Saturday, March 6, 2010

ALTER ALERT: We've been framed!

After Wednesday's B&A mirror makeover post, I've been thinking about easy ways to revamp a mirror. Anne-Marie took a mirror with an ugly frame and turned it into something unique and interesting. But what if your mirror doesn't even have a frame? What if it's one of those ugly sheets o' glass that's just mounted onto the wall behind your bathroom sink with those plastic clip-things?

A before & after from MirrEdge

Apartment Therapy took a look at MirrEdge, a system for framing those raw edges. AT was skeptical, though, saying that the selection left something to be desired. I have to agree. And also, this is suuuch an easy DIY!

You've got a lot of options for getting your mirror into frame, so to speak. All of it requires very careful measuring, though, so whip out that ol' tape measure, measure all the dimensions of the mirror, and write it down in your neatest handwriting. Once you know what size you're dealing with, you can purchase an art/picture frame, and mount it to the mirror. You could use glue, caulking, or if you're renting, removable adhesive strips like 3M's "command" line. You can use the same mounting techniques on all sorts of different materials. Have crown molding cut to fit your mirror. Use pieces of driftwood or fallen branches for a woodsy look. Or stick up photographs, playing cards, or even paint chips from your last makeover project. Covering those sharp glass edges will give your vanity a finished and more personalized look.

After all, like any other part of your home, you want your vanity mirror to reflect who you are. Uh, okay, I know that mirrors reflect already. But you know what I mean.

Via Apartment Therapy: Los Angeles and MirrEdge.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

B&A: Once Upon a Mirror

We got tipped off to this cool before and after over on Twitter. Anne-Marie of 10 Rooms took a huge and kinda-tacky mirror and turned it into one for the books... literally.

The mirror was a steal at only $38 bucks, but with that pink frame it was hard to figure out what to do with it. (Even the dog looks stumped!) But after gaining inspiration from a friend, Anne-Marie took it out of the basement and got to work.

Using good ol' mod podge, a brush, and the torn-out pages of an old copy of The Swiss Family Robinson (don't go having a heart attack, book lovers -- it's for the greater good!), she got to work decoupaging the frame of the mirror.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's had the coolest makeover of them all? That's right, it's you. The pages have a great look from either near or far. The colors are neutral and the text forms an almost abstract pattern from a distance, while close up you can see the detail ad the beauty of the words.

And so, Anne-Marie and her mirror had a storybook ending of their own, and lived happily every after...

Via 10 Rooms.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Q&A: Overdue Library Makeovers


Hi Jackie!

I was inspired by your before-and-after that took an ordinary dining room and turned it into a personal library. I want to do something unique with my book collection too. Any suggestions?


Thanks! I'm glad you liked our "bookworm's retreat." Kindles and Nooks are pretty awesome, but there's nothing like a big bookcase full of your favorite works. Having a Kindle sitting alone on an empty shelf doesn't exactly have the same effect.

If your library is overdue for a makeover, check out these ideas...

A new bookshelf

I know, duh, this is an obvious one. But when you go bookshelf shopping, you don't have to settle for just another box o' horizontal boards. Here are a few unique shelves:

This bookshelf from Munkii mixes a modern outline with a faux antique silhouette

The StairCASE from Danny Kuo offers lots more vertical storage - plus a way to get up there!

Umbra's popular "conceal" bookshelf makes your books float in the middle of your wall

Add color to the back of the bookshelf

If you're working with shelves with no backing, like the wall-mounted shelves in our "bookworm's retreat" or like IKEA's EXPEDIT, adding color that peeks through from behind your books is easy -- just paint the wall behind it! If you're working with a piece of furniture with a backing, you can always paint, wallpaper, or mount non-traditional covering like wrapping paper or fabric to the back panel of the shelf.

From Apartment Therapy: New York

IKEA also offers BILLY bookcases with built-in patterns

Rearrange your books

Unless you're hardcore about keeping your Dewey Decimal System intact, you can rethink the way you shelve your books. Experiment with stacking them horizontally instead of just vertically, or arrange them by cover color instead of title. It also leads to some interesting shelf-mates. Did you know that the Kama Sutra is just one shade darker than Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban...?

Flickr user chotda's "bookshelf spectrum" is literally a reading rainbow...

While on Apartment Therapy: Los Angeles, they chose to keep things pearly white.

There are as many ways to shake things up as there are "Choose Your Own Adventure" book endings. (DAMN I loved those books!) Even if it's for your collection of trashy romance novels, having a cool and unusual way of displaying them can make your library less stuffy and more fun.