Google+ House Revivals: April 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fishing Basket Table

Some of you were curious about the basket table in the picture with our beautiful horseshoe backed chair that I posted about earlier.

(This post is participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge, T is For Table. See link in sidebar. )

This table was adapted from traditional Southeast Asia fishing baskets.  My in-laws picked it up during an overseas tour during the Vietnam War.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Awesome Re-Purposed Quonset Huts!

Adaptive re-use architectural projects have come into their own in recent years, but they are by no means new. People have been adapting existing spaces to their own purposes since cave dwelling days.
Green building trends have brought adaptive re-use to the forefront of design, and made it hip, trendy, and even mainstream. One favorite building for adaptive re-use is the humble WWII era Quonset hut.

(This post is participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Q is for Quonset. See the link in the sidebar.)

The Quonset hut was seen as an answer to the post WWII housing crunch. This old Popular Science cover illustrates how Quonset huts could be adapted to fill the housing gap.

One old Quonset hut, that had previously been adapted to use as a home, has recently been given a contemporary remodel, as shown below.

You can see from the "before" picture below that the home has undergone a dramatic change!

This view into the library from the kitchen shows the original bones of the Quonset hut structure, as well as a new addition.

The dining room manages to have a traditional vibe while staying true to it's original architecture.

This WWII Quonset hut was preserved as part of a mixed-use development in Santa Monica. The patina of the exterior of the building was preserved, while the interior was completely remodeled.

Killefer Flammang Architects

The architect owners of this made-over Quonset hut used corrugated metal in their kitchen to reference the exterior of their home.

Quonset huts were adapted to lots of different uses, including restaurants, churches, dry cleaners, studios, primary residences and vacation homes.

Architect Darwin McCredie rescued a dilapidated old Quonset hut in Ojai and turned it into a bright spacious abode.

What do you think about adaptive re-use projects? Could a made over Quonset hut be your next dream home?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Crafts to Make With Pistachio Shells

Who doesn't love a cheap craft? Throw in reclaimed materials and the requirement that you must first eat lots of delicious pistachio nuts, how can you go wrong?  Here is a round up of some fun DIY projects using pistachio shells.

With Earth Day coming up, I know many of you are thinking about green craft projects!

(This project is being linked to the Blogging A to Z Challenge. P is for Pistachio. See the link in my sidebar.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Awesome Projects to Make With Recycled Newspapers

Continuing the Earth Day theme, here at House Revivals, I thought it would fun to share some ways to use recycled newspapers in our homes and our gardens.

Even if you subscribe to all your papers electronically, you probably have friends and neighbors who would be more than willing to donate their old papers to your recycling projects.

(This post is participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge. N is for Newspaper. See the link in my sidebar.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cool Stuff Made From Reclaimed and Recycled Materials

Just for fun, I've been going through the archives here at House Revivals.  Here are a few fun projects made from reclaimed and re-purposed materials, in honor of our upcoming Earth Day!

(This post is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. M is for Made. See the link in my sidebar.)

This burnt edge peony is perfect for spring!  It was one of my first tutorials, and has been especially popular with readers who are planning weddings.  It was created using recycled textiles.

This oval wreath made from vintage book pages, jute webbing, and felt roses was made as a gift for a friend. The wreath form was cut from cardboard in the  recycling bin, the book was rescued from the Goodwill Outlet (often the last stop for Goodwill merchandise before the landfill). The roses were made from an old felted wool sweater.

This decoupaged Union Jack with these faux tin letters -- made from recycled newspapers -- spelling LOVE, is one of the most popular projects on House Revivals. The Union Jack was cut from old shirts.

This square wreath is one of my very favorite projects -- in fact, it still hangs on my front door.  Although I glittered the leaves and made it specifically to hang over the holidays, I think it looks great all year long. and it makes me happy. Learn how to make your own wreath using all reclaimed and vintage materials!

Another "early blog" project was this Wild Pants Lamp! It was a little crazy, and I'm pretty sure my husband hated it, but I loved it. It was made using..................... wait for it............................ Wild Pants!

