Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Sling using Grundtal Towel rail

Materials: Grundtal Double Towel Rail

Description: I measured my fabric for my sling, adding a generous allowance on all sides for the casing and hems (1 inch in my case). I then hemmed the (short) sides of the rectangle (making sure the finished width matched the width of the rail) and then sewed the casings for the rails on the long sides. I then simply unscrewed the rails, slipped the sling on and...voila!

See more of the book sling.

~ leila@rook

Working It

Materials: Besta base cabinets, Besta Chrome Underframes

Description: Creating a budget-conscious work station for two for our small Miami apartment required some thought...and several runs to IKEA.

- Besta cabinets and doors (3)
- Besta underframes (6)
- Wood slab top

Two IKEA Besta cabinets on each end serve as our individual storage, with a third cabinet in the center for a shared printer, computer router, and supplies.

Each cabinet was assembled per instructions without the back panel to allow for ventilation and cord management. To make up for the stability of the missing back panel, L-brackets were screwed inside to stabilize the cabinets.

Using two sets of the Besta underframes in chrome for each cabinet (one as the base and one on top) raises the work surface to counter height. The top frames rest securely on screws drilled into the cabinet tops.

The counter top is a 12' slab of bobinga purchased from a lumber yard. By having the lumber yard cut one raw edge off (placed at the back wall), but leaving the front raw edge, we have both an organic look, and an ergonomic, soft edge for typing.

~ Ritch Holben and Ken De Loreto, Miami

Crummy Cube with a View Storage Closet

Materials: Trofast frame pine, Trofast storage boxes, wooden closet rod, 4) 4x4x1 wood blocks, 4) 2" rigid casters, Lansa handle, stainless coat hooks, coat hangers, misc screws, oil based paint, and an electric drill for pilot holes

My daughter recently moved into a new office cube with a window. Having a window was definitely an upgrade but the building support beam, not so much. She lost valuable desk and drawer space to store all of her required work gear. The little cubby hole on the other side of the beam was too narrow and deep for any cabinet we could find. Searching my Ikea catalog, I came across the Trofast frame. If we turned it sideways it would just fit into that little spot.

I bought the Trofast frame in pine so it was not as heavy for her and easier to paint than the white one. I put it together per the instructions then added a piece of wooden closet rod at the top. I drilled a pilot hole through the frame and into the rod then screwed it in place with 2 1/2" screws.

At the bottom I attached a 4x4x1 inch block of wood flat in each corner under the frame with screws. The 2" casters were screwed on to the wooden blocks raising it just off the floor. In another situation, I would have preferred larger wheels but I wanted to keep it as low profile as possible.

I lightly sanded and painted the whole thing with dark brown oil based paint for a more durable finish. After it dried for a few days, I added a 7" Lansa handle to the outside front (in this case). The frame was not quite as deep as the cubby hole so I added two coat hooks to the outside back for a little extra storage. And I added a couple of Trofast storage boxes.

Now she has a rolling closet to store all of her jackets, boots and other gear. It works great. She pulls it out when she needs something, then pushes it back and it's out of the way. And she loves the view too!

~ Karen Snow, South Houston, Texas

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TV-bench for Henriks breakfast

Materials: BORGHAMN-TV bench, 2 IVAR-Cabinets white paint with STRECKET-Handle, VARDE wall cabinet, 2 VYSSA SLUMMER-Mattress for cot + SOFIA Fabric broad-striped

Description: For my son I needed a seat in our very small kitchen. I combined old and new IKEA furniture.

~ Bianca Reinecke, Hannover, Germany

Repurposing spice racks into children's bookshelves

Nothing hacked but it's a nice idea which I thought deserved to be shared. ~ Jules

Materials: BEKVAM Spice Racks

Description: We wanted bookshelves for our children's room that had books facing out, but all of the existing shelves we found were entirely too expensive. These fit the bill and fit perfectly into the small space available to add them.

Not much needed in the way of instructions. Hang as you would the spice racks - you put screws in the walls and hook the shelves on the screw using the space that comes pre-installed on the shelves.

See more of the Bekvam kid's book shelf.

~ Lillian

Animal Stroller Chain

Materials: Söt Barnslig

Description: I put the four small stuffed animals on an elastic chord and attached them to my babys stroller. Use a needle and some nylon thread to make a hoop in the little fellas.

~ Louise, Copenhagen

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Extreme Murals & Painted Buildings

Link - article by Avi Abrams

Bleak Walls Transformed by Creativity

Urban landscape can be drab and featureless - but not when artists are spicing it up with spectacular wall paintings, as shown in this article. Some murals can be considered realistic illusions, some have educational and historical meaning, some can be labeled as "kitsch", but all of them are welcome splashes of color and creativity in the city's day-to-day life.

