Feb
01
2016
The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

This post is brought to you by Bertolli. Don't just eat, Mangia!

 

Life with young children can be exceptionally wild, completely untamed and altogether unfiltered - ninety nine percent of the time. Parenting breeds uncertainty and a certain amount of insanity that you wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Though our journeys may be different, we will all eventually arrive at the same conclusion in our lives. At some point along the way, when no one was looking, the days, months and years began to fly by at the speed of light. Those difficult parenting moments and struggles that seem so big at the time begin to melt away and what remains are the memories from many of life’s little moments. The moments we hardly consider important as they unfold, we only later realize just how special they truly were.

 

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

As parents who are both entrepreneurs and business owners in completely different fields, the time we have to spend unplugged and focused on our family is often limited and frequently conflicting. To say that those moments are more valuable than gold would be an understatement. It is important to us that we celebrate life’s little moments every chance we get and help create those special memories for our babies to cherish later on.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

Having two boys who thoroughly dislike having to take time out of their day for eating, means that mealtime is often a struggle and can be time consuming, to put it mildly. There are very few foods that everyone agrees on at any given time and one or both are typically resigned to simply not eat if given the chance. Pasta is truly one of the only things that both boys adore and that happens to be easy to add protein and vegetables to without it being so obviously detestable. But this can be a bit of an undertaking and with limited time to enjoy these beautiful wild animals of mine… let’s just say it is a great day indeed when someone makes this easy for me, with a meal that is easy to prep, in no time at all and that happens to be absolutely fabulous. Because life should be spent making memories and not slaving away in the kitchen or arguing over what to eat.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

When dinner begins to feel like a chore and I start to dread the entire endeavor, it helps to switch things up and do something different. I love to sit and eat a proper meal with these cute boys, and nothing says excitement like getting to do the things we normally don’t. Drinking out of real glasses, eating on real plates and buttering our own bread are the most exciting things to happen to a toddler and an eight year old who adores eating at fancy restaurants. We do these things on holidays and special events, but it isn’t the same when it requires hours of prep beforehand. With the Bertolli Skillet Meals, I can toss it into a pan and in ten minutes it is ready to eat. It takes less than a minute to get it started which leaves me free to fill the remaining 9 minutes with a few other special touches to make our time more enjoyable.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

Warm bread with butter and Himalayan sea salt are a new family fave, and a balsamic dipping sauce comes together faster than you can say, ‘pass me the bread, please’! We are all lovers of olives and brussel sprouts so I take any chance I can to add those to the mix. Our favorite Chicken Florentine and Farfalle pairs well with a Pinot Grigio which is a lovely and light treat for the over 21 crowd – making it perfect for our somewhat early dinnertime and to help provide distraction from the chaotic but fun and funny process of trying actually accomplish sitting at a table with little boys.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

We linger and chat when we sit down to eat. There is never any rush, and yet still there is much in the way of commotion and movement. The boys are generally abuzz and love to tell stories about things that happened during their day. I love listening to them talk with their wildly creative and interesting minds. They are each so different and yet they find an amazing amount of common ground despite their age difference. Oh how they adore each other, the greatest gift of all. It is so easy to slip out of the habit of slowing down and taking the time to have these adorable conversations. Before long their words will change from things they saw and ideas they have to what they are rushing off to do and who they have plans with later on. But for now, there is no end to the imagination that unfolds during something as simple as sharing a meal.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

If only I could slow things down and freeze time for just a bit. I suppose I wouldn’t get half the workout I currently do, since we spend 80 percent of our time chasing one or more children out from under the table and one or more dogs away from the table.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

I think life is meant to be lived and loved and there is no one on earth I would rather laugh and linger with than these crazies. I choose to enjoy it now and let them be kids. To live in the moment and cherish the crazy and the chaos as it comes… which is currently on rotation about every 4 minutes or so.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

I am seriously grateful for such a fabulous and simple solution for a delicious meal that my boys will willingly eat. Bertolli Skillet Meals are truly one of the few meals they will eat anyhow, so while the convenience alone puts this at the top of my list, the fact that it’s a family favorite makes it idyllic. Because I would rather spend my time listening to these little beauties any day of the week than attempting to prepare an over the top meal that they won’t actually like. A home cooked meal with no interruption aside from the commotion of these young boys is always my favorite way to spend an evening.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories
DIY 
Kiddos 
Jan
01
2016
The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

Happy 2016 my friends! I am always surprised how quickly the end of the year sneaks up on me, but after 30 some odd years of being surprised, you would think I would have a better handle on things...

