DIY Projects

DIY Projects

I Do Not Need These Things (And You Don’t, Either)

I spent the entirety of New Year's weekend living my very best life, by which I mean I watched all seven episodes of The Queen's Gambit while Marie Kondo-ing every inch of this house. You guys, my Tupperware is organized. WHAT. (Related: How is it that I have reached the age of nearly forty years old, and have only just realized that the tops of Tupperwares click together for easier storage?)

One of my favorite things about being single (and there are many, starting with shared custody that permits the aforementioned living of one's best life) is that I have total and complete control over what comes into this house, and what goes out of it. In non-toy-related categories, at least. K is a lot more sentimental about possessions than I am, so there was a constant push-pull over what could and couldn't be tossed. As an example, I do not keep my children's artwork. I keep *some* of it, sure - the really special pieces, to the tune of, say, ten per year per kid - but anyone who has ever had a preschooler knows that they regularly get sent home with foot-high stacks of "artwork" that mostly consists of paint splotches in varying shades of purplish-brown, which is the result you get when you're thinking less about color theory and more about mushing your brush into the paper as hard as possible.

Before & After Renovations

In Which We Reach The Limit Of My Abilities

I've gotten pretty handy over the years, mostly thanks to the presence in my life of a few Superwomen who have taught me how to do things like lay tile, resurface brick, and even demolish concrete (not the best idea for the old neck muscles, but surprisingly fun). And lord, do I wish those women lived near me still, because the house that I'm currently renting has alllllllll the project opportunities (yes, I fix up houses that I rent - you can read my rationale here).

In the course of my efforts to fix up certain elements of this house that I wasn't into, I've had some wins - painting my daughter's room, securing some maybe-going-to-fall-down ceiling panels, retiling my entryway step, suffocating weeds and replacing them with lavender and blueberry bushes, that sort of thing. But I've also had oh my god, some misses - like, for example, the linoleum kitchen floor that I covered (poorly) in stick-on tile that is MUCH better-suited to small spaces and apparently turns grey with any wear whatsoever.

Another fail: I used that same tile to cover a gross wall in the bathroom. I discovered that its stick-on powers did not extend to use on bathroom walls (or at least not somewhat uneven ones) around 2AM later that night, when I was awoken by the huge "bang" made by twenty tiles all falling off the wall and into my bathtub simultaneously. But was I to be deterred?!

Before & After Renovations

This Preteen’s Bedroom Got A MAJOR Makeover

Before

When I was 9 or so, I decided that I wanted my bedroom to be painted in shades of purple and teal (it was 1990; I have no other excuse for this) - and my parents, to their immense credit, let me actually do it. Which is great! Everyone should have a regrettably painted preteen room; it's a rite of passage.

But another rite of passage is when you age out of that room, and suddenly find yourself wanting something a bit more...peaceful. The teenage years can be rough ones, and I think having your own space to retreat to is an absolute essential. So when my friend Margo's daughter Claire told me that she didn't like her room anymore and wanted something that felt more "her"....

Before & After Renovations

Does Peel-And-Stick Tile Really Work?

Those kitchen floors were no bueno. 

When I first moved into this place, I resolved to keep all my MUST! RENOVATE! HOUSE! tendencies in check. It's a rental, and it's one that's going to be torn down whenever I vacate it (which will obviously be...ahhhh...later than expected, as my down payment money has been evaporating by the day, WHEEEEE). But I am still a firm believer in fixing the things you cannot abide, even in a rental - because you live there. And one thing that I knew I'd have to fix here was the truly abominable linoleum floor: It was chipped, and stained, and made the whole kitchen/dining area - otherwise the loveliest part of the house - feel dark.

DIY

The Best Raised Garden Planter You Need To Own Right Now

New planters, heyyy!

By (astoundingly) popular request via IG, today's post is about...my planters. It turns out that everyone in the world has decided to become a gardener in their abundance of spare time.

I have, in the course of my years, proven myself to be an astoundingly poor keeper of indoor plants. When you see a lovely, thriving plant in my house, be assured: It is fake. But for whatever reason my black thumb turns green (or, ok, perhaps something more like chartreuse) in the presence of vegetables: In our San Jose house, our tomatoes and cucumbers were actual legend. I never bothered to garden in our last place because 1) I was kinda in crisis last year and tomatoes were not my priority, and 2) I wasn't inclined to put even more work into a rental place than I already had (and I'd already done a lot).


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