Yearly Archives: 2016
Post by Tracy Kaler.
We already know that painting is the least expensive way to transform a room, especially if you’re up to the task. (Hiring professional painters adds a whole other line item to the budget, and contractors can get expensive.) So, you’re probably thinking, “What if I don’t have any experience painting? Should I attempt to tackle a project like painting my bedroom?”
If you’re willing to follow instructions and spend the time needed (not rush through the job), then you should be happy with the results. I’ve put together a list for the novice painter, and if you follow these pointers, you’ll find yourself painting like a pro.
Make sure your walls are clean and ready for paint. Using a soft sponge, wash the walls with water and a mild detergent. After the walls are dry, spackle any holes and sand for a smooth finish. Check out these detailed instructions how to properly prep for paint (the key to a professional-looking paint job.
Once you’re all prepped, you need to prime the walls if you’re changing colors. If you’re keeping the same color and you don’t have a lot of wall repair, you can get away without priming. If you’re using a dark color, be sure to buy a tinted primer. (Follow painting instructions below for primer.) Again, if you’re painting with the same or very similar color (a white to an ivory), you shouldn’t need primer.
3. Cut in.
Next, you’ll want to cut in the corners and edges using an angled paint brush. If you’re not good with a brush, you can use painter’s tape to tape off edges around trim. Know that taping will add time and the paint can bleed over edges, so many professional painters don’t recommend it. If you must tape, be sure to remove it as soon as the walls are dry to the touch so it doesn’t pull off any paint. Cut in several inches around all trip and in corners.
Once you’ve cut in, attach your roller to an extension so you can reach those high places. Pour your paint into your tray and saturate your roller. Roll the paint in a “W” pattern and continue with vertical rolls until the entire wall is covered. Then, move on to the next wall. Tip: Be sure to wait until the paint is completely dry before applying additional coats.
How much paint will you need?
One gallon should cover approximately 400 square feet, but if you’re painting a dark color like navy blue or red, the coverage could be less and you’ll need additional paint. Ask your local paint store what they recommend. Better to have some paint left over anyhow, because touch-ups are practically inevitable.
Which finish paint should you use?
Walls are typically best in a flat, eggshell, or a low-sheen paint. In a bedroom, which is a low traffic area, you should be able to use flat paint without issue. Take a look at Benjamin Moore for more info on colors and finishes. Happy painting!
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.
Recently I was feeling a bit down. All the news has been sad and depressing and I needed to read a book that would be sure to make me laugh out loud (actual laughing—not LOLing) and make me forget all the other stuff in the world. I was given a number of recommendations from friends but the one that came up the most was Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. With no idea what it was—so little of an idea that I looked for an audio version—I promptly put a hold on it at my local library, with no idea what I was even getting.
What I got was a unique blend of personal narrative and hilariously crude illustrations, all chronicling the formative moments of Allie Brosh’s life, from the opening story about finding a note written to future Allie from 10-year-old Allie to the story of her insanely stupid (but greatly loved) dog. Each story is complemented by a number of pictures done in Brosh’s telltale stick-figure style. The stories on their own are funny and interesting but the pictures push it to a whole new level of hilarity.
But not all the stories are flat-out funny. As one who has struggled with depression, she provides a startlingly honest look at her bouts with depression and her attempts to be understood and to deal with it. Even this is oddly funny, mostly due to her ability to see clearly where she is being unreasonable and holding, at times, hilariously unrealistic expectations.
I read this book in bed every night and couldn’t get enough. My son was super interested in it too, partly due to the fun pictures but probably mostly because I told him it was totally inappropriate for children, mostly because of language. We did let him read the story about cake. The cake story is okay for kids.
If you need some levity in your life without compromising on a smart read, read this book. Or, if you can’t wait, hit up her blog where it all began: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Although most sleep experts don’t advise keeping a television in the bedroom, if you’re a diehard TV fanatic and can’t resist binging on Game of Thrones or relaxing in bed with the latest episode of House of Cards, then this blog post is for you. These five solutions give you options, so your bedroom can still appear stylish and the television doesn’t need to be a focal point.
This Lake Michigan home utilizes a smart pop-up cabinet for the TV. The screen neatly recesses into the case piece at the foot of the bed, so there’s no sign of a television in the room. In a nutshell, now you see it – now you don’t.
The designer of this elegant bedroom in Los Angeles used a frame around the television, so it creates the illusion of a piece of art. Although no one can ignore the flat screen, it blends in nicely with the interior.
With its pitched ceilings, dormers, and fireplace, this Seattle bedroom oozes charm. The television is cleverly tucked away in millwork above the mantle.
This traditional bedroom in Portland has recessed the TV, so it hangs in a niche, creating symmetry along the fireplace wall.
If you’re married or have a significant other, you know that few couples appreciate all the same television shows. This bedroom solved the issue by installing two separate units. He can watch all the sporting events he wants, and she won’t miss her favorites on HGTV or BRAVO. How perfect!
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Pokémon Gotta Catch ‘em All! Deluxe Essential Handbook : the Need-to-know Stats and Facts on Over 700 Pokémon by Scholastic.
I’m too old to have caught the Pokémon fever when it first came out. I was vaguely aware of something called Pikachu and that there was a turtle named Squirtle. But as a parent I learned that the exciting world of the Pokémon card game never actually went away. My son has piles of cards, and binders full of these critters, sorted by type. There’s electric types and grass types and poison types. We’ve watched the cartoon a million times but every time he’s asked me what my favorite Pokémon is, I’ve only been able to say: what’s that one that looks like he has broccoli on his head?
There are hundreds of these guys out there and many change form as they evolve. Of course, nearly everyone knows that now. The wildly popular Pokémon Go! game has turned our entire planet into a game board with gyms, Pokéstops and weird little creatures everywhere.
Can I say that my kid was into it before it was cool?
Either way, if you or your kid (you can say it’s for your kid if you’re embarrassed—it’s okay, you’re not alone) are interested in making sure you have all the information you could ever need, then this Essential Handbook is probably something you need. Not only does it have a handy pronunciation guide, but it shows you all the evolutions and powers of each Pokémon. It even tells you weight and height. My son has an incredibly deep knowledge of this universe. We spot a silhouette of a Pokémon and he can tell you exactly what it is. As far as reference books go, this is less useful than the Farmer’s Almanac but way more interesting to kids and grown-ups of a certain ilk.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
A bedroom that isn’t completely enclosed might sound less than practical, but depending on where you live, sleeping outside can be a lovely alternative to the traditional interior room. From getting in touch with nature to experiencing the sounds and smells of the great outdoors, snoozing under the stars has its merits. In case you’re not convinced, let’s take a look at some of the best outdoor bedrooms around the globe.
Interior and exterior lines blur in this Asian-influenced master bedroom. Glass doors fold open and create an outdoor space in this Western Australia home.
You couldn’t pull off this patio just anywhere. Of course, this creative bedroom tucked under a pergola is in Miami. How enticing does this space look for a nap, or even an entire night slumbering in the backyard?
Located in the mountains of Bali, this tropical home boasts a simple space for sleep. With bamboo construction and trees as the backdrop, this open-air bedroom might be minimalist, but it’s far from mundane.
Island-inspired, this Los Angeles bedroom takes sleeping under a cabana to another level. Wispy palm trees lend a tropical feel.
This magnificent vacation home in Mexico opens its doors to bright blue waters. This brilliant architectural design is ideal for beach lovers.
After seeing these five innovative and lovely outdoor bedrooms, how do you feel about sleeping under the stars?