Tri Pendant Beauty...To Do Yourself!

May 30, 2013

My Inspiration

I've been in the mood for a new dining fixture and had just the thing in mind. A clean, sophisticated piece that would place some bright direct light on the table (as I do quite a bit of work at the table), but also cozy, romantic, and dimmable, with a bit of Parisian chic. Was I asking too much?...NO.

Here is the result...and I love it.

The shades are made with a newspaper and glue mixture and then painted gold on the inside (giving them some good reflective power) and black on the outside. As opposed to being perfectly smooth, they resemble Geodes (gems on the inside and plain textured stone on the outside).

Here's how you can create this pendant light yourself.

To make the shades, fill a 4 gallon bucket full of torn newspaper (small pieces, about 2" x 2"). The smaller they are, the easier and faster they will absorb the glue and water mixture. I ended up using one Sunday SF Chronicle (without the glossy ads). Then add your glue and water mixture (enough to totally saturate the paper) The mixture should be 3 parts water to one part Elmers All Purpose Glue. *To accelerate the process, I used very hot water but you don't have to.

After allowing the paper and glue mixture to soak for about 5 hours, get your hands dirty. Mix the paper and glue/water mixture with your hands while kneading and tearing the paper. It should quickly turn into a clay-like pulp. Once you have all the lumps broken down you are ready to start shaping your shades.

I wanted an 18" diameter shade so I used a kids bouncy ball (that I found at Toy's R Us) as my form. To easily work with the form, I just placed it on top of a bowl, drew a line around the ball where I wanted the bottom edge of my shades to be, covered the top of the ball with plastic (so that I could easily pull off my shade when dry), taped a piece of jute twine to the very top of the ball (which would create the opening for my electrical wire), and started placing my paper clay mixture on the form.

The paper clay mixture is VERY easy to work with. Just pull a glob out of your bucket, squeeze the excess water out, and place it on your form (ball) while flattening it down. Continue in this manner until you have the area of your ball that you have marked as your shade shape covered. Then you just need to keep the form dry and still for about 2 days. Once the exterior of your shade feels dry and stiff, work the sides gently while pulling it off your ball form. Then place your shade upside down in another bowl for the inside of the shade to completely dry. *I used the same form for all 3 of my shades so it took me about a week to complete the 3 shades. The good news is that your paper clay mixture in your bucket will keep for the week as long as you cover it with plastic and keep it in a cool dry spot.

Once the shades are completely dry, inside and out, it's time to paint them. I painted the inside of the shades with 2 coats of gold fabric paint (letting them dry between coats). Then I turned them over and spray painted the outside of the shades a flat black.

You're done with the shades. Now it's time to put together the electrical pieces. I painted 3 bakelite sockets the same gold that I used on the interior of the shades. *I used bakelite sockets as they do not get as hot as the brass or porcelain sockets.

Using black rayon covered 18 gauge electrical wire, I attached the sockets, strung them through the top of the shades and then through my homemade canopy.

To avoid having to have a large canopy specially made, I visited Sur La Table Hardware Kitchen Store and found something that would work perfectly. A 16" diameter by 2" deep cake pan. I just drilled 4 holes in it; 3 equidistant on the perimeter of the round pan (for hanging the pendants) and 1 directly in the center (to attach the canopy to the ceiling electrical box). Then I primed and painted it the same color gold that I used on the inside of the shades.

This was an easy project but it did take a couple of weeks to complete as I only had about an hour a day to work on it. Once the shades are complete, you could easily get the entire project done in a day. It's worth every minute of time spent.

Try it!...Lori


Stop And Smell The Roses

May 11, 2013

The best way to freshen up your home and decor, at little or no cost, is with flowers. If you have them in your yard, as so many homes I've seen over the past few weeks do, just clip a few and bring them inside.

All you need is one in a bud vase on your night table. If it happens to be a rose, the subtle, delicate fragrance will float through the room and give it a fresh, clean, scent. Not only that, your room will look redecorated and alive!