Now that the Holidays are officially over and a new year has begun, I am on a mission to cleanse and organize in the aftermath of all the chaos. I think after two weeks of sickness, and three months of holiday, work, and birthday crazy with hardly a step outside these doors except for said celebratory events... the chaos is getting to me even more than it normally does. Luckily this month's Michael's Makers challenge was to tackle a bit of DIY Organizing and it was just the kick in the pants I needed. Well that and the fact that I was completely out of my element this year in choosing not to bring the typical holiday mayhem out of storage and into the house. I was hoping it would keep a bit of the crazy at bay and instead it made it worse if that is even possible! I swear I am still trying to track down about seven of rolls of tape and several pairs of scissors. Scissors and tape are like socks in this house, and I can never find them when I need them, even when I just had them five minutes earlier. Don't even get me started on pens and markers... I think Mike hordes them.

The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

Michaels just launched a new line of storage and organization product called Cre8ted Spaces and it's quite lovely. Tons of fabulous colorways and clever containers to help you contain your own crazy. While I need to give every single room in this house a complete overhaul, my gift wrap and other crafty supplies have been getting the better of me for the last couple of months so this is where I started. I tend to use gift wrap, tape, scissors and ribbon several times a month so it makes sense for me to keep these things close at hand but in a stored and controlled kind of way. I have a ton of organization for my crafty supplies already, but I'm finding that my need to have things out of sight also seems to put them out of mind. This makes for a lot of duplicate purchasing and wasted time and this year that irritation was allocated to gift tags and ribbon along with the usual tape and scissors ordeal. A sturdy box or two to keep my tags and other dangling bits is such a welcome thing. I gave my gift tag box a little make-under and changed the top part of the box from the stunning chartreuse color it was to the glossy white that it is, with just a few flicks of the paint brush. It just happens to be perfectly divided for my tags and that makes this little mama super duper happy.

The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

A rolling cart for projects in progress and regularly used items has been on my list for days... Alas I have never gotten around to it since most of my time is spent creating the projects and not so much on the storage of the supplies for them. Naturally my work would be so much easier if everything I needed was beautifully organized and in its place. I think its that chicken and egg thing. I gave my mobile beauty a glimmering new outfit with a couple of coats of gold spray paint and I think that will make it easier for my mind to handle as it moves around the house as I work. The minty color it came in would have worked well in my office, but gold is a neutral and this baby will get around so she needs to blend in.

The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

I have a large bin that holds my bulk supply of ribbon, and I am fairly certain I have more ribbon than any normal human should so I shall be remedying that asap. In the meantime, having a more mobile option to keep the rolls and spools under control while I am using them and that looks good too is absolutely dreamy. I gave a peachy wooden box a beautiful matte black finish using chalk paint and I love it so much I want to paint all the things in this gorgeous matte black color. I think you can guess what my future holds - painting, refinishing and general sprucing is certainly part of the plan. Why does the new year always kick my need for calm into high gear - and why does my version of calm require an insane amount of effort and organization?

The Design Confidential Its a Wrap // Getting Organized After the Holiday Chaos

Do you feel the need to minimize and downsize after the intense Holiday season and the addition of more of everything in your life and your home? I sure do. It is most peculiar how the gift of giving and the act of receiving makes me feel the need to shed most if not all of the things I no longer cherish and many of the things I still do. If you are feeling a bit like this too, check out the other 49 Maker's organizing projects over on The Glue String... it will surely inspire you to go and do and whip into shape! 

This crafty little organizing project was brought to you in partnership with Michaels and is part of an ongoing series of fun projects I will be creating as a Michaels Maker! Thank you for supporting the awesome peeps who help make this little corner of the blog-iverse fun and interesting! Heart you guys!

Oct
29
2015
The Design Confidential Family Room Edit // Trim It / Dress It / Cut the Cord

I have a little story to tell you guys. Like many stories, even those with happy endings, this one begins with a tragedy that would only later become a near miss and a lesson learned the hard way.

