Why Buy When You Can DIY?: Five Dollar Chandelier

HAPPY MONDAY everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Independence Day.  I’m currently in hot dog detox after a weekend of backyard cookouts.  Yucky.

Wanna know something else that really turns my stomach? Brass.

Since moving into our home almost three years ago I’ve been chipping away at the brass hardware and lighting fixtures throughout our 90s-built abode.  Today I’m sharing my transformation of a standard, brass chandelier into something funky that’s more my style-all for about five bucks.

Embrace My Space: $5 Chandelier Upgrade

You might remember that I recently turned our formal living and dining rooms into a first-level playroom for our son.  When we toured the home before putting in an offer this is what the dining room looked like.  Here you can see the brass chandelier in all its glory.

DIning Room Before

This is what the formal dining room looks like now:

Embrace My Space Playroom

We haven’t removed the wallpaper or painted in here because our master plan is to expand the kitchen through the wall into this space.  Depending on how many years it takes to get to that point I might give this room a little face lift in the interim.  We did, however, remove the brass chandelier because it hung right in the middle of the room just waiting to bonk tall people on the head as they walked past.

As I stared  at the sad little brass chandelier after my builder removed it a few light bulbs went off in my head.  Since I’m all about loving what you have, I decided to give it a little upgrade and swap it out with the light fixture that hung in our eat-in kitchen. No amount of brain power could help me come up with an idea for how to change that weird thing.  Take a look:

Embrace My Space: Kitchen

After we moved into this house we lived with tooty fruity wallpaper and ornate cornice boards for several months before giving the kitchen and eat-in dining area a fresh coat of paint and new curtains.

Embrace My Space: $5 Chandelier Upgrade

The airy paint job (Restoration Hardware in Silver Sage) and chartreuse Greek Ikat curtains from West Elm give the space a modern, casual vibe.  I love these curtains but they are so thin and got really saggy on the clip rings.  Note to self: cheap curtains = cheap fabric.  The curtains looked super sloppy and sad until my good friend Claudia at Urban Loft Window Treatments came to the rescue.  She applied a special drapery upholstery called buckram to the curtains and, bada-bing, they are perfectly crisp with no more sagging.  So now my store bought curtains look expensive without the high cost! Thanks Claudia. xoxo

But the star of today’s post is my chandelier, which I upgraded for about five dollars with a can of spray paint and some Scotch brand washi tape, a removable craft tape I found in the school supply aisle at Target.

Embrace My Space: $5 Chandelier Upgrade

It’s just a shadow of its former, brassy self after a few satiny coats of Valspar Color Radiance spray paint (Nautical is the color) and the washi tape on the candlestick covers.  To my surprise, the white plastic sheaths that cover the electrical components where the light bulbs attach to the chandelier slide right off.  I washed them with soapy water, dried them and wrapped five pieces of washi tape horizontally around each one, covering the white plastic from top to bottom.

Embrace My Space: $5 Chandelier Upgrade

I was debating regular candelabra bulbs and colored shades, but I thought shades might take away from the striped candle sticks so I bought these round chandelier bulbs for extra interest.  For about five dollars, I made a change that makes my eat-in kitchen look like a million bucks!

Embrace My Space: $5 Chandelier Upgrade

Since we just celebrated the Fourth of July and because I’m such a timely blogger, I figured I’d share a fun with flags tablescape for inspiration for the next patriotic party you host.  Pin these images for next year!

Embrace My Space: $5 Chandelier Upgrade

We hosted a picnic on the Fourth of July and, like any good hostess, I wanted to have some festive party décor.  I picked up some tiny American flags at Walmart when I stopped there to buy plastic cutlery.  I also got some red, white and blue polka-dotted pinwheels.  Super cute and I can use these every year.  For my tablescape, which no one other than me and my husband will enjoy because I made it this morning and will take it down before another soul comes to our house, I poked an American flag into each napkin ring and into my potted succulents.

Embrace My Space: $5 Chandelier Upgrade

I outfitted the table with outdoor melamine mix-and-match plates from Target and a striped linen table runner from HomeGoods.  The plates are for use on our new patio (post-forthcoming in the next few weeks!) but they are perfect for adding a bit of color inside as  well.

