{Home} Casper the Friendly Ghost Chair

I wanted to add a chair or stool to the dressing room, to help with putting on shoes, but also to be a catchall for items that get taken out of the closet and need to be put back.  Somewhere along the way, I found myself coveting a ghost chair.

Craigslist had a few for sale, but they were more than I wanted to spend, so when someone listed one for $35, I emailed them less than two hours after they posted it.  It’s not the fancy name brand, but it’s a clear acrylic all the same.

I sent this snapchat out to some friends as I returned from Brooklyn with my newest score.

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It’s probably not the strangest thing seen on the subway, but the man next to me was really into it!  He even wanted to take a picture of it.

And there it is in its new home!

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It might be a little big for that corner, so it’ll probably haunt different spots in my apartment before it rests in peace.

{House} Second Time Around

After way too many hours of work, I had one support for the closet shelves installed.

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I checked the mark I had made the day before and then drilled the first hole for the second support.  I started with the top hole and then installed the second support and checked that it was still level with the first support.

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Once I was satisfied with the levelness of it, I marked the spots for the next three holes.  I had to slightly loosen the top screw to be able to drill the holes, but it worked out.

In case you didn’t believe me that I used my hands with the 1/2″ drill bit, here’s the proof!

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After the holes were drilled and the rest of the anchors and screws tightened, I fiddled with them a bit to ensure it was perfectly level.

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This is the shelving unit I’m using (though the supports are from MintCraft).  The going-out-of-business sale that I frequented didn’t have enough shelf supports in the size I wanted, so I ordered more online.

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I had also befriended someone in those last few days that was able to cut a longer shelf in half so I’d have enough shelves.  Like the true math major I was, I got the math wrong, and the two halves aren’t equal…

But it’s installed!  And it looks great!

diy install yourself shelves shelf closet kv mintcraft adjustable

As I was admiring it, it didn’t seem level with the existing rod and shelf.  Back out came the level to see where I went wrong.

Well look at that!  The original shelf isn’t close to level!

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Then it was time to actually use it!  I had a plastic set of drawers from my last apartment that I was looking to get rid of.  I put most of those things on this shelf, and also swapped some items with those in my dresser.

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I need a few bins for some smaller items, but I’m very excited for this addition!

{House} I. Do Not. Give Up.

My mother can tell you a lot of stories about how growing up I was would do something over and over and over until I was successful.  As an adult, I’m not sure if that’s because I’m determined or just stubborn.  Either way, this felt like one of those stories…

I’d been wanting to install the shelving unit I bought for my closet, and I finally found the time to do it.  First I had to move my DIY clothing rack (which still doesn’t have a base and wheels).

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I measured where I’d like my shelving supports to go and got to work.  I had these toggle bolts (purchased like everything else at the going-out-of-business sale).

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Note: if you’re going to do this yourself, please buy these anchors instead.  They’re much easier to work with!

The back of the package said how big the hole needed to be.

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A half inch?!  I have a set of drill bits, but the largest I had was 1/4″.  I tried using it anyway, and then making the hole wider by moving it around, but I wasn’t successful enough to fit the toggle thru the hole.  Off to a new hardware store that’s still in business, and I came home with this.

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Except that it was too thick to fit into my drill!  Not wanting to give up yet, I held it in my hands and manually widened the existing hole.  It worked!  It also cut my hands–who knew that drill bits were sharp!  LOL

Using that process–and a pair of heavy duty gloves–I was able to get the four holes drilled.

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These toggle bolts require that the screw and toggle bolt are on the piece being screwed to the wall before they’re inserted.  This was the easiest part so far.

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But of course it couldn’t be that easy!  Given that the walls are plaster, the two inch screws I had weren’t long enough to get the toggle all the way behind the wall.  Back to the hardware store I went!

Yes, they remembered me from just a few hours ago, but they were helpful and I walked out with these three inch screws.

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It worked!  I needed to tug on the screw a bit so the toggle would catch on the wall and the screw would tighten.  It took a little finesse, but I was persevered.  I used the level again to make sure the support was straight and then tightened all the screws.

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Ta da!  One perfectly hung support!

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Then it was time for the other side.  I had researched this kind of shelving unit, and the best tip I read was to add a set of brackets and a shelf to hang the second side.  This ensures that the holes line up perfectly so that the shelves are level.

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There aren’t any pictures of that process, as I’m only a woman with two hands, but I marked a few spots on the wall for where the second rail should be installed.  And since the co-op has rules about when you can make construction noise, I had to stop there for the evening.

Time to rest up so I’m ready to tackle the second side and then fill the shelves!

{Home} Color Conundrum

I can pick out the exact shade of my favorite color in two seconds flat, but picking a color for my walls has me stuck.  I read and bookmarked this post a few years ago, which suggested painting your rooms in shades of the same color.  I loved the idea then and couldn’t wait to try it out now!  I hope this color arrangement will add some more definition to what is ultimately one open space.

I picked out some paint strips in light neutral colors, and was able to narrow it down to one set, which is basically a long strip cut in half (see how the numbers are continuous?).

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Yes, technically these strips aren’t shades of the same color but slightly different colors that get progressively darker, but I think the idea still holds.

I was stuck on which lighter shade to use for the living room, and which darker shade to use for the entry way, dining area, and dressing room.  Luckily it’s pretty easy to get samples made.  I actually went back to get an additional sample since I still couldn’t make up my mind!

I ended up with three samples painted on the living room wall (left) and three on the dining room wall (right).

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The paint is from Benjamin Moore, and the colors for the living room are 856, 857, and 858, and for the other rooms are 858, 860, and 861 (listed in order as they appear on the wall).

There isn’t much light in my apartment, and the past few days have been cloudy, so it was hard to get a good picture of the samples.  Though I can tell you that the color appears very different depending on which wall the sample is on!  Right now, I think I’m leaning towards the lightest for the living room (856), and the lightest or middle for the other rooms (858 or 860).

I think I just need someone to come over and make the decision for me!  Any takers?  I’ll bake cookies or brownies! 😉

{Home} Space Race

One of the best things about living in a big city is that the resale opportunities and deals are endless.  I mostly furnished my last apartment from Craigslist, and it seems like the new additions to this apartment will be no different!

I was browsing for a new light for the dining area and kept stumbling on the Sputnik fixtures.  This light was a steal at $100 (with an extra box and a half of light bulbs), and I couldn’t forget it!  It turns out it’s also famous, as it was recently featured in an Apartment Therapy home tour.

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I had tried to install this light myself, but the electrical in my apartment is very old, so I asked the super to help.  He came over one morning and began to tinker with the wires.

The box needed a crossbar; luckily he had one in the basement.  He wrapped it in electrical tape so that it wouldn’t touch any of the exposed wires in the box.

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I didn’t take many other pictures of the process, as I helped him a little by holding the flashlight and handing him pieces.  The “white” neutral wires were cut so that they could be pushed farther into the box.  They got a new wire nut in place of the fabric electrical tape.  Some of the wires were exposed due to the decaying cotton wrapping, and they were wrapped in electrical tape to protect them.  Then it was just a matter of attaching the wires from the fixture to those in the box, screwing the fixture into the crossbar, and then adding light bulbs.

And just over an hour later it was finished!

sputnik light brass vintage dining area room

sputnik light brass vintage

sputnik light brass vintage dining area room

Two of the bulbs are burned out, but I was too excited to replace them quite yet.  The old fixture also had a bigger canopy/base, so the ceiling needs a little paint, but that should be easy enough.  In the mean time, you can find me gazing at it!