Lighting the way

Gosh, I'm so sorry that I haven't been posting more regularly. It seems like every free moment of my life has been spent with a paintbrush in my hand lately.

Since our renovation project has gone over budget, and we weren't willing to cut out some of the things we really want out of this (like the deck), we started taking on a few more projects than we anticipated, and painting is one of them. So far I've painted both bedrooms (walls only ... very TALL walls), the bathroom ceiling (which doesn't count since I hate the color), all of the trim that wasn't attached but was on premise, and have sanded and primed the paneling and stair rail. This weekend I'll finish up the paneling (the new stuff for the hallway will thankfully be unattached when I do it so it will be so much easier to whip through that in the basement), paint all the windows and trim in the living room (except for the baseboards, which I'll wait for the floor covering to be off when I do that), and sand and prime the windows upstairs (and MAYBE get a coat of paint on). And then I still have to do the risers and the trim on the staircase, which I'm not at all looking forward to.

Anyway, one of the more onerous tasks of this remodel that has fallen entirely to me is the lighting. I think this may be a case where too many choices is a bad thing. I am sure I have looked at more than 40,000 lights. I'm not joking with that figure. I've been to every big lighting store on the Internet (and one in person). Since most of these have about 10,000 pendants alone, and I've scrolled through all of them, it's not an exaggeration.

I have almost all the lights taken care of at this point so I thought I'd show you what I chose.

We have a lot of lighting in this 8-by-8-foot space. I can't stand dark bathrooms. So in addition to the two windows, we will have a light/fan in the shower, two pendants flanking the mirror, a ceiling light and two "hockey puck" lights in the linen unit.

In order to keep from blinding ourselves when we visit the bathroom in the middle of the night (which will now be much easier since we won't have to go downstairs), we got a combination shower light/fan/nightlight. It's not beautiful, but it's better than some.

Panasonic Whisperlite

The ceiling light for the bathroom was very tricky because we have an angled ceiling, but didn't want a chandelier. There aren't a lot of lights that work on angled ceilings (something to keep in mind if you're ever building and you have the option of an angled ceiling or not). Unfortunately I cannot find a picture of it anywhere (and frankly, nor can I find the light in the pile of boxes in my basement), so you'll have to use your imagination. Picture a white glass cylinder about 9 inches long, with a larger, clear glass cylinder around it. Now hang it from the ceiling in a semi-flushmount arrangement.

The pendants were the hardest light of all to find. I wanted something classic, but not boring. Clean-lined, but not overly modern. And most of all, proportion was very hard to figure out. Since we're using a large mirror, the pendants couldn't be itty bitty, but it's overall a small space so they can't be huge either.


I ended up choosing this teardrop-shaped pendant. It has a chrome finish which matches the rest of the hardware in the room, which was nice, although not a requirement (I figured I could have gotten away with a stainless or brushed chrome finish as well). I haven't actually seen it with the mirror yet as both are safely boxed up, but I hope I love it in the room as much as I think I will.

Master bedroom
A ceiling fan was a must for us in this room. We love leaving the windows open as much as possible in summer, and now that we have more east-facing windows we'll be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. But we need some air circulation, especially with cathedral ceilings. Sometimes I feel with ceiling fans that you just need to go with the least objectionable. This one's not bad.


While I was looking around the site where we got the fan, I found some nightstand lights at a nice price. I was planning to  look for a good deal at TJ Maxx for these, but after the discounts and coupon codes, these were $50 each and that's about the best price I've seen on halfway decent lights at TJ Maxx.


Second bedroom
We'll reuse one of the existing ceiling fans in this room, but we needed a light for it. Ceiling lights were a luxury we didn't have in the old bedrooms because the ceiling was too low for them. I thought I'd go a little crazy in this room (if you can't have fun in a guest room, where can you?) so I picked up this light to attach to the fan.


This is a tough area to light because it's open to the living room and it needs to light the stairs as well as the hall. We could have done recessed lighting, but I didn't think it was right for our house. In a more modern home, or definitely a mid-century modern home, definitely, but recessed lights didn't feel right. Enter track lighting, which falls basically in the same category as ceiling fans: just get the least ugly thing you can find.

It's no beauty, that's for sure!

These aren't so bad. We'll have four of them total.

I'll also have a little gallery wall in the hallway that I'll light with a Pottery Barn track light that I picked up eBay. The finish matches the finishes of lights in the living room (but not the finishes of the doorknobs and stuff ... I'm trying very hard not to get crazy about that).


This is the last lighting area I need to deal with. I really wanted lights in the steps on the deck, both for safely and ambiance. I found these neat little LED lights that are angled down (so you don't get blinded walking up the stairs) and look like they would be easy to install (in case we need to do that ourselves since we have the worst electrician in the history of ever).


I'm not going to worry about the lights by the back door and patio door at this time, we're just going to use what we have. I might paint one to match the others or replace them all in the future, but they'll do for now. I do, however, need to get a light for the front door. It will be mounted in the ceiling of the gable/pediment.


I was all set to get this lantern, but it will take six weeks to get it, so the hunt continues!


So that's the lighting plan for the house. I hope it looks as good in the house as it does in my imagination. And even if it doesn't, well, it will do. My brain can't handle any more light fixtures.

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