And as is the tradition here at Embrace My Space, I chalked up a seasonally appropriate sentiment for the chalkboard that hangs in our living room gallery wall.  Let freedom ring! I was going to draw the Liberty Bell but I’m not very good at hand-drawn symmetry.

Embrace My Space: $5 Chandelier Upgrade

P.S. That blue pillow is one of the new indoor/outdoor pillows for our patio! I can’t wait to show you what’s been going on out back!

I hope you all had a lovely and long weekend, and I hope I’ve inspired you to turn some of your old trash into treasure!

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Customized Chandelier: Turquoise and Coral

HEY, I’M STILL HERE! Truth be told, I just haven’t been doing anything around the house to write about! After finishing up the work in my son’s playroom, I took a bit of a home project respite to focus on other creative projects.  The most recent time thief in my life is a novel idea that’s been bouncing around in my head for the past year.  I’ve been spending nap time working on a first draft of my story, which has been equally frustrating and engrossing.

Maybe one day I will decide what I want to be when I grow up.  Until then I will keep faking it until I make it!

Anywho, I did complete a little DIY customization project recently that I want to share with you.  If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen my giddy posts about finally finding a chandelier for our foyer.  I’d been obsessed with this turquoise beaded chandelier for as long as I can remember, but at just under $5,000 there was NO WAY I would ever be buying it.  So it was DIY or nothing.

Our two-story foyer boasted a small, brass chandelier that was seriously underwhelming.  I thought the turquoise beauty would be perfect here.

Embrace My Space: White Out

But then I went ahead and painted the railing bright turquoise, and despite how much that chandelier was still tugging at my heartstrings, I just didn’t think it would give me quite the same pop when competing with the railing.

Embrace My Space: Family Watercolor

So I decided to do a little customization project on a chandelier that I loved.  Here’s what I came up with!

Custom Chandelier

This project could not have been easier!  I purchased the four-light Fanning chandelier from Birch Lane, which I’d never heard of until the catalogue came in the mail one random afternoon. I usually toss those suckers right into the recycle bin on my way in from the mailbox, but there must have been something on the cover that I liked so I actually flipped through it first.  That’s when I came across Fanning:

I adored the shape and the simple elegance.  But she was just SO white.  After a week of deciding whether to spray-paint this not-inexpensive chandelier, I decided instead on a simple and tasteful embellishment to get the custom look I craved.  I also found another old brass light fixture to spray paint that same week, which is now hanging above my kitchen table, so that quenched my spray-paint driven thirst and cleared my head of the craziness.

Custom Chandelier

For this project, I selected a few strands of beads from my local craft store to glue around the metal hoops of my chandelier.  Turquoise and coral is one of my favorite color combos, so I picked some glass turquoise beads and some natural-looking coral beads in several different shapes.  Before setting anything in place with glue, I measured the circumference of my chandelier with a soft tape measure then did a mock-up of the bead design on my kitchen table.

Custom Chandelier

With the help of my trusty hot glue gun, I glued each individual bead into place and voila!

Custom Chandelier

A custom look for the price of a few strands of beads and about 30 minutes of planning/glue time.

Custom Chandelier

I’m really excited about the look.  The beads gave me just the right amount of turquoise, and I think the chandelier complements the turquoise railing instead of competing with it.

Custom Chandelier

The light casts really cool shadows on the ceiling at night, too.

Custom Chandelier

So there you have it.  My little DIY embellishment that turned my Big Box purchase into something unique and perfect for my home.  What tricks do you use to make ordinary items work with your décor? Do you think outside of the box when shopping at big retailers?

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Playroom Progress: Curtain Rings and Other Things

I’M NOT REALLY SURE why I’m even awake right now.  It’s probably the residual effect of the Starbucks grade jet fuel that coursed through my veins for a few hours following my 8 a.m. Target/grocery run. I will likely crash land two minutes before my son starts wailing at me post-afternoon nap.

There are a few things I’ve come to loathe since becoming a mom (e.g, people who park too close to the line in parking lots, the Post Office, going out to dinner after 5 p.m., jeans, underwires and Jenny McCarthy).  Today, daylight savings time is topping my list.  The loss of the hour of sleep, bringing with it the extra daylight after 6 p.m., no longer seems like a fair trade to me.  As the mother of a strange, nocturnal beast I say keep your daylight! Darkness is the ticket to an early bedtime and what’s left of my sanity.  Yes. Darkness.

