Posts tagged "lighting"

New Chandelier

When we ordered the new light fixtures for our bedroom, we decided to also order the new chandelier we’d been liking for the upstairs hallway at the same time.

The old one was brass and crystal-ly, but not in a good way.  It was looking pretty dated.

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We’d actually started looking for a replacement chandelier around the time we took down the wallpaper and painted the foyer and upstairs hallway – in 2011 – but never pulled the trigger on it.  The chandelier we liked then (and the one we finally wound up ordering now) was part of the same Hinkley Sussex collection as the lights we put in the master bedroom and some sconces we’d installed in the entry way and bathroom downstairs.

Hinkley Sussex 4795EZ 5 Light Chandelier (image source)

Same as the other fixtures from the collection, we liked the understated style of the chandelier, which is current without feeling out of place in our old house.  We also liked that the lights have fabric shades, which keeps them from being blinding (like bare bulbs would be) since the chandelier is hung in the center of our stairway in a spot where we it’s regularly in line of site, so we look right at it a lot.

The new chandelier was installed at the same time as the bedroom fixtures and, overall, we feel like the change was a good one.  It really updates the hallway nicely.

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Like any updates, though, this one has not been without it’s challenges.

To start with, the chandelier came with less chain and wire attached than we expected, so the fixture had to be re-wired and a new section of chain needed to be attached before it could even be installed.  Luckily, we had the electrician from the lighting store do the installation, so this was a non-event.

Then, once the electrician left, I noticed that the chandelier was hanging really crooked.  Not just a little “we live in an old crooked house” crooked, but like really listing to one side.  It drove me nuts.  I tried everything – I even bought some lead weights that I planned to attach to help level it out, but then I realized it would take several PACKAGES of weights to balance the fixture properly.  Eventually, I thought to look in the assembly instructions, which described spreading the arms of the chandelier apart to create 72* angles between them.  I found it pretty impossible to measure the exact angle between the arms, but just looking at our fixture, we could tell that they were not evenly spaced.  And, wouldn’t you know it – once we realized the arms could be repositioned, adjusting the spacing between them to be more even fixed the “super crooked” issue that had been driving me batty.

So, as of now, really our only remaining complaint is that the shades are super wobbly and always crooked.  I need to spend some time trying to figure out a fix for this.  The shades just slip over the base of the light socket, but don’t lock in place or anything.  They are very loose.  I think something needs to be added that will give the shade some grip so that it can stay straight … I’m thinking maybe o-rings or a rubbery hair tie or maybe even a few layers of painters tape will do the trick.  If anyone has any good suggestions, do share!


I still like the style of the new chandelier and I think it feels so much better in our upstairs hallway than the old one, which was really making the whole area feel old and dated.  I just need to take the time to work with the shades and then, once the memory of all of this fades, I think we will really love it.  Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.  Ha!

I mentioned earlier that we had decided to finally update the master bedroom – woo-hoo!  And, clearly, the first thing that came to mind as needing to be replaced was the carpet.  So, I promptly went to the carpet store, brought home about 8 samples, laid them all over, looking at them in different lights and at different times of day.  Then I got confused and decided we could just start with lights instead – ha!  (As a side note, that first trip to the carpet store was back in September … and we finally made a decision just before Christmas.  Seriously – I can’t be the only one who finds picking carpet to be the most frustrating thing ever, right?)

Anyway, lights.

Here’s what we started with – a couple of mismatched white-ish ceiling fans that didn’t work quite right anymore:


Replacing those ceiling fans was a close second on the list of updates, just behind the green carpet.  We went back and forth, but ultimately decided not to put ceiling fans back up because we just didn’t use them that much.  Instead, we picked a couple of semi flush mount fixtures from the Hinkley Sussex collection.

Hinkley Sussex Semi-Flush Mount – 4791EZ. (image source)

We liked that they take 3-75 watt bulbs, which (even with the shade & diffuser) is plenty of light.  We actually bought 75W equivalent LED bulbs when the fixtures were first installed and they were crazy bright.  We’ve since swapped them out for 60W equivalent bulbs, which is still plenty bright, without being blinding.

Plus, we liked the style of the lights.  They are updated while not looking out of place in our 100-year old house.  (We have some sconces from the same collection in our entry way and guest bathroom and love those as well.)

Because we never know exactly what scary things we’ll find when it comes to electrical in this house, we opted to have the fixtures installed by an electrician.  With all of the different generations of wiring in the house, combined with some interesting DIY stuff, hiring a real electrician even for “simple” jobs like switching out some light fixtures always feels like money well spent.  While the electrician was out working on the fixtures, we also had him swap out all of the outlets and light switches in the room for white, which feels a lot fresher than the beige ones we had before.  It’s also good knowing they’re all safe – we had a couple of outlets where GFCIs had to be installed since the old ones were missing a ground.  True to form – the electrical in this house keeps us on our toes!

