Monday, February 25, 2013

Door shade

I haven't been able to sleep in if there's light in the room for years now and have always come up with ghetto methods of keeping the light out, but letting my cats go in and out of the room. Usually these have involved ratty old sheets draped over the partially open door and the most recent incarnation also used a coat hanger that the sheet attached to and would hook over the doorway of my sliding pocket doors. It looked like crap, but worked and most guests never saw it unless they crashed on the couch.

Well, some other recent improvements finally motivated me to put a more proper solution in, so I got this cheap, black blind from Ikea and voĆ­la: a decent looking light blocker. Really wish I would've done this years ago!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Back in the Saddle + Living Room Feng Shui

Google just released an iPhone app, so I think it's about time to hop back in the saddle and do some house bloggin'.

Since I installed my projector so the screen was at the end of the room, my living-room has barely been used. The couch was arranged with it's back to the dining-room/kitchen and as a result the only time ppl would feel comfortable sitting on it was when everyone was in that area. I wanted the projector that way so that it could be seen from throughout the house and so the speakers would cover the whole floor in sound... But ultimately, it just wasn't a great arrangement from a Feng Shui perspective.

Recently I had an epiphany: the screen didn't have to be parallel with one of the walls! Why not put it at an angle and then rotate the couch so it's back was facing the wall?

Doing this has really opened up the room and made it more inviting. In the last couple weeks alone, we've hung out in the livingroom more time than we have in the last couple years! It's great, an makes tons of room for the new XBox360 Kinect I got :P

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Acoustic Reticles I

In case you haven't read the blog before, I get the white foam from my work because it is used to ship some of our raw materials in. It's really high quality foam (polypropylene, not polystyrene), so rather than throw it away I've been keeping (read: hoarding) lots of it in my basement planning to do something like this for a long time now.

The white foam mainly diffusers (scatters) sound but the grey and red foam that I've added absorbs the sound, so acoustically it's a good compromise of features.... plus I think it looks pretty awesome.

The blocks are all held together using magnets and stick to small L brackets attached to the wall to give it a cool "floating" look. The magnet technique needs to be perfected a bit, but once complete will really ease installation and that's something I've been striving for to allow other people to put them in their house without complicated hanging instructions.

I plan on doing a 4x4 grid on my other wall, then trying to get some online press for them and spread the word.

BTW - The name "Acoustic Reticles" came from the silicon microphone wafers that the white foam is used to ship. A reticle is an electrical design/pattern which is repeated across a silicon wafer which in the case of my company are used to make tiny microphones.

"New" Bed and Wall Decorations

I'm baaaaack!

I hope to get a number of house projects complete this summer so I figure it's time I get the ole blogspot up and running again. Today's update features one new and one new-to-the-blog items... Both of which are contained in this photo:

New-To-The-Blog is the wall decorations, which I scored from Construction Junction for $10. I sanded, fixed and re-painted them from their original red color, but the mounting hardware on the back made them relatively easy to hang.

New-new is the bed. My buddy Brandon and I built the box you can see there last night... and by that I mean I followed Brandon's lead and tried to keep up :P He works for Kramer's Kustom wood shop right down the street from me in the Southside and we whipped this together in a couple hours. This is just the start though. Next we'll add drawers, a front panel, a headboard and integrated side tables so the drawers can slide under them. All of this will be finished with a to-be-determined exterior like laminate, vaneer, metal... who knows. All I do know is it's gonna be awesome.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Recycling Milk

I've been thinking about doing this for a long time, and finally got around to it..... definitely should've done it a while ago. I cut small notches in two sides of a milk crate, making two recycling bag holders.

Bag Notch

Crate with Two Bags

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Uncle Frank"

I've been pondering the idea of putting an animal mount in my stairwell for a while, and after Jeremiah forwarded me a craigslist posting advertising 2 caribou and 8 deer head being sold, the idea came to fruition.

It looks even better than I thought it would. The pictures really don't even do it justice. The amount the head comes out of the wall and commands attention is incredible. Standing at the top of the stairs, your eyes are just about in line with his, and as you walk down the stairs and look up, you gain additional perspective on his antlers.

I like how it looks and (although it sounds kind of lame) the earthy feel it gives to my otherwise calculated interior so much that I think I want to get more. The woman I got it from has 8 or more deer heads still for sale and last night my friend Nick had a pretty amazing idea to place one at each end of my dining room table, coming out from the center of foam that I have mounted on them. The contrast of the highly geometric, entirely man-made foam with a large wild animal would be really impressive I think.

Here's what the wall looks like on both sides of my dining room table (just one side shown, but it's the same on both).

Monday, June 9, 2008


This is a fairly unexciting topic, but it took me a while to do this and I'd been putting off doing it for so long, I think it deserves its own post.  I installed transition strips/thresholds this weekend between the cork floor and the sliding glass windows and the bathroom tile.  It wasn't a big deal, but also took some finagling to get right.  Pictured above is the transition by the front sliding glass window.

Not shown is the one I did for the other sliding glass window and the bathroom strip.  For the other sliding glass one, I cut small holes in the strip on the two ends so I could run some speaker wire under it and have my movie area wired for sound.  I'll take some pics of that when I document the main living room area and projector screen sometime soon.

Room Curtains!

I spent many-a-mornings with my room bright as the day because all I had on the sliding glass doors to prevent the light from coming in was a thin white sheet.  Last week though, my mom took the extra material from the curtain in the living room and made it into curtains for my bedroom!  I think it looks pretty great, and it definitely works well to keep the sun out.

It even allows me to leave my plants and my cats' bed in the window box and lets them get sun while keeping it out of the room.

In this picture you can also see that I've made a little seating area by the window.  My bed had been in the middle of the room, with a night stand to the right of it, but I moved that towards the door of the room and brought in two of the old-school/retro office chairs I have.  Now you can sit there and read or watch TV or just lounge.  I'm really liking the way the room feels with this area setup as opposed to before.

Ceiling Mounting the Projector

This weekend I worked on ceiling mounting my projector with my mom.  Since I got it, I've had the projector sitting on a little school desk between the couches.  It was fine while sitting down and watching movies, but walking in front of it caused you to be blinded by the bright light, and the power and video cables going to/from it were just asking for an accident.

I got a projector mount when I purchased the projector as part of the package, but in order to get the cables to/from it I needed to either install various types of video jacks in the ceiling, have cable run through the walls to another jack, where I'd plug things like my DVD player, comptuer etc into so that I could see them on the screen.  This would've been pretty expensive, so I went with the cheaper route of installing "raceway" from the projector, along the ceiling, to the wall, and then down.  Raceway is just a plastic guide for the cables to go in so they're not conspicuous.  It's fairly cheap and the sell it at Lowes and Home Depot.

I also had to cut out sections of my foam wall decorations/sound dampeners so that the raceway could run behind them, but that was pretty easy because of the fact that they're foam.

Once I finalize where my dvd player etc are going to be located, I'll run some more of the raceway horizontally along the wall to where it will end.  I also plan on getting a black power cable as opposed to the orange one you can see.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

$450... how much I'm going to get back on my taxes just from installing an energy efficient hot water heater ($300) and furnace ($150).

Definitely something to consider when considering upgrading appliances. Make sure to take advantage of this if you're able to.