Giving an Old Lamp a New Lease on Life.

J and I both brought things to the marriage, in terms of furniture and accessories. Most of my things included furniture pieces that Papaw (that means Grandfather, for those that don’t speak Southern) built, and J’s included an array of eclectic lamps. Most of these lamps are pretty fun, although “antique” in nature. Which equals yay, in our house.

If you take nothing else from this blog, I hope you can see how approachable these projects are! Really. Imagine me there next to you, clapping and dancing while you complete these projects on your own, mmkay? Clapping YaySo, the entryway lamp. Remember when we talked about changing out the Fluorescent bulb with a CREE LED, and it was awesome and life-changing? Yes. Well, still is. Except for when occasionally, the lamp would just kind of… turn off. As in, we’d be sitting across the room, and the light would suddenly flicker and/or shut off for no good reason. Or we’d walk past it and it would turn off. Basically, the lamp was haunted. ORRRRR the wiring and connections were super-old and needed to be replaced, in order to be safe. SAFETY FIRST!

Entryway Lights_HouseofGoldSo here’s how to rewire a lamp. It’s super easy. First, head to Home Depot and pick up your rewiring supplies. It basically includes a socket and a cord (you can buy the cords with a plug already attached in the lighting section, or you can go to the electrical section and build it all from scratch, like we did with the pole lights). Rewire Supplies_HouseofGoldOnce you’ve got your junk amassed, start disassembling the light. You *might* need pliers to help get the nuts loose, but everything pretty much unscrews from everything else. Ignore the band-aid finger. I had a run-in with an x-acto blade from a different project. Disassemble Lamp_HouseofGoldSee how bad/ crusty/ rickety the wire looks? You don’t want this. This is bad. This is what causes fires. But for real.

Old Socket_HouseofGoldSo. Once the old socket and wire have been removed, you can shove the new wire back up inside where the old one came out.  Wire Lamp_HouseofGold It should come out of the hole at the top of the lamp, where you would push it through the base of the socket. From there, you take one side of the wire, wrap it around one of the screws in the socket and tighten the screw (the screws are in the top half of the socket assembly). *Wrap the wire around the screw in the same direction that the screw will tighten. This will help secure it in place.* Do the same for the other screw/ wire. Reassemble Lamp_HouseofGoldThen the top of the socket will snap onto the base, and you can further tighten all of the nuts (throughout the lamp) back into place.

Replace your shade and ta-daaa! That’s really all there is to it!

Rewired Lamp_HouseofGoldOh, but want to see something cool? This lamp was hand crafted in 1970 by a husband/ wife team named James and something Carter. They engraved the bottom… HOW COOL IS THAT?

Lamp Engrave_HouseofGold#memories.

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Hall closet progress-

So the big decision on the closet? I went with a stencil. I’ve actually never stenciled a wall (that I can remember), and I’m always up for trying out new decor ideas… So stencil it is! The kind folks over at Royal Design Studio sent me the Parlor Lace Halloween Stencil, which is one of their “Holiday Collection” stencils. (Remember when they sent the Wallternatives Forest Friends Wallprints Fabric Decals for the Nursery Closet? Yep, same people. They do stencils, too.) But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

After I removed the old rod and shelf, I had to spackle and fill the holes that reminded me of things past.  Remember when I messed up on buying trim paint and we bought way too much of the wrong color? Boooo. We’ve been using all that paint on closet interiors, which has actually proven to be semi-useful. So kind of yay? The whole closet got a nice coat of the oops-trim-paint color before the stenciling could begin.

And then I got the stencil in the mail. It was WAY bigger than I expected, which was brilliant. The back of the closet only took 9 moves-of-the-stencil to cover the entire surface, which was awesome. (Aka, less drying time and less in-between time.)       Stencil in Package_HouseofGold I started stenciling the night that I received it in the mail, and just did one section at a time, allowing the stencil (and the wall) to dry overnight. Also, it prevented the claw from happening. You know, the painter’s hand claw? Right.First Stencil_HouseofGoldSo the edges are the only part where things got a little tricky. Obviously, the stencil won’t go all the way up to the wall, so I got as close as I could get, and then decided to paint a border around all the edges.Closet Stencil Progress_HouseofGoldAlso while I was at Haven, I picked up some of this Frog Tape for textured surfaces. I’ve never had any luck in using painter’s tape in getting a clean, crisp line. So I had very very low expectations with this stuff. Basically, you put the tape up, smash it down, and then use the (included) liquidy-glue stuff to help seal the edge. Let that dry for about 15 minutes, and then paint away. While it did better than just standard tape, it still isn’t exactly perfect. But better is still better.

Frog Tape_HouseofGoldCorner Stripe_HouseofGoldLet’s get back to the stenciled wall, though. OMG. SO PRETTY. I actually don’t want to put any shelves in there anymore. Just keep it as a little pretty room with stenciled walls. Obviously, the stencil is not perfect and you’ll get some smudgy-ness, as you can see in the closeup. Stencil Close Up_HouseofGoldBut from far away, it’s brilliant! Stencil Complete_HouseofGoldStencil Detail_HouseofGold

Linking up with Upcycled Treasures!

Coats need a pretty home, too.

