Welcome back ladies and gentleman (or ladies and my dad and Colby since I’m pretty sure they’re the only “gentlemen” who read this blog), for another exciting rendition of the Inspired Design Challenge. Hootie hoo let’s get this
party challenge started! This week’s inspiration store….wait for it…Anthropologie! Man do I love Anthro! I have to admit that until last summer, I was an Anthro virgin. But then on a trip to Boston, I dragged Colby into a store and shopped around for a few minutes. I would have stayed longer but the store was about fifteen minutes shy of closing time. You can read all about our Boston adventure here. There may also have been a first-timer-in-West-Elm situation as well. But enough chit chat, let’s get to the goods with the Anthro project reveal:
And of course the inspiration was the ranunculus swirl Anthropologie shade. Do you guys remember this image? From back here?
And how I was going to wrap a lamp shade like the rosette shade? I bought the lamps, the shades, the fabric but barely got started. So when the Inspired Design Challenge rolled around it kicked my butt into high-rosette-making gear and I finally tackled the project. Which is totally time consuming….just an FYI for anyone out there wishing to recreate this. It took me three beers and four Red Sox games to finish just one shade!
So here’s the how-I-did it, first up the supplies:
I made two lamp shades so I picked up a pair of el-cheap-o shades from Target (I think they were about $10 each) and a couple yards of yellow outdoor fabric for about $10 total thanks to a sale and a coupon. Other supplies included a hot glue gun and a fabric cutting system. Trust me, the fabric rolling cutter thingie (can you tell I’m not a sewer?!) saved my sanity for this project!
The first step was to cover the shade completely in the yellow fabric. This provides a nice base so if your rosettes don’t 100% cover the shade, no white will poke through. I first traced the lampshade by rolling it along the fabric and tracing the edges with a fabric pencil. Then I just cut it out leaving about 1/8″ to a 1/4″ excess that will later be used to wrap the fabric around the edge of the shade.
And then it was hot glue time. I started with one edge and hot glued all along the straight edge. Once that dried, I rolled the fabric around the shade and hot glued the other seam, folding it over first to make a nice, crisp edge. You don’t really want jagged fabric-ness and fraying to be the seam you show so folding over the fabric prevents this.
To finish around the edges, I ran a bit of glue just under the inside of the rolled up part of the shade, folded over the fabric, and kind of tucked it into the rolled seam/glue. I worked in about 4″ increments all around the shade so I had time to tuck before the glue dried.
And voila…a fabric covered shade!
Now came the fun part, the rosette part. To make the rosette I used about 1/4″ strips of the leftover yellow outdoor fabric in various lengths. This is the reason why I used outdoor fabric, was for the rosettes. The fabric is somewhat stiffer so it helps hold the floral-ie shape better. So using my rotary cutter, I cut a ridiculous mound of rosette strips.
And then just started making away. I started the process by rolling about an inch of the fabric into a little bead, hot glueing that bead together so it would stay, then glueing it to the shade. Then using that bead as the center point, just wrapped it around in a rosette fashion tucking each layer of the flower behind the first.
Until I had a rosette that looked something like this:
Honestly, that was probably my worst one. I got a little bit better the more I made them. So I just kept wrapping rosettes, gluing them directly to shade as I wrapped, and varying their sizes so they weren’t all exactly the same until I had this:
I chose yellow fabric to kind of go with the “8-10-12″ wedding table number art hanging beside Colby’s nightstand in our master bedroom. Speaking of…shameless plug…it’s almost our anniversary…eeeeeeek! I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Man it went by fast!
So here’s the full bedroom shot. Excuse the poor photography. It was one of those oh-em-gee my flight for Haven leaves like now and I still haven’t packed and I’m taking pictures of this room anyway because I need to even if it’s bad light kind of situation. I’ll take better pics eventually…maybe after I finish shade numero dose.
Speaking of, in an effort to keep it real, this is what my nightstand/shade looks like:
Forehead…desk. I kind of ran out of time. I couldn’t believe how time consuming hot gluing all those rosettes was going to be like. But I’m totally going to blame Haven and our Etsy shop Roostic and not that I may have gotten sucked into HGTV star along with a Duck Dynasty marathon. Those shows just makes me happy, happy, happy. Hopefully I’ll finish the shade soon. Actually, it may have been a good thing that I haven’t yet finished both shades because at the Haven Conference (a DIY blogging conference that I JUST got back from) I learned that I’m basically a styling/staging/home accessorizing nightmare and I want to make a conscious effort to glam up and style some our spaces better, starting with our nightstands. I sense that our digital alarm clocks, especially my hot pink rubber one (seriously?!) will be getting the boot.