But while I’m riding high from my overpriced caffeine, I figured I’d share some playroom updates with all of you.  I usually clean up my son’s playroom twice a day.  Once after he goes down for his afternoon nap and then again after he goes to sleep at night.  Today the light was too good to pass up so I snapped a few shots of his room after I cleaned up.

Embrace My Space Playroom

After the great curtain conundrum, I’m happy to report that all of the curtains are up.  I also have a few new pieces of furniture making a debut today.  First is the IKEA Mammut children’s table in celery green.  I originally was contemplating getting a few storage ottomans for next to the sofa, but, after I realized how much my son likes to play at the activity tables at the library and his gym class, I decided a tiny table for him was the best option.

Embrace My Space Playroom

I was going to get him a few IKEA Fargglad stackable chairs to go with the table, but the chairs were out of stock.  After I got home I realized he really only needs one chair for now (which he has) and the Moroccan poufs work for additional seating when his friends come to play.  I still love the Fargglad chairs so you might be seeing those somewhere else, maybe even outside, sometime soon.

Embrace My Space Playroom

And just for comparison’s sake, here is a picture of what this room looked like before we moved in:

Formal Living Room

You will notice that we still have the gold/white (or is it BLACK and BLUE?!?!?) wallpaper in the adjacent room.  Eventually I want that space, which the former owners used as a formal dining room, to be part of an expanded kitchen.  These are plans for the future.  Think, 10 year plan.

Embrace My Space Playroom

In addition to the table, I also purchased a Trofast step-style storage system from IKEA.  I recently learned about this collection, and I am in love to say the least.  There are a few options for finishes/materials/configurations.  You can also select different colored bins depending on what works with your space.  I selected the sturdy and more expensive pine version of the unit.  This thing is rock solid and neutral enough that I will be able to move it around the house, add pieces to it to make a larger system in the future and change out the storage buckets to match other color schemes in future designs.  I also love how, when placed next to my armless sofa, it serves not only as storage, but as an end table for drinks/remotes and as a display shelf for cute toys.

Embrace My Space Playroom

If life were perfect, I’d have a little bit more space next to the sofa so the storage unit didn’t spill over the doorframe between the two rooms.  But if I had a choice between more space and more sleep, I’d choose the sleep.  Being a mother has given me the grace to accept that life, and spaces, will never be perfect, and that interrupted sleep is fleeting.

Embrace My Space Playroom

I love how cozy and fun the room feels now that the curtains are finally up.  My mom made them for me using the Balmoral opal fabric from fabric.com.  I also love the playfulness of the Hopplek rug from IKEA, another purchase I made during my recent trip.  The black and white ticking stripes along the edge along with the blue and green stripes/numbers help this educational rug fit right into the space.  I also like how the rug breaks up the chevron pattern on the larger black and white rug I purchased from Rugs USA.  When left on its own, this rug actually makes me dizzy.  I’ve literally almost passed out while vacuuming it.

Embrace My Space Playroom

The room now has plenty of storage for all of my son’s books and toys.  My son loves puzzles and I store/display his using a metal dish rack from Target.

The blue Badger Baskets bins on either side of the room are wide and deep enough to hold pretty much any small toy, and I like how easy they make it for my son to be able to access his toys.  I also store blankets and pillows in these bins underneath his toys.  Land of Nod carries similar storage units, but Badger Baskets fit my budget better.  Not only are these bins great for storage, but you can stack them to your heart’s content.  I like stacking two.  I think it’s the perfect height to double as an entertainment unit/console table.  The one beneath the TV serves to hold our cable box and the one on the other side of the room has my son’s CD player and a basket of diaper changing supplies.

Embrace My Space Playroom

I still need to put some art on the walls and get a new floor lamp for the one corner.  While I’m sure this space will change and grow as fast as my son, for now it’s feeling very comfortable and functional.  Do you have any great ideas for playroom storage you think would work for me?  I’d love to hear about them!  What do you think about what I’ve done so far?  Have your kids completely taken over your home?

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