before & after / Rebecca Atwood inspired DIY lamp

Well, hello there! I certainly didn't mean to go almost a month without posting anything but that's the best part of having your own blog... making your own rules ;)

I've been staying very busy offline, and will have some fun posts to share soon. One of the projects I finished recently is something I am SUPER excited about, because it was dirt cheap to do and produced such dramatic results. I am working my way through the guest bedroom project and have been keeping an eye out for an affordable bedside lamp. Rather than spend $40+ on a new lamp, I decided to buy a can of spray paint and fabric paint and attempt to create something new with an old lamp collecting dust (literally; you'll see the dust in the before photos).

Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com

By the way, this is my second before & after on lamps... I really do love lamp, you guys! See my first before & after here. (Which, oddly enough, was posted almost exactly one year ago today. There must be something special about April, lamps, and spray paint!)

The silhouette of the lamp is great, but I was over the color and wanted something more in line with the look & feel of the guest bedroom... calm, serene and light. I am in the midst of a serious love affair with indigo, watercolors and textures, and would cover every surface of my home in this pattern if I could.

It's really simple to achieve this look, as long as you work carefully and prepare ahead of time. Spray painting is ridiculously easy, but it's also ridiculously easy to make it look terrible! Patience is key :)

Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com

Step One: Carefully tape off the electrical socket and cord with painter's tape. Sand the surface with a medium grit sandpaper to roughen the surface, then finish with a smooth grit. Sanding the surface gives it a little "tooth" or texture, which gives the spray paint something to grab onto and lessens the chance of the spray paint scratching. (That may still happen even if you sand - be careful handling the lamp and / or put it in a low-traffic area where it won't get handled very often.)

Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com

Step Two: Follow the instructions on the spray paint can! Shake for the right amount of time, spray at the right distance, and go low & slow. Trying to spray paint quickly with heavy coverage will result in drips and an uneven spray job. By spraying lightly and from a distance, you'll lessen the risk of drips and create a smooth, even surface.

Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com

Step Three: Gather inspiration! This is the fun part. I have a "colors, textures, patterns" board on Pinterest where I keep track of my favorite surface pattern designs. I pulled my favorite patterns that fit with the guest bedroom aesthetic and also looked like I could easily mimic them. After reviewing them with Tim, we decided on the Rebecca Atwood dashed line print above (upper middle & right). Rebecca Atwood textiles are drool-worthy and while I'd love to think I can afford them, it's not realistic right now, or ever (the pillow featured above is $289...).

Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com

Step Four: Practice, practice, practice, then paint! I bought a navy fabric pen and navy fabric paint, after unsuccessfully finding anything indigo :( I tested about 5-6 different paint brushes with varying widths, bristle coarseness, with water, and without. The fabric pen created too perfect of a mark and I wanted something organic and loose, so I chose the brush in the top left that was pretty coarse/stiff. I diluted the fabric paint with about 1 T. of water and guessed as I went, after trying out a bunch of patterns on a scrap piece of fabric. I measured and taped halfway up the lampshade to create a "dipped" look because I worried that the lampshade might look too busy with an allover pattern, and I'm so glad I did.

At this point, you just have to eyeball your pattern and keep your inspiration close by. You'll have a few imperfections but that can always be the back of the shade that you hide against the wall... see my blobby, too-much-water mistake below:

Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com

I was able to paint both sides of the lampshade in about 45 minutes - I was too impatient to let the back side dry, so I held the lampshade upright and painted the front. I am so, so happy with how it turned out! I had to style it with some of the new accessories I got for the guest bedroom just to bring it to life, so here is a sneak peek of the new room...

Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com
Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com

I spent $12.50 on supplies (spray paint, fabric paint, fabric pen) and was able to use sandpaper and painter's tape I had from previous projects. It was such a cheap project that yielded pretty custom, expensive results - and now I'm addicted to fabric paint!

The new lamp definitely complements the look & feel of the guest bedroom and gives it a little punch of personality. I hope to be finished with the guest bedroom project by mid-May, and will be able to share it in early June. Yippee for house projects done on the cheap!

Rebecca Atwood inspired lamp DIY | colorwhirl.com

Are you taking on any inexpensive home projects lately? Also... it's spray painting season! Get outside and cover everything in spray paint! (Minus the grass and bushes and animals and driveway/sidewalk...)

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

design ADD & guest bedroom inspiration...

I am fairly certain I suffer from design ADD when it comes to our home. In the midst of one project I brainstorm something entirely new for a different room - or three. Currently, I am working on our home office but I also want to repaint the laundry/mud room and I just pulled together a full design board for our guest bedroom. We have to put new flooring in our upstairs bathroom and I also have my eye on a new console table for our living room and a DIY shelving project I'd like us to work on. Not to mention, I laid out how I want our master bedroom to look and I have a mental shopping list going. AH! How does one stay focused?!

Thankfully I have limited resources and funding so I'm forced to slow down, but my mind is racing at all times. In an effort to stay sane and not make Tim go crazy, I'm trying to limit myself to two rooms at a time - because I can't stop at just one. Inspiration strikes at any given moment, after all!

The two rooms I am hoping to pull together quickly - and inexpensively - are our home office and guest bedroom. These are two rooms that basically house all of the junk and miscellaneous items that we're not sure where to put yet, or have all of our leftover decor from our rental days. While I can appreciate re-purposing items that are still useful and in good condition, it can't hurt to spruce up each room with a few hundred dollars.

