DUDERÖ Lamp Makeover

It was about six years ago when we first moved to Germany and we had to furnish our first apartment because here you only get the empty walls when you are renting. There are no light fixtures and in most cases you even have to bring your own kitchen cabinets and in some cases you have to install your own floors. The reason for this is that in most areas there are fewer apartments then potential tenants and it means the landlords dictate and create the conditions and if you disagree, they will easily find someone else instead of you.
My point is that at the beginning of our journey in Germany we had little money and we didn’t plan to stay here as long as we actually did, so we purchased a lot of cheap furnishing, including our DUDERÖ floor lamp from IKEA. I think the price was about ten euros and we kind of liked the design of it but unfortunately the lampshade was made out of paper and as kid Nr1. started to crawl it was game over for the lamp. However I did manage to save the top of the lampshade: I cut it shorter, added a blue lace to the bottom and used the lamp beside my old sewing desk. After some time this lampshade started to give up as well and I had to think about its future.

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We liked the first lamp but there was no way I could re-create the original design and I didn’t want to either spend money on it or just throw it away. I don’t remember how exactly but I came up with the idea of weaving a basket-kind-of-lampshade from the branches of a willow tree.
When I was about eight years old I took a couple of weaving lessons but other then that I had no clue how to start this project. I looked up tutorial videos and the most important thing that I learned is that those branches must be wet otherwise they will brake during weaving. Ok, I could not order the basket willows that pros use, so I went with my kids and cut a handful branches from a willow tree near the kindergarten, went home and used them till they were still fresh. This was my first batch:

DSC_0138I used the two metal rings which came originally with the lampshade and then I just tried a few things and let the project lead me. I really had no clue what I was doing but it didn’t stop me. Even my Husband gave me doubtful looks which made me even more determined: “I must make something nice out of this!”

DSC_0139I started on top and then slowly moved down with the weaving.

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Yeah, at this point I also thought that this project was a complete disaster and if so, why should I give up? Why not try and make it a little further.

DSC_0161With some tape I attached the other ring to the stand: this is where the future lampshade should have its bottom.

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I weaved the side-willows to the bottom-ring and suddenly I started to have hope again! Look how cool it actually looked at this point:

DSC_0167And I already ran out of willow, so I had to take an other round at the tree. And an other, and an other…. But eventually the new lampshade was done and I am very proud of it!

DSC_0662Doesn’t it look awesome? Of course, you can tell it is made by an amateur but who cares? I love it. Even my Husband finds it great especially because it kind of looks like a bee hive and he is in love with bees.
The lamp did move with us and found its new place beside our hammock and blanket basket in the living room.

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IKEA-Hacks in the hallway

It has been already six months since we moved in to our new apartment and a couple of things are still unfinished but one thing is done: our entry way/ hallway! I am very happy about that and also proud of it because everything works well in this room.

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What we absolutely love about the hallway that it is not in the middle of the apartment as it was in our previous place. We can take off the shoes and I don’t have to worry about our crawling baby playing with the dirty shoes or crawling through the mud on the floor. Although the entry way is still not completely out of the way and he sometimes does find the shoes very fascinating but luckily it doesn’t happen very often. So that’s already a big improvement for us.

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The other thing is that we needed a lot more space for our coats and we got it: I made two coat racks for us using IKEA shelf consoles (EKBY VALTER), some laths from the local “Home Depot” (Bauhaus/OBI) and a couple of hooks, also from IKEA (SVARTSJÖN). The smaller version now serves the kids and the bigger one is ours and for our guests. I also decorated the bigger coat rack by burning three flowers onto it following old traditional embroidery patterns from Hungary. Just a little touch of our background.

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The kids also got a bench. I actually wanted to buy a tiny bench for them but then we realized that we had this great hanging wardrobe from our previous apartment which we didn’t want to use anymore, so we just took that and put it on the floor. It’s also from IKEA and called GREVBÄCK.

The standing shelf is also from IKEA, called MOLGER and is originally a part of a bathroom series. The mirror is an older piece from IKEA, which they don’t sell anymore. You might wonder if we are crazy about IKEA or what is the reason for us to buy so many furniture from that store. Well, in Aachen there are other furniture stores, some of them offer a better quality and a lot higher price, others offer lower prices but also lower quality. There is nothing else in between. Those who know IKEA products, can tell, that most of their furniture are functional and last for 5-10 years. If you don’t plan to use them longer, then you’ll most likely be satisfied. Plus we also love assembling furniture!DSC_2033

I was searching for a good place in our home that we could use as art display for the kids, so I hang a string on the wall for a kids art gallery and we love it ever since.

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There was a huge built-in-wardrobe in the hallway as we moved in. We could to decide if wanted to keep it or have it removed but we kept it, although it looks very outdated and it is as old, as the building (about thirty years old) but as I said, it is huge and can hide so many thing like the vacuum cleaner, suitcases and more.

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An old chair also landed in the hallway. Originally I decorated it for the nursery but there was no need for it there anymore and it is perfect for putting on the shoes.
Hallelujah! Our entry way is done: looks nice and functions well.
How you deal with the muddy shoes if you live in an apartment and can’t leave them outside? I would be glad to hear your ideas!

