Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category


Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

The Potence lamp by Jean Prouvé is one of those elegantly minimalist lighting solutions that appears easier to construct than it actually is. Well, for me at least. I tried and failed, MISERABLY, to build an affordable DIY version for our bedroom and eventually gave up hope. Then? This email popped up brimming with pictures of a homemade version of the Potence that blew me away. Logan of ONEFORTYTHREE had written a comment long, long ago when I first posted about trying to build one of these thangs –

“Logan on February 1, 2011: I like the lamps but you’ve inspired me to try and make that wall lamp. It looks cool but too expensive to consider buying. If I can, YOU can! cause I’m a self-taught DIY’er too.”

Then? He totally f*cking did it. Like a DIY champion. Also, nope – turns out I can’t.


Did I mention that I kind of slobbered all over his emailed pictures and was like ohhh, ahhhh, woooow, you are a master fabricator, you are amazing, it turned out so great, mine failed so miserably…wink wink, nudge nudge.

So, Logan had been building a few of these tester lamps for friends and family while figuring out kinks and streamlining the fabrication process. I somehow ended up being lucky enough to get my hands on not one but TWO of the prototype versions. By unashamed groveling, perhaps?

One white version for the bedroom – which can swivel and swing to illuminate whichever area your heart desires.

And one black version for the den. Both areas we tend to relax, enjoy a good book or perhaps a long game of Words With Friends.

See? It swivels! You use the little wooden handle to move the lamp into position.

I love the detail of the braided cloth cord and handy little on/off switch positioned a little ways down the wiring. Logan worked it out on the little details to keep the lamp sleekly minimal but with areas of warm texture.

Chihuahua for scale.

My lamps are about six feet long and are perfect and I love them. Loved them so much and was so impressed by their handmade completely from scratch construction that I may have been a little forceful about Logan making a few available for sale. Maybe because I want to put them in all the homes I’m working on? Maybe out of complete selflessness? Weld! Weld till your fingers bleed!

Be sure to check out ONEFORTYTHREE for the DIY how to as well as even more of Logan’s great DIY projects and home renovation. A limited run of these lamps will be available in his newly minted ETSY STORE. Check them out and be on the lookout for additional handmade items to be added in the near future (wink wink, nudge nudge Logan).

*Also, homeboy just got engaged to his lovely, talented and hilarious lady. Congrats! Roxy was rocking some Vegas style bling at the big sale for realz.


Thursday, May 5th, 2011

I’ve been helping out Shelly Leer – aka ModHomeEc – with the design of her brand new upholstery workshop in Indianapolis. Shelly is a fantastic upholster and hosts classes to teach folks the ins and outs of fixing up and reupholstering their old forlorn stuff (a skill I can really appreciate).

With this open warehouse space, one big design issue Shelly needed help with was figuring out how to layout and define areas for various work and private “zones”. She needed areas for tools, areas for storage, an area for a personal office, a waiting area, an area to teach and work with students and so on and so forth. Functionally, this one big room had to be used for many many purposes and still be open, accessible and of course look awesome.

Since cost is always an issue (and this space is a rental), it wasn’t prudent to dump a bunch of cash into building traditional solid walls that would split up the space and make it feel smaller and darker. My solution was to build these vertical jute rope division walls that allowed for defined “zones” but still retained light and visibility throughout the entire space. A plus when using this type of jute rope is the added benefit of bringing in a chunky / graphic / warm texture to an otherwise cold and hard industrial room.

The construction process is pretty simple. Wood boxes were custom built with evenly spaced rope sized holes drilled through the top and bottom. Precut sections of rope were strung through the top and tied off at the bottom, allowing for the interior knot to hold the rope in place and taut. Just screw close the open side of the box and all those ugly knots are hidden away.

With this design the overall costs are kept pretty low for such a big impact. Rope is cheap, especially when bought in bulk, and wood boxes are very low cost to build. The true cost is going to be labor and time – it’s just a tedious and super repetitive process.

Come on. Hotness.

I think the outcome is pretty spectacular. Not that I’m bias or anything.

This roped off area is actually Shelly’s office!

I’m completely thrilled with how these rope walls came together and so happy I didn’t have to lift a finger and do any of the actual labor. There is another wall in the works that I’m pretty excited to see completed as well as other awesome ideas that came from designing Shelly’s new workspace to be affordable, functional and downright ‘effing stylish.


Monday, May 2nd, 2011

At this point I was hoping to be like, Hey! Check out all my stuff posted on eBay for pre-sale leading up to the big SALE! Look at all this previewed awesome furniture and other crap! Look at all that I have accomplished!

Well…that didn’t happen. Whoops.

But, I did build a little studio space (on my ghetto porch) so that I can take photos. Because why do something the easy way, when you can get all crazy and nit-picky and do it the super maniacal extreme way. I’ve been hunting for a cheap solution for this weird photo dilemma, which is that basically I need a designated area to take nice/clear/pretty photos.


+ The house is jam packed, hoarder style.
+ There are no free walls with a corner and good light inside.
+ It is SO hard to move big furniture in and out of the tiny exterior doors.
+ The garage? HA! Where do you think all this extra stuff lives?
+ I plan on needing a nice little photo space for some time – but I want the inside of the house to stay a house.

The solution was to build these super cheap temporary walls on the back porch. Trust when I say that they are so ‘effing ghetto. Four pieces of 1/4″ drywall, six 2×4’s and some electrical tape.

Yeah. That’s right – they are literally taped and clamped together – but still freestanding so that eventually they can be moved off the porch and into the garage (if they don’t crumble out of sheer embarrassment).

During “construction” I may have broken our poor Fado porch light. Maybe I also hurt myself. Maybe I also designed them to be so cheap that I created a bunch of stupid extra work. Next time, maybe I’ll fork over a few extra dollars to build some complete frames instead of the “budget” version I thought was so brilliant (it wasn’t).

But at least. At the very least. I don’t have to look at the ugly nailed shut door and weird ghetto porch pipes anymore. This sort of confirms an idea I’ve been kicking around about doing some sort of wood wall treatment out here…

Guess what. These sloppy faux walls totally work!

Not just work, but are A-to the-MAZING.

It’s so nice and so easy to move furniture in there and not screw up my floors or bang the door frame or have the dogs jumping into every photo. I love it. LOVE LOVE. The light is great and it’s this little fun fake room I can style up however I please.

I’ve also been sorting through piles of vintage stuff fixing it up and deciding what stays and what goes. Lots of these tasty pieces never really got mentioned on the old bloggity…

Like this gorgeous Danish surfboard style rosewood coffee table. It. Is. YUMMY. Mmmmhmmmm.

Now that I built my little photo area, I’m working on getting this sale thing up and running. It’s madness, though. Total madness around here. I mean, seriously, I’m one lady and there are piles of stuff. PILES.

More previews & info soon. Better be. May 15th is coming fast.