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!


Piet Mondrian Inspired Nursery Artwork

If you can’t tell, I have “baby nursery” on the brain in a big way.  I am in the home stretch of putting together a nursery for a client’s  baby girl.  The nursery design created is definitely not for the child (or Mom) who is afraid of color – turquoise, white and splashes of yellow and navy blue dominate the color palate.  It is a bold room that fits the bold personality of the clients.  When it came to artwork, the same sense of boldness had to hold true.  Under no certain terms did the client want pictures of teddy bears, Disney princesses or “cute” for cute sake. Under no certain terms did the client want pictures of teddy bears, Disney princesses or “cute” for cute sake.  That was fine with me since I find many of the items manufactured as “children’s art” to be a bit off-putting and really not that enjoyable to look at on a regular basis.

The client had several art pieces that she wanted incorporated into the room but that still left me with 3 blank walls in the room to fill.  The client’s pieces revolve around the concept of folk art.  I needed a foil to the largest of the pieces — something that was visually strong in shape and color but still appropriate for a child’s room.  I knew that I wanted to work a quote into the room in a way that didn’t use a wall stencil or canvas.  However, it wasn’t until I ran across a painting by the artist Piet Mondrian that my concept for my DIY art  project came together.

Mondrian’s artwork has a linear quality that plays with depth through the use of color and lines.  This is one of my favorite pieces:


Mondrian's Composition in Red, Blue & Yellow

Photo via

It seemed like the perfect foil for the folk art already in the room and the perfect back drop for a quote.  I played around with the format of the piece this week until I found a composition I liked:

Armed with a concept and a plan, I set out on making it into reality.  All  it took was 2 different Ikea frames (9 in total), 1 bag of alphabet magnets and 5 different colors of spray paint.  The spray painting took the longest since I wanted a deep saturated color which meant many layers of spray paint to achieve a smooth and shiny finish. However, even with the loss of some brain cells and certain lung cancer later in life, the final result is something I am beyond thrilled with and excited to get into the room…..

Up next is putting together the pieces of the fabric artwork for the other wall.  Pictures to come soon!

Holiday Decorations Breakdown…..

Earlier this week my holiday vignette was highlighted on Living Livelier as part of their virtual holiday house tour.  I wanted to breakdown the vignette and explain in a little more detail what went into create it……

Vignette lit up at night.....

– Greenery: The live greenery was found in the compost bin behind my condo complex.  My neighbors had just finished trimming their tree and needed to lop off a few of the lower branches to have it fit into their tree stand.  Lucky for me, I was able to fish the branches out before the day’s meal scraps were thrown on top.  To simulate snow, I lightly dusted the branches with white spray paint..

– White Doves: Well they didn’t start out looking like the symbols of peace they are now.  When I saw them at the Dollar Store, they were cardinal red, but they had potential.  I ended up spray painting them white (gotta love spray paint!) and when they dried, lightly dusting them with silver spray paint.  While the silver paint was still tacky, I sprinkled glitter on their little heads and backs for added sparkle.

Silver Packages: I needed elevation on each side of the vignette for the lanterns, so I wrapped large art books in faux-silver snakeskin I found at Marshall’s to give height.

Pine cones & Jingle Bells: Both were purchased at the Dollar Store ….a bag of pine cones for a dollar and a box of six bells for a dollar.  The other big box craft stores were selling bells for $1.99 for two and pine cones for $3.99 and up for a bag.

Love Birds: Or maybe they are partridges, but in either case, they were only a dollar each at the Dollar Store.  A quick coat of white spray paint in matte completely changed them from hokey to adorable in my opinion.

Lanterns: These are the Ikea lanterns we typically use on our patio during the Summer, but I am all about repurposing!  I bought one more additional small lantern, so I could have a set of each size.  A simple candle from the Dollar Store and they were done…..

Glitter Cones: I bought the cone forms at the Dollar Store with the intent of making feather trees, but when I counted, I had something like 7 birds in the vignette and the thought of adding more feathers seemed a little overkill….plus I was tired.  So I opted for an easy craft project. I spray painted the cone forms silver and while the paint was wet, sprinkled them with clear glitter.  Once dry, I topped each with a bejeweled ornament I clipped from a holiday floral arrangement I had from last year and one of the white doves.

Branches: The silver branches you see in the right corner is just that…a branch I found on a walk that I spray painted silver and propped up.

Silver Ornaments: All the ornaments were bought 2 for one dollar at the Dollar Store.

Paper whites: The flower that just won’t quit! I love these things….honestly they fight you NOT to grow.  I found the bulbs at our local garden center and planted them in a glass vase I already had.  What I love most about paper whites is that you can replant them once the holidays are over.  Just be sure to give yourself 6 weeks to get them to bloom (which you can see in this picture, I did not)….but I by the time I get back from New Jersey, I am sure they will be in full bloom!

So there you have it…..simple, easy and inexpensive.  Holiday decorations don’t have to be cost a ton to have high impact.  For as little as $25, you can wow your friends and family.