Let there be light

So, it’s been too long. For anyone who doesn’t know, I haven’t been working for a while, but I just started a new temp job about a week ago that came up out of the blue. I’ve been trying to get used to the 40 hours/week work schedule again, and as a result, haven’t really felt in the mood for blogging…or working on projects, for that matter.

But we’ve done a lot on our living room project beyond just picking the paint color since our last post, so it’s high time for an update! We’ve finished all scraping and painting, and have about 1/3 of the trim up (We have 60 pieces total! Have to do it in phases so we don’t go crazy!). So still a ways to go, but what we’ve done already makes a huge difference! I think one of the biggest improvements are our new light fixtures! We needed to take down most of them anyway to scrape the popcorn underneath, so we figured it was the best time to do it.

Let me remind you of the eyesore that was our living room fan.

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Pretty gross, huh? Some previous owner had painted the fan blades white using a paint brush (haven’t they ever heard of foam rollers?!) so they’re covered in brush strokes. And it has the ugliest lighting kit I’ve ever seen. On the plus side, though, it was very bright. We never had a light bulb in the globe in the middle, but the other 4 were bright enough for our long, skinny room. We wanted to stick with a ceiling fan, because we need a lot of light in that room, and we can’t have anything that’s too tall with our low ceilings. Most flush mounts only have room for 2, or if you’re lucky, 3 light bulbs and they don’t spread the light like a fan does.

We were a little worried that we wouldn’t be able to find a replacement fan that had enough lights. I’m also pretty picky (surprise, surprise) about other aspects, like the fact that it had to be a hugger model (mounts flush with the ceiling like the previous one) since we have 8′ ceilings, HAD to have 4 lights, had to be brushed nickel or white but not super cheap looking, under $100, etc. Despite the fact that Lowe’s and Home Depot have thousands of fans on their website, we couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for. Until we walked in the actual Home Depot store and saw this one for $80.

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We both loved it as soon as we saw it…well as much as a person can love a ceiling fan. Until we realized it only took candelabra bulbs! After a bit more research, though, we realized that a lot of fans have gone to those kinds of lights. Which sucks. Cause they’re not very bright.

But then we saw these.

CFLs with a candelabra base! Woot! Problem solved. We installed it (aka Andrew did it by himself) and then realized our new perfect paint color, Abalone, looked pink! Eek!!

It caused us much agony, which I won’t go into, but then we figured out it was just the light bulbs. So back to Lowe’s we went to pick up two more varieties of CFL candelabra bulbs. The soft light which we tried first were the pink ones, the Reveal bulbs that we tried next were too neon/fluorescent, so we ended up choosing Natural Daylight. They’re still a teensy bit fluorescent looking at night, but they’re bright enough and don’t make our walls look pink. And as an added bonus, when standing outside looking through the front windows it doesn’t look like we have a bug zapper inside. Or a fluorescent lamp for our weed. Which we wanted to avoid. 😉

Here it is, just chilling out and hugging our lovely flat, white ceiling. (The walls aren’t two different colors, I promise!)

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And the ugly white fan we were able to sell on Craigslist for $5. Not much, but it means we didn’t have to drive somewhere to get rid of it!

We also got 2 new lights for our kitchen. The chandelier we had before wasn’t so bad…it was literally the one fixture in the house that looked like it had been updated in the last 10 years, and like they didn’t just pick the absolute cheapest option.

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But it just wasn’t really our taste. We thought about leaving it for now and replacing it when we could find a used chandelier to re-purpose, but then we found this one at Lowe’s.

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For $40. Any cute used chandeliers on Craigslist usually are at least that price or more! They also had an oil-rubbed bronze option, but it was $140. For the exact same light fixture! I think it must have been marked down, cause you couldn’t buy it online and have it shipped to your house, and the few employees we talked to about it said they didn’t have any more on order. We bought it online with store pickup, didn’t open the box till we got home, and unfortunately, the one we brought home was kinda defective…we brought it back and looked at the few others they had in stock, but they all had the same problems. We went to the other Lowe’s within 10 minutes of our house who had a few in stock, but same problem. Finally, we went to a store about 20 minutes from us (yes, we’re spoiled!! So many Lowe’s!) and found one with no defects. But hey, for $40 I’m not complaining!

The last fixture we bought was one to replace this light in our kitchen. Andrew says it looks like a tap light, you know the ones you stick to the wall in a closet without a light fixture and tap the middle to turn it on? Anyway, we hated it. It only had 1 light, too, so unless you turned on the light above the sink and the pendants it was pretty dark.

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Since we got rid of the bulkhead (pictures to come, though sadly not of the process since I didn’t take any! Doh!) and the pendants hanging from it, we wanted a light that would take 2 light bulbs so it would be bright enough. And lo and behold, I got on Home Depot’s website to look through flush mounts like I’ve done so many times before with no luck, and immediately saw this one.

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It has a quatrefoil pattern!! AND it takes 2 lights bulbs. Couldn’t be more perfect! We have both of those light fixtures up, too, and they make such a big difference! It’s finally starting to feel like our home and our style (if you can look past the blue and white checkered floor, of course.)

Sorry, though, no time for pictures of those. We have to make use of our remaining daylight to move a crepe myrtle that should have been moved in “late winter.” Even if late winter in Arkansas was the end of February/beginning of March like in Kansas, we would be doing this late. But here in Arkansas, spring comes early! It’s been spring for a while and the crepes will be blooming soon! 

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