I see a light…

Or two.

Yes, definitely two.

Alright, my friends.   This post may not come as much of a shock if you follow me on Instagram since I already spilled the photographic beans over there.  But, I know that it may be new to some, and I wanted to share the details of these changes, as well as the process that I went through to achieve both functional and pretty lighting.

Let’s start with the most welcome swaperoo I’ve made so far…


I know, right???   No more boob light!!!!

foyer 2

SO much better…

This little beaut is the Scout 3 Light Flushmount from AllModern and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it.  It was $118 and when I purchased it they didn’t charge me for tax or shipping.  I’m not sure if this deal exists all the time or if I just happened to catch a promotion that they were offering, but I was grateful nonetheless.

When this guy arrived, I was ecstatic.   He’s great quality… solid.  And he looks it, too.   I was actually MORE enamored with him in person than I was when I saw him online which is always a good thing.    I’d initially wanted to try a semi-flushmount in this space for more of a “grand chandelier” feel, but our ceilings are just too low for that.   I’m really glad we went with this one.   It adds style and nice, bright light without being cumbersome.

Here’s a “before” of the space when we moved in for reference.  Remember when our old front door just fell right off??? …


And here’s a “before” of the other direction which shows El Boob in all it’s glory…


And now…


And that’s Lucas perfecting his “Oh, I didn’t realize you were taking a picture” pose.   He literally walked over as I was taking pics and froze with that “surprised” expression on his face long enough to allow the slightly longer exposure to capture it (it was pretty cloudy when I took this).  Dude knows what he’s doing.  Haha!

Here’s a Lucas-free shot of the same view…


I still have to address the wall directly across from the door (not shown), but aside from that, the foyer is slowly getting close to completion.

Now, onto the other new member of the fam…  My pride and joy of the illumination world: Sputnik….



Did I say obsessed?

Yes, definitely obsessed.

How does it feel to be the prettiest gal in the room, Sputnik?

This baby is the Style Selections 18-Light Brushed Nickel Chandelier from Lowe’s.  And it was a steal at $198 plus tax considering that it came with 18 Edison bulbs which typically run about $7-10 each.

But wait… There are no Edison bulbs to be seen, right??

Well, allow me to explain.

After we installed the chandelier, we screwed in the Edison bulbs that came with it and turned it on.  And BOY… were we blinded by the light.  Literally.  And we were hot.   And not in a good way.   Lemme tell ya, EIGHTEEN 60-watt bulbs within close proximity feels a bit like being a hair to close to the sun.   That was a TON of wattage to be just mere feet away. We quickly realized that there was no way we’d be able to host comfortable dinner parties with the current bulbs installed.  NO WAY.

It was a total bummer.

And Joey and I stared at each other in sadness.

So, the next day, I went to Lowes and purchased a bunch of 25-watt globe bulbs in both clear and white, which was the lowest wattage I could find.  I put both in to see which was better (as shown in this iphone pic)….

And I LOVED the clear bulbs when the fixture was off.  They were just so elegant and gorgeous.  I even liked their round shape better than the elongated Edison bulbs in this space.  The white bulbs were a bit too “mod” for what I was going for and the stark white color of the bulbs made the other white in the room look dirty.  And I don’t do dirty white.  Dirty martinis, yes.  Dirty white, no.

The problem was…

…once the fixture was on, even the 25-watt clear bulbs (at less than half the wattage of the Edison bulbs) were still too blinding.   That filament was harsh on the retinas for sure, leaving you seeing spots after glancing directly at them.  The white bulbs, on the other hand, were easy to look at and much better tolerated when lit.

I was SO torn.   I REALLY didn’t want the white bulbs, but they seemed to be the most practical option function-wise.  And what’s the point of a pretty fixture if it impedes function?

So, I slept on it.

For about 7 nights.

Then, it hit me!  A dimmer!!!!  We’d install a dimmer switch which would allow us to use the clear bulbs and have control over the light!!!

So, we installed this one…


I’m wanting to say it was about $30 from Home Depot.

And all was right with the world.   I could keep my clear bulbs, but the fixture was no longer blinding since we could adjust the light as needed.  Total win-win.

And now we’re set in terms of Edison bulbs until the END OF TIME.   We have several fixtures that need them, so they’ll be used.  Eventually.

