DIY Industrial Lighting

Are you looking for an inexpensive way to update your bathroom? Try starting with the lighting! When our bathroom vanity light fixture broke, it was a blessing in disguise! I hated those old traditional vanity lights but I had forgotten all about them until the day the lamp shade fell off and completely shattered. So, it was finally time to start looking for replacement vanity lighting. Yay!

vanity light 1

We looked in Home Depot, Lowes, and lots of online retailers. I couldn’t find anything I absolutely loved and I could definitely not justify spending over $100 on one bathroom light fixture (we needed two). I am incredibly lucky that boy Jamie is both handy and creative! I knew I could get him excited about a DIY project if it involved the word *INDUSTRIAL*.  So that’s when we started brainstorming. We knew we were looking to incorporate industrial lighting in our master bathroom. Our goal was to recreate something like this (check out our inspiration below) but for a lot cheaper.

Our Inspiration:

We both agreed that this was the look we wanted but definitely did not want to pay the sticker price! (The one on the left retails for $355 and the fixture on the right is $180) So, we decided to make them ourselves!

What You Need:

Fixture Base

what you need 1

Matte Black Spray Paint what you need 2

Metal Lamp Cages

what you need 3

 

Light Bulbs

what you need 4

 

The Process:

Jamie began by taping off and spray painting the fixture base. To speed up the drying process, we used a heat gun. Get your heat gun here —>  I need one!

jamie heat gun

He also spray painted the metal cages to give them a matte finish instead of glossy.

Here is a side by side for comparison!

side by side

The result is awesome! We love how these turned out. Going from three bulbs to four also made our bathroom much brighter!

industrial light 3

industrial light 4

 

Cost:

2 light fixture bases from a resale store ($40)

spray paint (we already had)

Metal Cages ($4 each = $32)

Total= $45 each!

 

Before and After:

 

 

 

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Trending Right Now: Velvet

There’s something about velvet that instantly makes a room look and feel luxurious. Velvet is a sophisticated textile that can easily add a touch of glamour to any design. The velvet trend has been going strong since last year and it has been widely called the “it” fabric of 2018.

Below I’ve curated some great pieces (links included) that are both versatile and practical.

 

Roar + Rabbit™ Swivel Chair

velvet chair 1

Whether you love it or hate it, brass is back and better than ever. Roar and Rabbit combined soft velvet with a bold brass leg on this swivel chair. If you’re not quite ready to go bold with texture and color, opt for velvet furniture in a neutral color like these chairs:

Mid-Century Velvet Dining Chair

velvet chair 2

 

Nico Chair in Washed Velvet Grey

velvet chair 3

 

Crowley Hollywood Regency Brown Velvet Gold Arm Chair

velvet chair 4

Reminiscent of Old Hollywood luxury, this elegant arm chair brings vintage glamour to the modern-day home. Supported by a U-shaped frame of lustrous satin brass, the plush, wraparound-back chair is upholstered in a velveteen, deep brown for a bold visual appeal and soft plush feel.

 

Bold and Beautiful

Edlyn Bench

velvet bench

A velvet bench serves as a bright addition to a foyer or possibly even a dining room. This piece doubles as extra seating and storage! Talk about practical. I do not think boy Jamie would approve of a pink accent piece in our home…

Diamond Ottoman

velvet ottoman 

 

Light and Airy

Matte+Velvet+Quilted+Sham (1)

 

Show Stoppers

The presence of velvet sofas and armchairs show no sign of fading.  Whether you prefer to opt for a timeless neutral fabric or like to make a statement with a bold hue, velvet sofas and armchairs instantly add elegance and flair to your home.

Derry Sofa

velvet sofa 1

Velvet furniture can be easily integrated into existing decor. This bold green sofa will stand out in any living room. Details like tufted buttons give the velvet piece character and a timeless feel.

 

Midnight Blue Velvet Kendall Sofa

velvet sofa 2

Large, comfortable and full of mid-century style, the Midnight Blue Kendall Velvet Sofa is polished and practical. This plush sofa features hand-tufted detailing, tapered solid wood legs, and sumptuous velvet-like upholstery in a deep blue hue.

 

Hanna Velvet Sofa

velvet sofa 3 Drawing inspiration from mid-century European looks and classic contemporary silhouettes, these pieces are an ever-elusive anchor for your living room.

Velvet looks good in almost any color, but it looks best in bright jewel tones that will bring a fun edge to your space. Be sure to know your limit and not go overboard with this luxe fabric.

