Let There Be Light {Updating Light Fixtures}

I’ve said in the past that there are few things that I will call a professional in to do in the house, rather than doing it myself. One of those things is anything that requires electrical.  This may be because I gave myself a shocker as a child (surprise, surprise!) and am wary about dealing with the little bugger. I’ve been waiting, hoping, and wishing for an electrician fairy to come over and just swap out our outdated light fixtures. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen so I called in the real-life professionals.

After putting down the new floor in the entryway this summer, and adding the bench and storage bin recently, I kept staring at our awful, outdated entryway light.

It reminded me of a brass and glass (rhymes!) jewelry box that someone would hide away in a drawer. Okay, maybe that’s harsh but let’s be honest. Does this look like our style at all? Nope? So it needed to go.

 

I found a fixture online that was about $100 and gorgeous. But with my luck of buying online for the house, I didn’t want to risk it (or pay the shipping and handling fee). So I trucked myself over to LOWES a few weeks ago and picked up an adorable light that is very reminiscent of the chandelier that we put in the dining room last spring. Plus, it was much less (about $70) and we didn’t have to wait for it to ship to us. After calling the electrician and scheduling a first-in-the-morning appointment slot, we now (happily) have a pretty entryway light!

 

Ahhhh! And the angels sang! Isn’t she just the prettiest thing? I caulked around her rim and we should still paint the spot of the ceiling where the old light was, but I’m just so pleased.

 

And since he was already here, I swiped a bathroom fixture from my grandparent’s house with the hope of replacing our LOVELY dressing room light fixture. They were in the middle of a master bathroom redo and had this nice light fixture that they didn’t think suited their tastes. Well, I liked it a lot (definitely more than what we had) and I’m not going to pass up a free light fixture!

 

No shame in my game: I didn’t even like this fixture enough to switch the bulb before taking the picture!

 

So after oohing and ahhing over the new entryway light, I waited patiently while he installed the new bathroom light. But boy, was it a pain. Not only was the bathroom painted POST-light installation (shocker of the century), it was also attached in three spots from the drywall. This mean lots of patching and painting to be added to my near future.

 

Not going to lie, this did slightly terrify me when he explained what was going on with our wall. Look at those holes! UGH.

 

But after some stress of whether or not the light could be centered, whether or not the mirror was EVER centered, and how high to hang the light, it made its way onto the wall and it’s permanent home.

 

Ta-da! So much better, sans missing paint and holes.

 

He did a really great job and was so pleasant. I even took some extra time to find out about future fixture swaps and possible additional lights to be added to the house (specifically, a flood light for Truman’s backyard adventures). I know it’s not ideal to pay $160 for two hours of work, but hey, I didn’t get shocked and one of the fixtures was free. Plus, they look super pretty. So maybe it was a splurge spending-wise, but a safety and happiness/style bonus.

 

What do you think of the updates? Would you have tried to do this on your own?

XOXO,

Ashley

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A few projects, here and there.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been actively finishing a lot of projects here and there. Though they are not nearly as large as some of my projects (see: flooring), they are still projects themselves. So let’s take a look around the house! These are just a COUPLE projects, I’m sure I’ll add to the next few posts a few other little projects I’ve completed.

They’re great!

These chairs were an awesome find on craigslist. They came as a pair for $50 dollars and are great vintage pieces to have. The pillow on the left chair is actually part pillow, part photo album cover. I loved the fabric of the cover, and seeing as how the album is out free and no longer covered, I figured I would put the fabric to good use. Stuff in a pillow form and, voila! new accent pillow. It has since been moved off of that chair, but I figured I would describe it to you while you’re seeing it.

S was in desperate need of some extra storage in his office. I, a lover of mid-century modern furniture, spotted this little gem in the back section of our local Salvation Army store. It didn’t even have a price on it, so I told myself no more than $10 for it. It was in pretty rough shape and needed some love. When I asked the sales person, she said it was only $6! What a find! I took it home and had to go through a lot to get it into its current form, but it was definitely worth it.

Isn’t the painting awful?

It was originally an awful, dirty baby blue. I used gel paint stripper to take the paint off. Unfortunately, my cheap paint stripper was also a pretty affective one. It also took off the varnish that was under the paint!

No more blue paint!

Needless to say, the poor thing needed a fresh coat. S’s office is grey with bright white trim, so I thought the black would look best. I had originally planned to paint the exterior of the shelf black and then the interior cabinet a bright white, leaving the shelf black in the middle. That plan most certainly did not work. My paint didn’t adhere to it’s new home and the blue painters tape I used to try and make straight edges pulled off what paint DID stay. It was a mess. So I gave up with my fancy vision and just sprayed the whole thing black. It’s now in his office, awaiting all the books and knick-knacks that need a home.

Finished project in its new home!

Another simple fix to spruce up a room is adding curtains. Our two upstairs guest bedrooms were fine but the windows looked a bit, well…without being vulgar…naked! See the before pictures of both guest bedrooms:

Before in the blue room…

Before in the green room..

