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What is the one most creative unique project you have done?
designideas4me
December 20, 2012 in Before & After
I would love to share creative ideas that people have built or painted or hung or whatever it is that you made or changed in a creative unique way to your house . This might be hanging photos that you framed yourself or a painting that you did personally or maybe a shelving unit you put together from a box or some planters you arranged in a unique fashion. Anything that perhaps others might not have thought of because it is unique and personal to you but might help others( me especially) to do similar projects of creativity. I guess what I am looking for is more than something you just purchased like a couch but maybe a couch you re-upholstered yourself that you found at a garage sale would be a cool idea. Anything that your that proud to have completed and can share a picture of for others to get ideas. I really like to at least try to do creative projects myself. Sometimes I get frustrated or overwhelmed and quit or hire someone who knows how to use the tools needed that I dont have but if anyone wants to share project ideas for the home I would love to learn. As for myself... well...lets see.. I could start by sharing my love of succulents. I never even knew what these were til I bought this house and became very involved in keeping the plants healthy and preceded to buy many more. I went to a nursery and bought many of them but what I love to do is to put them all together in different arrangements in these clay pots and them surround them with black river rocks. So here is one example of a creative idea that I would like to share. I look forward to learning from anyone who cares to offer ideas. I need to take some close ups tomorrow but I saw another idea as I posted this picture. Ok this one is really cool if you love to be outside and want to create an area with privacy or to block out the sun when its hot. I saw this done on some ad for curtains and i loved it so I decided to hang my curtains( which actually are not outdoor curtains) although they have held up very well to the rain and sun so far. I hung them with wire from one side of this wood beam to the other in front of the sectional I put outside. I must admit at times when its windy they blow in your face but its better than the scorching sun on you and great at night for privacy with candles lit. Anyway hope to here from all you creative people out there.
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designideas4me
Oh I almost forgot I also spray painted that little table silver to match the chairs. Its held up pretty well for the past 2 years. It was rusty and white before.
December 20, 2012 at 2:03am   
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PRO
PH Interiors, LLC
Here is a powder room. After stripping the wallpaper, I applied dry wall compound to the walls, painted and stained them. Then I applied the picture frame molding and stained the surrounding wall space in a darker tone. Using a stencil, I made 3D scrolls (in the corners of the panels) by applying a very thick coat of compound over the stencil and removing it. My client now calls it the museum - he loved it.
December 20, 2012 at 8:12am     
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14thstreet
We have an office nook in our house right off the living room that would resemble a closet if not for the built-in stained glass. It also is a nice touch to the entry way on the other side of the glass and saved me from purchasing another piece of art or mirror for the entry. Here are pics from both sides.
December 20, 2012 at 8:51am     
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designideas4me
PH interiors... I love it. I need to ask you in more detail how you did this. I never thought of staining dry wall compound. It kinda looks like Venetian plaster.
December 20, 2012 at 5:22pm     
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designideas4me
14thstreet. I love this too. Did you make the stained glass? where did you find that? It looks hand made. Is some of that artwork from your kids? I used to hang lots of my sons artwork. Its so much fun to see them be creative. I taught art to kids for a while. Its amazing how a samll are can be transformed with paint and art.
December 20, 2012 at 5:25pm   
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14thstreet
Thanks designideas4me. I did not make it, I purchased it from a stained-glass maker. I looked at a lot of stained glass at antique stores too but didn't find one that had good-condition lead in the style and colors I was looking for. And yes-that's artwork courtesy of my daughters. In frames they look like masterpieces to me. :)
December 21, 2012 at 6:21am   
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PRO
PH Interiors, LLC
Hi designideas4me, it was a fun and fool proof project. Just smear the compound all over the wall with a flat thingie (cannot remember what it's called! Looks like a large solid spatula?!) leaving noticeable texture - like small half swirls. With the stencil, fill in in thickly with the compound and remove. Give all this a day or so to set. Then apply paint. Let dry and go over with a rag and stain. The texure will catch the stain and give you a venetian plaster look alike with less sheen.
