Modern Outdoor Lights

I’ve put in a few good hours looking for mid century-ish exterior wall lights and I thought I’d share some favorites at all different price points! Our newly bright white house needs some adornment after its fresh coat of paint. As in FIVE new exterior lights. When working on a project where there are so few details, the details all really matter so I set out to find some contrasty, bold lights in an interesting but minimal shape to pop on our house. Paying for the painting has left a big vacancy in the house project budget so my parameters were extremely cheap for this upgrade. In an effort to save money, I decided to refurbish and paint our old porch light (a vintage double cone light) for the front, at least for the time being.

Around back, I needed 4 matching lights for our garage/backyard area. My first thought was to buy minimal cylinder sconces. But the more I pondered it, the more I worried that my house would look like just another basic ranch trying to be something it’s not. And the more I wanted lighting that was less ubiquitous and more playful.

I expanded my search and landed on a mid century cone shape, purchasing these very reasonably priced black single cone sconces. I love the simple but beefy triangle, and the price was even better! I bought them from Amazon Warehouse (returns, but like new), making them even super affordable. They haven’t arrived yet but I’m hoping the inverted cone will provide a lovely counterpoint, in shape and color, to our exterior! 

 

But dang did I ever find some other beautiful options that I might start saving up for…

For obvious reasons, these are blowing my mind. Sadly out of my budget, even though I think they are quite reasonable at around $300 – especially if you only need one and not five. BUT HOW AMAZING! It’s rare to see such elegant mid-century inspired exterior lights. AND THEY COME IN COLORS LIKE TURQUOISE TOO (shown at top)! And they are huge! And there are matching outdoor pendantsMy favorite all around source for authentic looking mid century lights, both interior and exterior, has to be Practical Props. Prices are nice and the lines are modern all the way. We have one of their baby sputniks in our entry and love it. This bowtie, double cone light would be my top pick for a whole house upgrade if/when I ever get there in the future. This profile is not easy to come by with an outdoor rating and that price is so good!!!  Pinhole version here

I love the look of minimal architectural sconces and there are so many options right now! Again, Practical Props, would be my go to.How about these globe torches??!! Yay or nay? Looking straight outta the 60’s, I give ’em an enthusiastic yay.

If you are looking for cheap, extremely affordable lights exist! We lived with these globe lights in our backyard for years as a placeholder (that we bought even cheaper at ReStore!) and they did the job. My husband actually lobbied to keep them because they are quirky and give off a good amount of light. I was ready to upgrade to something more substantial this time, but these globes, readily available for $20-30, are a great option!

These jar lights, too, are very cute and only $12! TWELVE DOLLARS! Maybe not for every house, but could hit the spot on a funky little modern shack.

Now, this one is intriguing. LED lights scary me because: SO COLD SOMETIMES! I picture these as super unique and fun garage lights…with warm light!

So are these cool or just bad weird??? I think they could work on the right house.

Traditional lanterns aren’t usually something I’m drawn to, but this is a great modern version.You all always have the best ideas so please add any favorites you have in the comments!!! xoxo

Advertisements

Macrame Pendant Lamp Cord DIY

I’m sharing a super simple way to beef up plain or ugly pendant electrical cords today! I have and love this old wicker IKEA lamp, but the plain white cord was an eyesore and I finally, years later, had enough and decided to just something about it. The best solution seemed to be a 100 ft of string plus a bunch of hippie knots in the form of this chunky macrame rope. I am so happy with the little bit of warmth and texture it adds to our den!I used this string and watched this video, using the lamp cord in place of the middle two strands.I roughly halved my string and looped it around the light cage inside the shade.The knot is so easy to make. Use the left string to make a 4 shape over the cord, then take the right string and go over the left strand, under the intersection of the left and middle, and then up through the triangle of the 4.  The whole project took about 2 hours and 100 ft of string yielded approximately 10 ft of macrame. The only troubleshooting I had to do was take care that my string wasn’t twisting and warping my knots, and also that my knot tightness was consistent through the whole project for a uniform look. I did a snug, but not too tight knot.I want to macrame all the lights now!

