Janel Laban's Recent Articles
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The Secret to Successfully Painting IKEA Shelves
Apartment Therapy readers are an amazingly helpful and knowledgeable group – over the years, they have stepped up and provided answers to all sorts of questions about how to do things around the house better, where the best sources are and, of course, what color to paint the walls of your (fill in the blank).
Jul 4, 2019
Making Your Home Your Own: Prep Artwork for Framing & Display
Day 6: Thursday, January 9 Assignment: Choose a piece of artwork to frame & get the process started for framing it for hanging later this month (on the 28th) Raise your hand if you are with me on this one: you have some type of artwork around the house that you’ve been meaning to frame and hang. It just seems to be one of those tasks that feels wonderful once its complete, but is very easy to put off. Well, lets take care of it now.
Jul 4, 2019
IKEA 2018 Catalog Sneak Peek: A Top 10 Countdown of Favorite New Products
True confession: I’ve been keeping something – a deep dark decorating secret – from you lovely people. Last week, IKEA sent me an advance copy of the new 2018 catalog. I’ve been carrying it from my desk to my bedside table and back again each day, sneaking peeks whenever I could.
Jun 5, 2019
#3: ELVARLI Storage System (& Room Divider!)
Ok, sure, sure. It’ll work well as a storage solution just about anywhere, but we all know where and how this would really shine: as a room divider! Buildable-to-size with a variable mix of open and closed storage, the adjustable heights will make it a possibility for all sorts of studios, apartments and homes that could use some more definition to their space.
Jun 5, 2019
#5: VALLENTUNA Small Space Sleeper Sofa System
A totally customizable small space-centric sectional with hidden storage (!) and a fold out sleeper (!!) with covers that are mixable and matchable and washable? I predict that many Apartment Therapy readers are going to be checking this new seating system out soon. IKEA says: Times are changing and these days the living room often needs to work as more than just that. With smaller living spaces, it may need to provide a bed (or more), and extra storage is always attractive.
Jun 5, 2019
IKEA 2017 Catalog Sneak Peek: A Top 10 Countdown of Favorite New Products
I’m an unapologetic, diehard IKEA catalog fan. Over time, a special section of my bookshelves has become dedicated to them, neatly there chronologically lined up in a row, dating back to 2003. And, ever since I’ve been at Apartment Therapy, I’ve been happy to share my geeky fangirl love of the new catalog with all of you; the annual launch has proven itself to be cause for a little collective design celebration each summer.
Jun 5, 2019
Denim Decisions: The Great Jeans Judgment Day
To get this Cure party started, you’ve gathered your sorting supplies, connected to your “true loves” and got warmed up by winnowing down your winter wear. But, whether or not you’ve actually done all of those assignments, you can still hop in on the Cure in earnest now. It’s time to start sorting by section, and by doing so, refining your style.
Jun 5, 2019
Design Nine: A Bevy of Blue & White Patterned Occasional Chairs
While the classic decor color combination of blue and white truly never goes out of style, it does have distinct moments of feeling even fresher and more fashion-forward. Now that navy has officially joined the club of “new neutrals” we’re deep in the midst of exactly one of those moments. That means that finding ways to inject a little blue and white power into your room has never been easier; you can go solid for your sofa and add a pretty patterned occasional chair (or two!
Jun 5, 2019
The White House Kitchen: A Behind-the-Scenes Visit
During an incredible visit last week to the White House (for a sneak peek at the new Obama state china service), I swung by the kitchen and snapped all the photos I could manage while hearing about the upcoming State Dinner from the two talented women who are in charge of all things culinary for the Obamas. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen of most famous family in the nation (which was much more compact than expected!
Jun 5, 2019
Happier Houseplants: How To Keep Indoor Plants Healthy
During the month of March, we’re gathering some of our best problem solvers together into master “Home Remedies” posts to help you make your home healthier, solving one problem at a time. Today, help for all the indoor gardeners out there that struggle with keeping house plants healthy.
Jun 5, 2019
Shortcut to Being Sure: One Quick Way to Find a Paint Color You Love
I’m sure you know what color roses you really like…and the color sweater that looks best on you…and the color car you’d choose first from the showroom floor. Why then, when it comes to choosing paint colors for a room at home do so many of us freeze up and start questioning our own palate for palettes?
Jun 5, 2019
100 DIY Ideas for the 3-Day Weekend
It’s the start of the first three day weekend of the summer, so in keeping with (and expanding upon!) recent Apartment Therapy tradition, we put together a big list of DIY projects to consider for the days ahead. From crafting to cleaning, renovating to relaxing, there is an idea here for everyone – 100 to be exact! Join Us on Pinterest:Apartment Therapy Learn to make your pics prettier: How To Instantly Improve Your Photos Give your dining chairs a new (tufted!
