DIY Basket Pendant in Redbook

One time, 3 months ago, we turned a basket into a pendant lamp, and now its in Redbook magazine. As you know I have a column with Redbook where every issue we experiment with a DIY. We brainstorm a bunch of ideas, do a lot of pinning and pitch them to the editors. They pick the ones they like and we tweak them to make sure that they are as unique as possible.


This DIY is as simple as drilling a hole through the bottom of your basket using a circular drill bit, feeding your light kit through the newly drilled hole, and wrapping it with fabric, rope, or yarn in our case. A pendant-loving monkey could pull this off – otherwise known as me.

Here are the detailed instructions and sources:

Basket: We sourced ours from all over but this one was the winner because we loved the shape and scale of it. Although we found a lot that we loved from Target as well as World Market. You can see some of the other options we had to decide from in the behind the scenes images below. I guess the trick is making sure that the scale, shape and size is right for your space. Also no handles or it gives away the fact that it was meant to be a basket, and nobody wants a laundry basket hanging over their dining table. If you wanted to do two pendants over night stands then they would be smaller, but since this was over a small dining table we wanted something a little larger. Could you do one over a huge dining table? Sure, but it might start to actually get really heavy and look like a huge laundry basket over your dining table. Not necessarily the chicest thing that you’ve ever done. But you could do a collection of smaller baskets that would look awesome.

Light Kit: Ours came from World Market, however these can be sourced from any local hardware store or online. Just make sure you get one with enough cord length so that you can hang your new light from the ceiling without having to use an extension cord to get it to reach to the wall outlet. You can also get one like THIS which you can install to an existing junction box to replace what you currently have.

Yarn: We decided to use yarn instead of fabric or rope because the large-scale yarn was easy to wrap and we loved the color. Fabric could have gotten messy and rope could have gotten bulky. I also love the idea of parachute rope, which is thinner than rope but comes in fun colors. Ours was sourced from our local fabric store and the color changed as the yarn went (it was a gradient of color) which added more texture. Duh.

Redbook Basket Lamp_Final


1. Drill Hole: We drilled our hole in the bottom of the basket using a circular drill bit which can be picked up at your local hardware store. Make sure you get one that is the same size or just slightly larger than the size of the light socket on the light kit. If you get anything too big then the light kit will just slide through and if you get anything too small it won’t fit.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Drill

2. Attach Light Kit to Basket: This is as easy as feeding it through the hole in the basket that you just drilled and then affixing it with the attached plastic washer.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Wire

3. Wrap light kit: Start at the end nearest to your basket and tie the yarn in a knot on the light kit. Wrap around and around and around moving down the wire until you reach the end where you will tie another knot in the yarn.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Wrap

So those are the pretty, styled’ after’ shots. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it’s a lot messier when we actually do it, test it, prototype it, etc, so naturally I wanted to give you a glance into that fun but at times hectic process.

After the idea was approved and shoot was set up, Brady went out and bought approximately 95 baskets from Pier 1, HomeGoods, Target, Costplus, etc.

Redbook Basket Lamp_4

We narrowed it down to the ones we liked the most, seemed the most functional and would work with the my style as well as the magazine. Then they prototyped the pendant with one that we didn’t like – strangely it was hard to find a ton of stock in the ones we liked and we needed two in order to show the whole DIY.

Redbook Basket Lamp_3

So, I made them sit on a small rug in the basement and play with baskets without food and water for MINUTES!

Meanwhile upstairs we shot three different options of basket pendants for the magazine – styled in one shot. We had our favorite (the middle one, obviously) but I liked the other two and it’s always nice to show options. That photo never ran in the magazine, but isn’t it fun to see the whole set up? Also isn’t it fun to see how much photo shoots destroy your house? And this is nothing …..

