Taking a brief break (until later today) from the product reviewing to post these fun rooms with chalkboard painted walls. I have been toying with the idea to use chalkboard paint on some of our walls… My only worry would be whether or not my girls would realize they can’t draw on every wall, just specific ones. If painting an entire wall isn’t a commitment you want to make, or if it just isn’t an option, then maybe a smaller scale/less permanent choice like these wall graphics form Firm Living would be better. Printed on adhesive backed vinyl, these work with chalk and can be applied/removed without damaging the wall.
Monthly archive for October 2011
The Lack Shelf is one of Ikea’s most popular shelving products. Available in three standard sizes, people adapt these simple shelves to do a variety of jobs. The Lack is also available in a few colors, however that has not limited anyone with other ideas in mind (Google painting a Lack Shelf). Because of the popularity of these shelves, other giant store chains now carry similar products. The biggest difference being the way in which the shelf gets mounted to the wall. This is extremely important, depending on what you plan to do with your shelf. Ikea’s larger Lack Shelves have one of the best strategies to deal with concealing hardware and creating a secure and strong connection (See this previous post).
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My favorite products are the ones that are the most simple, and can do more than one job. Like most families, we are on a limited budget, with many evolving needs. So when we do invest in something new, it needs to first be useful (there are way to many products out there that are not), and if possible be useful for more than one thing. A place where this is especially true for us is in the kitchen. We spend the vast majority of our time there. Food is getting prepared or cleaned up, toys are flying around on the hard floor, homework or coloring is going on at the table, and three small girls are constantly running in and out at top speed. The tools related to all these activities are strewn around everywhere. Anything that can help organize and streamline the processes here are greatly appreciated.
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Something I am very interested in learning is whether or not products work as they were designed to work. I love to put products and ideas to the test. To see how they perform in daily life, under real circumstances. I want to learn the ways they either succeed or fail, or are re-purposed and given a second life as something other than what was originally intended. In fact, this is one of the main reasons I started this blog in the first place, to be a test site where consumers and professionals could gather real information, have conversations, and come up with new ideas.
To get things going we are kicking it off with a week of reviews from everyone’s favorite Design Supercenter: Ikea. I chose Ikea because it offers products that are designed with a purpose in mind, are mass produced, and relatively inexpensive and accessible. I want to know if these products hold up daily life, often daily family life (a more rugged existence to be sure). Also are they easy to use, or easy to assemble? As the week goes on join in the conversation, I would love to know your thoughts and experiences with using any of these products, and ultimately figure out what works, and what just creates more clutter.
I love when older buildings are well preserved. This one, located in Kungsladugård, was built in 1924-25 and has many of its original architectural details. I really like the combination of white and natural wood for most of the building finishes, especially with the great northern light flooding in. There is ample built-in storage, and by painting all the cabinetry white it creates a slightly more modern look without loosing the vintage, lived-in feel.
A great memory from childhood is standing with my back to the door frame, and my mom making tick marks with the year and my new height. It was so exciting to see every inch of progress. Keeping a growth chart is a great thing to do with your kids, but if you don’t own your own home writing on the wall might not be the best option. And if you move you can’t exactly take a chunk of drywall with you. These over sized rulers are the perfect alternative to writing on kitchen walls and backs of bedroom doors. The simple vintage style Ruler Height Chart is available through Great Little Trading Co, or for something a little more colorful try the Measure Me Stick from Studio 1am. Or there is always Amazon. If you have the time and resources though, creating your own is a relatively simple undertaking and a great weekend project to do with kids. You can pick up some birch or maple ply from a local hardware store, and they will typically be able to cut it to size for you. Then all you need is some nice number stencils, finish, and you are off and running. There are plenty of helpful tutorials out there, and I might end up doing one of my own here soon. One important thing to consider is the height of the ceiling where you plan to put the ruler. Our ruler is six feet tall ( the kids may get taller, but I doubt we will still be measuring them at that point). Seven feet is also a good height, however not all older homes/apartments have bedroom ceilings that tall. Be sure and plan a way to anchor it to the wall too, you don’t want a giant ruler falling on top of anyone!