You can also just clip a few from your garden and pl...
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May 2, 2013

Just like in fashion, sometimes the finishing touch makes all the difference! This is an easy touch that you can save loads on if you are willing to do it yourself. It really is easy.

 After Framing
I have several canvas paintings. Some that I have collected by favorite artists, and others that my son or I have created. Usually they go for years without framing. They can be hung so easily without one and look just fine. I decided that it was time to frame this one that I created which hangs ov...
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Stylin' + Finding a Desk Space Where There Is None.

April 11, 2013
Hope everyone had a great spring break! I did, and I'm back with a bang!

Styling a room in your home can be daunting, but oh will it make a difference. Styling, the art of arranging accessories in particular, can really pull a room together.

When photos are taken of interiors for design magazines, there's usually a stylist on site to make it all look perfect. You don't think they look like that before the stylist walks in do you? Here are a few simple things that you can easily do yourself at h...
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Fancy A Finial?

March 22, 2013

I certainly can. I needed a new finial for my lamp which had been missing one for what seems like years!

I decided to do something different instead of the same old little finial that no one ever pays attention to. Here's how I did it.

I just went to the local hardware store...the one that carries lamp parts (mine was Berkeley Ace Hardware), and picked up a finial with prongs just waiting for something to grab on to.

Next, I stopped at my local bead store (Baubles and Beads) and chose a rusty...
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March 12, 2013

My favorite articulated sconce 
I was running around today trying to find some fun things to style a photo shoot that I'm doing Thursday. I didn't have time to go far, but needed lots to choose from, so my destination was 4th Street in Berkeley.

Feeling desperate, I walked in to the new Rejuvenation on 4th street. I've shopped there before, but only on-line for clients that needed period light fixtures (which they specialize in). 

They just recently started opening stores outside of Portland ...
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Designing Music

March 6, 2013

 Can you guess what this is?

When I first layed eyes on it I thought it was an amazing art installation,

but actually, it is a functional wall treatment that randomizes sound waves.

This one is in the most incredible recording studio I have ever seen, 25th Street Recording in Oakland.

All of the posts and beams are reclaimed fir,

the floor is reclaimed fir that was originally stadium seating back in the midwest,

the brick walls are all original to the building, which used to be an old auto bo...
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Tulips Gone Wild!

February 27, 2013

What do you think of these chairs?

If you need that statement piece, here it is! They are "Bouquet" chairs by the artist and furniture designer Tokujin Yoshioka.

Fluffy, soft, and totally unique.





A Saarinen Tulip Chair Hybrid 
Just use the same method to make the chair as I did to make my Moonball Pendant Light. Instead of using coffee filters (like I did for the pendant light) use felt squares.

Let me know if any of you decide to try it. If you're in the mood for a fabulous pendant ligh...
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Beefing Up The Entry Wreath

February 21, 2013

After the holidays I put my succulent wreath back up on the front door...but it's grown, gotten a little leggy, and was in need of a facelift! 



Not wanting to add more succulents, I thought I'd do something even easier and more interesting...Tillandsia's! This was super easy and added another texture which I always like to do.

I just clipped off all of the dry and dead leaves

and played with the placement of the new Tillandsia elements.

Once I settled on their individual spots ...
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Door Knob Organizing

February 15, 2013

I was really getting tired of looking at the mess on my door knob. I come home from working out and throw my stuff on the door knob. I come in from the cold and throw my jacket on the knob...Clearly too much stuff on the knob! My bedroom looks so much nicer without this mess.

My remedy? 3 more door knobs on the back of the door.

Actually they are drawer knobs! I really didn't want hooks, I'm just tired of the hook look I guess.

I purchased three brass drawer knobs at the hardware store.

They e...
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About Me

As an Interior Designer, I am constantly looking for new ways of re-purposing and re-using what people already have as well as finding new resources for affordable furnishings. This is just a place to share great resources, ideas, information about the trades, and ways of doing things yourself to help make your own home fabulous! 

- Lori Pepe-Lunché,  more about me...

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