You see, when we moved to the house we live in currently, Blake had just turned 5 and Penn was just 5 months old, and while both were obviously quite young, Blake was already a very conscious, forward thinking, and reasonably aware child. Unlike the other homes we have lived in over the years, this new home had honeycomb cellular shades on all of the windows. Considered an upgrade by most standards, with heat blocking characteristics and light filtering capabilities. But for me, they were cumbersome because I need the natural light and to see the view, which means I have to pull them up entirely and can no longer simply tilt open to let the light in.

A unique combination of things, including the age of this home, the ridiculously tall height of each and every window, and my obsession with having the shades open, means that a sturdy unyielding cord hangs down from each of those blinds that is no less than 90 inches, in total. Hanging as if to lure children in with the temptation of something fun to swing from. I think you can probably see where I am going with this... This home is not old, by any means, yet apparently it is old enough that the window treatments don't have child safety features built into them - just in case. Many blinds have a safety release that will pop the blind out of the mount, or a portion of the cord that snaps off when weight is applied to them, and all of mine had some form of this over the last 10 years. Brand new window treatments now have a completely cordless option or a continuous loop to help keep your kiddos from strangulation. I learned that mine don't have this - the hard way - one quiet afternoon shortly after we moved in.

The Design Confidential Family Room Edit // Trim It / Dress It / Cut the Cord

You can see the window line in my family room in the image above. There isn't a window in this entire house that doesn't sit below a standard height piece of furniture. On the one hand, this is dreamy, but on the other...

Let me preface this by saying that never having ever had to pull the blinds up on a single window in my entire life, never having windows this tall (long? whatever), having Blake be the age that he was, and my assuption that every house built in the mid 2000's or later had fixtures with these safety features I mentioned earlier built into them (especially the high end fixtures)... the danger of that dangling cord never even occured to me. Literally - not a single thought. If you know me in real life, you know that I tend to be a worrier. Inside, I am the crazy, fearful, terrified of the 'what-if', stupid accident happening and harming my children type of gal. So needless to say that if I thought there was something to worry about, I definitely would have. Not to mention Blake and I had the 'talk' many times in his life prior to this, about never touching the cords and what could happen. He could never even come close to reaching them anyhow, unless he was standing on something.

And then my sweet blue-eyed boy was playing with the cord, swinging it wildly back and forth and letting it wrap around his neck like a tether ball. I had no idea he was doing this mind you, because at the time I was putting Penn down for a nap upstairs. Several minutes later, Blake wandered up and was telling me his neck hurt. I asked him to show me where it was hurting and he got a little tearful as he typically does when he is trying to be tough but is actually a bit hurt. He pointed to the side of his neck which appeared fine from where I was sitting and he said he thought he scraped it. That might have been a red flag if it were any other kid, but my kids in particular inherited their weirdness from me and so mention of a scrape on the neck wouldn't have been the oddest thing to ever have happened. Though I can usually tell when an odd claim such as that is more of a reference to how it feels than to what actually happened and that is what I figured here. He was describing that stinging, burning sensation that happens when you get rug burn or a scrape on the knee. When he got a little closer to me I could see that a line was starting to show. It did indeed look a bit like a scrape and even more like he had been running with a stick in his hand and it hadn't ended well. Over the course of the next 20 minutes a full burn mark appeared and wrapped around the front of his neck from ear to ear. When I pressed him further about what happened he finally managed to tell me that he was jumping off the furniture and surfing the sofas as he often does and that the cord from the blinds got wrapped around his neck and choked him.

I started to cry, finally realizing what he was attempting to tell me and seeing the complete situation unfold in my mind. Running through the horrific details and what he must have just experienced - what he could have experienced. He was frightened and while I still don't know to this day exactly how things actually unfolded, I know enough to know just how scary this almost was. The mark on his neck was so severe that I kept him out of school for an entire week while it healed. You see, until you experience seeing the unmistakable appearance of a rope burn around the neck of a little kid, you honestly can't know the horror and I honestly can't even put it to words. This goes for any child, not just your own. Had I seen this on someone else's child, I wouldn't have been able to shake that image from my mind, and may have burst into tears at the sight of it. It was the most disturbing thing I have ever seen or experienced as a mom so far. My worst nightmare - and I am one of the lucky ones. I didn't have to experience the loss of my child to understand the danger and to figure out that everything I thought I knew, wasn't actually true.

