Kristen Lubbe

Before & After: DIY Wainscoting Transforms a Room
Wainscoting is common wall decor in many traditional homes. However, it can so easily be used homes of any style if you’re willing to be a little eclectic.Installing your own wainscoting can certainly feel like a daunting task but if you’re patient and have a week (or few) to dedicate to it — you’ll be wiping your brow and cracking a cold one in no time.
Sep 28, 2011
Before & After: DIY Rope Bench
Repurposing hand-me-downs or flea market finds is so incredibly fun and the options are endless. Sometimes giving a piece of furniture a face lift is as easy as visiting your local hardware store.Most of us have an item in the home that used to have a purpose but now it’s just sitting around with no particular place to go. For Sam, a broken down bench with no purpose was re-imagined into a beautiful rope bench.
Sep 1, 2011
Paint Colors To Complement Blue Tile Flooring?
Q: I recently bought my first home and the kitchen came with blue tile flooring. I considered redoing them with wood flooring but the blue has now grown on me. I have no idea what paint colors would go to make the kitchen look bigger? I’m also considering painting the cabinets white to make it brighter, any ideas?Sent by NidiaEditor: Leave your color selections for Nidia in the comments – thanks!• Got a question?
Aug 3, 2011
Before & After: Colorful Outdoor Bench
It’s not everyday you come across an old bench that has so much potential. If you do ever come across a run-down version of the perfect outdoor (or indoor) piece you’ve been looking for, don’t keep walking — pick that bad boy up and head straight to the home improvement store! You never know how that thing will look after a good sanding and a fresh coat of paint!Christina took to her blog to boast about the recent transformation of a pretty run down wood bench.
Jul 21, 2011
How Can I Display My Sticker Collection?
Q: I’m looking for a great way to display the stickers I collected from the brands, bands and logos of my youth in the 80’s and 90’s. I would love to hear of a way to present them in mass, but not by sticking them on a large board, all over an old desk, the back of a door or fridge. How can I show these off like the pieces of art that they are and not have it look like it belongs in a frat house?
Jun 23, 2011
Open Book: Exposed Closets
It’s actually quite common to live in a space that lacks closet space, specifically in the bedroom. More often than not amazing apartments require getting extremely creative with hiding the majority of your possessions or organizing them in such a way that you don’t mind exposing them.If you asked the average person to expose the contents of their closet most would say no, but maybe that would change after seeing how beautiful, colorful and inspirational it can be.
Jun 8, 2011
Before & After: Derek & Jennifer’s Subtle Kitchen Upgrade
A little over a year ago I shared with you the house tour of Derek & Jennifer’s Dashing Digs. It’s an homage to mid-century furniture that they found on craigslist and got amazing deals on. Even though their apartment is fancy and quintessential city dwelling; they’re actually very budget conscious, which is why their subtle budget friendly kitchen renovation is inspiring.
May 23, 2011
Replacement Cushions For IKEA Ektorp Sofa?
Q: I’m trying to find replacement cushions for our IKEA Ektorp sofa. The back cushions especially have completely lost their support in the 3 years we’ve owned it. IKEA doesn’t sell replacement cushions and I don’t believe they are covered by the 10 year warranty.Sent by ErinEditor: Leave your suggestions for Erin in the comments – thanks!• Got a question?
May 23, 2011
Attractive Bins Or Baskets For A BILLY Bookcase?
Q: Has anyone found any great alternate storage bins/baskets that work in Billy bookcases? I don’t love any of IKEA’s options, and it is proving a difficult thing to find the right dimensions. Does anyone have something that they’ve found that fits and looks fabulous?Sent by NatalieEditor: Leave your suggestions for Natalie in the comments – thanks!• Got a question?
Apr 27, 2011
Doub’s Free-Spirited in Fishtown
Name: Doub Hanshaw and John David MahaffeyLocation: Fishtown — Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSize: 4,500 square feet — 1 bedroom Years lived in: 2 — own Doub transformed her once run-of-the-mill garage in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia into a free-spirited space that screams fun, resourcefulness and a serious sense of style. The unassuming exterior and the raw interiror is what attracted her to the space and she was able to see a diamond in the rough.
Apr 13, 2011
How To Cut Rug Without Edges Fraying?
Q: I found a cheap rug that I like but the only problem is that it’s too big, and I’d like to cut it so that I end up with two smaller rugs. I’m concerned that it will fray if not done properly. Has anyone diy’d a project like this with good results? Am I being unrealistic to think that I can cut, tape and glue the rug, and all will be well?Sent by TEditor: Leave your advice for T in the comments – thanks!• Got a question?
Apr 12, 2011
How To Fill Space Where Dishwasher Used To Be?
Q: Our dishwasher is broken and we don’t want to replace it so we’re removing it entirely. But now we are left with a big hole in the lower cabinets and don’t have the funds to have a custom cabinet made to match the others. The flooring where the dishwasher was is layers of old linoleum and not the tile that is in the rest of the space. So how to fill the hole without it looking ridiculous?Sent by EllenEditor: Let Ellen know what you would do in the comments – thanks!
