Wednesday, December 11

DIY [gold lamp shade]

I'm fully convinced that classy, elevated spaces are made so by their lighting. Sophisticated lighting creates the mood and atmosphere more than anything else, in my opinion, and isn't the feel of a room the whole point of decor?

I've come to this realization through my many, many nights in hotels, both the good and the bad. We can all relate to the harsh, sterile white light  the JW Marriott on Central Park, for example, has an impressive, multi-dimensional lighting scheme that completely blew me away: dim but effective motion-activated track lighting under bathroom sink (no more blinding yourself when you need to brush your teeth or visit in the night), back-lit artwork to bring subtle attention to the room's best features, ceiling lights, bedside scones, standing lamps, all creating many layers of light and tone. Truly gorgeous and special and pretty inexpensive for the impact. Oh yeah, and dimmers on EVERYTHING.

Since I had this realization, I've been trying to create an intentional lighting scheme for our home...tough, as a renter, but not impossible. My tripod floor lamp and a table lamp on our dresser give almost enough light to make the dreaded apartment ceiling light unnecessary, but I needed one last source to round out the room and provide functional bedtime light: a lamp on the nightstand.

Until I can afford my dream lamp (don't ask what color, I want them all), I head to Target. I was drawn towards this simple base from Target and a matching shade, $9.99 each. I think the geometric faceted shade is reminiscent of the Robert Abbey, no? (humor me here people)

It's nice, but a bit blah at the same time, and I don't love the transparency of the shade with the light on. I've always wanted to try painting the inside of a shade, and this was the perfect opportunity to choose my first victim. It's a fun pop of color and a cheap way to add the small, layered details that make a house a home. Fortunately, it couldn't be easier. Here's how:

First thing to do is protect the areas you don't want painted. I learned this trick somewhere along the way: use a plastic bag to help with your spray painting projects. It can cover large areas so you don't use a whole roll of tape. Tape it around the rim and you're good to go.

Spray several light coats over the interior, allowing it to dry for 20 minutes in between. Light coats are crucial here, because you shouldn't sand something so fragile if you can avoid it. At this point I got quite excited by how reflective the paint is off of the angles, even sans filter (#instalife).

If you've taped well (make sure to protect the inside rim!), you will be able to peel away a clean line. You'll need multiple small pieces of tape to work your way around the curved edge. Quick tip: by layering one piece of tape over the one before it, you can remove it in one long pull.

Et voila! This was a one-hour project  including drying time, cost me nothing, and added a little somethin' somethin' to a generic, mass-produced lamp. And the best part: check out this shine! Especially compared to the first image, where the tone was white and the shade transparent, I'm appreciating my opaque shade and golden glow.

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