Tag Archives: poor lady home improvement

Make an Ugly Chair Cute


I had this chair lying around in disrepair.  The loose seat needed screws, and the cushion wore a tragic 80’s country colonial hell fabric.  

Still solid and sturdy, this chair just needed a new sexy outfit.  Unscrew the seat and remove.  Gather a substantial stapler, staples, and scissors. 149“Know your colors and know your fabrics.  That’s what I tell all my little girls.”  Cut your fabric with enough extra to staple, but not so much it covers the screw holes. Staple that bitch. Screw her back together.  Flip her right side up and admire the transformation.

Dark, rich, printed fabrics are more forgiving for slobs like me.  I purchased 3/4 of a yard and had quite a bit left over intentionally.  Buy enough that you can arrange the print on the cushion as you like it.

A vast improvement, no?  I love to restore beauty.


TALL SUCCULENTI enjoy a houseplant.  I just recently repotted a few that had outgrown their containers and it tickled me to no end.  I tell you, it’s the little things.


Folks spend a fortune on fancy air purifying systems.  We buy low VOC paint.  Parents work to eliminate every microbe and allergen from their child’s room.  We make things too complicated.  A few scattered houseplants will purify the air while producing oxygen.  Some plants are better at cleaning the indoor air than others, but mercifully these inexpensive and widely available varieties grow easily.


Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene


Removes: formaldehyde


Removes: benzene


Removes: airborne fecal matter, formaldehyde


Removes: formaldehyde, benzene


a kitchen corner

CAM00611Welcome to my kitchen corner.CAM00616Shelves and cabinet = Ikea.

CAM00607CAM00610Bob Marley Mug.CAM00619


4 for Friday: Labor Day Weekend Edition

POLTERGEISTFirst, thanks to all my daily devoted for your patience and understanding with the programming interruptions as I get technology set up at my new joint.  I will try and make it up to you with some bonus posts in the coming week.  Stay tuned.THE NATIONAL TROUBLE WILL FIND MEWith fall coming I can finally sink into The National’s Trouble Will Find Me.  Right now it’s all about the quiet urgency of Fireproof.  Dunno ’bout you, but I’ve had my fill of summer bangerz.  I’m ready for some existential melancholy.   PLASTIC WASHER HOSEFirst time home buyer’s lesson of the week: when buying a new washer, purchase braided steel connection hoses.  Don’t trust the janky plastic ones they give you unless you like mopping up a flooded laundry room. BRAIDED FLEX HOSEGearing up for a rowdy holiday weekend?  Good for you.  Now go back and read your Demeter Clarc August Horoscope, because astrologically speaking this isn’t the weekend to test the boundaries of your luck or the patience of law enforcement.  It is not an exaggeration to mention that you could hurt yourself or someone else.  Have fun, but keep your ballsack harnessed.  HARNESS YOUR BALLSACK


Finally Finished Friday

KEEP CALM AND FINISH STRONGFuck Yes!  After a long and arduous 5 weeks I am done with my condo remodel.  I learned so much from this little project about construction, building materials, Home Depot, and human nature. HOME DEPOTI promise to show you pictures, but first I want to clean it from top to bottom and arrange everything just so.  Promise me you will be kind even it if my taste is not your taste.  Would it surprise you to learn that I made some rather unorthodox choices?  My contractors thought I was smoking crack, but ultimately they had to suck my dick and admit that my odd choices actually make the place special and practical. IKEA VARDE

Thanks for your patience over the last week.  As always, I appreciate your allegiance and support. DCUNDER CONSTRUCTION



Cunty Contractors


Many fervent and observant daily devoted readers (I love you forever) know I am amidst a remodel.  DC ain’t This Old House so I didn’t want to bore you with an excessive discussion of decorating details.  We are almost at the end of the project.  Now my contractors are all fussy because they are behind and I won’t pay them until the job is 100% complete to my satisfaction per the contract (I wrote) we all signed.


Whether you fancy porcelain plank or not is irrelevant to what I am about to share.  When dealing with “professionals” who promise the world for the lowest bid up-front and then fail to deliver, here is a little of what I’ve learned and hope can benefit you.

Write a contract. 