Here’s a view of the dining space looking into the living room…


And a “before” shot of this view (because I can’t resist)…


And a “before” of the opposite view…


And now…


That fixture is my new favorite thing.   I couldn’t love it more.   Now, if I could just find a rug for this space.  I’m on the hunt but haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for yet.  Hopefully the shopping gods will bestow one on me shortly.

So, that’s where these spaces are currently and it’s safe to say that they’re feeling more like us day by day.

For some reason, lighting is always the last change we make, but it always seems to make the biggest difference.    What are your experiences??

Shared at:

Dwell Beautiful



Our foyer is such a diva

She takes forever to get ready.

Like, for real.

Remember when the foyer looked like this??

Well, she looks very different now.  And it all started with five dollars.  Are you noting a theme here?? I find a cheapo thrift store find, and before I know it, I no longer recognize the space.   It’s totally a thing.  A sickness. An addiction.   Totally.

See, I found this mirror for $5…

It needed a little love, but I was a huge fan of the shape (and the insane price).  Once I got it home, I simply used wood filler to fill the dents, dings, and seams.  Waited for it to dry, then sanded to a smooth finish (although this was taken pre-sanding)…

Then, I gave it several coats of Valspar’s metallic spray paint in gold (which is becoming a new favorite of mine)…

After a day or so, I hung it above our lawyer’s cabinet in the foyer…

…but it was looking a little… lonely.  So, after a few attempts at photographing it, I just couldn’t do it.  It needed SOMETHING. Something more.   So, I dug though my stash, and came across this lovely print (sorry for the reflection on it)…

After hanging it up to see what I thought, I LOVED IT.  And suddenly I had this vision of an asymmetrical gallery wall with grays and blues and a touch of red to tie in with the rest of the house.

In no time flat, my foyer looked like this…

And I thoroughly gave up on doing anything else productive that day.  Laundry be damned.

My technique to create this gallery wall was pretty involved.  Haha.  Not really.  Have you met me??   I simply punched a bunch of holes in the wall…

Not kidding.   It looks like Swiss cheese behind those pictures.   I just started hammering.   There was a LOT of hammering.  I played for DAYS and swiftly learned that once Lucas is asleep hammering will not wake him. #momoftheyear

Do I recommend you do the same should you attempt a gallery wall? Probably not.  Planning is not overrated.  I’ve planned gallery walls before, as I outlined in detail in this post.  But somehow this worked for me this go-around.  I just patched and painted any visible holes when I was done.

At one point, my wall looked like this…

But it was WAY too busy.   It annoyed me every time I walked past.  Just too many THINGS.  I felt claustrophobic when I looked at it.  So, I scaled it back and ended up here…

Much better.   The arrangement can breathe now.   And I have to say that this wall completes me totally compliments the lawyer’s cabinet and just feels “right”…

I’m seriously tired of apologizing for and/or explaining the presence of the boob light and the fact that I hate it and did NOT choose it.   Seriously, I’ve gotta take action on that.   Aside from that anatomically-correct replica hanging above our heads, I’m enamored of our foyer.  Like, big time.

Here’s a bit of a closer look at what we’ve got on there…

From the top, we have a pic of Lucas when he was almost 2 years old, a watercolor that he did at school when he was three, a pic of Joey and I in Paris in front of a cool metal sculpture, and a photostrip that we took when Lucas was deep into his ninja turtle phase.

The other side holds a pic of the cake topper from our wedding cake (made by my Joey’s parents), a print from New Orleans that reminds me of college, that blue print, and a shot from Lucas’s newborn pics (taken by my talented friend Susie).   All in all, it contains a good smattering of stuff, and totally represents us, but I feel like it’s not too in your face with family pics either.  I like my subtle nuances when it comes to art.  Fun candid shots along with others that hold meaning.

On the opposite side of the foyer, I hung my new best friends…

I found these chrome beauties at TJ Maxx for about $10 a piece.   And they turned out to be my new favorite medium from which to hang my brother, Alex’s, dog tags.

They’re perfect for this spot as they add dimension, but they don’t stick out far enough to impede traffic..


And here’s that side of the foyer now..


It’s coming together!!!   We still have a big blank wall to address across from the front door, but I’m not sure what to do with that yet.  I have an idea, but we’ll see how it plays out.  In any case, walking through the foyer is now a much more pleasant experience.

So, have you ever attempted a gallery wall?  What’s your favorite technique?  Are you a planner or a “just do it” sort of person when it comes to projects like that?

TDC Before and After