Light Archives - Go Haus Go - A DIY and Design Blog by Emily May

Big ‘Ole Lamp

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When you see a 3′ tall hexagon lamp made of gold (faux, of course) for less than $20, there is only one approved reaction: PURCHASE IMMEDIATELY!

And that’s exactly what I did. I found this huge gold lamp at Home Style here in Covington and brought it home. I had an open spot on the little cabinet next to my bed. I’ve made over this corner so many times. The last version featured my plant of steel (which now lives in the living room, per the photo shoot folks) which left a spot for a very tall item.

Never in a million years did I think that very tall item would be a giant gold lamp from the 70’s, but here we are.

Giant Gold Lamp

The shade was a sale find at Home Goods. I bought the largest shade in the clearance section, which rings in at 20″. The shade really needs to be white, but for $20 and the size I need, this tan version is A-OK with me. One day I will cover the shade in white fabric, but I have to admit: the tan is growing on me!

You may remember me posting the pic below on Instagram. Suge is placed for scale which I’m sure he totally appreciated. I’m posting the Instagram pic below, but if you can’t see it, here’s the direct link.

I love how the new-to-me lamp works with my gold lamps on the dresser across the room. Like they were made for each other.

Bamboo Roller Shades

In other news and while we’re on the topic of this room, that copper overhead light is going to be replaced by a fan. Function wins over form (Aaron is so thrilled!). We’re fan people and our current set-up (an old dusty box fan leaning on a plastic chair) is just not working out. Bye bye light. You’re pretty but you don’t provide a good breeze.

DIY Copper Light

That’s all I’ve got for now. Be back Friday!




Nice Stems

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It’s been a while since I shared any living room updates. I think the last update was when I took away the jute rug and removed the skirt from the green sofa. The end result was this:

There was a smaller detail that I was overlooking. When I removed the skirt from the green sofa it was clear the wooden legs needed some attention.

They were covered in tape, gouges and scratches. The gouges make sense. And I’m guessing the masking tape was there to protect them. Anyways, it was not pretty.

I tried to insert a splinter analogy here, but it’s late and my brain is fuzzy from the weekend. I’m sure you catch my drift—these legs are so little in the grand scheme of things but they caused a lot of visual discomfort.

So yea, I fixed them. I flipped the couch over and used a razor blade to remove all the tape and sticky residue.

And then I sanded everything down. It was getting late at this point and I just wanted it done, so I grabbed the first thing I could find to stain. The kitchen sponge! The stain was leftover from the office desk project. It’s Minwax Wood Finish in English Chestnut.

And I don’t know if any of you are like this, but it’s gotten to the point where I am no longer precious about the tools I’m using for house projects. Kitchen sponge to stain? Great! Plastic bag as a paint tray? Sure! Cardboard box edge instead of painters tape? Why not! I’ve become much more relaxed about all of it and I like to think it hasn’t affected the end result at all. Maybe. :)

Anyways, here’s the end result. The good camera pics got deleted (*ahem*) so an iPhone pic will have to do for now.

The living room has been our constant over the last few months and the lack of activity from a project standpoint has been so nice. We did get a dimmer installed awhile back to help dial down the mega wattage of the Edison chandelier. We no longer are getting a sunburn while watching TV.

Anyways, this week will be a crazy one for me. I’ve got a couple of big meetings, Tuesday is new appliance day, Wednesday is old appliance donation day and my birthday is Friday, with lots of other stuff in between.

But for now, I’m going to try to savor the last few hours of the weekend, sip my glass of cheap white wine and watch Pramface.



Office / Second Bedroom: The final layer

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Oh, the office. I’ll be honest with you. For awhile the changes I was making didn’t feel right to me. I’m not sure what was bothering me about it. Are the walls too dark? Did I make a mistake painting the trim dark? Is there enough color? The other thing that was grating on me was the fact that we weren’t using the room as an actual office. It was a gift wrapping station. It was a dumping ground. It was a giant laundry basket. It was really everything but an office! We didn’t spend time in there, which was so discouraging. So I walked away for a bit.

And while I wasn’t physically working on the office, the room was always on my mind. How can I make it better? What’s missing? And then *DING* I got hit with the obvious stick. It was missing its final layer! That’s why it wasn’t looking right! Sure, there was paint on the walls and furniture in each corner… but it hadn’t been “dressed” in any sort of way. And I’m not talking styling here. I’m talking functional stuff to make it a real office. So of course we didn’t use it as an office… it’s not even equipped to handle any sort of office activity.