First up, the guest bedroom. This is how it looked when we bought the house (previous owner's decor):

Screen shot 2015-03-22 at 6.50.47 PM.png

The walls have some sort of stucco/rough texture that feels like light grit sandpaper and it's SO not good, nor is the color. The carpeting is so low-pile that it almost feels like you're walking on concrete (or original hardwood floors that we're not ready to uncover quite yet). Since we had so many other projects to tackle, we furnished it with an old comforter, sheets, and our old bedroom set. It works just fine as my sister and brother-in-law's room when they stay over, but we never felt proud of the room so we always kept the door shut.

A few weekends ago I felt a surge of inspiration and decided to take on the guest room. I threw on a duvet cover that was in storage (that is king sized on a queen bed), put down a gray shag rug that was previously in the office, and started giving it a little love. I picked up little trinkets and vases we had lying around the house and it immediately felt like a new space. It's still dark and heavy, but so much better than before.

This is what it looks like now:

colorwhirl | guest bedroom before
colorwhirl | guest bedroom before
The planter is new and I couldn't resist hanging it, which is why there are no plants in it...!

The planter is new and I couldn't resist hanging it, which is why there are no plants in it...!

There's something about rearranging furniture and loving previously neglected spaces that allows you to see them so much clearer. Now it's time to give the room a facelift. I am challenging myself to keep it as low-budget as possible because we still have so many other projects to complete, but I'm confident that paint and a few new touches will totally transform the space into a relaxing guest room.

Ideally, I want to keep the project under $300. If I'm lucky I might even come in at $250. I've sourced all of the items I'll have to purchase with the exception of a DIY project, and I'm really hoping that this challenge will not only keep me on track budget-wise, but keep me motivated to wrap up the project quickly and efficiently.

I want the room to be calm, serene and light. The walls will go white, the bedding will be a neutral white and chambray stripe, and there will be touches of indigo throughout. Minimal decor will keep the project inexpensive but also make the room feel nice and calm. Plants and a few framed prints will bring personality and energy to the space, and voila! The bedroom will be transformed.

Here is my design board, along with a few inspiration images:

colorwhirl | guest bedroom inspiration
via
via
via

via

With some savvy shopping and a few coats of paint, this space will totally transform and I can't wait for the end result! It'll be so nice to take pride in the room and leave the door open for once :)

For me, I find that the simplest way to stay on track and under budget is setting parameters and creating the overall design ahead of time. Otherwise, I can lose my focus quickly and shop impulsively which is NEVER good. How do you tackle new projects?

 


product spotlight / kiriki press

It's always interesting to see trends come and go. Fashion trends are the most cyclical (70's bell bottom jeans are popping up everywhere after a 40 year hiatus and scrunchies are creeping back onto shelves... whyy!?), but interior design trends come and go just the same.

The one trend that I can't get enough of is handcrafted goods; woven textiles in particular. Woven wall hangings are EVERYWHERE (mass-produced in Target, even... I'm wondering if they are already past their prime), and embroidery/cross stitching is becoming just as popular. A few years ago, I'd associate cross stitching with my grandmother's generation. Now, there are artists taking the old technique of embroidery/cross stitching and turning them into modern, beautiful works of art (Maricor Maricar in particular - their work is stunning).

I applaud all of the artists making old art forms "cool" again (not that these techniques weren't cool, they just might not be applicable to a younger generation) - calligraphy, embroidery/cross stitching, etc. These art forms have been around for decades, centuries even in some cases, so it's wonderful to hold on to those techniques and modernize them for everyday use and appreciation.

via

Anyhow, off my soapbox I step... the reason I'm preaching about old art forms is because I stumbled onto these sweet little creatures online a few days ago and it sparked the thought process above. How freaking cute are these animals? I don't have children yet but I contemplated buying one or two because they're just too adorable.

via

Kiriki Press, based out of Canada, is an indie design foundry that creates DIY embroidery kits in varying skill levels. Ranging from skill level 1 (the monkey) to skill level 3 (the raccoon), these little animals are whimsical and look like a perfect weekend project.

via
via

via

via

I seriously can't get enough of these animals - the fox and bear, in particular.

My sister cross stitches the cutest (sometimes hilariously inappropriate) sayings and I get so excited seeing the new pieces she's working on. How do you feel about old trends, like cross stitching, coming back in a modern way? I, for one, can't get enough!



home style / diy pendant lamp inspiration

Statement lighting can cost an arm and a leg, and when you're on a budget, it can seem out of reach. That's why DIY blogs exist. Ranging from "ridiculously easy" to "you must have all the patience in the world to make that", these DIY statement lights I've pulled together are my current favorites...

colorwhirl | diy pendant lamp inspiration

One sweet day our kitchen nook will have a pendant light, and I'm leaning toward a DIY. Thankfully we have a while until the kitchen will be tackled, so Tim and I have lots of time to make thoughtful decisions.

What about you? Does your home (or rental) have room for a DIY lamp? If you're a regular MacGyver when it comes to DIY projects, please stop by and teach me your ways!

DIYs, clockwise from the top right: minimal gold pendant / white & teal industrial pendants / copper wire pendant / geo wood lamp / faceted gold pendant / bentwood pendant (a knockoff of this West Elm pendant that I love!) / feather lamp / mid-century chandelier