Bob Eckstein

Bob Eckstein
New York City, New York,
February 27
Publisher of Today's
Snowman expert, author of The History of the Snowman and cartoonist for the New Yorker, Reader's Digest, Wall Street Journal and others. Twitter; snowmanexpert


JULY 15, 2010 8:53AM

Smartass Ideas For the Home; Part III

Rate: 17 Flag

Just to finish up on the thought of themes from the previous installment...

Below this room downstairs is the master bedroom. It was decided it's theme would be “Farm Pasture.” Knowing this made decisions on paint color, linens and artwork pretty obvious...and fun.

That object under the chair is an antique foot massager.

The headboard was inspired by an old hotel sign I saw on the road and photographed. It was created by nailing together rounded boards and using Crackle-it. I painted the artwork with regular housepaint. The reading lights are old park dooms mixed and matched with broken lamps. 25 watt bulbs.

Scrapwood from other projects was used for the baseboards, "crown moulding" and chair rails. The warped boards provide charm and age. A fast, sloppy single coat of cheap white paint for crowns gives it a whitewash look. Color scheme; lightest on top with deepest hues on bottom creates the impression of a larger room while making objects set lower pop.

Pitchforks sit in metal pastry tips that are nailed to the wall. The tops are hot glue-gunned to the wall. A mirror found in dumpster trimmed with random boards from a demolished farm. No finish.

Two items, the painting of the schoolhouse and the wooden drawer, which each cost a quarter at a drive-in theater flea market. Junk in the basement completes the piece.

This oil painting was $6. Sometimes you have to spend a fortune for great art.

This painting is a good example of how an average or bad piece of art may not do much on it's own but in the right context it seems as if it was made for the room. 25¢.

This artwork (next to the birdhouse) was a wedding gift from an Icelandic folk artist. The two separate sculptures of us are situated together...when things are well. The two are placed apart whenever one of us need some space!

The dresser was bought with two others at an auction. The group went for $10, probably because the two dressers I kept had no knobs and peeling badly. The third with many glass knobs had terrible mold. I took the knobs from that one and placed them on the other two after I sanded them revealing beautiful layers of multi-colors. I burned the other dresser in a campfire.

Fancy corner mouldings? I no need no stinkin' fancy corner mouldings?!? Just a chunk of block and for this theme it looks like a perfect fit.

We adopted this dog planter and filled it with primitive wool balls.

The walls in this room originally were ('70s) dark paneling. One wall needed to be redone altogether so I could replace the original sash windows and put in installation. I skim-coated over the grooves of the paneling on top half (after degreasing it and priming it with a stain killer) but left the groves on the bottom (using the chair rail to camouflage the point where the two sections meet). The result is the illusion of two different materials used and one of a house older than the 1940s.

Yes, these were once new floors but that was many, many years ago. For something like $30 a bottle of Rejuvenate is the reason why these floors look new. And now you don't have to buy it through a creepy paid programming on late night TV–it's available in Home Depot and places like that. When we purchased the house the wrought iron bed was left with the place because it was missing the main head board–that is why why homemade a headboard, to save money and savage the smaller end of this once beautiful piece.

Pull cord light because we couldn't afford to have room properly wired (and mostly did not look forward to the invasiveness of such a project). I made the ceiling light from parts found from broken lamps (details later).

This is supposed to be a squirrel. You can't tell from the photo but he's very heavy.

Next time; Seeing Everything Differently & Getting Ideas

Future installments will be getting into unusual solutions to home decorating challenges as well as cover everything from lighting, flooring, painting and new trends.

Author tags:

made, interior design, recession

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I'd like to hire you to replace my wife's decorator. Her solution to any decorating problem is either "more pillows" or "window treatment."
Again, WONDERFUL!! Thanks!
A restful place for the Masters of such great designs.
Thanks everyone. That would be a wild coincidence if that painting was your grandma's. Con, you really make me laugh.

It'd be fun to see other poster's neat home interiors. Hope more people see this and post some home stuff.
Did you spin the yarn? ha! (maybe that's a yes...) Anyway, I feel like a nap.
Bob, this is great. I enjoy the farm house look. You did a great job with this.
So where's the 'Cow-Patty' shaped throw pillows...???
This is NY, NY? ...just noticed your location over there ---
Love your creativity!
LoL! Enjoyed the series, Bob! :)
Pretty cool building everything.
Those oil paintings were a steal! And whoever refinished the floors gets an A+
I usually just buy "old looking" stuff from Marshalls:

it's also pretty cheap, though not very creative
Normally I'm against pitchforks in the bedroom, but you made it work ;)

rated for ubercool!
Pitchforks add a lot to the ambiance.
Loved all of this, but the pitch forks give me hope for the broken end of an old metal rake. The wooden boxes filled with miniatures feed my fancy and long-time addiction.