Baby Co-Sleeper

As we were getting ready for the new baby in the family, we decided to get him a new bed. The first reason for that was that our three-years-old son still sleeps in his crib which we changed into a small bed. We did not want to bother him with a new bed at the same time when his little brother was arriving into the family. And also because he would love to have a bunker bed with his little brother but of course he will have to wait for that a bit longer, and then they can share the kids’ room and the bed.
Until then the baby is staying with us in the master bedroom. My oldest stayed with us for five weeks and then we moved him to his own room and I was the one of course who got up many times in the night and went out to the nursery. But this is no longer an option for us: the baby is staying in our room, so we decided to try out a co-sleeper bed with him. My hopes are quiet high: I don’t want to get out of the bed and pick him out of his crib each time but we still want him to be safe. This is why we were looking for a co-sleeper bed. In Germany those beds start around 100€ if you get it second hand but the prize for a new one is around twice as much.
What I did was go online and search for a DIY option when I came across this post. I followed the links in it and with the great help of my husband and my son we created this amazing co-sleeper for our baby:

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We attached the co-sleeper to our bed to make secure. We will also purchase this thing from IKEA, cut it to the right size and put it between the two mattress, so there is absolutely no gap between the two bed. And voila! Costs of this project: bed (IKEA-SNIGLAR) 35€, mattress (IKEA-VYSSA SNOSA) 20€, mattress divider (IKEA-SIGGERUD) 8€. TOTAL COST: 63€.
Plus this bed is 120cm long, longer then the usual co-sleepers, so it will last longer and we can put back the side if we wanted any time.

In the corner of the master bedroom there is a small chest of drawers and a changing table. It is tiny and won’t be functional longer then two-three months but for us that is fine because we plan to move to a slightly bigger apartment in a couple of months and we want to use an other (bigger) changing table in the new place anyway.

DSC_0851As I said: have big hopes for this co-sleeper but I promise to share later how did it actually work out for us.

UPDATE: Our son was born on 25th of January and ever since he has been sleeping with us in his co-sleeper. So far I can say only good things about it: it is very confortable for us, especially for me! I don’t have to get out of the bed to feed him and I don’t even have to bend over to get him out of the crib (and then put him back). And this is a big plus considering that he is a gigantic baby (only 5 weeks old and already 5,2kg)! I would just slide him close to me, then brestfeed him and finally put him back to the crib. I absolutely love this co-sleeper!

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Although there is one thing that I find a bit difficult: getting into and out of the bed. I mean for me. But it’s a small prize I have to pay for beeng ablo to be so lazy with night time feedings. Actually it is so much comfortable that sometimes I feed him and fell asleep so fast, that in the morning I can’t tell my husband how many times did I feed our baby or when was the last feeding time. This co-sleeper thing really allows you to be a lazy and a good parent at the same time! Do you need more than that?

 

IKEA hack

We had a huge EXPEDIT desk from IKEA previously but it wasn’t really eye-catching or practical, so we decided to get rid of it and buy a new one. Actually my husband wasn’t happy about it because he kind of liked it but he agreed that it didn’t have much storage. We were also in need of toy storage, so after all it was his idea to take apart the old desk, use the shelf from it in the kid’s room as toy storage and surprise ourselves with a new computer desk. Great idea: two birds with one stone! Then we started to search for a new desk. I really wasn’t happy about what we found in the furniture stores. Either the desks looked just the same to me or they were quiet expensive. I wanted to have a real wooden desk,  some storage, and enough space for the two of us to sit at the desk. As it turned out, it was too much to ask for, at least not for our budget.
My husband found online the most beautiful desk ever. It’s handmade in the UK. Guess how much is it? 4890 GBP.

Take a look at it, it is certainly a masterpiece (more info on their website here):

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Maybe one day… Or I will ask my carpenter brother if he can make something similar for us when we have a house and no small children around but for now we had to stick to the budget. It’s always the budget… but at least you’ll use your creativity a lot when it’s about the budget.

And again, my husband came up with the idea of an IKEA hack. RAST chest for the side and for storage, a dining table top (GERTON) and two wooden legs. We were looking at other chests as well, but only the RAST is as high (70cm) as the desk legs. We also added two bookshelves to the wall because we needed place for the printer and other stuff to keep away from our two-years-old son. The bookshelves were assembled using EKBY VALTER consoles and EKBY TRYGGVE shelves.

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How did we built together the commode and the desk? See on the pictures! We used only 8 small screws and 4 L-shaped hinges on the two sides of the chest. You might ask why not drill through the top of the chest and into the desk. Because there is a very small gap between the two.

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The only thing that we really have to pay attention to is our son. If he draws on the desk, it is difficult to remove it because it’s made out of real wood and not painted.

I am very happy with our desk! It has storage, made from wood, two people can sit at it and it is a very nice looking piece of furniture. Everything checks from my whish list! And this desk is definitely brightens up the living room. What do you think?

Felt picture and mobile for the nursery

A little more then one year ago we were building together the new furniture for the nursery and of course I was thinking about the decor. We just moved into the apartment which was newly renovated and all the walls were painted white. I didn’t want to paint over because it was so fresh although I would had preferred a little more color, but again we just moved in and the baby was going to born any minute. So we left the white walls.

We already chose a fun fabric for the curtain from IKEA with trees on it and I had leftovers. I really liked the trees on it and wanted to make some pictures for the wall, this is how I came up with the idea of this: I cut out one tree and sewed it onto a plain beige fabric.

Then I cut out some birds, flowers, apples, mushrooms and clouds of felt and arranged them on the tree. I sewed them on and then made a frame for it also out of leftover fabric. Finally I glued the whole fabric-picture onto a piece of cardboard and there you have it: a sweet picture for the nursery!

Actually I ended up making two because the wall was still empty and I also made matching felt-birds for the mobile. And I can tell you, my son was looking at the pictures all the time during feeding and he still loves those birds over his bed.

I’d like to add a couple more picture of the new creations that I made using the same technique. Here they are:

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