From dim witted recessed can lighting to bright shining modern pendant light fixture in two easy steps... true story.... This is by far one of the easiest and fastest updates I have done to date, but what a huge impact it has had. It's funny how you can let something that is completely functional go entirely overlooked (because duh, it's working just fine). When you decide to take things up a notch and give these bland but functional pieces a new look to suit a new space, it rocks your world and gets you thinking about all of the other easy updates you might do to bring your other spaces out of the darkness and into the light.

For me, recessed can lighting falls in the category of 'works just fine' (assuming the bulb hasn't burned out of course, because prior to LED bulb invention this would be a major pain in the you know what for a gal of not so epic proportions) so if it ain't broke... why should I bother thinking about it at all, forever and ever, amen. Am I right?

Now boob lights on the other hand are an entirely different story and it is my goal to eradicate this atrocity from the world, or at least my world... you can keep your boob lights if you want to.

But lighting is such a crucial element in a space, especially if that space were to revolve around helping you figure out how you look, which in this case is definitely how the story goes. So I have been slowly trying to go through each room to replace all of my bulbs with LED bulbs (so I can never ever worry about changing them again... have I mentioned my procrastinating tendencies?) and adjust the color of the light for the particular space and how it is used. Just look at how pleasant the difference is above, it is almost night and day... literally... since the former bulb took 15 minutes to warm up and get going before it would actually light the space - the Cree LED Bulbs do not and are fully lit instantly. Another big (no, huge actually) yahoo on that front. 

This space will be used as a dressing room and will be retrofitted somewhat so I can put on makeup more easily than I can at my bathroom counter. Where makeup is concerned, overhead fluorescent-like (read... weird sickly shade of blue) lighting is your enemy which means that the two bulbs for the recessed can lights in this space would need to be something more in the daylight spectrum and very likely joined by additional lighting at face level anyhow. Once that occurred to me, it seemed to mentally give me the push I needed to make these functional fixtures a bit more beautiful and, well, functional... and so I did. A light bulb moment, if you will. These fabulous finds can be found at the Home Depot and are incredibly affordable. I think they were around $5 each and since they last for somewhere around 20 years, I think even my penny pinching self can manage that.

Replacing the bulb was a snap and since the Cree LED bulbs are well, duh, LED, they run cool which is fabulous especially when you are trying to add a decorative shade to the fixture and must sit in close range of this thing for more than a minute. And ya, I needed to do the second portion of this project with the lights on since otherwise this room is essentially pitch black (ok slight exaggeration there, but it is really really dark). Just changing the bulbs made such a big impact on it's own, but of course this story is all about adding those less than obvious little details to give a boring fixture some style so.... you will need a few additional items for this fast update to transpire.

Now for the easiest thing you ever did see. Buy a drum shade you adore that has the 3 arm lamp ring like you see above, mine is from Ikea and has a copper lining on the inside with a cutaway pattern throughout. This will help with the darkening affect that adding a lamp shade to a light fixture can have. You will also need hooks that swivel so they can be used to hang things from the ceiling. The hooks I used are command hooks from 3M and so they simply stick on and remove easily so no holes to fill if you switch back to basic can lights later.

I prepped my hooks by putting the sticky thing on, but I did not uncover the side that will stick to the ceiling for fear I would stick it to something accidentally in the process of getting up the ladder. If you notice the hook placement in the image below, you will see that they ultimately came to rest about 1 1/2 inches in from the outside edge of the lamp shade ring. This was the ideal spot for the hooks to rest since my lamp shade ring arms sit at a slight angle and slope downward from the edge of the ring toward the middle. If your ring is flat, you can place the hooks wherever you like, but somewhere inside of the edge is best so you can't see them!

I found that everything seems to hold nicely if each hook is holding the arm at the edge of it's reach, rather than with the hook straight up and down. This just makes sure everything is secure and keeps it from sliding in any one direction causing it to be slightly off center. To do this you would secure one hook and then rotate your shade just a tiny bit so your hook swivels and is holding the shade at the edge of that cute little hook's reach. But, not going to be a deal breaker my friends, just a nifty little thing. Now here is the one single solitary tricky part of this (and I am joking clearly because you will see how not tricky it is)... you will want to have 2 out of the 3 hooks face toward each other (or away from each other, either way). This just keeps the hooks from swiveling in tandem if they were all facing the same direction, and letting your shade fall off. So 2 hooks inward toward each other (or away from each other and back to back) and the 3rd hook can do whatever you please. That is it. Donzo...