The Design Confidential Family Room Edit // Trim It / Dress It / Cut the Cord

They say ignorance is bliss, and I suppose in this case it was, until that terrible day. Having never had a reason to raise the blinds before living here, all of the cords were up and out of the way, even when they were danging down, so this was unique for him as well. Maybe my warnings didn't resonate since the circumstances were different here, or maybe he was young and the power of temptation was too great to heed my words. And maybe he simply forgot - kids do that. There is nothing that will draw a child in like a dangling cord. Since then I have rigged make-shift cord wraps at every window to wrap the cord up and out of the way. But children will always find a way if they really want to. Luckily he doesn't, and may never touch another cord like these ever again in his life, but now Penn is 3 and a force to be reckoned with. So rather than live in this fear I have, I am ready to replace these death-traps and upgrade the window situation altogether. For safety and for style.

We have no molding or trim around our windows, just a simple drywall return. And while the shades are relatively high end, they match the wall color so closely that they somehow look dingy and undeniably blah. With furniture that rubs against the drywall thanks to those low lying windows, the paint is beginning to wear and with curtains that are never left alone by my boys and the dogs and that spend most of their time tied up in a knot and off of the floor... let's just say everything is ready for a major update and refresh. I want to streamline and I would love to replace the shades with something that looks beautiful on it's own - curtains or not - and is lasting and classic. No more temporary solutions.

I had a lovely gal from Smith + Noble come out for a design consult. We settled on a gorgeous neutral linen in a classic roman shade. They have a cordless option available for this, which is incredible, though with the height of my windows, it maybe be hard for me to reach. They also have a continuous loop option that is perfect for putting my mind at ease and would still allow me to reach the pulley to raise and lower easily. Even their standard cords can be locked in place so they don't dangle. Of course we are now talking about an upgrade that will take many years to do all throughout this house, but hopefully I can tackle this one room at a time. I will try to make this a priority as I refresh paint, add trim and update other general fixtures as well.

These mock-ups are what I envision the roman shades will look like and what I hope to work toward over the next several months (years probably). If I trim out the windows themselves, then I should have the option to do away with the fussy curtains altogether if I like. In the spaces where we spend a lot of time, and the boys do a lot of playing, no dangling curtains sounds amazing. The dust and dog hair they pick up is unreal.

If you have kids, and you need to upgrade your #WindowSafety -do it in style - #SafeandStylish. Smith + Noble is hosting a giveaway for $1000 toward new window treatments, so go forth and enter (I did)! If you have existing shades or blinds in place, they will give you $50 trade-in value for every blind you trade in. They also have a handy little guide to help you child-proof your existing window treatments. A must if you aren't looking to replace or install new blinds or shades any time soon. With no less than 8 million windows in this house, I should rack up the discounts, no? Fingers crossed because this little mama bird is terrified of what my younger daredevil child will attempt. He is a definite hazard.

 

 

Oct
01
2015
Easy Halloween DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

There is nothing I love more than a project that takes me so far out of my comfort zone that I literally stress for weeks, brainstorming and then scrapping most of my ideas. Probably sounds weird, but that process is often crucial for me to arrive at the magical spot that lives smack in the middle between awesome and simple. When my monthly challenge as a Michaels Maker rolled through with the ask being for us to create a costume, I seriously panicked because as many of you know - I don't do clothing... I can buy clothing with the best of them, but make or even embellish clothing - not my strong suit.

But I think I found that sweet spot because this costume is super easy to create and is equal parts spooky and adorable. It has the feel of the costumes from long ago without the complicated construction of those intricate paper maché masks. Yahoo for that.

DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

So let's get at it. Here is what you will need

MATERIALS // I recommend black clothing with this costume. You can choose either black pants and a shirt or if you want to get precise, a black pants with a formal suit jacket that has longer tails would be appropriate.

Half Craft Pumpkin

Craft Knife

Ribbon or Elastic Band

Copper Wire

Needle Nose Pliers or small jewelry pliers

Face Paint

Spooky Cloth

Horse Stick

DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

The half pumpkins come in a few sizes so you can choose the appropriate size for the person this costume is intended for. You are going to start by lightly drawing a face on your half pumpkin, then carefully carve it out using a sharp craft knife.

DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

Once your face is carved, you will create the strap with ribbon or elastic bands. I used elastic bands since I am making this for smaller kiddos. You will need to create a small hole about the size of a pea using your craft knife. Place it about 1/2 inch in from the sides and up near the top about even with the top of your eyes.

DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

Cut a 5 inch piece of copper wire and fold it into a figure 8. It helps if you start at what will be the middle and create a small loop, then the opposite loop and continue wrapping into a figure 8 shape until you have about 1/2 inch remaining. With that remaining section, wrap the center and using your needle nose pliers, crimp in the center so that the end is around the backside along with your starting end.

DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

Pull one end of your elastic band through the hole and slide your copper bow tie through the loop with the sharp edges against the pumpkin.

DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

If this costume is for a little one, you can probably use one band like you see here. If your kiddo is bigger, use two straps like you see two images up. Create your second strap hole if you haven't already and a second copper wire bow tie. Pull the other end of your band, or one end of your second band, through you hole. Use something to help you poke it through if need be.

DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

This is what it will look like when you have it finished if you are using one strap for a smaller kiddo. For a double strap, you can simply tie them together for your big kid or adult.

Easy Halloween DIY // Headless Horseman Costume

Super simple and super fast to whip this together. Now finish things off by using a bit of black face paint so it looks hollow inside and drape a bit of spooky cloth over their heads and around their shoulders. This isn't required of course, but certainly adds to the tattered clothing look. Wear black pants and a black top and grab your horse stick for a wild night of trick or treating. An orange pumpkin basket would be a good accessory for this too!

This project was created in partnership with Michaels as part of my ongoing series of projects as a Michaels Maker! All crazy and opinions are 100% my own.

Still haven’t decided what you’re going to be? Check out the other 49 DIY costumes from the Michaels Makers and you might just find the perfect one for you, your kiddos or your beloved pet this Halloween-- they’re to die for! Whether you’re into spooky sights, playful pumpkins or giggling ghouls, the Michaels.com Halloween project page has tons of ideas for DIY Halloween costumes and décor

An InLinkz Link-up

Kiddos 
Sep
15
2015
The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

Every now and then I get a fabulous idea in my head about something I want to create, and I can literally imagine how it will play out every step of the way. When the folks from Casper wanted to see what I might make from their gorgeous mattress boxes, that is exactly how the planning process went down. It will be so simple, and look amazing, and I will skip, and dance, and root myself on along the way. And then… I actually dove into it and gave it a go, and that sucker went terribly, horribly awry. Like off the charts, accidentally demolished your chandelier that hangs 30 feet in the air, on another planet – awry. Ya, that would pretty much sum up this project the first five times I tried it. It just seemed so simple in my mind - and ultimately on attempt number six that you see here today - it was! But oh em gee you guys… those first five times I not only completely failed at making it work, but I managed to utterly destroy a major fixture in my home along the way, eek. So… yay for that. So it goes for life in the DIY lane. There is always collateral damage – always – it’s just usually a little more painful and a lot less costly for me, but it’s totally a thing in this line of biz.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

You have to be able to laugh at yourself when you are experimenting and things don’t go as planned, don’t you think? I mean… things rarely go as planned anyhow so what’s a little failure along the way but a great tool for solidifying your plans and working out the kinks before I pass it on to you guys, am I right? And naturally by laugh I often mean cry, but this time it was truly so insane that there was nothing but laughter and occasional hair pulling.  It just seemed so simple?!? Today, I bring you the truly and completely simple version of this project that doesn’t involve trying to work over an existing fixture and is instead a completely independent fixture that stands on its own looking fabulous and made from one of the most gorgeous boxes of all time and housing one of the most amazing mattresses of all time.  Let’s get into it, shall we?

MATERIALS //

Cardboard – I used the boxes that these came in.

String

Glue

Exacto Knife or Craft Blade

Keyless Socket

Swag Kit

Bulb – This should be a bulb that is cool to the touch when on so there is no fire hazard.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

Start by cutting out 8 of the same shape. You will be gluing these into pairs for a total of four arms. Mine is approximately 18” high by 12” wide at the widest point and 2” wide at the shortest point. You can do this with a long triangle shape or a shape along the lines of mine, this is entirely up to you but just be sure that the inside edge of your shape is vertical and straight and it will save you a lot of time in the end.