And now, the after shots!

As you can see, sometimes simple little projects also make my life a bit more difficult because I can’t just stop there. Nope, I had to move all the furniture around in that room by myself. Bah! Not a big deal! Until I barricaded myself behind a queen sized boxspring. Woops. Ever done that? Thought you could handle it and then got in wayyyy over your head? Eitherway, it was worth the effort (and sweat…and exhaustion) because I do think it looks better the new way.

I’ll spare you from reading ALL my little projects in one post, so I’ll end here. Lets call this one of…many. Especially if my Pinterest account has anything to do with it.

XOXO,

Ashley

New flooring: Number 2!

As you saw in my previous post, “New Flooring,” my mother and I spent a significant amount of time on the flooring in our entryway. And, as you may or may not know about me, I can’t stand leaving projects unfinished. After finishing that headache of a floor, I decided that the next project to tackle was the same ugly flooring in our half-bath/powder room on the second level. My mother said it would take way longer and be a huge pain, especially since we were cutting around the toilet and sink. But fortunately it didn’t take nearly as long as I expected.

Getting the floor ready!

See how UGLY it was? Knowing that my mom was coming, I prepped the floors by pulling off all the moulding and painting it ahead of time. This helped because then it was ready to be re-installed while my mom was finishing the caulking around the curves.

Always important, planning and laying out the tile.

Easiest to lay and stick the whole tiles first.

Now for around the toilet…

And as I said, it actually took a lot less time. Maybe we were getting better at it? Maybe it was just such a small space that it really wasn’t as daunting as we thought? Either way, we only spent a few hours on it total, which was great. It was even more of a relief when we stuck down that last tile and said “what’s next?” and there wasn’t anything next! Such a huge payoff for a little work. I think it looks GREAT now. It’s still hard to get used to, because I’ve been so accustomed to the ugly grid/sheet vinyl.

 

I feel like a choir of angels should sing at the sight of this awesome tile. Kidding, but it does look good, right?!

So now that we’ve tackled those two massive projects, so begins my other DIY projects on my summer list. I have another post about all the little projects I’ve been working on, which will appear on here soon, but I’ve also got plans to sand down and re-stain three pieces of furniture. Not to mention, we’re sending two living room pieces to the upholsterer to have their fabric redone. So excited!

And if you’ve just asked yourself, “But Ashley, what was Truman doing to help this floor project?” Here’s your answer:

XOXO,

Ashley

 

PS- For both the entryway AND the bathroom flooring, I spent less than $200. The boxes of tile were about $20 and I thought I needed 8 for the entryway. Turned out we were so good at placing and cutting, that I only needed 7. That saved me a whole box to use on the bathroom and I only needed to buy one more. Some people like to grout around the edges, but we purposefully put the seams AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE as to not need grout. So luckily, I was able to return the grout and get my money back. Plus, I already had the other necessary items (pencil, exacto knife, yard stick, ruler). So it’s easy AND pretty cheap.

New flooring!

So we have a new floor!

When we moved into this house (it’s already been a whole year!) I remarked how ugly and “builder grade” the vinyl flooring was in the entryway. Our crown-moulding and picture frame moulding is just lovely, but…the floor was a bit of a let down. Truman makes a mess of it with his fur (because a white floor picks up ALL dirt), so I’d spend a lot of time scrubbing to try and make it look halfway decent.

He’s a big help, obviously.

I didn’t really think we had a lot of options on a budget. And while we’re still planning on eventually laying hardwood floors on the stairs and second floor, the entryway was low-priority. So I let it be. My distain for the awful 1990’s pattern grew over the year, until my mother re-did her awful vinyl flooring in my parent’s old home. She was a one-woman working crew and laid a whole vinyl floor for the pantry. I figured that with two people this job, it wouldn’t take too much effort.

I wonder what they thought of me at LOWES? On my second…third trip of the week?

Boy was I wrong. S and I picked an awesome “crushed shell” color and I set out the purchase all the materials. Eight boxes later, I was totally ready to go. We needed to fully clean the floor, remove all the quarter round moulding, and get to work. This is where I underestimated how difficult this project would be. It took several hours to do the normal, squared pieces. The cutting was an overwhelming time suck. After several hours one day and an entire evening, we still weren’t finished. And if you know me, I hate leaving things unfinished. So, after worrying about making mistakes, I pushed myself to finish the floors, paint the moulding, and re-install it over the new floors.

Because this project turned out so nicely (although time consuming), I’ve decided to tackle the half bath on the second floor. Hey, it also had the awful flooring. So I can’t keep looking at that sub-par floor knowing how nice it COULD look! Plus, I may or may not have roped my mom into another project…

Either way, the final product looks great and I’m SO pleased with how it turned out. I think it really looks great, vinyl or not.

Lookin’ gooooood!

What do you think? Lookin’ good?!