Jun 5, 2019
Brenda & Harry’s Contemporary Coach House
Names: Harry, Brenda and their two sonsLocation: Wicker Park — Chicago, IllinoisSize: 2000 square feetYears lived in: 11 total, 4 post-reno — owned Brenda and Harry have been friends of mine for a long time now which means I’ve been lucky enough to share in many of their “life events”. That translates to a busy decade or so, including a wedding (fantastic!), a first baby (joyous!), a second baby (doubly joyous!
Jun 5, 2019
Kim & Scott’s Happy “Yellow Brick Home”
Name: Kim & ScottLocation: Logan Square, ChicagoSize: An itty bitty 650 square feetYears lived in: 2.5 happy years A perfect tour for small spaces month, here is an expanded look at the colorful condo that is the inspiration behind the blog Yellow Brick Home. Located in Chicago in a nearly 100 year old building, this recently renovated Logan Square space got a strong dose of individuality from its owners.
Jun 5, 2019
Tips and Tricks: 5 Cheap Alternatives to Air Fresheners
A clean house usually means a fresh-smelling house, but sometimes there are lingering or very hard to handle odors that make you consider store-bought air fresheners. Before you make the purchase, you can try one of these 5 normal household items that you most likely already own…We found a these tips and tricks at Readers Digest:Citrus: Deodorize a Humidifier: Add 3 or 4 teaspoons lemon juice into the water.
May 9, 2019
Microfiber Upholstery Pros & Cons
Buying a new sofa? Getting an old one reupholstered? In either case, which type of upholstery to choose is certainly a consideration. For many, microfiber is a popular choice due to its reputation for easy clean up and durability.
May 7, 2019
Before & After: A Beautiful Bergere Makeover
Perfect timing for project month! We were happy when an email from Maja, a regular Apartment Therapy reader, hit the inbox. She sent us in these before and after photos of an eBay chair makeover project — from a traditional floral to a bright and bold modern graphic pattern, we love the transformation……and the After!Maja writes: I’m moving to a new apartment in a couple of weeks and have been buying some furniture.
May 7, 2019
Before & After: Laura’s “Simple & Cheap” Ottoman Redo
Laura, a regular Apartment Therapy reader was on the hunt for an affordable ottoman. When nothing suitable turned up, she took matters into her own hands and went the DIY route. Here is her story…and the great looking finished results……and the After!Laura writes: I wanted to share my simple and cheap ottoman makeover.
May 7, 2019
Before & After: Garage to Media Room Transformation
Arren Williams’ home in Toronto is also his ongoing project . With his long list of design skills, each room is an opportunity for some wow-level end results, which he, luckily for us, shares on his blog. A basement room, especially one that was converted from a drive-down garage can be a challenging space to decorate; dark, with low ceilings and a lack of windows. But that didn’t deter Arren……and the After!
May 7, 2019
Before & After: 70s Drab to Industrial Chic Fab Kitchen
This month on Apartment Therapy we’re looking at some of the biggest projects we take on when designing our homes, kitchen and bath renovations. Deciding on all the new features can be daunting, but sometimes the choice of a single element literally makes the project click, instantly transforming the space and practically guaranteeing the success of the makeover. That was the case with Rebecca’s kitchen…After!… when she decided to install a “thin brick” wall.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Jenna’s Big Kitchen Reno on a Budget
Jenna sent us an email about her recent renovation project: Last week we just completed our big kitchen reno… on a budget! Here are some before & after details:Before:Pink walls, beige formica counters, old white tile floors, chrome and brass fixtures, 90’s whitewashed oak cabinets, mismatched fluorescent panel lighting, empty unused walls and lack of counter space.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Molly’s IKEA Rast Turned Campaign Chest
Molly sent us an email sharing her take on the ever popular with DIYers IKEA Rast dresser. She wrote: After searching for a campaign piece I could fit in my dining room and having unsatisfying results, I decided to redo the Ikea Rast dresser (like many before me!).I patched up the knob holes and painted the dresser, and drilled on these flat corners. Then I measured and drilled holes in the center of each drawers for the campaign style pulls from Ansaldi and Sons.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Gemma’s Under $200 Kitchen Spruce Up
Many of us can relate to Gemma’s situation. She knew that, down the line, she’d be taking on a full (read:expensive) renovation. But she wanted to do something to make the kitchen a fun, fresh place to be in the meantime.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: A Laundry Room is Born
Timothy and Laura are busy folks – they have a blog (make that two) to run and a new baby. A secret to their “do it all” success? They know that one key to handling new challenges is to plan ahead and do what you can when you have the time to make life easier when you no longer have the luxury of that time.
May 6, 2019
Sarah’s Pro Style at Home
Name: Sarah AlbaLocation: San Rafael, California I’m a field editor and stylist. I look at homes to place in pages of magazines. I drew my inspiration by piecing together things I liked from the homes I scouted in order to create my perfect family abode.I also designed our home on a budget and because we have a 2 year old, I made sure to include many ways to cleverly hide clutter!Thanks, Sarah!• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy?
