Thursday, April 7, 2016

Espresso Bar Armoire Part 3: Installing a Chandelier in an Armoire

As you know, I recently converted an armoire into a quaint, tucked away espresso bar. Click here to read parts one and two. This is part three...Installing a light fixture. If you are lazy and don't like overly involved projects, this is the project for you...
This "tutorial" is so insanely easy, I almost feel guilty writing an entire post that is dedicated to doing this, but alas I shall. There is something so enchanting about opening an armoire that is converted into a unique space that has a glistening little chandelier or awesome light that establishes the petite area as a place of importance or "retreat". The best part is, it is SOOOO incredibly simple to do.

Step One: Convert Your Chandelier Into a Plug-In Light (and of course, drink a yummy iced coffee while you do it!)

You are essentially turning your hanging light fixture into a lamp. There are tons of light kits that you can purchase (at any hardware store) and plenty of sites that give tutorials and instructions. I am no electrical expert, so please follow the directions on the light kit. I am not responsible for someone not doing this step correctly. If you can't figure it out, ask an electrician or purchase a "plug in" light fixture. These are available at a plethora of retailers, including Cost Plus World Market, Ikea, Pier One, and dozens more.

I kind of want to have a "laying" chandelier table lamp in my home... I may have to do another one like this. I love the look.

Step Two: Drill Your Hole

Using a 1-1/2" drill bit, drill a hole in an inconspicuous space in your armoire. I saved the little piece of wood to pop back in if I ever decided I didn't want to run electricity into my armoire anymore. I also drilled a hole in the same spot on my removable wallpaper backdrop so they line up. 

Step Three: Hang Your Light on a Hook

Yep... That easy. twist a hook into the ceiling of your armoire and hang your light.

Step Four: Plug Your Light in and Run it Through The Hole You Have Just Drilled

You can hide your cord by running it along the inside of your armoire or behind the replaceable back panel that I show you how to make, here.

Step Five: Stand Back and Look at Your Lovely Little Space in "Awe"!

A dazzling or unique small  light fixture is an unexpected touch that will add character, charm and dimension to your little space, whatever it may be.

Note: Do not leave your light on while doors of armoire are closed. You can purchase switches that allow you to click it on when you open your doors. Too much heat in a small space can cause a fire if left on. I am not responsible for any problems that may occur if this is executed incorrectly.

I am off to chug a ton of coffee and work on a remodel here in San Francisco! Let me know how this works for you! Ciao, friends!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Espresso Bar Armoire Part Two: Installing DIY Removable Wallpaper Backdrop

When you open your armoire, closet or drawers, does it's blandness get you down?? Do you feel like you are staring into a dark pit of "meh"?? (Don't worry, I am not about to start an advertisement for furniture anti-depressants...) I don't know about you all, but I like to feel a bit jolted and stoked when I open a cupboard door. My faux, fawn hide wallpaper is such a delightful eye treat every morning, I kinda wanna wallpaper or mural every cupboard and closet in my home. It adds the perfect amount of sass to the French armoire I brought home from Europe. 
This is part two to my espresso bar armoire redo, in case you were wondering what I am jabbering about. You can read about it and see some other "before" and "afters" by clicking here.

This is the stink-face I made when I opened my armoire before the redo...

In case you forgot what this armoire looked liked before I adorned it with a gorgeous wall-paper from Walls Republic, check out this photo below...
Madame Brun Armoire was a frumpy lady indeed!
I decided I wanted to wallpaper the back, but I surely didn't want to mess with the integrity of this gorgeous old piece... While this wallpaper is classic and timeless, I change my style on occasion and I didn't want to mess with the wood on the back panels. The best way to do this was to create a removable, pop-in back wall, that I could switch out or replace any time my heart desired. I also want to be able to get other wallpapers from the incredible selection at Walls Republic so I can swap out the backdrop for different purposes or entertaining occasions. I may want this to be a wine bar or hide-away Bier Garten at my next dinner party and can swap the backdrops in and out accordingly! I also wanted it to be able to slide into place and sit still without, nailing, drilling, gluing or screwing a back panel in my armoire. 
Lucky for me, the wonderful Drew (a super awesome and talented construction project manager) came to the rescue and helped me figure out a way to accomplish this goal! What a wizard he is indeed! We created this template below, using old bags, and traced the top of the inside of the armoire. 

 We traced that pattern onto a piece of wood that was 4'x8' and 1/16" thick and cut it out with a jig-saw. 

We slid it in and made adjustments till if fit like a glove....
I mounted the wallpaper to the wood with spray adhesive and wrapped it around the back, so that the edges wouldn't lift. I popped it in, slid the shelf in and Bam! Shazaam! Kapow! I now had a gorgeous, wall-papered armoire! 
In case you forgot what it looked like before.....

.....and here it is now!

I am completely IN LOVE!
Next, I will be sharing with you how I installed my chandelier and where I hid all my cords to my espresso machine and light fixture! To read more on the transformation of this armoire, click here!

I want to thank Walls Republic for the fabulous paper and Drew for helping me make it happen! 

Stay tuned my friends! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fawn-Hide Wallpaper and a Tucked Away European Cafe

One of my absolute favorite things about living in Europe, was visiting quaint, little cafes in Germany and France. There is something so unique, special and endearing about a "folk" looking cafe or bistro in Bavaria or the French Alps that is warming to the heart and "oh, so comforting" to the soul. There really is nothing like it in the world. Many are laden with antlers, folk painting, oil paintings, wood beams and paneling, and of course, mouth watering coffee and pastries. 
When I moved back home from Europe and into my petite loft, I needed to utilize every inch of my place so that my home could store all my goodies, look good and most importantly, be functional. I needed a place to hook up my espresso machine and coffee bar and the Louis armoire that I found in France, was the perfect piece to create a tucked-away French/ Bavarian fusion cafe. When I open its doors, I feel swept away to a little "folk" coffee shop in the European countryside. It's a great centerpiece for entertaining as well!

