Lighting

Easy removable lighting for closets

I’m very lucky to have three closets in my current apartment so I was able to dedicate one entirely to all my tools and materials. This was most definitely a wonderful upgrade from the closet situation in my tiny NYC studio! But the one thing that was missing in the closet was some lighting. After a quick search online, I found the perfect solution: LED battery-operated lights (affiliate link)!

They are very inexpensive at around $15 and can be installed anywhere. They are a great solution for renters like myself to brighten up a closet or a dark cabinet. To make mine even easier to remove later, I installed the LED lights (affiliate link) with a new product I discovered recently at the Home Hardware Show in Las Vegas: repositionable double-sided sheets from Glue Dots. I was given some samples to try and this project was perfect to see how it works.

A full sheet will hold about 2 lbs and the lights are extremely lightweight, so I cut one sheet in half and it was more than enough to hold one light in place. You simply remove the top liner, stick to the back of the LED light,  peel off the remaining liner and you can place your lights anywhere. The great thing about this adhesive is that you can easily reposition it if you need to and it’s easy to remove completely without leaving any residue on the wall.

It took no time at all and was so easy, I wish I had done this sooner. I love having lights in my closet and I think I’ll be doing this in my other closets too!

It took no time at all and was so easy, I wish I had done this sooner. I love having lights in my closet and I think I’ll be doing this in my other closets too!

If you want to give Glue Dots® a try, I’m happy to announce that Glue Dots® set up a giveaway just for EYS fans! Connect with us on social media through the widget below to enter the giveaway (this giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years to enter). One lucky winner will be selected and notified on Monday, June 30th.  If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected. Don’t forget to check your junk email after we announce the winner!  Good Luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m very lucky to have three closets in my current apartment so I was able to dedicate one entirely to all my tools and materials. This was most definitely a wonderful upgrade from the closet situation in my tiny NYC studio! But the one thing that was missing in the closet was some lighting. After a quick search online, I found the perfect solution: LED battery-operated lights (affiliate link)!

They are very inexpensive at around $15 and can be installed anywhere. They are a great solution for renters like myself to brighten up a closet or a dark cabinet. To make mine even easier to remove later, I installed the LED lights (affiliate link) with a new product I discovered recently at the Home Hardware Show in Las Vegas: repositionable double-sided sheets from Glue Dots. I was given some samples to try and this project was perfect to see how it works.

A full sheet will hold about 2 lbs and the lights are extremely lightweight, so I cut one sheet in half and it was more than enough to hold one light in place. You simply remove the top liner, stick to the back of the LED light,  peel off the remaining liner and you can place your lights anywhere. The great thing about this adhesive is that you can easily reposition it if you need to and it’s easy to remove completely without leaving any residue on the wall.

It took no time at all and was so easy, I wish I had done this sooner. I love having lights in my closet and I think I’ll be doing this in my other closets too!

It took no time at all and was so easy, I wish I had done this sooner. I love having lights in my closet and I think I’ll be doing this in my other closets too!

If you want to give Glue Dots® a try, I’m happy to announce that Glue Dots® set up a giveaway just for EYS fans! Connect with us on social media through the widget below to enter the giveaway (this giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years to enter). One lucky winner will be selected and notified on Monday, June 30th.  If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected. Don’t forget to check your junk email after we announce the winner!  Good Luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to decorate a kitchen on a budget

My galley kitchen in my new apartment is definitely an upgrade from my NYC kitchen but I wanted to give my generic white rental kitchen an upgrade and a little bit more personality with some color. I’ve always wanted a blue kitchen so I added a touch of blue with a temporary DIY backsplash and you’ll see how I managed to also paint a feature wall blue without actually painting the wall using temporary wallpaper. Lighting is also very important so I’m going to show you how to install under cabinet lighting using IKEA LED lights for better task lighting at the counter. With these changes, and few more tweaks, I now really love my kitchen and actually like to spend time in it!

