good things for bad weather

Late January gives me a big case of cabin fever - the novelty of cold weather has long worn off, the holidays are a distant memory, and the rest of winter still stretches endlessly onward. The feeling I get is really best described as "ants in my pants," with a constant agitation to get out and DO something or MAKE something. As someone who isn't much for TV watching (though I DO love a good Law & Order marathon as background to blogging!), I just get wild for a good home project.*

I am sure lots of you start feeling the same, so I thought I'd share a few easy, low-skill projects to take one to spruce up your house while you're stuck in it for the next few months. Depending on your personal penchant for cleaning, organizing, and styling you may find some of these more appealing than others. Use them as jump off points - maybe you'll be inspired to offer your home for the home tour?

  • Kitchen - These row houses leave many people begging for more storage in the kitchen. But take a moment to think: when was the last time you really got in there are organized things? Probably not since you moved in, and at that point you didn't have a good sense of how you'd be using the space! Over a weekend you could reassess your kitchen plan - what do you use regularly vs. rarely? Could you put some specialty bakeware/counter-top appliances in the basement and free up space? How about your pantry? Are there outdated spices or ingredients that could be past their prime? Some air-tight containers and a labeling machine could come in handy to create an organized cupboard of dry ingredients (IKEA has some great cheap options). Tackle the fridge/freezer with a good cleaning and restock on basics. Voila! Cooking is a pleasure
  • Living Room - If you're anything like me, it's easy to find that cupboards and shelves on the first floor can quickly become squirrel holes where small items and loose papers get quickly stuffed before company comes over, never to be seen again. Get in there and do a clean sweet, and chances are you'll find 2 things you really missed and 20 you can toss. Check our your walls, too - could you use a nice picture on the wall? Ebay and Etsy can be great places to find unique prints, and IKEA is GREAT for cheap frames that still look sharp.
  • Bathroom - You'd be AMAZED how far two new, fluffy, white towels and a matching bath mat go. Add in an attractive soap dispenser, small flowering plant on the sill, and a diffuser and you'll be AWESTRUCK. But while you're in there, go the whole hog and just pull everything out of the drawers and cupboards - just do it(I pulled out FOUR plastic bags' worth of junk two weeks ago). Old meds, expired make-up, half used body wash, the eight types of shampoo in your shower you kinda don't want anymore...toss it. And, oh my! What a lot of room there suddenly is ! It's positively spa-like, isn't it?
  • Bedroom - Ah, my personal favorite and room in which I just did a little transforming myself! Your bedroom should be your retreat, and the less stuff you have, the more serene you will feel. Declutter, declutter, declutter! Invest in some nice shelves, or baskets for the closet, but just get your bedroom free of excess stuff. Next, transform: does your bed cry out for a nice new duvet and pillow shams? I think crisp white linens and fluffy pillows paired with a bright, cheerful cover are just lovely. Lots of great sales these days, too. Compliment your bed with bedside tables (bit of an investment - strangely expensive as I recently found out!) an lamps. I personally like lamps that are similar but different - it adds just a touch of asymmetry that I find attractive.

I just completed a project of my very own tonight, of which I am totally proud. Several months ago I purchased two Mexican wrought-iron lamps from In Watermelon Sugar (Hampden) but didn't like, nor wish to pay for, the wall sconces with which they had paired them. Two months passed and nothing had struck my fancy. Then when at Home Depot (Dundalk) to buy my new lamps (my side - feminine, N's side - more manly), I figured I might as well look at their plant hooks. And voila! SUCH a cute one but all the wrong color and finish....but a coat of primer and a couple more of a flat black pulled the whole thing together. Two dark candles, some superb drilling by N, and ooo la la, do I ever LOVE my "new" bedroom!

Have you had any great home projects lately?

love k

*While I was forced to take on a BIG one earlier this month, thanks to an explosion of water through every light fixture, floor board, wall and inch of crown molding, it wasn't really something that was enjoyable to deal with since it was way out of my area of expertise...Long crazy story I'll tell anyone who asks! I'd like to take a moment to comment on how truly wonderful Allstate was, though. I could not have asked for better service and I really do mean that - I imagine you all are assuming there is dripping sarcasm but no!


Lucas said...

the end of that bedroom section sounds a little naughty...just sayin

kimiya rae aghevli said...

Lucas, I just screamed with laughter - yeah i TOTALLY did NOT catch that. But for humor's sake, it's staying up as is ;-)

Summer said...

My closet remodel took days and was totally worth it! :-) I highly recommend the planning experts at the Container Store. I didn't even know what I really needed, but they did, and they told me where everything should go. awesome!

Summer said...

sorry, that should say "two days"

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