Redbook Basket Lamp_1

It was basically David Tsay photographing the whole scenario, while his assistants and Brady strung them all up on C-stands against my white wall and then lit it all professional like. Scott is helping obsess about the details and David is looking at the image on the screen. I was helping but also on my computer probably writing a blog post. Also I had been up since 1:45 that morning doing a media event for a bunch of morning talk shows. But since I had my hair and makeup done they asked me to pop into a shot and I did. They would never allow me to be seen without hair and makeup on camera for fear that my albino skin would potentially blind all assistants, and then who would be there to hang the pendants on C stands? No one. We would have to call in back up assistants, and make sure they bring goggles or some sort of safety glasses.

Redbook Basket Lamp_5

Anyway, it was time to shoot the final pendant. For a while I did have that table and chairs there, which i loved functionally (I could sit and work, drink coffee in the best light of the day while Charlie rolled around on the floor on a blanket with toys). But I got rid of it because visually it just looked so cluttered. And no, there normally isn’t a random pendant hanging over that table. Ah, the magic of a photo shoot.

Redbook Basket Lamp_2

This was for the September issue and it needed to feel like fall so we (Scott) brought in these warmer tones of amber with pretty autumn pears. But Redbook wanted it to be even a bit warmer even, so they amped up the fall.


Spot the difference? The warmer toned one is what they ran, but the whiter one was what we shot. I love seeing the difference

The after shots are photographed by always amazing David Tsay, and styling was done by none other than Scott Horne.

You can check out our other DIY projects we did for Redbook by clicking through these links: Side Table Ikea HackDIY Towel Ladder Embossed Velvet Heart PillowOffice Wall Pockets, DIY Tree Slab Table.

The Fig House Stained Glass Design; Judson Studios

If you follow me on ANY social media you have seen a lot of stained glass on my feed – mostly from Judson Studio and The Fig House project. Hell if you’ve breathed near me in the last year you were likely to hear about The Fig House. And Charlie. Hopefully y’all aren’t sick of hearing about this project, it was just huge and there were/are so many design components to it, so its taking a while to document them all. I wrote about Judson Studios a month ago, but now its time to document what we actually did with them.

Lets bring you back to the beginning (and read this post if you haven’t). When I first signed on for Fig I said ‘Stained Glass’ immediately. I had been wanting to do a project with custom stained glass so bad and this seemed like the perfect one.

So let me guide you through the project (and yes, there is a whole video at the end):

stained glass

First we met with Tim Carey, an artist, at Judson Studio and talked about general art direction. I said I wanted something geometric, modern, saturated colors and large-scale. He said that they hadn’t done that before (mainly because it’s not what clients want) and he was psyched to get started.

So he sent through this first sketch with some initial ideas:


It was so fun to see the potential. We really liked it but it didn’t quite feel modern enough. It felt too fluid for a new build, not quite geometric enough.

And Tim totally agreed. So easy to work with. So he went back with our notes and came up with this pattern. A common motif throughout the Fig House were octogons, so he took more inspiration from that and started the process again:

stained glass

He sent this through and we flipped out, in a good way:


Yes yes yes yes yes. The thick verticals and horizontals were the window frame.  It was a 12′ window I believe so it had to have mullions help supporting it. Yes, I say fancy words like ‘mullions’ now. Hopefully I’m correct in the usage …

Next he printed it out, all life-size which was sooo fun to see.

stained glass

He took a first pass at color and sent us through this:

stained glass

Sorry, its fuzzy. I think it was just a screenshot of his computer. We liked it but it wasn’t quite the colors that we were working with.  So we went in and played with the color combo for hours.


Introducing Pure Photo – large scale photography

Much like pressed juices and kale, large-scale photography is having a bit of a moment right now (read Victoria’s post about it). It was bound to come back around after the decade of the gallery wall. I’m not dogging a gallery wall, I mean, I have like 5 of them. BUT, there is something to be said for just one massive, striking piece. Often this is dauntingly expensive (both the art and the framing) but in a lot of ways it’s not that much more than a gallery wall (if you are starting fresh, anyway).

I met Ryan Phillips when he and photographer, Mike Kelley, shot The Fig House. He owns a company called Pure Photo which curates beautiful photographers/photography and sells to everyone from large hotels, to individual residential projects. Fine art photography can be kinda tricky for me (strangely I love commercial photography probably because I was trained as a stylist for them) I think because they can go ‘hotel’ really easily, but some of these are so striking and incredible that I’d LOVE to own them.

