Mr. TEA and I have just become responsible for furnishing a two-bedroom apartment in the Algarve. The apartment is in good condition but entirely empty. We would be furnishing it for family use and possibly for rental. My go-to furnishings store at home (the US), Ikea, is hours away, although I'm wondering if it would be worth the trip just for dishes, pots, pans, and glasses. I speak very little Portuguese, although Mr. TEA is more fluent.
My first grade classroom looks slightly like a (colorful) prison. It is white painted cinder block. It has three big windows with blinds and most of the furniture is kind of dilapidated. There are fluorescent lights. I have a few houseplants and even had a friend build some colorful curtains for the cubbies and cabinets, but I can't seem to kick the institutional feel. It also smells sort of weird. What are some of the make or break elements that make a space feel cozy, homey, livable? Especially for a child-friendly place.
What can I add to my apartment door that is NOT distastefully preppy, hideous, ghetto fabulous, arrives with an invisible "steal me" voice, or requires a million screw holes? I never thought that I would struggle to come up with a decorating idea! But I am. I like colorful, but minimalist designs, but otherwise I am open-minded. Feel free to post links to galleries of door decor(not pinterest unless it's a specific diy), photos or make suggestions based on your own projects. Sometimes a touch of inspiration is all that's needed. [more inside]
Help me make my apt a home! [more inside]
I want to hang some LP covers on a wall, and remember years ago seeing a cheap little kit that was something like four pieces of clear plastic for the corners, connected by an elastic string X-shape in the back that could hang on a nail. The result was a neat frameless effect that I liked, but I can't find it again. Does anyone know what that kit was and where I can buy it? [more inside]
Help me find a very specific picture from a modern decorating magazine! [more inside]
I'm getting ready to dye Easter eggs with my kids, ages 7, 9, 11 and 14. Do you have any tips for decorating easter eggs? Our repertoire consists of using two colors, crayons, and putting on stickers. My google-fu is failing me. [more inside]
I want to buy this awesome adjustable height table/nesting ottomans. They have it at Macy's here in NYC, but the catch is I'd really like to have it tomorrow and they can't deliver for another week. [more inside]
My boyfriend is turning 29, and so we're throwing a party and inviting lots of people. We've splurged a bit on food - going to have an italian place cater family-style food - but are hoping to save money in every other respect. Luckily, our condo building has a beautiful gathering room that we're going to use. We're purchased a bunch of wine from Trader Joe's and are hoping to not serve it in plastic party cups, but don't want to buy a huge supply of wine glasses. Are there any creative tricks or decorating ideas that will make us feel classy but won't break our small bank?
Where can I buy a number of different maps? I want to make a big, random map collage. [more inside]
How do I live in a house with light pink walls, and big bright blue accent walls? [more inside]
I need a sewing machine; how much should I budget, where should I look, and what features should I be looking for? [more inside]
I want to fill my living space with art. Looking for: oversized posters and prints with high quality and reasonable cost, original work by fringe/unknown artists, and objects that could be hung like art (tapestries, quilts, etc.). [more inside]
Decorating a small flat in London on a budget without resorting to IKEA? I'm tired of having my place looking studenty and would like to pick up some nice, unique furnishings and accessories. I don't have a lot of space or money to work with, however. I know about Gumtree, but can you recommend some stores I can visit to get ideas as well as buy cool stuff? I live in W2 (which isn't exactly budget-friendly, I know.)
Making the apartment my own and I want it to SCREAM "girly." I am doing lace, pearls, and ruffles. What are some great design on a dime ideas or websites for additional design concepts? [more inside]
Nazar Boncuks on my stoop, a Mezuzah on my door frame, prayer flags outside... help me represent all faiths!
Help me decorate a multi-faith home! [more inside]
What can I make with these decorative letters that I bought at a gift shop clearance sale? [more inside]
We're moving into a new place in a few weeks, and we've got a nice glass block "window" in the bedroom. We love it, but the boyfriend needs darky darkness in order to sleep at night and there's a street light right outside the window. Help me figure out a window covering/curtain/shade/other! [more inside]
Help me find a non-traditional quilt! (All my overly-fussy requirements inside...) [more inside]
Suggestions for making a Guitar Hero cake look like the guitar controller? The problem is all the black.... [more inside]
I'm working on redecorating my apartment. Now, I'm a sucker for Bombay Company/Pier 1/World Market goods, but I'm saving my pennies for more important things. What are some inexpensive, do-it-yourself ways to give my apartment that "worldly," tastefully-exotic look? [more inside]