Friday, March 18, 2011

Home from the Hardware Store

They are beginning to know me at my local Lowes. They also know that WHAT I buy will not be used for it's original purpose. This time I just had to show them the book...Home from the Hardware Store. Studio 5 asked me to do a book review, pick a few projects and share my finds on the show.  A second, smaller video segment on one of the kid projects is at the end of this post.

Creating one-of-a-kind home decor pieces from the hardware store is akin to the Easter egg hunts I enjoyed so much as a child.

I could spend hours hunting through aisles of plumbing pieces, imagining other uses in lighting, or stand, puzzling over things that I have NO idea what their real use is for.

Here's a book that may save you a bit of that time, but still send you on a hardware store hunt that ends in contemporary, unique and artistic pieces for your home.

Everything from Furniture, lighting, walls, decor, storage and stuff made especially for children that will blow your mind!

For the newlywed, or college student the furniture is great; inexpensive, easy to put together and functional. For the young mother, the kid section is super creative and fun. For my stage of life, I really enjoyed the home decor items. They also seemed like the easiest and quickest to create.

My advice is to take the book with you to the hardware store for a handy reference and then ask questions. You probably have the glue, nails, nuts, bolts and basic tools to create these pieces, but many of the actual items you need to buy might be hard to find without some help.

My personal favorite was the Plumbing Parts Instant Candelabra.

I noticed the parts came in different finishes; copper, chrome and the one I used, which was the cheapest. Such a quick an easy project, but I love the look.

Just make sure they all fit into each other. My hardware store didn't have all the bottom hex nuts that the book recommended, so be prepared to improvise a bit.  I added some delicate and feminine blue candles and ribbon because I love the contrast of the hard and soft.  You'll need to screw the candle into the openings so they stay put.

Another, even easier home decor project is the Wye Flower Vase. It was a bit of a challenge to find this item in a regular hardware store, but any plumbing supply store should carry it, in both white and black. It costs around $6 or $7. It was quite dirty when I got it, so I used a magic pad to get some marks off.

I love the happy "Y" shape. And the end bands were begging to be covered. I used patterned paper, but you could paint it, or use Duck tape or even fabric. Or just leave it plain.

Constructivist Lamp: This next project is so clever and uses something I have never seen or heard of before: Atrium Grates.  These are used in landscaping, but is strong enough and cool enough to transform into a lamp base.  You can follow the image below or create your own structure.  Simply spray them a different color (prime first), drill holes through the center and screw together.  Attach a 3-way socket kit from the lighting department and create your lamp.  This book even has a lampshade to match with it.

I'm always looking for new, decorative ways for storage. This Modular storage is more like a sculpture and is a great way to create a custom storage area for a bedroom, front hall, craft room etc...

Just pick the size (diameter) you need, the depth you need, mix and match for an eclectic look. Strap some mesh over the bottom half for a fun toss-into receptacle for socks!

The book suggested using contact paper and there are many designs to choose from, but you could also paint, cover with fabric or patterned paper.

Simple wood pieces, nuts and bolts hold everything in place. The concrete forms, despite being made of paper are extremely durable.

This book has truly amazing project for your children.  From simple and fast to complex, but all are sure to fuel your children's imagination!



kwgirl said...

I thought this great and a really interesting way to look at things in a different way. Who knew that plumbing supplies could make such nice candle holders? Very cool:)

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