December 17, 2012

Ikea Holiday Fabrics

I am really loving the holiday fabric collection at Ikea this year. I think this faux wood print could be really interesting for upholstery. 
There are so many fun things you could do with this life-size tree print (and I'm sure they are all ready all over the blogosphere). Since there's no room for a tree in my postage stamp apartment, I would stretch it over a wood frame and add a few ornaments. Maybe even add some lights?

 I might have to make an Ikea run this weekend to stock up!

December 14, 2012

Project Philly: How to Hardwire a Chandelier

The prospect of undertaking any sort of electrical project can be a scary thought, but switching out a dated light fixture is a lot easier than you might think. And it is SO satisfying to go from:

The new light fixture is West Elm's Staggered Chandelier (the large version doesn't appear to be for sale online anymore). Originally $400, it was on clearance in the Center City store for $160. Score! 

First, cut off the power! Then remove your old light fixture and twist off the plastic wire connectors. You should be left with a few wires hanging from the ceiling. 

The black wire is usually hot and the white wire is usually neutral, but if your wires look different you can use a circuit tester. The grounding wire should be attached to a grounding screw in the center of the electrical box.

Our chandelier came with a bracket that screwed into the existing electrical box. This in was actually the most difficult part of the process. Thankfully, I was behind the camera instead of in the trenches :)

The light fixture will come with wires that correspond with the wires in the ceiling. In our case, the wires were labeled "L" for live (or hot) and "N" for neutral. It will also come with a separate grounding wire. 

Attaching the grounding wire.
Now you're ready to install! Twist the two hot wires together and screw the plastic cap back on. Do the same for the neutral and ground wires.

Tuck the excess wire into the electrical box and screw the light fixture onto its bracket.

December 12, 2012

What is your Christmas Décor Philosophy?

What is your Christmas decorating philosophy? I think Christmas is the time to surround yourself with things that make you happy and not to worry about trends. Growing up, my parent's home was filled with antique decorations from my grandparents (some classy, some tacky) and children's handmade ornaments. I can't wait to go home and revisit simpler times :)

One issue that can be quite polarizing is the question of colored versus white lights. Personally, I am firmly in the big colored lights camp. Throw a few twinkle bulbs or bubble lights in the string – even better.  I wish every Christmas tree looked like this couple. 

Haley Sheffield
I am seriously considering hoarding incandescent Christmas lights in case they cease to exist.

I love kitchy silver, pink, and gold aluminum trees – especially for apartment dwellers. Nothing beats the smell of a live tree in your home, but if you have to go artificial, I say embrace the fake. 

All images via my Pinterest

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