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A Quickie Lamp Makeover

In my last post I talked about the positive things that have happened to me since starting my blog. What I don’t talk about much is the fact that since I started my blog my life as I used to know it has kinda been put on hold.   My husband is one of the millions of people who lost their job when the economy started its downhill slide.  It has been two and a half years since the day he came home with that news.

He works 40 plus hours a week seeking to find a new position, connects with others, and is constantly pursuing ways to get back into the workforce. It is exhausting at times for him, but we try to stay positive.  Our lives have been in  limbo and I haven’t been able to do things and decorate around the house like I used to – if it is not a necessity – it doesn’t need doing. This blog is my happy place.  It gets my mind off of depressing things and into things I am passionate about.  I have always been a budget decorator, but now I have been forced to really use my DIY decorating skills to save money. I find that I truly enjoy it and sharing it all with you.


Earlier in the spring I updated the guest room and redid a bathroom which I figured I would have to do if we need to relocate as I would have to update them anyway to sell the house.  They were both super budget makeovers.


Once my hubs finds a new position I will either have a new house to decorate or I am going to go to town updating my current house in all the ways I have been dreaming about.  At this point I look forward to either one.  Whichever it is it will still be done on a budget – just a teeny bit bigger one.

Back in January I did another update that would need to be done if we sell the house and that was to rip the carpet off the foyer stairs and then stain them.  It really updated the foyer. I love it, but then everything else in the foyer started to look old to me. I am sure this has happened to you – you redo something and it kinda snowballs into many more projects.


All the foyer really needed for me to be happy was a few detail tweaks that only amounted to a few dollars. I love the sideboard, purple hydrangeas, and the lamps that are the only furnishings in the space, but the black shades were looking too severe for me. I still like them –  they are classic, but I will put them away for a while. I spray painted two other black shades that I had with white gloss spray paint.

A Quick and Easy Lamp Makeover:

Here are the lamps – Before


Here is one of the black replacement shades before I painted it.

I still wanted opaque shades as they provide more dramatic light at night as the light only shines up and down – not through the shade.  I think this foyer looks best at night because of that lighting effect.


After spray painting the shades white – the candlestick shaft section on the lamp looked too yellowish orange.  I needed to change it somehow but didn’t want to paint it.  Scrapbook paper to the rescue.  You can see the difference it makes in the photo below.


I just cut the paper to size to wrap around the candlestick section.

Lamp makeover ideas

I spread some tacky glue on one inside edge of the paper.


and wrapped it around the base  – the glued edge is overlapped on the paper so it will not damage the lamp if I decide to remove it some day.


The scrapbook paper is a soft taupe color that looks better with the white shades and the wall color.


The sideboard is one of my favorite pieces of furniture. The top drawer is hinged and is actually a pull out desk.  Very cool. We use it all the time.   The piece has a special meaning to us. It was a hand me down from my hub’s uncle, who lived in Park Slope in Brooklyn all his life. I smile just thinking about him.

It is in perfect shape and a piece I will never paint.    I love the way it looks and plan to keep the top clutter free.   Have you ever been to Trina’s blog – A Country Farmhouse? I love her classic uncluttered simplicity and am trying to focus on only adding things that I adore– everything else is going to end up at a yard sale.


Here is what the desk looks like.


I keep stamps and stationery in here.  I also have a few letter writing books to use as inspiration to help me come up with the right words when none come to me.



This is the most formal space in my house – every other room is pretty casual.  I made the mirror when we first moved in and it has been hanging here ever since. I needed something tall since the space is open to the 2nd floor.

It looks like one piece, but it is actually three separate pieces.  I put mirrors in two window sashes and then placed one on top of the other. I painted the three pieces gold with a white wash over it. The decorative top is bisque – ceramic that needs painting.  They were made to accent doors and art. There are hooks on the back. I bought it at Waccamaw Pottery when we were vacationing in South Carolina one summer back in the early 90’s.  That was such a fun place – there used to be one in Burlington, NC  – too, that I used to go to when I lived in North Carolina.  Shopping there was like going to HomeGoods.   Are they still around? – probably not.


When I was working on the lamps the phone rang and I went to answer it.  When I got back a few minutes later this is what I found.  My helper, Trax – he just had to check out this new empty surface.   He made himself quite comfortable – gotta love him.





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  1. Know this is two years after the fact, but hope all is well. You are an inspiration to everyone who visits your incredibly, beautiful website. Artistic people, such as yourself, are truly gifted. Putting a smile on someone’s face from your work is truly a gift. Love that the uncle’s console/desk came from Brooklyn. My Aunt Gen passed away in 2013, lived in Bay Ridge, and had a beautiful condo. Here’s to Aunts and Uncles! Linda

    1. Thanks so much Linda for taking the time to leave me such a nice comment. I do love the hand me down through the generations furniture. I feel it gives my home much more meaning. My mom’s name was Gen -short for Genevieve and she grew up in Brooklyn. XO

  2. I absolutely LUV your mad decorating skills! I also luv hydrangeas and have dried some of mine for my decor. I have enjoyed your blog and your ability to decorate on a budget. >…Jenny

  3. P.S. I love love love your foyer table/console. I think my mom’s secretary has the same knobs. Here secretary has a small glass hutch attached. I have a secretary desk, in my living room, and am thinking of painting it, but first my living room needs new colors and sprucing up. Now I have a fall thing going on with a burnt orange wall (you can see my wall through my kitchen window if you drive down the street. bright and fall like which is perfect for this season. I still have to show that in a blog post. hmm!!!