My galley kitchen in my new apartment is definitely an upgrade from my NYC kitchen but I wanted to give my generic white rental kitchen an upgrade and a little bit more personality with some color. I’ve always wanted a blue kitchen so I added a touch of blue with a temporary DIY backsplash and you’ll see how I managed to also paint a feature wall blue without actually painting the wall using temporary wallpaper. Lighting is also very important so I’m going to show you how to install under cabinet lighting using IKEA LED lights for better task lighting at the counter. With these changes, and few more tweaks, I now really love my kitchen and actually like to spend time in it!

International Builders Show: New Products for the DIY’er

I’m always on the lookout for new products that might help me with my DIY projects and also work for rental apartments. So when I had the opportunity to attend the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas this week, I thought why not? The show is mainly for builders and contractors, but by meandering through the aisles with an open mind, I ended up discovering some amazing products.

1) SPAX screws

These have been around for a while but they were new to me. How I wish I had discovered them earlier! The SPAX product line includes MDF/wood screws that are just amazing: they don’t require pre-drilling to prevent splitting, AND the screw head can either stay flush with the material or countersink into it. I can’t wait to try these out on some of the projects I’m working on! SPAX screws are currently available at hardware stores, including Home Depot, and online.

2) Swanson GripLine tape measure:

If you’re like me and often work alone on DIY projects, it can be frustrating trying to get the end of the tape measure to stay put while taking measurements, especially if the surface the end of the tape is grabbing onto is round or slippery. Well, the new GripLine tape measure solves this problem – it is designed to catch, hold and measure multiple types of materials. This tape measure was just launched last November so look for it in hardware stores soon.

3) SnapRays

Lighting is a big challenge in rentals and I’m always searching for lighting products that can easily be integrated in a rental home without messing around with electrical wiring. That’s why SnapRays caught my attention  – it is essentially a nightlight incorporated into the faceplate of a electrical outlet. To install, you simply remove the existing cover plate, “snap” the SnapRays onto the outlet receptacle and the light will turn on when it gets dark. Perfect for rental homes! According to the manufacturer, the product will be available sometime in March 2014.

Let me know what you think of these products in the comments below – which one are you most excited about?

 

I’m always on the lookout for new products that might help me with my DIY projects and also work for rental apartments. So when I had the opportunity to attend the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas this week, I thought why not? The show is mainly for builders and contractors, but by meandering through the aisles with an open mind, I ended up discovering some amazing products.

1) SPAX screws

These have been around for a while but they were new to me. How I wish I had discovered them earlier! The SPAX product line includes MDF/wood screws that are just amazing: they don’t require pre-drilling to prevent splitting, AND the screw head can either stay flush with the material or countersink into it. I can’t wait to try these out on some of the projects I’m working on! SPAX screws are currently available at hardware stores, including Home Depot, and online.

2) Swanson GripLine tape measure:

If you’re like me and often work alone on DIY projects, it can be frustrating trying to get the end of the tape measure to stay put while taking measurements, especially if the surface the end of the tape is grabbing onto is round or slippery. Well, the new GripLine tape measure solves this problem – it is designed to catch, hold and measure multiple types of materials. This tape measure was just launched last November so look for it in hardware stores soon.

3) SnapRays

Lighting is a big challenge in rentals and I’m always searching for lighting products that can easily be integrated in a rental home without messing around with electrical wiring. That’s why SnapRays caught my attention  – it is essentially a nightlight incorporated into the faceplate of a electrical outlet. To install, you simply remove the existing cover plate, “snap” the SnapRays onto the outlet receptacle and the light will turn on when it gets dark. Perfect for rental homes! According to the manufacturer, the product will be available sometime in March 2014.

Let me know what you think of these products in the comments below – which one are you most excited about?

 

How to decorate a small apartment

With 3 roommate sharing an apartment and one common living room, it’s hard to keep their home organized with the front door leading directly into the living room without any formal entryway. And to make matters worse, there is no closet to hang coats. The solution is to build wall panels that can be painted any color and customized to include DIY coat racks, a DIY charging station and lighting with integrated wall sconces. There’s even an IKEA notice board incorporated to act as a home command center of sorts for the roommates to leave messages for each other. You’ll see how easy it is to decorate a small rental apartment with color and at the same time add the functionality of an entryway even if all you have to work with is a big blank wall.

