Thursday, 9 July 2015

DIY rag lampshade

My goodness!
It feels like it's been ages since I did a DIY post!
I've had loads of little and large projects on the go recently, but somehow they've yet to manifest in a blogpost. I was planning on keeping this one under wraps until I was ready to reveal my Spare room makeover, but I felt so bad that I hadn't given you guys a creative post for a here it is!

I was after a new lightshade for my new look spare room, and I wanted something light and airy to go with my decorating concept....after a long search online, only to find that the one I liked the look of (The Z1 pendant was way out of my budget) I came up with this solution.
And I love it!

This is a really easy DIY: All I used was a cheap sheet and some lampshade rings from an old shade.
So all in all this ended up costing me just £3 to make!

Not bad hey?

I think it looks great in the New look spare room (which is almost done....just wait and see)
I can't help it, I am so excited to show you all how it's turning out, so here's a little sneak peek of the DIY lightshade in it's new surroundings:

I was considering doing some kind of dip-dye effect on the ends of it, but I actually love how light and airy it looks in plain white.
Of course, if you fancy making one, you could choose to do this (See my Dip dye curtain tutorial here to find out how) or you could choose to use a colored, or even printed fabric to suit your tastes and decor.
Anyway, today I will show you how I made mine:

What you'll need:

*Lampshade carriers: I used the rings of an old lampshade, but you can buy the parts online.
*You'll need a utility ring for the top, and a slightly smaller lampshade ring for the bottom.
*An old or cheap flat white sheet
*Some scissors


The first thing you'll need to do is fireproof the material.

NOTE: Fabric can never be fully fire-proof, but this will make the fabric fire-resistant (meaning it won't burn without contact with a flame or ignition source)

You can do this by soaking the fabric in a fireproofing solution , like Firecheck, or you can make your own using Borax powder dissolved in boiling water.
For this you'll need:
*A cup and a spoon

Here's how:

Boil up 6-8 cups of water in an old saucepan, and add 2,5 tablespoons of borax per cup of water.
Stir until the borax has completely dissolved to make a saturated solution.

Place your sheet into the solution, and leave to soak for 15-20 minutes.
Don't rinse.
Hang your sheet to dry.

Now, let's get started with making the lampshade:

Cut the sheet into 1" strips.
I just made a little cut into the end of the sheet, then ripped the strips...
...this creates a natural , curled edge to your strips of fabric.
Trim off any loose threads created by the ripping.

Attach the Utility lampshade ring to your light fitting.
(make sure the light is switched off first)...

Fold each strip in half, then tie them onto the top ring, as shown in the pictures above.
The knot wants to resemble a tie knot.

Keep going around until you've filled the ring.
You'll end up with something jelly-fish in the picture above.

Next up you'll need to decide where you want the smaller ring.
If you have a very high ceiling, you may want to make the lampshade longer, but I chose to place it about halfway down the fabric strips.

Using the same "knot" as before, wind the fabric strips around the lampshade ring.
Just start somewhere, and keep going until the ring is covered with the strips.

Because the lower ring is slightly smaller than the top, it may get a bit tight knotting all the fabric strips on..

When you have tied all the fabric strips around the smaller lampshade ring, you can manipulate the knots so that it's all level....

...or, like I did, leave it a bit wonky for a more casual look.

To finish it off, I cut the ends of the fabric strips into points.
You can of course get creative and cut the bottom of your shade into a diagonal shape or similar...
....just make sure it is short enough to walk under (Getting a fabric jellyfish wig every time you walk under it , may seem funny at first....but the novelty will wear off!)

And that's it!

I think it looks like some kind of textural sculpture....

....and it gives a lovely warm glow when lit!

NOTE! Use a low wattage or energy light bulb to further minimize any risk of fire!

What do you think of my rag/jellyfish light shade, then?
Is it worth the £3 sheet it's made out of?
And what do you think of my New look spare room so far?

I am hoping to get the wallpaper up this week, so if everything goes to plan, the room reveal should be up on the blog by the end of next week!
Fingers crossed!

Please vote for me for best DIY blog

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

My Copenhagen Design hunters guide, Part 2

The history and legacy of Danish Design

It feels like light-years ago now, as I am back to normality and knee-deep in projects again, but a couple of weekends ago I treated myself to a research trip to the design capitol of the world, Copenhagen.
I wanted to find out why the Danish are so into interiors and design.
I had the BEST time, and have come home with my notebook full of inspiration and new found knowledge of design...for me ,anyway.
Not to mention some seriously design focused, credible must-visit shop-addresses.....and today I am sharing part 2 of My guide to shopping for design in Copenhagen.

In part one I shared my experience from visiting perhaps, the biggest and most known Modern Design and interior shops in Central I am delving a bit deeper into the history of Danish design and sharing pictures from 4 shops I visited that is continuing the Ethos and craftsmanship that was the driving force behind the Danish Modern golden era of design.


Klassik Moderne Møbelkunst is Denmark’s leading specialty shop for used Danish furniture classics.
 They stock an impressive array of exclusive cabinetmaker furniture and high-quality mass-produced furniture, and  have a wide selection of furniture by the best Danish designers, such as  Poul Kjærholm, Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner  and Finn Juhl .

