When I started redesigning my home earlier this spring, I was so ready to splurge on some items. Large pieces such as a couch from West Elm, a shiny new bar cart, a stellar accent rug and large circular shelf quickly added up. For me, spending the big bucks on new furniture pieces meant getting creative to complete the modern and bright look I had envisioned.
There is so much that can be done with a little creativity, re-purposing and imagination and I’m sharing three recent home projects here today! Worried about your landlord denying these? Don’t fret! These projects are approved for owners and renters alike, so no need to get the landlord’s permission! One thing I learned? Once you complete one project, the creative juices really begin to flow, so have fun with it. Oh, and never underestimate a gold can of spray paint!
Refresh Your Light Switches
The first projects John and I set out to do was to switch up (pun intended) our bright while walls by adding a little gold accent. The easiest way to do so? Light switches! The project literally look 10 minutes (excluding drying time) and is one of my favorite updates in our home. To create cohesiveness around the apartment, we decided to paint each and every switch we had, including the bathroom and kitchen switch covers. All you need to do is unscrew each plate with the screws and lay them out on cardboard outside and apply 2 even coats of gold spray paint. Once they are dry, screw them back in place and ta-da! Gold magic everywhere!
Add Gold Leaf To Plain Picture Frames
This is by far one of the most fun projects I’ve done! While we were in the process of finishing our gallery wall (coming soon!) there were a few frames still needed. After purchasing some really interesting and beautiful ones from places like West Elm and Cost Plus, I was left needing a few larger sized frames that I simply didn’t want to spend another $50+ each on. One Saturday I headed to a local thrift store and found a 16×20 white frame that I’d been needing for months! It was basically new, but there was a small pen mark on the edge which gave it a $4 price tag. Major score, right?! I knew right away I was going to take the frame home with me and break out my gold leaf foil I’d been waiting to use. It was time to test out my skills using it for the first time and I’m beyond happy with the results!
The first thing you’ll need to do is clean the surface you are going to gold leaf. After, apply a thin layer of adhesive and wait for it to dry (30 minutes). Once dried, the fun begins! This is honestly the easiest material to work with because it is so forgiving, so there’s not too much pressure involved in making it perfect! Using sheet after sheet, simply press down the gold leaf on the surface and apply pressure before peeling the tissue away. Voilà! You’re on the way to a beautiful re-purposed picture frame that’s going to tie in perfectly with your light switches! Depending on your frame size, this project can be either 10 minutes or an hour.
Naturally to fill empty spaces, you will end up layering over the edges of the foil from the previous layer. This is not a problem and actually gives the surface a more vintage look. Simply press any loose edges down using a your fingers and cheese cloth. This helps secure the loose ends in place and creates some interesting texture at the same time. There’s really no way to mess up using gold leaf, so try your hand at it and have fun!
Simplify + Update Your Desk Lamp
I will admit, there are some pretty awesome modern, industrial looking table lamps out on the market right now, but dang! Spending $300 on an accent lamp is not in my budget right now. My solution? Update the one I already own! I’m all about the minimalist aesthetic and while this style may not be for everyone, I personally loved the way it turned out.
To update a lamp you already have, experiment first by taking the shade off! What does the base of the lamp look like? Does it look interesting without the shade? If it’s simple and thin like mine, you may be in luck! To upgrade, spray paint the base of your lamp gold (I suggest the same color as the light switches) and purchase some really interesting bulbs! Since you won’t be putting the shade back on, I suggest getting some that aren’t too bright and have a really interesting look to them. Another 2 step project for less than $25 dollars? It’s certainly worth it in my book!
What interior trends have you been swooning over lately? Do you ever do simple DIY’s that make a huge impact? I’m always sharing behind the scene looks on projects over on Snapchat, so let’s be sure to connect to keep in touch! I’d love to hear what projects you’ve been working on, so feel free to share in the comments below!