There's something about the look of watercolors that has always intrigued me, and I've been wanting to add that blended colorful look in my home for a long time. Well, I finally found my chance! With a simple tie dye kit, I updated my bedroom pillowcases to look like a watercolor canvas! Not only did it take less than 30 minutes, it came out light and blended just like I wanted for my decor. Incorporate your favorite colors to make a simple DIY pillowcase with faux watercolors that match your decor!
Are you familiar with the Rorschach Test? It's the psychological exam where you look at ink blots and say what you see. Depending on how you interpret the ink, you receive a different diagnosis of your psyche. Now, I'm not a psychiatrist by any means, but I do know a DIY opportunity when I see one. Whether or not you interpret the shapes as a bear, or as the face of your mother, throw a little color in there and we've got ourselves a project. These ink blot pillows are easy enough for anyone to make, and each result is different!
Attractive, large area rugs can be hard to find... and even more difficult to find at an affordable price. Often, the two do not come hand in hand. They do exist, you just have to do a little searching. But lucky for you, we've done all the detective work for you... today we're sharing 25 cheap large area rugs that you'll actually want to put in your home.
Everybody loves IKEA, right? The simplicity of the designs, plus the sense of accomplishment from putting furniture together yourself... this combo makes IKEA a standard go-to when shopping for the home. There are lots of ways to hack IKEA furniture - however, would you like to customize these basic designs to set you apart from the thousands of other people that have the same piece? Turns out, it's a pretty easy transformation to make. Today we're taking a look at how easy it is to upgrade your IKEA furniture, thanks to Norse Interiors' system. You can style up a wide variety of IKEA furniture using prefab cabinet designs and knobs. Everybody will be asking, “Where did you get that?"
It's tempting to think of minimalism as a "must do" trend. There's been so much chatter online, in books, and on podcasts about it lately - it's seemingly on everyone's mind. Minimalism is getting maximum exposure! For those new to the concept, it's also all too easy to peek at any of that material and feel immediately overwhelmed.
Ironically, it's that overwhelming feeling that is usually what starts people down this path AND is the leading cause of falling right back off.
So, let's approach this differently. Instead of worrying about what minimalism means "out there," or feeling like we need to adapt an all-or-nothing mentality to get on board, let's try just dipping a toe in and testing the waters. Feels good, right?
First, surround yourself with the vibe.
Enjoy some time learning a bit about what minimalism really represents and looks like in real life. It's not solely about stark, sleek interiors or capsule wardrobes. No one's ever accused me of living a minimalist lifestyle, but there is something in the vibe itself that speaks to me: it's about keeping things essential. (Between you and me, that's the word I tend do use when I'm trying on aspects of minimalism, like one might try on a new outfit.)
Scan the blogs, get lost in the gorgeous books, check out a few pins, and maybe listen to a podcast or TedTalk. Gather up your ideas about what minimalism could look like in your life, and see what the common themes are. Feel where this hits you - what pain point does this research bring up? Forget what everyone's saying you should do.
Next, pick ONE thing.
Yep, this is where you already start practicing what you’re going to preach. Instead of trying to boil the ocean of lifestyle areas that need tweaking, identify the one thing that will 1) impact your life in a meaningful way, and 2) give you a quick win. There's nothing like momentum and success to keep us on the path when trying to make a shift.
Is your pain point a cramped closet, cluttered desk, chaotic mealtime, or an over-scheduled calendar, perhaps? Then, start right there. Don't fall into the trap that minimalism is an on and off switch; you can use the dimmer.
So, if your closet has lost its mind and you've not worn half that stuff for eons, then envision what a capsule wardrobe might look like, and start putting together a "draft" version for yourself. Apply a little Marie Kondo, and strip out the things that don't bring you joy or inspiration. And get real if things are damaged, out of size, or otherwise unwearable now. You're living now, so prioritize the things that support your life today.
Give technology a good, hard, side-eye squinty look.
Tech can be your best friend or your kryptonite as you approach minimalism. Use it for good, friends.
Try these ideas:
- Go as paperless as you can. It's 2018, let's do this.
Take breaks from social media & the relentless news cycle. The stress of keeping up often fuels the behaviors that got us into the maximalist, over-spending, stuff-collecting groove to begin with.
Lean on apps & digital services that can make your life easier. Struggling with mealtime decisions or spending too much money on take out? It's not a sign of defeat to pay someone else to do the meal planning; subscription services like Project Vibrancy Meals (pictured above) can do the heavy lifting for you. Or if money management is one of your Achilles-level pain points, apps like You Need A Budget can be a game changer.
Learn about minimalism, essentialism, and other related practices on podcasts and blogs online. The Minimalists is one of my favorites.Bonus points: Try a challenge! Most of the minimalist & simple living blogs offer jump-starts by way of simple challenges. Just remember to keep yours focused on your ONE thing and don't overdo it.
