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Ask Curbly: Ladders, Armoires, Curtains and More!

created at: 10/08/2010

Still haven't checked out our Ask a Question forum? What are you waiting for?! It's the perfect place to ask for help with home improvement and decor questions, and you can help others out by offering your own expert (or amateur) advice.

I thought I'd highlight some of the more interesting recent questions from the forum today (please add your answers or suggestions if you have any):

Building a ladder bookcase (how?)

Jellico's wondering how to build a ladder book case, but doesn't know how to get started. Can you help her out?

Ladder book shelf question.

How do I know if I have an original Platner chair?

Lauramae has a wire chair she bought at a rummage sale that looks just like this: 

Platner chair? Help her find out for sure!

How does she tell if it's the real thing?

Putting a flat screen tv in an armoire

Metappana is trying to figure out how to put a flat screen TV into an armoire. Our intern, JillW, provided some good starting ideas, like putting a frame around it: 

Let's give her some more good inspiration on what to do with that shiny new TV!

Curtains: Where? What? Help!

Allison's stumped. She has really tall ceilings and can't seem to find affordable curtains to fit them. Help!

Allison's tall ceilings

How do I organize my room cheap but still retro?

KRartist needs some help finding ways to organize her room without spending much, while maintaining a retro vibe.

That's a nice use for a fireplace! Just don't throw a match in!

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elseajane on Dec 21, 2010:

Retro...Humm...Lets see baskets from the thrift stores in all sizes and shapes will help contain lots. If you don't like the color you can always spray paint them to a more pleasing color that will fit in with your design colors. They can be stacked, used on shelving even attached to the walls as light wieght shelves. Or how about old fruit crates, (these are my favorites) you can often find them free or really cheap at the grocery stores. atain them paint them, leave them alone the possiablities are endless. Last but not least storage from the dollar store (dollar tree; 99 cent, you know). I know the colors are bright and the style is juvinel but if you rough them up with a little sandpaper then attack them with spray paint or use scrapbooking paper or anything... paper , fabric, anything that you like and decopage them they will look great and their sooooo cheap it's hard to go wrong. Well now that I've weighed in come on folks I know there are lots of great ideas out there, let's hear them... and while we're at it... Suitcase chair...soaking tub...Hummm...Please?!?


elseajane on Dec 21, 2010:

I can't help with either the chair or the flat screen but the curtains there are several things you could use starting with sheets. Plain flat sheets in what ever color you want, join them together at the "head" and Foot" of the sets and you have endless length, then to dress them up nicely you can add qa decorative trim at the seam, even inset a different color strip that would pick up your accent colors in the home. Heck, they even have their own built in casings and hems! The second choice would be inexpensive fabric like Burlap for a great texture or plain Muslin. If you have a coupon for forty or fifty percent off from a fabric store you can buy the whole bolt using it. As long as the associate doesn't have to cut anything it is one item and the coupons will apply. That should take the muslin down to way under a dollar a yard, I don't know about the burlap it's been a while sence I've priced it. Good luck I hope some of this helps. 


elseajane on Dec 21, 2010:

OK I have a couple of questions up myself...but here goes my 2 cents on some of these. I love the ladder book shelf. I would use small "L" brackets to secure the ladder to the wall. First I would make sure the ladder was in good shape (all the rungs attached to the uprights) then hit those brackets with a touch of flat black spray paint so the blend well using them on the inside of the top rail and out side of the bottom rail and be sure they fin a stud it ought to work well and hold any books you could think of.


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