Here is a roundup of some of my favorites. Picture these all big and huge, folks, because they can print real large.

gallery wall

1. Hampton Dunes | 2. The Ocean | 3. Fairground | 4. Funny Pages | 5. Parkhaus II |6. Yellow Plane | 7. Blue Stone Orvieto Church | 8. Santa Monica Pier | 9. Grasmere Calm | 10. South Beach Ariel | 11. Tokyo

gallery wall

1. Travel 8 | 2. Conservatory | 3. Rush Hour | 4. Farmland | 5. Les Conpines, Meditation | 6. National Museum in Canberra 7. Snow Globe |8. Yellow Dress | 9. Midnight Sun Serenity at Skagafjörður | 10. Element 04 | 11. White Sands – New Mexico

Mike Kelley was the photographer that shot The Fig House and he’s pretty awesome. One of his best/most intense photographs in his portfolio is this photo below:

mike kelley

Basically what he did was photograph a days worth of planes taking off from LAX and rendered them together to create this image. I think its totally striking. The photograph actually went viral and he got a ton of press about it, which you can read about here. His vision was to photograph only planes leaving LAX, going to 6 different continents, ferrying people around the world showing the importance/magic of aviation and what it does to our world.

He took 370 photos, using 75 of them in this one shot. I’m not one that typically loves tech-y kinda photos but I think this is pretty incredible, such a conversation piece and the artistic determination behind the photography is totally inspiring. He was there all day, got a crazy bad sunburn to capture something that he felt passionately about.

Here are some of his other beautiful photographs:

Mike Kelley

When perusing their site I wondered what kind of fine art photography most people I know are most attracted to and I figured I’d do a poll. So my question to you is – if money was no object, which style/type of photography below would you want in your home (think large-scale 4′x 6′ on your wall):

photo gallery

1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6

Click on the number you wan to enter the poll.

Or if you would want one of the ones above that I chose, leave that in the comments. I’m very, very curious … Meanwhile check out Pure Photo and Mike Kelley’s other work here.

Happy monday, folks. My god its going to be a long week. xx

online poll by Opinion Stage

Materials Girl #4; Wild, Strong and Earthy

Welcome to another ‘Material Girl’ post.

This chick… she be wild. You know in Dirty Dancing when whats her name (‘Baby’, I’ll presume) screams “You’re Wild!” after Patrick Swayze’s character breaks his car window with an exterior light post thing on the way to the water/lift scene? Yea. Wild like that. By the way after a lot of time, effort, thought, and serious analysis I’ve determined that Dirty Dancing is indeed my favorite movie (I’m serious). Between the story, production design, casting, entertainment value, acting and hip thrusting, it’s just really, really good and I can and have watched it over 20 times. Footloose and The Notebook were strong contenders but I actually think that Dirty Dancing beats them out on a couple of categories.

Anyway, the girl that we were ‘designing for’ in this materials board, Nicki, is a bit fiery, but with some restraint – like Patrick Swayze’s hip thrusts.

materials board

She is a creative TV executive, in charge of many men, confident in the way she controls them, while holding a little bit back. They like her because she doesn’t have to prove it all and lets her actions and past speak for her. Design-wise she can handle some pattern, but grounds it with earthy-ness. She can handle some color but grounds it with neutrals. She loves to layer textures, and always adds a bit of metallic.

The more I stare at this (I created/shot it like 6 weeks ago so its been a while since I stared at it) the more I actually really want to be this chick. To use red and pattern so confidently, and combine it with softness and earthy-ness, is indeed very enticing.


1. Red & gold wallpaper | 2. Blue palm wallpaper | 3. Blue fabric | 4. Tile |  5. Wooden tray – vintage | 6. Stones | 7. Red & white striped fabric | 8. Blue leather | 9. White leather | 10. Grasscloth wallpaper | 11. Leather remnant | 12. Paint swatches | 13 Brass cabinet knob | 14. Stone

Material Girls #1, #2, and #3.

