On the Couch (Or Confessions)

Remember LAST spring when I rented my place on Airbnb for the first time? Remember when I thought it was going to be a short-lived experiment?

Well, 15 months later I’m still renting it to travelers from Egypt to Australia and everywhere in between.

It takes a toll on me. I’m not going to lie.

Even though my friends are awesome for letting my big beast and me stay with them, it’s hard not to be home. Sure, I have streamlined my packing process and my after-hours check in procedures so I don’t have to wait for international travelers at all hours of the night, but if I’m being honest, I’m ready to stop for a while.

I’m ready to finish the repairs and upgrades my place desperately needs, to have a proper dinner party on my yet-to-be-christened mahogany table, and I’m ready to know all of my shoes are in my closet instead of a bag on the floor.

So, I finally rejected a couple of requests from Parisians and blocked a week off my calendar. Now I can stay home to deal with my place… and the mail that gets neglected when I’m living like a nomad.

I tackled the refrigerator upgrade last weekend with middling success (see injuries here), and now I’m ready to replace my couch.

My parents bought my current one for me when I graduated from USC, and it had two removable slipcovers back then. Four rescue dogs, 45 international travelers, and 13 years later, I’m down to one slipcover that is absolutely in tatters.

It’s time for an upgrade.

See?

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Horrifying furniture AND photography.

The challenge is finding a sleeper sofa I don’t hate for under $1,000. I found one that wasn’t bad at Cost Plus, but it didn’t have removable (read: washable) cushions, and it only pulled out into a twin, which won’t really work for a lot of reasons.

It was CLOSE to being right, but…

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Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

I found another option I don’t despise online, but it’s hard for me to commit without seeing it up close.

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OBVIOUSLY not with those atrocious throw pillows. Source

Also? It only comes in pebble which wouldn’t be catastrophic, but I think I want dark gray.

I’ve been scouring Craigslist for over a month, but that has been a bit of a bust thus far.

So… I confess I’m not quite sure what to do about the couch, I’m a bit sick of renters, I’m tired of living like a refugee… and my other confession?

I have writers block.

I know that sounds crazy considering I wrote two blog posts this week, but it’s really just procrastination because I don’t know what to do with my pilot, my second feature, or the first feature I’m converting into a novel.

I’m just not feeling that inspired.

Now that I’m home and rejecting rental requests for a while, I’m going to make myself write.

Hold me to it, K?

Thanks, internet.

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This House Needs a Hug (Or I Want to Fix Everything)

You know that scene in Dirty Dancing where Johnny says to Baby, “I’ve never known anyone like you before. You think you can make the world better. Somebody’s lost, you find them. Somebody’s bleeding…”

“And I go get my daddy.”

That’s kinda how I am about my friends. I want everyone I love to be shining, and smiling, and stuffed to the gills with fancy cupcakes. Sometimes I even call my daddy when I don’t know what to do….

And it’s not just my friends. I’m also like that about architecture. I see a house in need of help and my mind starts racing with ways to give it a hug with a hammer and some nails.

I want to make it better. I want it to have a family.

Don’t you?

Spanish style home

Hang on, sweet Spanish style home. There’s hope for you yet.

You could look more like this:

Home by Koffka Phakos Design on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Koffka Phakos Design. Source

All it would take is a little paint, some love, and a whole lotta landscaping. I mean, a little grass and some color contrast go a long way.

Don’t you agree?

Crimes Against Architecture (Or Someone Needs to Renovate Now)

I wanted to be an architect when I was young. I’m not saying the world would be a better place if I had followed that dream, but two film degrees later, I still can’t shake my obsession with structures. I can’t look at a building without envisioning ways to improve it.

Whether it’s just a facelift to improve the curb appeal, a sketch for an addition, or full on fantasies about jackhammers, crowbars, and drywall, my mind never stops working — particularly as I’m walking my dogs around the neighborhood.

Maybe it’s because there are so many buildings in Hollywood that are in need of my enthusiasm and my arsenal of power tools. Or Maybe it’s just an unsatisfied dream. I’m not sure, but either way, I can’t stop dreaming about making Hollywood a prettier place, one dump at a time.

Here are my nominations for places in need of a little love. And Imagination.

I mean, these places represent some serious crimes against architecture presently.

Never mind that this place looks like a frat house. It has potential!

Obviously, it needs a new roof and new paint, among other improvements, but there is a lot to love here.

Just a few houses down, is another structure in need.

The things I could do to this place….

Forget about the plywood in the windows for a second and the peeling paint and just look at the potential.

Do you fantasize about renovating things or is it just me?

Free Stuff is Fun (Or How to Remove Carpet Indentations with Ice Cubes)

I love free things. Like really love free things. And by free things I mean, actually free. Not the kind of free that’s free for the first 30 days and then you have to remember to cancel or you get stuck paying $50 a month until you get around to calling.

So, when I came across a trick for removing the indentations in your carpet using only ice cubes, I was like, “Um, yes please. I have ice cubes.”

Today I decided to give it a shot. I discovered it’s best to put the ice cubes down when your dogs are in a coma-like napping state after a long hike. You probably shouldn’t do it when they’re feeling frisky from putting their faces in your morning latte. If you do it that way you end up with dogs who think it’s a game to lick and kick the cubes all over your carpet.

That was sort of how the first round of my ice cube experiment went.

Albus began licking the ice cubes while Woodley watched cautiously. Then Albus discovered it was super fun to kick the cubes. Still, Woodley watched. She eventually summoned the courage to approach the ice and quickly began contributing to the chaos as well. She’s never the instigator, but she’s always a willing participant once she overcomes her initial trepidation of, well, everything.

There I was, eager to see if the trick worked, and they were convinced we were playing a game. I placed the cubes on the carpet. They hit them. I put them back. They hit them again. And so on until I distracted them with bison and sweet potato biscuits….

So anyway, here’s what I discovered:

It actually works if you can keep your animals away.

Also, after the ice melts you have to use your hand to rub the carpet fibers back and forth to get them to stand up. One application of ice cubes was sufficient for the shallow indentations, but it took three applications of ice for the deeper dents.

After surveying my free fix I put on a little Oh Carolina and did a happy dance to some vintage Shaggy, circa 1993.

Too bad the ice cubes can’t fix how ugly the carpet is….

Do you have any easy tips you want share?

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