Yesterday was crazy-pants! My (long-suffering) dad and younger sister came out to the house in the evening to help install not one, but THREE new light fixtures. Because, you know, I never do things the easy way. Easy-schmeazy!
I’ve learned something about DIY goodness: never install anything alone. I learned this a few months ago when I tried to put up a curtain rod by myself. How bad could it be? I can use a power tool. YAY POWER TOOLS! (That literally goes through my head every time I pick up a power tool. Be very afraid!) It did not end well as evidenced by the quarter-sized holes now riddling a wall that turned out to be plaster and not drywall. Oops.
Our house came complete with a flush-mount light fixture in every room, or as they are so aptly nicknamed, boob lights. Google “boob light” and you will find a multitude of decorating blogs screaming profanities at the evil being who invented this heinous fixture! As of yesterday we have replaced 3 out of the 7 boob lights that came with our house (counting the chandelier we installed in our bathroom). Slowly but surely!
This was our kitchen light until yesterday:
Ummm, yes, I’m pretty sure it was a bathroom vanity light. It did the job, but I’ve been dying to change the look since day 1. The light fixture I chose I first saw used in a Young House Love blog post, and ran $33 at Home Depot in the exterior lights area. That’s a GREAT price for a something we’re going to be looking at every. single. day! You know you’re a homeowner when you brag about how little you paid for a light fixture.
Here’s how it looks in our kitchen:
I feel like it gives our little cottage kitchen an industrial vibe. My dad said it reminded him of the camping trips he took when he was a kid as lights like this were used outside the campground buildings. I’m absolutely delighted to have tapped into that feeling of nostalgia!
I went old-school in the living room with an itty-bitty flush-mount ceiling fan. I grew up in a house with ceiling fans and love the feeling of air moving. Plus, by switching the direction of the fan rotation during the winter we can help heat from the fireplace distribute more evenly. Sadly, none of our rooms came with ceiling fans, and with 7’4″ ceilings I despaired of ever finding one that fit without threatening immediate decapitation when turned on.
This 42″ fan was $26.50 at Home Depot and the blades are only 7″ from the ceiling- no threat of head trauma unless we have giants over, which isn’t likely to happen:
(Cruiser is hamming for the camera- a dignified pose, ruined for me by the fact that he licked his heinie 10 seconds after I snapped the pic)
(Emma is guarding the couch lest my sister or dad try to sit without first asking her permission)
I could have flipped the fan blades over to white before installing, but I think the faux wood pattern is kinda cute (in a kitschy sort of way), plus this way on the off chance we DO have giants over, they can see where not to put their heads:P You know you’re a homeowner when you get excited about a ceiling fan!
The last light fixture we tackled was in the hallway, the most enormous boob light I had ever seen. Having a single central light fixture in a narrow hallway also made the lighting funky- parts of our hallway were in perpetual shadow. Here’s a picture from before we moved in (you can see how ginormous this boob light is):
I decided to update the hallway with track lighting and found a set that fit the bill for $30 at Home Depot.
Here’s how it looked after we got the track light up (I may have made a joke about nipples while my dad was unscrewing the boob light, after which he may have comically refused to touch it for a few minutes as I snickered gleefully):
(You can see the chair rail we’ve put up in the hallway….it’s part 1 of our hallway update project, shh, you didn’t see that!)
I love how something as simple as updating light fixtures- $100, less than 3 hours- can change the entire look of a room. It was so exciting to see these fixtures that I’ve been planning towards for months finally up and working! I danced the macarena around the kitchen table and then wandered from room to room jabbering about the details of each fixture to my husband, who arrived home from working late just in time for the tail end of our project.
You know you’re a homeowner when you dance the macarena after flipping a light switch:D