The Calabash pendant from Danish brand Lightyears is totally up my alley. I love its curvy shape and that it comes in gold, I love shiny gold lighting when it’s in right space. The Calabash comes in red, black, silver and gold and I can totally see pairing the golden one with this wallpaper from Ferm Living.
(images: lightyears via solid frog.)
The next DIY that we’ve prepared to you taken from an idea to make a funky lampshade that we’ve called the Liberty Fabric Wrapped Lampshade because Liberty fabrics were used to make it that were selected in-store. I’m proud of this one because we had a really fun time trying to figure out what to put over the table (see table here) and at first I had envisioned stripped and wrapping three rice paper lanterns from IKEA in Liberty fabric then hanging handmade garlands from the bottom of their frames but then I thought that having IKEA products in Liberty may not be the best idea! So my friend Sania Pell and I thought to try something else — perhaps something vintage and affordable to inspire our guests, and as our ideas evolved a wrapped fabric lampshade was born. I love the evolution of ideas, collaborating with others, and pushing the envelope when it comes to ideas. This is a quirky shade, but it’s fun and totally worth trying at home.
Sania made the one shown in this post to hang over our table at Liberty that we, along with Leslie Shewring, showed during my book launch party. So! Sania is back with a little inspiration for us again — this time, the fabric wrapped lampshade. You’re up, Sania!
Hello it’s me Sania again! This lampshade is the one we used at the Liberty demo suspended as a centrepiece over the table, with a mirror ball for a bulb and draped with the garlands and ribbons. Holly showed you how to make a similar version here so I won’t go into too much detail for this DIY since she covered it already. But I will give you some styling tips in case you’re wondering how to fit this type of shade into your own decor or at a party.
* Use several different patterned fabrics but all from the same colour palette.
* Double-sided sticky tape at the top and bottom of each wire rod helps attach the fabric quickly and easily.
* Knot the fabric strip when you get to the end of a rod, leaving little tabs and swatches of the fabric pattern sticking out. I consciously embraced the fraying edges as part of the overall look.
* For this shade, strips of fabric left hanging down with old (not antique) keys tied to them spray painted black formed a link with Decorate – which is a book about beautiful homes. You could try something similar, but with objects that you love.
* To finish it, add small silk flowers to varying places on the frame to provide a visual connection with the garlands (how to make the garlands here) and to add some detail.
I thought you might also be interested in how I styled these photos. I used a lamp base, picture frame and wall all in a similar dark grey – one of my favourite colours – to ensure the pattern and colour of the leaves and the shade pop out in the pictures. The common element in all the Liberty fabrics we choose was that there was a subtle grey link between them so I know this colour scheme would work. It would look good against white too, prettier but less dramatic. I purposely chose to display the garlands on the graphic letters on my wall as a contrast against their organic shapes and softness. I also used my big mirror ball to reference the one we used at the demo, to add a bit of glamour and to pick up on the silvers and greys of the other props.
ll the props in these photos cost hardly anything, they were just painted, cleaned or customised. The lampshade came from a charity shop, the lamp stand, frame and mirror ball were from car boot sales, and we spotted the metal letters being thrown away when an old office building was having a new sign installed. We asked the builders and they let us have them for nothing. Hopefully it shows with some creative thinking and a little bit of effort you can create something stylish and personal for next to nothing.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and that it has inspired you to try something new. If you have any queries about this project please put them in the comments and I’ll help if I can! In my next post I’ll be telling you how to make the hanging house mobiles we had suspended above Holly’s signing table. Thank you for reading and happy making! – Sania.
Caution: Fabric near a bulb should always be treated with a flame retardant spray. As this was just a display shade it wasn’t necessary, but I will either treat it before use or unravel the area nearest the bulb to be on the safe side.
(images: sania pell)
Hello everyone! How was your long, lovely weekend? I feel like I’ve been basking in vacation bliss for days… plus we’ve had a few weeks of mid 70s, perfectly sunny weather so it’s hard to find much to complain about — and it love it! Just in four days I’ve been to the biergarten, dined outdoors, went on hikes, acted like a kid at a carnival, did some shopping, made crafty things at home, so I’m feeling quite inspired. In fact, I wanted to share a few of those crafts projects this week on decor8, the first is the fabric wrapped lampshade that many of you loved from the Liberty launch party that Sania Pell, Leslie Shewring and I added as part of the tabletop styling demonstration in-store.
