project house {diy sputnik chandelier}

a house update – it’s been a long time, huh? I guess that’s what happens when you have a baby at the end of a house remodel… in happy news, I am going to share a fun house update! {& in even happier news, we are 100% DONE with construction!}

as soon as I started seeing the entryway come to life – demolition of the office & old entry walls, & drywall – I started brainstorming what type of light fixture would go above the stairwell. the space is so big & bright with two big windows centered in the space, & was begging for a big, bold, & dramatic light fixture. given our very tight light fixture budget, I started the hunt for an awesome DIY & found the perfect one!

much like jenny over at Little Green Notebook {her blog is absolutely inspiring!} I was dreaming of a sputnik chandelier (like the one pictured below). wouldn’t that have been amazing? needless to say, this wasn’t in my budget. luckily, jenny created an ikea hack for a DIY version of a sputnik!


{sputnik chandelier via}

I followed jenny’s tutorial pretty much exactly, but have included in progress photos of my version. while I had plans & the supplies to do this project by late spring, I didn’t find the time to actually do any of it until I started my maternity leave at the end of july. so, you can picture me at 37 weeks handpainting all of these flowers {that’s two coats on each side!}. by the time I had finished painting the flowers, I made aaron find our paint sprayer so I didn’t have to handpaint the rest of the fixture!


& the final product!


this is such an amazing piece & I am so, so proud of it! it makes such a statement & you see it as soon as you walk in the front door. one of my favorite DIYs to date!

& for reference, this is what the original ikea fixture looks like. an improvement, right?


have you DIY’d a light fixture?


highlights of 2013.

2013 2014


happy 2014!

i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again!, yearly recaps are always my favorite kinds of blog posts. its a small way to sum up your year & to see how much the last 365 days have brought. as i look forward to the New Year, i am humbled & grateful by all of the wondrous events of 2013. here’s the rundown of ours:

january: I started out the new year with a bout of the flu. we hosted our first blog giveaway! we installed the west elm hanging capiz chandelier over our dining room table. I framed my diy polaroids for our bedroom walls. amanda & I met john & sherry from young house love during their book signing tour! I diy-ed campaign dressers for our bedroom.




february: I did lots of diy-ing for valentine’s day {here, here, & here} I celebrated my birthday! we bought a kitchen island. I tried to be better about getting in front of the camera!



march: I tried my hand at painting an antler {& was so impressed with the results!}. we took my 91-year-old grandmother to target for the first time! amanda & I diy-ed framed house keys on maps. we sold jez the jetta & bought a new car.




april: we updated our bathroom vanity with a converted antique sideboard. we updated the closet doors by stripping off the old paint in a crock pot. we celebrated our one year anniversary in our house & I reviewed all of the house diys!




may: we finally got some good weather in seattle! I painted the ceiling & hallway walls. we celebrated aaron’s thirtieth birthday with a beer tasting party! we had a fun-filled memorial day weekend. we were featured in west elm’s blog front & main.




front and main

june: aaron replaced our toilet. sadie was featured in the seattle dog spot blog. my parents visited for a long weekend en route to the olympic peninsula. my diy his & hers maps were featured. we finally got some summer weather!


seattle dog blog thank you

july: we celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend with a holiday parade, fireworks, & time with friends. I made a nine layer ombre cake! we replaced our kitchen track lights with globe pendants from west elm. we road-tripped to idaho for my ten-year high school reunion. we started growing our first eggplant.



august: we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. the blog got a Liebster Award Nomination. I diy-ed the tiniest baby hats for our friends’ new baby. we road-tripped to hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.





september: we went to the husky vs. bronco game to kick-off labor day weekend complete with husky-style tailgating {via boat}. we took advantage of the warm weather & cleaned up the front yard with a fun game called love it or lose it. we celebrated sadie’s ninth birthday! I attended the Alt Summit for Everyone blog conference.



october: I attempted to start doing fashion posts again. we celebrated our two year blog anniversary at emerald city diaries! I finished up with the #embracethecamera challenge. we went to the pumpkin patch & carved pumpkins with friends.



november: aaron joined a team for movember 2013. we snuck off to hawaii for thanksgiving.