Anyway, here are some photos of the new lights installed in the bedroom.  Such an improvement!

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In the end, we’re totally happy with the new fixtures.  They are a complete improvement over the old fans and, even with the old green carpet, they make the room feel just a bit fresher, which is such a welcome change!  This is definitely one of those updates that makes us wonder exactly why we waited so long!

You might also notice from these photos that I decided to just bite the bullet and re-paint the bedroom too.  Chad says the new color is so similar to the old one that no one would ever notice the difference and painting it was probably just wasted effort, but, to me, it makes all the difference in the world!

The "before" photo.

The old paint color – Sherwin Williams Sand Dune (SW6086).


The new paint color – Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige (SW7036).





True, both the old color and the new fall squarely in the “beige” family, but the new color feels a lot fresher to me.  Where the old color (SW Sand Dune) had pinkish undertones that came through in spades in our darkish north facing bedroom, the new color (SW Accessible Beige) is more of a greige.  It reads a little more creamy some times and a little more gray others, but it always feels light, airy, and fresh, which our room was really lacking before.  I think it’s definitely a better color choice for a north facing room than the color we started with.

Anyway, between the lights and paint, the room is starting to feel a lot more intentional than it did when we started.  I have a feeling the new carpet will really make it feel like a brand new space.  I can’t wait – installation is scheduled for next Monday (finally)!  I feel like we have been waiting for this upgrade since we bought the house … EIGHT years ago.  Needless to say, we’re totally looking forward to bidding that green floral carpet farewell!  Monday can’t come soon enough!

Master Bedroom Facelift

We’ve finally decided it’s time to make some changes to our master bedroom.  I’ve never loved the room – it’s been on the “must renovate” list since we moved in 8 years ago, but it’s funny how you can just go blind to how bad something looks when you see it all the time.  Anyway, I’ve finally had enough and so has Chad – it’s time for some updates.

Our room is actually a pretty large space, although it’s laid out in a way that makes the furniture arrangement a little awkward.  The first room (where we have our bed) would have been a bedroom when the house was built and then the second area (with the couch, elliptical, and a bunch of other random furniture) was once a sleeping porch.  Around the corner to the right is a dressing area with a couple of closets.



As you can see from the pictures, the room is clean and functional, but that’s really where it ends.  It’s time to make some changes that will actually help the space to feel intentional … and pretty.  So, where do we start?

Well, right away, we agreed the carpet needed to go.  It’s stained and worn and green floral – enough said.

Next up were the lights – or rather, fans.  They were rusting, had warping fan blades, and made a loud buzzing sound when they were turned on.  They were past their prime and it was just time to move on.

We also thought it would make sense to give the closet / dressing area a bit of a refresh since it included an old built in vanity cabinet with a cultured marble top (but no sink) and medicine cabinet with lights – the whole thing just felt a little weird and dated.


A really old/bad picture of the closet area. Someday, I will learn to take proper “before” pictures!

And, reaching even farther into the archives, here's a picture of the closet area (wallpaper and all) from the day we moved in.

And, reaching even farther into the archives, here’s a picture of the closet area (wallpaper and all) from the day we moved in.

We think the previous owners probably got a lot of use out of this space, but we’ve never found it very functional.  A dresser in this location seemed like a better fit for the way we use the space.

And then there’s the paint.

A picture of the bedroom when the paint was new. Sherwin Williams Sand Dune.

A picture of the bedroom when the paint was new.

We actually painted this room this color (Sherwin Williams Sand Dune – SW6086) shortly after we moved in, but I’ve never loved it.  We have the same color in a couple of other rooms of our house and like it there, but, in person, it’s always had a weird pink/peach vibe in the bedroom that I just haven’t been able to get over.  We’ve also had a number of cases where we’ve had to touch up the paint and the left over paint we had wasn’t a good match, so the touch ups stand out like crazy.

Case in Point: Can you spot the touch ups around the thermostat?

Case in Point: Can you spot the touch ups from when we installed the Nest?

Anyway, I figured we might as well update the paint color at the same time as the rest of the work.

So, that’s our list – carpet, lights, built-in dresser, and paint.  I’ve put together a Pinterest board where I’ve been working through a bunch of ideas to settle on the things we think will work out best.  (You can follow along here.)  Of course, these updates will most certainly make our hodgepodge of furniture, lack of window treatments, and mismatched bedding look even more terrible, so I’m sure this first round of changes will lead to the need to actually decorate the room, too.  Regardless, though, I am excited to finally make some changes and (hopefully) have a bedroom that is actually pretty by the time we are done!

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