Funny (and flattering to us!) but some guests thought the shade was a Liberty product but it actually wasn’t – we had spent a lot of time together and on the phone/through emails putting together many ideas as to what to hang above the table and in the end, we decided to make a lampshade using Liberty fabrics, ribbons, flowers and all sorts of fun stuff including a disco ball. We originally thought to use more than one (three to be exact) but with such limited time, we decided to go with a single shade and that is exactly what we did! The idea, as most ideas, were a result of putting our heads together to think of what would make an impact (for a store like Liberty) while looking somewhat “part” of their dining room section of the store. Since Sania and I both love wire frames from old lampshades, it was decided that we’d hunt one down and wrap the frame with fabric.
I bought one on eBay in Germany but it was easier for Sania to just buy one at a car boot sale in London and wrap the frame herself so that is what she did – and it came out beautifully as you can see above – I love how hers came out and can’t thank her enough for making it.
When I shared the Decorate launch party at Liberty last Friday, many of you loved the things that we showed during our demonstration — particularly the handmade elements. That is why I thought today I’d show you how to make the lampshade and then Sania will join us in the weeks to come to show how a few other things were made, including the flower brooches and the wire houses that hung above my signing table. But first, the lampshades. I’m not sure exactly how Sania made the one at Liberty, but I went with my gut and here is how I made mine shown below.
DIY Fabric Wrapped Vintage Lampshade:
1. First, I laid out my supplies: permanent quick drying fabric glue, scissors, 3/4 meter of Liberty fabric, vintage lampshade won on eBay for under $5!
2. Then I stripped the lampshade removing the ugly brown polyester cover with that sexy dark brown fringe (not!). That went into the rubbish bin where it belonged!
3. Next, I wiped the frame with a rag to remove dust — important to use a dry rag as you’ll have to wait for it to dry before wrapping it with fabric otherwise.
4. Then, I laid out the fabric that I wanted to use, in this case a Liberty print that I’ve had for a few months now, and snipped into it about one inch in from the edge. After the snippet was made, I tore the fabric to the very end to create a long strip. Don’t worry about the frayed edges, they add to the charm once the frame is wrapped plus you don’t really see them in the end anyway. I cut about 6 strips to begin with, each about 46″ long, to get started. In the end, I used about 3/4 of a meter of fabric for the entire lamp.
5. I started wrapping! This was quite easy. To start, I worked from the top of the frame down. I found that easiest because if you work from the top up you risk unraveling it before it has time to “set”. When you wrap, you can either tie in a tiny knot and wrap from them, carefully concealing the knot when you wrap OR you can opt to not tie it and simply use strong instant-dry fabric glue and then fold and glue the fabric onto itself, hold in place as you wrap, and then you can eventually let go and it stays in place. You can also iron heat bond to the opposite side of fabric, iron it on, and then cut strips of fabric and wrap that way as I imagine that would be a good option as well.
6. Save the top circular part of the frame for last (as shown) so you can wrap it and give it a nice finished look.
7. Now, you can embellish. You may want to keep it simple and add nothing at all, or you can add a simple small metal garland as I did from designer Tord Boontje that I’ve had laying around my house for a few years in different arrangements of things. I think the garland is a nice touch and once a bulb is in the lamp, it could look nice wrapped around that part of the lamp. I also want to note that I intentionally did not spray paint the interior of the frame where the lightbulb will go simply because I liked the “oldness” of it and find that it adds charm to not look 100% brand new. But if you want something more polished, just spray paint it as that is the only part of the lamp that you cannot wrap due to that being a total fire hazard! If neither of these looks are for you, add some flowers (faux of handmade from fabric). Sania made some beautiful flowers that I pinned to my shade at home and I think they look pretty.
TIPS: My goal is to buy a wooden lampbase that has a great silhouette and spray paint it high gloss gray or white and top it with my new “old” lampshade. If you really want to deck out your shade, add birds, ribbons, frayed bits of fabrics tied, a disco ball if you do not plan to use it as a light but as a quirky display, etc. You can even remove the center of the frame and with a ceiling mount kit (from IKEA for instance) you can turn this shade into a pendant light. Another idea is that you can hang it and wrap fairy lights in the inside to illuminate it at night. The goal is to have fun and personalize this frame – do what makes you happy!
Warning: Please be careful that you don’t use anything close to the bulb that is flammable if you plan to use the shade on a lamp base – so avoid tissue paper flowers and anything else that could start to slowly cook, and then burn, from the heat.
