My Favorite DIY Modern Light Fixtures

Since we started thinking about moving to Brooklyn, I’ve been reading a lot about how to personalize a rental apartment. We’ve rented in the past, but after a few years of beefing up our home improvement experience, I feel like we’re much better equipped to make changes now.

One update that can be quick and easy (assuming that the wiring isn’t a total mess) is swapping out a light fixture. It made a huge difference in our kitchen, and we’d definitely consider doing it again. So, I’ve been gathering a few of my favorite DIY light fixtures. I’m especially digging the recent influx of modern geometric pieces. Check out my faaaves.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY modern light fixtures

1. Black Chandelier with Gold-Dipped Bulbs by Sarah M. Dorsey Designs
Sarah M Dorsey Designs - DIY modern chandelier with gold-dipped bulbs
This light fixture was inspired by a $3300 chandelier and only cost $100 to make. Plus, those bulbs! Get more information.

2. Wall Sconce Task Light by Vintage Revivals
Vintage Revivals - DIY Wall Sconce Task Light
Mandi made this out a Target lamp, wooden dowels and a few copper elbows. Get the tutorial.

3. Lindsey Adelman “You Make It” Chandelier
Lindsey Adelman You Make It Chandelier
Lindsey Adelman‘s chandeliers are amazing. They’re also very expensive. Luckily, she created a DIY-able version. Tons of brave bloggers have created their own, and you could be next! See photos of completed kits here, get the instructions here, and buy a kit with all the parts here.

4. Lindsey Adelman You Make It Mobile
Lindsey Adelman - You Make It Mobile
Our angel Lindsey Adelman didn’t stop at chandeliers – she also provided instructions for this mobile. See photos here, and click “PRICING” for links to buy parts. Get the instructions here.

5. DIY Woven Wood Veneer Pendant by Poppytalk
Poppy Talk Blog - DIY Wood Globe Light Fixture
Make this pendant with wood veneer strips and an Ikea Hemma cord set.

6. Geometric Brass Pendant by Weekdaycarnival
Weekdaycarnival - DIY brass geometric pendant
This one is easier than it looks – just buy some brass tubes, tie them together with twine and bend them into your desired shape(s). The link to the concrete lamp kit doesn’t go anywhere right now, but I think it’d look just as good using a plain base. Get more information here.

7. Pipe Light Fixture by The Gathered Home
The Gathered Home - DIY Pipe Light Fixture
For something just a little more traditional, I like this simple pipe chandelier. See the tutorial.

8. Multi-faceted Geometric Light Fixture from Style Me Pretty
Style Me Pretty - Geometric Gold Light Fixture DIY
Think this one’s made with more brass tubes? NOPE. IT’S STRAWS. And the whole project only cost $10. Get the instructions here.

9. Statement Pendant by Sarah M. Dorsey Designs
Sarah M Dorsey Designs - Fluorescent Diffuser Statement Light Fixture DIY
I’m not gonna lie: this one intimidates me. The cool shapes that surround the bulbs are made fluorescent light diffuser and plaster of paris. Looks pretty amazing though, right? Here’s the tutorial.

10. Hanging Bulb Chandelier by Love & Renovations
Love and Renovations - DIY chandelier with glass globe bulbs
My old wedding blogging buddy Amanda and her husband made this mind-blowing chandelier a couple years ago, and I still marvel at it. Get the instructions.

11. Hammered Metal Pendant by Precious Me
Preciously Me - Black and Gold Hammered Pendant DIY
This is another oldie-but-a-goodie, and it’s super simple. It’s made with that hammered Ikea bowl you always pass in the garden section and think “I love that, but do I need another bowl?” You do, because this one is meant to be a pendant light. Here’s the tutorial.

12. Arrow Light Fixture from Design*Sponge
Design Sponge - Arrow light fixture DIY
The decorative arrows set this one apart from the brass light fixture pack. Get the instructions.

13. Dodecahedron Pendant Light by View Along the Way
View Along the Way - DIY dodecahedron pendant light
The tutorial for this one hurts my brain – it requires a digital protractor, and I barely know what a protractor is – but if you’re feeling courageous, get it, girl. Here are the instructions.

14. Embroidery Hoop Pendant by Dear Emmeline
Dear Emmeline - Embroidery hoop DIY light fixture
I’ve seen a lot of DIY orb lights made out of metal, but I like the warmer tone of this wood version made with embroidery hoops. Get the tutorial.