I came across this gorgeous and incredibly real looking faux, fawn hide wall-paper from Walls Republic and I knew that I needed to use it somewhere in my home. It is unique, classic, timeless and reminded me of something I would have seen in the German Alps. You guys, you seriously would not believe the quality of this stuff. It is heavy, textured and looks absolutely real in person. Walls Republic sent me a few samples of the coverings that I liked and I absolutely fell in love with the fawn hide (along with the other four samples that I am madly searching for a place in my home to utilize).  To my surprise, when the wallpaper arrived, it said it was "made in Germany"! I was so elated! Not only did it have the look that I was going for and appeared completely authentic, but it was also from the magical land of adorable cafes! 

And here is the after! Look at what a difference the wall-paper makes!

This print looks awesome with all of my vintage and folk pieces that I brought back, but I am also looking forward to styling it with some clean, modern accessories in the future to switch up the look. 

I wanted to line the inside of my armoire with this stunning paper without ruining the integrity of the armoire, so I will be sharing with you how I created this semi-permanent design without touching the wood. I would love to eventually get a few different papers so that I can swap the backing or "backdrop" of my cabinet in and out and I can use my armoire for all different things and I can adjust this accent wall as the seasons (and my tastes) change. 

Yes, that's a super studly German dog, wearing a hat and smoking a pipe with a fox on it...

Even if you can't afford an entire room or wall in a fabulous, high quality wallpaper, you really should consider using it on an accent wall, niche or piece of furniture to add richness, texture and interest to your space. I was blown away by the quality and by the wonderful customer service that was provided by Walls Republic. The pictures of their items online don't do justice... you really need to get some samples for yourself! Not only does it look and feel great but it was easy to match the seams and it didn't show any bubbles or air pockets because it is so thick and textured. I am definitely putting the remnants to good use as well, and I can't wait to show you 
what I have in store for that!

I never imagined that wall paper could cure my intense homesickness for my little German Barn and village, but it does the trick. My tucked-away espresso bar is a great little spot to drift away, get inspired and start my mornings off right. I can't wait to entertain and open its enchanting doors to take my guests to a "storybook" cafe, like the ones I cherished while living abroad. I can almost smell crepes and hear accordion music when I enter this lovely little space (probably because I have French accordion playing on my playlist and a constant craving for Nutella Crepes). Do yourself a favor and check out Walls Republic and all the awesome papers they have to offer, you won't be disappointed. 

Stay tuned for more posts on how to make a space like this in your home! Tutorials and DIY's coming this week! 

In case you missed it, click here to read about what I have been up to!
I am off to enjoy some coffee! 

Friday, December 25, 2015

My Little Loft Christmas Tour and a Peek into My Heart

I woke up, this Christmas morning feeling more peace in my soul than I have felt every day accumulatively over the last year and half...While so much of my life has been through some tumultuous change and some difficult transitions, I am at complete and utter peace. That is more than I can even begin to ask for, this Christmas day. 

For the most part, I have my health, my beautiful and loving family (all around the world) and the greatest friends and pup a gal could ask for. I have experienced altruistic love in a way I never imagined I could. Most importantly, I have my faith and the never failing love of my Heavenly Father. When all else fails, people leave, and material things fade, I have Him.

I celebrated my 30th birthday this December. I am not at all where I thought I would be, but I am just where I need to be. In 2013/2014  I had most everything I worked hard for and dreamed of stripped away within an extremely short period of time. My 28th and 29th year were years of loss, change, and rebuild. I am grateful for the fire I have been walking through... Gold is refined by fire and I am being refined as well. When I felt completely alone and helpless, God was there. He sent strangers, absolute angels to come and pick me up and out of the pit. God has big things in store for me, for you... for all His children. I am grateful for this. 

While things may not be just as I hoped they would at this point in my life, I am grateful for this process. I am grateful for every blessing, grand and small in my life...for I AM BLESSED. I am overwhelmingly grateful my Father and Savior was born to save, protect, heal and love me unconditionally. There is no greater love than this. No beautiful home, shiny object, Christmas decor or material possession can compare to the beauty of His love. The decor I work on is only a manifestation of the inspiration I feel from His love and protection. Design is the desire to recreate (but can NEVER come close to) the peace, comfort and joy I feel from being in my heavenly Father's presence. An attempt to re-create that sanctuary I am in when I am with Him. Nothing compares to HIM.

I had no Christmas tutorials for you this December... no recipes and no DIY's. I was busy working and focusing on rebuilding. I am beginning to feel like me again for the first time in an incredibly long time. Not the old me, but the me I was always supposed to be. I am starting to get my spark and inspiration for life back. 

Nothing is certain. Life is not void of pain and struggle. It doesn't matter what you possess, what you do or where you travel to... None of that matters in the grand scheme of things. It's the joy in your spirit that is the greatest thing to strive for. I don't know why certain things happen as they do, what I do know is that God's love and peace, even through difficult times is everlasting. 

Welcome to my little loft this Christmas Day and I challenge you to think about the things you are grateful for. Even when everything seems to be troubling, we all have things to be grateful for. I make so many mistakes on a daily basis and fail at being a great Christian example sometimes. This is not me preaching, just speaking out the emotions that are overwhelming me this crisp Christmas morning.

Even though I struggle with being eloquent and articulate, thank you for letting me be raw and share my feelings today. I am grateful for your continuous love and support. The kindness, e-mails and well wishes that I have received from my readers is incredibly touching to me. Once again, I AM BLESSED.

Merry Christmas, darlings.

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