Photos shot and styled by me, with the help of Emily Lyn for gathering resources. Thanks, Emily! (Lyn, not me:))

Pet (cat) Friendly Design Tips

Pet Friendly Design Tips As many of you know I’m a cat and dog person. Before we got cats our only reservation was that they are kinda a lot of responsibility as you have to, you know, make sure they are cared for while you travel, come home at night to feed them, etc. This actually hasn’t proven to be too annoying because you love them enough that it doesn’t matter. But what has been annoying is the damage that they’ve done to our furniture and the mess they create in the house … and I’m not even a neat freak. They puke everywhere, spill their cat food, if we aren’t on top of the litter it wreaks up the whole house, Bearcat has a sneezing issue which we see damage from all over the house (and it is REALLY hard to clean up), etc. Obviously our love of the goes far beyond smells and stains, but it’s still kinda a bummer. So when I partnered up with Arm and Hammer Clump and Seal litter to redo the cattery I figured I’d pull together some tips for y’all as well. This is mainly for the cat owners out there, but there are some good just general tips for dogs (and kids actually). Here goes.

Consider your upholstery fabrics:

You may have noticed that I use velvet A LOT. Do you think I just really love it? Sure, but it’s also because we cat owners can’t have linen furniture. It’s a fact i’ve accepted years ago. Cats, in particular, like to claw, so skip anything with an open weave like linen. As an alternative, ultra suede, leather (although they’ve ruined one leather armed chair that they can sit on) and velvet are harder for cats to get their claws into; and commercial-grade fabrics, nylon, and polyester repel stains more easily.

Cat Fabrics

I redid our new sofa in white sunbrella (don’t worry, you’ll get a whole post on that later) and so far it has held up, but if you are nervous then get velvet or ultrasuede. Ultrasuede isn’t my most favorite fabric in the world but it is indestructible and so pet (and kid) friendly. If you are going down that route and you have a choice get the ultrasuede that has the least amount texture or modeling. One of the things I hate about it is that it leaves your exact butt mark when you stand up and the texture can be strangely busy. But when you have pets, and cats in particular, they will most likely do this to linen or anything that is woven:

Cat Upholstery

So annoying. So get yourself velvet, performance velvet (this is kinda a combo of velvet and ultrasuede and it looks pretty good and most big box stores have it as an option these days), Sunbrella or leather. Vinyl certainly works too, but pretty hard to incorporate well into a room (although I did it here and it looked good).

Streamline pet accessories:

I’m not saying get OCD about matching your cat toys to your color palette but I’m also not saying that it’s a bad idea. You want to minimize their attention and make them look more streamlined so they aren’t really noticed. There are actually some pretty awesome options out there these days. Like so:

Cat Accessories

Leaning Console Scratch Post | Cube Scratch Post

You know i’m in to wicker so these things actually work really well in my house.

Master the unattractive and smelly litter box:

Its totally normal and yet TOTALLY CRAZY to keep a box of poop in our homes at all times. Most litter boxes aren’t something we want to display prominently in our homes – but you do have some options out there. We turned the tiny hall closet in our house into their litter box room so thank god we don’t have to look at it, but if you don’t have that option, look for something a little more attractive, or a litter boxes that double as furniture (good for small spaces but if you have a big house then just get one that is simple and white or wood).


Modern Litter Box 2

MidCentry Modern Litter Box | ModCat LitterBox | Modern Brown Litter Box

Probably the least awesome things about cats (I hate to be so negative about these furry little cuddly animals) is the litter box smell. Well I can now say that if we change the box once a week we actually don’t have this problem anymore due to Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal. When they first approached me about the cattery redo I didn’t really care about the litter to be honest – I just wanted to makeover an animal shelter. But then when we bought the litter to make sure that it was, you know, indeed good and we were very happy to report that it works and it really destroys the smell. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal, I never predicted I’d gush about cat litter so much but yes, it works.  It guarantees a seven-day odor-free home. Since the litter easily clumps together, it also minimizes litter dust, so it doesn’t get all over your house. There is still some dust, but so much less mess.


Click through to read the rest of the tips and see the video.  (more…)