I know this all sounds very obvious and derp but it’s a perfect example of being a little too close to a problem to effectively problem solve…

Here is the office as of a few hours ago.

Look! There’s task lighting, a printer, under-desk storage with a drawer full of PENS! It’s an actual functioning office! *bangs head against wall*

Here’s where we were pre-final layer. Yep, it looked OK, but unless “working in the office” equals “napping on the daybed” it really wasn’t functional. Ok, napping does equal work some of the time, but you know what I mean…

During our two week break around Christmas, things really started to fall into place with this room. Everything I tried seemed to work well. We were spending time in there. I remember a certain weekend we spent both days in there. I was working on invitations and Aaron was working on his website. It was glorious.

The biggest difference was the addition of storage. We had a place to hide our tools, paper and supplies, thanks to the ALEX from IKEA. I added these adhesive bookplates to make it look a little more unique. I will add writing to the labels when I have a better sense of what works best where.

The inside of the drawers are organized too, thanks to the cut-to-size SUMMERA. Suddenly everything on the desk had a place to live.

On top of the desk we added two task lamps (IKEA again… RANARP) and a printer (a Canon PIXMA). This is the first time I’ve had a printer at home in awhile and it makes crafting so much easier. 

The focused light the two desk lamps provide have also turned out to be a huge help. Dark walls = dark room, despite the loads of light the overhead pendant gives out. The lamps provide a “comfy glow” (can that be a thing?) in the evening, making working (especially work work) somewhat bearable.

So yea, we’re thrilled with how this room turned out. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a “final reveal”… there are a few things we’d still love to do (like getting those chairs upholstered) but that won’t happen for awhile I am sure. We’re lucky the existing upholstery tends to blend in…

Before I sign off, here is the official “before” picture from this post.

And here is where we are today… oh you know, only 1.5 years later.

And for the record… it doesn’t normally take me 1.5 years to complete a project. A year? Probably!

To recap this project, here are all of the related posts in chronological (start to finish) order.

The official before picture and why I’m switching the room from my bedroom to an office.

The design plan (which I didn’t follow).

My thought process for picking the dark paint color.

The walls, painted.

The carpet, replaced.

A BIG update! The new desk and ceiling light.

The closet trim, painted (small space eye trick!)

The raw pine desktop, stained to match the other wood tones in the house.

Caulking and re-painting the window sills and installing fancy closet door pulls.

Posters hung on the walls.

New daybed.

$50 rug found!

Phew! It feels good to have this space in a good place. It also feels good to have this post done… ’twas a doozy!

What’s next? Well… I’ve got a living room with a few changes underway and a kitchen that’s barely been touched. Should be fun!



Lighting for the front porch.

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While the doors for the office are drying, I’ve been gaining some real momentum on the outside of the house, mostly the front porch. I’m getting a little ahead of myself, and I need to do a design plan to organize my thoughts a bit, but I can’t help but window shop. In the interior design world, shopping is “research.” Heh.

Anyways, this is an older photo from October ’12, but it’s pretty much how the porch exists today, with the exception of hanging baskets.

Emily May

All of the junk on the porch is easy to remove, but to be honest, I’m dying to change that ceiling light! I like BIG and interesting lighting, so what’s there needs to go!

Lamps.com invited me to look around and check things out on their website and I was so pleased to find great AFFORDABLE options. I did a round-up of some of my favorite outdoor lights (I’ve got a sconce on the back porch that needs replacing as well) over on their blog. I would love for you to go check it out. Number #3 is a real contender. I like its size and that it’s black, which will help make more sense of my black front door.

Emily May

All the details on the light sources are here, as well as a little more from me.

Readers here get a little discount code: GOHAUSGO10 for 10% off. And what’s awesome? Free shipping and free light bulbs on nearly every purchase. Sweet!

And nope, not a sponsored post. I didn’t get any free product and I didn’t get paid. Just so you know. :)



Spring styling…

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My bedroom has been feeling a little on the blah side to me lately. Maybe it’s because the last time I changed it up was in winter? Here’s where it’s been:

Emily Snuffer

Focus special attention on the cabinet in the back corner. Lots of the spring styling happened right there. It now looks like this…

Emily Snuffer

How about we scootch back just a tad…

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Ok… a little more….

