Not Martha

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We’re currently spending all of our free time moving boxes of stuff from one room into the next so we can paint. We are painting every wall, ceiling, door frame, and door in this house in an effort to banish the too-yellow off white which covers every said surface. It’s not so exciting really. But in the last few days we’ve discovered that a finished basement is like having free air conditioning! And I’ve begun splurging, for the first time I’ll have to have a kitchen trash can that sits out in the open so I got a Simplehuman can (they are everywhere, every home-type store I’ve visited lately carries them and I eventually gave in and got mine at a big box hardware store). It’s a lovely can though, and I’m much more likely to toss the crumpled napkin than let it sit and waiting to be tidied up later. Don’t let the boxes of Simplehuman bin liners fool you, our drawstring tall kitchen bags fit just fine and don’t peek out.

Next, we’ll be hanging storage shelves. There are tons of hanging shelf systems – Elfa, Rubbermaid, Closet Maid, Ikea – but I settled on some from Lowes that would turn out being less expensive overall for my space. (And Lowes is nearby, so getting more is a bit easier.) It seems so easy to put these things in armed with a new stud finder, some wall anchors just in case, and this article on how to install wall-mounted shelves from This Old House. We seemed all set until out stud finder indicated that there was electrical wiring near almost every stud. This house was very old, and was rebuilt in the 90s. They put in plenty of electrical outlets (yay!) but there are probably wires crisscrossing everywhere. It’s time to consult and expert (aka, Scott’s Dad). But if you have any experience with this please do let me know. None of the how-to-find-studs articles that I’ve looked at so far address this, and I don’t want to nominate myself for a Darwin award. (Answer from the expert: If you can locate the center of the stud you should be just fine, electrical wiring would run up the side of the stud. This is one of those things my logical mind knew, but my hysterical mind wouldn’t allow me to get past.)

I’m considering putting in one of those curved shower rods like you can find at the Westin store (except, I found one at Bed, Bath and Beyond that has the advantage of no shipping fee). But, I’m a little worried that it will make the other side of my smallish bathroom feel too tight. Anybody use one of these? Do you feel claustrophobic while standing at the sink?

I’ve begun gathering storage things – some nice rail mounted glide-out shelf thingies from Storables for the too-narrow, too-deep, nonadjustable lower cabinet shelves in the kitchen. Storables has nice wooden ones, where The Container Store only offers wire versions. And Storables has better prices on a few items I was eyeing, so if you live in the Pacific Northwest it’s worth taking a peek at the store. Too bad they don’t have a better website.

I finally found the Amorf Frost window frosting film at Ikea — you use a little soapy water to adhere it, a little squeegee is included in the package. It’s in the bathroom section of the marketplace. Amorf Ruta – with a not-so-pretty pattern, is in the window coverings section. Places like Lowes and Home Depot do carry window frosting film, but in such a large and wide roll it would have been wasteful of me to buy just to frost a tiny bathroom window. In with the window coverings Ikea also offers a box of narrow strips of the same window covering film in white, blue, red and yellow called Bettan. It comes with a tiny little squeegee, and you are meant to create a pattern. I liked this idea but not the colors for my purposes.

The last time I frosted some windows I used clear contact paper, and when I took it down all the adhesive stuck to the glass. I spent a day with goo gone and a scraper getting that stuff off, it wasn’t worth it. (The contact paper came off cleanly the first time I used it to frost windows, but something about the adhesive changed in the years between.) I’ve also used the matte gel medium in the past, it was a pain to remove from larger surfaces, and this time around I wanted a cleaner look. And while I’m at it, here is my original, Testing How To DIY Frost Windows page. I also looked at some window frosting sprays, but the potential chipping and eventual need for solvents to remove it makes me want to try the film first. So, I’ll report on how easy the Amorf Frost is to apply and remove.

· comments [0] · 05-17-2006 · categories:the home ·