To view all projects in this closet case series, in order, check out the articles below to see how far we have come!

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light // Easy Lighting Update

DIY // From Wiry Slobs to Sleek Hanging Rods

Just Add Shelves // Easy DIY Shelving for Stylish Shoe Storage

Closet Case // Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Closet Case // Measuring Up and A Bit of Reflection

IMAGES // Rayan Turner for The Design Confidential

This project was brought to you in partnership with Cree. Thank you for supporting the awesome-sauce brands and companies that help The Design Confidential create fresh new content like this! I heart you guys. 

The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys and Shower Curtain Basket Towel Starbust Mirror Brass Blue White Shibori

I’m not sure when or even how, but somewhere along the line my tiny baby bird became a much bigger babe and moved right into the glorious age of bath time water sports and other miscellaneous shenanigans. Oh the pride he shows as he helps most of the water out of the bath, oh what an adorable nightmare it is. Naturally, I thought this was a good time to move him into his own bathroom. Of course where there is a new space to be used, there must be style and function in place.

Shower Curtain / Bamboo Bowl / Mirror / Basket / Tank Basket / Bath Towel / Hand Towel Gray

Starburst Mirror Tank Basket Brass Planter Shibori Shower Curtain Tea Towel Hand Towel for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

I knew Target would have everything I needed and I didn’t leave empty handed. Not even close. I think they should make carts that can attach to each other like a train, just in case you do an impromptu redesign and you don’t plan your cart packing as well as you could have.

Mirror / Basket / Tank Basket / Bamboo Bowl / Bath Towel / Hand Towel Gray / Shower Curtain / Gray Marble Towel

Blue Ceramic French Bulldog Cookie Jar Wooden Sphere Hammered Brass Tray Framed Landscape Photography Feather for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

There is a connecting bath between Penn’s room and Blake’s room that they will ultimately share. Until now, neither of them have really used this bath much. With the 5 year age difference between them, they have different needs in this space. My biggest babe is now able to do much of his bathing and bedtime routine himself, but the little babe is not and is still a general hazard where many of the bath time tools are concerned. Storing items like q-tips in containers is a must and the French Bulldog Cookie Jar is perfect for my little animal lovers.

Framed Art / French Bulldog Cookie Jar / Wooden Sphere / Hammered Gold Tray

Basket Towel Holder Throw Blanket Navy Moroccan Pillow Teal Arrow Stripe Rug Gray Chunky Rug Woven Bench Brass Planter Shibori Shower Curtain for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

The floors in this space are tiled so rugs are also an absolute requirement in here, especially with the extra splashing going on these days. There are no towel bars near the actual place where a person might be looking for one, so a basket serves as easy storage with extra towels for those particularly wet and wiggly kiddos of mine.

Arrow Rug Teal / Chunky Rug / Bench / Throw / Pillow / Basket / Wastebasket / Shower Curtain / Hand Towel Gray

Himalayan Salt Lamp Night Light Bamboo Tumbler Toothbrush Holder Framed Landscape Art Bamboo Soap Dispenser and Hand Towel for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

I found these fabulous kitchen towels to use next to their sinks, and love the pattern and interest they add. A big focus on hand washing is always happening in this house so they each have their own soap dispensers and Penn (the littlest) has a bench that can be moved next to the sink so he can reach. When he isn’t washing hands, the bench can be used by Blake for sitting (shocking I know) so he can remove those tricky bits of clothing that love to stump a 7 year old, like socks!

Gray Marble Towel / Salt Lamp / Bath Towel / Hand Towel Mint / Soap Dispenser / Tumbler / Framed Art

Blue Ceramic French Bulldog Cookie Jar Hammered Metal Tray Brass Wooden Sphere Bamboo Soap Dispenser for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

With both boys wanting to be big boys so very badly, a new space decorated just for them with their particular needs and wants is pretty exciting.

Wooden Sphere / Hammered Gold Tray / French Bulldog Cookie Jar / Tumbler / Soap Dispenser

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.

The Design Confidential 6 Sanity Savers // How to Beat the Post Holiday Backlash

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! It has been nice to unexpectedly have a couple of days to just relax and enjoy my family. We have had a few rather unplanned sick days for everyone here at Casa de TDC. But, I am chomping at the bit to de-holiday this place and tackle the excess once and for all. I am one of those neurotic organizing freaks when I get my hands on a space and so I thought I would share a few of my post holiday backlash beating tools.

