Painting a room with an indoor paint sprayer saves time and results in a more consistent finish. Here's how we used one to transform a spare bedroom.
One of my favorite things about interior design and home improvement is discovering tools that help us do our job better. Painting is one of those jobs. We paint things all the time - walls, furniture, floors, floor tiles, baskets. Why? Because nothing transforms a space (or an object) quite like paint does.
Working from home can be a curse and a blessing. The curse part is that you're at home and home things are always beckoning you away from work, and vice versa. One sure thing is that if you have a room to call your own, you need to make it an attractive and efficient space where you want to spend time. And if you've just blown the budget on a new furnace, don't worry, these tricks cost practically nothing.
Perusing online tours of beautiful Scandinavian homes can be an addictive, and envy-inducing, pastime. Though you may not be able to import their high ceilings, period features, or masonry heaters (those cylindrical white corner fireplaces that I endlessly covet), you can certainly create your own replica of the Scandinavian look with the right furnishings. Figuring out where to find certain pieces can be tricky, so I'll round up some popular Scandinavian-style pieces, and tell you where you can buy them in the US.
The distinct colors, shapes, and textures of the 1970s give interiors from that era a unique energy. Currently, the decade's distinct vibe is coming back, and influencing current trends in a big way. Yes, 70s style might be considered over-the-top now, but comb through examples from that era and you will find pieces and inspiration that will bring new liveliness to your space all while fitting in to your current decor. Keep scrolling for some rad eye candy!
My husband designs video games for a living, and over the years, I've realized that video game design and interior design actually have a surprising amount of overlap. Room designers and game designers are both designing experiences for people to interact with, and though they may have very different end goals, some of the principles are the same.
If you've ever lived in an apartment or a really tiny house, you probably understand the struggle of a tiny outdoor space. Generally, tiny porches are the only type of porches you'll find with an apartment. While a tiny porch is better than no porch at all, sometimes you have to get creative with the small space you have with small balcony furniture and space saving solutions. Luckily, I've rounded up a bunch of ways to make the most of your tiny porch this summer, including DIYs, storage solutions and just plain cute pieces to add to your porch.
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.
The home decor world is operating mostly in throwback-mode right now. What used to be tacky is now tasteful, and looking dated doesn't matter as much. Walk into any big box store like Target, West Elm, or CB2, and you'll see interpretations of designs and color schemes that originally surfaced over 30-40 years ago. From the resurgence of treatments like terrazzo to the re-introduction of wicker, what's old is new again. If you're like me, you've noticed a familiar pattern pop up. And if you're like me, it's making you gleefully reminiscent. I'm talking about the bold and bright world of Memphis design, and its colorful impact on the 80s and 90s.
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 ofwabi-sabi.
Have you ever dealt with an achy-breaky back? If you haven't had the misfortune yet, I hate to say it, but you probably will. Not-so-fun fact: About 80% of Americans will deal with back pain at some point in their lives. For some, it's just a pulled muscle, but for others, it's much worse. As you age, it's the little movements and activities that lead to spinal disc deterioration. But it's not all bad news! From furniture placement to purchasing the right kind of tools, you can structure the layout and function of your home to keep your spine healthy. Here are a few adjustments you can make to your home for back pain relief, and to maintain the health of your spine.
Get Rid of Your Home Office Desk
If you spend all day sitting at a desk, eliminate the possibility of spending all evening sitting at one. Remaining in one position for extended periods of time is bad for a lot of areas in the body, and your back bears the brunt of the blow. Poor seated posture can compress the discs in your spine, which makes them deteriorate faster. Change up your posture and stand while you work at home (that's right, that means no couch, either!). Add a standing desk to your pre-existing one (this is the model that my boss Bruno uses at his desk), or trade your seated desk for a DIY one made of brackets and boards. The best at-home work station is at eye-level, which will keep your upper back and shoulders from curling forward as you use your laptop or computer.