With 3 roommate sharing an apartment and one common living room, it’s hard to keep their home organized with the front door leading directly into the living room without any formal entryway. And to make matters worse, there is no closet to hang coats. The solution is to build wall panels that can be painted any color and customized to include DIY coat racks, a DIY charging station and lighting with integrated wall sconces. There’s even an IKEA notice board incorporated to act as a home command center of sorts for the roommates to leave messages for each other. You’ll see how easy it is to decorate a small rental apartment with color and at the same time add the functionality of an entryway even if all you have to work with is a big blank wall.

How to make lighted wall panels

Plain white walls, or even worse, ugly walls, are often something renters have to deal with. In this episode, you’ll see how to build decorative floating wall panels using inexpensive materials from the hardware store. They can be customized to fit any style or look using anything from paint and stencils to wallpaper or fabric and even incorporate decorative wall lighting with the use of rope lights. Not only will these floating wall panels add architectural detail to plain white box rental apartments, they will also provide just the right amount of mood lighting in the evening. It’s the perfect alternative to painting or using temporary wallpaper when you’re renting: it takes less time to do and you can take the wall panels with you when you move out!

Plain white walls, or even worse, ugly walls, are often something renters have to deal with. In this episode, you’ll see how to build decorative floating wall panels using inexpensive materials from the hardware store. They can be customized to fit any style or look using anything from paint and stencils to wallpaper or fabric and even incorporate decorative wall lighting with the use of rope lights. Not only will these floating wall panels add architectural detail to plain white box rental apartments, they will also provide just the right amount of mood lighting in the evening. It’s the perfect alternative to painting or using temporary wallpaper when you’re renting: it takes less time to do and you can take the wall panels with you when you move out!

Solar LED lights for balconies

Want to add some ambiance on your balcony with lights but don’t have an electrical outlet? Let the sun provide the power you need! There are many solar powered LED lights out there that work really well – I found mine at Walmart (20 LED lights for about $15) but you can probably find them online for a lot less.

I tucked the lights through the reed fence I have attached to my balcony railing instead of hanging them the traditional way – I really like the “twinkling” effect it gives at night!

Want to add some ambiance on your balcony with lights but don’t have an electrical outlet? Let the sun provide the power you need! There are many solar powered LED lights out there that work really well – I found mine at Walmart (20 LED lights for about $15) but you can probably find them online for a lot less.

I tucked the lights through the reed fence I have attached to my balcony railing instead of hanging them the traditional way – I really like the “twinkling” effect it gives at night!

Out with the old, in with the new

Have you switched over to LED light bulbs yet? I found this great article outlining the planned phase-out of incandescent light bulbs, including a very good comparison of the more energy efficient options like LED bulbs. I’ve personally tried the Phillips AmbientLED bulbs and just love them – they give off a beautiful warm light, very similar to incandescent lighting and they work with dimmers. They are a bit pricey at approximately $25 per bulb but I’m still glad I got them: they consume less energy, last for about 20 years and because they hardly give off any heat, I’ll be spending a little bit less on A/C this summer. In the long run, good for the pocketbook and the environment.

Have you switched over to LED light bulbs yet? I found this great article outlining the planned phase-out of incandescent light bulbs, including a very good comparison of the more energy efficient options like LED bulbs. I’ve personally tried the Phillips AmbientLED bulbs and just love them – they give off a beautiful warm light, very similar to incandescent lighting and they work with dimmers. They are a bit pricey at approximately $25 per bulb but I’m still glad I got them: they consume less energy, last for about 20 years and because they hardly give off any heat, I’ll be spending a little bit less on A/C this summer. In the long run, good for the pocketbook and the environment.

