Last I left you, we were starting on the dining room from almost scratch.
This is so fun! This room is in need of almost everything less most large furniture items.
Let’s talk a moment about that new light because she was quite the adventure. The original chandelier was beautiful, ornate and most likely original to the house (meaning it was 77 years old).
She was clearly showing her wear though. Everything from missing pieces to really, really bad wiring.
My favorite accent has got to be the faux dripping gold candle wax .
Despite it all though I still think it is such a cool piece and that it should stay with the house. Maybe I can fix it up and make it more of an accent light in Liv’s big girl room (whenever we decide to take that on), or perhaps keep it neatly wrapped up in storage so that we can pass the original lighting on to future owners.
What I did know though, was that a new light would be an instant, updated impact to the entire space.
After much pendant hunting, I had narrowed my ideas down to:
I love the big round Eden pendant that we installed in Liv’s room – this has to be my favorite go-to in terms of price and look, and I thought that this version with a natural linen shade would fit the dining room even better. I was also drawn to something a bit more rectangular, like this West Elm shade pendant or this beautiful capiz pendant (so stunning! but Kev was not on board). Finally, I thought a light with multiple drum shades might just fill up the space well, like this one.
After much searching and much envisioning and much research, I finally fell for the West Elm short drum natural linen pendant shade. It didn’t hurt that on one of my random visits to the store, I found it marked down a third of the price! I haven’t seen that discount since but it was clearly a sign that she was the right modern pendant for the space.
I was very keen on the light, but not so keen on the white cable and silver wire/canopy that suspended the light from the ceiling (a little too modern for the space) – not sure why the above shows black because it’s definitely white! The pendant had to be converted to a wired version rather than a plugin, so in that process I opted to nix the West Elm mounting and added the shade to the oil rubbed bronze rods (just two rather than the three stacked 12″ rods it came with) and canopy of this Lowe’s pendant:
A pricey upgrade but definitely worth it. The new bronze mounting fits the Spanish-style space (with those rounded walls and inset ceilings) but the size and shape of the shade makes a huge modern difference.
Using a kitchen pendant light to update another ceiling fixture is an easy and affordable tip, though I must warn that we got this one wrong on the first try. I originally bought a candelabra mini pendant light that emitted about 30W – aka not enough to eat your dinner by! This monster shade needed a real deal light base (like the size of a usual light bulb) and we reinstalled the pendant again with the right sized light mount (thanks Andrew!). Now something like this option or this option, while not as big as I wanted for the space, would have provided three or four light bulbs for the large shade and would have cut down on this problem all together.
Another reason it doesn’t emit as much light as a usual chandelier?
The bottom of the shade is covered with a see-through insert that diffuses any light that comes out of the chandelier. You need as much watts or lumens (the LED version) as possible!
This all wraps up with my love for drum pendant lights, whether you hang them high in the center of a room like the Eden in Liv’s nursery:
Or low over a table, like the new linen short drum in the dining room!
Though I do wish it could be a half a rod lower – just need to learn how to rethread rod iron rods .
Read the full dining room story by starting here: the before!
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home, Lighting
Posted in DIY, Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 3 Comments »
Have you seen those adorable chalkboard decals floating round the web? I was initially inspired by this one, but decided that it was a bit ornate and pricey for our space. So instead I ordered a long sheet of chalkboard vinyl off of Amazon and made my own.
Our fridge is stainless steel so it doesn’t hold on to magnets for lists or invites or pictures that we want to hang. It’s usually nice to keep it clutter free (and we actually have a little white board for proudly displaying invites, cards and Liv drawings in the corner of the kitchen) but I thought a memo pad for the fridge would be nice.
It’s proved to be a pretty little addition to the space, too!
DIY Chalkboard Decal
To create the chalkboard memo pad, I designed a little swirly edged rectangular shape in Adobe Illustrator and printed it out on 16×20″ paper (here’s a link to download my high res version). The graphic ended up being about 12×18″ to accommodate the size of the vinyl.
Then I cut the above out and traced it onto the back of my vinyl paper.
And then carefully cut out my vinyl decal.
