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.

Cute, Modern, and Cheap(er) Ceiling Fans

First off, I know I haven’t blogged in a month. Super lame. Sorry. I thought summer would be full of hours for house projects, but next to nothing happened. Very important things were accomplished, but none had anything to do with the house. We played board games, packed (and then unpacked) for trips, and half successfully taught 2 little humans to swim (so much harder than it sounds). The start of school never brings much relief either. Honestly, it induces panic and stress in me and every year I spend a week researching homeschool curriculum options because I hate having my kids away for hours every day while they sit and do worksheets at school. To add to that, my youngest started kindergarten this year and it has been an agonizing week for both of us. And now all I’m back with is….a ceiling fan post. My fragile and shredded self knows how to bring it.Jonathan Adler Bedroom Architectural Digest Shelter IslandIf you remember, we don’t have air conditioning in the best town in the world because the weather, much like the people, is mellow and temperate. I love you, SLO. There are usually only a few nights a year that require supplementation to the ocean breezes blowin’ through the window. Those nights happened to occur this week, just as our old gross master ceiling fan gave out, and really pushed me to make a quick decision and purchase. I debated skipping a fan in here when nothing jumped out at me and getting a huge rad light and a portable fan instead, but then I talked myself down from that cliff…no reason to live in discomfort just for the sake of design. “Good design” should intrinsically make your life better, not leave you dripping with sweat and dreaming of window air conditioning units. (Who am I kidding? Reasoning didn’t actually pushed me towards this decision. It was the until-now-not-noticed ceiling fan in this Jonathan Adler room. If it’s good enough for JA, it’s definitely good enough for dumpy me.) Ceiling fans are hard because there are so few examples of amazingly designed rooms with fans. Designers either completely forego ceiling fans or go with the white on white…which, to me, seems like a cop-out. If you are going to go with a ceiling fan, at least own it and get a great looking one. The white isn’t fooling anybody into thinking there isn’t a fan up there, and usually just looks cheap, in my opinion.

The problem, we all know, is that there aren’t many great looking ones in existence. Many bad fans, very few decent ones, especially at decent price points. I was really banking on there being a ton of great options in brass if I held off on purchasing a year or two after purchasing the house. Wrong. Ceiling fan designers: What are you even doing with your life? Ceiling fan design is still lagging even while other home products (faucets, lighting, hardware) jet off into the future with so many cute, modern, brassy options currently. So, the same as it ever is, the ceiling fan search was a lame task and I didn’t come up with anything that I loved as much as my other ceiling fans, though I did unearth some decent options, all of which I’m sharing here! Sadly every fan I’m considering involves some sort of painting on my part (per usual) because I’m stickin’ to brass in this house. There are a ton of great options in nickel or aluminum, so those of you looking in that family have an easier road ahead.

My only requirements were a workable wood tone (light maple to match our floors or a realistic walnut to tie into our furniture), either brass or matte black metal, and a clean/interesting design. Oh ya, and kinda on the cheap side too because I’m also on the cheap side and dropping $400 on a fan isn’t happening. Here are some of the contenders:

GE Phantom. REAL WOOD, good looking, clean lines, interesting, but not sure about the “bourbon” finish:mid century modern ceiling fan woodCasa Delta-Wing. Again with the real wood. This fan is really, really pretty. Change that oil-rubbed bronze to black and it’d be perfect:









Casa Delta-Wing with light. The same fan as above but with a brushed nickel finish and a light. So much better without a light, but lights are practical and this fan is nice:




Possini Admiralty. This would fully be my first choice if it wasn’t out of my price range. The wood blades (tung?) are gorgeous: *Update: it goes on sale sometimes and I totally scored it for a great price, painted it and love it!




mid century modern ceiling fan wood




Modern Fan Ball. Adorable and fun, with a maple blade option on some sites, but pushing my budget:




mid century modern ceiling fan





Designer’s Choice Quattro. LOVE the bullet shape. The nickel won’t work for my house but there’s also an elm wood and oil rubbed bronze option. This fan in a satin brass would be a certain yes!! Ceiling fan designers???mid century modern ceiling fanHampton Bay Trusseau. Like the cone shape, the reversible maple/walnut blades, and the price: *Update: I purchased this one and returned it because the blades look cheap/fake in person, though the housing is quite nice.Casa Vieja Revue. I’m feeling the modern design and low profile:






Casa Concourse. Unsure about this one? Great price, reversible maple/walnut blades, but maybe too choppy looking:





mid century modern ceiling fan





One of these is shipping to us right now as I write! Let’s hope we (not the me part of we, just my husband) can get it installed before next summer! UPDATE: here’s what we bought and it only took two summers to hang it….