So now that I’m done my monologue ala Tina Fey Saturday Night Live style, it’s time to bring in the big guns and my fellow Inspired Design Challenge hosts.
And of course their lovely inspiration:
- Lindsay from Life Of Splendor
- Kristin from Bliss At Home (Kristin’s project will be up on Wednesday)
- Sara from Embrace My Space
- Jennifer from Brave New Home
So go check out their amazing projects, show them some love, and tell them I said hi! Next up on the Inspired Design Challenge, our last week of project goodness, World Market. You can get a sneak peak of my project on my Inspired Design Challenge Pinterest board.
Pssst…So I’ve mentioned this about a gazillion times, but how about one more time for the cheap seats in the back. This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Haven Conference in Atlanta, Georgia which was amazing! It was a conference geared toward DIY and design bloggers. I got to meet some blogging superstars, learn a few things, hob nob with some vendors/sponsors, but most importantly, make some new blog friends. In fact, I got to real life meet Kristin from Bliss At Home along with Lindsay from Life of Splendor. But I’ll share more details about the conference later this week.
Let’s just file this post under random purchases for $100 Alex. Oh…but they changed Jeopardy and there is no longer a $100 category…I rephrase…let’s file this post under random purchases for $200 Alex. Not that I spent $200…more like $66.48. Anyway, after returning home from our Puerto Rico adventure, we’re talking immediately after returning home from Puerto Rico, I settled into the couch for
a long winter’s nap catching up with my shelter magazines that came while we were away. I flipped open the cover of Country Living and was bestowed with a vision of the most beautiful thing in the world…a Threshold Target lamp. For your “ooooohing” and “ahhhhhhing” pleasure:
I love lamp! Have I used that post title before? I’m pretty sure I have…anyway. I couldn’t stand the “should I” or “shouldn’t I” purchase the lamps to replace our too small, temporary $10 lamps in our master bedroom. It was a regular old pink mirror from Home Goods scenario all over again. The lamp was all I could think of. So on my weekend errands I just so happened to traipse into Target to find the lamps on sale. They regularly cost $39.99 but the price was dropped down to $34.99….score! Of course a pair of them just so happened to jump into my cart. Funny how that happens. And we all came home as one big lamp happy family.
So here is one of the two, too small temporary lamps in our master bedroom.
When we first moved into our home three years ago, we didn’t have any lamps for our room so I picked these up on clearance at Target for dirt chip. It cost me $20 at the time for the two lamps AND the shades. But they’ve worn out their welcome and it was time to upgrade to something beefier. I had been passively looking for new lamps for the past few months but was just waiting for the right lamps to cross my path. Like these guys:
I love the glass and how it seems like it’s bulging out of the wire grid. It reminds me of those West Elm terrariums. Speaking of bulging (inappropriate joke coming…ear muffs), Colby refers to these as the muffin top lamps. I promised I wouldn’t share that. Ooops….bad wife…I love you baby! On a more serious note, I’m digging how the lamps tie into the black hardware on the red nightstand. And their scale is so much more perfect for our bedroom than the dinky lamps they replaced.
The only part of the lamps I’m not a fan of is the shade. I cruised the lamp shades while I was at Target but not a single one spoke to me. Not a word…the shades were all completely mum. So I settled for a pair of plain white ones for now but knowing perfectly well that I’ll probably craft something up to give them a little bit more pizazz. They’re blank canvases just ready for some jazzing up. Lately, I’ve been cruising Pinterest and Anthropologie to scrounge up some inspiration and here’s what I’m thinking:
I love all three of those Anthro shades! But at $90 each I’m not about to purchase a pair of those. I’m too cheap for that! But I’m thinking of trying to DIY one of these beauties. I’m leaning towards the yellow, flowered one but maybe in a different color?! I don’t know. Do you think I can get away with bringing in yellow shades in our bedroom? They would tie into the yellow in the “8-10-12″ wedding table number art hanging on the wall. We’ll see what I decide. I may just cover the shades in some fun fabric instead, kind of like the Anthro shade on the right. But whatever we decide to do, you know we’ll keep you posted.
