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Chandelier - after

old chandelier - before

I’m happy to report that most of the work is done on my dining room makeover that American Express generously sponsored. Unfortunately, however, I ran into a few snags. The dishes I ordered using my Membership Rewards points arrived broken, and other items were backordered. The replacements are due to arrive when I’m away at girls camp. So, my big dining room reveal is postponed until June 20.

Until then, I wanted to give you a peak at one part of the room: my sparkly chandelier. I bought this old chandelier years ago for $20 at a salvage yard in Berkeley. I cleaned it up, and my brother rewired it. I’ve never been a fan of brass, so it got a fresh coat of paint. Read more »

My SYLVANIA craft room makeover taught me a few things that I wanted to share with you. Here are my top five decorating and lighting tips:

1. Combining up and down lighting

Most homes—especially older rentals like mine—don’t have enough built-in lighting. And one lamp will not do the job, even in small rooms. To brighten up your space without much effort, combine up lights (table or floor lamps) with down lights (pendants) and spotlights (under/inside cabinets and closets or hung over a piece of art).

Up lighting

Up lighting

Down lighting

Down lighting

FOR EXAMPLE: My small office/craft/guest room now has eight light sources: three up lights, two down lights, two spot lights, and one night light/flashlight. All of them use SYLVANIA LED bulbs, which are so energy efficient I can afford to have all of them on at once. With multiple light sources, I have more control over the level of light in the room. And SYLVANIA’S ULTRA Aline LED light bulb is dimmable, so my main light is now on a dimmer switch, giving me even more control. Read more »

Office makeover - view from the door

This is the first whole-room makeover I have attempted on Crafty Nest. What an undertaking! I had been planning to make over my office/guest/craft room for some time. The makeover involved a ton of DIY—which is definitely why I procrastinated the job. Then SYLVANIA invited me to participate in their blogger room makeover challenge—just the impetus I needed to get started. They sent me a $500 gift card to Lowe’s, a bunch of SYLVANIA’S new LED light bulbs and light fixtures, and gave me a weekend to get the job done.

At the start, I knew I needed to call in a reinforcement: my younger brother, Troy, who blogs about his construction work at Hardhat13. And it was a good thing I did. At the end of day two, we realized we were only halfway done. So, this is technically a two-person, two-weekend job.

Check out all the SYLVANIA blogger room makeovers over the coming weeks on their Facebook page. If you “like” the page, you can enter the daily sweeps to win your own SYLVANIA lighting products and Lowe’s gift cards so you can perform you own room makeover!

Here’s the “before” video. Let’s all make fun of how many times I say “love it.” One thing I do not love is making videos. My videos are unedited, so kindly forgive my rookie mistakes. It’s hard to believe that I stuffed so much furniture in that one little room, isn’t it? Amazingly, though, there is more furniture in the room after the makeover, yet everyone tells me the room looks bigger now. Mission accomplished.

The look I was going for is beach cottage meets industrial chic. The colors: blues, greens, whites, and silver—all cool, calming colors of the sea. I infused liberal doses of galvanized steel, paint, lighting, white fabric, and tassels. Now the room is serene, less cluttered, and oh-so-practical.

Dresser corner

I designed the studded mirror to echo the look of my riveted steel magnet board. It’s made from 12-inch mirror tiles. The mirror adds more light to the room and makes the potted plants look even more plentiful. Mirror tutorial coming soon. Click here for the mirror tutorial.

The pom-pom paper lantern you’ve seen before on Crafty Nest. The white twill curtain panels and the plush Wooly Bully accent rug are from Lowe’s. I made the tassels from yarn I had on hand. Curtain and tassels tutorials coming soon.

Here’s the “after” video. As I mention in the video, the room is now organized into three zones: the craft zone, the office zone, and the guest bedroom zone. Surprisingly, Troy is more versed in feng shui than I am. He informed me that the energy in this room was all wrong. Moving the fabric cabinet to the other side of the room made a world of difference.

More photos and videos after the jump! Read more »

Office desk before

Makeover bed before

Several weeks ago SYLVANIA asked me to make over one room using a $500 Lowe’s gift card and SYLVANIA’S new ULTRA ALine LED light bulbs. I knew which room I wanted to make over before I even said yes: my office/craft room/guest room. I already had some big plans for the room, and SYLVANIA helped me take it to the next level. My brother, Troy, and I have been too busy planning, building, painting, and sewing to even tell you about it. Now the makeover is nearly finished, and I can’t wait to show it to you.

I’m loving SYLVANIA’S dimmable LED light bulbs, my new giant magnet board, and new paint color. Yes, that’s right: I got to paint my white walls! I convinced the owner of my building (thanks Mr. Crocker!) to let me paint this room a color other than his mandated Benjamin Moore “Navajo White.” And it’s gorgeous.

I’ll post the reveal next week, complete with before-and-after photos and videos. (Can you believe it? Videos!) Then, over the next few weeks, I’ll post one tutorial at a time to tell you all how I made everything. Until then, here are a couple old “before” photos of the room at different stages.

Check out all the SYLVANIA blogger room makeovers over the coming weeks on their Facebook page. If you “like” the page, you can enter the daily sweeps to win your own SYLVANIA lighting products and Lowe’s gift cards so you can perform you own room makeover!


This post is sponsored by SYLVANIA. I received monetary compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.

DIY tulle pendant light

Gudrun Sjödén catalog

Inspired by Jonas Bohlin's tulle lamp, seen here in Gudrun Sjödén's catalog

Ever since I spotted Swedish designer Jonas Bohlin’s tulle lamp in Gudrun Sjödén’s catalog last year, I’ve been dying to make my own. I finally did it! I started with Ikea’s Melodi pendant lamp, then added tulle. Never having attempted anything like this before, I guessed four yards of tulle would be plenty. Boy, was I wrong. It actually took 10 yards. No worries, though. At $1 a yard at Walmart, the tulle is quite affordable. This lamp reminds me of a ballerina’s tutu. Imagine a pink one hanging in your little girl’s room. Or a black one in your modern bedroom. Jonas Bohlin’s lamp = $524. My lamp = $25. Woot. Read more »

Zappo Bz floral paper lanterns

Hi everyone! Bet you thought I fell into a hole somewhere. Nah, just job hunting now that I’m done with school. Anyone want to hire me? :) Anyway, I attended the San Francisco International Gift Fair last Saturday, and I ran across these flower-covered paper lanterns at the zappobz booth. I begged to take a picture so you can see them. I still like my floral paper lantern best, but I thought the bright colors were fun too. By the way, my favorite booth at the fair was roost. Love, love, love their stuff.

DIY paper lanterns — flowers and pom-poms

I planned to make a flower-covered paper lantern for months. Not until I found a white poinsettia garland at a Michael’s after-Christmas clearance did it become a reality. Normally, I’m not a fan of artificial flowers, but I think this is a great way to use them. After making the floral paper lantern, I had some leftover pom-pom fringe, so I festooned the second lantern with pom poms. Now I can’t decide which one I like best. I bought these white 12-inch paper lanterns at Ikea years ago. Raise your hand if you don’t like the cheap white paper lanterns that Ikea and World Market sell these days. Me too. Read more »

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