I decided on this shape when I was trying to work over my existing chandelier and wanted to disguise the arms and shades of the fixture. I reduced the size in my final attempt at this as well as the number of arms overall. I glued the arms into pairs with the natural sides glued together and the white and blue striped sides showing. If you are working with natural colored cardboard, you will still want to glue to pieces together so you have a very sturdy arm when you are ready to string.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

Once your pairs are glued together trim away any areas that are uneven so the sides are perfectly paired. You will cut a 1 inch slot near the top and bottom of your flat inside edge, preferably around 4 inches or so from the top edge and bottom edge. You don’t want to be too close to the ends or this won’t stay put as you are stringing your fixture. // You will want your slots to be in the same place on each of your arms so I created the slots in one arm and then used that to mark out the slot location in my other arms.

At this point you can also cut out your circles. You will need two, exactly the same size with a 10 inch diameter on the outside and an inside diameter of around 8 inches. You can see these two images up if you need an example.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

You will cut smalls slits along the outside edges. These can be about 3/8 of an inch apart and need to go all the way through your arm, front to back. Avoid placing slits at the very top and very bottom since this is where things get a bit crazy. I skipped the top altogether as you can see and my slits around about 1/4 of an inch in length. This seems to be the sweet spot so your string doesn’t slip out and your slits don’t get shaggy. Just like for your slots, you will want the same number of slits on each arm and you will want them in about the same spot, so create your slits on one arm then use that to create the slits on your other arms.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

Once you have your slits and your slots, you will piece this together a bit like a puzzle. You will want to glue these in place to keep them from moving and you should have an arm at each of the four corners of your circle, which has no corners… but I think you know what I mean. North, south, east and west, yes? 

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

After your glue has set up you are ready for the fun part – the stringing! I started at the top slit of one arm and tied off the end of my string (you can this two images down). Then just like when you were young and at summer camp or art class and you made awesome string art, you will head down to the bottom slit on the next arm and slip it through. Keep your string nice and tight throughout, without pulling too hard that you tear your cardboard or pull it through your previous arms.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

And then you go back up to the top slit of the arm next to that one, and so on and so forth around and around your fixture.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

This is probably obvious to any of you who have done this before, but for those that haven’t, once you make it full circle through your slits at the very top and very bottom, you will move to the next slit down and continue on around.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

Eventually your strings will begin to cross in the middle as you begin to make your way down the arms where you started at the top and up the arms that were on the down swing and they will flip. This is when you really see the magic happen.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

Yay, if you are finished with the stringing you can string together your light kit. You are going to want to weave your cord through your chain to give it some extra strength. I strung the cord in and out of the chain through every other link and skipping a link in the middle of those each time. You will wire your cord to your socket according to the directions on the package but you will need to have the nipple and the ring cap threaded onto your cord prior to actually wiring your socket. Your cord will slide down into the center of the ring cap and nipple, then you will wire it and secure the socket back together. 

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

It will look like this when you are finished. Hang your chain from a sturdy hook in your ceiling. You will want it to sit about midway in the center of your pendant so hang the chain and cord on the hook leaving it to dangle about 30 inches or so from your ceiling. Then you will use some of your string and secure the pendant to the hook by looping your string around the top circle. Your light kit will sit down inside of it at about the halfway point. You can secure the light kit to the pendant if you wish, but it’s not entirely necessary.

The Design Confidential DIY // String Pendant Light Fixture

Yahoo… that is it, so totally easy right? A fabulous upcycle project and just a fun way to add a bit of light to your life! 

A huge over the moon and back thank you to Casper for partnering with me on this project. It took much longer than anticipated and I couldn't have done it without them - literally - and getting a good night sleep after working my fingers to the bone was much needed. Btw, their mattresses are out of this world amazing and I will share all about my experience and my good night's sleep research in the next few weeks so stay tuned. And a big thank you to all of you who help support the brands that challenge me to create new content like this for The Design Confidential. I love to use my brain and my skill set in completely new and exciting ways, it makes my world go round and I couldn't do it without your support. You rock my world friends! Heart you guys...