Pssst…Any illuminating projects going down at su casa? Or jonesing after something from Anthro? Oh how I love Anthro!
Today we’re unleashing upon you all our secrets. Well…no…not ALL our secrets, otherwise what kind of incentive do you have to keep reading?! Today, I’m revealing to you our “secrets of a stainer”. Did anybody get the Emily Henderson Secrets of a Stylist spoof in there? I’m sure a few of you die hard Design Star fans out there caught on. Anyway, Colby and I were staining and polying monsters this weekend. And we took our hallway to places it’s never been before…check out the hallway before/progress going on right now.
The pic on the left was taken a few weeks ago before we laid down the new floor and the pic on the left was taken after the last coat of poly went down on the trim and door. Beautiful, no?!
Anyway…let’s get to the secrets part because everybody loves a good secret. And we’re going to let you in on how we make the staining and polying process SOOOOO much easier. Our biggest secret to tackling stain and poly…Secret Number 1…pre-stain as much as possible! Staining is a stinky job. Seriously. And toxic. So we took our staining down to the basement where we pre stained a majority of the trim for the second floor. Staining, although stinky, is an easy process. You just slap it on:
We’re staining here using a gallon of Minwax’s Dark Walnut stain using a foam brush. We tend to use foam brushes alot for trim staining as long as the trim is nice and smooth, since the foam tends to catch on rougher wood. The foam brushes drip less and have a more even coverage (for more efficient staining) than their bristle brush counterparts. After swiping on some stain and letting it sit for about 30 seconds, wipe off any excess.
If you want your wood a darker shade, let the stain sit longer before wiping it off. And as always, use a clean cloth. It took us all of an hour to stain all the baseboards, window trim and door trim for the guest room and the hallway…if that. Then we just let it sit, dry out, and off-gas (detoxify) before installing it upstairs.
Confession time…we didn’t pre-stain all of our trim for the upstairs.
Actually, only about half of the trim/door surfaces were actually stained before installing.
And, in retrospect, boy did we wish we had stained everything before installing, especially the doors.
It can sometimes be really difficult to get stain, especially a darker stain, to penetrate the strange gaps going on around hinges, but it still can be done with a foam brush if you just smoosh it in there and rub off any stain that gets on the hinges afterwards. It cleans up quite nicely actually.
So why didn’t we pre-stain all the doors and the trim? I would normally say sheer laziness, but that isn’t true. More like, we didn’t know any better at the time. It had been so long since the last time we stained a door or some trim so we kind of forgot how much a pain in the butt it is to stain after everything is in place. Stain tends to get on the floor, on the walls, on the dog (totally not kidding here). And the last thing we need is Goose covered in stain. Although he would look quite dapper in a weathered gray stain. And with a smoking jacket! Hmmmm….
Even though we installed alot of the trim before staining, there’s still a secret that I’ve learned, which works just as well in the poly stages as it does the stain stages. To protect your walls, use a magazine cover (I used the Ikea 2013 catalog) or a cereal box to slide into that small gap (or just resting up against the wall) behind the top of the trim. Then stain or poly away.
It completely protects the walls and you don’t worry too much about cutting in. I suppose you could also tape everything off too, with painters tape. But I’m not much for taping. I find it too labor intensive and prefer cutting in. But stain is messy and doesn’t always easily wipe up, hence the magazine cover tip.
And as I’m revealing our staining secrets, I bet you’re wondering, “Angie, just how do you fill in those nails holes after the board is stained and installed? You can’t just use plain old, natural colored wood putty, can you?! I just HAVE to know?!” To answer your burning question, the solution is colored putty.
The stuff is the bomb dot com, the peanut butter to my jelly, my jam Stan! And you use it an awful lot like the usual wood filler except not really. You just take a tiny smidge of the stuff on your finger, rub it into the nail hole, and keep rubbing your finger over the board and across the filled in nail hole until the putty is well blended in with the wood and the nail hole is no longer visible.
After all the staining is done, we usually like to let it set for a day or two. This ensures that the stain is thoroughly soaked in so the poly can seal everything up. Thus, polying was our next step in the second floor trim progress.
All I have to say is “meow”…in a “doesn’t our hallway look sexy” kind of way. I love how a couple coats of poly is all it takes to really make the stain and wood tones pop. It brightens the color and makes for an eye catching finish.