 

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A Little Family With Big News

This past weekend was a big weekend for our little family! As you can see, Hera was very excited.

big news

We had been keeping this secret for almost two months! Welcome to our family, Baby Bronn!

baby bronn 1

Hera now has a baby brother; A little black German Shepherd just like her!

baby bronn 2

I recently picked up this letter board from T.J. Maxx and thought it would be a cute way to introduce our little guy to everyone. I like the versatility of the letter board as it can be changed daily, monthly, or seasonally depending on your mood!

Get yours here —> Felt Letter Board 

Bronn has already made himself right at home.  His current favorite things are: napping, eating, chewing on everything, and following his big sister around.

baby bronn 3

I saw these little collar accessories online and new we needed to get them for this handsome dude. Look at that little bow tie! We found this bow tie and tie pack at Petco.

He is already so smart and adventurous. He learned how to use the doggy door in one day! Now we really cant take our eyes off of him.

baby bronn 4

These two pups are already getting along and it’s only day three. I think Hera is starting to like her new little “shadow”.

hera and bronn

Follow them on instagram for cute pictures and puppy updates: Bronn & Hera

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Instagram Inspiration: The Front Door Project

Recently, I stumbled upon Instagram account The Front Door Project and was instantly hooked. I am absolutely amazed with the homes that are featured in the photos. I cannot believe people actually live in these houses! They are so lucky!

front door 1

I am excited to say that I was able to get in touch with Deb, the founder and creator of The Front Door Project, and ask her a few questions. Check out our interview below:

I see that you started this project in 2014; Tell me more about how you thought of this idea and why you started.

While taking daily walks around her neighborhood she began photographing the front doors of historic homes. After sharing a few of her photos on social media, it became clear that her friends and followers enjoyed the content she was creating.  Currently, Deb has almost 50 thousand followers on her Instagram account!  Deb Cohen started The Front Door Project in 2014 to “motivate herself to get outside, exercise and pay more attention to her surroundings.” She began photographing homes with a primary focus on the front door. According to her blog, social media provided the means to share photographs and soon led to exploring other local towns in her free time. Deb Cohen lives in the historic town of West Hartford, Connecticut.  In 2015 she became the vice chairman for the West Hartford Historical Commission; she works with other board members to preserve the city’s protected historical structures.

front door 2

Do you have an historic town that you love to visit for The Front Door Project? What are your favorite things about that town?

There are so many wonderful historic places to visit, it’s hard to narrow it down! I think my favorite New England place would be Martha’s Vineyard, which is actually made up of a number of towns, all with great history. Edgartown and Oak Bluffs are my personal favorites. Edgartown has a long whaling history, and its narrow streets are lined with old sea captain’s homes. Oak Bluffs is an explosion of color, with Carpenter Gothic Victorian cottages and homes lining Ocean Park and the streets of the Martha’s Vineyard Campground Meeting Association. In addition to fabulous historic architecture, the island has amazing restaurants, shopping, and the most gorgeous beaches. We have made many summer memories there over the last thirteen years. Fun fact: Jaws was filmed there as well, and it’s fun to pick out scenes that we recognize from the movie.

Outside of New England, my favorite spots to visit for historic architecture (thus far!) are Charleston and New Orleans. Each city has a distinctive look and feel that make them almost instantly recognizable from pictures alone, and each place has so much to offer in terms of cuisine, music, and of course historic sites.

 

front door 3
Charleston, SC

Have you been able to see inside of any of these amazing homes? If so, which ones?

I rarely get to see inside of private homes, although that is something I would like to do in the future. There are a number of historic homes open to the public as museums, and I happen to work at The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT, which has the most stunning architecture both inside and out! It is absolutely worth a visit if you are in the region, or if you are a lifelong lover of Mark Twain’s books.

Mark Twain House

If you could have any style home, which would it be and why?

Another tough one! I admire so many architectural styles. I think it’s easier to say what I would not live in. I wouldn’t live in new construction, or any type of contemporary home. Just not my thing! Our country is blessed with so many gorgeous homes from the past, and I would love to see them maintained and preserved for future generations. I love Colonials, Victorians, Craftsmen, Tudors – you name it!

What’s next for you and The Front Door Project?

I am excited about the book project I am working on with Union Park Press, a publisher in the Boston area. It will feature homes from all six New England states, from all four seasons. I have spent the last year traveling the region and shooting photos, and I am doing the final edits now for submission to the publisher. The book should be available by September or October, right before the holidays, so stay tuned! Once I get the book completed, I would like to get back to my blog – I miss writing!

