I’ve been on the hunt for a lighting solution for our little hallway for quite some time… but not many pre-made ideas have a. hit the head on the nail for the right look or b. fit the little budget we have in mind.
Here’s that hallway now, badly in need of some cool lighting love.
Especially against the new painter’s tape wallpapered wall!
I played with the idea of something large and white and modern, something bright and contrasting in color – maybe with beads??, something in the black or gold or basket variety (see all pinned ideas right over here) and eventually settled on something woodsy. A concept that’s a little vague, I know…
I didn’t know what woodsy might specifically might be, but I love the look of raw or slightly honey-stained wood and blue. They’re so perfect together! Birch and navy (image above) play very well together, or check out the walnut mirror below and how it ‘pops’ off of those awesome walls! (image) It’s hard to tell in the very top photo, but the accent wall in our hallway is blue, actually I suppose all four are blue.
There is just something about blue and natural wood… same goes for gold (image).
I was originally inspired to build a light out of wood veneer (kind of like this one, but I was thinking big and couldn’t manage to get the wood veneer sphere to hold its shape once my play pendant grew larger than about 14″ in diameter), here are a few examples of the inspiration I played around with:
The round guy at top is a little dark in color but the shape allows plenty of light in (image) which is crucial for this hallway space at night, the honeycomb version is a very cool idea with its unique design (image) which is sure to make people stare up at it when they walk by, and the third option on my list is one of my favorites with its weaved wood veneer and traditional drum shape (West Elm, but no longer available). I actually thought that guy might be the easiest to DIY.
But I was looking for something a little less ordinary and perhaps a bit more organic in style and shape? Sort of like this one? (image) But maybe not sooo crazy.
Time to DIY!
I should warn you now though that this project failed. Womp womp.
Before you get too excited for me for finding and then DIYing the perfect, most amazing pendant that ever walked this earth… it didn’t happen. But I gave it an honest effort. Still shedding a tear over it.
On to the good stuff.
Materials included 4 packs of 3/4″ wood veneer edging from Lowes and a vintage wire lampshade:
That night I stripped that lampshade down to its bones:
And then began using that wire structural design to add veneer strips to the shade. Using office clips, I first outlined several ideas on how this might look, later I could glue my favorite design in place (highly recommend this less temporary solution for any major project while in the ‘playing around stage’).
I settled on a design with a pattern, though a slightly unusual one at that. Then it was time to glue (I recommend a wood glue for extra support), and be sure to leave those clips on with the glue overnight (though I was careful not to glue any clips, and I moved my pendant out to the garage for the drying portion of this project).
I eventually lined the wires (and top and bottom) of the inside of the shade in veneer as well, so that if you’re looking up or down into the body of the shade it looked as if almost all of the wire had disappeared.
This is the womp-womp part of the project… my new shade looked so neat there on the floor all perty and structural and finished!
But as soon as we played with how it would hang in the hallway it became very clear that the shape and size was just not right, and that the color (which looked so cool and birch-like up close) looked much more like raw, unfinished wood from the next room over.
Oh man, so disappointing. But sometimes you just know when a project is not right.
I’m hoping to reuse the shade or materials for something else around the house and to start over on the hallway light. On the plus side, I’m a little wiser on what will look appropriate up there – I’m not opposed to something over-sized or structurally interesting, but now more horizontal, less vertical and perhaps something stained.
You win some, you lose some.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Our Hallway, Renovating Adventures | 13 Comments »
Happy 2013! As promised, I spent my New Year’s at home with a glass of (Martinelli’s) champagne and in uber comfy style (unlike my imagined idea), no major stories to tell but a relaxing welcome to the new year.
Man oh man I can’t believe it’s already 2013. This past year has come and gone in the blink of an eye and while there were so many adventures and projects and stories to share, it feels like it all happened quite quickly really. With that in mind, I thought now might be a fun time to take a walk around the house to see what Kevin and I crossed off the house renovation project list from last year, and what we might be tackling in the coming months/year now that it is officially brand new. Here’s a similar walk-through from 2011 (wow, that seems like yesterday!).
Just for fun, let’s take it waaaay back and sneak a peek at what each of these rooms looked like before moving in as a more grand comparison.
The Dining Room
First up, the dining room. No major construction changes here (except that that left door below now leads to a hallway to the new kitchen and the right door below no longer exists – see bathroom update next) but plenty of design changes. Mmm I still love the soffits in the ceiling and the rounded walls that make this a 1930s home.