On a personal note, our family was devastated to say goodbye to our beloved dog Jackson last week. It was unexpected and sudden and not at all what we had hoped this year would bring. His absence has been hugely felt in our home, like I could never imagine. I want to thank you all so much for the love on IG. You are such an uplifting and decent community and you truly add value to my life so THANK YOU. If you have a doggie, do their favorite things with them as much as you can because you never know when that last walk, wrestle, or eating out of the trash may be…

Fences and Acquisitions

fence primingHey everybody! I’ve been doing so much painting around here and zero blogging, laundry, cooking, nail upkeep, vacuuming, or toilet scrubbing. Basically, me and my house are disgusting, but my fences are looking fresh. I spent the last few weeks repairing and painting a shared fence with our neighbor and then I got to looking at my backyard fences. They were so bad that I panicked and started to paint them before El Nino supposedly arrives. And then I found termites (live ones in the ground and the fence!) when prepping for paint so that’s added hours and drama. And then my thoughts turned towards my peeling house and my wonderful neighbor had the idea that I should just paint the woodwork myself (half is stucco and just needs washing, she noted, and it would be good for at least a few more years…genius! Thanks!!!) so that is on deck, and soon because people won’t shut up about how much rain is coming. Plus, I still have the dining/family room painting on my mind, though it may not happen ASAP with these new developments. Either way, here I am in the middle of a painting marathon. Yesterday I even destroyed a plastic kid’s chair (and my elbows) in my madness by Matt Foley falling/crushing it into a thousand pieces while trying to reach a high spot without getting out a ladder. All part of my future children’s book, If You Give a Jenny a Paint Brush.vintage tulip table coffee knoll saarinen burke laminate top black baseMore excitingly, I’ve acquired some radical things recently, which means things are coming together. The most unexpected and thrilling was this vintage tulip coffee table. I made my kids eat dinner in the car so I could pounce on this before the competition saw it on Craigslist. I’m sure it’s a knock off and not an original Knoll (a Burke?), it has a chipped laminate top, and the base is scratched. But that’s all great by me. I’ve been looking for 2 years for a tulip dining table for the patio because that’s the ONLY table I want out there. I had finally accepted it as an impossible dream because my hands are physically incapable of parting with $500 for a table. Literally a week later, this coffee table showed up for ridiculously cheap and I think it’s my solution…I’m going to build a bigger white top for it (I’ll save the original, no worries) and possibly re-powder coat the base if I can’t clean it up. I love the idea of a coffee table as outdoor dining space! Why didn’t I think of that sooner? Now, I’m on the hunt for some chairs and I know exactly which ones. Wish me good Craigslist vibes, even though it’s lookin’ like I already have them.vintage mid century lamp orange lava genie teak hugeAnd then, as you may have noticed here, this lamp of my dreams entered my life. I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. Filling my house with things I unequivocally love is my idea of living well. I ridded myself of a few lesser loved lamps, so I’m all squared up. Welcome to the family, big guy.vintage cone fireplace preway black lightsAnd then there was a big purchase: I finally bought a new rug for the den. The old rug (above) was cheap to begin with, small, thin, dirty and cracking. It may not look THAT bad, but it lived through 2 muddy Ohio winter/springs and was super gross. I didn’t like to hang out on it. Finding the perfect combo of pattern/color, size, material and price is daunting to me, so I never buy good rugs. But I am so happy with this purchase. The new rug, below, (which I almost bought on Rugs USA during their usual 75% off sale but found on Overstock cheaper, though their prices seem to change daily?) is huge and fluffy and CLEAN!
preway fireplace nuloom rug hallween decorations vintage lightsOn looks: I was concerned it was a little too Moroccan-trendy and would look dated in a few years (do you love that I said that when the rug sits under a giant passé fireplace?), but I wanted thick white shag that kept up, but didn’t compete, with the other crazy stuff going on in here. The brown squares work so well in this weird, colorful room. I seriously spend so much more time in here now, which is how it should be because I love this room more than a person should love a room. I didn’t get a full room shot yet, but above shows part of the cozy thing, along with the Halloween “decorations” I barely mustered up the energy to put up because Weather has decided October in California will be so hot that you’ll be too tired to put out Halloween decorations. (Decorations that Domino Magazine featured on their site….WHAAATTTT?! Thanks Domino!!!) saarinen-womb-chair-medium-knollI’ll leave with an incredible tale of a not-purchase: Just days ago I found myself saying “I’m gonna have to pass on this vintage Saarinen womb chair and ottoman for $75”. What? (Above is a new repro version from Knoll.) An original! Black frame, vintage fabric and all. It undoubtedly needed reupholstering. And that’s where the problem popped up. I was thinking it would be a couple $100 to reupholster, which I was open to considering, but still not 100% sold on. Then my quote from my favorite good and honest upholsterer was $1500!!! Not including fabric. I made the mature decision to pass. Ouch. My instinct is to just buy it and wait until free reupholstering jobs are falling from the sky, but that makes no sense. My husband jokes that I am gonna leave him with a “reverse will”, where instead of inheriting my stuff, he inherits my list of things to acquire. This would have made my list in my college years, but I kind of got over it because it seemed so unattainable. And today I honestly don’t need or have a place for it, so it’s officially not on the reverse will…which is why passing it up was the right, but sad move. But it is still on Craigslist, so maybe this still isn’t over (cue Ryan G.)? Join me next time for the riveting conclusion.