  4. Thank God my daughter’s dad works now but he’s forever affected by being in your husband’s boat two times since we got married in 1988. First it was from 1990 to 1994, unfortunatly when I went back to college, and again in 2001 when he lost the same job twice. His company went out of business, was bought by a pervious president and then a few months later was let go cause of downsizing with the new corporate structure. I wish he wouldn’t still act, 10 years later, that he is under a dark cloud ready to get him. This has ruined our marriage and puts a huge strain on our household.

    I really respect how you and your husband have worked as a team. I’m also grateful that you have been able to work. That has been our huge downfall, that I got chronically ill. I think you put a very positive and brave front for all of us and enjoy reading your blog for every new post. I’m also glad to see that your fairy godmother has helped you and your blog. I did my first paid post the other day through social spark and I’m hoping I get many more assignments. Every penny counts. :)

    Now I know one of the things I want to do with my old windows when we get new ones, one day.

  5. This space is just beautiful. Clean, simple, yet inviting.

    Thanks for choosing to be positive through your trial. I believe that in blessing us with this blog, you in turn will be blessed!

    P.S. Thanks for the tip about PlannerPads. Bought one for myself and for my daughter. So far, so good! I’ve had the most productive week with much less mental static. Thanks!

  6. I am sorry to hear about your current situation and hope that some good news comes your way soon in that regard. We went through something similar 3 years ago with the wall street chaos, but for a shorter period of time. I wish your husband the best. You have shared some amazing projects – keep up the great work! Love that sideboard – it has a lot of character.

  7. I just ran upon your blog, and what a treat! I am sorry to hear about your husband, I hope he finds something very soon. You have great style, I love your splashes of purple both in the foyer and the guest bedroom!

  8. Hi Diane…I love your site!!! I am loving all of the printables…so glad to have found you…I am so flattered that you liked my DIY Vera Bradley Pendants, too. It means so much to me!!! I will be back to check out this site…Thanks again.

  9. Diane,

    I am so praying your hubby gets a good job locally. Moving to me is so traumatic and I am going to admit to loving your house so much that I would just hate for you to sell it. I love all your make over’s. And I so agree with loving them also because you don’t break the bank doing them. Also that you give such great instructions and you give us the cost of stuff you use or sometimes that you reuse. I think your house is so perfect that I can not imagine it needing anything more, but you are so clever to come up with great new ways!

    Sheryll & Critters.

  10. Just found your blog and I was sucked it by your amazing use of scrapbook paper! I have lots of scrapbook paper waiting for me to be creative with it. Sorry about your husbands job, I am sending positive thoughts and prayers that he finds another soon.

  11. Diane – I’m so sorry for the tough times you and your hubby are going through. We have been there…God has a way of closing doors and opening another one but of course it’s in HIS time, not ours. Looks like you are doing wonderful, beautiful things while you are sitting in HIS waiting room.


  12. Prayers that your hubby will be offered a good job someplace very soon, my friend. I know how difficult and frustrating it must be for you both. Keep your chin up—-keep on decorating and making your home look beautiful! :)

    xoxo laurie

  13. My husband lost his job 8 years ago – he was a VP and it was a shock! He began his own consulting business as we were not willing to move and leave kids and grandkids that live nearby. It’s up and down and I work too for the benefits. I enjoy your blog and get some great ideas for frugal yet stylish decor. Our home is paid for so at least we have a place to live! Keep us posted on the job search. Blessings!

  14. I wish the best for you Hubby as he job hunts. I am about 2 yrs, 1 mo into my jobless state since being ‘downsized’. At age 61 I feel like I’m in early retirement as jobs are almost impossible to find. I know how to live on a very limited income and all my crafts, updates and decorating is on a very frugal budget…it can be done as you show us all the time. Keep thinking positively!

  15. I really enjoy all of your posts. You have an incredible gift, and you are very inspiring. So sorry to hear of your family’s difficult situation. I pray that things turn around for you and yours very soon.

  16. The lamps look so different. How do you think of these things?
    I am blown away by how long your husband has been out of work. It’s got be hard trying to be positive when time lingers on so. Hope it looks up very, very soon.

  17. That is one amazing piece of furniture! Don’t you dare paint it! I love your blog and the thing I love most is the way you make things cheap and easy and that you share them with the rest of us frugal copy cats! I’m sure your hubs is so proud of you and the way you keep it lovely and simple and easy on the wallet! Prayers for a job soon!