Photo sucks…. sorry…

Basically, just a lot more color. I seem to be obsessed with yellow, orange and pink lately (it’s all over the wedding, too) so of course I had to bring some of the same into the bedroom. Much more springy!

And did you notice my lovely brass light clip attached to my bed?

Emily Snuffer

It’s the Land of Nod clip light. Quite possibly the cutest clip light/lamp in all the land. This one….

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That clip light will run you $60 in stores and online. I found it at their outlet for $15. YES. Wait until you see the office makeover (workin’ on it)… it’s like the Land of Nod lighting section blew up in there.

Anyways, the other side of the room has looked like this ever since I upgraded the front of my MALM with PANYL.

Emily Snuffer

The record player drives me crazy because there’s just no good way to set up without taking up the entire top, but I did do some major simplification. It now looks like this…

Emily Snuffer

Better, right? Same amount of junk, just doesn’t look as junky. The key was resting the speakers on the window ledge behind the dresser. It keeps them out of sight, which I love.

And yes, that is a fiddle leaf fig mini tree. IKEA has them for 12 bucks. I now feel like a real shelter blogger. I hope I don’t kill it. I don’t want to lose my blogger street cred. :)

I also rolled the DIY pom pom shade way up. It’s a huge window and I never realized how much of it I was covering up (thus keeping the room dark nearly all of the time) with the shade pulled all the way down. It’s much better now, although now I need to watch for neighbors when I’m getting dressed in the morning.

That’s it for now. Are you guys springifying your homes too? Are you like me and just slap a plant and some colorful accessories somewhere??



The Office: Light switch.

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Remember the DIY burlap shade I placed on the fan in the office?

Emily Snuffer

Welp, it’s got to go. I know, I know. It was put up not too long ago. But I have a good reason!

The shade is too opaque, which means the piddly 40w bulb does little to nothing at all in terms of providing extra light into the room. At night, with the dark walls, it gets DARK. We are looking for an open light fixture (not a shade) with some high wattage.

We actually ordered this light from CB2 a few months back.

And Aaron well, hated it. Like REALLY hated it. And because this is HIS room (I have to keep reminding myself of that) it went back to the store. It was a painful return, but most because the price was so good (barely $60!). Now that it’s gone, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it was probably much too shiny for that room. The dark walls and the shiny gold light had a brothel effect. :)

So now we’re on the hunt for light fixture #2. I’ve had my eye on so many. I’ve had my eye on the wood polyhedrons from Restoration Hardware for a long time. And now the medium size is on deep clearance at $179.99. Isn’t it sad that even “deep clearance” at Restoration Hardware is still way too rich for my blood? Well I guess I could buy it but then I would have to de-invite some people from the wedding. Not good…

Emily Snuffer

source: Restoration Hardware

Next up… I’ve been eyeballing the Bentwood Pendants from West Elm. Specifically, the oblong version. They’re on super sale right now ($135! That’s semi-budget friendly, right?). The color will match my wood floors perfectly. I also think it will be a nice contrast with the Edison spider light in the next room. I bet these would pretty easy to DIY (Home Depot carries veneer strips that look exactly like these) but my DIY docket is quite full these days.

Emily Snuffer

This light is a decent contender. The harsh horizontal line cutting through its center bothers me a little (I’ve been spoiled by its famous predecessor) but I could get past it given the price is so good at $99. And it’s huge at 24″ x 24″!

Emily Snuffer

And finally, if I were really rich I would be all over this Patrick Townsend Superstring Series fixture.

Emily Snuffer

God, it’s glorious. It’s also expensive at over $600.

Any other ideas? You can certainly see the look we’re going for – open format to let through lots of light.

For now, we just took the burlap shade down and are rockin’ the naked bulbs look until we find the light we really like.




The Big Day: Decorative Glass Votive DIY

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My fabulous and recently married cousin is graciously handing over the candles and glass votive holders she used at her wedding. The only condition is that I continue to pass them along to future family weddings. Fine by me! I’m happy to.

She used hers in such a pretty way – simple glass votives (jars? holders?) with white candles anchored by shiny black rocks. I loved it. Super cool and modern.

But because I can’t do the same thing (uh, copy cat?), I’ve been brainstorming some ways I can make these my own.

