Friday, May 7, 2010

ALTER Alert: Design Blahg

Dreamy pictures of perfectly cut and arranged hydrangea in a mason jar... Pixie-like waifs in soft focus walking through a sun-dappled flower garden... Delicious and good-for-you raw food vegan dinners with just-right garnishes... Perfectly manicured toes in the latest adorable peep-toe shoes...

Fuck all that.

You know I'm a design blog addict, but seriously, sometimes this aspirational "I'm living in an Anthropologie catalogue" is just too much! Who lives like that? Not me! Right now my Xbox cords are all over my living room, there are dirty dishes in my sink, and I took a nap with makeup on so I'm pretty sure I have eyeliner over half my face.

For a refreshing spin on the design world, check out Design Blahg. These are chicks after my own heart: potty-mouthed, cynical, and hilarious.

The new kid on the block, Design Blahg is the creation of Erica Reitman, whose previous endeavors have included Dear Famous Asshole and Fucked in Park Slope. (TOLD YOU she's potty-mouthed.) She's like a lot of us: no formal training in interior design, but a great enthusiasm for it. (She claims to own every issue of Domino, ever.)

Other contributors are Anna Goldfarb and Greg Reitman (Erica's husband). You have to check out Anna's recurring "Things In His House That Make Me Sad" articles -- any lady who's gone to a dude's house for the first time and seen his... "unfortunate" design choices will feel me on this.

Other posts include snarky reviews of home good catalogues, rants about Apartment Therapy's Smallest, Coolest contest, and raves over the new Bravo show "9 By Design."

Sure, the other "decornographers" of those glam design blogs can bake a pretty cupcake, but I sure as hell know who I'd rather get a drink with.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

B&A: "Custom"-Made by IKEA

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I'm a fan of IKEA, and especially of hacking IKEA furniture. If you didn't already know that: I'm a fan of IKEA and especially of hacking IKEA furniture. Now you know.

Some IKEA hacks are about functionality and repurposing. Others are about style. And today, do I ever have a stylish makeover for you.

Lindsay from the Aubrey and Lindsay blog (which is a great read overall, BTW), posted her how-to on how to take a dull RAST three-drawer chest and completely change its look.

Here're the raw materials...

And after a lil' elbow grease and brow sweat, here's the "after"...

Modern, clean, classy, and utterly unrecognizable as IKEA. Because no matter how much you love that Swedish furniture giant, it's kind of a bummer to have the same piece as everyone else. With a little paint, new hardware, and imagination, you can take that same mass-produced piece and turn it into something unique to you. You'll also get to have fun watching peoples' jaws drop as they ask you where you got it, and you tell them IKEA...

Via Apartment Therapy and Aubrey and Lindsay.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Q&A: Yep, There's An App For That

Dear Jackie,

I'm one of those gals who would be totally lost without my iPhone. It's in my hand so much it might as well me surgically attached to my palm! I use it for everything, and I'd like to use it for my home renovation projects. Got any tips?

Steve Jobs Fangirl

Dear Fangirl,

Yep, there's an app for that. Actually, there are a LOT of apps for that -- if by "that" you mean design projects! The Apple iPhone App Store is full of thousands of apps for just about everything imaginable, and design is no exception.

My favorites are the color applications by Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Pantone. All offer variations of the same thing: select colors within photos you have stored on your phone or that you take with your phone's built-in camera, match the color to a paint offered by the manufacturer, and find coordinating colors with a flick of your finger.

Here's a demonstration of the Benjamin Moore app. It's pretty sweet.

In addition to the color apps, there are apps to help with other aspects of your design projects. iHandyLevel is a level that you could use to hang a picture in a pinch, and the IKAPP from IKEA can help you plan your whole house using the Swedish giant's wares.

All I ask is that you be careful when you're doing an at-home DIY project with your iPhone nearby. If you're not careful, you could accidentally glue your iPhone to your hand for real!

Via Apartment Therapy.