posted by on 2017.01.18, under DIY

Ever since I saw the James Turrell show at the Guggenheim in New York last Fall, I’ve had lighting on the brain. Turrell’s masterful shaping of light has made me look at the possibilities of art and design in a whole new way. Wowed by his light installations, I started looking into alternative lighting for the home.

James Turrell reminds me that light can be 3-dimensional­, so I’ve found some amazing Turrell-inspired lighting below.

Thanks to updated designs, we no longer need to settle for generic Christmas lights. I previously posted about the Restoration Hardware fab-orific light garland in my Double Duty Holiday Décor Guide, but bulb string lights are also a fave of mine. I’m sure you’ve seen these pop up a lot lately, from restaurants to outdoor events to rooftop terraces, the bulb string lights add vintage romance instantly. It’s like Paris in a box (of lights). Bulb String Lights, $25-35 Bulb String Lights, $25-35


The dioder LED light set from Ikea offers the most versatility when it comes to designing with light. Position these color-changing light strips virtually anywhere – under the bed, above cabinets, under a desk, behind a tv, for a futuristic look.

Dioder LED Light Set, $40

Dioder LED Light Set, $40


Designed by Peter Bristol, the Corner Light is the perfect embodiment of multi-dimensional lighting. Although a pricier alternative, it’s such a minimalist statement piece that you won’t need much else to complete a room.

Peter Bristol Corner Light, $550

Peter Bristol Corner Light, $550


Sconces are often overlooked when it comes to lighting, yet there are a boatload of sconce light designs just waiting to be noticed. I like this Caged Edison Sconce. Screw in a different light style whenever you feel like it for a whole new look.

Caged Edison Bulb, $90

Overstock Caged Edison Sconce, $90


Neon signs are the perfect choice for 3-dimensional décor, they provide a unique source of light while doubling as wall art. Search “neon sign” on ebay to see a hearty selection of affordable neon delights, or get one custom made.

eBay Neon Signs, from $20

eBay Neon Signs, from $20


For the commitment-phobe, fake it with this color changing dvd. Just hit play to transform your TV into a James Turrell light installation.

Color Light Changing DVD from designboom, $30

Color Light Changing DVD from designboom, $30

Happy Lighting!

originally posted on



posted by on 2013.01.14, under DIY

Recently, my roommate and I scored a free TV outside of the Housing Works thrift store near our place. Of course, it’s an enormous, junky,  box of a thing.  Housing Works didn’t even feel like dealing with it. But, hey, it’s a functioning television and we’re college students, right? For us, it was the high-light of the week. Since the day the two of us laboriously lugged the set up our three flights (OK, alright, a lovely gentleman and his dear tween son helped us out), it has been sitting on the floor of our living room. Sad. Alone. Banished to sit on the corner like a problem child punished in day care. Being opposed to the soulless look of many media stands or “entertainment centers” out there, I’ve started to brainstorm for some creative ways to prop up my brand spankin’ new, really old TV.  Join me on my brave quest to get my pathetic television off my dusty, wood floor.

Let’s take “TV Stand” literally… I’m warming up to the idea I had of placing my newish television atop an enormous, inoperative, vintage television when I saw this one on Ebay for only $60! I could leave the vintage tv ‘as is,’ or I could get crafty, painting it a bright color or playing with prints to display on the screen, as a frame.


I also love a western-chic vibe. How better to achieve this look than with a  barrel? I think, if I could find m’self the perfect ol’ barrel, I would paint it with a glossy, vibrant color that matches my interior. Picture a very modern acidic green or even a silver to revamp the antique piece.


antique barrel – moonstruckcottage, $80


They may be a bit overdone, but I don’t care… I’m a sucker for a suitcase. I love the dreamy touch that stacked vintage suitcases give to a place. A perfect tv stand substitute. Though they might have me turning to the travel channel every hour of the day. Online, I’ve found cases for $25 and $24.95, and if you want to cut to the chase and buy a ‘suitcase table’ – see below – it’ll only cost you $90 on Etsy!

stacked suitcase table - auntsisterspicks, $90

stacked suitcase table – from hunter dear’s etsy shop, $90


Really liking this little ladder. I see tv and film-themed coffee table books filling the four steps…

davis accent ladder - world market, $89.99

davis accent ladder – world market, $89.99

I hope I’ve inspired some of you to think outside of the box when it comes to displaying your tube! Would love to hear your favorites, or your own alternatives for the dreaded TV stand…



posted by on 2013.01.09, under DIY, Get the Look, Shopping Guide

You don’t have to be OCD to love the organizational high of labeling everything in sight. And there’s something still so charming about the label makers manufactured back in the 70’s and 80’s, before digital budged its way in. Such old-school labellers are so textural, so boldly colored, so painfully retro. Score one of your own on Ebay (Exhibit A) and start labeling all kind of things besides just cupboards, files, etc.