15. Gold Sunburst Flushmount Fixture by Simple Details
Simple Details - DIY gold sunburst flushmount light fixture
Uh, genius. This is just a cheap flushmount fixture mounted inside of a sunburst mirror frame. Get the instructions.

16. Wood and Brass Hanging Hoop Pendant by Vintage Revivals
Vintage Revivals - DIY wood and brass hanging hoop pendant
Wood and brass. Yesssssssss. Make a bunch and cluster them together! Here’s the tutorial.

17. Hanging Pendant Sconce from One Kings Lane
One Kings Lane - DIY hanging light bulb sconce
This one’s super simple, but what’s great about it is that it doesn’t require hard-wiring – it just mounts on the wall with a couple screws and then plugs into an outlet. Perfect for renters. Get the tutorial.

18. Copper Pipe Icosahedron Light Fixture by The Gathered Home
The Gathered Home - DIY copper pipe icosahedron light fixture
Geometry is involved in this. But it looks like it’s worth the effort. Here are the instructions.

19. Gold Branch Light by Little Green Notebook
Little Green Notebook - DIY gold branch light
This one has shorter arms (legs?) than some of the others, which makes it a little subtler and lower-profile. I’m into it. Get the tutorial.

20. Copper and Wood Hanging Chandelier by Vintage Revivals
Vintage Revivals - Copper and wood chandelier DIY
This guy’s made from a wood utensil caddy and bowl from Target, plus some copper pipes and stuff, and it’s SO. GOOD. Get the instructions.

21. Brass Chandelier from One Kings Lane
One Kings Lane - Brass chandelier DIY
This brass chandelier kind of reminds me of a baby mobile, except way more glam and awesome. Does anyone else see it? Here’s the tutorial.

So, you gonna give one a try? I think I might!

Inspired by: Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2014

I know the internets are abuzz with photos from the Spring 2015 collections, but I have to admit: I can’t seem to get excited about a fashion season until it’s actually upon me. So, on this, the first day of fall, I’m clicking back through my pinned Fall 2014 looks.

Rebecca Minkoff is one of my favorite designers, so naturally, one of my favorites looks was from her New York Ready-to-Wear show.


Court Sweatshirt with Haircalf Trim | Blessing Over-the-Knee Boot

It has everything I’m into: [faux] fur, leather, tall boots, metallics and of course, a SWEATSHIRT. I spent last night shopping for similar items. I may have gotten a little carried away.

(Hover over the image for product links!)


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Did you have a favorite look from the Fall 2014 shows?

Mid-Century Chinoiserie Rustic Eccentric PARTY TIME

If you’ve seen my home (or my blog, or my Instagram, or my Pinterest…), you know I love me some color. If I didn’t exercise some degree of restraint, I swear, my house would look like one of those massive 120-ct. boxes of crayons that your friend Ashley had and you were always really jealous of because you only had the 64-ct. box and it didn’t even have a good LILAC option. UGH. I digress.

Recently, though, I’ve discovered that you have to draw the line somewhere. My living room is chock full of brightly-colored pillows, super-saturated art, blue and orange lamps, and even an apothecary jar full of fake fruit. But when I brought in our new rug, all of a sudden, it was too much. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love Lalita. But this girl is a Diva with a capital “D.” She wants to be a star – a STAR! She must have all the attention, and if anyone else tries to capture the spotlight, well … she’ll cut a B. Look out for Lalita. I’ve learned a lot from living with that crazy chick.

So, when Chairish asked me if I’d like to pick one of their bold accent chairs and e-design a bright, colorful room around it, I jumped at the chance to try out my new color wisdom. All of the choices were gorgeous, but I fell for the hot pink and warm teak of this Danish Arne Vodder chair.

Danish Teak Lounge Chair Arne Vodder France and Son

I think this chair likes attention, don’t get me wrong – but she’s OK to share it with her friends. She just wants to have a good time, you know? So, I figured it was safe to include some other color, but not too much. This chair deserves to shine.

My style lately has been skewing a bit ’70s, but this chair has such classic mid-century lines that I figured I’d pair it with a few other MCM pieces.

Mid-century eccentric living room inspired by Danish teak armchair from Chairish
(Click image to view larger)

Watercolor painting | Floor lamp | Leather sofa | Tassel pillow | Cowhide pillow | Tulip side table | Chinoiserie lamp | Lamp shade | Live edge coffee table | Danish teak chair | Area rug

This mock-up is full of items I want to buy, so this isn’t very healthy for me, but let’s move past that.

