HACK your own wall light... without HACKing into your walls!

HACK your own wall light… without HACKing into your walls!


Round wall lights are seriously trending in interiors. But if you’re renting or not sure it’s a look you want to commit to, you may not want to go to the expense of calling in an electrician to wire in wall lights. Introducing our latest home improvement hack — easy, affordable and temporary DIY wall lights 😉

Keep on reading or watch the quick video below to see how I created this stylish concrete wall sconce without damaging my walls!

Related article: 20 of the best concrete home decor DIYs
Related article: How to design a lighting plan for your home

Items you will need:

  • Cement (I used white cement)
  • Sand
  • Silicone bowl or other round mould (available at Kmart)
  • Small plastic container (to create an indent behind the light)
  • Puck lights (available at Bunnings)
  • 3M Command picture hanging strips (also available at Bunnings or Kmart)
  • 2 x small pieces of timber
  • Handful of pebbles (to weigh down the plastic container)
  • Glue
  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing bowl
  • Stirrer
Hack your own wall light materials

Steps:

1. Mix up a small batch of cement following the instructions on the packet. I used 1 cup of white cement, 2 1/2 cups of sand and 1 cup of water. Stir until it’s the consistency of cake batter.

Mix up cement

2. Pour cement into your silicone mould until it is 3cm deep. Tip: you may like to lightly spray your mould with oil to make it easier to remove once dry.

3. Gently press your plastic container into the centre until it is approximately 2cm deep. The idea is to create an indent for your puck light to wash light behind. Weigh it down using a handful of pebbles and set aside to dry for 24 hours.

Press plastic container into cement

4. Once dry, gently remove the cement light shade from the moulds.

5. Glue two strips of timber onto the back of the light. This will sit the light off the wall so the light can illuminate behind. And it’s also how you will adhere the light shade to the wall using the 3M Command picture hanging strips. You could use any small piece of timber that will fit. I had a broken picture frame that I cut down to size. Ideally, the timber strips would be 1.5cm wide and approximately 5cm long.

Add timber strips

6. Finally, once the glue has dried, attach the 3M Command picture hanging strips to the timber pieces. Press the light onto the wall for 30 seconds. Then remove the light cover and press the strips down for another 30 seconds. Wait 1 hour for the adhesive to bond and then you can attach your puck light and re-attach your light cover.

Add command strips
Attach Puck light

Done! There’s so much scope to personalise this hack to make it your own. For example, you could add oxide to tint the cement a different colour. Or you could use a different material altogether such as timber or marble.

Has this DIY inspired you to hack your own wall light? Or will you be making a different version to suit your home decor? Let us know in the comments below!

More DIYs

Completed wall light
Wall light in bookshelf
Turn light on and off
Close up of concrete light


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A Cosy Swedish Home Which Maximises Space and Light

A Cosy Swedish Home Which Maximises Space and Light


When you think of Scandi homes, you usually imagine large spacious open-plan living spaces. This is often true. Drawing natural light into the darkest corner of your home is an essential Scandinavian winter survival factor  - and walls block the light. However, when you live in a small space, this is not always possible - especially if you need to carve out many different living zones such as a home office, sitting room, bedroom etc. 

This lovely Swedish apartment is a fine example of how small rooms can still be filled with light with some clever interior tricks. Think glass internal walls and clever mirror placements for a cosy, light-filled home with everything you need. 



Mysigt (cosy!) - and such clever use of space, don't you think? 

I've got lots of exciting posts planned here on the blog this week including before and after pictures of a swedish country home (wait till you see the transformation of the facade, you'll never look at a red brick house with small windows in the same way!), plus the final reveal of my new wardrobe which I've been working away on behind-the-scenes! 

Wishing you all a great start to the week! 

