Solving Flaws: Creative Concealment

Solving Flaws: Creative Concealment

Do you ever watch TLC’s What Not To Wear? I got addicted to that show about a year and a half ago and for a few weeks I watched every episode. While I have always tried to look at least somewhat presentable, for awhile my uniform every day was jeans, Keds and white teeshirt. Nothing wrong with that for a busy mom, but from watching that show, I learned so much about how to focus on my better features and hide my figure flaws.

Solving Flaws: Creative ConcealmentAnother creative concealment made with fabric!

Same can be true of how we dress our houses. We don’t all have the luxury of a brand new perfect custom house or the ability to redesign every flaw in our home. Likewise, we don’t all have a perfect bod or the desire or money for plastic surgery — ah, yes, make mine a size two with no cellulite please, and a few inches taller while you are at it?, but we can make the best of what we have, imperfections and all.

Solving Flaws: Creative Concealment

I have used this technique to cover furniture more than once!
Even Pottery Barn gets into concealing! It can be a quick and inexpensive solution!

Solving Flaws: Creative Concealment

Who doesn’t have a bunch of miscellaneous necessities floating around the house?
If you don’t have enough closed storage, conceal stuff in simple boxes with labels. Bye bye mess!

I do not believe in house perfection or hiding everyday living. Even if it starts out perfect, I fully expect nicks and dings along the way. I am fine with scratches on my furniture, imperfect walls and even crooked floors. Those are what makes life charming, seeing a house is well lived in.

But, sometimes you just don’t want the glaring eyesores to steal the attention from beauty. I don’t think our houses should look unkempt or neglected or have areas that are just plain unattractive (at least permanently!). If we can fix things as an investment in our home, that is great. But sometimes we need to be content with concealing. There are ways around uglies even if you live in a rental or are on a budget.

Solving Flaws: Creative Concealment

Stacks of baskets or suitcases can not only hide flaws behind them
(cords, plumbing, old radiators), they can make short things taller,
AND they can hide uglies IN them!

  • Ugly Cords tangling from walls? Hide ’em behind a plant.
  • Old beat up or wimpy moldings? Paint them to match walls.
  • Less than lovely storage area? Hang a curtain!
  • Boring architecture? Hang some shutters for fool the eye substance!
  • Open storage where you need closed storage? Find baskets or shelf shades!
  • Ugly kitchen cabinets? Paint, new cabinet doors (on old cabinet boxes), or fabric can transform cabinetry for much less cost than new.
  • Too small of windows? Hang your curtains higher and wider to fool the eye!
  • Does your floor slope? Put taller things on the sloped end! It helps balance the room visually!
  • Electrical boxes, switches or ugly views from windows in your house where you wish there were none? Hang tapestries or artwork over them! Bye bye!

Solving Flaws: Creative Concealment

Here is a creative concealment. An ugly basement ceiling was concealed with fabric!

Solving Flaws: Creative ConcealmentSolving Flaws: Creative Concealment

Mismatched doors? We had a random oak door in our kitchen that
didn’t match our 1930’s style doors in the rest of the house.
Solution? Hello chalkboard paint!
Chalk board paint is almost the new duct tape.
Hey, yeah, duct tape? Another creative concealer! I’ve even used WHITE OUT as a creative concealer.
Not kidding.

READER SOLUTION:

Here is a clever reader’s idea for how to hide an air conditioner in the off season:

Solving Flaws: Creative ConcealmentSolving Flaws: Creative Concealment

Top photo: Cottage Living
Next photo: Pottery Barn
Next three photos: BHG

SEE MY CONCEALMENT: A DECORATING SECRET

Find home office concealments: here.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

When my parents decided to buy this beach house about 13 or 14 years ago, we were thrilled. Our girls were young and we really couldn’t afford to go on regular vacations involving planes and hotels. This house is about an hour and a half drive from our home, so it has provided many weekend, summer and holiday trips for our family. The house wasn’t fancy (it was a 1970’s style with no character!), but it was a place to gather and escape from the world.

One of our favorite traditions at the beach house centers around the 4th of July. We barbecue in the afternoon on the back deck, and then head to Manzanita (another cute beach town just down the road) and sit on the beach to watch a fabulous fireworks display. We build a fire to roast marshmallows and build S’mores. We lay on our backs all huddled together to see the fireworks. I wouldn’t trade those simple cherished memories for anything. We’ve had many sweet escapes to the beach, with our extended family, vacations with just our own family and times alone as a couple.

