Lighting, Window Solution & Attention to Detail

Monday, October 3, 2016

We all remember what a mess the house was in when we first bought the house, but it was actually worse than I even showed you.  The previous owners hadn't lived here for about two years prior and they had basically been using it as a storage unit while they waited on it to sell (which was probably a big part of the reason why it sat on the market for as long as it did).  Then, they procrastinated starting to clean it out until the weekend after we closed on the sale.  Anyway, during the overlapping time while we were upstairs cleaning and painting bedrooms and the previous owners were downstairs clearing out their old stuff, we had several opportunities to talk with them about their original intentions for the house.  While the previous owner had a lot of ideas, the one that really stuck with me was his desire to put a second window in the stairwell.

I loved the idea, it has potential to be such a grand stairwell, but as it was it was really underwhelming.  I knew that realistically it wasn't really an option for us to install another window.  I considered several work-around ideas, but then, as with most of our designs, I happened across a solution by chance and instantly fell in love with it.

This mirror was love at first sight.  It's window-like design seemed like a perfect solution.  I eyed it for a few months before finally showing it to Andrew.  He was just as enthusiastic about it as I was.  When I finally got up the nerve to check the measurements only to find that it was exactly the right size!

At the same time, I found a chandelier that I loved and we hung them both at the same time.  The ceiling over the landing is so incredibly high that I imagined a chandelier hanging pretty low.  In the end, we placed it in front of the mirror.  The mirror reflects the light from the chandelier and the whole combination is gorgeous.

We also updated the lighting in our main room with a larger ceiling fan in the living room and a giant light in the dining room that we swagged to hang above the actual placement of our table.

The dining room light was the only non-original fixture in the entire house when we moved in.  The previous owners had swapped the cheap white pendant light with a ceiling fan that more or less matched the one in the living room.  My biggest complaint was that it was in a weird location in the room.  The builder had centered the fixture in the kitchen/dining room area instead of in the actual dining room area.  If we actually put our table there (even when we had our "normal-sized" table, it would have left us with no access to the island and a weird path to the back door.

Originally we had considered hiring a professional to move the wiring to a more appropriate location and then a drywall professional to fix the holes and maybe to fix the terrible patch job from the old upstairs bathroom leak.  But, as with the window, that would have resulted in a lot of expense and mess.  Yet again, I stumbled across the solution on Pinterest in the form of swag lighting.  We used a decorative chain over a light kit from the hardware store and the over-sized light shade from Ikea.

Last but not least, I recently stenciled these signs to hang over the pantry.  They are kind of the final touch for our current kitchen/dining room plans.

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