1 // $15 Indoor / Outdoor Shelving - Yep you heard me correctly... $15 folks and the max weight per shelf is 55 pounds which is almost the same (and in some cases better) as the max load for the much more expensive shelving units. The only drawback to these inexpensive variety is they aren't very deep, in which case a second unit to attach to the first will fix that problem right up. Wouldn't these look fabulous in brass?

2 // Baskets - Goodlooking oversized baskets, like this one, this one and this one, in a variety of patterns and shapes is one of my absolute favorite clutter busters. This is especially true where toys are concerned... and pillows, I seem to be drowning in both at any moment of the day and in particular after Santa has paid a visit to these kiddos.

3 // Vacuum + Steam Mop Combo - With virtually an entire first floor filled with ceramic tile, kids and dogs, and nothing short of a revolving door during the holidays (and most of the time) the amount of debris and subsequent cleanup is constant. This is a a major time saver.

4 // Ziploc Bags + Space Bags - From freezer bags to suction powered space bags, these convenient items save me a ton of space and are my easy solution for storing away bedding, seasonal clothing, ornaments, garlands, and other holiday ephemera once the holidays and winter months are behind us. The large ornament boxes would work well for those special breakable decorations, but with kids and dogs I have none of that. All of my shatterproof, snowflake and paper ornaments get divided up by type and put into Ziploc bags and then placed in plastic bins till the next time I am ready to decorate the tree.

5 // Plastic Bins with Latch - Perfect for storing your holiday decor (all those organized bags of ornaments we talked about) and still letting you see what is inside so that next year you don't have to open every bin to find what you need. The latch mechanism on these seems to be essential for long term use and helps for those of you who like to overfill (like me). The long low bins are perfect for storing giftwrap you don't use year round and if you are clever with your packing, will typically house gift bags, boxes and ribbon rolls too. 

6 // Upright Deep Cleaning Machine with Scotchguard Protector - I have mentioned the children, the dogs, and many holiday visitors in addition to a pretty decent amount of rain this year and so this is an absolute must. I can only keep up with the spot cleaning for so long before it is simply a much better use of my time to pull out the carpet cleaner. Because let's be real, with the type of messes that happen with young boys and dogs, spot cleaning is relatively useless and frustrating. I am always so happy with how the carpeting looks after it's professionally cleaned but regular cleanings by professionals are simply not cost effective so having a personal unit to clean with when I need to is critical for my sanity. With scotchguard protector it will last longer than 5 minutes before someone spills wine, tracks mud, or one of the dogs throws up. That makes me a much less frantic mom and one who isn't cringing at every potential mess one million times a day.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with BISSEL. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for The Design Confidential, I heart you guys!


The perfect holiday for me is one that is warm, cozy and festive and yet doesn’t add any unnecessary effort or stress to an already chaotic time of year. It should be more about the experience and less about over the top and time consuming décor that gets in the way of memory making and time with my family.

Faux Fur Stool / Snowflake Tall Tumbler / Snowflake Short TumblerMercury Glass Salad Plate / Gold Porcelain Dipping Bowl / Gold Glitter Tree Large / Gold Glitter Tree Small / Polar Bear Figurine

I think achieving this elusive balance is always the goal for me, with our busy lives, large extended family and no less than 16 birthdays between the months of October and January. Of course this is certainly much easier said than done, most of the time. 

White + Gold Candle Holders - In Store Only

This year I have held hard and fast to this notion of an easy and effortless holiday and have decorated with gorgeous holiday décor from my BFF’s at Target. Their holiday collection blends seamlessly with my existing everyday décor and will look amazing well after the holidays are over and I still haven’t managed to take things down. This is of course a crucial component in my plan for less chaos and stress.  

White Small Candle Holder / White Large Candle Holder / Gold Small Candle Holder / Gold Large Candle Holder

If everything I add to my home will look just as good in February as it will in December, then it is a keeper in my book. I have found that the ideal balance between effortless holiday décor and capturing that warm holiday feeling, for me, is in fact a streamlined smattering of festive details and is how I define a modern holiday. My modern holiday is easy and carefree and still looks amazing alongside all of the décor I have worked so hard to create during the rest of the year. 