December 21, 2012 at 8:22am   
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orchard8
For me, one of the most time consuming and tedious reno's I've done was an 80's bathroom makeover. The whole bathroom was tiled...I repainted all grout antigue white to match tiles.( originally sandy-brown.) Painted accent blue tiles and vanity, removed the brass towel racks, countertop, lighting etc.
December 21, 2012 at 8:24am   
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designideas4me
Wow that looks beautiful. I didnt realize you can paint grout. thats good to know. I always just tried to clean it. How do you paint it without getting paint on the tile? Whats the new counter top made of? I also have an ikea track light in my bathroom. Makes a big difference from the dim light that was part of the fan. I also had the sliding glass door on the tub removed and put up a curtain. Looks like you painted over the stripe on the tile too. I didnt realize you can paint tile and have it look that good.
December 21, 2012 at 12:21pm   
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orchard8
This was one job I was sorry I started..lol.. It would have been an absolute nightmare ripping out all the tile. Since the bathroom was located in the basement, we didn't want to spend a fortune on it . The cheapest solution was to change the grout which was orginally a s**t brown colour. Home depot carries a grout paint in about 6 different shades. You need to clean the grout with a scrub brush and a heavy duty detergent and rinse well. I took an artists 1/4" paint and painted all the grout lines. It took 2 coats. You pretty much paint a small section at a time and wipe off the excess. I have used this product on other projects and it wears well. I once used this product on a 1200' kitchen/family room floor using a small grout scraping tool to etch out the baked on kitchen dirt first . I would recommend a good pair of knee pads for a job that big. For the existing blue accent tile I sanded it down to take the shine off. Next I used a good oil primer and a oil satin paint to match the existing sheen of the rest to the tiles. I taped off each tile carefully and used a small sponge roller on each one. Honestly, this job was very time consuming but you would never know they had been painted. I would't use this technique on tiles inside a shower though. The counter top is granite and for the shower I replaced the gold sliders with a custom glass door.
December 21, 2012 at 4:44pm   
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designideas4me
That does sound very tedious. If I am going to install tile in the bathroom on the floor and have grout lines do you have any suggestions on what color to use and how thick or thin. Is there just no easy way to keep grout between tiles clean? Tile seems to be the suggested flooring for bathrooms. I used to have tile in my apartment bathroom in the tub that would get moldy and was so gross especially around the window that was in the shower and I tried everything to get rid of it but it always came back. Thank God my new house has fiberglass in one piece( or so it seems) and no deep grout lines to clean.
December 21, 2012 at 10:50pm   
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orchard8
The trend when this 80's bathroom was built was a contrasting tile/grout combo. I like to choose a grout colour close to the tile colour. A shade lighter or little bit darker, depending on how much traffic the floor will be getting.. I prefer to use a 1/8" grout line. You can go a little wider depending on the size of the tile 24'X24". When deciding on grout colours, always use natural light. You can buy sealer products to protect your grout. Personally, washing the floors with a little vinegar and water works the best. I once worked on a white marble floor where the stone and grout were a strange shade of yellow...this was from years of slapping on Mr.Clean with a mop! Never use harsh cleaners on stone or ceramic, it will change the colour of the stone and the grout.
December 22, 2012 at 8:09am   
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designideas4me
what do you consider the ideal floor for a bathroom? Does the sealer really keep the dirt from settling in the cracks between tiles? Does vinegar really clean as well as bleach?
December 22, 2012 at 10:51am   
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orchard8
Use bleach and water in moderation...the best way to keep any tile grout clean is to wash floors often. Don't let it get to the point where you have a serious mold/dirt problem. I use car micro fiber shammies. Costco sells a great pack of 20 that will last forever. A good pair of knee pads helps...lol.. Sealers can help, but there is no magic secret to keeping tile grout pristine. I love natural stone, it does involve more maintenance.. you have to seal the stone etc...There are so many great tile options now that look like real stone without all the on going sealing care. I would suggest adding a heated floor below bathroom tile. So worth it!!
