LEDs and the dancing fireplace wall


Some fun lighting at Kelley’s house in Baltimore. Mini Light City right in the living room!

I got loads of photographs from installations around the Inner Harbor last night. I’ll be posting some of those soon.

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Kitchen Nook, revisited


You may recall a post in which I talked about getting a new (to me) piece of furniture for the nook between the kitchen and the dining area of my apartment. The secretary in question arrived a couple weekends ago, a piece from the childhood home of a dear friend of mine. Before it arrived, I cleared that wall and painted it as per my plan.

It suits very well! And brings a gravitas to the space; still has plenty of room for the do-dads that were on the old shelves, plus room for stemware, a jar of creepy dolls, and the nested mixing bowls that belonged to my great aunt Dot.

Now I just need a more elegant solution to the cords from the lamps, and to replace the broken drawer pulls. I also plan to get a globe lamp to reside on top to illuminate the nook in general, in addition to the string lights inside.
Below is the composite I made in Photoshop last year to visualize the transformation:kitchen nook redesign

Floor plans of a room: art archive

map of a room; layout design
A two-dimensional layout

I’ve no recollection of what these plans / designs were intended for; sketches at least 18 years old. Regardless of their erstwhile infamy, I don’t know what the three screens were about, and don’t know to what room these referred. And what on earth is “Model of Strategy”? It had to be for work (“Time to Market” is a phrase I’d never use otherwise. But there’s a midget!? Or I was just taking the piss.)

At any rate, I’m fond of both the spirit and execution of these sketches.

map of a room; interior design
Now with three dimensions!

 

Colors on whimsy: art archive

drawing of a chair
Some scans from an old sketchbook— whimsy with art markers.
whimsical banner
(Always with the forks)
drawing of a harlequin patterned tableThis one is a drawing of a table i inherited from my grandparents’ house. I stripped the top surfaces and painted a black and white harlequin pattern which nicely offset the brown veneer and brass-tipped legs. I had to leave it behind when I moved back to NYC in 1998, and my brother took it on. See photographic evidence below.
photo of a harlequin patterned table
The stereopticon (and lots of 3D images for it) was also from my grandparents.

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Pattern + color: painted accent walls

Interior wall with projected pattern painted on
Accent wall from two apartments ago. I used a projector and chalk pencil to get the pattern in place, then painted it freehand.
My living room currently

I’ve been thinking about painting a patterned accent wall in the work-lounge (living room) of my apartment, so I’ve been looking through pictures of what I’ve done in other places.

One thought is to create pattern similar to the leaves on that Marimekko curtain, and paint it on the wall behind the Queen Anne. Not in white, but in a shade just a bit lighter than the wall color, or in varying degrees of lightness to mimic sunlight filtered through leaves. Subtle.

Another idea: cast shadows of the palm plant with a bright light, trace them with a chalk pencil, then paint them just a shade darker than the wall. I don’t know; I’m just thinking out loud. I may rather repaint my kitchen first.

Following are more images of fancy walls.

stencil painted wall
My kitchen, three apartments ago; this was done part wit stencil, and part freehand.
Interior striped wall
Striped walls of bedroom, three apartments ago.

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A table restoration project | Process

Before and After: a Queen Anne style reproduction, restored
Before and After: a Queen Anne style reproduction, restored

A few weeks ago, as I mentioned in this post, I found a discarded table around the corner from my apartment. It’s a modern reproduction, a simplified (straight legs not curved) variant on a Queen Anne style (yay, more QA!). It’s a gaming table to boot, as the top flips over and the obverse is felt-lined. A really pretty and well-constructed piece.

The post referenced above has a few ‘before’ images, including ones in which the Gaming Table aspects are shown, all of which have remained intact after this restoration of the exterior (top and legs only).

Bottom of the table, showing the beverage rest drawers and the inner section that holds game pieces
Bottom of the table, showing the beverage rest drawers and the inner storage section, as well as the hardware and joints where the legs connect
Wood stripping and refinishing supplies
Stripping and refinishing supplies*
Queen Anne style gaming table to be restored
Ready to dismantle and begin stripping the finish off

Drop cloth in place, the top surface is ready for stripping. Heavy duty gloves and disposable foam applicators, as this stuff is destructive (it will eat through latex gloves, don’t use ’em).

I used the fast-working type of stripper (with windows wide open and fan on on a very breezy day). Slather it on the wood— thick so it doesn’t dry too fast. You have to scrape the coating off while it’s still wet or it gets hardened.

Table top slathered in first coat of streipper
Table top slathered in first coat of stripper

06This part is immensely satisfying, all those layers of old finish coming off. I learned as I stripped the piece that several types of wood were used, which explains why it was finished in such a way that looked stained and polished like an antique, but was in fact an opaque, painted finish to hide the discrepancies. That also masks places in which wood filler was used.

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A find— and a dilemma

001
This table may find its way to being my new coffee table. My brother and I came across it Sunday night walking home after dinner. As evidenced from the photos it needs some work— to be stripped, sanded, and re-stained. Also, it’s too tall, so the legs will have to be sawed off (as I did to my current coffee table).
002 The top lifts off, and its obverse is lined with felt. As you can see from what lies beneath, it is a gaming table. Two dice cups and a folding cribbage board were on the inside which is also lined with felt. On either side: slide-out drink rests, to keep condensation off the felt. Really nice details.
003
A couple of potential problems: 1. It may be a little too large (about 4″-5″ wider than current table), and 2. It lacks the shelf underneath that the current table has, so where will my boxes of photographs live— and the wireless keyboard I use when watching movies or want to adjust volume?

Also of concern: my coffee table always has all sorts of things on it, so how often will the top of this new one come off? Perhaps only when we have a game of Euchre or French Tarot, but it’s a nice idea. I’m torn. I may just refinish it and sell it, or see if anyone I know wants it as-is.

Current coffee table with map of Rome
Current coffee table with map of Rome under resin