Bottle Brush Tree Large / Bottle Brush Tree Small / Happy Holidays Glittery Garland / 4.5' Prelit Tree

Sometimes keeping things simple means getting creative with my décor. I like to add a handmade touch to my tree and mantle, but I don’t always have the time to do this. This year I let the folks at Target do the heavy lifting for me, and I added those handmade touches by choosing decorations that are unique and made from natural materials. Glittery paper garlands hung from the mantle and cut into sections to adorn my tree add just the right amount of texture and don’t require any significant time investment on my part. Perhaps semi-homemade is a more appropriate turn of phrase as even some adorable wooden snowflake and tree shaped gift tags I found became the most gorgeous ornaments. Beautiful bottle brush trees grace my hearth and add a bit of that wintery feeling with ease and elegance. I used shimmery tablecloth for a tree skirt and added just the right amount of shine without stealing the show.


A cookies and milk station for Santa along with a note from each of my boys is always a holiday favorite in our house. The holiday dinner and barware pieces in this collection make this experience just a bit more special and filled with the type of holiday spirit that I truly adore which is that of gorgeous details and stylish holiday fun.

Faux Fur Stool / Snowflake Tall Tumbler / Snowflake Short Tumbler / Mercury Glass Salad Plate / Gold Porcelain Dipping Bowl / Gold Glitter Tree Large / Gold Glitter Tree Small / Polar Bear Figurine

My home is both festive and carefree with these easy holiday pieces and it has taken much of the thought and effort out of the process. I could not be more glad of that… now that I am finished with most of my holiday chores, I’m off to sit by the fire and watch my boys fight over who gets to redecorate the tree for the eighteenth time. Please tell me your kiddos do this too? It’s a wonder anything ever stays in the same spot longer than a minute. At least if everything coordinates, I suppose it doesn’t matter much if my holiday trimmings end up in a different place every hour on the hour, and it certainly makes things fun for my babes to get involved in dressing our home this time of year.

Faux Fur Throw / Fur Pillow / Bottle Brush Tree / Glittery Garland / Silver Garland / Tablecloth

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.


Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

I’m back after a crazy busy weekend to share the story of how four pieces of art transformed two rooms and made one gal a very happy girl. If you’re just joining me on this adventure, you can read all about this project here and here. I partnered with my bff's at domino magazine and Minted to curate a collection of pieces from their new exclusive collection of art and to transform a wall in my home that needs a little love. Well, there are no shortage of lonely walls in this crazy house, but I chose to focus on two in particular that have been a work in progress for far too long.

It wasn’t easy choosing from this gorgeous group of prints, but there were several that seemed like they would fit right into the mix I already had and would feel like they had been there all along, only better!

I am also super duper excited to tell you about the amazing prize one of you might win... but first, let's get back to the gorgeous things that happened here this past weekend! 

Let us begin in the Living Room, shall we? 


Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

My living room wall began like this... I only showed you a small portion of this wall because the remainder is very vast and was very lonely and sparse feeling.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

And then it all came together to look like this! Yahoo... I added two gorgeous prints, Inner Light from Kristi Kohut and Sand from Melissa Douglas, and they gave this wall a more modern and youthful look and certainly brought the happy to this space!

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

I made you guys a little animated view so you can see the pieces come together. From start to finish this space now feels full and complete with art that is unique and special. But of course I didn't stop here....

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

Gazing upon this temporary gallery wall bummed me out every single day so I decided to take on the enormous wall I began in my Master Bedroom several months back, and gave this space a bit of special as well.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

The transformation here is pretty significant, especially in person. I added Marbled Wake by SylvieCeres Designs and Organism 1b by VeryMarta and they make me smile every time I head upstairs. It feels pretty special to have these pieces in this space.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

The animated version of this cute puzzle is so fun. You guys, it feels so grownup to have real art by real artists on my walls. Everytime I complete a project like this I have that moment of 'why didn't I do this earlier' and I hope that some of you experience this feeling too... So join me in a challenge of your own and get on that lonely little wall you have ignored for far to long! To make it that much more fun, we will be giving one of you lucky folks some art to make a gorgeous gallery wall of your own! Share your adventure with us using the hashtag #dmhappywalls and be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential @dominomag and @minted on instagram as you share your journey toward cute walls.

In honor of the new collection, I’m hosting a $500 giveaway with domino and Minted! Just hop over to check out the 75 new pieces and then comment on this post with an art piece you might choose, should you win. Then click here to enter the sweepstakes. Good luck!


The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

This partnership and giveaway are sponsored by The Home Depot, Yahoo. All crazy talk and thoughts are my own.

It looks like some of you are definitely on Santa's Good List this year, because at the end of this story, one of you is going to win a $500 gift card to The Home Depot, yahoo!

I had the pleasure of hosting November's #DIHWorkshop at the Elk Grove store,one of Sacramento's local Home Depot locations, and it was a glorious!