I started with a large-scale piece of art, as I often do. This vintage watercolor incorporates all my favorite colors, including some great pinks, so I kept the palette in mind as I looked for other pieces. I knew I wanted to use a cognac leather sofa, because that’s all I can think about at this time in my life, so the West Elm Hamilton was a no-brainer. I brought in some brass and a rustic element with the live edge table, which I’ve had pinned for months (and will never be able to afford). To continue the mid-century vibe, I included my favorite side table ever, a Saarinen in black marble. I just love it so much. Some day, when I have a spare $700 … it will be mine. Then, I had to add in some character with a vintage lamp, because I feel like every room needs a little chinoiserie. The dark drum shade keeps it from skewing old lady, in my opinion.

The old me probably would have thrown multicolored patterned pillows into the mix, along with some kind of bright yellow vase or lamp, but this is me showing restraint. I think the black elements ground the design a bit, lending a little bit of maturity to offset the rainbow-tasseled pillows and pops of pink. I was tempted to use a Beni Ourain – I’m only human, for goodness’ sake – but I needed just a little bit more color, so I found this fabulous aqua Moroccan-esque area rug instead.

So, how do you use color in your home? Do you try and keep it under control, or do you embrace the crayon box?

A New Home for My Guitar

I have, in my possession, what I consider to be a very gorgeous guitar.

Ovation Legend in Cherry Burst - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I decided to take up playing when I was 14 or 15, and on Christmas morning, I came downstairs to find an Ovation sitting on a stand in front of the tree. I thought it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I took lessons until I graduated, and while I didn’t possess much natural ability, I loved everything about the culture of acoustic guitar. I had crushes on boys who changed my strings and taught me Copeland songs; I ran in crowds that strummed Dave Matthews and Dispatch around summer campfires; I spent school nights staying up late practicing Dashboard Confessional.

My sophomore year of college, I moved in with my cousin and started spending a lot of time with his friends from Berklee (including my brand-new boyfriend, a certain Brad Fisher). Hanging out with real musicians, I became a little bashful about my own lack of skill, and slowly started playing my guitar less and less. I’m ashamed to say that since then, my beautiful baby has spent most of its time in its case in a closet.

For some reason, though, lately I’ve wanted to play. I’m terribly out of practice and it’s been doing horrible things to my gel manicure, but it feels like I’m getting back to my roots and I love it. And if I want to keep that up, it needs to stay out of the closet. So, it’s time for my guitar to have a better home.

In the corner of our living room, there’s currently a giant bookcase.

Large wood bookcase in living room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

It’s in decent condition, but it’s not really our style anymore, and it’s just so big. We’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get rid of it since we moved in. We even took pictures of it for Craigslist, but for whatever reason, we never posted it. All of our books are on a bookcase in the guest room, so this one just holds random picture frames, vases, and other knick-knacks that could easily be relocated. We have limited floor space downstairs, so when I decided that my guitar needed a new home, the first thing I thought of was hanging it on the wall. And there’s some prime wall space hiding behind that giant bookcase. So it’s time for it to GO.

Once we’ve moved the bookcase, I have big dreams. Brad wants to hang up his bass, too, which I’m completely on board with. When I was growing up, my dad had electric basses scattered all over the house and played them all the time, and I’m eager to hear the familiar sound again.

We want our guitars downstairs so that we’ll play them, not so they’ll look pretty, but since this is a home design blog, let’s look at some of my favorite hanging-guitar inspiration, shall we?

Thomas and Nicole Colbert's living room via Design Sponge

Thomas and Nicole Colbert’s living room via Design*Sponge

Hanging guitars next to navy bookcase by Little Green Notebook

Jenny Komenda‘s old living room

Hanging guitars in Lesley W Graham's bedroom

Lesley W. Graham‘s bedroom

Living room by David Benrud for Pottery Barn - via Apartment Therapy

Design by David Benrud for Pottery Barn, via Apartment Therapy

We don’t have a ton of space to work with now, but ultimately, we plan to replace our couch-end table-chaise situation with one sectional couch which would theoretically not go as close to the wall. And we do need some storage over there. So, we’re thinking of replacing the bookcase with something smaller-scale. We’re toying with the idea of Brad building this piece from The Design Confidential. The guitars would hang over it.

The Design Confidential - Two-door Campaign Side Table

Wouldn’t it be pretty painted white with brass hardware, like this?

So, what do you all think? Since I have an even number of items to hang, I should offset them with some art, right? This is going to be fun!