We spent a decent amount of time polying all the trim and the doors, in the guest bedroom, hallway and the door/trim of the master bedroom. In total, it took us about three hours to slather the trim and the doors with two coats of polyurethane.
Why two coats? And not a billion and a half coats like we do on the floors? Man…you guys are a curious bunch this evening! Because the trim isn’t necessarily going to bear the same level of abuse that the floor will. You don’t walk on doors or walls or trim, unless you’re Pippy Longstocking trying to escape Ms. Bannister. Two coats is more than enough to seal the trim and protect it.
Oooooh…shiny. Not only did we stain and poly all the hallway and guest bedroom trim, but also the door and trim for our master bedroom.
Let’s just say, this project was LONG overdue by maybe about six months, which is not a good thing. Wood doors and trim really need to be finished ASAP. If they don’t get finished shortly after installation, they tend to warp and do crazy things. So finish those doors people! I repeat…finish those doors! We were lucky that our door was fine and survived the lack of finishing, but Colby has told me horror stories about some contractors not finishing their doors right away and running into big problems. It also technically voids your warranty on the door by not finishing them. There…that’s my spiel for tonight. My wordy, 1200 words post.
Pssst…What about you guys? Do you have any
deep dark secrets staining secrets? Or other DIY tricks that you swear by? Like using magazine covers to protect a wall while baseboard staining?
We finally did it…we bit the bullet and invested in a real light fixture in our master bedroom. Not gonna lie…we haven’t had an overhead light fixture in this room since we moved in nearly three years ago thanks to a little Colby breaking it while trying to get into the attic incident. Anyway…meet our new light fixture…Glinda…the gilded flush mount…aka the good light fixture of the North.
Glinda didn’t always sport a golden hue. In fact, she started off in a dull, cheap looking, brushed nickel finish.
The finish wasn’t 100% my jam, nor is it my dream light fixture (I REALLY want to install an antler chandelier in our bedroom but I haven’t found one yet at the right price). But for a $6 light, it will do for now.
It was originally $8.75 at Lowes, still a great deal but I scored a extra sweet deal on it since it was the display model and our local store was no longer stocking this guy. Hot tip…if you see a light fixture you like on display at a big box store but can’t find any in stock, ask a salesperson about it. Often, they’ll take the display down for you and chop the price down for you too.
Once we got our cheap-o light fixture home, I wanted to give it a little glam makeover and add a little extra flare since it’s original finish was kind of bleh. You know…kind of like what Cher did for Tai in Clueless. As if! So out came the leftover Martha Stewart liquid gilding paint (we originally used it for our Christmas treat boxes) for a little gilding gala.
I just used an angled craft brush and layered on two coats of the paint.
The gilding paint goes on super thin and watery but still has great coverage. A little goes a LONG way. Even after painting the light fixture, I still hadn’t even used 1/4 of the paint pot. I sense more gilding in our future.
The only downfall to using the gilding paint is the cleanup. The label on the paint pot claims that you can wash your brushes in nail polish remover, but that was a total fail. I tried it…but my brush was still gunky and gross, and since it was a cheap craft brush (we’re talking less than five bucks for about 20 brushes) I just chucked it. But I’m wondering if maybe mineral spirits would aid in brush cleanup?! Perhaps.
After a couple hours of dry time, I called in
the marines my electrical guy, who happens to be my husband Colby, to help with installation.
He’s a good sport and a saint for putting up with my DIY antics and impromptu projects like this one. So up the light went…we added a energy efficient light bulb…
Reattached the glass…
And oooohed and ahhhhed over the new light fixture (and it’s impeccable finish) for the next twenty minutes. Apparently we don’t have lives…or a demanding schedule.
I’m not 100% happy with the golden color on the light fixture. I was hoping it would be a little closer in tone to the finish on the mirror. It was close, just not quite there.
But we’re still in that “the middle makes no sense” part of finishing up our master bedroom. You know…when projects and designs are about half finished so everything kind of looks like a mess. So I think once we finish staining the door/trim, replace the drop cloth curtain closet with a real one (something more cabinet style), and add a little accent wall stenciling behind the mirror, that Gilda will fit in better with the room.
