Brave New Home

creating authenticity where it matters most


DIY Wallpapered Lamp Shades

DIY lamp shadeWell, I found my first use for the gorgeous wallpaper samples I received from Farrow and Ball!  Enter plain jane yet totally functional (and affordable!) Arstid.lamp shades beforeI just couldn’t bring myself to pay almost $200 for the plug-in swing arm wall lamps I had been eying.  Ikea to the rescue!  There are some things that Ikea can just not be beat on (come on, $30 for a pair of wall lights, light bulb included!?) and their lighting selection is one of them.  I lived with the lights for a bit just to get a feel if they fit our needs (and they did!)free farrow and ballinspiration and color guide and wallpaper samples with arrowI picked out the lattice wallpaper from my samples.  Per Farrow and Ball, lattice is brassy and elegant, brave and modestly chic.  Sounds like the perfect choice!ikea lamp shadeA close up up this ho hum lampshade.  I care for white lamp shades very much it’s just that this accordion cover had me wincing. stripped lamp shade  First, I got to deconstructing the lamp shade.lamp shade templateThen I made a template of the lamp shade using some advertisements (no way I’m making a mistake on such beautiful paper!).taping wallpaper to lamp shadeAfter cutting out the shape, I simply used double sided tape to adhere the wallpaper to my lampshade.  I think I’ll probably recover these with cloth somewhere down the line so I wanted a less permanent decorating solution for the time being.painting lamp shade ribbonI saved the original ribbon from the lampshades and painted them grey.  They too got attached to the lampshades a la double sided tape.close up lamp shade redoI used white duct tape to hide the chord.  So many things to love about having white walls!pair of recovered wall lampsAnd lastly, I repositioned the lamps above our bed.  After snapping a few photos, I realized they looked better balanced above our bed compared to the side.

Linked to Alderberry Hill, City Farmhouse, The Gunny Sack, It’s Overflowing, Ginger Snap Crafts, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths.

Do you think the new position over the bed works better?  Have you used any interesting materials to cover a lamp shade?

dark grey jennifer at brave new home signature


Nightstand Styling

When I read stylist Emily Henderson was hosting a nightstand styling contest, I thought, Pffftt!  A styled surface within toddler reach?  Fahgettaboudit!  But then I realized I just needed to get a photo of a styled nightstand; it didn’t have to reflect what we actually live with day-to-day…cause that would be this:day to day nightsandThat’s clearly The Hubs’s side cause I don’t do digital alarm clocks.  But it was free and I definitely do free :P  In any case, going with my blog’s them of being brave, I accepted the challenge and tried to think of it as an exercise in styling.

I gathered up a bunch of my favorite items and started grouping them together and snapping away.  T minus one hour to nap time!   nighstand grey starburst mirror purple flowers yellow ikat booksAt first I was going for a yellow-grey-purple scheme for something that felt a bit springy.nighstand with glasses fresh flowers japanese plateThen I tried introducing other colors.purple flowers yellow ikat painting glass paperweight  And creating more breathing space.nightstand styling books purple flowers yellow ikat paintingI made little tweaks swapping things in and out. nightstand styling purple flower asian bowl booksAnd tried showcasing some neat ceramics I’ve collected.nightstand fresh purple flowers ring holderI like how fresh this feels.grey starburst mirror orchid nightstand stylingUltimately, I ended up gravitating towards things already in my bedroom.  Here was the vignette I felt was the most successful.  If you feel so inclined to vote, hop over to Emily Henderson’s Facebook contest page to vote for my “Elegant & Simple Nightstand.”  Thanks!

How are your styling skills?  Any easy tricks to share?


A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events

Progress on the bedroom has stalled.  Here’s how the universe and I have been communicating lately.  Universe:  “Oh, after all that reflection, polling readers, and endless internal debate you’ve decided what you really want?  Well guess what?  It’s out-of-stock!  Indefinitely.  Bwahahaha.”  Ah well.  Of all things that can be communicated to me by the universe, this I can handle :]  Here’s a little run down of my lack of progress:

Curtains:  After you all so generously offered your opinions on my Pick Your Panel post, I hopped online to order the overwhelming favorite, the trellis curtains.  Only I got an error message (when does that ever happen?).  So I checked on the ikat option and it was sold out (which is different than out-of-stock because these were on clearance).  Anak was tugging at me as we were on our way out so I ditched the attempt.  While at the mall (I go to the mall maybe twice a year) Anak led us to a play area next to JCPenny, where three of the four curtain options I selected were from.  The curtains just happened to be on display so I popped in and boy were those curtains disappointing!  Nothing like in the pictures!  Their definition of “sheer” is my definition of “cheap.”  Universe, you did me a favor on that one!  Outcome: Total curtain cold feet.

