question: i am writing because i desperately need help with something in my living room. yesterday we had our beautiful fireplace covered by our landlady (that’s london for you). where once we had different colored candles in our black fireplace (as it wasn’t a working one) we now have a huge wooden piece of block (image here) covering an incredibly large amount of it almost to the mantel. i want to cover it, but i don’t want something too overwhelming in the space because our living room is quite small. what should i do? – sarah b
answer: hi sarah! so sorry to hear your landlord covered up your fireplace. no fun at all. especially with such a flimsy looking piece of wood. grrr. but not to fear, there are a few great options for this. since your carpet is blue, you don’t want to go too crazy with anything that might clash but here are a few ideas. hope they come in handy!:
- wallpaper: d*s diy editor kate pruitt covered her fireplace with a sheet of wallpaper placed over foam board. you could cover your entire fireplace, or just apply paper (or gift wrap- cheaper!) with decorative patterns that match your carpet.
- fabric: i’m of the belief that a piece of fabric almost always makes everything better. instead of paper, you could cover your wood piece with a piece of staple gunned fabric, or create a thin upholstered panel to cover the entire non-working fireplace- and add some extra insulation. you could even add a ribbon trim to mimic the shape of the fireplace.
- mirrors: mirror tiles are always an option, but since you already have a mirror on top, i would avoid overkill with the reflective surfaces. but it could look cool to move the mirror from above and instead apply mirrored tiles to the wood piece and antique them with a technique like this. an aged mirror would look lovely under a mantle decorated with florals.
- chalkboard paint: this might seem a little out there. but i once saw a non-working fireplace painted with chalkboard paint over a wood front at a friend’s home in georgia. she drew a rotating series of playful log or stacked book images on the wood to create a faux-fireplace scene. not for everyone, but still fun.
- decals: i’m not a fan of decals, but if you pained this wood piece to get rid of the neutral brown tone, you could apply any number of decals. but rather than a pre-made set- try this fun tutorial to make your own.
- decorative screen: a screen would be a fun and easy fix to cover the entire section of wood. you can buy a pre-made version, or build your own, covering it with a fabric or paper of your choice
CLICK HERE for a great list of vintage-style bike resources after the jump!
question: i am looking to buy a vintage-inspired bicycle to replace my old bike. i love the look of some of the ones featured in your “living in” column and was wondering if you can let me know where i may be able to find a cute vintage-inspired bike on a budget. -heidi
answer: hi heidi! since you referenced amy merrick‘s column, i started with her for your question. amy answered, “the best brick and mortar store is landmark bicycles– they sell great old cruisers for girls, a million types of baskets, etc. online and budget friendly, try beach bikes. the photos aren’t great but the bikes would be cute in a different context.” here are a few more resources i found online, hope they help!
- craigslist: i checked CL in 8 different major cities and found tons of vintage-style bikes for sale. they may not be antiques, but they’ll definitely give you the look for less money (nyc had dozens under $200)
- ebay: it goes without saying there are always a few steals to be had here that will ship to you
- online boutiques: electra bikes, chubby‘s, worksman cycles
- overstock.com: i found a few vintage style reproduction bikes for under $200 here
- UO bikes: urban outfitters lets you build a custom bike under $400. many have a decidedly retro feel
- ebay canada: vintage frames at affordable prices, since heidi is in canada