Mar 29, 2011
How To Hide An Unused Door?
Q: I recently moved into a studio apartment and I have this closet door that opens into the main room and also the hallway that I would like to “camouflage” it since I only need to access it from the hallway. Since the only layout I’ve found that works best means putting my bed in front of this door, it has become and eye sore.
Mar 25, 2011
Lizzy’s Lovely Little Dollhouse
Name: Lizzy JanssenLocation: Fishtown — Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSize: One Bedroom, One BathroomYears lived in: 2.5 years, rent When visiting Lizzy’s neighborhood you never know what type of house you’re going to end up in. Fishtown is eclectic and certainly stylish and the homes range from industrial lofts in old factories to untouched rowhomes and occasionally you’ll find a complete and utter surprise like the one I was presented with when Lizzy opened the door.
Feb 3, 2011
IKEA Entertainment Center Meets Electric Fireplace
It’s all too common of a situation: you’re out shopping and you see something new/updated you totally want, but already already own, whether it be furniture or tech. The trick to staying content without breaking the bank while also updating is to learn how to hack your current piece into something you’ll love even more — even if that means hacking your TOBO to house an electric fireplace!
Jan 18, 2011
Orna & Reid Willis’ Worldly Live-Work Loft
Name: Orna of Designs by Orna and Reid Willis with their daughter Nina and puppy EstherLocation: Northern Liberties — Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSize: 2,950 square feet — 3 bedrooms Years lived in: 6 — own Being an artist certainly gives you an advantage in the realm of design. Artists already have an eye for design and color, so it’s only natural for their homes to be large pieces of art.
Dec 14, 2010
TV On The Mantel: Would You?
We’re certainly used to seeing televisions above the mantel, but rarely do we see them actually on the mantel. There’s no wrong or right way to display your tv, everyone has different ideas — but we’re curious about this one.Upon first glance, the tv on the mantel actually looks great and it certainly minimizes the need for extra accessories on the mantel. Placing the tv on the mantel makes it a little easier to hide cords.
Nov 4, 2010
Mike’s Surprising Student Studio
Name: Mike of Unplggd & Other Communications and Sadie the cat.Location: Rittenhouse Square — Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSize: 360 square feetYears lived in: 1.75 years Studio apartments are common in a city like Philadelphia. The thing that sets them apart are the fantastic bare bones of the spaces that studio dwellers are given to work with. Original architectural details are a gem, but when you’ve got a knack for design like Mike does — they hold their weight in gold.
Oct 8, 2010
Matt & Zack’s Masculine Mid-Century Home
Name: Matt, Zack, Dexter the Wheaton Terrier and Parker the Miniature Retriever Location: Washington Square — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Size: 980 square feet Years lived in: 10 months We first got a look into the home of Matt and Zack during Small Cool 2010. Their home did so well that we knew a full House Tour would be much appreciated. There’s something for everyone in this home, so pay attention!
Sep 30, 2010
Dining Tables As Desks
We all know that the IKEA Melltorp dining table really does make the best desk! Heck, we have two in our house — one in the kitchen and one in the office. Sad thing is, we use the one in the dining room more than the one in our office! So that got us thinking, dining rooms really do make great offices.• Ben’s Warm & Cozy Austin Apartment Ben embraces the ease and space saving magic of using a dining table as a desk.
Sep 24, 2010
Pong’s Punch of Color Pad
Name: Pong C. & Gatsby the dog.Location: Rittenhouse — Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSize: 568 square feetYears lived in: 2 years You may remember the Pong’s Restraint entry from this years Small Cool 2010. I just couldn’t resist paying his Rittenhouse digs a visit and I’m sure glad I did. There’s nothing more inspirational than a well decorated small space — restraint is key. Not only in restraint a key to the success of this space, there’s also color.
Sep 23, 2010
Chris & Liz’s Lodgey Loungey Living Quarters
Name: Chris & Liz LankenauLocation: Fairmount — Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSize: 800 square feet — 2 bedrooms (one used as TV room)Years lived in: 10 Chris and Liz (who originally shared their Retro Rowhouse with us) have slowly but surely worked their way through renovations. Their patience and eye for design have helped them transform a once unbelievably outdated home into a design enthusiasts dream home.
Jul 8, 2010
Amanda’s Retrolicious Headquarters
Name: Amanda RamsdenLocation: Sterling, VirginaSize: 1,600 square feet — 2 bedroom, 2 ½ bathYears lived in: 5½ Amanda lives nestled away outside of the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC. She gets the simplicity and calm vibes of the DC suburbs, but for her interiors, she embraced the loud, colorful, artistic mashup that encompasses the District.
Jul 1, 2010
Violeta’s Vibrant Village Home
Name: Violeta Konieczna & D.P. KellyLocation: County Limerick, IrelandSize: 1,500 square feetYears lived in: 2 Violeta lives in a village in Ireland that looks like it’s straight out of a movie. Her home is just as picture perfect as the surrounding land. Each and every item has its very own place and purpose. Sure, there are a lot of strictly decorative elements, but the home doesn’t feel over done.