December 22, 2012 at 11:10am   
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designideas4me
Do you live somewhere cold. Its been cold here at night lately ( like 35 degrees) but its a short winter than its super hot most of the year. I am walking on concrete now which isnt too cold but I think anything other than carpet and wood feel cool or cold. I had linoleum and carpet in the bathroom ( yeah carpet). So anyway I am deciding on what floor to put in now. I am thinking that tile is easier but I do love the look of travertine. However whatever I choose will be very modern. My main concern is that its slippery. Did you say you painted the cabinets too because I am trying to do that myself for to all the cabinets. My bathroom is stripped down now. no floor and no cabinet doors. At least I have a toilette and a bathtub ..oh and a sink..lol. I may change some light fixtures but paint and a floor are the big decisions. what do you think about handles on cabinet doors? I mean in the bathroom.
December 22, 2012 at 1:57pm   
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orchard8
Hello designideas4me, yes it is pretty cold where I live too. Travertine works well in a bathroom. It is a very soft porous stone and needs to be sealed. Any type of tile can be a little slippery, choosing a honed travertine tile will be less so. The cabinet was also painted the same colour used on the accent wall tiles. Same technique, sand well, prime and paint using a sponge roller. I like to use a sponge roller on very smooth or flat surface cabinets. When working on wood cabinets, or cabinets with trim etc.. I use a brush. Use an oil base paint, it's more durable and you won't get that god awful orange peel-texture roller finish when using latex paint. Always paint a thin coat, if needed paint a second thin coat. Look for a contemporary style hardware to compliment your existing cabinet. What I usually do is pick out 3 or 4 pulls that I like, put them on the cabinet and pick the one that suits it best. All hardware stores have a good return policy on the ones you didn't choose. Just keep the original packaging and tape them back up and return. Good luck with your project! Post some pics when you are finished!
December 22, 2012 at 10:33pm   
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designideas4me
Ok So your suggesting oil based paint yet many people have told me use water based products bother primer and paint. I did sand ( have help with this part) the cabinet doors and frames. It took days and days and cost hundreds since it is a porous oak grain. I did prime with a roller and then paint to see what a few colors looked like. It definitely has what your calling the orange peal texture. I thought I would have to pay to have it professionally sprayed both primer and paint ( $1500).. Ok here are a few pics to show you. I used a metalic paint so maybe thats why I needed to use a water based primer. But I do know that the primer was very hard to apply smoothly. I recall seeing brush and roller marks and it was/is very hard to get a smooth finish on a sanded oak wood. Here are more pics of the wood raw( top coat sanded off). And the wood before sanding.
December 22, 2012 at 11:11pm   
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designideas4me
This was the original kitchen. Here is a pic of the heavy open grain in that oak wood as you see in the island that was sanded. The dark brown stain shows the stain I has professionally sprayed on, which I saw started to chip and peel off plus it was just too dark which is why i was thinking of the light bronze or silver color instead.
December 22, 2012 at 11:18pm   
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orchard8
Ambitious project! Oil paint is my personal preference..I find oil much more forgiving when rolling or using a brush technique on cabinets.(it dries much smoother for a professional looking finish.) On a heavy grain wood like oak, I would use a good brush made for oil base paints.
December 23, 2012 at 7:23am   
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
I designed a dining table that seats 12 but tucks under a piano shaped island in the kitchen. While in that space it works as a desk on one side and a breakfast table and work space on the other. The 10 extra chairs neatly stack in a cabinet that is part of the island.
December 23, 2012 at 8:09am     
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designideas4me
orchard8 .. what do you think of the metallic finish I put on? could I maybe use a water based polyethylene to protect it and seal those tiny lines? I have painted canvas with both acrylic and oli. Oil takes longer to dry and much stickier and hard to clean the brush but are you saying the chemical make up is such that it wont show the brush marks? Is lacquer paint an oil base? Have you ever used lacquer paint? I was originally going to do the cabinets with it but the estimates were carazy high and the painters I spoke to said its very hard to apply.
December 23, 2012 at 3:11pm   
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designideas4me
International.. Thats a cool idea. I can see a need for that with some kitchens. It does seem an odd configuration in some kitchens to have a counter with stool and a table next to each other. I kinda have that issue but think I still prefer the table for artwork and homework. I plan to buy a glass table for mine. But I do have a question. When you invented that how did you get it manufactured?
