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DIY

Decorating Tips, DIY

Renovating Done Right

January 21, 2011

I heard from reader Manfung Cheung yesterday who runs Dutch design blog Inrichting Huis in Rotterdam because he wanted to share with you the renovations that he and his partner Lydia La recently completed in their city apartment. They decided to buy their first home — a two level flat in an old mansion that desperately needed renovation and their personal touch.

Renovating Done Right

You can see all of their before photos here, which I think is a great way to begin this post — to see where they started because oftentimes we approach a big project and it can seem daunting and we wonder if it is really worth the effort or not.  Manfung and Lydia prove that a little elbow grease goes a long, long way. These photos are of their beautiful new space which is light and bright — a requirement for some who want to avoid winter blues and even depression in cities that are known to be rainy and gray, as Rotterdam doesn’t have the best weather — it’s not Hawaii!

Renovating Done Right

Renovating Done Right

Renovating Done Right

Renovating Done Right

Manfung knows that it is vital to live in a home that fully supports you and allows for personal growth — he calls it a, “necessary foundation for happiness and success in life”. Large amounts of money and tons of space are not required to be happy — that is a bonus — the only requirements to make a house YOUR home is to find inspiration, connect to resources, get creative, tap into your personal style and be motivated enough to get up and do something about it! Kick your own butt! ha ha!

What a great house – thank you Manfung for writing in and sharing your space with us, especially before the weekend as many jump on DIY projects over the weekend — your home inspired me to work on my own tomorrow after I go to the flea market. I particularly love your collections, your wood floors, that darling mini blue SMEG and the Never Grow Up poster.

So tell me, when you start a renovation project, or even a decorating project, what are some of your fears? What often stands in your way? If you have any projects that you’re putting off, why? Perhaps together we can inspire one another to get a move on like Manfung did. Maybe even Manfung can help you with some of your dilemmas, so please comment below.

(images: inrichting huis)

DIY

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

January 10, 2011

I’m so excited to bring you Anna-Malin Lindgren, a new decor8 columnist based in Sweden, who will produce a special project for us to share on the 2nd Monday of each month. She isn’t really writing a DIY column, so all of the details will not be provided step-by-step, but she will be sharing things that she makes for her home along with how she used them to decorate a room for a little decorating inspiration. I’m going to hand the mic over to Anna-Malin now, so please, take it away and show us what you’ve made!

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

Hello decor8 readers! Today I’ll show you a nice, personal lamp that I made from simple means and how I decorated my dining room around the light so that you can get a double dose of inspiration. I will do this in all of my columns because showing only what I made may not be that helpful but seeing something handmade in the home — “in-situ” — just may give you a different perspective on how you can decorate nicely on a budget by making things yourself. If you want to try to make this affordable branch pendant you’ll need only a few key ingredients: an electrician, a branch from a tree (quite large) and 4 fabric-covered cables with either plastic or porcelain white sockets (try NUD Collection for a variety of cord colors). I got the idea for this lamp when I saw a picture in a magazine a year ago (inspiration below) and I thought to  myself – I can do this! Here is my inspiration…

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

I kept this tear from a magazine, I can do this! So I did!

I had the branch already for several months. It was brought home by my youngest son when we were out walking in the woods last summer. I started by hanging the lamps on the branch to figure out the perfect placement. When they had the right amount of space in between them, I used ordinary black tape to secure them in place. The next step was to measure the distance from the ceiling and then I selected a point where I gathered all of the cords and taped them together, tightly. Tip: When you finish, make sure you use clear bulbs – not frosted ones!

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

Taping them into place…

Next, I cut the cords (with a few inches to spare) and called my “hubby” — he did all the electrical stuff and fixed it so that the four cords connected to only one. You can use a terminal strip for this but I suggest calling in a friend who is an electrician because you can seriously cause problems or worse, burn your house down if you do this wrong – I nor decor8 can take responsibility for your safety, so check with a trained electrician! My husband also removed the tape and secured the cords onto the wood with u-shaped nails.

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

Voilá! Not hard at all. Now I have a unique, personal lamp for not much money at all. The cords were about 10 euros each (so 40 Euros) and the branch was for free! Of course, you’ll have to pay for the time of an electrician (I was lucky to have my husband) but if you have a friend who is one, or relative, perhaps this light will be an affordable option over your dining room table, too.

Did you like this? Next month I will surprise you with something fresh and fun (and affordable) so stay tuned. If you have any questions about this project please ask in the comments section below.

See you with another project on February 14th! Anna-Malin Lindgren.

(images: anna-malin lindgren)

DIY

Wallpaper Cabinet by Shannon Fricke

August 23, 2010

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a giant girl crush on author/tv presenter/blogger/teacher/stylist/decorator/columist/and a million other amazing hats Shannon Fricke in Australia. I’ve been a fan of her work for a few years now and follow her blog religiously because she is such a breath of fresh, unpretentious air! You don’t always find that with multi-talented people, but with Shannon you do. She’s not only one of the best when it comes to style and decoration, but as a person this lady is a top notch class act. That’s why I not only want to point you over to her work today for a little inspiration but I have to show you this gorgeous cabinet that she recently did up for a spread she produced for a magazine.

