I’m blogging today from Command Central – a.k.a. my newly re-decorated Office. 

I wanted to share some “in-process” photos and lighting tips with you all.

Here is the space emptied out – that was not a fun process.  As you can see, the existing Ikea Billy Bookcase was white.  I do want to mention that painting this bookcase, even with the recommended primer was very difficult.  If anyone has successfully painted melamine please let me know how you did it!

The skirt for the desk was “no-sew” and made out of painter’s drop cloths from Lowe’s.  I already had the vintage greek key trim that I  purchased at the Warrenton Antiques Show and was just waiting to use.  The skirt took me a while because A). I did not know what I was doing and B.) I realllllly didn’t know what I was doing.  I think I have an extra fold in there, but hey – it works for me!

Progress!  Walls painted, bookcase painted (thanks to my sweet husband), skirt is on, wallpaper is up, and baskets are organzied and waiting to be hung. 

I hung the hooks and baskets all by myself – I was pretty proud!

Done!  What a relief!

I’ve come up with 5 Lighting Tips that I wanted to share:

1.  Use Multiple Types of Lighting in a Space (no matter how small or big).   Ambient, task, and accent lighting are all equally important.  In my office, ambient light comes from the chandelier, task lighting comes from the lamp, and accent lighting could be just the lamp (with the chandelier lights off or dimmed) for a party. 

2.  Lighting provides many ways to make your home “green.”  Ebay, vintage stores, and Craig’s List are all great places to score vintage fixtures that you can re-purpose.  L.E.D. bulbs are 25 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs making them better on the environment and your pocketbook.

3.  When deciding on a light fixture for your space, I prefer to go too big than too small.  Understanding scale takes a trained eye, but I do have a formula I like to use as a guide.  Take the width of the room in feet and add it to the length of the room in feet.  Whatever the answer is, that number is the diameter in inches the fixture should be.  For example, if a room is 12′ x 15′, I would add 12 + 15 = 27.  I would look for a fixture at least 27″ in diameter.  In my makeover, I used a five light fixture in a small space to add drama and actually make the space feel larger.

4.  I am a big proponent of mixing it up!  The finishes in your home do not all have to match!  I have a chrome chandelier with lots of gold in the same space.

5.  Decorating and Interior Design should be fun, but it can also be very stressful and quite expensive (particularly when remodeling).  Whether you are buying a $300 chandelier or designing your dream home from scratch, using a design professional can help prevent costly mistakes and a lot of headaches.  Design Inspiration however, is free- that’s why I LOVE Design Blogs.  They are such a great source for inspiration and information!

I want to thank SYLVANIA & Lowe’s for allowing me the opportunity to execute this makeover.  I learned a great deal and am excited to change out my CFL’s and incandescent bulbs in the rest of my home to L.E.D.’s.  Please check out SYLVANIA’s facebook page to see how other bloggers transformed their spaces AND for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card from Lowe’s.

Well it was a crazy busy weekend at Casa de Haskett as we worked very hard to re-do my teeny tiny office in just forty eight hours.  I’m excited to show you the “before” & “afters.”  Who doesn’t love a great makeover, anyways?

So here’s the run-down…I was given ULTRA LED Dimmable 12W A-line light-bulbs by SYLVANIA, a $500 gift card to Lowe’s, and a weekend to basically whip out a miracle.

I’m beyond embarrassed to share the before photos.  I’m cringing…yes, it was a complete mess.  I didn’t even bother straightening up for the photo – just keeping it real. 

Okay, ENOUGH with the ugly!  Now for the plan…I have to go into any design project whether it large or small, with a plan.  You’ll see that the plan was tweaked just a little, but for the most part it served as a great guide (and kept me organized) during my shopping spree at Lowe’s! 

Seriously, it’s tiny but I know I can make it work for me (click image to enlarge). 

I knew that adding a skirt to the desk would immediately help corral the clutter (not that I just want to shove all of that mess underneath the desk).  I would like to hide the trash can, shredder, etc.  It has also been painfully clear that I need a better solution for fabric samples. 

The loot @ Lowe’s.  I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck! 

Now, finally, the AFTER photos: 

One of my first pieces of inspiration was the silver and white wallpaper I found on clearance at Lowe’s for $15!  I knew it would be perfect on the back wall.  I picked a coraly-pink paint by Olympic for the walls and decided to paint the bookcase the same color because I didn’t want a white bookcase to “pop…” I wanted it to feel more seamless in the space. 

Let’s talk lighting.  Lack of good lighting was a major problem.  I found the chandelier at Lowe’s and added the SYLVANIA ULTRA LED lights.  One thing to note about LED lighting is that it is a very clear, bright, light.  I love the fact that I won’t have to change my light bulbs so frequently as they last 25 times longer versus the incandescent bulbs I was using before!  SYLVANIA’s ULTRA LED series is also dimmable so you can really control how much light you would like.  The chandelier I installed is large for the space (though I love the drama this provides), so I am using SYLVANIA’S ULTRA LED 8W A-line bulbs.  I could work happily with just the 12-watt bulb in my lamp.  This bulb allows me plenty of task light which is so important when working.  I can’t wait to replace all my current incandescent bulbs with ULTRA LED 12W A-line bulbs!   SYLVANIA also makes DOT-it Linear Swivel LED fixtures that you can adhere to the under side of cabinets or shelves.  Make sure to visit the SYLVANIA website to look at all the new LED products.  The improvements and advancements in LED lighting is so exciting, not to mention going green and saving green is an added bonus in any makeover!   