December 23, 2012 at 3:18pm     
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
@designideas4me I did that job about 6 years ago. I had it made by my cabinet guy and the guy that does my metal work did the legs. I purchased the extension hardware on line. I'm Glad you liked it. It is always a great compliment when someone other than the client likes what you've done.
December 23, 2012 at 5:27pm     
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PRO
Eurocerob
Uniqueness is pretty hard to achieve but it is so easily found in nature . Nature blends different colors without being '' afraid '' of how it looks or .......... some people like to create parts of it and successfully accomplish it . Being afraid of how it looks to other holds as back , at least to some degree :)

Part of a project we did few years ago , pics of the laundry room ( storage units were BO at the time the photos were taken :( ..........
December 23, 2012 at 5:40pm     
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designideas4me
Eurocerob.... WOW... Beautiful. Come do that in my house. Please explain more about what exactly you did. Yes i love nature and having recently bought a house with a pool, i love water. I have been taking pictures of the swirls and reflections in the water and want to paint this. Did you paint that?
December 23, 2012 at 7:24pm   
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PRO
Eurocerob
No paint , except the ceiling . Everything else is natural stone , marble and granite was used . Custom cut and installed as per client specifications .
Mixing colors and materials ( stone , hardwood , etc. ) can result in a pleasant harmony .
I don't do paint , but everything else involving natural stone , porcelain or ceramic tiles , simple or complex designs ............ just writting about it warms me up :)
December 25, 2012 at 8:09am   
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designideas4me
I really love what you said... Uniqueness is pretty hard to achieve but it is so easily found in nature . Nature blends different colors without being '' afraid '' of how it looks or .......... some people like to create parts of it and successfully accomplish it . Being afraid of how it looks to other holds as back , at least to some degree :)

what is the blue on the wall? tile? Is looks like water.. Is it granite?

I guess this is why I am drawn to nature, I love what is unique. I keep finding beautiful interesting shapes and creations on trees and plants and on the ground. Your so right. why does that hold us back? That fear of how it looks. True artists have no fear. How do I overcome fear? I have a need to create.
December 25, 2012 at 8:41am   
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designideas4me
I looked at your profile . you do beautiful work. Do you help the client decide what looks good and how to coordinate the colors and textures in the project or do you just do the instillation?
December 25, 2012 at 8:48am   
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Eurocerob
The blue on the walls is marble . It is a very delicate one , especially when cutting it .

Thank you for the kind words about my work . Most of the time I am doing the installations . I always try to give my clients the best results but most of the time we are too late involved into decissions and different constraints ( budget , time frame ..... ) are present . There are exceptions where clients ( designers , home owners , general contractors ....... ) do like and want the best options and I can say None of them regrets the outcome .

I have the same problem as you do .... overcoming fear ......... I will just say be yourself . Whatever you decide must please you first .... but have others involved into your project . The benefits of it are rewarding and you will not discover them if a little '' pushing '' doesn't take place .
December 25, 2012 at 10:36am     
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designideas4me
So based on your knowledge of materials. What is best advised for floors? I was just watering some plants and of course dirt and water end up on the floor. If I do wood in the kitchen will I regret it? Is tile or travertine better for the floor? Is quartz or granite better for the counter? what about marble or limestone on the counter? And for the bath and laundry any suggestions on the tile instillation process and layout? Thx.
December 25, 2012 at 11:04am   
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PRO
Eurocerob
With the wood looking porcelain tiles , durability and maintenance is a past thing . Tile or travertine ....porcelaine tiles are made today to look as wood , natural stones ..... I am a real stone type for counters , so I would say granite over quartz . Unless uniform looking is very important ......... Marble or limestone , definitely marble . Marble is such a warm material ................ There are so many styles , colors , layouts ..... look at the ones you like and try to reproduce them as per your needs ..........I've always liked the mediterranean look and had so little or almost non existant projects with it .
December 25, 2012 at 12:24pm   
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