Easy Fixes Around the House

I hadn’t heard of Sugru until recently, but as I looked into it a bit, it seemed like pretty useful stuff to have around the house. It’s a moldable glue that you work with kind of like play dough. It sticks to just about everything and cures overnight, turning into flexible rubber with a strong hold.

I realized after looking at some of its uses that it would be perfect for fixing the toothbrush holder on our sink’s backsplash. We aren’t using the holders for our toothbrushes (I put a couple of glass tumblers in them because they seemed odd when empty), but the right one was loose when we moved in and time has only made it worse. One screw won’t fully tighten because it’s stripped, and the other doesn’t even catch the threads! I’d thought about fixing it with superglue but I didn’t want to do anything that couldn’t be reversed since the sink is an antique. Sugru is removable from nonporous surfaces, so even though I don’t plan on taking it apart, it’s nice to know that I could if I wanted to. I used about half a packet to make a little ball, putting it behind the backplate of the toothbrush holder before reattaching it. Done! It’s even waterproof.

Fixing with Sugru
Bathroom with Antique Marble Sink

Of course, once I already had that packet open, I started thinking about where else I could put it to use in the house. There was a loose sconce in the other bathroom, where the plaster could no longer grip the screw. A little Sugru on the backplate, the same way I used it for the sink’s holder, fixed it right up.

Fixing a Sconce with Sugru
Guillermo del Toro Sconce

(Brandon calls these our Guillermo del Toro sconces. Can’t unsee.)

Guillermo del Toro Sconce

After that, I figured I’d go fix a wobbly lampshade that had been driving me nuts. I’d tried before to fix it with tape, then wire when that didn’t work, and eventually I just resigned myself to straightening it whenever I noticed it had gotten out of whack again (which was often). I mixed up some gray Sugru to match the silver on my lamp’s harp, leveled the shade, and fixed it in place. No more wobble!

Sugru
Sugru for Fixing a Crooked Lampshade
Pink Lamp with Silk Lampshade

If you aren’t familiar with Sugru (I wasn’t before), they have a ton of different ways to use it on their homepage and a bunch of creative uses, too. I know I focused a lot on how you can use it to fix things, but I also put together a collection of my favorite tutorials and project ideas. (Aren’t those magnetic copper vases clever?)

Sugru is being sold nationwide at Target now, so it’s easy to get your hands on some. It’s good stuff to keep on hand for getting handy and for when you’re feeling crafty!

All Tree, All Shade

Clearly I do not know how to prune roses properly because ours, especially the climbing ones, are looking leggy. I’ve been reading up about how to correct them, and it sounds like late winter is the time to do any major reshaping. They are blooming at least, but not in the pretty, profuse way they were when we first moved in.

Climbing Roses

The trellis that they’re growing on fell over a little while back. We tried to right it as much as possible, but it’s not easy with all of the thorns! It’s up, mostly, and tied to the porch for more support.

In other garden news, the boxwoods got a big trimming. Please, please, please fill in, hedges! I’ve read up a lot about them being able to bounce back, even after drastic pruning, but I could never find any information on how long it takes and I do know that in general, they’re slow-growing. Also, the right side is much taller than the left but I’m afraid to trim off the top. I figure I’ll wait to see how they fare after this first attempt at cutting them back.

Pruned Boxwoods

(You can see the leggy climbing roses in the background, along the left side of our porch. And our stroller really complements the color scheme, does it not?)

We’re giving a little attention to the lawn too. There’s a beautiful mature ash tree out front, but it throws more shade than the ladies on Drag Race. (That was contrived and cheesy and for that, I’m sorry. Not sorry enough to delete though.)

Ash Tree

Ash Tree

We got a quote for new sod, which was something like $600, and there’s no guarantee it would take. We could do the labor part ourselves to bring the cost down, but again there’s no guarantee it would actually grow, so we passed on that and overseeded the lawn with shade-tolerant fescue.

Sparse Lawn

It has been about two weeks and we’ve watered every day that the rain didn’t do it for us. I don’t think it’s doing much, but those little spindly blades may turn into something if we’re patient, right? That’s the hope, anyway.

New Blades of Grass

One Coffee Table, Styled Three Ways

I recently worked with Make it Better to create three different looks around one coffee table. The main elements stayed the same (obviously the table itself, but also the rug, the sofa, and even the main photo angle), while the items on the table changed, along with the pillows on the couch in the background.

The piece was written by Rachel Brown Kulp and all of the photographs were taken by Kelly Allison. We shot in my home using many of my own pieces, mixed with additional props brought in by both Rachel and myself.

Masculine Glamour

One Coffee Table, Styled Three Ways

The idea for this one came together around a palette of black and brass, and I knew I wanted to style around that articulated horse (an artist’s model, borrowed from CarefulPeach for the shoot).

Masculine Glamour Coffee Table Styling

It’s pretty fantastic, right? Definitely the star of this group.

Articulated Horse Artist's Model

Gaff’s unicorn, under the bell jar, references the larger articulated horse. It’s also a good way to work in the nerd objects your husband may collect (*ahem*).

Gaff's Origami Unicorn from Blade Runner

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Feminine and Fun

One Coffee Table, Styled Three Ways

Unofficially, we referred to this one as “our Kate Spade table.” Some black and white stripes or gold polka dots (or pink flamingos!) would have really driven that theme home, but we were just pulling inspiration — not going for a blatant copy.

Hello

“Hello!” This was definitely a fun look. And isn’t that red clock great? I found it on clearance for under $20. Sometimes props are borrowed, or items are bought and returned for shoots, but the clock is a keeper.

Feminine and Fun Coffee Table

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Rustic Elegance

One Coffee Table, Styled Three Ways

We wanted to work in more natural elements for this look. Rachel brought in the rocks and the wooden bowl, and I liked playing them off of the shine of my brass pieces and the lovely blue glaze of the vase.

Brass Apothecary Bottles

Blue Glazed Vase with Hydrangeas

Styling is funny. Always match your books to your decor when setting up your vignettes, kids.

Wood and Brass

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You can visit Make it Better for my “three steps to a stylish coffee table,” and for more tips and information about each look. And I’d love to know: do you have a favorite?

One Coffee Table, Styled Three Ways

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