How to make a pendant lamp

Not sure how or what kind of lights to add to a room in your rental? Consider making your own pendant lamps from recycled materials from your closet and kitchen. This is a do-it-yourself lighting project on a budget that’s perfect for renters and anyone needing to add light to a room. You’ll see how easy it is to make customized pendant lamps that will add that extra touch of style to any room, no electrical wiring needed!

Not sure how or what kind of lights to add to a room in your rental? Consider making your own pendant lamps from recycled materials from your closet and kitchen. This is a do-it-yourself lighting project on a budget that’s perfect for renters and anyone needing to add light to a room. You’ll see how easy it is to make customized pendant lamps that will add that extra touch of style to any room, no electrical wiring needed!

Easy DIY dimmer switch

Wish your lamp had a dimmer? All you need is a dimmer switch – no need to touch electrical wiring. You plug the lamp into the switch, plug the switch into an outlet and you’re done! Dimmer switches are available in models for both incandescent and LED light bulbs and cost about $15. I used them on pendant lamps that didn’t come with a switch – perfect solution!

 

Wish your lamp had a dimmer? All you need is a dimmer switch – no need to touch electrical wiring. You plug the lamp into the switch, plug the switch into an outlet and you’re done! Dimmer switches are available in models for both incandescent and LED light bulbs and cost about $15. I used them on pendant lamps that didn’t come with a switch – perfect solution!

 

DIY recessed can light makeover

If you have recessed can lights for regular incandescent bulbs, you can easily convert them into an outlet with an adapter (less than $2) and plug in a pendant lamp. Just make sure the pendant lamp doesn’t hang directly from the outlet. It’s a great budget-friendly way to change up your lighting, especially if you’re a renter and can’t make any permanent changes.

 

If you have recessed can lights for regular incandescent bulbs, you can easily convert them into an outlet with an adapter (less than $2) and plug in a pendant lamp. Just make sure the pendant lamp doesn’t hang directly from the outlet. It’s a great budget-friendly way to change up your lighting, especially if you’re a renter and can’t make any permanent changes.

 

DIY lighting switch – no electrician needed

Wish you had a wall switch to control a lamp? Try a wireless remote control system: plug the receiver into the outlet, plug the lamp into the receiver, and that’s it – you’re ready to turn the light on/off with the wall mounted battery operated switch. With no electrical wiring needed, it’s a perfect DIY lighting solution for renters!

Wish you had a wall switch to control a lamp? Try a wireless remote control system: plug the receiver into the outlet, plug the lamp into the receiver, and that’s it – you’re ready to turn the light on/off with the wall mounted battery operated switch. With no electrical wiring needed, it’s a perfect DIY lighting solution for renters!

Easy extra electrical outlets

Wish you had more electrical outlets near your desk? Try these lampholder/electrical outlet adapters that go into lamp sockets. They’re perfect for plugging in extra things like your glue gun. If you want the outlets to work with the lamp off, get the kind with a pull chain…not bad for under $5!

 

Wish you had more electrical outlets near your desk? Try these lampholder/electrical outlet adapters that go into lamp sockets. They’re perfect for plugging in extra things like your glue gun. If you want the outlets to work with the lamp off, get the kind with a pull chain…not bad for under $5!

 

How to make a drum shade

Do you like everything about your apartment, except for that unsightly ceiling light fixture? No need to replace it, just cover it up with a DIY drum shade – it will instantly give your room a more sophisticated and personalized look. See how easy it is to make a customized drum shade that will fit any décor, all with inexpensive and easily sourced materials: embroidery hoops, poster board and brads. This is do it yourself lighting on a budget that’s perfect for renters and anyone looking for a quick upgrade to their lighting fixtures.

 

Do you like everything about your apartment, except for that unsightly ceiling light fixture? No need to replace it, just cover it up with a DIY drum shade – it will instantly give your room a more sophisticated and personalized look. See how easy it is to make a customized drum shade that will fit any décor, all with inexpensive and easily sourced materials: embroidery hoops, poster board and brads. This is do it yourself lighting on a budget that’s perfect for renters and anyone looking for a quick upgrade to their lighting fixtures.