In 2012 we played with rug ideas, new lighting, adding curtains (transformed from a favorite pattern found in a duvet cover) and finding neutral art to balance out the dining room space. Plus this awesome greenery (which does not like its current location – Fiddle Leaf Fig owners with a green thumb, please email!). We still have plans to come up with comfier seating options and more light (that pendant, as beautiful as she is, does not give off a whole lot of bright).
More about all of the the dining room updates here.
New Guest Bathroom
Next is our build-from-scratch bath that used to function as three small closets (two for the hallway, one for Liv’s room). The before (photo taken from the back of the house, the same hallway from the other direction is in that top before shot of the dining room):
Here’s a quick glance at the sketches we initially created to help guide the space, not too much changed over the course of the couple of months of building in terms of layout and design:
And the crazy construction behind it:
All of which brought us to here!
Once the bathroom was finished it was time to tackle a big chunk of empty wall on the opposite side of that tub up above in the hallway. This particular hallway is a roomy space that connects bedrooms to the kitchen and the rest of the house, so it’s a natural play space for Liv and her push toys/doll strollers while we’re cooking or eating in the kitchen. It made the most sense to keep it as kid-friendly as can be.
So, I painted the lower half of the wall to encourage massive chalkboard murals and the top half with my own version of a wallpaper design using painter’s tape (after much searching and not being able to track down ‘the one’).
We have since removed my ‘shoe-putting-on-station’ because the bench really was not so great at corralling loose jackets, shoes, handbags and what not as I had hoped, and eventually became more of a tripping hazard. Ah well. On the plus side, Liv has more access to the full chalkboard and loves to cover it with her shapes and squiggles!
We plan to revamp this entire hallway space once we settle on a master bedroom/bath redesign, so this next update will likely not last through the end of this upcoming summer. But this side of the hallway needed a little storage love as well so a Craigslist corner unit received a paint update and a few favorite knick knacks. The below two shelves now house blankets and what not.
Most of this space was built and finished in 2011 (the original kitchen used to live here). But we did make a few updates such as a new fabric headboard for the guest bed, new wall collage (including this handmade favorite), new Craigslist vintage storage and chair, and rug for on top of our rug (that perty white has nothing against a dog and toddler).
Follow along with office projects here. And believe it or not this space used to actually look like this!
Our living room received a few cozier updates with a few more in store for 2013.
New envelope pillows, embroidered artwork, DIY butterfly art and a faux canvas painting made my list of top changes, though we also invested in a super shaggy/soft rug for playing with blocks and a few new pieces of bookshelf tchotchkis (this being my favorite).
So much to be said about all of the outdoor work happening around these parts in the fall of 2012! We painted the house (more to come on that, we actually still have windows and a few little areas to complete) and we’re loving the new soft tan color!
We’ve chosen white as the window trim and those front two windows have since been restored (also something we’re teaming up with professionals for) and painted. Kevin stained the front porch bench and grouted the saltillo tile under foot as well.
The jungle of a sideyard was also tackled!
A little clearing, wall building, deck laying and table building (from very cool reclaimed wood) later…
And you have one of our very favorite updates. This is an awesomely useful outdoor space now for dining, cooking marshmallows and BBQing alike. The above dining table is just off of our new kitchen so when it’s time to par-tay we push the wide doors open and join the two big spaces.
These two photos below are pre staining, but you can see how the new flagstone ties in with the rest of the backyard!
And there it is, the big stuff from 2012.
Still on this list? Much. A master bedroom/bath remodel, guesthouse makeover (we have a little back unit near the garage), finishing up the kitchen nook and hallway, Liv’s big girl room + new nursery, the garage and a few more curb appeal updates. Plus the usual day to day crafts, style boards, parties and ramblings of this blog. AND a new baby. Woohoo!
Thank you for joining us on our adventure. I feel so incredibly lucky to have an online group of friends that offer awesome suggestions, that extra encouragment just when we need it and who check in on us on a regular basis. Thank you. And very much looking forward to spending the rest of this new year with you!
Tags: Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home, Living Room, Office, Year in Review
Posted in Curb Appeal, DIY, Home, Our Dining Room, Our Guest Bathroom, Our Guestroom/Office, Our Hallway, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
Happy Monday! Before we jump into this giveaway, I have to share that Liv has been cracking me up lately. The rate of words that she is absorbing from everyday conversation, stowing away and reusing these days is just crazy to me. She asked for a shovel while playing with sand yesterday and I gave her a side-eye glance because I had no idea she knew what a shovel was, let alone how to say it and how to then fill up her bucket while singing to herself. And here I am trying to remember remedial Spanish for our trip to Spain, awkwardly sounding out verb conjugations when it’s just us in the car and failing miserably. I need a toddler brain asap.