  18. I understand the struggles you are going through with your husband not being able to find work. My fiance has been looking for work for about a year and a half here in AZ. The blog that I have came about because he couldn’t find work, so we decided to makeover furniture and sell it. Keep your head up and thanks for your inspiration.

  19. Hi Diane, Your blog is such and inspiration for me. My husband lost his job at exactly the same time as yours. 2 1/2 years later still nothing. He has started his own business but there is no income on that front yet. Just kind of hanging at this point until something happens. I know what you mean about limbo. I too have been trying to update on a budget and get things that need doing completed in case we need to move. You have so many inspiring ideas. I do have a question on your stairs. We have been removing all the carpet from our second floor but when I removed it from the stairs they were awful builders grade. I painted them white but would prefer stained. How did yours look when the carpet was removed? Thanks and best wishes for a new job to you and hubs, Pam

  20. Diane, thank you for so many great ideas on a shoe string budget. My fiancee and I have just purchased a home and we do not have a lot of extras for decorating but I have found so many wonderful ideas on your blog that I just cannot wait to try out!!!! I hope your hubby finds a new job I know how tough it is to be looking for work!

    Thank you again!!!


  21. Diane, another brilliant and inexpensive solution with the scrapbook paper over the lamp stem! Why didn’t I think of that?! I sure hope your DH finds something soon. I know very well how you all are feeling since we have had two bouts of unemployment in the past 10 years. But I really liked having my husband around for those times, though, and there are some good memories attached, too.

  22. Call me crazy but your home does not look like it’s done on a small budget! It’s beautiful and gorgeous! Here’s praying your husband will find work soon. In the meantime, count your blessings that you have a home to live in AND that you actually have money to do something as wonderful as decorating it….on any budget.

  23. Covering lamp shafts with paper… what a smashing and creative idea! Imagine the possibilities! So sorry to hear about your husband’s job situation. What a dreadful mess we have now found ourselves in here in America.

    Your blog is entirely adorable! Keep it up.


  24. I love that sideboard as well – that’s a great piece, Diane. Well you’re a very positive person so I’m sure having you as a spouse has also helped your hubby through the process as well.

  25. I have the same desk, well mine is the bottom of a hutch. I used the top someplace else and I was left with the bottom. I love the baskets you have in the shelves. Mine has doors in that place but you’ve inspired me to take off the doors and put baskets in the shelves. Thanks for the pics!

  26. WOW your home is just beautiful..the lamps look exquisite. I am so impressed. Sorry to hear about your husband, times are scary right now for our country and I cannot believe the stories I continue to hear, I know there is no magic bullet. But praying for our country to rebound and for people like your husband to secure a stable job. Sending you a hug….beautiful post.

  27. I do hope your husband finds something soon. Your home looks wonderful, you’d never guess that you were working on a minimal budget, just goes to show money can’t buy taste! Love the lamp make over, they look wonderful! Hope you have a lovely weekend

  28. I hope your husband finds something soon. Your home is beautiful and certainly doesn’t look like it is done on a budget! I think it is a lot more rewarding making a change with creativity and hard work than just going out and spending a whole lot of money. You can be very proud of what you’ve achieved. x Sharon

  29. I love your blog and your wonderful ideas! I would have never thought of scrapbook paper to put around the candlestick lamp. I have some lamps that I painted….I am going to do that to them.

  30. Wishing your hubby all the best as he continues to search for a new job. You’re an inspiration. I just love the beautiful, creative work you do to make your home reflect you. Love that old charming desk.

  31. I just discovered your blog. You are amazing! You have so many projects I want to try!
    Best of luck to your hubby with the job situation. I hope it all works out even better than your dreams!

  32. You are an amazing DIY, homemaker, decorator. I receive so many ideas from you. I am posting something tomorrow where I mention you and show something I learned from you.

    All the best as you travel the road of unemployment . . .we are on that road too!

  33. The lamps look great, Diane. You always make things look great with the resources you have. Love your stairs and would love to do the same maybe some day. Right now I think the carpet is better for the little grands that go up and down the stairs.

  34. This is really pretty and I love your makeovers! Hope things turn around for you soon! Sometimes hard situations bring out lots of creativity, your blog looks like proof of that! I’m your newest follower!

  35. Oh my, so sorry about your hubby’s job and that it is taking so long to find a new one. This economy has really been the pits for so many. You have done great with your thrifty decorating. I especially love your guest bath makeover. Keep up the good work and keep your chin up! :)

    1. Hi Kate-

      Thanks. We have been doing OK, but it is hard living in limbo for so long. There are so many others in the same boat. My hubs has been at it for so long he is somewhat of an expert at what to do to find the jobs to even apply for. He has gotten 3 calls this week alone from people he knows who just lost their job and are still in shock and don’t know how to proceed. I think my hubs can start a consulting business assisting them in the transition process.