Affordable Design

DIY Room Divider

….We were so delighted when we were approached by the talented team at Martha Stewart to compete for an opportunity to join the ”12 Months of Martha Stewart Crafts Team”. As part of the program, Bloggers receive a monthly box of Martha’s newest and hottest craft product, create something amazing, and post about it on their sites. These projects are promoted  on the @MarthaStewart Pinterest board and All we needed was a point of inspiration, so I looked around my home for something that would be functional as well as aesthetic and soon found something that was long overdue to be tackled.

My husband and I have both the convenience, and inconvenience, of working from home, in very different careers. We share a light-filled, lofty, space on the 3rd floor of our suburban NJ home. In general, the pros do outweigh the cons when both partners are home-based and working, but we desperately needed something to divide our office areas and provide a sense of privacy and definition of workspace – without losing all of the luminosity we enjoy from opening the space up when we remodeled. So, Michelle and I decided to create a stylish, yet affordable, room divider and build it ourselves from scratch, to serve as a distinct border between the two offices. Sounds ambitious, right? Actually, it was surprisingly easy and affordable – and not to mention a lot of fun. Here’s how we did it…..

1) Wooden Dowel rods (we selected three different sizes, by thickness)
2) Eye screws (the smallest we could find in the local arts and crafts store)
3) Aluminum jump rings (12mm size)
4) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Gloss Spray Paint Kit
5) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Sprayable Gloss Enamel Finish
6) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Multi-Surface Glow-in-the-Dark Acrylic Paint
7) Martha Stewart Crafts® Stains

Here’s a walk-through of the process:

We had an old patio garden table we didn’t mind to work on with paints and materials and stained the dowel rods by wiping on the stain with a cloth and leaving them to dry. If you don’t have an old table, make sure to put down dust sheets or newspaper whenever you use paints and stains.

Masking / Painter’s tape is the best method for covering any areas that you do NOT want to color or stain.

We then created a makeshift ‘dryer’ from an old plastic tub and made a grid from the painter’s tape to prevent the painted rods from sticking together. We then applied the spray paint to the sticks, using the white paint with first and allowed them to dry. Note that you may need to apply a couple of layers of spray paint for a clean,consistent, finish.

Repeat the last two steps for any other color you would like to introduce to your project. We chose colors that are very current, i.e. dark wood with white contrast and a splash of luminous pink.

Once the paint is dry, simply remove all of the masking / painter’s tape and begin fixing the eye screws in 2 at the bottom and 2 at the top (for our project we measured 1.5″ from the edge, which was also at the paint line on one end of each dowel rod). A good tip to help you with fixing the eye screws in place is to use a micro phillips-head screw driver (we improvised and did it this way), or better still a Bradawl (we couldn’t find ours), to make a small hole in which to begin fixing the eye screw. This will save your fingers feeling like you just went 15 shelves deep with Ikea’s finest.

We connected the rods, via the eye screws, with three 12mm jump rings, but you can choose whatever amount you feel is appropriate. As a rough rule of thumb, the thinner the dowel the less rings you would want to place between them so you do not lose the feeling of something physical between the rooms.

We then stained a piece of wood that we had measured to the desired length of the three columns of rods, with some space between each column. Using nylon fishing line, we connected the columns of rods to the top piece of wood and voila! – we had a beautiful room divider. From start to finish, without considering time to gather the materials or for the paint to dry, it took around two hours to prep and complete the project. If you started in the morning, on a warm sunny day, as we did, you can be installed and putting the drill down in a single day!

The bonus for us was when we realized that when we’re bored with the color scheme, or just looking to change, we think this project would make an outstanding statement as a piece of wall art. It was a lot of fun, provides a lot of function and style, but most of all – it was easy and affordable!




Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 13 October, 2013


H&M Home new Online Shop

Exciting news dear readers!!!  H&M launched their e-commerce site last week and as part of this H&M is thrilled to announce that H&M Home will be available for the first in the US online. H&M Home unites home designer and fashion at affordable prices.



Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 9 August, 2013


Wood Paneling from West Elm

I was so excited when I saw this amazing product from West Elm. It is a dream come true!! Affordable wall wood paneling that is easy to install!

Rich grains. Stikwood Adhesive Panels instantly transform walls, backsplashes, headboards and more. Available in an array of woods and finishes, they can be cut to fit your individual space and hung in a few simple steps. What else can you ask for??

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 6 August, 2013


U Hostels in Madrid – normal costs for designer accommodations

The hostel options are really improving in Madrid these days. Hopefully this new clean, crisp and very modern template for hostel design will take off all over Europe or even around the world. Although I never had the opportunity myself to back pack around Europe, one of my dear friends has backpacked through Europe and almost around the entire world a this point. I have heard many stories of the deplorable accommodations at hostels where she has stayed. Everything from complete lack of cleanliness to stolen items and beyond (I will not share them here). If U Hostel had existed when she began her journey, it surely would have been a slice of heaven when compared to others. It is actually noteworthy contemporary design and I had never imagined myself saying like that about a hostel until I saw this one.

Posted by KarenShearer at 14 March, 2013


Arcgency designs a Shipping Container Home – WFH House

New fabulously creative green homes are on the rise. The WFH House (World FLEX Home) is true to course being made from used shipping containers and other sustainable materials. This is one example of the new pre-fab shipping container homes designed by Arcgency, a Copenhagen-based design studio. This particular model is a single family home located in Wuxi, China. Arcgency’s mission statement is, “Resource Conscious Architecture that can be exported to any place in the world. It is more then architecture; It is a sustainable product.”  Clearly this contemporary streamlined home is a prime example of making this mission into reality.  Not only is the structure made from upcycled shipping containers, but it has a sustainable bamboo facade, a green roof, a solar array and a rainwater harvesting system that includes permeable paving. It is a step forward for sustainable design, but with a wonderfully modern scandinavian design.

Posted by KarenShearer at 12 March, 2013


Mood Board : Affordable Home Office

Stash Desk : $399

Bernhard Chair : $149

Whole Wide World Wallpaper : $400, one accent wall

Bookcase : $499

Binic Table Lamp : $289

Desk Organizer : $5.99

Total Cost : $1740

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 26 February, 2013


Mood Board : Affordable Modern Dining Room

Pony Chair -$129 each, 6 Chairs $774

Sean Dix Collection Forte Rectangular Dining Table : Currently $995

Coral Pendant  : $360

Boras Wallpaper : $70 a roll

Hemisphere Rug : $399

Geometric Vase : $180

Graphite Curtains : $80

This Room Will Cost You : $3200


Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 15 February, 2013



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