The lamp didn't last too long, however, after our daughter's sweet pup, Dexter, arrived in our home!

His mommy tried to fix it.... with duct tape. We actually used it like this for several more months, while our household goods were in storage!  Lately, it has been stashed in a closet awaiting a proper repair.

Who can stay mad at a face like that?

Do you like to make things?  Do you enjoy working with reclaimed materials?  Be sure to leave a comment, so I know you stopped by!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Decorating With Laptop Tables

Do you like to use your laptop while hanging out in the living room?  Sometimes you want to use your computer, but you also just want to relax on the sofa or in a comfy chair.

(This post is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. L is for Laptop Tables. See link in sidebar)

My husband is a software engineer, and he needs to check in to work frequently, and also enjoys writing code at home in the evenings. We've tried using a coffee table that raises up, and while that is okay, you still have to lean forward to use them with a laptop  -- and the coffee table can block other's view of the television.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

{10} Knock Off Tutorials You Will Love!

Do you adore a great knock-off? Now, when I say knock-off, what I really mean is a new creation inspired by something, well.... inspirational!

Here are ten favorite knock-offs from House Revivals!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Jonathan Adler, I Love You!

There. I've done it. I've professed my love to the world. While most of you are crushing on some hunky movie star, I'm crushing over a potter. Of course Jonathan Adler is not just any potter -- he's an amazingly gifted potter who branched out into furniture design and now has a chain of boutiques that bear his name.

Oh, Jonathan, I know you are in a relationship -- and I have been married for nearly thirty years, and raised three children with my husband, but he just doesn't understand me like you do! The color, the glitz, the glam, the retro-but-not-kitchy, the handcrafts, the art, the warmth -- you get me. Oh, how I love you.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

So You Want to Be an Interior Designer!

Do you love beauty? Do you love being creative? Do you love helping others put together beautiful and functional spaces? Maybe you should be an interior designer!

(This post is participating in Blogging A to Z.  I is for Interior Designer.)

If designing spaces is something think you want to do, here are a few facts you need to know:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why You Should Shop at Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores!

I don't hide the fact that I am a fan of shopping second hand.  I love craigslist and garage sales and thrift stores and architectural salvage yards.

Maybe this is why I love Habitat for Humanity Thrift Stores and Re-Stores so much!  You can find great used stuff, AND architectural salvage.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Garlands and Buntings for Spring

Garlands and buntings are a really strong decorating trend right now-- they are great for parties, seasonal decor, and mantels.

They are easy to DIY and give you a lot of bang for your buck.  Here are ten especially pretty garlands and buntings perfect for your spring decor!

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

The faucet was leaking... drip, drip, drip... it wouldn't stop. One day we just couldn't stand it anymore. We ordered a package of assorted washers from Amazon, and eagerly awaited its arrival.

(This post is participating in Blogging from A to Z. F is for Faucet. Or Fix. Or Fail.)

We have fixed many leaky faucets over the years, so we expected this one to be a piece of cake. It was not. The old, ugly faucet, with the broken ceramic handle could not be repaired. We needed a special tool we did not have, and frankly, we hated the faucet. So, off I went to Lowes to grab another faucet, but while I was there, I thought "Why not replace that awful sink while we're at it?"

Saturday, April 5, 2014

DIY Charging Stations For Your Electronic Devices

Electronic devises are driving me crazy! How about you? You're trying to make dinner, and the counter is strewn with cords, there's a device sitting on the floor next to an outlet, and maybe there's even one plugged into a bathroom outlet, that gets in the way every time you want to blow dry your hair. What to do?

There are plenty of retailers that sell charging stations, but I have not yet found one that I like, so off to the interwebs and blogosphere I went for inspiration to make my own.

Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Dye a Leather Sofa or Chair

For the past couple of weeks, I have been researching methods for dyeing leather furniture. My husband wants a recliner. {Cue record scratching sound effects.} The thing about recliners is that they are fantastically amazing to sit and recline in -- which is why they are so popular. (This post is participating in Blogging a to Z. D is for Dye!)