december: I reviewed some of my favorite weekend in pictures pics. I participated in A Pinterest Christmas for the third year {see this year’s projects here, here, here, here, & here}! we celebrated Christmas in indiana with aaron’s family.


reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2013 – was it a year to remember, or are you itching to start 2014 already?


see past yearly highlights for 2011 & 2012.

west elm kitchen light pendants.

after i did the big kitchen update last spring, i wanted to live in the space & use it for a while before we did any other big updates. i have always disliked the lighting in the kitchen – track lights – and i had big plans for an update to them. luckily for us we were able to upgrade without bringing in an electrician – hooray!

i have been searching for light fixtures for months, & fell in love with these globe pendants some time ago. they are from, you guessed it, west elm! {this is my go-to place for anything home décor! the best i tell you!} while the junction boxes – is that what they are called – aren’t perfectly located {i would have preferred them closer together & centered over our kitchen island} these lights are far better than the old track lighting!

you can shop for your own here: west elm globe pendant.





we still need to patch up the holes from the track lights & find round, frosted bulbs {right now we have frosted LEDs that have a weird plastic top}, but overall we are very excited about these lights – such an improvement!

{in the bottom two pictures it looks like there are two bulbs in each pendant, but it is just a reflection off of the glass}

have you been changing out any light fixtures lately?


a year in review {house diys}.

it is hard to believe but we have been in our house for a year – can you believe it? while it doesn’t seem like yesterday that we were moving & packing & unpacking, it definitely doesn’t feel like its been an entire year. {where does the time go?}

i thought since so much of this blog is devoted to the work we have put into the house, it would be fun to do a review of all of our house projects over the last year. {also, this is making up for the fact that i have been horrible about keeping the house tour tab up-to-date.}

here we go! {are you ready for lots of pictures?}

{entryway} – chalkboard paint



{living room & dining room} – paint color, curtains, west elm light


{bathroom} – paint color, Ikea light, vanity

SONY DSCSONY DSCbathroom light april 2012

bathroom light september 2012SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

{kitchen} – paint color (walls), painted cabinets, painted countertops, painted tile, kitchen island, roman curtain




{bedroom} – paint color, roman curtains, closet doors


phew! it is hard to believe we did all of that in just one year. we still have lots of things on the to do list, including some bigger projects that we are saving up for! reviewing all of these projects makes me thankful that we have such a fun house to work on & enjoy. it was scary to make the decision to buy a house last year {it felt so grown-up!} but we have loved every minute of it & learned so much.

what sorts of projects have you completed in your living space? do you ever go back & review all of your hard work?


the day we traded three lights for one.

i haven’t really kept it a secret that the light pendants in our dining room are not my favorite thing in the house {see here}. but, for what they were {a light source for one entire side of our large living space} we kept them without too much complaint.

however, when you are a house owner {or a grown-up or both} & santa asks you what you want for christmas, you immediately start listing domestic things: vacuum cleaner, towels, dish towels, etc. this year i asked santa {very nicely} for a new dining room light!

so i got it & its AMAZING! {there are pictures below, i promise – thanks santa!} we would have hung it right away, but since our current light fixtures were in a really funky place {in the center of the room, yep, the center!} we had to call our handy dandy electrician to come in & move some electrical for us.


after he was done you can see that there were three really nice holes left in our ceiling. it has been suggested that we install a few disco balls {via our dog walker} but i think we will attempt our first plaster patching. yep, that’s right, our ceilings are plaster – bless old homes & their lath & plaster. {thankfully all of our walls have been updated to dry wall, yes!} the good news though, we were told that plaster is easier to patch than dry wall – huzzah!

okay, enough with the rambling, here is our new dining room light. prepare yourself because she is a beaut!


gorgeous, no? it didn’t take me long to find this lovely light as i frequently peruse west elm {mostly online, but the store is lovely!} to see what home goodies i can’t live without. i have had this guy on my wishlist for months, waiting for the day when it would finally grace our dining room!

so there it is, the newest addition to our house. now, is anyone interested in three lovely pendants? i can get you a very good price!

have you updated any lights in your house recently?



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this is not a sponsored post. all opinions expressed are my own.