DIY ($30) DINING ROOM LIGHT

$30 diy dining room light | via: chatham st. house

What do you do when you want a home that looks straight out of House Beautiful, but your budget is more in line with Target pricing? You get crafty! During a recent sample sale I scored an oversized dome light for just $10 bucks, the issue? It was a hideous shade of aqua! Instead of passing on the deal, I decided to put my art degree to good use and reinvent the lighting. A couple of coats of paint (and a lot of lessons learned) later, it's the crown jewel of our dining room.

My first course of action was to wash the light and shorten the massively long cord to a more reasonable length. To do this, I unscrewed the closure at the crown (where the light connects to the ceiling) and pulled it through to my desired length. I then tightened the screw back up, cut the cord about 6" away from the crown, and used wire strippers to clean off about 1/2" inch of the cord for mounting.

$30 diy dining room light | via: chatham st. house

There was a lot of trial and error with this project. I first tried painting the light with gold metallic paint, ignoring everything I know about painting (i.e. prime the surface before painting). It peeled off almost immediately. I then tried using DecoArt's Metallic Lustre Wax Finish first, followed by the gold paint and this stuck much better. The paste hardens really quickly, creating a seal.

It did not however look like a real metallic fixture....Back to the drawing board.

$30 diy dining room light | via: chatham st. house

I finally caved and decided to go the spray paint route, using the metallic wax finish as a top coat. This gave it the burnished brass look I was looking for. Finally I cut off the worn out fabric casing on the cord and carefully wrapped it in electrically tape, keeping it the original black.

So, a couple of notes for those wanting to attempt this at home:

  1. Prime your surface first
  2. Spray paint will give the smoothest, more finished look
  3. I highly recommend DecoArt's Metallic Lustre Wax Finish as a sealant. It dries rock hard and looks divine
  4. Thin the wax finish with water before applying, a very small amount will do. This will allow the spray paint undercoat to partially show through
  5. Polish the finish after it dries. The more you polish, the shinier it will become

I'm very happy with the results and will be on the hunt for more thrifty light purchases in the future. It only gets easier with every project, right? right...? - b. 

$30 diy dining room light | via: chatham st. house

    THE CHANGE OF SEASON STIRS WITHIN

    couplings 20 | goodbye summer | via: bekuh b. of chatham st. house

    Summer is rapidly coming to a close. The evenings feel quieter, shadows are getting longer, and my yearning for sweaters has reappeared. The change of seasons stirs something inside me and I can't help but feel the chapters of my life change with them. 

    This is particularly true this year as I embark on a new journey in my career. After four and a half years with Urban Outfitters, Inc. I have decided it is time for me to find myself elsewhere for awhile. Instead of rushing into this "elsewhere" however, I'm giving myself a moment to pause, reflect, and evaluate what's next. For someone who is often described as a workaholic, this is a gigantic leap for me and one I do not take without hesitation. 

    It's terrifying to think I'm walking away from a hard fought career in digital marketing and into the unknown. What if I can't find a job when I try to re-enter the workforce, extending my three month sabbatical to six months or a year? What if no one understands this need for a break and holds it against me in interviews? What if...I won't bore you with the endless self-doubt. All of this to say, I'm not naive in the risk I've taken, but I've taken it nonetheless.

    The reason? I've been working so hard I've forgotten what it was I was passionate about to begin with. My creativity has shriveled to almost nonexistent and I'm just not fun anymore. I got so busy making a living, I've actually forgotten how to live. It wasn't enough to simply say these things, attempting to make strides towards them, I had to stop completely in my tracks and reroute.

    I'm also excited though. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my center, spending time with Ryan in the mornings, and examining what is most important to me. I'm eternally grateful I have a husband to support me in this endeavor, and savings to alleviate some of the stress of leaving immediately vs. holding out for whatever the next position will be. My one goal in all of this is to find the girl who used to laugh uncontrollably and hold onto her for dear life.

    Goodbye summer.  - b.


    WEEKEND PROJECTS PT. 2

     Processed with VSCO with oak2 preset

    Raise your hand if you spend your weekends working on an endless list of home projects? No? Must only be me then. Lately I've been tackling some of the smaller annoyances on my list, along with one really big project (see project 3). I like to think that together they make a bigger overall impact. Here are 3 to-dos I'm very happy to have crossed off the list - 

    weekend projects pt. 2 | mismatched door knobs | via: chatham st. house
    weekend projects pt. 2 | mismatched door knobs | via: chatham st. house
    weekend projects pt. 2 | mismatched door knobs | via: chatham st. house

    Project 1: Replacing mismatched door handles (sort of)

    Fun fact, all of the door knobs in our house were different styles and finishes, no two were alike. Kind of like snowflakes, but unlike snowflakes I was not a fan of this unique quirk. The issue with immediately going out and buying new door knobs, was the fact I want all of the features in the hall and foyer to be aged brass, and the features in the second floor rooms to be brushed nickel. What to do?

    We have 4, non-closet, interior doors - 2 bedroom doors, 1 basement door, and 1 bathroom door. The bathroom obviously needs to lock, but the other doors were a little unnecessary. So, I bought 2 Schlage Georgian Privacy Knobs (1 stain nickel / 1 aged brass), and 2 Schlage Georgian Passage Knobs (1 stain nickel / 1 aged brass).

    I took the knobs apart and created my own version of mismatched doorknobs - The interior knob is the Schlage satin nickel, and the exterior knob is Schlage aged brass. I'd like to think they're a little more tasteful than our original scenario though.

    weekend projects pt. 2 | updating a heating grate | via: chatham st. house
    weekend projects pt. 2 | updating a heating grate | via: chatham st. house

    Project 2: A temporary heating grate update

    Next on the list was a rather large and ugly intake vent in our living room. It was rusty, beat up, and an all around eye sore. I don't have the budget to upgrade it yet, so I scrubbed it down, and gave it a good coat or two with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint.  It's not perfect, but it looks a lot better and will keep me from wanting to rip my hair out every time I open our basement door.

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    Project 3: Stripping the staircase

    Our biggest renovation project to-date has been the staircase. We've spent the last month slowly (slowly) stripping the steps, sanding them, repairing the banisters, and testing paint colors. The detailed woodwork has been revealed and it made the entire effort worthwhile. We thought we were sold on a paint color, and then I started testing shades on the wall and realized I don't at all. I'm looking for an almost black blue, but the lighter walls are making it read navy not black. Back to the drawing board... - b.