I’m trying to not make any quick “oh my goodness I made a bad choice” judgement calls (or rip out the light fixture and repaint it) until I finish up a few other projects first. But I’m thinking the accent wall stenciling project will help tie in the light fixture the most since I’m thinking of using the same paint color for that project. As always, you know we’ll keep you posted on the progress and any changes we make. Until next time…Angie…out.
Pssst…I’m linking this post up to the painting party going on over on Carmel’s blog, Our Fifth House tomorrow. Be sure to hop on over and check out all the painting project inspiration.
The noodling around in the bedroom that we started yesterday continues. This time, we’re putting a mirror on it:
Since we emptied out the entryway and started switching it up to make it more functional for us, we were left with a mirror and no place to hang it. Side note: I swear we’re still working on the entryway…the painting the board and batten is a painfully slow project and I have more important things to do these days than paint trim…like wrap Christmas presents. Anyway…we took the mirror from here:
And moved it to our master bedroom above the dressers in the old closet nook.
I swear the mirror was made for this space. Not only is it the perfect size and shape to fit in the strange, angular nook where our dressers live, it is also the perfect color thanks to a little mirror refinishing way back when. The mirror was a yard sale find from Colby’s mom. She’s got a knack for finding amazing things at thrift stores, yard sales, and on the side of the road. And she’s never shy about loading up our car with her finds when we visit and saying things like, “you can do something with this” and usually I do. The curvy mirror was no exception.
You can’t REALLY appreciate the mirror on it until you’ve seen the before…the lackluster before.
There was a serious void and the space was begging for a mirror. I had planned to DIY one out of a ginormous decorative bowl (ironically also from Colby’s mom) but with the entry mirror out of commission it made sense to use that mirror to fill the space in our bedroom.
I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t think the mirror would work in our bedroom. I didn’t think it was the right color and I thought the shape would look awkward in the nook. As per usual these days…I was wrong. Look for the blue moon folks…Angie was wrong! Anyway…here’s the mirror hanging out on our bed pre hanging.
And here’s Colby checking out the appropriate height for hanging the mirror…or maybe just checking himself out. As Joey Tribiani would say “how you doin’?” Again, we used our scientific method of eyeballing it to determine mirror hanging height.
Don’t let the mirror fool you. She may look light, but she’s one heavy chick! I know ladies are a little sensitive about their weight but there was no denying the extra pounds she was carrying around. Needless to say, we really needed to hang the mirror from a stud for safety’s sake. So out came the stud finder.
And we did find one stud:
Haha! Corny joke credit goes to Colby on that one. It was his idea. I swear! I’m 100% not behind that moment! Anyway…then in went two screws into the wall, one into a stud and one into the sheet rock. Using two screws helps dissipate the weight. Given that the stud was off center from where we wanted to hang the mirror, the second screw helped us shift the mirror over without fearing it would come crashing down from not hanging on a stud.
The wire on the back of the mirror simply loops around the two screws in the wall.
And then there was a mirror on it.
Instantly, our room felt bigger. I know all the pro decorators and house stagers always say that mirrors help make rooms feel bigger but I’ve never experienced it firsthand before. But now you can call me a believer…I’m drinking the mirror Kool-Aid! And I love how the mirror draws your eye into the otherwise boring dresser nook.
And of course I couldn’t leave the dresser top alone. It needed a little adjusting. So I shopped Angie’s Home Decorator’s Basement, my favorite source for home decor, and came up with a cute and functional setup.
The lilies are fake and from Target about five or six years ago, the glass jars and the silver julep cup were wedding gifts from Pottery Barn, the egg crate hails from West Elm during our little Boston shopping/Red Sox/Beer Fest trip, and the coral is yet another find from Colby’s mom. Coral has been my latest obsession. I just can’t get enough of the stuff.
The dresser area is where I get ready in the morning…as in do my makeup and put on my bling. So I upgraded my makeup brush storage from a water glass to the julep cup and also added some dresser top storage for cotton balls and swabs for makeup flub up fixes and nightly removal. Functional yet cute.
The combo of sheer hanging yesterday and the mirror hanging/functionalizing of the dresser area has made our master bedroom the cutest room in our house (in my opinion). I have been known to prance around the house chanting “our bedroom is cute, our bedroom is cute, our bedroom is cute”. Amazing how relocating some art and a mirror and hanging some curtain sheers makes such a huge difference in a space.
Pssst…Mirror mirror on the wall, what’s your favorite change up of them all? As in…what have you tweaked up lately for a huge impact in your home?