Adopt a new mini-routine that supports your "one thing."
The most effective behavior changes happen when they become almost mindless, like turning on the coffee pot each morning or grabbing your keys before you walk out the door. Once you have your minimalist goal in mind, create a little routine around it that connects the behaviors to the change itself.
So, for instance, if clutter is your bug, start by creating a landing zone for keys, bags, mail, and other papers & detritus that come in the door with you. Make it your new habit to empty your pockets, dig the receipts out of your wallet, drop the change into a jar, leave the keys in a pretty bowl with your sunglasses, and plug in your phone to charge. Boom. You're on your way to a behavioral baby step that's directly connected to the everydayness of walking through the door.
Finally, reflect on what's working...and what's not.
I love a pen-to-paper journal for this, but use whatever format you prefer. There is little point in pushing for a change when it's not meeting your needs, or is only meeting them part-way. As with most "lifestyle" practices or approaches, it's always best to be honest with yourself and take the parts that work, and leave the rest in the dust. There are no martyrs in minimalism...that just wouldn't be essential or necessary, would it?
As an example, I love my Kindle. I use it each and every day and have since Kindle 1.0 was a thing. But, deep in my heart, I also love books...the smell, the feel of paper, the weight, and certainly the look of them on my bookshelf. So a book-free life is not for me. But I've adopted a new mentality towards how I buy books and what I keep around so that it works for my approach.
At the end of the day, trust yourself to learn the basics, practice a bit, and then tweak what you’ve got to make it work for you. Start simple, get the small win, and keep on easing in.
Looking for more minimalist inspiration? Check out this streamlined home, owned by a very organized couple.
I used to own this cup and saucer set. It was white with a yellow border - I found it at the thrift store. The handle of the cup was comfortable, and the saucer large. I loved it. I loved it in a way that it seemed to make my coffee taste better in the morning. One day, my yellow cup met a fate that many ceramic dishes face. It was dropped, and the cup cracked. The vessel was still usable after its accident, after a bit of gluing. But it never looked the same again. A piece of the ceramic was missing, a chunk gone. I still held onto it, because I loved this cup, and life happens, you know? This is, roughly, the definition of wabi-sabi.
If you're a cat owner, you know two things about kitties: #1, They like heights, and #2, they like warmth. I can always count on finding my own cat in a handful of different places around my apartment, including either right up against the radiator, or high up on my bedroom dresser. If your feline is anything like mine, she'd flip over a DIY radiator cat bed like this one.
This project comes straight from the soon-to-be-published book DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs. The book was created for those who love good design, and value the DIY over an expensive buy. DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs offers 20 easy-to-build projects, from a dog-friendly bike basket, to a fancy rolling litter box cabinet. All the projects are cheap, and all are easy to make. The book publishes on May 8th, but in the meantime, you can pre-order it from Amazon.
For a sneak peek into the kinds of stylish creations you can make from this book, here's a look at my favorite project from the collection: the DIY radiator cat bed.
WARNING: This project is designed for hot-water radiators in homes heated by gas or oil (usually older houses and apartment buildings). Electric radiators can overheat and cause a fire if they come in contact with a combustible object.
1 sheet OSB (oriented strand board)
2 furring strips, about 2 feet (60 cm) each
2 shelf brackets, minimum about 8 inches (20 cm) on shortest arm
4 corner braces, about 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm)
2 nuts and bolts to fit the corner braces
About 12 screws
Fabric, foam, and a staple gun
Cut the furring strips to the desired length, referring to the photo of the finished project - you determine the distance between the top of the radiator and the bed.
At the top of each furring strip, screw on a corner brace.
At the bottom of each furring strip, on the side opposite the one with the corner brace, screw on a shelf bracket.
At the top of each furring strip, use a nut and bolt to attach a second corner brace to the first corner brace to form a U-shape; this is what will fit over the radiator.
Screw the board to the shelf brackets as shown. Make sure you choose a screw that is short enough not to go through the top of the board. If the screws do slightly break through, use adhesive putty to cover the tips.
If you can find someone to help you, this step is easier with two people.
Glue the foam to the top of the board, cutting to foam to size as needed.
Lay the fabric over the foam, staple it to the underside of the board, and cut off any excess fabric.
In the end, this piece will have cost about $12, not counting the cost of heating—but who can put a price on keeping your cat warm and happy?
If you enjoyed this DIY radiator cat bed project, you'll love the 19 other creations in this book! DIY Projects for Cats & Dogs will be available to purchase on May 8th. Pre-order your copy on Amazon today!