The other thing about recliners? Most of them are, well, ugly. Annnnnnnd they are often so over-scaled they take up the entire room.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Do You Have a Statement Chair?

I was recently asked about a favorite statement chair in our home. We have this lovely curved back rosewood armchair, inherited from my husband's mother.  (This post is participating in Blogging A to Z. C is for Chair!)

It is a gorgeous chair that we have a strong sentimental attachment to. This particular chair represents a perfect blending of my love for patina and classic lines, and my husband's appreciation of sophisticated forms and meaningful family pieces.

It's a traditional Asian form, called a Quan Yi or Yuan Yi chair, which literally means round, or round backed. Sometimes these chairs are described as horseshoe chairs. Because the chairs were often reserved for persons of stature, you might also see one referred to as a monk's chair.

The rounded back of the Quan Yi chair is a very old design. This rare folding chair is from the Late Ming Dynasty and is in the collection of the Pacific Asia Museum. This chair has bas relief carvings on the back splat and has metal fittings and a woven cloth seat.

These Mid-Qing Dynasty chairs are from FaFa Gallery.  According to FaFa historians, "horseshoe chairs were used ceremonially and reserved for persons of high rank and social importance."

This pair of chairs is from the Shanxi region and is beautifully crafted from walnut. The "shou" character on the back splat symbolizes longevity.  I have absolutely no idea what the symbol on the back of my chair means -- any ideas? Does it look like the longevity symbol?

As with so many other beautiful classic forms, modern adaptations of Quan Yi forms might be found in acrylic, like this gorgeous red acrylic chair

This pair of huanghuali chairs are from the seventeenth century and feature intricately carved splats.

Huanghuali literally translates "yellow flowering pear" wood. Huanghuali is part of the rosewood family.

My own Quan Yi chair is of much more humble origins!  It is most likely 1960's vintage, and was no doubt crafted for the tourist trade. The seat is lower than typical Quan Yi, and it has cabriole legs and ball and claw feet. It is a lovely and well-made piece. Quan Yi chairs are still made today, but the quality is not nearly as nice as this 1960's vintage chair.

There are two stories floating around about how this chair joined the family. One story is that my father-in-law, an Air Force navigator, purchased our chair in Thailand, after one of many missions flown over Vietnam dropping propaganda leaflets! He and the rest of the crew often had stopovers in Thailand before returning home to Okinawa. They would sometimes buy gifts to bring back to their wives, and carry them in the cargo hold of their plane.

The second story has my mother-in-law flying to Thailand from Okinawa for a much needed R&R (war wife with six kids)!  She returned with a bag full of shopping receipts, and this chair was delivered a few weeks later.  The real story? Nobody is sure. Either story could be true -- there was an extravagant shopping trip to Thailand, and cool stuff did come home in the cargo hold of a bomber.

The thing that surprises our guests the most about the chair is how comfortable it is!  The curved back splat and arms fit your body perfectly, and it doesn't seem to matter if you are five foot three or six foot three! According to a writer from FaFa Gallery, when seated in a Quan Yi chair, "one is warmly greeted by a gentle, fond embrace."

Do you have a statement chair in your home?

If you are visiting from Blogging A to Z, please leave your blog post URL in your comment, so I can visit you back. Happy blogging!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What Crafters Need to Know About U.S. Copyright Law

I allowed myself to be bullied.  Fortunately, on my long drive out to the beach house, I was able to "get into that place" and think things through.  (This post is participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  B is for Bully.)

It was early December of 2012 and things were good and I was happily going along, minding my business and doing my thing, when I got a strange email. A woman claimed to own the copyright to the designs for some popular star weaving craft tutorials I had written for my blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Tiny Apartment Trend

Micro-housing is becoming a huge (or should I say "tiny") trend in real estate today.  It answers a need for affordable housing, especially in urban cities, where more and more people need to fit into a small area.

While there is controversy about creating large numbers of tiny abodes in some areas, and tiny housing should be thoughtfully designed, today I'm just sharing cool tiny apartments from cities around the country. Micro-housing is usually considered anything under about 400 square feet and it is not unusual to see micro-housing that is as small as 150 square feet!