Structure the work in phases. 

Pay when the work is complete.

Be specific about what you want, but remain flexible.

Supervise to make sure the work is done to your specifications.

Don’t let them up-charge you on materials; source supplies yourself.

No matter how much the crew complain, bitch, or beg, don’t deviate from the contract.  Hold your employees accountable. 

Pay on time. 

Don’t unnecessarily impede progress. 

Assume delay.

Don’t unfairly withhold final approval. 

Praise and thank generously.  PLUMBESS

Porcelain Plank

PORCELAIN PLANK ROOMThis flooring isn’t wood.  It isn’t vinyl, laminate, or pergo either.  This floor is porcelain tile designed to look like wood.  Strange and tricky, right?PORCELAIN PLANK TILE GOLDENTypically, I’m not a huge fan of decor mimicry.  If it looks like wood, I expect it to actually be made of wood.  These porcelain planks may be the exception.  This tile is so gorgeous, rich, and textured that it doesn’t even read like an imposter.   PORCELAIN BATHROOMI am currently in the midst of a remodel and I really wanted to use the same flooring in the entire space.  Even though it looks warm and luscious, most wood flooring is expensive, unsustainable, and not adequately water resistant for kitchens and bathrooms.  The petro-derived vinyl, even the new “luxury vinyl” looked cheap and screamed FAKE WOOD.  WOOD PLANK PORCELAINWhen I discovered this porcelain wood plank on ultra discount, it felt like flooring destiny.  Why not use this little improvement project to experiment with some interesting new materials?  My guys install the porcelain plank this week.  I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out and if we encounter any (inevitable) install issues.   PORCELAIN TILE BATHROOM

Demeter Clarc: 5, Mice: 0

I love the woods, but I do not enjoy a rodent infestation.  Which is exactly what I moved into the 1st of July.  I spent more than a few nights jumping at every little sound completely skeeved at the thought of the disease harbingers prancing around on my possessions.

I declared war, and I do believe I have won.

As you know, I respect life.  I don’t eat animals and don’t like to kills things.  However, when it comes to pests invading my home, I develop serial-killer ruthlessnses. First, block your enemy’s entries and exits.  Use steel wool to plug up even the tiniest hole.  Mice won’t chew through it.  Exterior dryer vents can create easy access for critters, but don’t block them completely or you’ll catch the damn house on fire.  Try metal mesh screen as a barrier, but remember to clean the lint out regularly.   Our furry friends are good climbers and jumpers, so plug every little opening even if it is some distance from the ground. Second, and I’m likely to get some flack for this, lay the glue traps.  In my experience, they are the easiest, cheapest, and most effective traps.  Are they cruel?  Perhaps.  But life is cruel.  Put these traps down along walls and near the entry and exit points you plugged with steel wool.  The entrapped creatures will go for the exit and get stuck.  Next, help your local predators by trimming down tall grass.  Rodents love to hide out in tall grass.  Cut it down and they’ll have no refuge.  Consider attracting rodent predators by building a barn owl box.  Some of you are getting smug about your cats.  Honestly, most of your lazy-ass cats wouldn’t catch a mouse if it walked up in handcuffs. We caught five mice total before word hit the street that we weren’t messing around and the rest of the crew moved on down the way to the next opportunity.  For over a month now – not a trace – nothing. 




I’ve been meeting with professionals to consult on a building project.  Even though I’m at the very beginning of the process, talking to these narrow-minded folks is frustrating.  When I tell them the intended budget – which I assure you is not wildly unrealistic, they look at me like I’m morphing into a giant blueberry.  One of the main goals of the project is to use reclaimed, recycled, and locally sourced materials.  We don’t want to kill anything to build the structure.  Waste is plentiful in this world, so why not literally build something constructive out it?  I’d like to gently remind the condescending experts that sustainably can function, and it can do so economically.  Every home in this collection of photos is made from majority reclaimed, recycled, or repurposed materials. So it can be done.  The challenge is finding the genius with the skills to effectively execute the vision and the creativity to inexpensively source materials. Not all of these dwellings may appeal to your personal taste, but you have to tip your hat to the ingenuity and resourcefulness that went in to constructing them.