Unique DIY Lighting for a Loft-Inspired Teen Boy’s Room – One Room Challenge Week 3

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant again in the One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. This spring, I re-decorated our boys’ bathroom. For this fall’s challenge, I’m transforming our teen’s bedroom. His new space is inspired by an industrial loft, with an exposed brick wall and other great features! Thanks for following along!

Recap:

  • In week one, I shared my favorite inspiration spaces and mood board
  • In week two, I added a (faux) exposed brick wall

This week, I’m so excited to show you the lighting projects for this space. These are both moderately easy DIYs, and that’s exactly what I need right now with everything else going on at home and work!

Macrame Cord Hanging Lamp:

TOTALLY in love with this project. More details, including materials and instructions, in this post. For now, just enjoy the pictures!

Stenciled Drum Pendant Lamp Shade:

This is actually one of the first projects I did, when I started blogging. The detailed instructions are in the original post. This room used to be my craft room, so I gave myself some license to use more feminine touches. Kai’s not picky, but I did want to update this lamp for him. I originally thought I might be able to just change the shade, but it was fixed in place.  While changing out the light bulbs, I realized that the room looked a lot brighter – and the light looked a bit less feminine – without the bottom glass and finial, so I left it that way for a little update.

Here’s an earlier before-and-after of the light.

And here’s how it looks without the bottom finial and with some fun Edison-style bulbs inside.

Oh, and one more look at my friend the macrame cord light…

Not sure what I’ll tackle this coming week. The answer might be nothing, because I’m co-hosting a big crazy birthday party this weekend…

A huge thank you to Linda for creating the One Room Challenge community, and high fives to all my fellow bloggers whose hard work and creativity were great inspirations! Be sure to go back to the One Room Challenge page to check out all the other projects!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Macrame Cord Hanging Light

You might know that I caught the macrame bug last summer. There is just something so magical about transforming a simple piece of rope! Once I figured out the basics, I wanted to be able to create some more original designs as well. Here are my posts on macrame plant hangers:

Even with my love of plants and hanging planters, I was running low on things to make with rope, so I was very excited to see this I discovered macrame pendant lights. I first caught sight of Windy Chien’s Helix light in the Apartment 34’s One Room Challenge:

And then, I began spotting it everywhere, like in this beautiful bedroom from Katie Monkhouse:

Mandi Gruber (my idol!) also has a funky version of this simple and gorgeous idea, as does Holly Wade on Curbly.

I was looking for bedside lamps for our guest room and teen’s room, and I knew that I just had to try my own version of these lights!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Light bulb: looks great with an LED Edison bulb or G40 frosted LED bulb
  • For the hanger, I used my favorite Ikea Ekby Valter brackets (I’ve used them as plant hangers, as well as, as intended, shelf brackets). I stained the unfinished brackets with walnut stain. The 9mm rope light is hanging from the larger size bracket, and the 5mm rope light is hanging from the smaller bracket.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Test your light kit! It’s probably fine, but you’ll be spending several hours on it, so you want to make sure you didn’t get a lemon
  • find the midpoint of your rope and lay it behind your cord, next to the light fixture. With the two long ends of rope, start tying a wave knot
  • Tips: it can get unwieldy working with so much rope. I used a kitchen scale to help me divide the rope in half. I also used rubber bands to hold together the balls of rope, so they would not unravel.

  • Keep going
  • (Turn on a movie or podcast)
  • Keep going
  • When you get to the switch, neatly line the rope along the sides of the switch and then resume your wave knot
  • When you’ve almost reached the plug, use a gathering knot to finish off the ends

Here are some pictures of the hanging lights – the navy cord was made with 5mm cord and the denim cord with 9mm rope.

I don’t know about you, but I want to make another one (or ten) soon.

Happy knotting!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Faux Brick Wall for a Loft-inspired Teen Boy’s Room – One Room Challenge Week 2

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant again in the One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. This spring, I re-decorated our boys’ bathroom. For this fall’s challenge, I’m transforming our teen’s … Continue reading

Trick or Tote – Monogrammed Tote Bags

These cute monogrammed bags are perfect for party favors, trick-or-treating, and toting snacks and toys!