Wine Glass Markers: Even those wine glass bangles start to look alike after a few. Labeling party guests’ glasses with their own name leaves little guessing work.



Tiny Door Labels: Dress the doors in your home with colorful—albeit elfin-sized—labels. This helps guests differentiate between a bathroom door and a closet door without helping them too much.



Last-Minute Greeting Cards: Label makers are especially great for whipping up a birthday or get-well card in a jiffy. Simply type out the subject (i.e. “Sorry you broke your leg, you big klutz!”), stick it on the front of a blank card, scribble a heartfelt line or two within and voila. -4

Book Labels: Never let book borrowers doubt for one second who that book belongs to by plastering your labeled name inside each cover. Pseudonyms are fun too.







posted by on 2013.01.07, under DIY

Find: Small wood dining dining table

Location: My apartment

This week my “score” was basically handed to me. It had been left in the apartment I was renting by the previous tenant and was just begging for some DIY. It is the perfect size for the space we are in and I was drawn to the detail of the table (and you can’t beat free). I kicked around a couple different ideas and in the end I went with a fresh paint job to brighten up the whole room!

Table in original state

Table in original state

I kind of love the idea of painting the entire table set the same color. Painting the table, bench and chair the same color the same great shade of green does such a great job of brightening up that space and giving a fairly rustic dining set a little edge.

Farm Table seen on Remodelista

Farm Table seen on Remodelista

Painting the table with a lace pattern is something I’ve always wanted to do and never had the chance. I decided against doing it on a dining table due to the current state of the table top as well as the wear and tear it will get currently being our only table in that room! This DIY is super simple and I will definitely be tucking this idea for future end tables etc.

Lace painted table at A Beautiful Mess

Lace painted table at A Beautiful Mess

If the wood on this table were a little better I could have done a nice sand and stain to keep it simple. It would have need a LOT more sanding then I would have felt comfortable doing indoors. With the type of legs the table has, sanding and staining evenly would have been really difficult and I imagine I wouldn’t have been as thrilled with my final result. This is a good DIY for those looking to keep it simple.

Wood staining DIY at

Wood staining DIY at

I am obsessed with the table now that it has a bright, BRIGHT turquoise paint job, with metallic bronze details no less.  After throwing a bright pink linen table runner on it for protection I loved it even more, which is kind of weird. I love how it injects some color into the living room/kitchen area and it has since given me a ton of inspiration for ways to build around it!

Final Product!

Final Product!



posted by on 2012.12.20, under DIY

Find: Shipping Pallets

Location: Construction Site on 11th street.

There is a house down the street from me that has been doing some sort of remodel for at least 3 months.  There is constantly a crew bringing materials in and out of the house and I have been keeping an eye on the dumpster at the curb, hoping some interesting finds make there way out there for me to snag! A few months ago I came across a DIY post (featured below) that used shipping pallets as paneling for an accent wall. The end result was so warm and interesting I made a mental note to incorporate that into my home one day. While out and about the other day I came across a lone pallet inside the fence of the construction site.  I love the bright yellow strip of color on the pallet and it has the perfect about of distressing. I’m hoping that it makes its way into the dumpster soon and I can make myself something fun! In the meantime, here are some options for those lucky ones with shipping pallets lying around.

This DIY is a dream project for me! I love the perfect weathering of the wood they have and the way the wood adds warmth and texture to their bedroom. They do a great job of explaining the process step-by-step, with care to explain any obstacles you might come across. I love the imperfections and character the wall has and cannot wait to try a project similar to this one.



I love how this winery re-purposed their shipping materials and wine casks to make shelving in their tasting room. Stacked pallets, with a little stabilization, would make a great counter space and shelving unit.  If you do not have/want a counter the depth of the pallet, there is always the option to cut down the pallet to the size you want and continue on as planned with the DIY. With a little creative woodworking and crafting you would be able to turn this into a great little bar/wine shelf!

creative winery shelving


This is what I am hoping to do with my pallet. I love the idea of a rustic coffee table, especially with wheels! The natural wood would look great in my living room and the bright yellow stripe on the one I want (or added to any pallet) would make a great pop of color.

outdoor pallet table from Joy Ever After


Now that I live in a city, I am drawn to any and all urban gardening DIY’s. This would be a great project to add some green to any apartment patio!

urban gardening ideas from life on the balcony