I hope that you enjoyed this lampshade DIY and that it makes you look at ugly lampshades a little differently now! Wire frames are a big trend, lots of designers are using them in some of the best rooms out there — but they usually spray paint them in bold primary colors like red and green. If you want to try wrapping them in your favorite fabric for a fresh take on this trend, go for it – I hope that you love this lampshade idea and that you give it a try at home — decorating should be fun, personal and most of all, should reflect your own style and taste so try something like this one at home and see what you come up with, right?!
(images: holly becker for decor8 with the exception of Liberty shots taken by Tiffany Kirschner-Dixon)
Before I share my favorite lighting with you, I must confess upfront that I realize most of these lights are white. I’m not sure whether I should apologize for this in advance but the truth is, I really like white pendants and pretty chandeliers with crystals (as long as they are vintage and not overly ornate), and I love clean and modern lighting that isn’t fussy or distracting from the overall decor too much. I’ve been trying to cross over to the dark side (ha ha) and grow to love bold, colorful lighting but I just can’t seem to do it. I usually go back to white, though black also works. I’m not exactly sure why I love white lights so much but you know, I just do and that is really my fancy explanation. I’m not sure if white lighting catches your eye but perhaps after this post I’ll make a white light lover out of you, too! Here’s my collection of lights…
The Patrick Townsend Orbit chandelier is my #1 favorite light in the world (top right and bottom left) I am dying to own this lamp (ever since it was released, I am sure Patrick recalls my emails!) but it’s not being made for the EU yet. Oh Patrick, please consider it! Also shown: Bertjan Pot Not Random light (lower right), Luncheonette pendant lamp from Anthropologie (upper left).
Tine K Lamp (top left) Solano by Zia Priven (top right), hand wrought chandelier from ABC Home (bottom right) and the Foscarini Cage pendant light for Diesel (bottom right, though the photo depresses me a bit).
Le Klint pendant 101 (top left), Teapot lights from Anthropologie (top right + bottom left) and the Relief Drip light from Jonathan Adler. While we’re at it, any light by Jonathan Adler makes me happy. I have the Giraffe lamp (not shown above) but need to get him rewired since he doesn’t work over here. I also need a new shade because mine was crushed when shipped over by my moving company. :( Eventually the giraffe will be up and running again, though! I miss him… Speaking of animal lights…
I have many others that I love but this is a great snapshot of some of my favorites. Plus, in addition to all of these new lights I also LOVE lighting from the mid century and also chandeliers from 1920′s France. I have a two chandeliers in my home, both are French from the 20′s and I love them. I currently have a vintage floor lamp in mint green from the 50s and a 50s table lamp as well. I also like the massive paper globes that you get for a few dollars at IKEA, I see them in some of the smartest rooms and they always look great. The best look is to have several on the ceiling in a three season porch, it looks lovely! I also love twinkle lights (also called fairy lights) in big, clear vases displayed around the house, but only one or two, not in every room. I like natural wood lighting too — the Muuto Wood lamp sits proudly on my desk. My lighting taste is a bit eclectic and I love circles so I tend to love globes. I also like square or rectangular shapes as long as they have somewhat of a rounded detail on top. I like quirky lighting — especially cups and teapots but also bird cages. I love ANIMALS as lights. Giraffes, elephants, rabbits, dogs, foo dogs, owls…
What about you? What do YOU like when it comes to lighting?
(images: linked to their sources above.)
How truly amazing are the Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon lights from Dutch artist and designer Paula Arntzen? They are available through Artecnica and their list of exclusive retailers — I’m hoping they have one in Germany because I am dying to buy one for my office or living room because it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Have you heard of Artecnica before? If not, they are a design company in L.A. that collaborates with both emerging and established international designers and together they create inspiring decorative objects for the home and workplace. Can you imagine this light in your home office? I can! Totally!
About these lovely Trianon lights Artecnica explains, “Named after the palace of King Louis XIV, Grand Trianon is a large, lightweight chandelier made of post-consumer coated Tyvek. When lit up, the Grand Trianon emits a soft checkerboard glow from behind its surface of folded slits.” The Petit Trianon is a smaller, detailed version with identical texture and pattern.
Paula says of her inspiration behind these lights, “Both lights are a result of a unique experience I had at the Palace of Versailles combined with my love for this elegant material”. What a lovely design, I can’t wait to get my hands on one someday, what a lovely score that would be!
(images: paula arntzen)