Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Upgrading Light Fixtures: An Enlightening Experience

The gradual transformation of our house over the past year has included several upgrades to existing light fixtures. Last fall, we were having our entire main floor ceiling refinished anyway (because of some walls we'd removed ― another blog post in itself), so this created the perfect opportunity/excuse to re-work our lighting situation too. Why not cut out a few extra holes and just get it all fixed at the same time?

In fact, at one point it looked like someone had just taken a giant hole punch to our ceiling:

Here, let me try to clarify this picture a bit...

Clear as mud? 

Let's backtrack... It all started out innocently enough with replacing our dining room light fixture. The existing fixture wasn't actually that bad, but I happened to find a new one while browsing around at a local home decor store. It just had such a unique quality that I couldn't pass it up.

I love the contrast of the iron cage with the curtain of crystal droplets. It's just the right amount of bling. Although the current bulb doesn't produce a ton of light, let's face it  this fixture is more of a statement piece than anything. I mean, check out shadows it casts!

Moving on... the next fixtures in line for replacement were three plain jane pendant lights above our kitchen sink. The goal was to find something to complement the vision for our modern farmhouse kitchen. After much searching, we ended up choosing these restoration-vintage pendants from 1-800Lighting. (The finish is Aged Brass & Polished Nickel.)

Because of their larger 10" size, we needed only two of the new pendants to fill the space. Of course, this involved re-configuring their placement in order to be centered above the [new] sink and [yet-to-be-built] breakfast bar. 

The finishing touch for these pendant globe fixtures was the LED vintage filament bulbs we found on Amazon. The amber glass creates a warm glow  and they're also pretty even when the lights are off!

At this point, we began to re-evaluate the other flush-mount ceiling light in our kitchen (as seen in the "before" picture above). It had always been fairly dim, and now it didn't really coordinate with these new pendants. We mulled over a few different options and fixtures before deciding to keep it simple and install a couple of recessed can lights.

I think it was a good choice. These new lights make the kitchen so much brighter! And they don't distract from the globe pendants.  

Moving on to our entryway... a chandelier previously hung in front of our large picture window, and frankly always seemed to be a bit out of place. The solution? More recessed lighting to create a cleaner, unobstructed appearance.

(Photo taken when we first moved in, long before I painted the walls gray.)

These two new lights are also on a dimmer, which is really nice for creating different levels of lighting.

Annnd... since we were never big fans of the chandelier in our stairwell, we ended up replacing it with the one from our entryway instead of buying another new fixture. Can't beat a free upgrade!

The new light fixtures have made a world of difference already. And in case you're curious, my handy husband did all of the wiring himself. (Not gonna lie, it made me a little nervous at times, but everything turned out just fine.)

I'm just glad this stage and these decisions are over. Although my strategic photo cropping skills would have you believe otherwise, we still have plenty of other renovations to focus on!

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