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!


Houston, We Have a Problem……

The more I design, the more I realize that a large portion of my new career is solving problems of various sorts.  Things I thought were a “slam dunk” aren’t and those “easy projects” are quickly becoming multi-step endeavors. However, it’s this type of problem solving and thinking that drew me to the field and keeps me on my toes. 

Case in point is the chair I am looking to recover in my master bedroom.  I thought I had found the perfect solution in the form of a zebra-print linen fabric.  It was bold, graphic and masculine; it would have been the perfect choice to transform a ho-hum chair into a statement piece.  If you can’t tell, I am using the past-tense to describe the chair and the fabric.  I talked to the upholsterer this weekend and was informed that my remanent piece was not large enough to cover the front of the chair as I assumed.  The original plan was to cover the chair’s front in the zebra print and the back in a contrasting fabric.  However, it would now appear that I would need to cover the chair in 3 different fabrics to cover it completely – not the look I was hoping to obtain, so it was back to the drawing board.

After running some errands, I stopped by one of my favorite discount warehouses in San Francisco and rummaged their racks.  I can across this fabric, which I think is a strong contender to replace the zebra print:

It’s a large-scale plaid linen weave with metallic gold thread running through it.  While it isn’t my beloved zebra-print, the large-scale of the pattern makes a statement of its own in the room.  The gold thread speaks to the metallic thread in the upholstered headboard as well as the gold/bronze accents in the room.  An added bonus is that there is more than enough yardage to get the 3 yards the upholsterer says I need to cover the chair.  And did I mention that it is only $12.95 a yard? So for $40 I could solve my chair issue.  So I bit the bullet and bought it and am quite happy with how it looks on the chair:

This unexpected change in my plans does have a silver lining as it allows me to bring in an accent fabric I have been sitting on since it found it on sale for $3.97 a yard.  The accent fabric is a grey linen with gold polka-dots that will be used to make a lumbar and accent pillows.

The fabric picks up the colors in the new bedding (which I will show y’all tomorrow) and brings in a smokey grey color that I think may be the basis for the wall color.  One final benefit of this fabric change is that it allows me to keep the fabric currently on the x-benches at the foot of the bed.  I originally thought I would need to change the fabric when I intended to use the zebra-print linen but now with the new palette, I am actually liking everything together:

Overall, while I am still disappointed that I will not be using the zebra-print in the bedroom, my little problem afforded me the opportunity in the end to find a new fabric I love, to use fabric from my stash and save money by keeping the same fabric on my x-benches.  So in the end, my little problem may have been a blessing in disguise.

Do you have a story on how a design “problem” became a design “blessing”? If so, shoot me an email or leave a comment! 

Have a great Monday!!