Saturday, February 20, 2010

ALTER Alert: Rakku Shoe Wheel

I know we all watched Lindsay Lohan on The Insider, admitting she's a hoarder. (No, hoarDER. Yes, it sounds like something else. Yes, she's one of those, too.) Boxes of shoes were piled everywhere completely haphazardly; if there was an earthquake she'd probably die buried under a pile of Manolos.

If Lindsay's shoe problem reminds you of your own, there's still hope for you -- and you don't even need an intervention from Neicy Nash. Rakku Designs has a really cool shoe storage solution: the Shoe Wheel. It's like an amusement park ride for your stilettos!

There are twenty expandable pockets that can hold up to 30 pairs of shoes (depending on the size, of course -- don't try and squish your McQueen lobster claw heels in here!). Once your shoes are locked n' loaded, you can turn the wheel to browse your collection.

It looks a little like a mini Price is Right wheel, and even though you may not win the showcase showdown after spinning this baby, at least the price of the Rakku wheel is right: $65 for the full wheel, and only $35.00 for the half-wheel "Shoe Pod."

It's cheap, gets around, and loves shoes. Just like Lindsay.

Via Rakku Designs (and Jezebel, too).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

B&A: Bookworm's retreat

To say that Caroline is a bookworm would be a gross understatement. She's a voracious reader who doesn't just read books, but practically devours them.

Her home in Los Angeles is adorable and full of beautiful pieces, but it lacked a punch of color, needed a bit of organizing, and of course, needed a place to put her library!


We ALTERed her dining room by first painting the walls an eye-popping shade of fuchsia. It's a risky color, but also fun and unexpected. And with the wall-mounted shelves and artfully arranged books, it toned down the color so that it peeks out playfully behind the volumes.


The furniture was rearranged, and the shelves helped contain the remaining clutter. A funky patterned tablecloth over the table, and voila! You would never be able to tell that this bright, energetic library was the same room as the white-walled one above.

Caroline's place really speaks to the importance of knowing yourself before you undertake any [re]design project. You have to consider what function the room needs to perform, and once you've got your "need" out of the way, you've got to think about your "wants!" Caroline needed a place to store her books, but wanted a colorful and vibrant room for them.

Don't forget: your home is all about you, baby!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Q&A: Climbing the Walls

Hi Jackie!

I just moved into my new place and the bare white walls are making me feel like I live in a mental institution. What are my cheap art options? I don't want to buy the same IKEA or Bed, Bath & Beyond prints everyone else has -- then I WILL end up in a mental ward!

It's a good thing we got to you in time; padded walls may be fun to bounce off of, but it's hell trying to hang a picture through all that cushioning.

Finding unique art on a budget is totally easy. Here are some things you can try:

If you're not talented enough to pick up a brush, hopefully you're still capable of picking up your computer's mouse, 'cause that's all you need. You can upload your own photos to services like Shutterfly, which allow you to order prints and frame them with a few clicks and a credit card. There's also Etsy and DeviantArt, which allow independent artists to put their work up for sale online. The range of artistic styles and subjects are infinite. Whether you want a pretty picture of flowers in a field, or if you want a picture of naked ladies doing things that are illegal several states, you can find it.

If you're feeling creative but know that your artistic skills won't support an entire work of art on their own, do like you did on a high school math test: cheat.

Go to a thrift store, flea market, or garage sale, and pick up a painting you kinda like. You don't have to love it, but it has to have potential in your eyes. Then break out the markers and paints and draw over the existing work. Maybe that floral still life would fit your tastes better if you added your favorite flower. Maybe that oil portrait of someone's grandma would look better if she had a martini and ciggie in her hand. Maybe that dashing man on horseback would be sexier if he had Clive Owen's face on that body. If anyone asks, say that you were inspired by British artist Banksy. Clearly, he knew that a battle scene would be way cooler if there were aliens shooting people with laser beams.

Finally, just remember that if you can hang it on a wall, it can be art. Seriously. Try it. Pick ANYTHING and display it on the wall; if you've got more than one of the item, so much the better.

Try a board game...

Or a dress you don't wear but can't bear to part with...

Or flash cards if you still need help with the alphabet.

So there you go! Hopefully these ideas will get you started and keep the men in lab coats from coming for you...

Via Shutterfly, Etsy, DeviantArt, Art of the State, Lifehacker, and Apartment Therapy.