Speaking of quick changes, I have a new hallway project that I wanted to share with you despite the crazy happenings that are going on on the outside of our house. And this post ends in an awesome giveaway! Double bonus and a big thank you to Lowe’s for sponsoring.
Lowe’s is launching a new program called $50 and Change. I don’t know about you, but it seems that $50 is often that magic number when it comes to tackling a small project from start to finish – and recognizing that, Lowe’s is challenging bloggers and readers alike to create our own projects with this budget in mind and to post those ideas over at the Lowe’s Idea Exchange on Facebook.
Beginning in September and continuing on every other month for a while now, I’ll be sharing one of my own $50 and Change projects as well as giving away a $50 Lowe’s gift card so that on reader can tackle their own, all courtesy of Lowe’s.
High on my list of must-finish-soon projects is to repaint a Craigslist corner unit for our hallway. I kid you not when I say that this bookshelf has stayed in its ‘antique white’ form covered in odds and ends (and other ‘where does this go?’ objects) for the past two years. Though it didn’t come with the house, the unit looks like it was intended as a built-in just for this corner! and I sadly neglected it and turned it into a dumping ground of sorts.
But thanks to a little motivation and a friend coming to town to work on a few paint projects, I stripped this shelving unit down and gave her a full makeover (just like exercise, blame partner accountability to get projects finished!).
Once dry and decorated from items around the house (some will likely stay, some will eventally get switched out as the bookcase evolves), I’m so happy with how this bookshelf greets me now when I enter the hall!
Favorite finds include these two conch shells from a garage sale I happened to drive by on our street – $3 each! And this great vintage painting that I scooped up for about $8 at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.
Also finding a new home in the hallway is a lounging cermic bird (thrift store), a stack of vintage (or just really old?) sailing books from Kevin’s collection, a few favorite black and white photos, my Etsy watercolor find (which provides just the right pop of color and contrast to the blue), a white vase from West Elm (on super sale) and a cut of wood that I’ve outlined our small family tree on for Father’s Day for Kevin.
That blank shelf is staring at me… but I think I might try to track down a triangular basket to give myself even more storage, or load it up with more rolled white towels for guests.
The process was a bit bittersweet. I struggled coming up with the right lining for the shelves, trying out various Paper-Source sheets of wrapping paper to wallpaper to random shades of green, pink and blue before deciding on a dark peacock-navy.
With all of the natural light and soft colors going on in the hallway, the bookshelf was just asking for something deep and saturated.
Plus, when that right door is open you can see the bedroom just beyond, a color that played well with my patterned curtains was a must and this particular blue was almost pulled right out of a scrap of fabric from those curtains.
I actually ended up breaking my own mixing rule and added 1/3 parts Castile to 2/3 Plymouth Blue from Olympic. Armed with a sample of each to test out, I found this combo to be the perfect mix of navy and green – sort of a dark teal, if you will. I saved just a bit of the mixture for patching purposes should I need it.
But before any blue could be applied, this guy needed to go from an antique/manilla white to a nice bright white so that it tied in seamlessly with the trim and doors.
Here she is with a nice layer of primer.
Primer was followed by a semi-gloss bright white followed by taping off top of back bookshelf area and my new favorite blue. That plus lots of touch ups because the edges wanted to keep bleeding on each other…
Looks so great now! So fresh and so clean. The shelf definitely appears to have that built-in quality now that it’s the same shade of white as the trim, and that blue is an unexpected pop of color that meets you as you round the door into the hallway.
My total budget for this project was $50, though I have to admit that I came in about 25% lower and splurged on some extra paint and materials to cover up the back of another bookcase in the house. Details to be shared soon.
My gift card covered: 2 samples of paint in Castile and Plymouth Blue by Olympic (that were eventually mixed together to create that pretty blue-green teal), a small wire frame for rolling (similar to this one – great for cabinetry), a pack of sponge roller brushes, a quart each of primer and a bright white sem-gloss paint, painter’s tape, traditional black sponge brush to help with beadboard (inside of bookcase) nooks and grooves, a drop cloth and paint tray. But you could conceivably tackle this project for $6 (cost of two samples) if you have all of the above painting supplies on hand!
Giveaway: A $50 gift card to Lowe’s!
To Enter: Leave a comment here with the $50 project you have in mind for your space.
Giveaway ends Wednesday, September 12 at midnight PST, winner will be chosen randomly and announced on the blog. Good luck!
For more hallway makeover progress (like my painter’s tape wallpaper), check out this link.
PS If you’re an email subscriber, my apologies if you received ‘half’ an email on Saturday! This is the entire post .
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Blue, Paint, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Giveaway, Home, Our Hallway, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures, Tools of the Trade | 40 Comments »