We cut, we drilled, we seriously nailed it and there even was hot chocolate and cookies... my fave. We had a packed house, filled with guys and gals alike, and an eager group of folks who wanted to soak up the power tool and lighted marquee sign building knowledge and it was fabulous! Truly...

Swag Bags from HGTV at The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

There was swag for all, in cute bags, galore.

You must head to your nearest workshop this month to see what is in store.

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

We gave our introductions - that is me on the left - then we got straight into our project! Our fearless leader David, that is him on the right... just in case you couldn't tell, walked us through the general project steps and I could tell that our amazing group was equal parts excited and a bit nervous about getting to use power tools! Truthfully, this is my favorite thing because I have found that I love to watch people come to the realization that they can actually do this sort of thing. Power tools are empowering, that is just the heart of the matter.

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

David brilliantly printed out his drawing of the measurements for the letters J, O, and Y. With this he showed us how to use a T-Square to recreate the letters on our plywood. It sounds trivial perhaps, but trust me when I say that it is a detail that is easily overlooked and has the potential to cause a bit of a headache if not addressed. The letters are larger than a standard sheet of paper, so unless you scale them down you aren't able to print and cut out a template. Drawing them out is the best solution and he made this step easy!

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

Then onto the real deal... It was time for everyone to get to try out the jig saw. I could tell this was initially the part folks were nervous about, but they got to see just how easy it is. They also got a few tips from me about how to maintain control of the saw and use it to their greatest advantage. For any of you who have used a jig saw, you already know how they can shake your head loose if you don't maintain pressure throughout your cuts.

We were shown how to make the pilot hole for cutting out the inside of the O, such good stuff!

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

We talked trimmings of a woodsy variety and our group got to use one of my favorite tools of all time- the Ryobi Cordless Airstrike Nail Gun - to nail on the perimeter trim that frames out the marquee sign. That thing is addicting. I could see it start to take hold of each of the people who gave it a whirl. You just don't want to stop. In fact, you might find yourself looking for reasons to use it and when all else fails... making them up entirely! The letters were nailed in place and everyone was seeing things really come together at this point.

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

While our letters had already been drilled for light placement, so they could be painted inside the holes ahead of time, your version at home will likely get holes after they are secured. If you prefer to drill through the letters in advance, then paint them fully, then once they are secured to the back board you can drill carefully through your premade holes to create a hole in the same spot through the back plywood sheet.

Just look at that gorgeous sawdust. Sawdust smells like progress and productivity, don't you think?

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

When you are ready to string your lights, you will likely have to remove the globe portion so you can fit the lights in and through your holes. When you put the globe portion back on, it will help hold the lights in place so do this as you go along! You can use a little epoxy to secure the base of the lights to the hole so that they don't move around. If you prefer to have your string of lights be less permanent, you can of course simply pull things nice and tight on the backside and use a staple gun to carefully secure it. Yahoo, that is all she wrote... except there were some awesome prizes including our group project and another identical sign and some gift cards as well! Yay! So many winners... and now you boys and girls have a chance to win a huge holiday prize of $500 to The Home Depot! The entry form should show below, if it doesn't, simply refresh. I provided a great many methods for entry so that no one feels left out! Do them all, or do just one, regardless I wish you all the very best luck!

PRIZE // $500 Gift Card to The Home Depot

WINNER // One winner will be drawn at random from the Rafflecopter entries below. It's all very civilized and technical, you know?

GIVEAWAY // This giveaway ends at midnight on December 10, 2014 and the winner will be notified via email later that morning. Make sure the email you use to sign in to Rafflecopter or Disqus (for comments) is valid and regularly checked! It would be sad to miss out on your prize!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

// Make this year a how-to holiday. The Home Depot is the destination for the tools and supplies to deck your halls without the hassle.

// The Home Depot can share the skills and confidence to be a first class do-it-yourselfer. In-store workshops are a great way to get step-by-step instructions and hands-on experience learning to do simple décor and easy home improvements. 

// Do-It-Herself (DIH) Workshops are held monthly at all The Home Depot store locations and empower women to take their home improvement project plans from dreams to done. 

// Clear your calendar and grab your girlfriends the third Thursday of each month for The Home Depot’s DIH Workshop. This interactive, hands-on workshop is a great opportunity to fine tune your DIY skills and pick up tips and advice from the pros for all of your home improvement projects.

This partnership and giveaway are sponsored by The Home Depot, Yahoo. All crazy talk and thoughts are my own. The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their DIH Workshop program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


drupal counter