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Los Angeles is a city where reinvention is a matter of pride. That said, in the summer, Angelenos constantly apply that concept to their own humble abodes, all in the name of kicking things up a notch. So get busy and start switching things up with little projects that bring big results. Following are some pertinent ideas, some somewhat conventional and others as wacky as many City of Angels residents who are happy to embrace the unexpected.
Southern California artisans have been coming up with signature tiles for as long as the City of Angels has been around. So, what better way to freshen up your place, while putting a Cali stamp on your abode, than by taking a few of these geometric ceramic treasures and making them into an art piece to hang on the wall or to use as a backsplash behind your kitchen sink?
Against the Wall
Sometimes your kids are just dying to paint their rooms in, say, shades of black or screaming-citrus green. But that’s a lot of pigment to cover once he or she goes off to college and you decide to turn this overdone teen hideout into a more subtle cave of your own. Rather than putting up all of that paint, try using wrapping paper in place of wall paper. Simply apply with the same glue that the former requires in order to create a neat look without spending a fortune. When you’re done, you’ll be amazed at how fun and funky this new, yet temporary transformation grabs everyone’s attention.
If you’re really sick of the upholstery on your couch or your cat has used the fabric to sharpen his or her claws, consider switching up the old look for a new one. One great way to do so without spending a bundle is to take your sofa to a car reupholstery shop to be redone with cloth that’s typically used for automobile interiors, like pleather.
In the Door
Switch out an old door — say the one that goes out to the terrace or the one that takes you from the dining room to the living room — with a new style. For instance, use a French door found at a salvage store in place of a solid cedar door, and you’ll not only have a new look but a fresh way to brighten up these communal rooms. After you’ve chosen your new door, consider finding some unique hardware to add a little flourish to this amusing, yet functional home-improvement project.
It’s Curtains for You
Consider taking down your drab, living-room curtains and replacing them with a few pairs of colorful shower curtains instead. Not only will this make your windows pop, but you won’t spend a fortune making this change. The best feature is that they can be changed back to the old curtains at any time and reassigned to a bathroom or two.
Below are some local businesses that may be able to help you get started.
1090 Westwood Blvd
Westwood, CA 90024
This novelty store offers a ton of kitschy items at fair prices to add a punch of creativity to all kinds of decor. Merchandise changes constantly, so become a regular and you’re sure to unearth a treasure that will be the talking point at your next house party.
Liz’s Antique Hardware
453 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Not only does Liz’s have a great selection of doors from all eras in all kinds of style, from deco to craftsman, but this go-to place for spiffy and impossible-to-find hardware can be your one-stop shop for changing doors in your own L.A. abode.
Wells Tiles & Antiques
2126 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
From Santa Monica tea tiles to Cal Art tiles to Batchelder tiles of yore, all manners of these tiny art pieces can be found at this east-side sanctuary for fine examples of what seems to have become a lost art.
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For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSLA.com/YourHome.
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.