(Restoration of the Fine Arts Museum of Brussels, photo by Maxime)

We'll start with a cheerful building in Tarragona, Spain:

(images credit: Jesus Garrido, David Mari Frasquet, see details here)

A beautiful one found in Campestang, France (left) - and an intriguing painting on the old door in Rome:

(images credit: Pappe, Piterart)

Ornate balconies in Barcelona (left):

(top left image credit: Santi)

Apartment buildings in Holland (if not for paint, they would definitely look depressing and bleak):

Portrait murals are especially effective when painted on dilapidated old walls, speaking about passage of time, life and real values:

Here is a series of buildings in Lyon, France:

(images via)

And a more psychedelic variety from Russia:

(image via)

Something strange arrived in Berlin (left image); and a magenta fish found in Japan:

(left image credit: Piterart)

The sailing ship on the right was spotted in Brussels:

(right image credit: Eliseo Oliveras)

A couple more from Paris, sent in by Stan Barets:

(photos by Stan Barets)

I took this photo in Cannes, France:

(image credit: Avi Abrams)

The following wall paintings are in Jerusalem, and reflect the city's multifaceted past:

(images credit: Nathan)

Germany is full of the wonderful murals, especially in Bavaria, where it became a traditional folk art:

(image via Genador)

(image credit: Avi Abrams)

Very sophisticated mural in Quebec, Canada:

(image credit: Vince Arno)

One in Belfast, Ireland:

(photo by Nikakoj)

Back side of the Gooderham Flat Iron Building in Toronto:

(photo sent in by Jim Sellen)

Looooong 3D Murals by Eric Grohe

Here is an artist who really breaks the monotonous geometry of official buildings, parking lots, and shopping malls, with his own marvelous perspective and 3D illusions. Eric Grohe has an impressive array of projects on his site, check them out.

Bucyrus Area Community Foundation, Ohio:

Here is how he makes an endless wall of the shopping mall actually... attractive:

(images credit: Eric Grohe)

Swimming pool mural:

Chamber of Commerce, Bucyrus, Ohio:

Here is another wonderful example of wall 3D paintings, but I'd like to know who the artist is:

(image via)

Various 3D Wall Paintings, all spectacular:

Many are by trompe l'oeil ("trick of the eye") muralist and artist John Pugh:

(images credit: John Pugh)

What you've just seen is not in any way three-dimensional, it's all a trick, an illusion... Here are some places (walls) on which this wonder unfolds: a sidewalk in Sarasota County Health Center, Florida... all-too-realistic wave in a sidewalk in Honolulu, Hawaii...the 'earthquake' wall on Main Street of Los Gatos, California, was created following a real earthquake there in 1989...

"Tunnel Vision" at AgFirst Building in Columbia, South Carolina:

(images credit: John Pugh)

Here is another transformation trick by mural painter Dominique Antony - boring grey facade of the Paris’ Saint-Georges Theatre, shown before and after:

(images via)

Some of the "trompe-l'oeil" in Belgrade, Serbia:

(image credit: Ninello52)

Beautiful wall painting in Rome, Italy:

(image credit: Pier Giorgio)

Montpellier, France (on the left)... and a perspective illusion in Madrid, Spain (bottom right):

(images credit: Jean-Louis Zimmermann, Ana Alas)

Very nice painting on a wall of a bakery in Dijon, France:

(image credit: Nils Andriessen)

Extreme animated crowd by Kenny Scharf, in NYC:

(see more here)

These people are watching you.... somewhere in Russia (they would, wouldn't they?):

(mural in Warsaw, Poland )

(images via)

Even creepier is this mural (location unknown):

Using Colour... to the Max!

Gaudy but impressive colors of the Ramenskoe apartment district in Moscow:

Is this the utmost in urban psychedelics? The whole apartment complex painted in unbelievably bright colors... Looks interesting enough, but how would it feel to live in the middle of a paint explosion or a rainbow gone nuts?

(images via)

Colourful painted apartment buildings of Tirana, the capital of Albania (post-communist efforts to brighten up depressing old urban blocks):

(image credit: David Dufresne)

Gorgeous, almost glowing Caminito district in Buenos Aires, Argentina:

(images via 1, 2)

The richest colours combine into a feast for the eyes:

(image via)

Now... how about some fun in the ghetto? This was exactly the mission of two Dutch painters Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn - to go to the poorest section of Rio de Janeiro favelas (slums) and paint it in the cheerful way, with active participation of people who live there:

(images via)

Perhaps the most famous mural of all: "Apple Corp." (that is the Beatles, not Steve Jobs) wall on Carnaby Street in London:

(image via)

Banksy's wonderful mural / graffiti gracing a wall of an "UP" building slated to float into the clouds:

And while you're painting the wall, you might as well have some lunch and a card game break ("Compagnie les Passagers" street theater):

(image credit: Rogiro)

This post will be the first installment in a series. Please send us the photos of cool murals you spotted around the world, and we'll make up the second part from your submissions (send it to "Suggest a link" email). Good hunting!


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