Attaching to the fridge took a little bit of time and a lot of smoothing (my Driver’s License worked great for slowly smoothing out bubbles as I applied the decal). I used the ice and water fridge door insert as my guideline for where the decal should sit on the door. This stuff is completely repositionable! I must have pulled it off and reapplied it 5 or 6 times before settling on the final placement.
Will the vinyl decal leave a mark when it’s removed? I love my fridge too much not to double triple check! The packaging said that absolutely no residue would be left behind, but I tested anyhow.
I cut a little strip of the decal and left it on the side of the fridge for a couple of hours and no residue – and then a second strip for over two weeks! with no residue to be found when I gently pulled the decal up.
There was a faint outline of where the decal had been placed, but I think it was a little bit of moisture build up because a dry cloth was all it took to gently wipe it away.
Now the memo pad is available for little grocery messages or inspirational reminders. The easiest way to memorize a helpful quote or saying is to see it everyday, after all! I think that that probably becomes especially useful as kids get older. But, if we change our minds long before Liv can read, I can rest assured that this baby should come off with no problems and no damage, at least as far as our particular fridge is concerned.
Kind of adds a little something, don’t you think? A little curvy art to a big grey box has a nice look to it.
No eraser needed if I want to remove the message, just a soft cloth and a little water and it’s completely gone. Not a trace of chalk left behind. In that sense it’s not really chalkboard material – no opportunity to screechingly scratch nails (thank goodness), the decal is actually more of a vinyl feel.
Now both chalkboards are in full use at the house! Liv loves her kid-friendly height version, and my list-making side loves my kitchen version.
If you’re not interested in making your own, here are some great Etsy options, too! There are so many great options out there.
But now back to the refrigerator, which Liv finds incredibly fascinating. So many good things come in and out of it all day – I wonder what sort of magical box she must think it is.
All kitchen makeover posts can be found right here.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
I’ve been so inspired lately with all of the decorating ideas on bringing the outdoors in. One trend that has especially caught my eye is the glass vase terrariums that we’re seeing on dining room tables, in kitchens and even in outdoor spaces.
I was rummaging through my buffet recently, attempting to reorganize, clean it out and cut down on what I no longer use, when I came across a few vases and vase fillers that I thought would be perfect for a couple of indoor terrariums for our dining room. In fact, I didn’t buy a single thing for this project – everything was either from under the buffet (where lots of vases live), in my craft bin, from around the house or from the garage.
Here’s what I managed to find to put these guys together:
*A large clear vase (you could also use a fish bowl or punch bowl)
*Several smaller, shorter vases for holding the potted plants (I used votive holders)
*River rock (this can be purchased in mass at a home improvement store in the gardening section, just hose off those dirty river rocks and you should find beautiful black ones! these are left over from my wedding as vase fillers, believe it or not)
*Dried Spanish moss (also from my vase filler collection – can br purchased at any craft store)
*Dried or live green moss (mine came from the craft store as well, also left over from a wedding)
*Succulents for planting (from Ikea and our yard)
First up was to replant my little succulents in the votives with a little potting soil and a little water.
There are actually three little votive candle holders in the bigger vase above, though it’s hard to see that last one.
Then I filled in rocks around the votives:
Next up was a layer of Spanish moss:
And finally a thin top layer of the rich green moss:
Put it all together, and what do you get!
Lots of layers or prettiness!
I ended up ‘planting’ a few more cactus varieties from our yard to add a little color, and I added a few rocks to the top after bringing these guys inside.
The smaller one was super simple – same as the above but just one votive of planted succulents.
I’ve been playing with styling these guys – maybe with a cloche? He’s holding on to a few left over clippings.
I think they look great in the dining room. The terrariums would be neat as a centerpiece for the table over a burlap runner and surrounded by simple white flowers for a dinner party. Oooo, I can see it now.
Again, the layering is what really makes these guys. Though some sort of tinted vase might be kind of neat as well.
I love that I had all of the supplies on hand, makes for a super easy weekend project!
I kind of have a thing for collecting and holding on to great vases and different filler decor. It all started with my wedding five years ago and has grown to help plenty of friends with their big day centerpieces (yes, that many vases. times three). So that little stash in my garage is actually a cabinet that really needs to be emptied out… one indoor terrarium at a time.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home | 5 Comments »