May 1, 2012

hello, my name is Hypocrite

{But no one should have to live with a Home Depot Original}.



















It's been a long while since I've made any house improvements, partially because I've been too busy and unwilling to take a break, and partially because it's hard to know when enough is enough with a rental. Our lease states pretty specifically about painting stuff {previously painted walls are one thing, but painting 'wood' is crossing a line I feel pretty guilty about}. Before giving in to makeover temptation, I did fight it -- I tried! I swear! The proof is in the timeline: Before altering it forever, I lived with our Home Depot wood-colored kitchen cabinets for a year, our Home Depot bathroom cabinets for two years, our Home Depot brown carpeted stairs for two-and-a-half years, the interior sides of our Home Depot bedroom doors for three years, and I. Can't. Take it. Anymore: I've lived with this crappy hallway for over five years.
  
There's just too much Home Depot still in my house!

The hypocrite part is because, well... I painted the doors black. Yes, I'm a freaking liar, but most importantly, I'm terrible at using examples. And thank you to the few people who mentioned that to me: Not painting your doors black {as I spoke about here} was a terrible example of what one shouldn't copy. Terrible! {Even the man himself pointed that out to me!} So in order to partially correct my dreadfully bad example, I went ahead and did it. I was holding back for so long, but sometimes you just gotta let loose and fix what's wrong in your life. And what was wrong in mine were these terrible doors. Screw the security deposit!


































































Whew! Wallpapering is hard! Especially around pipes and a light socket. But two days of this and I am as happy as a clam, and I tend to just stand on my staircase for minutes on end admiring the change. The one thing that remains to be fixed is that light, but since I don't have access to the control panel to switch off the power, I suppose I'll have to come up with a more creative plan. So yes, Black doors are awesome. The biggest change I feel is the size, the room feels larger, like it expanded three feet in every direction. Black doors just have that effect, who knew! And how does the boyfriend feel about all this? The doors never bothered him in the first place, but since I did all the work he has accepted this as a serious upgrade: "The bedroom door feels all manly now!" Yes, black and manly. I love it.

Facts: paint color - Behr, deep space.
           wallpaper - butcher block paper printed with a cut potato and acrylic paint.
           glued with - homemade wheat paste.

Irony: I bought the paint at Home Depot.

Next: Possibly - stripping the mantle which took me this long to realize is f-ing marble.
          Probably not - tearing out the ugly carpeting in the bedroom {too much guilt?}

Learned: Go paint your doors black. It's awesome {and} There's evidence that it might be worth sacrificing your security deposit for happiness.

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Update! Light fixed, using some random parts I had around the house.
 


44 comments:

  1. Them hallways look phenomenal! EEEK, now the persistent question in my mind is "Can I afford to lose MY sec dep...?" You're putting scary thoughts into this head of mine.

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  2. You made your own wallpaper? You don't eff around, do you? It looks awesome!
    C

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  3. aside from all connotations above (which need no hashing by me, for the record), i love how this turned out - well done! i had my first rental in la also wallpapered, and nearly cried when i moved out only a year later with all my beautiful wallpaper still up (it was $$$, too!), so...yea, i know what you mean in terms of how far to go in a rental.

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    1. Ack! That must have been so hard! Yes, that's definitely why I used butcher's paper, now I can fathom leaving it behind because it cost me like ten bucks. Wallpaper in reality is SO expensive! I'm sure it was totally worth it still, cause you got a year of happiness from it :)

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  4. still Home Depot around my dear.... lol... but fantastic result!!!! well done... exept in your mindddddddddddddd.... oulala!!!!

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  5. Fantastic result, definately a source of inspiration!!!

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  6. How can anyone complain when it looks so damn good!! The black really sets off those pipes and that wallpaper which you made yourself WOW! I only wish Australian landlords weren't so uptight, we have to send them a letter if we want to put picture hooks up :0

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  7. OMG, Ariele, this looks GREAT!!!(!!!!!)

    Black doors are the shiz, you totally did the right thing. You know I rarely worry about stuff like that, but I can't imagine a landlord not seeing this kind of cohesion (at least they all match now!) being anything but a good thing. I might be totally crazy, but I always feel like those clauses are only there because people are lazy and don't do things well, but if you take the time and care to do things properly, I fail to see how that hurts anybody.

    Have you torn up a corner of the carpeting to see what's underneath? Dooooo ittttttt. I'm such a pusher.

    I like the little black strip you added on that pipe.

    The light looks so great too. Adorable!

