Two Bedside Table Vignettes…..

Sometimes I get distracted by very random urges.  For example, I once drove an hour and a half for a pair of boots because they were on sale.  Another time in college, I refolded  every single item of clothing using a piece of cardboard so I could have perfect stacks rather than studying for a final.  Today was no different, when I should have been painting a picture for my install tomorrow, I found myself daydreaming about how to re-accessorize my bedside table.

My bedside table is one of those items in my master bedroom that I want to replace.  They are Ikea Expedit cubes in an espresso finish that we bought 7 years ago when we first moved to California.  They were cheap, simple and went with the college chic decor we had at the time.  Flash forward to the present and we still have those darn things…….

Expedit Shelf Espresso Ikea

It ain’t pretty but it will do until I find a suitable replacement.  However, until that day comes, there is nothing saying that I can’t at least jazz it up right? So rather than painting, I created two tabletop vignettes using items already in the house to see if I could shake things up a bit….

vignette One : Urban Sophisticate

Antique trophy vintage trophy brass lamp brass

The inspiration came from the fact that I bought freesia at my local grocery store.  I put the flowers into a little silver urn which in turn inspired adding in the vintage trophies.  The picture is a reproduction of a picture I have admired for a long while but can’t afford.  Thankfully, a piece of craft paper, a paint pen and 30 minutes can at least give the look sans the cost.

vignette Two: Comical Combo

zebra lamp gorilla picture tulips brass lamp


purple tulips ceramic figurine

The partner to the brass lamp I made over this week makes an appearance but with its original zebra print shade.  Since I wanted to do something playful, the zebra print works this context and inspired the rest of the vignette.  The gorilla portrait was something I originally bought for the guest bathroom but never used.  The Asian figurine is a keepsake that I typically have on my desk which holds my paper clips.  As for the flowers, they were plucked from a small bouquet I had in the house.  I thought the purple and yellow combo was odd and perfect for this vignette.  I put them in a small Jonathan Adler vase that I picked up a last year at Antropologie – gotta love their sales!

So two different looks for free….not a bad price tag.  I actually really like the Urban Sophisticate vignette, so much so that I decided to keep it up after the shoot.  Now I just need to reconfigure The Partner’s table to have it coordinate.

Heck, with the new look, I just may be able to live with these bedside tables for a couple more months!  Have you did a little “redecorating” in your home?  Shoot me an email at and share your endeavors or leave a comment with a link to your work!

Okay, now I REALLY need to focus and crank this painting out.  But before I start, I think I may alphabetize my spices…….


Lamp Shade Quick Fix…..

I am in “crunch time” for the apartment renovation regarding all the little projects that need to get done before installation this Thursday.  One of those projects was figuring out what to do with the shade for one the lamps that will be residing in the guest bedroom.

I found two of these brass lamps on sale at Home Goods for $15 each.  I think it would be a safe bet to say that the shades may have had something to do with their discounted price.  While I am not against the idea of having a zebra striped lamp shade, I can’t say that my client would be enamoured with the concept.

So I had to find a solution that allowed me to use the existing shade since (1) I did not have the time to order a new shade online and have it delivered and (2) the budget is tighter than a cheerleader’s sweater.  Fortunately for me, this thing called the “internet” came to the rescue in the form of fellow blogger Janell of Isabella & Max Room.  Her lampshade tutorial  was the inspiration for a quick DIY project to transform the shade  into this……

I am quite pleased with how it turned out, while not perfect, it is a heap better than the original shade.  I slightly changed the tutorial since I didn’t love the inside of the shade as it was white, so I spray painted it with Rust-Oleum Metallic in Bronze.

Painting the inside of the shade made a huge difference in the quality of light – the lamp now gives off a wonderful warm light that is perfect for a bedside table (and makes everyone look that much sexier…and honestly, who doesn’t want to look sexy in bed, unless you are tired, then you just want to look asleep).

The one thing I did struggle with was deciding what fabric to use.  It had to be opaque as not to allow the zebra print to show through when the lamp was on.  However, it had to be thin enough to easily glue and fold over the existing lamp shade frame.  Finally, it had to be something that could be cleaned because really, who wants a dusty lampshade?

I am unpredictable in many aspects of my life, but when I need inexpensive designer fabric, there really is only one place I turned to in my area, Discount Fabrics.   They have a fantastic remanent section that I am normally able to score top brand fabrics for $4.95 a yard (no joke!).  Sadly, Lady Luck was not on my side this afternoon regarding their remanent section, but I did find a great fabric that fit all my criteria in their upholstery section.

Priced at $18.50/yard, I am able to do both lamps with a half yard of fabric, so total cost for two lamp shades was $9.50.  Score!  I love that quatrefoil pattern on the fabric and that it is reversible, changing to a gold and brown colorway on the reverse.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the project and happy to have dipped my toe back into the DIY waters.  It had been a while since I had done anything and I was nervous about jumping back in on a client’s project, but I am glad I did!

Tomorrow is trimming out the curtains and some DIY art for the dining room.  I am going to milk this budget for all its worth!