December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

Jan

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Cool Hacks: West Elm Reclaimed Wood Buffet and Hicks Pendant Light

Hola!

I'm not particularly fond of the term "hack" to describe modifying an object to turn it into another form of the same object (like the ubiquitous "Ikea hacks") -- to me hack signifies a person who smells like a bar the morning after (if you ever worked in a bar and cleaned up after hours you know exactly the smell I'm talking about) -- a rummy, if you will -- and is just going through the motions performing his or her craft or trade.  A perfect example of a hack was the role performed by Paul Newman in the excellent 1982 movie "The Verdict" in which he played a washed-up, burnt-out lawyer with a drinking problem.

Be that as it may, I do love the idea of making something "low" look like something "high" at a minimum cost, and to that end one of my favorite websites is Knock Off Decor.   I visit it often to see what you genius d-i-y-ers out there in blogland are doing with your creative selves!

This morning I saw two projects that just blew me away:

The first one is a "Reclaimed Wood Buffet Ikea Hack" that was done by Aniko at Place of My Taste.  Aniko fell in love with West Elm's "Reclaimed wood and lacquer buffet" that has a price tag of $1,199 plus $100 delivery surcharge.  Yikes!  It sure is a beauty, though, I do have to say so:

Photo:  West Elm website.  

I won't go into the details of how Aniko transformed her already owned Ikea buffet -- you'll want to check it out for yourself and marvel at how she did it.  Suffice to say it was sheer creative genius and I love, love, love the result -- take a peek:

Photo from Place of My Taste - Ikea buffet refaced with reclaimed wood!
The second transformation that transfixed me is by Brynne of The Gathered Home, who took an Ikea light fixture and created the look of a Hicks pendant light.  Now darlings, I confess, I had no idea what the hell a Hicks pendant light was until I read about it at Brynne's blog.  Pretty cool looking, I must say.  How do you all find these things -- is there a secret cult of people who do nothing but scan online sources day after day after day, looking for such things?  Ha - of course - Pinterest and Houzz!  Can you tell -- I don't get out very often:

The "large size" Hicks pendant light
at Circa Lighting.

Above, the large size Hicks pendant light at Circa Lighting, retails for $735.  I haven't even spent that much on a sofa, let alone a single light fixture.  Are people nuts?

Below is Brynne's amazing transformation of the Ikea Vaster pendant light, which retails for around $90.  Visit Brynne's site and follow along step by step how she did it.  Honestly, other than the cord not having a chain, I wouldn't know the difference:

Brynne Delerson's amazing
transformation of an Ikea Vaster pendant
light to a "Hicks" pendant light.
Cropped photo from The Gathered Home.

Now I must stop this and get to the Pick 'n Save, and then sweep up half of ton of nut shells outside -- it's supposed to get up to 40 F today, woo woo!  

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