    Okay I'm done now.

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    1. Eee!! I have totally torn up a corner! It's plywood {but I don't know what's under THAT} same as the hallway which I de-carpeted and painted. So effing tempting. I feel hatred for that damn carpet every day. Every single day!

      "Dear landlord, I had to tear up the carpet because it was bad for my health." Then I'll hand him a doctors note.

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  8. I'm really impressed with all of it. The landlord should thank his/her lucky stars that you are their tenant. But, landlords are often stupid.

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  9. you're amazing. please paint my house? well, my hallway i guess.

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  10. Okay, I was actually afraid to look at the after, because I love raw unpainted wood a whole lot, and it is near impossible for me to paint it, but oh my gosh I L O V E what you did. SO MUCH. And your wallpaper is the best I have ever seen - especially considering your method! Well done! I bet your landlord will love it.

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    1. Haha I know! If it were any wood other than Home Depot wood, I would never have painted it :) I'm glad you like it even still!

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  11. of course you'd have those lamp parts just lying around... they're great! and the wallpaper... you are bold! but it's such an improvement. all of it!

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  12. The doors look great! I had a hand on my heart moment when I saw the after photos. I live in a crappy rental who's owner does not want to spend a penny on but is happy for me to transform it for him. I have a ridiculous hollow core door for my front door (You could put a butter knife through it and recreate your own 'The Shining' moment without too much effort).

    To make it look more sturdy (and like a front door) I added some mouldings and painted it white. Now I feel at least if anyone tries to rob me, they will at least need an axe to break the door down.

    I have also replaced bathroom and kitchen taps and painted the kitchen cupboards. It's the little things...

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  13. I love this! Hard work pays off

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  14. beautiful! all of it. I have painted our frontdoor sparkling red. and after a couple of weeks, I simply forgot worrying about the landlord. I am in love with the lamp, btw.

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  15. I love this! Sometimes it's such a good thing to incorporate someone elses ideas.

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  16. AnonymousMay 02, 2012

    It looks great! Good idea on the wallpaper, too!

    I have been living with some godawful things in my apartment rental (of 5 years) too. I have no idea why sprucing up your rental gets such a bad rap...I recently thought I'd look for a new apartment and no kidding. Everything I've enquired about is AT LEAST $500/month more, and smaller!

    So...pay $6000/year more in another rental, or just spend whatever I need to spend to pretty the place up? I could spend $2000 and still come out on top!:) My landlord doesn't care what I do except not paining over wood he's already stripped, ha ha.

    -Chris

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    1. You are so lucky! That your landlord is even *semi* down with fixing stuff is great. DO IT! It is hard though, not knowing exactly how much longer you might stay in a place. We keep thinking we'll move and then we never do. I always wish I had upgraded stuff sooner rather than three or five years in. If it's a good price though, upgrade and STAY! Amen to that :)

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  17. that looks great!
    and - homemade wallpaper? what a great idea! i only thought about wrapping paper. but your idea is even better! :)

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  18. As long as you can restore it to the way it was when you moved in you can do whatever you want - not so sure about how your gonna fix the doors though- very exciting!
    In my old appartment I painted almost everything, different colour every three months (it was my first appartment so I had troubble restraining myself..) and well, it wasn't the happiest time of my life ''fixing'' it back to the boring way it was from the start- but it was definitly worth it!

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  19. you. lady. are my hero.

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  20. The changes look fantastic, but I really love your light update!

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  21. You're giving me painting fever! Also: wall papering fever, light-fixture fever, triangle fever and kilim fever. I just might have to spend my weekend giving my apartment some much need love and care.

    And you know you're going to do it eventually, so get with it. Rip the carpet. Do it!!!!! I'll totally give you a hand.

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    1. AAAGH!!!!!! Don't tempt me, woman! You know I came home today and totally peeked under a corner of that carpet... It's plywood, I knew this already, but what is UNDER that plywood has got me itching. Bad. BAD!

      But yes, give love your apartment this weekend! I think you should take care of some of this painting-wallpapering-triangeling-light-fixturing-FEVER.