Jun 17, 2010
Krista & Zak’s Philadelphia Art Hotel
Name: Krista Peel and Zak Starer of Philadelphia Art HotelLocation: East Kenzington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Size: 1,700 square feet — 3 story brick rowhouse Years lived in: 9 months If there’s one thing we know right off the bat — Krista and Zak are not afraid of color! In fact, they embrace it and use it in every square inch of their home.
Jun 3, 2010
5 Ways to Clean Your Keyboard
My mom recently purchased an iMac &mdash her first and only Apple product. She had a Dell laptop and was a little worried about a keyboard and mouse (they weren’t included in the purchase). She called to ask how much a keyboard and mouse would cost and I offered to send her our Apple white USB keyboard and mouse. There was only one problem..
May 25, 2010
Dressers In The Living Room
There are so many different and unique storage options for the living room. Gone are the days of traditional living room furniture &mdash expand your horizons! Start bringing pieces of furniture from the bedroom into the living room, you’ll be surprised by the outcome.Dressers in the living room isn’t something you’ll see everyday, or every house you walk into &mdash but more and more people are adopting this technique and we think it should be open for discussion.
May 25, 2010
White Walls & Dark Floors
We’re huge fans of dark wood floors paired with white walls. It’s not only a great way to help a small space look larger, but the white walls also help art and accent furniture stand out &mdash you can’t beat a great pop of color. Here’s a roundup of white walls & dark floors to help inspire you!The dramatic color combination adds drama and somewhat of a rustic vibe to the space. Of course, dramatic and rustic spaces can be dressed to be whatever you want them to be!
Apr 23, 2010
Great Small Spaces: 900 to 1200 Square Feet
Last year we had some really great entries for our Small Cool Contest. To keep the inspiration flowing as we roll out this year’s entries, we put together a roundup of some of our favorites from 2009 &mdash all between 900-1200 square feet!&bull Janet’s Peaceful Modern 1200 square feet.&bull Matthew & Chloe’s Corset Factory 1150 square feet.&bull Lane’s Style on a Budget 1100 square feet.&bull Alex Darling’s Unbroken Space 1100 square feet.
Apr 8, 2010
Julie’s Jubilant Loft
Name: Julie Simonson & Wilbur (6-month-old chocolate cockapoo puppy)Location: Old City — Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSize: 1,223 square feetYears lived in: 2½ Julie is a Philadelphia Native. She moved to Los Angeles for several years and has vacationed in Vermont for much of her life. She eventually returned back to the city of brotherly love, bringing with her treasures from around the country that help make this loft Julie’s Jubilant Loft.
Mar 4, 2010
Home Office: White or Wood Desk?
No home office is created equal. No home office is a carbon copy of the other and that’s what is so great about them. You can put your whole personality into the room where you work and create. We’ve narrowed down the two most popular desk choices &mdash White and Wood.We’re not sure what the psyche behind choosing a wood or white desk is, but we’re surprised to see that those are the top choices. Why don’t we see red, blue or black very often?
Feb 25, 2010
DIY Trunk to Rolling Bar Project
Trunks are not cheap &mdash especially ones of good quality. If you don’t have a use for the trunk you may current own, it’s nice to see alternative uses for them. It’s great to know that you can transform your trunk in the comfort of your own home!We stumbled across this DIY on ReadyMade and we thought it was great. We’ve always wished we had an old trunk (we love them stacked up as a coffee or side table) and this is another reason why.
Feb 24, 2010
Erin & Chris’ Fantastic Fishtown Fixer Upper
Name: Erin & ChrisLocation: Fishtown, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSize: 1,300 square feetYears lived in: Purchased in 2/2007, moved in 7/2009. Erin and Chris (who originally shared their Gutted in Fishtown home with us) have transformed what was once a building full of junk into their fantastic Fishtown apartment — all on their own!
Jan 21, 2010
How To: Fix a Warped Record
We have a ton of records and luckily none of them are damaged. We are aware that plenty of people do have warped vinyl records that they wish they could repare and still enjoy.Wired posted a wiki inspired instruction manual on how to repair warped records using two sheets of glass. We were a little skeptical at first, and wish (well not really) that we could try this out at home too. It seems pretty easy and if all goes well, you should be able to listen to that record again!
Jan 8, 2010
Elizabeth & Kevin’s Eclectic & Very Narrow Rowhome
Name: Elizabeth & KevinLocation: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Graduate Hospital neighborhoodSize: 1,600 square feet, 3 BR Years lived in: 1+ years Philadelphia is an area that is becoming more and more known for its young, hip and eclectic design scene. Elizabeth & Kevin’s Eclectic & Very Narrow Rowhome is a shining example of the fun and youthful direction that traditional row homes are heading!
Nov 12, 2009