Posts Tagged 'new lighting'

End of summer projects

As AO and I gear up to kick off Fall 2015 Project Bonanza (I’m looking at you sewing room and front yard), it was important to kick out a few projects that should have been put to rest ages ago. For example, when we made our Mega Ikea Run shortly after moving into the house in 2014, we bought Bear a chandelier. But it didn’t work for her room (speaking of which, where is that thing and why haven’t I sold it on Craigslist yet? Oh how I love to sell things on Craigslist), so I bought this number from Overstock for her room:

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In December. I bought the fixture in December 2014. When I was still in my thirties. In my defense, when we tried to install the chandelier, AO and I nearly had a collective heart attack when we took off the fixture that was there. I already have a pretty serious fear of holes and unveiling that hole did nothing to conquer it. At the end of August, though, we decided to revisit the project and try again. AO had to do some mudding (or something like that) with the ceiling, which required the ghastly hole to be uncovered for days. It was a very scary week (lucky for Bear, she was at my mom’s at the time). Here is what it looked like before:

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We have eight or nine of these boob lights in the house – lucky us.

AO risking it all by staring directly into the hole.

AO risking it all by staring directly into the hole.

At the end of the project, this sparkly number emerged (and yes, every one of those sparkly things has to be hung by hand):

It has only 1/4 of the bulbs it can take, so just you wait.

It has only 1/4 of the bulbs it can take, so just you wait.

If you look carefully, you can see the disast-a-tent hanging out in the bottom of that shot. Oy vey. Anyway, moving on… The next project I’d like to share with you is titled Why in the Universe Did Someone Not Tell Me to Do This Immediately upon Moving in? or Holy Bananas I’m in Love! When I first saw our house, I thought the arched fireplace was particularly cute. But holy icky tile out front and the stone was so dirty. But I just kinda ignored it. I kept thinking we’d get to retiling at some point. I had a white and gray herringbone pattern in mind. And I also thought of painting the stones. But I kept staring. Or, rather, trying not to stare, because looking at it just made me sad. And I couldn’t really remember why I’d thought it was so cute. Here’s what it looked like last week or so.

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That is Molly’s arm making its way into the shot. As you can see, it needs some love. As you can also see, ew. So, with AO’s blessing and the paint he found in the basement labeled “trim,” I set to work.

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At first I tried to avoid painting the gray grout in between the stones, which made the whole thing tricky and, ultimately, dumb. Why was I trying to save splotched-on gray grout? If I really wanted gray grout to show, I could add it later, but why would I want it? I don’t. I want shiny, sparkly white. White! That’s what I want! White! On my fireplace! Everywhere! IMG_0906

I was careful not to paint the heinous tiles because … Hmm. Wait a second. And then I read the Young House Love blog post that seemed to fully endorse painting tile. I quickly got on board. IMG_0929

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I can breathe so much easier when I pass this room. Hall. E. Lu. Jah.

Ok, next up, I bring you my Great National Park Gallery Wall. These projects look amazing in my head and pretty cool on the dining room table.

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And then I start measuring. And marking the wall. And using the level. And making marks over my marks. And remeasuring. And then I start drilling. And placing screws. And then remeasuring. And taking screws back out. Basically, it’s a disaster. And then it’s so far from perfect. For a zillion reasons. But I ended up with this and I’m declaring it a success. Even if I think they’re a little too high. And you can totally see all the ways that they’re just still not (!!!!!!!!!!!) level.

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And one last one.

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Illumination

When I bought this condo in April 2005, there was really only one thing I couldn’t stand: the pendant light in the ‘dining area.’ Since April 2005, we have had the kitchen completely gutted and updated; had all of the flooring replaced (except the upstairs bathroom tile) – bamboo upstairs, new carpet downstairs, new tile in the downstairs basement; painted almost every wall; had several windows replaced; had the downstairs bathroom shower tiled; had both toilets and one sink replaced; and had a walk-in closet built. Still, that damn chandelier remained. But no more! Ugly pendant light, b. Unknown – d. Jan. 20, 2013. RIP.

Old pendant

Old pendant

I hope you’re not thinking it’s not that bad. I mean, I know it’s not THAT bad and it could be worse and Brady, don’t start on your weirdo number. Yes, it doesn’t have fake melted wax and it’s not made out of leather or crepe paper or anything but really, I did not like it and I felt like it was staring at me every day thinking, “I know how you feel about me, but I’m still here.” And then there would be a wicked cackle.

Closer-up of ugs light

Closer-up of ugs light

I’m really struggling to photograph anything well these days. Ok, you know what else was wrong with this thing? It collected dust like nobody’s business and resisted all of my best efforts to clean it. Consequently, it always felt like the light it gave off was filtered through a serious cover of dust on a thick piece of opaque glass. Not very illuminating.

It took me some time to figure out just what I wanted to replace it, which was part of the delay. I didn’t want to spend too much because (a) we’re broke and (b) I hope we can move in the next few years and I don’t intend to make the lighting fixtures part of any potential counter-offer should we be lucky enough to get an offer in the first place. So I knew my desire for a Le Klint would have to wait. There are knock-off Le Klints, but I ultimately felt that just wouldn’t be the right look. Enter: Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co., which led me to Barnlight Electric. I pretty much love every lighting fixture they sell. Thank you, Barnlight Electric.

Our new light

Our new light

Please excuse the mess; I’ve turned half of the table into my crafting zone of projects for Bear’s birthday party. Don’t look too closely – you don’t want to ruin the surprise! Anyway, AO & I put up the light together with me mostly acting as the brawn. Aside from a few frustrating moments (Thanks to my mom for entertaining Bear while we worked on this), it really was pretty easy. And I just love the new light. I get that you may not, but I do. And I think AO does, too. And I’m nearly positive that Bear is completely on board.

Our made in the USA pendant

Our made in the USA pendant

I don’t know if you can tell, but the light is a white porcelain enamel with a black line of trim around the bottom. I chose the black cord and black canopy to make it pop a bit. The company is so great because you can make all sorts of choices – porcelain color, cord color, canopy cover, stripes (on certain models), cages, etc. So cool. AO said he’d be willing to do this all again, so I have my eye on a few numbers to replace some of the more obnoxious flush-mount fixtures chez us. Maybe we’ll just live here forever.


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