Niki



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Choosing a Wood Floor For our Tiny Cabin, From Light to Dark

Choosing a Wood Floor For our Tiny Cabin, From Light to Dark


Disclosure: Norrlands Trä have kindly agreed to collaborate with us on this project

Hejsan! A cabin update is long overdue! We're still nutting out the interior details and lately we've been focused on the floor. Living in Scandinavia, it was a no brainer to go for a wood floor - I love the warmth, the softness underfoot and how it ages over time. We were specifically looking for a wood floor with a simple and traditional look and that comes from a sustainable source. We headed to Norrlands Trä - the Swedish company from whom we got our wall panelling (and only use FSC certifiable wood from the forests of North Sweden) to pick up some samples from dark to light. Here are some of the variations we considered - and the wood floor we eventually chose.

Blond tones

Nothing says Scandinavian like 'blond' wood, don't you think? The light touch is great for brightening up a space, while still adding warmth. But there can be massive variations in light wood - from almost white to dark blond (it's starting to sound like a trip to the hairdressers!), and don't get me started on the subtle nuances: from cold to warm tones, and how the colour changes over time. It's a minefield! 

Lightest shade

Save from painting the floor white, the brushed pine (Borstat Furugolv) in 'ultra protect white' is the lightest in the Norrlands Trä range. It's close to white and has a wonderful, ridged patina with the grain showing through. Pine can be incredibly soft, and so I like that the surface has been gently teased away with a brush, making it a more durable choice. 

Light pine

We were also drawn to the pine floor (Putsat furugolv) in ultra protect white which has been primed and then sandpapered giving a soft, smooth result (a treat for the feet!). We love that it has a traditional and rustic feel which is so synonymous with the Swedish summer cottage. One thing to be mindful of - the softer finish does require some extra work over the years to maintain it. However, it is made from solid wood so you can sand it down as often as you like - or leave it as it is and appreciate the patina as it ages.  I'm guessing we'd do the latter!

Darker wood floor tones

You might have noticed that darker wood floors have been making a comeback lately. The deep hue is great for adding contrast, grounding a space and creating a cosy ambience. 

Grey finish

This brushed pine floor (Borstat Furugolv) has a lovely rustic feel - and we liked the stone grey finish. Given all the windows in our cabin we could definitely get away with a darker floor like this one too. 

Dark finish

And finally, we looked at going completely over to the dark side with a brushed pine floor ((Borstat Furugolv) in ultra protect brown. The rich tone gives a wonderful atmospheric feel and adds a whole level of cosiness. It's perfect for creating that dark cabin feel. 

A note on wood ageing over time

Wood is a natural substance that darkens over time - especially when exposed to lots of light. Some wood gets more of a grey tint, whereas others can appear more yellow. Check with your wood floor supplier before purchasing to find out about each individual wood floor. Also, be mindful that rugs block the sunlight which can leave permanent marks on your wood floor. If the room gets a lot of light, think about removing them periodically.  

Our choice of floor

Edited: originally I wrote that we went for the primed pine floor in ultra protect white but this was an error - we actually chose the primed parquet pine floor in ultra protect white. This has an extremely similar look and feel, but the parquet is a more practical choice for us since it simply clicks into place making it easier to install, where as the solid wood needs to be nailed into place. Also, it's thinner which works better with the lower ceiling height in the loft. Overall, it has a lovely summery feel and during the winter it will help to brighten up the darkness! 

We tested the sample up at the cabin. 

Welcome inside my humble home! 

Below is the simple material and colour mood board we have decided to work with. The stone and white tile will be installed in the bathroom and the dark sand is for the kitchen cabinets. It feels like it reflects the surrounding coast and forest in a beautiful way - what do you think?  

It feels like things are really starting to happen now and it's the cabin is moving from an empty shell into a home! Exciting! 

What type of floor do you have in your home? Do you have a favourite out of these different looks? or perhaps you have gone for tiles, like my sister who has a dog. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Niki

Credits: 1. Lifestyle photo courtesy of Norrlands Trä, styled by Lotta Agaton. 2 - 6 Lifestyle photos courtesy of Norrlands Trä. 7+ photos snapped with my iPhone by Per and myself this weekend! 