The gold baskets that now hold fabric samples were originally copper that I spray painted gold.  The white IKEA boxes I already owned were each individually sorted and re-organized so I wasn’t hanging onto unnecessary clutter.  It was so much work sifting through everything and purging what I didn’t need. 

Overall, I’m very  pleased with the new lighting, new organization, and totally new feel of my office!  If you are inspired by my makeover, be sure to head to the SYLVANIA Facebook page and enter their Room Makeover Series!  The contest is going on through 5/6 and one lucky person will win the Grand Prize: a $1,000 gift card to Lowe’s.  Imagine what you could do with that!

Just  a friendly reminder to check out SYLVANIA’s Facebook page for details on how to win a $1,000 gift card to Lowe’s and a LED lighting kit to create your own room makeover!

I made over my home office and am DYING to show the “before” & “after!”

Erin, from Apartment 34 revealed her Master Bedroom Makeover on curbly.com.  Check it out here!

Please note that this post is sponsored by SYLVANIA.  I have received compensation for participating but my reviews and opinions are my own.

Glam Rock Chandelier

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Mar 25, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Lighting

My heart may have skipped a beat when I spotted this Erickson Beamon designed chandelier from Vivre.  It’s dripping with Japanese glass pearls, Swarovski crystals, glass, and brass chains on an antique brass base.  I would pair it with very minimal sleek modern dining furnishings in an old Parisian apartment of course!


I interrupt our regularly scheduled “Furniture Friday” to bring you my latest obession – CONCETTO! Made by the same people who brought us Caesarstone, this one of a kind countertop material uses cut semi-precious stones mixed with resin to create a low maintenance heat and stain resistant surface.  The possibilities of how you could use this material are endless!  My affinity for rock candy just intensified!

Check out some of their color choices and the unique ways they utilized it…did I mention it could be backlit for more drama?!


Amethyst anyone?  I love how this material can be incorporated into furniture design…



AMAZING blue agates!



How gorgeous would this be as a top of a dresser or coffee table?!







Seeing as how my apartment is a chock-full of furniture, I’ve decided to put further furniture acquisitions on hold until we finally find a place to call our own (although I might get crafty with a headboard). My focus has been shifted towards accessories. I’ve spent way too much money snagging up accessories that are just so-so from major big-box chains and then hating them 6 months later. In fact, I have an entire walk-in closet full such impulse purchases. Now I’m focused on buying things I really love – flea market or high brow. Here are a few pics of my favorite accessories that I’ve had my eye on…

{I’d kill for these obelisks from Mrs. Howard – and the lamp for that matter}

After seeing Paloma’s post on these Penguin Classic books, I think these are a must have.

I’d take a Nola lamp in either color!

This lamp would be PERFECT in our Master Bedroom – I’ll take a pair!

I call these the Poor Man’s kaleidoscope! Great for on a wall or on a table.

This Iomoi tray is on my birthday list! It’s hard to pick just one tray!

Designer Gary Spain (see amazing photos – here) uses busts and boxes in this tablescape and I love both!

One of my favorite coffee table-scapes ever!

Last but not least, they may be a little creepy but these vintage glove molds are perfect for draping jewels!

Rock Candy

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Sep 10, 2008 | 6 Comments | Category: Decor Accessories, Decorating, Lighting

I’ve always had a thing for gemstones and rocks. As a little girl I had this awesome chunk of amethyst that I got from a quarry Leadville, Colorado. That forever sparked my interest in quarried rocks (I always wanted to stop at rock stores off the highway- weird, I know) and now “rock candy” is popping up all over the design world. I loooove the Tangerine Calcite lamp from Swank (seen above) with the touch o’ lucite…perfection!

The Recycled Glass Cluster Lamp from Swank looks like it inspired by nature.

Jan Showers’ Miles Lamp

The Budget Options…

Williams Sonoma Home Bookends @ the Pottery Barn Outlet in San Marcos (I think $69/pair)

Selentine Tealight Holders from Z Gallerie

Now I just have to save up for one of those fabulous lamps!

Lighting Candy

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Aug 19, 2008 | 2 Comments | Category: Decorating, Lighting

I am obsessed with these light fixtures from Circa. Ceiling mount fixtures can be tricky but I think they would work especially well in a bedroom. Elegant with clean, modern lines…perfection!

This is the smaller version. In the Sub-Zero “East Meets West” kitchen that I blogged about here, the designer used a very similar fixture all over the ceiling, I LOVED it.

This is the larger size, I love the name, “Simple Scallop Pendant.”

I love antiqued mirror! I just really hope it is not something that gets so overdone that I grow weary of seeing it. I just think it is so beautiful, especially on this pendant from Pieces.

I saw this floor lamp at the Room & Board store in Chicago and it was love at first sight. For some reason, I don’t really like floor lamps…but oh this one…perfection, and only $199!