A renovated Washington D.C. office building renowned for its historical significance as a civil rights landmark now captures attention with magnificent displays of reactive light.
In 1951 Mary Church Terrell led a civil rights protest at the lunch counter of what was then Hecht’s department store. Over 60 years later the aptly named Terrell Place, now a renovated office building, is making history again.
An Interactive Experience
Imagine that every workday was like walking into a virtual reality. Outside, you might trudge through snow and sleet, but inside, cherry trees blossom and fade, fireworks blaze and butterflies flutter with the ebb and flow of activity in the building’s lobby. (more…)
Any homemaker knows that the right light fixture can change the entire feel of a room. But light fixtures can also be very costly, especially when you are looking at custom sizing and design.
So why not make one yourself? We will walk you through, step by step, how you can create a professional-looking chandelier from scratch. The best part is that it is inexpensive and you can customize it to fit your exact size needs and style.
It’s simple – you’ll just need a few materials to get started:
This project starts just as any quality project should…. the right materials.
A piece of lumber: This specific piece of lumber was a new piece of 1×6 pine that I distressed and stained to give it a rough/distressed look. You can really use any style of wood that you like, the key is to make sure that it can accommodate the size of whatever baskets you choose.
Baskets: I found the two square baskets on the outside of this fixture at the Container store and the center egg basket at Garden Ridge. Again, this is completely up to you as to the style of basket you choose.
Light Sockets: I used light sockets that I found in the lamp accessory section of my local home improvement store. You will need one light socket for each bulb.
Wire: I used brown lamp fixture wire for this fixture. This can also be found at your local home improvement store. Tell the associate that you are making a lamp and they will point you in the right direction. Typically they have white, brown and black colored wire in this gauge.
Rope: I used ⅜ inch Sisal Rope for this fixture. Admittedly, not this best feeling rope that you could ever hope to handle, but it looks great and is certainly strong enough to support the fixture.
Pulley: This is not necessary, but I really like how this finished off the piece. You can do a quick Google search for “Antique Wooden Pulley” and you will be pleasantly surprised by how many options you have!
Edison Bulbs: This is easily the most important part of the fixture! The wire filament inside the bulbs show off a very cool design and the bulbs emit a warm, inviting glow. (For the first time ever, long-lasting and energy-saving LED antique filament bulbs are available!)
Chandelier Canopy Kit: This is the part that will actually attach to your ceiling and cover the wiring. While you are picking up your wire and light sockets, grab this kit as well.
String lights are the chameleons of lighting. They can be hung, strung, twirled or wrapped, and their versatility is the inspiration for thousands of creative DIY projects.
Before we get into this mega list of 27 unique ways to use them, let’s talk about what qualifies as a “string light.” By definition, a string light is a series of lights along a coated wire. From there, the variety flourishes, but I’ve narrowed it down to four basic categories:
Mini String Lights are small bulbs in a variety of shapes and colors and are what you usually see wrapped around a Christmas tree.
Globe String Lights have larger bulbs in different shapes. You may also hear these referred to as Edison Lights, Cafe Lights, Patio Lights or Party Lights.
Fairy Lights or Micro String Lights are tiny LED lights (about the size of a grain of rice) along a very thin bendable wire.
Novelty String lights and Specialty Lights typically have a dedicated theme or purpose, like snowflake or pink flamingo string lights.
For every different type and name that they go by there are endless creative projects and decor ideas, but here’s a round-up of a few of the most memorable string light applications I’ve seen:
During the course of May, our team celebrated National Home Remodeling month by doing some simple lighting projects around the house and sharing them with our readers. We called it our “Weekend Warrior” series because all of the projects can be completed in a weekend (or less!).
Project Two – The 1-Hour Project
In my last post I shared how we installed recessed lighting in our bonus room. Once I installed the LED retrofits there, I was hooked on the quality and energy-efficiency of the lighting. I decided to change out our seven 75-watt PAR30 halogen recessed lights in our kitchen with seven LED retrofit modules. The 7 halogen recessed lights used 525 total watts of electricity. By switching to LED retrofit modules I would reduce that wattage use to 87.5 watts! HUGE energy savings! In addition to the LED retrofit modules, I also changed out my dimmer switch to a Lutron Maestro C-L dimmer.
This was one project I was able to very easily do myself. In fact, I finished this one in less than an hour. (more…)
This is the fourth post in our Weekend Warrior blog post series, part of our quest to bring customers unique products and creative ideas for DIY lighting projects around the house. We previously covered how to install security lighting, a custom pantry lighting solution, and creating a kid’s book nook with a wall mounted reading light.
Since moving into my home in 2009 I have completed a number of lighting projects. In fact, I started a New Home Project blog post series documenting them. I am happy to report that a couple of those posts helped others with their own under cabinet and over cabinet lighting projects.
It has been a couple of years, but recently I embarked on two new projects with one overriding theme — Saving money by adding and/or replacing existing lights with LED. The first project that I’d like to share is adding LED recessed lighting to our bonus room to add more general illumination to this room, and the second one switched out our halogen recessed lights to LED. In both projects I installed 6-inch LED retrofits.
Project One – The Weekend Project
My bonus room’s general illumination came only from the lighting on our ceiling fan. For the size of our bonus room this was woefully inadequate. So, jump forward 6 years and we are finally getting around to painting this room and making it more than a “holding area” for random stuff. We decided it was a good time to increase the light level in this room with four LED recessed lights in the 4 corners of the room.
When our house was built in 2009 I used PAR30 halogen light bulbs in our recessed lighting. At the time LED recessed lighting was still a little pricey and there were not many options. Now times have changed. LED recessed lighting, specifically LED retrofits, have come down in price and there a number of options available. (more…)
This is the latest project in the Weekend Warrior blog post series, part of our quest to bring our customers unique products and offer creative ideas for DIY lighting projects around the house.
For my Weekend Warrior project, I took a boring, ho-hum playroom corner and created a cozy and private reading area for my 9-year-old son, Max.
Here’s the deal:
I think every kid needs a place to call his own. A place to curl up and read an adventure novel on a rainy day, or just a place to escape pesky brothers. A book nook.
After lots of intense discussion, Max and I decided that his book nook needed a few crucial ingredients to make it the coolest-place-ever:
A small, cozy area with a comfy place to sit
Tons of interesting books with lots of super-hero action
A plug-in nearby for charging his Kindle
A reading light so he can read under his many future sheet-forts
Some pictures or posters to hang on the wall
We’ve already got most of the necessary ingredients for the perfect reading nook: a bookshelf full of interesting books, a cozy corner in the sitting area off of his bedroom, and an overstuffed bean bag. All we lacked was a reading light and some wall art.