Here’s a good idea of their shape and size:

Emily Snuffer

(Above) The ones she is giving me are larger than these, but the shape and proportions are right on.

I don’t want to spend too much making these babies mine, so I limited myself to the paper aisle at Michael’s knowing each glass “makeover” would cost me about 50 cents.

Emily Snuffer

(Above) First up – a sheet of acetate with a lacey design.

Emily Snuffer

(Above) I love it! I made sure to use the edges on the top to make use of that nice scallop. This was as easy as cutting a strip to fit the length of each glass and using transparent tape to hold down the seam. Easy peasy.

Next up – some faux frosting and monogramming….

Emily Snuffer

(Above) I quickly cut the letters out by hand (I would have used a real stencil for the “real deal”… this looks very amateur hour at the moment… I was too hungry to find my vinyl letters) but I do like the idea. I love the frosty look – which was achieved by wrapping vellum paper around the glass and using my transparent tape to keep everything in place. The tall glass is a light blue vellum and the small glass has a slight damask pattern.

Next up  – gold and glitter!

Emily Snuffer

(Above) Goooooold (in Austin Powers Goldfinger voice)! They sell sheets of glitter at most craft stores, but it’s a little thick. If you look closely I had to use two transparent hair bands instead of tape to keep the sheet of glitter on the glass. I love the way the candle light emits from the bottom like a hovercraft. The taller glass is wrapped in transparent gold paper which I am not liking at all…

Since the tall glass looked too plain and flat, I grabbed a sheet of distressed gold and see how I liked it..

Emily Snuffer

Whoa! I can’t tell if the distressed gold looks like super cool mercury glass or an Ed Hardy t-shirt.

Moving on… I saved the best two for last.


Emily Snuffer

I saw this idea of cutting the vellum in a chevron pattern in the most recent Martha Stewart Weddings, so I can’t take any credit. I did do it an easier way which I’ll share in a minute.

I loved it so much I kept going…

BOOM x 2!

Emily Snuffer

(Above) This one is most me (especially with that striped ribbon I threw in there… from the Halloween selection at Michael’s) and definitely fits the most with our overall aesthetic. Modern, crafty, geometric-y, stripe-y and natural colors.

To get the chevron pattern it’s super simple. In the Martha Stewart article, they want you to use some sort of pattern stencil ($$$) but it can be done totally free. If you want horizontal chevrons (like mine), you fold (don’t crease it!) your paper vertically and cut at an angle. Like this:

Emily Snuffer

(Above) If you’re confused on which way to go, tell yourself to make a back slash. This reminded me of making construction paper hearts in grade school.

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(Above) Close-up shot!

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These are now sitting up on my mantel in my bedroom, looking all crafty and cute.

Lessons learned on on this project:

  • Scrapbooking paper comes in two sizes. Get the larger size – otherwise it won’t wrap all the way around your glass
  • Use transparent tape, not scotch tape
  • Don’t half-ass lettering, even if you’re hungry
  • Martha is always right

You guys are going to know everything going on at my wedding before anyone actually gets there. And I like it that way!


xo, emily

p/s: I LOVED all the comments on the balloons-as-bouquets post last Friday. So many good watch-outs, comments of support, etc. We will definitely be using balloons in some way that day (maybe during our reception entrance) but probably not walking down the aisle. The disadvantages are too many and the advantages are too few in terms of using them at the church. At any rate, I’ll have a DIY on those soon!

p/p/s: Dress shopping day is only a week away. Squeeeeee!


Edison installed.

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Missed Friday’s post on the Edison? Check it out here.

This was by far the craziest light install I’ve ever done, but then again, I’ve only done two. Result? I am really thrilled. It will most definitely be the focal point of the room.

Emily Snuffer

I’ve said this so many times, but I am REALLY a sucker for high contrast. White ceiling and white walls with black spider-y cables… yes ma’am.

Emily Snuffer

I wanted to arrange the cables so they looked a little scattered, versus in a perfect circle. It worked out pretty well. The tension anchors on each cable made it easy to adjust the length if I needed less or more “swag.”

Emily Snuffer

Did you notice the light fixture isn’t in the actual center of the room? Yea, that is kind of annoying…

Emily Snuffer

The globe bulbs are huge. Probably 5″ in diameter. I was impressed. And lordy do they give off a lot of light…

Emily Snuffer

Dim rooms drive me crazy at night (instant narcolepsy) so I enjoy the brightness. And it’s a clean, white brightness. I dig.