Keeping Our Home Cohesive

Hello, friends. Is everyone having a nice spring? I’ve been having a lot of fun cooing over all my new plants on the deck (I deadhead my hanging baskets daily and I LOVE it) and actually attempting some gardening in back. Last weekend, I got 300 free ladybugs from Pike Nursery to take care of the aphid problem on my rosebushes and released them at midnight. It was totally cool, and now whenenever I see them (I assume they’re the same ones), I cheer them on. I am a big old dork. Go ladybugs, go!

Another thing I’m having fun with is decorating the final frontier of our house: the two upstairs bathrooms. We painted them and replaced some light switch plates when we moved in, but other than that, they’ve been largely abandoned, and I finally just got sick of it. Since they’re bathrooms (i.e. small and more easily changed), I’m giving myself a little leeway to try new things. I really try to be brave with our home decor, but because I have such design ADD, I worry a lot about our house looking like a crazy person lives in it. I mean, there’s eclectic, and then there’s just whacky.

Lately, I’ve been so inspired by Lesley W. Graham‘s gorgeous home. Her aesthetic is modern farmhouse, and she uses that as a guide to keep things cohesive. I try to use my style as a guide, too, but modern rustic glam doesn’t give me much in terms of parameters. I can’t even really use our house’s architecture style as a guide. I mean, it’s a 1980s … neo colonial? Or something? I love it, but it doesn’t have much character. I know what I can’t do in here (I probably couldn’t pull off formal Hollywood Regency or super-rustic farmhouse, for example), but it doesn’t exactly inspire me, either.

To try and give myself better parameters, I recently made a new Pinterest board called “Rooms I Could Live In.” I’m trying to collect design inspiration that I could really apply in our home, and that I actually have the balls for. I adore things like marble walls and velvet upholstered doors and rose gold bar stools, but let’s be honest: I don’t have the cajones. Or the money.

When I got really honest and selective with my pins, I discovered a few common threads:

  • Warm woods. OK, I knew that one!
    Style by Emily Henderson - Wood and brass dresser

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Pops of color on accessories and neutrals on the bigger pieces. This one was more of a surprise. I’m crazy into bright colors, but when I look at the rooms I pinned, there isn’t color everywhere. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

  • Brass and gold used semi-sparingly. This house just isn’t fancy enough to have gold everywhere. I know this. I also know that I can’t afford to replace brass faucets and light fixtures and cabinet hardware everywhere when we’re trying to sell this place in the next 5-10 years. Must control the gold, as difficult as that is.
    White campaign dresser by Emily Henderson

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Mid-century pieces. What?! I’ve been telling myself I don’t like mid-century modern for years. And it’s true that I still don’t like anything shaped like a spaceship, or chrome, or anything too low to the ground. And Eames loungers still aren’t my thing. But I do like tapered legs, and hairpin legs, and straight lines, and warm woods mixed with brass. So I guess I like mid-century. Weird.

  • Chunky, rustic elements. But just a couple pieces mixed with more modern items.
    Rachel Bilson's living room via Lonny

    Via Lonny

  • Plants errywhere. Duh.
    Bri Emery's living room by Emily Henderson

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Patterned vintage-y rugs. I thought I was into modern, graphic patterns, but not so much when it comes to rugs! I just love the lived-in feeling that a worn-looking rug gives a space. I also inadvertently pinned a ton of off-white souk rugs, but my dog would somehow manage to vomit on one of those and stain it before I could even lay it down, so that’s out of the question.
    Emily Henderson's bedroom with warm woods and teal velvet

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • A lived-in, casual feel. This is key. Nothing tailored, nothing formal, nothing that looks even remotely uncomfortable or too precious.

Here’s a quick little mood board I made on Polyvore (which incidentally, is totally addicting):

Wood, gold and fuchsia


So, uh, with all that said … I still don’t know what our official aesthetic is. But at least I can try to be honest with myself about what I really like, and what I can realistically pull off. That’s better than no guidelines at all.

I recently put together a bunch of pictures of our home for a house tour, and I was pleased to see that the rooms don’t look as scatterbrained together as I thought they would. So, that’s good. Just gotta keep that up and rein in the crazy, I guess.

How do you keep your home cohesive? Have you picked an aesthetic to stick to, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best?

PS: Yes, I noticed that the vast majority of the rooms I like are by Emily Henderson. And that my last post about our style was all about her, too. Apparently, I just want to live inside her brain. I bet it’s pretty in there.