientation click here. We'll see how it changes the second time around.

*Spellcheck tells me that there is no such thing as the plural of "placemat." It first offers "placenta" as a replacement for the misspelt "placemats." I refuse.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, why WOULDN'T you use a placenta to cover a light bulb? That's the ultimate in DIY decorating. Homey. I love the "Rimfrost" chandelier. I'm mad impressed with your skills on all DIY fronts. When it's time to buy a house you're going to end up buying a fixer-upper and doing everything yourself. I will bring you Sonic and read gossip mags while you work. Also like the wallpaper. Why not? I can't get the full effect from the picture, but I'm guessing it makes the apt more homey and comforting. Bumpy walls ruin those effects. Me likey. bye bye.