As promised yesterday, we will now tour the upper level, which serves as the main living area. Let’s head up the stairs for THE BEACH HOUSE TOUR, PART TWO! If you missed PART ONE, click here! Remember, this is still under construction and my daughter’s wedding is just two months away! The reception will be at the beach house.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

That little black thing dangling from the railing is a dog leash. Notice the dog nose in the corner of the photo.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

This is where you land when you get to the top of the stairs. Looking this way, you can see into the “sunroom.” If we just arrived at the top of the stairs, we would be looking at the view in the next photo.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

So far, there is a dining table and china hutch here in the main room. The kitchen, dining and living area is all basically one room. More furniture will be here to make it cozy around the woodstove. The woodstove is covered in soapstone. The walls are Devine Paint in Dust.

Sweet Escape: The Beach HouseHere is the little woodstove, sitting on the pebbled surface. Perfect to warm up those blustery nights on the Oregon Coast.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

So, if you look to the left at the top of the stairs, here is what you see. The kitchen and to the left there is a bathroom.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

Here is the view from the dining table looking back towards the stairway. The big hole in the wall is for the video equipment and the bracket is for the flat screen. Yes, we considered having no TV at all, but sometimes you just want to watch a movie on a stormy night.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

Another view looking back into the room, towards the stairway. That china hutch nearly didn’t make it up the stairs.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

The kitchen was remodeled back when the house was first purchased so with the exception of a new fridge to match the appliances, not much needed to be done right now. Stuff is just sitting around on the counters so we’ll have to work on the layout. There is still some fixing going on with the paint, thus the white splotches.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

If you step back to the other side of the room, you enter the “sunroom.” Now you can get a more sweeping view of the space and how it all connects. There is a tiled surface there above the bookcase so we can put plants or in the case of the wedding, a beverage station or food area. We’ll come back to this sunroom in a moment.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

This is one end of the great room, by the staircase, with another little bookcase tucked in. To the right is a bathroom.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

The door to the bathroom is a pocket door to save space. The walls in here are Devine Paint, Manzanita.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

Here is the shower in this bathroom.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

And for those detail minded folks who want to see everything, here is the floor, which is heated to keep our toesies warm.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

Now, my favorite spot (and Cubby’s favorite too), the window seat. Nice and wide, nice and long. Kids could have sleepovers here. We are going to have some cushions made to lean up against so we can while away the day reading magazines and sipping drinks. It was very hard to take a photo of this space because the sun was streaming in. The cushions are striped on top but I couldn’t capture that. The flat screen was sitting in this room but won’t be here forever. This is a quiet space for lounging.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

Here is the view from inside the room looking towards the window seat. For some reason I forgot to take a photo from the other side, but it has windows along that right wall too.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

Here is the other beach boy, Winston, snoozing on his own side of the window seat. Dogs love a sunny place to sleep. Notice the assorted action heroes strewn about.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

Here is a view from the window seat area, looking to the bookcase on the half wall near the stairs, and into the bedroom. My parents will have this room, as they are the lucky ones who get to actually move in and stay here most of the year now. Up until now, it has been only a vacation home. But now it is going to be an every day home too.
Sweet Escape: The Beach HouseThere are pocket doors to this room so they can have some peace and quiet when my son arrives.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

I didn’t get a very full photo of the other main bath, but here is part of the room!

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

This bathroom has a shower. There are three full bathrooms now, up from the original two. Much more convenient for our family gatherings.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

This is one side of the back of the house, the new addition is on the left.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

A few of you have asked about the garage doors, so I will show them again and tell you a bit more.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

These doors were custom made, designed to match the front door, just in a set of three! They have special heavy duty hardware and tracks designed to withstand the harsh beach weather. There are drains for water along the top and bottom and a unique locking system. The doors are made out of Alder. The hardware was purchased from Eclipse Architecture in Vancouver B.C. through Loewen Window & Door Center, and the doors were manufactured to fit by Rogue Valley Door. Hope that helps!

 

Sweet Escape: The Beach House

That is it for this edition of THE BEACH HOUSE. Thanks for coming on the tour. Wish you all could pop by for some lemonade (of course, if you did, I’d put you to work assembling wedding programs). Will this house be finished in time?

If you missed PART ONE of THE BEACH HOUSE TOUR, click here.

Sweet Escape: The Beach House
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