Closets have long bothered me. Well, I guess I should say “builder grade” closets have long bothered me. A 6′ high shelf with one curtain rod never seemed like the most functional solution for a space. You always tend to end up with unused space at the bottom of the closet, which ends up being a catchall of sorts, and then ends up smelling like dog. At least it’s that way in our house. *Ahem*   Hall Closet Before_HouseofGoldWith a tiny human on the way, I felt the absolute need to reorganize this space. I’m not exactly sure why this became top priority, but it did. And, as things go in our house, J was gone playing ultimate frisbee Saturday morning, so I decided to rip out the entire closet. So I did just that. After I ripped the shelf and baseboards out, I tried to get a picture inside the closet. Lennon decided to join me, so you know how big the closet is. It will fit exactly one large dog and one pregnant lady. Also, if you call Lennon pudgy, I will punch you in the face. HE’S HEALTHY.Closet Demo_HouseofGoldAlso with a tiny [male] human, I’m fully aware of the fact that I will be severely outnumbered in 4 months. Well, if we’re being honest, I’m already outnumbered by the male population (if you count canines). I wanted a space that is pretty, organized, and GIRLY. Ish. My first step in planning out this closet remodel was to draw up some plans using my favorite program, SketchUp. Here’s what I came up with:Hall Closet Design_HouseofGoldA smallish space on the left for long hanging coats, a section in the middle for cubbies (shoes, laptops, camera, umbrellas, scarves), and a larger area on the right split in half for shorter hanging coats. Basically, I’m going to teach tiny human to hang up his own dang jackets by the time he’s three months old. [Lies] LOOK AT THIS TINY HUMAN FLANNEL, THOUGH.

Tiny Human PlaidOnce my design was established, I decided that I wanted the back wall to have something funsies going on. I had a ton of ideas swirling around, so here are some of them:

Wallpaper, perhaps? Except a roll of this junk is like $4,000.Cole and Son Hicks Hexagon BUT PLEASE.

How about stripes? A tried and true favorite.black-jack-stripe-pack-2

Just a plain old accent color? (I feel like we all get the idea of what a solid color looks like. No need for a photo here. Right?)

Maybe a stencil? Super-girly roses? Modern-Stencils--Rockin-Roses-Damask_large

What do you think? Super-graphic? Floral? Ladylike? ORGANIZED?

I’m hoping to wrap up the accent wall this weekend, and get to the shelving ASAP after that. Don’t you worry, though. IT WILL HAPPEN BEFORE THANKSGIVING. I hope.

I like to seal it, seal it.

If you haven’t caught on, J and I have unspoken “jurisdictions” in the house. J handles the deck, the yard, and a bunch of other stuffs. I attempted to handle the garden this year, but I sometimes forget that I need to water it. And weed it. And generally care for it. After tiny human comes along, I will have loads of time to myself to serenely go into the garden and weed while watching butterflies float aimlessly amongst the fully-budded flowers.

Unicorn(Don’t burst my bubble, people.) REGARDLESS.

J basically handled the design and general-contracting of the deck, he built (and stained) the Big Green Egg table, he built the Drink Cart, helped replace the back door, and generally maintains the cleanliness of the whole shebang. We knew, upon purchase of the deck, that we’d have to stain/ seal/ treat it eventually, so when I happened upon the Thompson’s Water Seal booth at Haven, I knew I met my match. They were showcasing a newish product, their Waterproofing Stain, that didn’t require any drying out time for the boards. Typically, you need to let the (new pressure-treated) wood dry out and settle before you can seal/ stain it. But with this stuff? Nope. Not necessary. AND THEN? After Thompsons? I stumbled across HomeRight, where they were showcasing their new Deck Pro with Gap Wheel Stain Applicator. Match made in heaven.     How to Seal_HouseofGold So we’ll start with the deck products we used first. Since we did end up letting the deck dry out (not because we’re rebels, but just because the timing worked out that way), we had to clean the deck. That doesn’t exactly mean blowing the pine needles off, although J did have to do that. See?Deck before_HouseofGold

We picked up some of this Behr Deck Cleaner, which J sprayed on, let sit, and then scrubbed off. Ta-daaa! Magic. But really. It looks so much better already! Deck Clean_HouseofGold

Once that dried out overnight, he got his seal on. Again, he swept the rogue pine needles off the deck (it’s fall, y’all) before he started. And then he grabbed the Applicator Stick and sucked the stain right up into the tube. Like so:Filling Seal_HouseofGoldFilling Seal Tube_HouseofGold

This applicator stick was super-easy to use! At least… it looked like it was. I was mainly inside working on the Master Bathroom sink while J was working on this. He just squeezied the seal right onto the boards. And the little wheel got (mostly) in between each board, although J did go back with a brush a couple of times. Just to be certain. Sealing Deck_HouseofGoldAfter he was finished with the walking surfaces, he barricaded the stairs off so the dogs would stay off. (The seal requires 48 hours to dry.) But this project is only halfway done! We actually grabbed a contrasting color to stain the rails! Hopefully that will get done in the near future. Hopefully.

Deck Seal After_HouseofGold Deck Seal After2_HouseofGold Deck Seal Seating_HouseofGold

Still left to do?

  • Stain the rails
  • Make a giant table
  • Purchase new cushions for the seating!

Many many many thanks to Thomspons and HomeRight for providing the Seal/ Stain and Deck Brush. We highly recommend the both of them.