Situated at Bredgade 3, in central Copenhagen, the first thing that strikes you as you enter the shop is the vast array of classic Danish design lamps and lighting....

Here hangs original lamps by Serge Mouille and Louis Poulsen next to each other over vintage furniture with a price-tag to match the makers design pedigree...

Modern Danish design is perhaps best known for quality furniture craftsmanship coupled with careful research into materials, proportions and the functional requirements of the human body and daily life. The result being that Danish furniture stands the test of time, and the designs are equally applicable now as when they were first made, making the iconic pieces that inspires and influences current designers and makers to this day. The Klassik showroom is like a celebration of beautiful vintage furniture icons from the biggest names of the Modern Danish golden era of design.

 Their carefully selected and meticulously restored  classic Danish furniture shows respect for their history and craftsmanship, and is mirrored in the architecture of the showroom- building.

Alongside iconic furniture from the who's who of the height of the Danish Modern era, sits pieces from other world known mid century modern designers, such as Eames.

I also have to mention their large collection of paintings, watercolours and lithographic prints by renowned artists from Denmark and abroad from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, such as the Georg Ernst painting, pictured above with the Ray and Charles Eames lounger.

There is no doubt that the Danish designers from this period was influenced by, or influencing, their American counterparts.

Klassik has them all...from the familiar and iconic Arne Jacobsen Egg chair to lesser known designs, like the the Scimitar Chair  by Preben Fabricius & Jørgen Kastholm, pictured above in front of that stunning oil on canvas by  William Scharff.

So if you ever find yourself strolling around in Copenhagen, maybe getting caught in the rain, like I did....pop into Klassik for a visual lesson in the premier of Danish Design.

Carl Hansen & Søn

Just a few doors down from Klassik, you can find the Carl Hansen & son flagship store.

Preserving the heritage of Danish craftsmanship , this family run business epitomizes the ethos of Danish design.
Carl Hansen & son is not just a shop, it's one of the most renowned furniture manufacturers in the world .
They produce some of the most iconic furniture designs in the world, signature pieces such as Hans J. Wegner's  shell chair, pictured below, or the CH88, above.

"Craftsmanship can be a lot of things. To us, it is everything and it has been so ever since 1908 when Carl Hansen founded his company in Odense, Denmark."

Wing chair by Hans J. Wegner

Most of the furniture they produce today was designed by leading Danish architects back in the 1930s and up to the 1960s, such as Hans J.Wegner and Kaare Klint, whose iconic lighting you can see pictured below:

In the flagship store the company showcases the Understated beauty and function of its signature pieces of exceptional quality by globally celebrated designers and cabinet makers.

Sustainable, timeless and beautiful carpentry, these masterpieces don't come cheap, but they speak of the heritage of Danish design. And Carl Hansen & son is a big part of preserving the danish passion of Craftsmanship and taking these historic designs into the future.


Stilleben is a small interior shop situated smack , bang in the center of Copenhagen.
Unlike  Klassik and Carl Hansen and son, this shop doesn't sell or make Danish Modern design classics, but is equally instrumental in promoting the quality of Danish design.

Their selective range focuses on smaller unique  productions and young, up-and-coming talents, makers and brands.
They sell design, ceramics, interior decor, jewelry and graphic prints by Danish and international designers, and has been mentioned in international press for being a must-see-destination for modern design and style. 
With such a reputation, they are at the forefront of showcasing future classics, such as the lamp, pictured above ,by

Quality seems to be a key word when describing Danish design, and the owners of Stilleben Ditte Reckweg og Jelena Nordentoft, sets the benchmark when it comes to spotting new talent ...or even trends.


Danish design is not all chairs and furniture.
there is a rich heritage of Pottery making and ceramics, spearheaded by Royal Copenhagen, Stilleben is supporting the future of these traditional art-forms by stocking young, Danish ceramicists , like Ditte Fischer and Studio Arhoj, whose pretty and quirky sip-cups can be seen , below:

But they also stock international brands, like the french label paris au mois d'aout, whose lamp you can see, pictured below.

...Or these beautiful metallic boxes from japanese label Syuro 

Upstairs at Stilleben, there is an artgallery....

Stuffed full of one-off's, limited edition prints and posters by some of the most current Danish artists and graphic designers today...

In the picture ,above, you can see:
moon print by Anne Nowak ,
"Maze" litography print by  Vibeke Rohland and "Pear" print by Monika Petersen amongst others.
The Mobile in the foreground is by Kasper Kjeldgaard.

I would wholeheartedly recommend that you visit Stilleben if you're ever in Copenhagen for a dose of eye-candy and inspiration.

For anyone interested in Interiors and design, both modern or vintage, Copenhagen is certainly one of those destinations that just keeps giving...
And I think one of the reasons why the Danish is so stylish when it comes to interiors and design, must be that it is such a big part of their heritage....
As a people of a nation, put on the world map by internationally acclaimed architects and designers , like Arne Jacobsen, it is, as they say, in their blood!

Next week I will be telling you all about my visit to one of the pillars of the Danish Modern design movement, Finn Juhl's house.
If you love the retro look, you really must not miss it!

I'll be back later this week with an update on my Spare bedroom makeover and a beautiful DIY light shade!