Y’all, her book will be out around my birthday! (*Cough Cough*, Boy Jamie)

 

Below is a peek at some of my favorite snapshots highlighted on her Instagram account.

front door 4
Portsmouth, NH

 

front door 5
Amherst, NH

 

front door 6
Amherst, NH
front door 7
West Hartford, CT

 

front door 8
Old Wethersfield, CT

 

front door 9
Suffield, CT

 

front door 10
Litchfield, CT

 

front door 11
Woods Hole, MA

 

front door 12
Concord, MA

I am so grateful to Deb for taking the time to answer my questions. Scrolling through her photos makes me remember all of the reasons why I loved living in the North East. If you haven’t already, go check out The Front Door Project on Instagram!

deb

 

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Dog Mom and Dog Dad coffee mug

10 Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for Dog Lovers

Dogs really are a man’s/woman’s best friend. If you are struggling to find a creative gift for a loved one this Valentine’s day or any holiday really, take a look at some of the 10 best gifts for dog lovers! Surprise your favorite dog mom or dad with one of these adorable ideas chosen specifically for dog lovers.

MY Dog is My Valentine

My Dog is my Valentine T-Shirt $24

When you have a dog, you always have a valentine, and a pretty great one at that! Your pup is always happy to see you, is overly loyal, and gives tons of kisses. Did you know that spending time with your pup increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone”? I know a few of my friends that would definitely wear this shirt to our Galentine’s day party.

 

Custom dog shaped cookie cutter

Custom Cookie Cutter $15.95+

I have already attempted baking pupcakes (dog friendly cupcakes) for Hera’s birthday and they were a huge hit! By a huge hit I mean that Hera and her little buddy Lacie devoured them in seconds; typical for my crazy pup. Now it looks like I’ll have to try making my own dog treats with these super cute dog shaped cookie cutters.

Here are some pictures from Hera’s second birthday!

 

 

Dog Mom and Dog Dad coffee mug

Dog Dad/Mom Mug $6.00+

Do you know what makes me happy? My dog. Do you know what also makes me happy? A fresh cup of coffee in the morning. These dog mom/dad coffee mugs are ideal for snuggling up with a cup of tea and your pup on a cold night or sipping on hot coffee on a relaxing weekend morning…until the pupper makes you take them for a walk.

Friendship collar, matching dog collar and bracelet

The Friendship Collar Collection $35.00+

Speaking of taking the dog on a walk, look at this matching collar/bracelet duo! I only highlighted these two options but Friendship Collar.com has many more. Why didn’t I think of this?!

 

Striped Dog Teepee

Striped Dog Teepee $85

Sometimes, dogs need a break from their “ruff” life. This teepee is the perfect hideaway for your pet for when he/she wants some alone time. This teepee is extremely versatile and can complement any room, from classic to modern.

 

Odin Treat Puzzle Toy $23**
Odin Treat Puzzle Toy by Up Dog Toys

Do you ever wonder if your dog has enough mental stimulation in their day? I do! Hera is a black German Shepherd, whose breed is known for their high level of energy and intelligence. This “toy” doubles as a treat dispenser and puzzle for your pup. This will keep your pet physically and mentally busy working for that reward while allowing you some time to yourself!

 

Custom eco-friendly dog tote with portrait

Custom Tote Bag

This may not be budget friendly but it is completely unique and adorable! This eco-friendly oversized tote, made from 100% cotton, is exactly what you and your pet need to for their favorite treats and toys. It is also a great way to keep their belongings organized for a day at the beach, a sleepover at the pet sitters, or a trip with the family!

 

 

Donut Squeaker Toy

ZippyPaws Donutz Variety Pack of 3 **

I love donuts almost as much as I love Hera! My favorite is Strawberry Frosted…and that’s why I was drawn to these squeaker toys. These toys are a fun, vibrant addition to your pup’s toy collection. If your dog is anything like mine, I’m sure he/she has a pretty hefty collection. Our pup is lovingly spoiled by both Jamies and both dog-grandmas!

 


Roll up dog mat and bowls

EasyPets Roll ‘N’ Go Double Bowl Set $14.99**

EasyPets Roll ‘N’ Go Fold Down Silicone Pet Bowls & Feeding Mat

This simple non slip feeding station provides ease and accessibility for pups on the go! It also helps protect against the mess that most pups leave behind. The mat contains a food and water bowl surrounded by a FDA approved silicone mat. Easy to transport and easy to store, the mat rolls away in seconds and conveniently pops back in to its carry case. This means wherever you go you have a suitable, clean, handy double bowl set for water and food.

 

necklace

Custom Dog Bone Necklace $28 +

Petite and pretty, this dog bone necklace is sure to show your love for your best friend. Each necklace is custom made. I don’t know about you guys, but I would love something thoughtful and meaningful like this!
I didn’t realize how many of the items I chose were from ETSY until I finished this post. Clearly, Etsy is one of my go-to sites for customized, personalized gifts. Also, when you purchase from Etsy, you help to support a small business or entrepreneur! And that has to make you feel good!
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