May 5, 2019
Before & After: Audrey’s Scavenged Parisian Chair Makeover
One of the (many) nice things about living in Paris is that people often put their old furniture out on the pavement for opportunistic treasure hunters like myself to scavenge. I found this old chair one evening and I suspect that, as I took it home on the metro, the other passengers thought I was an eccentric expat who brought her own seating.However when I got it home it looked a bit drab so I decided to perk it up with a lick of paint and a bit of decoupage.
May 5, 2019
Caroline’s Treasure Hunt
Name: CarolineLocation: Western Addition – San Francisco, California Everything in my home has been discovered on a treasure hunt. Whether I was at a flea market, garage sale, or it is something a wonderful friend gave me, each piece is a little find. Being an artist, I am inspired everywhere I go. Color always stops me in my tracks — hence my latest turquoise and chartreuse obsession.
May 5, 2019
Kill Mold Overnight with a Simple DIY Clove Oil & Water Spray
Is this the secret to chemical-free mold cleaning? I just had a root canal, which absolutely was not much fun, but it did gave me a few hours of recouperating time during which I discovered a new-to-me show from Australia on Hulu Plus called Lush House. During the course of watching a few episodes, I learned that getting rid of mold might be easier and greener than I knew.The host of the show (and one of my new housekeeping heroes – she’s so calm and helpful!
May 5, 2019
IKEA Kitchen Cabinets: Pros, Cons & Real Life Owner Reviews
A beautiful, functional, new kitchen is a wonderful thing. The act of renovating a kitchen, maybe not so much. It’s a job that causes even the calmest heads to get a little stressed over the decisions that need to be made. To help ease the strain for all the brave planners, I gathered some of our best real-life info on a item that most every renovator considers due to their reputation, availability and price: IKEA kitchen cabinets.
May 4, 2019
Naomi’s Single Family Home to a Duplex: Turning a Garage into an Apartment
Name: Naomi Location: Portland, Oregon Last year, my husband and I converted the two car garage of our ’80s ranch home, into an apartment (an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU, according to Porland zoning standards). With the help of our architect friend, we designed and built a beautiful, 1-bedroom, 360 SF apartment that we now call home. We love the space and the fact that we created it together from the shell of a former garage.
May 4, 2019
Bronwyn’s Small San Francisco Studio
Name: Bronwyn Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, California I have a small studio apartment on Nob Hill in San Francisco. I love being in the middle of the city, so I can walk most places. I love having my home be small, so it is easy to keep up with. I have a wall of closets which is so important for keeping me organized. I love the beams on my ceiling and the built-ins from the 1920s that add character to the space. I painted all the paintings myself.
May 4, 2019
Rachel’s First Place (and It’s Great!)
Name: Rachel Location: San Francisco, California It’s my first home! I turned 30 last year and decided to pull the trigger and buy my first place – a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco. With the help of my sister (she’s an architect), I completely renovated the kitchen. The original kitchen was literally from the 1940s – it still had an icebox for a refrigerator! While rustic, it wasn’t functional.
May 4, 2019
Vivian’s Converted Loft in Oakland
Name: Vivian Location: Oakland, CA Three words to describe our home would be: organic, DIY and modern. What I love most about our apartment is it’s a space that has a character of its own, which allowed us to bring in both of our personalities to make a cozy relaxing home in the middle of a concrete urban neighborhood.
May 4, 2019
Get Ready to Binge Watch: HGTV on Netflix! Design & Real Estate Shows Now Streaming
House Hunters International, here I come! As a would-be HGTV junkie who doesn’t have cable, I just got some news that made me very happy. 11 HGTV series are coming to Netflix, starting today.
May 4, 2019
A Peek Inside a Perfect Fall Weekend Country Getaway Home
Name: Handsome Hollow Location: Long Eddy, New York Leaves, apples, fireplaces roaring, chilly walks in cute sweaters – right now is the perfect season for weekend getaways. While I most definitely won’t be escaping to anywhere wonderful this weekend (lots of laundry is in my future!
May 4, 2019
Fay’s New Place on the Left Coast
Name: Fay Location: Lake Merritt, Oakland, California I submitted an application to rent my apartment, sight unseen, as I was making a rather speedy move from the East Coast. (Small world alert! One of our House Tour participants, Colleen, lives in Fay’s old DC apartment! – Janel) I was instantly smitten by the charming elements of the pre-war building: hardwood flooring, crown molding, cut glass doorknobs and the working fireplace.