I got the idea from my creative sister and adapted it as party favors for J’s last birthday, which falls a couple of weeks before Halloween, so the bags can do double-duty.

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

You can add a custom luggage tag to go with the bags!

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Hope you are tote-ally inspired (terrible! ignore me!)

“Jewels”

Mood Board for a Loft-Inspired Teen Boy’s Room – One Room Challenge Week 1

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant again in the One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. This spring, I re-decorated our boys’ bathroom. For this fall’s challenge, I’m transforming our teen’s bedroom. His new space is inspired by an industrial loft, with an exposed brick wall and other great features! Thanks for following along!

Kai is a quiet kid who doesn’t share much or ask for much. When the boys wanted their own rooms last fall, he ended up in my former craft room, and I made very few changes when I moved him in, other than adding a bed. Although he does not ask for much, he does show his appreciation, and I was excited to do something special for him, before he goes off to college in a few more years – sniff, wah!

I know how fast they grow, so I wanted an adult space, where we could add a few personal touches. I also imagine that some day, I’ll gain this room back as a craft studio, so I kept all that in mind in choosing a simple loft-inspired design scheme. There are vintage, industrial, and hand-made touches that will allow this space to endure and adapt to our family in the years to come.

ORC Mood Board

Image sources:

Are you as excited as I am?!

I created my design plan the way I usually do, looking for inspiration spaces and then identifying the elements and themes that I want to incorporate into our home. The Design Cookbook has more details on how you can use this approach to create spaces you love!

Here are two of my inspiration spaces for this project. I could not find an original source for the first picture, so please let me know if you find it, so I can give credit!

This second room was featured on the Street Easy blog.

bedroom image

The features I loved in both of these spaces – and that I knew I wanted to recreate – are:

  • exposed brick!
  • light, neutral walls
  • warm natural wood
  • grey bedding and Roman shades

I’ve done a little bit of sourcing and preparation already, but there is a lot of work left to do in the next five weeks! I can’t wait to share all the projects and see the final space!

A huge thank you to Linda for creating the One Room Challenge community, and high fives to all my fellow bloggers whose hard work and creativity were great inspirations! Be sure to go back to the One Room Challenge blog and check out all the other projects!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Dyeing to DIY… Shibori!

I love the look of shibori – which is hardly surprising, since I love all things blue and white, and fabric. I finally overcame my skittishness about dye and tried this technique… now, I am 100% addicted! I’ve got lots … Continue reading

That Spells DNA – Nerdy and Beautiful Baby Quilts

“DNA, you’re in my heart
DNA, in fact you’re in every part of my body
Each cell has a nucleus, each nucleus has chromosomes
And DNA, baby, that spells DNA”

-That Spells DNA by Jonathan Coulton

I can thank Steve, who is at the forefront of all things nerdy, for introducing me to Jonathan Coulton over a decade ago. Of course, as a genetic counselor, I have a particular soft spot for “That Spells DNA.” If you’re as nerdy as we are, and you don’t already know and love this song, you will want to check it out!

So, when we found out we were having a mini baby boom in our work family, with two babies due within two months, it wasn’t too hard for me to decide on DNA-themed baby quilts as gifts.

I found the DNA-themed fabric, Color DNA stripe by Melissa McCulloch, on Spoonflower. The fabric in the quilts is actually left over from a few Halloweens ago when our group dressed up as (if terrible puns cause you pain, skip this next part!) Gene-gnomes. The colors were a perfect jumping off point for this colorful gender-neutral patchwork of yellow, blues, greens and coral-red.

Here are some close-ups of the beautiful fabrics. I wanted to use every last scrap of the DNA fabric, so there is one patch in each of the quilts that I like to call “CRISPRed.” Can you spot one?

And here are a few more pictures of the quilts during their photo shoot, before they went off to their new homes!

All the colors and patterns together make me so happy! I am excited to meet the newest babies of our work family and give them their quilts, so they can start their genetics lessons early!

“Jewels”

Custom Scrapbook Luggage Tags

These little luggage tags make wonderful gifts that are quick to make and practical!

