Imagine you have purchased a home and you are walking room to room making a list of the things you would like to change or update. In my case, and I am assuming in the case of most people, it is not feasible to spend $10,000 at one time changing every little thing. When we were waiting to move in, I would stare at the pictures of our house online everyday, making lists of all the projects I was planning. I wanted to paint all the walls and trim, switch out all the light fixtures, remodel the master bathroom (eventually), and landscape the front yard. I had numerous smaller projects as well like replacing all the plugs, switches, and plates, having the tile and grout professionally cleaned and sealed, installing new toilets, and installing a new backdoor.
The weekend we moved in, I felt very overwhelmed. I did not know how I would get through all the boxes. I set a goal: I would have all the boxes unpacked, broken down, and removed from the house as well as have the laundry room painted, and have all the items the previous owners left, disposed of within a week. A week later everything was unpacked and placed in its permanent location, all the boxes were broken down and stacked in the empty dinning room, all the bubble wrap was bagged, the laundry room was painted (thanks to my dad for helping me purchase the paint and giving me all the supplies beforehand, and to my husband who did at least 60% of the painting), and the house was clean. I was pretty proud of our progress. However, the painting experience put a major hold on my original plan of personally painting all the trim and walls in the rest of the house (it reminded me that I hate painting).
Later that same month my parents drove over and brought us all the things we had stored at their house and at my grandmother’s house for the last five years, and they helped us pick up the dining room furniture my uncle and aunt had gifted us. I unpacked and organized that stuff pretty quick, though the garage still has a few things that need to be organized but my husband working on that. We are less than three months in and we (mostly my husband) have completed a lot of the tasks on our to-do list.
Through this process, I have come to realize two things that can make a huge difference in a house are the light fixtures and the plugs/switches (also paint makes a huge difference too). The house looks much cleaner and up to date thanks to the new clean plugs and light switches. My husband, my dad, and myself have replaced every plug, switch, plug plate, and plug switch in the house. The next order of business is replacing the light fixtures and I know it is going to make a huge difference in the overall look of the house. I decided to branch out from Lowe’s and Home Depot and found great deals from stores like Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs.
I have purchased a few things recently from Wayfair, and you get what you pay for. Their customer service is good and they will try to replace or issue a refund if there are any issues, but the items you receive are not of the highest quality. I purchased the more practical lighting from Lowes. I found a mini pendent on Amazon and a track lighting kit on Lamps Plus.
While my parents were in town my mother found some practical and inexpensive light fixtures for the stairwell and laundry room. I decided that I would rather the florescent light she found for the laundry room go in an upstairs closet and purchased the silver nickel version of the flush mount stairwell light for the laundry room.
This was the very first light fixture I ever bought, ever. It is the Carmen 4-Light Lantern and it made a huge difference in the kitchen. It is actually darker in person than it appears online. I know it is considered “farmhouse” which is not a style I am bringing throughout my house but I like it over the kitchen table.
The pantry is under the stairs so the ceiling is short and sloped. I needed to find a light that could adapt. I found this track light at a good price that isn’t too wide and I can move the shades to point in different directions.
I hung a gold mirror and three paintings in copper frames that my aunt gave me (they were in my grandmother’s house) so I wanted the dinning room to have a gold chandelier. The gold theme is carried to the nearby half bathroom. I ordered the Lucca Chandelier during a Pottery Barn “premier sale” and got free shipping.
This is the Piedmont Lantern and yes, I got this on sale with free shipping. I wanted to find a pendant that incorporated oil-rubbed bronze and brass because it will sit in between an oil-rubbed bronze fan and a brass chandelier. This pendant got excellent reviews and comes other finishes as well. I really wish I could have gotten the navy one for my kitchen. Ballard Designs has some very pretty but pricey lighting. But like Pottery Barn, it is difficult to pass up a good sale with free shipping.
This flush mount light is currently in the stairwell and will be going in the his and hers closets in the master bathroom.
This mini pendant looks like a great option for the water closet. Because of the high ceiling I figured replacing the current small flush light with another flush or semi-flush mount fixture would be pointless, I needed a pendant.
If we ever remodel the bathroom, I would really like to replace the can light over the tub with this light fixture.