May 4, 2019
A Roundup of Reader Style Cure “Before & After” Makeovers
We wrapped up a Style Cure the week before Thanksgiving. For those of you who haven’t heard about our Cures, they are month-long group projects where a big bunch of Apartment Therapy readers and editors work through a series of daily assignments with a specific goal in mind. This time, it was to refresh one room in our homes in time for the holidays.
May 4, 2019
Chaoyi’s Sophisticated Sunny Style
Name: Chaoyi Location: SF Bay Area, CA I share an one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our place is around 700 sq. ft, with a very nice large patio tucked under some beautiful trees from the street. We love this place because it is bright and airy, the living room gets a lot of light, especially in the morning. And our dog Danger loves to sunbath on weekend mornings.
May 4, 2019
Clara’s Not-So-Hipster Oakland Cottage
Name: Clara of Banner Day Location: Oakland, CA We live in a small not-so-hipster 1930’s cottage, one of the few that survived in our neighborhood from the 1991 Oakland firestorm. We moved here after living in San Francisco for several years. We love our Rockridge neighborhood, the pedestrian lifestyle of College Ave, and the quick access to vast hiking trails all over the East Bay.
May 4, 2019
Maura’s Return to the West Coast (Without a Moving Van)
Name: Maura Location: King’s Hill – Portland, OR Late last year, when I was particularly missing my native West Coast, I decided to relocate from Washington, D.C., to Portland, Oregon. Part of the challenge (and the excitement) of making a cross-country move was the fact that I decided to bring with me only what I could fit inside my car — so when I arrived in Portland, I would be looking for entirely new furniture. And here is what I came up with!
May 4, 2019
A Pretty Palette: New 108 Paint Color System from Serena & Lily and Colorhouse
I always find that painting is (relatively) easy and affordable, once you’ve selected your colors, but the process of getting your choices narrowed down is the lion’s share of the work (and for those of us prone to fretting over design decisions, the potential stress, as well).
May 4, 2019
Alexis & Nathaniel’s Cozy Modern Cottage in Portland
Name: Alexis & Nathaniel Location: Portland, OR We bought our home in 2007 because we loved the SW Portland neighborhood of Multnomah Village and though the house is small – just under 800 square feet. we loved (still love) that it felt larger because of all of the windows and natural light.
May 4, 2019
Susan’s Dream Come True Nantucket Cottage
Name: Susan Location: Bedford, New Hampshire In 2002 I found myself a single mom raising two daughters, I had a dream of designing and building a Nantucket Cottage. I set out to find land, design my cottage and sub contract out the work. The property is surrounded with the charm of the old gray stone walls once used by farmers to mark their land. In 2005 I opened an interior design and home furnishings store in historic downtown Concord New Hampshire.
May 4, 2019
Henry’s “Room for Style” in San Francisco
Name: Henry Location: San Francisco, CA I believe that no matter the size of your home, there is always room for style! I live in a 1BR, 795 SF condo on the cusp of SOMA and Mid-Market. I share this space with my partner and our 11 year old chihuahua. We make the most out of our home by creating cross-functioning areas and we are conscientious of what we bring home. The apartment is furnished with a carefully selected mix of finds from Craigslist, consignment shops, galleries and flea markets.
May 4, 2019
Taylor’s West Coast Surfer Style
Name: Taylor Location: Twin Peaks neighborhood – San Francisco, CA My apartment was built in 1964 at the top of the highest hill in San Francisco. The apartment features unparalleled views of downtown and the bay, so the key to decorating is to let the view be the focus. I’m primarily inspired by a mid century modern aesthetic, with vivid pops of color and a casual, West Coast laid back feel. Thanks, Taylor ! • Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy?
May 4, 2019
Caitlin & Dave’s “Victorian Eclectic” Apartment in Oakland
Name: Caitlin and Dave Location: Lake Merritt neighborhood – Oakland CA We live in a two bedroom, approximately 900 square foot apartment in beautiful Oakland California. My husband Dave and I moved here from NYC almost two years ago and we share the apartment with one roommate, Patrick, who is a good friend of ours.
May 4, 2019
Before & After: The “Green Guest Room Gets Gorgeous” Makeover
Project by: Decorist Location: San Francisco The client, Kristen, had a great upholstered bed and a fantastic classic chair in her guest room, along with some ultra-vibrant apple green walls. While the bold color was a definite wow, it wasn’t exactly tranquil, which is what she was hoping for in this space, so it had to go. She went the makeover route in hope of ending up with a more pulled together, cohesive and welcoming room.
May 4, 2019
Launching Today: First Look at the Nine Brand New Farrow & Ball Paint Colors
One of the things that Farrow & Ball is known for is its very carefully edited, strict palette of 132 paint colors, which, in a show of true British prudence, care and custom, is added to quite infrequently. Well, color lovers can rejoice, because today is one of the rare occasions where their colour card is updated. Nine new colors are being released in celebration of the brands 70th anniversary year and we’ve got them to share.
May 3, 2019