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…

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

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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??? …

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

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And now…

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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…

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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….

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I.AM.OBSESSED.WITH.THIS.FIXTURE.

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…

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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…

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

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And a “before” of the opposite view…

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And now…

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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

 

A little (breakfast) nooky

… Um, a little breakfast nook action?  Er, wait…. A delightful little post about our breakfast nook!   BAM!

So, when we moved in, the breakfast nook was one of the very few areas of our home that needed little to no work…

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I loved the flooring, paint color, trim, and don’t even get me started on that awesome sunlight seeping through the french doors.  You can “oooo” and “aaaah” now. I won’t stop you.  😉   Of course, we are effectively thumbing our noses at the dated countertops and nose-cabinets in the kitchen portion of the room.  They continue to taunt me with their tacky ways and unflattering schnozzes, thus are destined for eventual renovation.

After moving in, we basically just plopped down some furniture that we already owned, which left it looking like this….

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That huge red artwork is my favorite. My mother-in-law made it and gifted it to us when we moved in.   I love the scale of it and the pop of color that it lends to the space.   It’s pretty much the definition of awesome.  The ceiling fan that we inherited in the nook was also pretty darn nice as far as ceiling fans go.  Although, from the get-go, I’d planned to move it into one of the bedrooms to replace one of the other fugly ceiling fans that we also inherited.   What I really wanted to do in this area was add a pendant light above the table.

My other dilemmas with the space included furniture + furniture arrangement.   Though they aren’t terribly offensive in pics, I was never a fan of that table and chairs in the photo above (in this space anyways).   The table was my previous craft table that I stripped and painted for our last house, and the chairs were craigslist finds that I refinished and recovered.   They both looked great in our last house, but thrown together in this house, I wasn’t jumping for joy.   First off, the space is a high traffic area.   It leads to the laundry room, which leads to the back patio and our pool bath, the french doors lead out to the pool, and the garage door (not shown) which is our main mode of entry to the house is located on the other side of the red painting.   So, a square table just wasn’t maximizing the flow of the space.   The nook was screaming for a round table, preferably a round pedestal table.

I also didn’t like the off-centered arrangement that we had going in the photo above.  It was weird.  After we moved in, it took me a while to get a feel for the flow of the space, so I experimented quite a bit with furniture placement.  And the arrangement above was one phase of said experiment.  One aspect that really threw me was the location of the ceiling fan.   It was slightly off-center and really close to the french doors, which meant that a table could never be oriented beneath it while still allowing outdoor access.  So, functionally, the table was in an okay spot, but visually, it really bothered me to not have the table beneath the fan.

After several months of playing with the space, I finally decided that the table needed to be centered in the room and that there was adequate space to be able to do that.   I found a round pedestal table on Craigslist, which I refinished (post coming soon… The table is now complete and curing in the garage looking all sexy and fresh).   I can’t wait to (1) finally get it into the space and (2) show you guys.

But, in the meantime, we’ve (waitforit) installed a different lighting fixture. And I’ll tell ya… It’s new.  And it’s specTACular.

Oh, yes.

See, my birthday was in April and although I said no gifts, Joey gave me the black metal hexagon lighting fixture from World Market

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I loved the shape and boldness of it, plus the price couldn’t be beat.   I’d mentioned how much I liked it a while back and Joey remembered.  Way to rack up the Husband-Points, Joe. 🙂 So anyways, after about a month of sitting in the box, we finally got it hung as shown by this lovely iPhone shot (it was only temporarily like this while we shopped for swag hooks)…

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We left the chain long, because we wanted to swag the fixture to a better location to allow it to be centered over the table.   We plan to eventually have an electrician come out to do a bunch of electrical work, including moving the junction box to a location above the pendant, but until then, swagging was a good, cheap, easy solution.   I purchased this swag kit from Lowes for about $4, then spray painted one of the hooks oil rubbed bronze to match the fixture….

Since the fixture would be hung from drywall only, these were the components from the kit that I needed…

The kit also came with a wood screw for securing into beams.   I began by screwing the anchor into the screw-thing (technical term escaping me at present, sorry)…

Then, I threaded on the hook…

I measured my location on the ceiling (centered in both the room and on the doorway to the laundry room) and used a 1/2 ” drill bit as suggested by the instructions on the package to drill a hole in my chosen location…

Next, I folded my anchor down and slid it into my hole…

Once it was through the drywall, I heard the spring mechanism engage indicating that the anchor had reopened.   I tightened the hook by basically pulling down to apply some pressure to the anchor into the drywall and screwing it in place. Which left this…

I swagged the chain, leaving the fixture approximately 30″ above the table which is a standard height.  Initially after swagging, the fixture looked like this…

It was okay, but I felt that the chain was too long and baggy, which resulted in a messier aesthetic than I was going for.

Cue the handy husband…

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Joey removed some chain links using a pair of needle-nose pliers and fed the excess wire into the junction box, which left the swag much shorter and less obtrusive…

Neater too, right??  From the front you can barely even tell it’s swagged now…

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And here’s the breakfast nook as it currently stands…

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It’s amazing the difference a lighting fixture can make.  I’m reminded of this every time I change one out, and yet I always put off doing it for whatever reason.

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Photo bomb!

And with the light on…

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I love the design that it casts on the ceiling.   Snazzy.   Plus, it draws the attention away from the plant I’m killing in the corner.   Ha!  Score.

So, next we’re finally moving the new table into the space and I’ll post about that once I get it photographed.

**Check out the following posts for how our breakfast nook looks now after refinishing a pedestal table and recovering the chairs/adding a few antique finds***

Tell me, does anybody else credit lighting fixtures with being life-changing?  Just me?  Shall I name it?  I do that, ya know… If you’ve followed this blog for long enough, you’ve met Drex, Fri, Kivvy, plus more! Perhaps they need a new friend? 😉

TDC Before and After