Friday, May 14, 2010

ALTER Alert: Franken-rugs

It's alive! ALIVE! Bwa ha ha ha haaa!

Okay, it's not really alive. It's a rug.

But like Dr. Frankenstein's famous creation, these rugs are sewn-together "mash-ups" that are completely unique. And unlike Frankenstein's monster, you don't need the electricity from a lightning strike to make one.

This easy DIY project helps you create a custom-sized rug whereever you need it. Simply take several smaller rugs (flat-woven rugs work best for this project) and sew them together. You could go for a seamless look, using matching rugs and matching thread, or, like the picture below, matching rugs with contrasting thread that creates s simple geometric pattern.

From Apartment Therapy: Chicago

Or you could go completely mad! Mad, I tell you! Mad! Bwa ha ha ha haaa!

Uh, sorry. I just really like that mad scientist evil laugh.

Anyway, you can also sew together mismatched rugs, bringing in different colors and patterns. Your finished product doesn't even have to be a rectangle, as shown by this rug, which was featured on CasaSugar (go to the link for more pics).

It's the best kind of DIY project: easy, cheap, and allows for infinite kinds of customization. You'll also be in good company. After all, Dr. Frankenstein was kind of the ultimate do-it-yourself-er.

Via CasaSugar and Apartment Therapy: Chicago.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

B&A: Judging panels

Wood paneling gets a pretty bad rap, and deservedly so. It calls to mind tacky family rooms and dens from the 70s and 80s, the kind with shag carpet and an avocado-and-orange color scheme. There's also something kind of creepy and porn-y about it. When I think about a dude who lives in a home with wood paneling, I imagine that he also drives a windowless van with a crappy paint job and tries to pick up high school girls by telling them he's a photographer and would love to shoot them in his "studio." Ick.

But Design*Sponge featured a room makeover by Frugal Farmhouse Design that transformed a dark and out-of-date enclosed porch, complete with wood panelling, into a bright and breezy place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.

All it takes is some primer n' white paint, and voila! A room that wouldn't look out of place at Camp Crystal Lake now has a breezy, Hamptons-y vibe. Far from being boring, the monochromatic color scheme is natural and relaxing. The look is especially fitting for a beach house; one thinks of bleached driftwood when looking at the rustic room. Even the vintage-industrial pendant lamp, with its brushed-metal finish, calls to mind a bucket used to make sand castles.

Notice how every surface -- walls, floor, ceiling -- were painted over with a lighter color. Now, even on a foggy morning the sun's light can be reflected throughout the room, making it feel open and spacious.

The room in the "after" pic looks like a place where you'd inhale the smell of the ocean and the fragrance of lavender when you breathed in. The wood-paneled version is a little more Axe body spray and stale beer. I know where I'd like to spend my vacation -- and it ain't in the den of a skeevy, aging hipster.

Via Design*Sponge and Frugal Farmhouse Designs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Climbing the Walls, Part Deux!

Time to revisit one of my favorite posts: creating your own unique wall decor! We've already covered some ways you can add on-the-cheap, DIY art to your walls, but there's no rest for the weary -- there are new and awesome ideas popping up all the time! The creativity of other designers, bloggers, and even everyday Joe-and-Jane Schmoes never ceases to amaze me. I love the feeling of amazement and "OMG, why didn't I think of that?!?" when I see simple but ingenious projects like these. Coffee filters! Who'da thunk?

Shelterpop's got a great article on "atypical wall art," about taking everyday items and turning it into something chic for your home. From styrofoam food containers to bundt cake pans, these mundane items become works of art through the use of repetition, variation, and arrangement.

And of course, you can do this yourself with just about anything. You just need a few key elements: multiples of the same item that vary slightly from each other, and a pre-planned arrangement in a distinct pattern. Gather up your collection, make a few sketches as to how you want it displayed, and get to work on your wall! In the end, you'll have an installation that's visually arresting, and totally unique to you.

And here's a challenge to you readers out there in blog-land: send in pictures of your own collections! Show off your clever arrangements, or let us help you come up with one! You can become a fan of Alter here on Facebook, and you can send a Tweet my way at @altermyplace!

Via Shelterpop.