Get Back Pain Relief from a Recliner
I know what you're probably thinking: "M.E., recliners are just the ugliest chairs in existence. I'll take the back pain over that decor disaster, thankyouverymuch." But wait - hear me out on this one! Sitting in a reclined position is the doctor-recommended position for alleviating pain in the back (I would know - I was there when my wife's doctor said, "Hey, get a recliner. It'll alleviate back pain."). It's the angle of the chair that gives you back pain relief; your legs are up, and your back is fully supported at a 180º angle.
Regarding the unarguable decor disaster that is the La-Z-Boy, just know that there are other options out there. Not all recliners will take up 25% of your living room's floor plan, nor do they all have to come in leather. Many recliners are now designed in incognito mode like this Henley chair from Wayfair or this Dalton recliner found at Target. Recliners are also being designed in a stripped down, minimal fashion like this Mid Century-inspired one from Crate & Barrel.
Figure in Some Footstools
Similar to the way a recliner can provide you with back pain relief, a footstool can do the same. To take some of the pressure off your L5-S1, prop your feet up on a stool or ottoman that is slightly lower than the height of your sofa or chair. In addition to being one of the simpler back remedies, adding a footstool to your lounge or living room is also a quick method for adding color and pattern to a space. Plus, ottomans are one of the easiest piece of furniture to give a makeover.
Create Space in your Home for Your Health
Make it easy to work on the health of your spine by carving out a section of your square footage just for your back. It doesn't have to be a large area, and it doesn't have to be a total at-home gym. All you need is enough space to lie down on the floor comfortably. There are several stretches you can do to give yourself back pain relief at home. If you create a designated space in your home, you'll likely be more eager to do your physical therapy exercises or daily stretching if you don't have to rearrange furniture every time you want to roll out your yoga mat.
Grab a large basket, and store these items together for easy access when you need some back pain relief at home:
A yoga mat or a comfy towel
A small blanket (nice to roll up or sit on while stretching when your muscles are feeling extra tight)
If you deal with chronic back pain, you probably already have a freezer full of ice packs and a heating pad or two. If you injure your back, start with a cold pack first to reduce swelling, and if necessary, move to a hot pack to help with muscle tightness. To make your own ice pack, combine water and rubbing alcohol in a freezer bag. It won't freeze solid, and instead will remain slushy but cold. Alternatively, you can freeze wet sponges and keep those on hand for any unexpected twinges or strains.
Get Back Pain Relief by Firming Up Your Mattress
If you wake up every morning in pain, it's not just a sign that you "slept funny." It means something funny is up with your bedding. If you can afford to trade out your un-supportive mattress for a new one, do that! If a new bed is out of the budget, there are a few temporary ways you can firm up your existing mattress:
If you haven't flipped your mattress in a while, start there
Purchase a firming mattress topper
Replace the box spring
Add a bed board - this is a literal board that you add in between your mattress and the box spring. You can buy one or make your own, and is especially helpful if your mattress sags in the middle (which can cause major back injury over time)
Be Mindful of Countertop Height
I always clean dishes by hand at the kitchen sink. Even when I lived in an apartment that had a dishwasher, I always preferred to scrub plates a few times a day rather than save them up for one dishwasher load. What I began to notice was that every time I step away from my kitchen sink, my back hurts a bit. My shoulders would also curl forward during this chore. Because the sink is a little lower than it should be, my posture suffers.
When you're working in the kitchen, be mindful of the countertop height. If you are a taller person and your countertops are shorter, the repetitive bend downwards will show in the health of your spine. To keep your spine straight, try bending at the knees as you chop vegetables. Keep your tailbone curled under, and your shoulders back. If this pose is strenuous to hold, try raising your countertop to meet you. Much like a standing desk, you can prop up your cutting board on a cookbook to give yourself fewer inches to bend over to.