Wallpaper Cabinet by Shannon Fricke

Is this not the best idea for an old cabinet? Paint it white and wallpaper the heck out of it? Love. This. Don’t you want to grab rolls of Florence Broadhurst and Cole & Son papers this very second and go a little crazy with it? Even if you don’t have a freestanding cabinet like this one, you can do something like it to the interior of any closet, or even a china cabinet or bookcase. Knock yourself out, Shannon did and look at the results.

Wallpaper Cabinet by Shannon Fricke

Wallpaper Cabinet by Shannon Fricke

I love seeing these gorgeous green and yellow tones together — so fresh and so signature Shannon Fricke as she is a great lover of greens, blues and yellows as you can see in the other lovely photos that I’ve included from her design portfolio and home.

Thank you for the inspiration today Shannon!

(image: via the women’s weekly/shannon fricke)

DIY

Creative At Home

August 10, 2010

If you are looking for some creative DIY ideas for your home to inject a little personality then I have a few ideas to share! I recently picked up a copy of Creative At Home in Germany and found some sweet projects. If you live in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and of course Germany then you can find it where most magazines are sold. You’ll need to buy the magazine to get templates and instructions but here is a glimpse of a few that I liked…

Creative At Home

I normally do not by Creative At Home since I but so many mags as it is — I like the projects and overall layout/style of Dutch DIY mag 101 Woonideeen (I wish they’d publish that mag in English) but this copy of Creative At Home had a nice cover and so I picked it up and instantly found a few projects that I could connect to. I sometimes find the crafting ideas and styles in magazines looking a bit too crafty if you know what I mean, whereas the ones in mags like 101 Woonideeen usually look more artistic and creative and less “glue guns and bead projects gone wild” if you catch my drift.

Creative At Home

Creative At Home

I like the idea of handpainting a coat rack like this one above, which show deer. If you cannot paint you can always cut out images from wallpaper or even fabric and use Mod Podge to adhere and also to seal it. Another fun DIY is to take two branches and use them to form a deer head and paint eyes on it – sweet art for a kid’s room! I think my favorite idea from the magazine is to paint a wooden table silver. It works here because they’ve used a table with lots of texture — it could look slightly tacky on a smooth table with no visible grain. I like how they’ve applied it very lightly, you can still see the wood in some parts making it a bit more weathered. It’s great that they skipped painting the legs silver, that would have looked very kitschy.

It’s all about knowing when to say ENOUGH when you are making things at home, isn’t it? Editing is so important but as important is self control and pulling the plug because often you can overdo a project and it comes out looking like an art project from a 5th grader. It’s a fine line, isn’t it? LOL.

Great job, Creative At Home!

(images: creative at home scanned)

DIY

DIY Paper Lanterns

August 2, 2010

Are you ready for a little DIY action this week? Tina Fussell (aka Traveling Mama) told me about a video tutorial that she shot in her home recently showing how to make these sweet lanterns over this bed below with paper and string. You can easily make these babies on a budget and they are pretty for indoors or out – they’d be so sweet on a porch for a fun party!

DIY Paper Lanterns

To view Tina’s quick and easy how-to video, click here. The one that she makes in the video reminds me of a watermelon which makes me want to have a BBQ and decorate with only green and pinky red lanterns! Thank you Tina for the great DIY!

(image: tina fussell)

DIY, Inspiration

8 Summery DIY Ideas

July 15, 2010

Hello Friends, it is Leslie here with eight summery DIY ideas I found. Even if it is winter where you are I hope you find some of these ideas inspiring.

8 Summery DIY Ideas

1. Lots of quick and easy ideas for cleaning up your home’s entryway can be found at Real Simple like this one or this one. I love the painted on floor mat in this front hall!
2. Check out the directions on how to use colorful dyes to brighten up any basic canvas shoe on Martha Stewart Living.

8 Summery DIY Ideas

3. Benita of Chez Larsson shares her fabulous organization tips for her home office here and here.
4. Benita also explains about how she organizes her photographs in this post. There are lots of really good home improvement projects and ideas that Benita shares at Chez Larsson, I am sure you will enjoy reading more once you visit her!

8 Summery DIY Ideas

5. Even though it is Winter in Australia, Donna Hay still has some beautiful summer entertaining recipes and ideas here.
6. I think poufs are everywhere because they are an easy way to add color or update a sitting area. Here is a pattern to make your own by Amy Butler. You can find more information about the pattern and how much fabric you will need on Amy’s gorgeous site right here.

8 Summery DIY Ideas

7. Isn’t this DIY chevron rug project amazing? Please visit the Little Green Notebook Blog by Pearl Street Interiors to read about how to make an inexpensive Ikea rug not something fabulous all by yourself.
8. I had to end with this delicious looking cherry crumble cake as it would be perfect for a picnic or with tea while doing a little reading. Mowie of Mowielicious is always whipping up something incredible and I am sure you will enjoy checking out his beautiful blog.

I hope you have found a project or two that may spark your creative energy this week. I will see you back here soon, until then take care and thank you. — Leslie.

P.S. Holly and I spent the day together, she says hello to all of you! xo

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