Casper is an award winning sleep startup that launched with an outrageously comfortable mattress sold directly to consumers — eliminating commission driven, inflated prices. The critically acclaimed sleep surface was developed in-house by a team of product engineers with experience from IDEO, has a sleek design, and is delivered right to your door in a small, “how did they do that?” sized box

Sep
09
2015
The Design Confidential Building a Better Bed // It's all in the Details

They say building a better bed begins with a good mattress, and that is certainly true... and here at TDC, many of us know that long before that, building a better bed begins with actually building a better bed. What makes a bed better depends entirely on who will be sleeping in the bed and how much time will be spent in that bed each day. Will you watch movies, work, or snuggle with your kiddos in your bed? Do your kiddos still crawl in bed with you in the wee hours of the night and put their feet in your face? Let's just say that a great many things will be considered as you lay the foundation for your best night sleep. But how do you build a better bed once you have already built a better bed? Because there is nothing worse than having an amazing bed and a fabulous mattress that live in chaos. It will hang like a dark cloud above your head, nagging and reminding you that you never got around to making your bed that day. Let's be real, making the bed is a pain in the neck and no one wants to do it. Yet it's this one little task that sets the tone for your day and is the difference between your space feeling calm and uncluttered or chaotic and stressful.

So how can we make this easier, less of a chore, and something that doesn't require a PhD to reconstruct each morning with 8,000 pillows and crazy sheets tangled up everywhere?

The Design Confidential Building a Better Bed // It's all in the Details

In honor of National Make Your Bed Week, I thought I would fill you in on a few of the recent changes I have made that absolutely make this process easier for me and way more likely to happen - because this little mama loves a nicely made bed, but never has the patience to fuss with it. Who's with me?

First and foremost, I got rid of the top sheet. I actually like sleeping with a top sheet since I tend to sleep hot yet still need to be covered, so that top sheet comes in handy. But, I love not fussing with that top sheet so much more than I love having it, so this is a change I will gladly keep forever! Crane & Canopy sells 'No Top Sheet' Sheet Sets which is rather genius.

Then I switched my comforter for a Duvet and Nova Duvet Cover which has an easy insert zipper (instead of those buttons) and a two-tone design that mimics the designer look of a beautifully folded over top sheet - minus the actual top sheet and any of the work that comes along with that. Yahoo, right?

I also eliminated all of the excessive throw pillows and opted for a simply body pillow to sit against my headboard and two medium sized throw pillows in front. This gives us the most comfortable setup for sitting upright, which we do constantly since we spend a lot of time working or relaxing in this space. It turns out this setup is not only easier for me but Mike too since he doesn't have to worry about putting the pillows on the bed 'just the way I like them' which makes him so much more likely to actually make the bed on occasion. That my dear friends is true love! Anything that is so easy that I am not the only one who can do it is amazing in my book.

So while this doesn't have the over the top styled out look of a catalog perfect bed, it does have the look of clean and tidy with the added bonus of being easy to recreate each morning. That is the most beautiful thing ever, to me...

The Design Confidential Building a Better Bed // It's all in the Details

SOURCES //

The Hayes Nova Duvet Set - Gray

Porcelain Green 400 Thread Count Sheet Set

Striped Pillows

Lavender Almond Linen Spray

Lavender Vanilla Linen Spray

You can see this process in action below. If the hardest part of making the bed is getting the Duvet into the Duvet cover, then this couldn't be any easier because that is not hard at all. Not to mention you only do that once after you wash your bedding and you don't have to do it again for a bit!

All I have to do is sit my pillows upright, pull the duvet up, give it a little fluff, and away I can go on my day.

I happen to be a bit obsessed with smells which means I really dislike anything that doesn't smell fresh and clean. There are a lot of things that get washed in this house that don't normally get washed by most people because of this little tidbit. Obviously washing my bedding every single day isn't an option so I love the idea of a linen spray. I ordered this one and this one and every time I walk in my room I'm greeted with the most wonderful smell.

Are you sensitive to smells? How about making your bed... is it crucial, frustrating, or not high on your list? I would love to know how other feel about this hot topic - do tell.

A big huge thank you to Crane & Canopy for partnering with us on this post and an enormous thank you to all of you for supporting the companies that help bring fresh new content like this to The Design Confidential! I heart you guys...

Pages

drupal counter