Emily Snuffer

Action shot! The whole thing took about two hours to install. It was a little painful screwing in 20 (!!) extra holes (two per cable bracket) in my ceiling, but I’m trying to forget about that part. Here’s where I note Aaron and I drilled in each screw by HAND. BY HAND. My drill is broke and I’m too cheap to get a new one.

Emily Snuffer

Here’s a good picture showing my installation method. I just guessed and it seemed to work great. I staggered each cable so Cable 1 was 10″ from the canopy, Cable 2 was 20″ away and Cable 3 was back to 10″ away, etc. I used a string marked at 10″ and 20″ to make installation go quicker. Each cable bracket is 12″ from each other. Do you see my little pattern?

Emily Snuffer

Hopefully I inspired more Edison light lovers out there. :)

Next up: The front door. Currently, it’s a hot, brassy mess and a little harder to ignore now that I’ll be eating/watching TV in the same room as the door. A cool, front door really isn’t in the budget (plus, I’m not sure if they even make “cool front doors”), so I’ll be DIY-ing my little heart out.

p/s: I’ve been trying to catch Suge in the middle of his “turtle routine” to share with you and I finally was able to over the weekend. Here’s the video on YouTube. You’ll have to read the description to understand the “turtle routine.” He’s cute.

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Welp, I’ve done it. I finally purchased the chandelier of my dreams, the Edison chandelier from Pottery Barn. You’ve heard me yammer on about it for almost a year now, and it’s finally here.

Emily Snuffer

And since you know I love to pinch pennies, I ended up getting this sucker on eBay for just over $200 (ok, $212.52 to be exact), which was so much easier to swallow than $350 (even on sale!) after shipping and taxes on Pottery Barn’s web site. (Update: It looks like this light is now totally unavailable. Boo. But, they pop up on eBay all the time.)

I cannot find anyone in the blogging world that has this light (with the exception of Nicole from Making it Lovely) so finding inspiration images was difficult. I do know that a dark, hulking, industrial chandelier will almost definitely look awesome in an all-white room so I took a little leap of faith and ordered it anyways.

Emily Snuffer

This is an older picture (that chest looks a whole lot different) but in this picture you can spot the existing overhead light. I actually posted about the existing light here and while I still do love the shape and size of it (almost 30″ wide!), the cream shade looks lost/mismatched next to the bright white ceiling and walls. I think it may go in the to-be office….

Back to the Edison. Pottery Barn does have a couple pictures on their site of the Edison in action.

Emily Snuffer

From PotteryBarn.com

This look is a little “droopy” with it acting more as a pendant vs. an overhead light. The look I’m going for is more “spider-y” than droopy, with the legs spread more apart. Did I just type “spider-y?” Oh vey.

Emily Snuffer

From PotteryBarn.com

Here they show it on top of another dining room table. In fact, reading several of the reviews, a lot of people are using this light over their dining room table. Maybe one day I will use it as a dining room light (like maybe when I have a dining room) but I am hoping it will work well as a living room light.

Emily Snuffer

From MakingItLovely.com

And the Edison is beautiful above a bed. I guess we’d call the Edison a versatile light solution… or how about just a really neat light I’m jazzed about installing.

Speaking of installing… that’s next on the living room makeover list.

Emily Snuffer

Unfortunately, here it is in its present state. Suge considers the box a savage enemy and avoids the sight of it. He’s practically peeing his furry pants in this picture. He’s a little scaredy cat.

If the living room makeover process has left you feeling a little discombobulated, I feel ya. I usually have a crisp to-do list and a little idea board of what I’m trying to accomplish for each room. There’s something about this room that wants me to be more spontaneous, allowing me to go with it versus reconciling it against a stated plan. Ever feel that way sometimes?

I’ll have pictures of the lovely Edison in action next week.

On a random note, Suge and Biggie are liking their new “dog bed.”

Emily Snuffer

– emily

p/s: I think there are a lot of new folks here checking out Go Haus Go. Is it weird to ask you to comment and say a little bit about you? I really am interested and let’s face it, I’m looking for new blogs to check out. I just found the blog, Retro Ranch Reno, and am so pumped because they are living out my life long dream of mid-century ranch renovatin’. What they have done with the place is amazing.