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  22. AnonymousMay 05, 2012

    hey Ariele, i cannot believe you made your own glue!! I saw Heston Blumenthal make some out of potato starch on his cooking show and hang wallpaper with it- well, professionals did the hanging and it worked a treat- better than their usual glue. But, I have never heard of anyone hanging homemade wallpaper with homemade glue just for the sheer joy of it. You are, without doubt, a complete legend!!!
    Also, i rented a beach house over summer years ago when I got a job teaching near the coast. I have to admit that even as the real estate agent was showing me through the property I was already ripping the carpet out in my mind. In my defense it was yellow, brown and orange shagpile. Something that ugly can only live in the shed, where it did, rolled up for the six months I frollicked on bare boards in bare feet feeling all zen and breezy. I left the wooden battens along the walls, hidden by the furniture and simply rolled the carpet back when I moved out. Sure it looked a bit lumpy but its sheer ugliness meant no one ever looked at it too closely and I got all my security deposit back. Any real estate agent should know that summer and shagpile can never be. I never felt guilt. You know, the house was happier without that carpet. And so was I.
    So roll it up Ariele, stick it in the attic and reclaim your floor. Most likely, even if they think you possibly rolled the carpet up and stuck it somewhere for years then relaid it, I mean, who would ever do that? Thats crazy!! crazy like a fox!! crazy like a home made glue maker!!

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    1. Ha! What a genius idea. If I lived in an old apartment I'd totally roll up my carpet and store it. :)

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  23. Looks fantastic -- worth all the work and maybe even the security deposit. Good for you.
    Down with cookie cutter fixtures and finishes !

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  24. p.s. Life is too short NOT to have black doors! :-)

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  25. fabulous! it's all fabulous! daniel (and anna of door sixteen) have inspired me to paint my doors black too! well, once i move into my apartment this summer......

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  26. SO hilarious! I just got off the phone with my little brother who's having the same "I-can't-stand-my-apartment-need-to-renovate-land-lords-might-be-ticked-so-worth-it" dilemma. I mentioned your blog to him because he was talking about making a countertop for his place and knew he'd love the pieces you make. When I went to e-mail him a link to your website and saw this post, I about died laughing. It's perfect for him, and might just push him over the edge... happiness > security deposit.

    Love the light cover idea. You're so inventive.

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  27. love this! yes, be happy in your space

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  28. hot damn! i would never think to do little triangles like that, and they're so awesome! i love your style.

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  29. Um, no offense, but just a few posts ago you wrote:

    "Do I want to paint all my doors black because he did and it looks fantastic? You bet I do! Do I want to make one of these super cool throws? Uh, yeah! Do I want to start making amazing cards and paintings about baseball because hers are so awesome? Heck-freaking-yes!

    But will I? No."

    Maybe you were joking about painting the doors black?

    I think they look fabulous, by the way. Just trying to parse this post in light of your earlier post.

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    1. Yes indeed! It was my ill-attempt at trying to think of examples, and so many people were misunderstanding what I meant between "copying someone's work/art" and general DIYing for yourSELF. This was my attempt to more correctly prove that "for yourself" versus "for profit" is very different, one is stealing and one is not. So, good eye! And thanks for the comment :)

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  30. Ha, never mind my earlier comment, I read the post more carefully and now I see your comment about painting doors being a silly thing to say not to copy.

    The doors look fab!

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  31. Oh my word! This is a-mazing! I am totally inspired!

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  32. Ok, I need your help!! I am using the homemade paste to put up the brown paper and it's wrinkling like crazy. grrr. Did you have the same issues? Do you mind sharing how you installed the paper?
    side note: my wall is textured (blah), my paste mixture is 3tbs of flour and 1 cup boiling water with 4tbs of sugar, and my paper is the big roll of brown butcher paper from home depot... eeek.

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    1. Now I'm desperate... I tried to remove the paper and now have a blotchy brown spot on my wall. if you have any installation advice or tips, that would be amazing!

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    2. Oh my goodness! What a pain! Let's see. My recipe for wheat paste is: boil one cup water, then in a separate bowl mix five tablespoons flour into a small amount of cold water {it should be a little like pancake batter}. Then pour the flour mixture into the boiling water as you whisk. Remove from heat and add a tablespoon sugar.

      For the wallpapering, I started by getting my paper ready then spreading a the wheatpaste on a small amount of the wall, starting at the top. Make sure you have a wide spatula scraper thing, the plastic ones from home depot. Smooth out the paper quickly working from the middle in and upwards and outwards, scraping out the bubbles. It's a bit crazy!

      To get off the paper that didnt work, Id try scraping it with a metal trowel, then sanding it a bit. I hope this helps! Dont give up! ;)

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    3. oh my, you are so nice to reply. I think I was impatient and was putting the paste on a large section of my wall. I'll go little by little this time. THANKS so much for your help!

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Thank you dearly for your comments! They always make my day.