Arrange Your Home in a Cleaning-Friendly Way
Scrubbing behind the toilet, moving the coffee table each time you vacuum the living room, bending over to change the sheets... housework is hard work, and like any other strenuous activity, it can have a negative impact on your spine if you're not careful. To prevent injury, avoid excessive twisting and straining when you clean. On top of mindfulness, you can start with a cleaning-friendly home.
When arranging furniture in your home, consider placement. Does the vacuum cleaner fit in between the side table and the couch, or will you have to physically move the side table once a week? Consider giving the side table felt feet so you only have to slide it, rather than pick it up. Maybe it's a bench that doubles as storage. What about adding a few casters to the bottom so you can slide it out of the way when you need to mop? Invest in a tool that makes scrubbing easier, or a mop that requires no bending or buckets of cleansing liquid.
Hopefully these healthy home back remedies have you inspired to sit up straight and stretch more often. Remember - you only get one spine, so take care of it!
When we started Curbly in 2006, saying that your job was 'blogging' was a recipe for confusion. Lots of people didn't even know what a blog was. Fast forward a decade or so, and blogging as a profession is so well-accepted that you probably have a blogger or two living in your own neighborhood. That why we were excited, but not entirely surprised, when we discovered that prolific food bloggers Bjork and Lindsay Ostrom, from PinchofYum, lived about a mile from us.
Today, we're excited to share a tour of Bjork and Lindsay's bedroom, which they recently finished remodeling. When we met up with these two to talk about their space, they were well on their way to designing it. They'd chosen paint colors, laid flooring, and picked out the major pieces, so styling was the main thing they were looking for help with, and we were more than happy to oblige.
Here's a look at how we styled the space, along with some of Lindsay's take-aways from the whole remodeling process:
The 2017 Curbly House is done! It went on the market last weekend, and (to my surprise and delight), we've already had several showings. After two-and-a-half months of intense renovation work, it feels a little weird this week, knowing there's nothing left to do except blog about it. I keep checking my 'To-Do' list, and it's all crossed off, which is my JAM!
We've been painting rooms at Curbly for over a decade. And, we've gotten pretty good at it. We've done straight-forward walls and we've done full-scale murals - and almost everything in between. Through it all, we've learned that good prep, good paint, and quality tools are the magic trifecta.
We recently celebrated our 5th anniversary in the Curbly House, and along with the pomp and circumstance (I'm kidding; as much as we love our house, we don't celebrate home anniversaries ... but maybe that's my new million dollar idea!), we've been busy doing a series of updates indoors and out. We've refreshed the paint, swapped out artwork, done some light landscaping, and made the house work better for our...
We're making headway on the Curbly House and the next two weeks will bring about a big leap in the transformation we've been dreaming about. We spent much of the last week trying to finalize our choices for kitchen cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and fixtures. While the room reveal won't be ready until later, I wanted to share a peek at what inspired the design.
Well, folks, it's official! Jon* and I signed the closing papers last week, and we are now the proud owners of the new Curbly House! Now all we have to do is put in a new kitchen, renovate the bathrooms, add a new back door, replace the HVAC, finish the basement, improve the landscaping, and figure out how to get a parking space into the back yard! No biggie.
*Reminder: Jon's my partner on this project; he's a real estate investor with...
Earlier this week we told you all about our new Curbly House makeover. A house we're so excited to take on, get to know, make beautiful, and then put on the market again (furnished and polished and perfect).
This year for Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week, we tackled a community-based art project that exceeded all our expectations. We combined our favorite paint colors, our favorite community, and our favorite group of kids to create a Kids' Art Crawl! We wanted to get kids thinking about the role of art in their community, and make them feel special by putting their artwork up in a real gallery setting. It was sweet and moving, and we can't wait to tell you all about it.
Sometimes, when I'm online, I'll scour the web for perfectly designed homes. Okay. I do it all the time. My head almost exploded from all the beauty that is this gorgeous home in Fort Collins, Colorado. You HAVE to take a look.
These before and afters will inspire you to think about your own creative spaces, transforming them from drab to fab by utilizing space, color and textures to provide warm and inviting spaces in which to create.