One of the easiest ways to change up a piece of furniture is to switch out the hardware - but what happens when the hardware is abandoned completely? When my wife found this nightstand during a recent trip to IKEA, she immediately drew inspiration from a different piece of furniture in our house - our hardware-less credenza. Could we replicate the cutout drawer handle on her new nightstand? Turns out, we could! Trading a little extra work for the extra cost of new hardware, here's how this IKEA nightstand hack worked out.
We are always on the hunt for new and interesting ways to display all our leafy friends over at the Curbly office. With spring finally showing up this past weekend (Midwesterners rejoice!), all our office plants are looking more alive than they have in almost 8 months. We think they deserve a new look. Want to take your houseplants to the another level (no pun intended) too, but you're short on time? This DIY plant stand can be completed in roughly thirty minutes.
Watch a quick video to see how it's done, and keep reading for all the details.
- Wood round
- 3/4" dowel
- Acrylic paint and foam brush
- Power drill and 5/8" Forstner bit
- Small screws
- Felt pads
- Handsaw or other cutting tool
To start, drill three holes in the wood round. Before you start drilling, you'll need to divide the wood round into thirds. Check out this graph from our tree stump side table project for help on the math. If thirds seems too daunting, create a plant stand with four legs.
Once you've divided the wood into thirds, measure 1.25" in from the edges of the round, and mark the drill points. Clamp the wood round to a sturdy surface. Using a 5/8ths forstner bit, create three holes in the wood round.
This Dewalt 20-volt MAX drill made quick work of these holes! And that was after we had run the battery on another project for almost 10 minutes of drill time.
Next, clamp the 3/4" dowel to a sturdy surface, and cut into thirds (unless you're creating a plant stand with four legs, then cut into fourths). Sand any rough edges.
Attach felt pads to the bottom of each dowel.
Feed each dowel through drilled holes of the wood round. If they stick on the way down, use a soft mallet to hammer the wood slab down.
Use a level to ensure each leg is sitting at an equal place in the wood round. To keep the dowels from slipping out of the wood round, drill a small screw under each leg. These screws will act as a stop.
Tape the wood round to protect it, then paint! While it may seem like painting the legs first would've been easier, we didn't want to scratch the paint feeding it through the wood round.
Let the paint dry completely, then your 30-minute plant stand is ready to use!
I'm so happy spring is back. With the warmer weather moving in, it's time all the office plants get their yearly shakeup. Overgrown ones will get moved to bigger pots, dead leaves will get snipped, and everyone will get a new round of dirt and fertilizer. Happy spring!
Two more simple IKEA-hack indoor plant stands you can try
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Every time I walk into Anthropologie, I walk out with a handful of items... and wishing I could have bought so much more. But when I ran across the Tahiti Basket, it occurred to me that it might be one piece that I could recreate at home. And so the fringe basket Anthro Knockoff was born!
You might know my wife, Alicia, from her amazing room makeovers here on Curbly (seriously, check out her work on the 2017 Curbly House - it's awesome). But unless you've been following along really closely, you might not know that she's also an entrepreneur. Last year, she and her business partner started a women's clothing called Niche. They have put on several pop-up shop events here in St. Paul, and have also opened a bricks-and-mortar shop in northern Minnesota.
With Niche growing so much over the last twelve months, Alicia has barely had time to keep up. One of the things she's always looking for is stylish, simple, and affordable ways to show off their inventory. There's no shortage of shoddy and uninspiring rolling clothing racks available to buy online. But I thought we could do better.
It's easier said than done: go to bed early and get a good night's sleep. If you suffer from occasional or chronic insomnia, then you'll want to keep reading. Today we're sharing ten steps to achieving the ultimate calming bedtime routine.
I love sleep. My bed is without a doubt in the top ten list of my favorite places to be. I always thought I might grow out of it, but even as a twenty-something I require a solid 8 hours of sleep. Worse, if I get a late start going to bed, I always end up sleeping in. While I'm akin to a dead body all night, it's that getting-to-sleep thing that I get tripped up on. Anxious-minded people, where you at? If I ever can't seem to conk out fast enough, there's one trick I use that always gets me to sleep.
Photo: Scouted Home
Trends go in and out of style faster than the blink of an eye, but some stay longer than others. And there's one that seems to be standing the test of time... dark, deliciously moody floral patterns. They've been a mainstay on the runways, in homes, and they're even popping up in DIY projects all over the web. So today we're sharing some inspiring home decor-related examples of this unique trend.
I've been wanting to try my hand at making a macramé plant hanger for a bit, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. It got me thinking though... macramé is a knot-tying craft, and crocheting is basically knot tying, but with more loops. Could I make a crochet plant hanger instead? The answer is: yes! And you can too. Even if you've never crocheted before, I'm here to walk you through it.