Monday, February 24, 2014

Light me up, Scotty

As we get closer to dry walling (more on that in another post), I have been trying to think ahead and make decisions about post-drywall things. Mainly, lighting.

I knew what type of lighting I wanted in different locations, but the process of actually finding the lights is another story completely. Thank goodness for Pinterest, which makes it much easier to corral options into one place for comparison. And then once I have narrowed down to 5 options or less, Ryan weighs in on the options.

In the kitchen I knew we were going to have recess lighting as the primary source of light, and then 2 pendants over the bar, and another pendant over the sink. In the the living room we want a ceiling fan, plus two pendants for either end of the sofa (in lieu of table lamps), and some sort of fun but low-profile ceiling fixture for the office/laundry room. The dining room will be getting a DIY chandelier made out of Ball jars, similar to the images below, plus or minus the old machine parts. My parents have an old pulley I would like to use, and we found a source for old-style fabric-wrapped electrical cords. It's a long way down the road to this project, so we're not worrying about the specifics too much just yet.

Perhaps I should back-track and let you in on our "vision" for the home. Ryan and I both agreed when we started the renovation that we want to go for a rustic/industrial/modern vibe. Not too "country" (or at least the version of country our parents would identify with, no offense Mom) but not too modern since it still in an old house, after all.

Our first "real" purchase for the house occurred when we couldn't get my beloved mid-century modern sofa up the stairs to the temporary living room. This was a blessing in disguise as it turned out, because once I thought about it more, that sofa really wasn't all that comfy and I couldn't see us lounging around on it watching TV. So we bought this instead:

The Ikea Kivik sofa, in "Tullinge gray-brown". I liked that it was clean-lined but not too modern, dark enough to now show the dog hair, the fabric looked higher-end than some others, and it sat low to the floor so I didn't have to worry about vacuuming under it. I also liked that for our current living situations we could leave the chaise and sofa separate for now, then combine them when we moved everything downstairs. And of course you can't argue with the price, $899 for almost 11' of sofa. So that was the first purchase, which kind of then sets the tone for the rest of the home.

We also bought hardwood floors. Initially we thought we could re-finish the existing floors, but there were so many areas in need of patching & repair that we didn't think it was going to be feasible, and then Ryan found wormy chestnut flooring listed on Craigslist, and nothing else was an option anymore. The un-excitable man couldn't stop talking about these floors for over a week. I (who had my heart set on black walnut floors) gave in and let him have his floors. We wound up ordering 800 SF in 3-1/4" and 4" widths for a nice mix once it's all down. Here is a little preview. So many nail and worm holes, it's going be so beautiful! It's going to be the biggest pain in the ass ever to install, but it will be beautiful in the end.

So back to lighting. With the sofa & flooring in mind, I began the hunt and found the following options for the living room. Either the clear pendant with the top fan, or the bronze pendant with the bottom fan. 

Truth be told I really did love both options, but I have owned the top fan before, and Ryan and I both agree that while we love the look of the old-style light bulbs, we're not sure they're going to be around for the long haul, and we don't want to make the commitment to a light fixture that requires them (like the clear pendant would). And honestly, I thought the other two options would garner more comments/compliments from friends and family. Plus I really like the pendant being adjustable in height, since it will be taking the place of any table lamps so you can adjust the height as needed for different situations. 

It will also play nicely with the pendants (below, left) we're using over the kitchen bar, which were the first lights we picked when we first started this little renovation of ours. We have entertained others over the course of time, but always keep coming back to this one. And luck for me, I was able to find a coordinating-but-different light for over the sink (below, right). Don't they look lovely together? I can't wait to see them hanging up!

We also chose a very basic minimalist trim for the eight recessed lights that will be in the kitchen, which meant the only remaining question mark was the office light. I would love to have something fun in here, and contemplated this light before Ryan pointed out that even in it's smaller 22" size, people (other people, not me people) would hit their heads on it. So that was out.

These are some flush-mount options that I liked as well but they weren't making me giddy for them. 

These two are currently my top two options (surprisingly Ryan didn't veto the first one with the crystals), and the second one is clean and modern, but still has some interest in the texture. And it's only $40 in an 18" size, so I could potentially install it for now and not cry about it if I decide to replace it with something else later. Right now that's the direction I'm leaning, I could also see that light in the upstairs bedrooms as well when we install ceiling fixtures down the line. 

Anything is better than a boob lightamiright?

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