Rug:  I’m still pining over this Tuscan Moroccan Ivory Shag number that slips in and out of being back ordered, then out-of-stock, then completely removed from the website, then back to being back ordered.  After all these months of waiting, I’m ready to pull the plug and move on.  Outcome:  I’m waiting to see if a 75% off coupon comes out for President’s Day.  If it does, that’s my go signal!  If it doesn’t…

I just found this Plymouth Moderne Ikat rug on clearance:I can sorta picture it here…master_bedroom_from_entrance_with_rugSee where I’m going with this?  I Photoshopped it in darker because the reviews mentioned the colors are much darker than online.


Plug-In Wall Sconces:  After months (actually pretty sure I’ve crossed the one year threshold) of scouring Craigslist, thrift stores, Ebay, anywhere there’s a bargain, I’m waving the white flag and buying first hand.  I found a pair that The Hubs and I agree on only they’re out-of-stock. Outcome: Patiently stalking my prey.

Overall, I’m feeling a bit discouraged.  I’m trying to tell myself it’s an opportunity to go back to the drawing board, regroup and reassess.  And I’m trying to scrounge up smaller projects around the bedroom to help get the momentum started again.

What do you do when you hit decorating road bumps?


Pick a Panel

When I asked for your opinions on where to start with my bedroom, every comment suggested to start with curtains.  I sorta ruled it out because I thought a single panel looked silly but at least one reader kindly pointed out, Hey, one of your inspiration photos even has just one panel!  Doh!

As a quick follow-up to yesterday’s post, would you mind helping me vet through my choices real quick?  Pretty please?  With cherries on top?  Cause the last time I tried to purchase curtains on my own I let them sit in my online shopping cart so long they got discontinued—yeah, I was that indecisive.  Here are the choices:

#1: Princeton Rod-Pocket Sheer Panel, $35.princeton curtainAn updated classic.  The greys play in quite nicely.

#2: Kya Rod-Pocket Sheer Panel, $17 (on clearance).kia curtainThey didn’t have a photo of the color I wanted for whatever reason.  Sheer may be a nice way to add some softness.

#3: Casa Flocked Faux Silk Grommet, $51 (ouch, at least I just need one, right?).casa flockedThese pack a punch and really update the space.

#4: Studio Hudson Grommet-Top, $45.hudson curtainThese are refined and another pattern that I interpret as a updated classic.  It the pattern too busy though? 

I want to go with option #2…cause it’s the cheapest!  But really, if I get something I love and we move later down the line, maybe it could be transformed into two curtains or used to re-cover a piece of furniture or something.

For anyone in the market for curtains, my favorite online stores are JCPenny and Overstock.  I’ll also browse World Market and Urban Outfitters.

Whaddya think?


Bringing Sexy Back

Yeah, our bedroom decor could use a little oomph .  Justin Timberlake to the rescue!

February is going to be a special month in our household.  The Hubs and I share both our dating and wedding anniversary this month, there’s Valentine’s day (obviously), and best of all, The Hubs is coming home after having been away for over four months! So I’m turning my attention towards our bedroom in hopes of making it a bit more personal and a bit more cozy for him to come home to.  That and I need a break from the living room.  I feel like it’s one of those magic eye puzzles that I’ve been staring at too long and I just need to take break!master_bedroom_from_entranceI really thought our bedroom was close to being done but after photographing it, I realized how unfinished it really is.  The good news is that I have the basics down and I can start layering in patterns, textures and colors, a.k.a. the fun part!  Here’s the full tour of the master bedroom to jog your memory.

Here are some of my favorite inspirational bedrooms:








I’d love to create a grown up space that has some invigorating visual interest (by that I mean some interesting patterns and a touch of quirk) and an air of luxury.  I say grown up but let’s be honest, it still needs to be somewhat kid proof.  So I won’t be creating any easily breakable vignettes.  And I don’t do throw pillows.  One long bolster, maybe ; ]

The only two items I’m really set on keeping are the headboard and tufted ottoman (although I could see many of the other elements staying).  Before I get too far into the process, I would so love and appreciate your input (you guys have proved an incredible resource!)—off the bat, what am I missing here?  Where do you suggest I begin?  And would it be odd to just hang a single curtain?  Thank you in advance for the inspiration!