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 »
I’m working on adding a few homemade Christmas touches each year to our collection and this year I decided to DIY a new pillow cover for our couch. The sectional is an ever-changing pillow hodge podge (I tend to just cover up a current pillow with a new cover, so sometimes you can find two or three previous designs underneath ) and I scooped up this particular basic tan throw pillow cover from Ikea for $6.
I thought about felting an ornament or Christmas tree design onto the front (maybe a future project?) but then recalled seeing pillows of seasons past with a simple, scripted message and decided to give it a go.
The toughest part was deciding on what word! I love the pretty flow of ‘Merry’ and the joyful message – or state of Christmas being – that it conveys. It’s a good word to see day in and day out during this special time of gratefulness. Plus ‘M’s are just too fun to write out in cursive! (yeah for an ‘M’ first name)
Supplies for this project included two bright red embroidery thread bunches, an embroidery needle and my blank pillow cover.
An embroidery stitch is quite simple, it involves a basic back stitch technique so that while you’re stitching forward in your design, each stitch will head backwards as you go. Forgive the left hand awkwardness of this shot while I balance my camera in the other:
So my forward progress is on the reverse side of the pillow (though make sure you’re not stitching the two pillow sides together) and my needle pops up and out of the fabric about 1/4 of an inch out from the previous stitch. Then I head back towards that previous stitch to cover up my 1/4 fabric gap. The back stitch allows me to overlap my stitches just a hair so that the embroidery might appear to be close to one continuous line.
Writing out the entire word ‘Merry’ took a couple of hours one late evening while we had some friends over. I like projects that occupy the hands but don’t require too much thinking .
I first attempted to draw a light pencil line on the actual fabric to give myself a template to follow with the needle, but quickly found that it disappeard into the color of the tan fabric too quickly. Anything darker and it would have been harder to erase off of this heavily weaved fabric. Update: Sheila just shared with me that you can purchase a vanishing fabric marker that will write purple and disappear by the next day! Perfect!
In the end I wrote out ‘Merry’ on a card and free handed the pillow. The imperfections are part of what makes it special, though I see areas where I would have dipped my cursive down further, should have slanted my ‘y’ more, or might have added more flourish for interest. Ah well.
I’m really excited with how this project turned out given the time I worked on it and the easy update it makes to the living room! When Christmas is over I can pull off the cover of one of my favorite pillows (those ikat tan ones left over from the nursery glider fabric) that’s hiding below and pack up the ‘Merry’ cheer into my Christmas boxes for next year.
Christmas is just around the corner! So exciting!
Tags: Accessories, Christmas, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Living Room, Red, Sewing, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Holidays, Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 3 Comments »
I’ve been anxiously waiting to catch you all up on my breakfast nook project, but I’ve reached a bit of a design dilemma and I thought I’d share what’s going through my mind right now.
I’ve moved the bench seat from the edge of the island:
To this blank wall. We’ll call it the problem wall.
This particular wall used to be the dividing line between what was (way before us) a bedroom and an entry room (at least that’s our suspicion…). It had an unusually placed window just to the right of the side door that makes us wonder if a mudroom existed here before (and a slight buckling in the wall where there may have been another wall that jutted out of it?). The wall was gone before we moved in and a den was in its place.
During our kitchen transformation, this small little window broke and was quickly boarded up and left for a future project. The plan is to either A. replace it, B. use glass block to fill it in, or C. make it disappear altogether as a solid wall. The last is my vote, but Kevin is not 100% convinced on which he loves best. So it sits now as a piece of plywood in the kitchen. We finally painted it to match the walls (though it doesn’t blend much…) and avoid photographing it altogether . When we have guests over, sometimes I hang a piece of art right up over it.
The ultimate goal is to integrate that space back into the house, and even if we wait on the to-close-or-not-to-close decision for a while, I’d like to come up with a solution to hide the eye sore in the interim.
I had this space in mind too for the kitchen breakfast nook and I thought it might work well if the end of counter idea (see top pic) didn’t. And the bench? The perfect size!
Now just picture a round little table and two chairs in front of it.
I love that the colors tie in so well with the artwork.
But back to that dilemma, because the plywood ‘pin board’ is a big eye sore.
I have a couple of ideas…
The first one that I imagined as perfect for the space was to find a cool old mirror and convert it into a chalkboard, like this:
How beautiful! Image from here.
But I searched and searched and had the hardest time tracking down a large enough ornate mirror. See, to both cover up that plywood (temporarily, of course) and look somewhat natural on the wall, I needed a piece that is roughly 44″ tall and 40″ wide (big and tough to find).
Still on the hunt for an ornate mirror, but I suppose option two would be to hang a regular square chalkboard that might look something like this:
I could build my own or find a large frame and then turn it into a chalkboard.
Image sources for all of these ideas can be found over on my kitchen Pinterest board (Pinterest is where I was lucky enough to track most of them down!)
If I build my own frame… perhaps a chunky reclaimed wood look?
Love the look of wood and chalkboard… though gold is high up there as well!
And I’d have to make it magnetic, just like Christina did:
Part of me is secretly wondering though if a command station so front and center as you walk into the kitchen is the right idea? Do I want lists and ticket stubs and reminders so evidently visible? Could I keep this space visually clean?
That wall above is just to the left of the island below. I’m standing in front of it while snapping this picture:
If I could and was willing to make that promise to myself, why not a cool fabric pinboard?
Picture this coral in a square frame and Liv’s art hung up in a semi-organized fashion:
Or perhaps I nix the command station idea and hang just a stunning piece of framed fabric (from a vintage scarf, tablecloth, remnant piece…):
Maybe a framed picture? Painting? Map? What would not look out of place in a kitchen/dining space? See how difficult I’ve let this one become?
PS You can find all of the kitchen renovation stories here.
Tags: Accessories, Breakfast Nook, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Kitchen, Yellow
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 8 Comments »