Every kids loves having something with their name on it, and every adult fears taking the wrong bag at the airport. I’ve actually done this – and it was a huge pain, because I had to spend hours and $$ going back to LAX to exchange the bag, but I was relieved that at least the woman whose bag I accidentally took was really nice about it.

I love all the ways you can customize these luggage tags. I am showing these with scrapbook paper, but I’ve also made some out of wedding invitations to give as a gift to the couple, and you could use photos or lots of other ideas!

I’ve made tags with two different types of lamination:

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There’s really nothing better than a beautiful combination of scrapbook paper and stickers, is there? … Well, maybe dark chocolate and red wine… or world peace… okay, but these are really fun and pretty, so go and make some, because world peace may take a while to achieve.

“Jewels”

The Neutral Pillow Project

Whether you lean towards Scandinavian-inspired, Modern Farmhouse, or California Casual, everything light, white, and wood is in right now – and I love it!

While I’m always excited to incorporate new looks into my home, it takes some creativity to do this – we’ve had most of our major furniture pieces for a decade or more.

One strategy that’s easy on the budget and environment is to change out accessories like pillows. Here are some light and bright ideas that you can use to give your room a new look!

Admittedly, my “things I have in the house already” is rather extensive, but I’m still proud that I managed to make all these pillows with them.

Here are the links to a tutorial on making simple throw pillows and tutorials for the window seat pillows, including bolster and flanged pillows.

Starting with: Ribbon-embellished geometric pillows:

  • I started by sewing lengths of ivory ribbon onto a linen-like fabric in diagonal stripes
  • I then cut out panels to create a chevron or herringbone pattern for two bolster pillows to add a neutral accent to my teal armchairs
  • With the leftover sections of ribbon-embellished fabric, I created one more throw pillow for our living room loveseat

Mudcloth-inspired contrast stitching:

Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring! I took some plain canvas fabric I had and, inspired by the oh-so-popular mudcloth trend, cut it into panels and sewed it together with contrasting navy thread:

There are a million more ideas for sewing simple pillows to change the look of your space – and when I try them all, you’ll see it here!

“Jewels”

Crushing On: Contemporary Chinoiserie Prints

Before I share all the beautiful prints I scouted out for you, I’m going to go on a small tangent. The Crazy Rich Asians book series by Kevin Kwan started years ago, but I caught the bug this summer, just before the movie came out. I’m currently obsessed with everything related to this world – I love the fun romp of the stories; I’m excited by the significance of their popularity for cultural representation; and I’m moved by the idea that while people in the books – and in the real world – spend a lot of time judging cultural authenticity and superiority, the message of the books is that cultural identities are individual, dynamic, blended, and beautiful.

I promise, this is all related, because incorporating Chinoiserie elements into my home is one my favorite decorating themes. Chinoiserie is “the imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture.” I recently made a beautiful bolster for our bed, upcycled from a baby sling I held on to for the past seven years. (See my Instagram post for a picture of the original sling!) After making it, I was inspired to source some other Chinoiserie prints with a contemporary feel. Here’s what I found. I hope you’ll share your favorites, too!

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The archetype of Chinoiserie prints is Schumacher’s Exuberant Prints Collection. The origin of many of these prints are in fact vintage, but they still feel completely contemporary, which is a true sign of good design. They are pricey, but a worthwhile splurge, if you can swing it.

I’m particularly in love with Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Dragon:

A similar and more accessibly-priced option is the beautiful Robert Allen Ming Dragon:

And of course, when you are looking for a distinctive print, you’ve got to browse Spoonflower! I browsed tons of ideas there, and here are my favorites:

Cranes Garden by lorloves_design on Spoonflower:

KOI by tornpaperpaintings on Spoonflower:

Jenny Cherry Blossoms by Domesticate on Spoonflower:

Japanese Garden by Judit Gueth on Spoonflower:

(Yes I understand the irony/ inappropriateness of including this in a post on Chinoiserie… but it is pretty!)

In addition to accent pillows, you could frame a swatch of these prints or use one to line a tray. How would you use these prints?

“Jewels”