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An Old School Becomes a Light and Airy Family Home

An Old School Becomes a Light and Airy Family Home


I seem to have gone down a rabbit hole of Dutch homes lately. It all started with cabin Anna on Thursday, and then yesterday I shared Michiel's harmonious home. And today - I couldn't resist sharing this converted schoolhouse in Rotterdam!  When Aquine, Robbin, Nora and Nood first acquired the property it needed a major amount of work. But their extensive efforts have paid off and today the family enjoy an incredible, light-filled home with sky high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, open-plan living spaces and a beautiful inner-city garden. Here are a few before and after pics: 

Before

The former school needed a massive amount of work in order to convert it into a liveable space. As well as structural work, a mezzanine floor was added to create space for a living room. 

 

After


In the open plan kitchen, the wooden ceiling has been left exposed to add warmth - a perfect way to balance the coolness of the concrete floor. A pink accent wall also helps to add softness and break up the monochrome theme.

I love this vibrant bouquet - it instantly lifts the spirits and adds a wonderful splash of colour!  

Bikes are as big a part of life in Holland as they are in Scandinavia. This one is so elegant it can be stored in the sitting room area and actually adds to the space (mine wouldn't look quite as aesthetic as this!). 

The bathroom in the bedroom is bound to get tongues wagging in the comment section. I've always thought they're pretty cool as they have a luxury hotel-like feel. I'm not sure everyone agrees though! 

The bed is from IKEA (I was freelancing there when it was first launched and I loved to see how IKEA interior designers styled it: the rail can be used for clothes, hanging plants or nice fabric! The mirror is also IKEA. 

Garden before


The former school playground was extremely barren and need to be re-worked from scratch to transform it into a garden and outdoor social area. 

After


'Pardon the weeds, we're feeding the bees'. I love to see wildflower gardens - it's something I wrote about in my Lagom book. They provide a wonderful home for insects and look pretty too, I'd choose this over a lawn (if I had a garden big enough!). 

A patio area serves as a place to cook, gather and play come summer. 


In all, a lovely property - and knowing that it used to be a school makes it even more special. 

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

Would you like to see a few other conversions? Check out these amazing archives: 

Do you have a favourite? 

Puss or kram! 

Niki



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est living jack lovel catching light 5

Photographer Jack Lovel Launches New Book “Catching Light”


With ties to both Melbourne and Perth, Jack Lovel’s work captures Australian architecture in its rawest form. His longest project to date, ‘Catching Light’, sees the work of Bulgarian architect Iwan Iwanoff reimagined through his own lens. After six years, the project will culminate in the launch of a book and exhibition this Thursday, March 3, in Melbourne.

Set in the suburban surrounds of his family home in Perth, designed by Iwan in 1954, Jack presents ‘Catching Light’ in the hope of bringing the architect’s monumental work to a larger audience. The series documents more than 25 of Iwan’s remaining projects, weaved together into one architectural memoir spanning 30 plus years. We see Iwan’s guiding motifs, the stark light and blue skies of Western Australia, and their instrumental role in shaping his approach to architecture. More to that, we see first-hand Jack’s ability to capture the sympathetic relationship between nature and architecture.

The event will take place at Est Lighting’s Richmond showroom and will include a selection of large scale photographic prints as well as the release of ‘Catching Light’, now available for purchase.



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est living marie lecluyse light years 09

Light Years by Marie Lecluyse


Well-loved for her minimalist approach to crafting highly refined homes within heritage envelopes, interior designer Marie Lecluyse is gaining momentum with her founding theory that ‘environments, spaces and personality’ are what build authentic interiors. In line with her recent Light Play project, each of her often sculptural spaces have been carefully designed in response to their surrounding environments and with respect to a historic narrative.

This feature originally appeared in est magazine issue #39.



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