Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another Light Busts the Dust

May 2014
It's official, I have replaced, added, changed or removed every single light fixture in our home.  That's four years and sixteen light fixtures.  This was not a planned thing, I don't remember buying the house and thinking "goodness these lights are horrible."  But room by room, as we updated the spaces we found ourselves taking down 1970's brass fixtures, 1980's ceiling fans, and sad bare bulbs.  In some cases, like our kitchen sconce, we still had the original fixture but the glass shade was missing and had to be replaced. 

With all this time and money going out to lighting, imagine my frustration when I painted the kitchen gray in January and ran into an issue.  The new reproduction schoolhouse light we installed in 2010 was casting a weird light on the space.  The shade was hand painted lime green, which worked great with our old color, but now gave the nook an odd yellow dirty tone.  One day when I was trolling the internets I discovered they made a larger version of the glass shade we already had for our kitchen sconce. This shade happened to be 50% off.  So, for less than $40 I would be able to fix my dirty light issue without having to feel horrible about wasting money on another whole fixture. 
As I thought about it more,  I still really loved the shade in the kitchen, it just couldn't live there.  This brought me to the office overhead light, which is our last untouched fixture in the house.  Or actually I should say it brought me to our lack of light.  In our upstairs office (the room we have done NOTHING to).  There is a switch on the wall which powers a mini ceiling fan.  What's a mini ceiling? Let me show you. 

It's roughly 3' across, white with gold flourishes and sits about 2 inches above Josh's head when he stands in the space. Avert your eyes from the garish green ceiling to also notice the old owner graced the fan with some paint as well.  Given that the only light in the room came from our two dim desk lamps, it was time to kick that fan to the curb (we actually donated  it to the Rebuilding Center for someone who has been dying for a mini ceiling fan).

So I ordered not only a new shade for the kitchen, but a new metal ceiling fixture for the space.  I choose the same fixture that we had out in the upstairs hallway which has a thin profile (added height space) and a more clean industrial look. Since the office has  no clear vibe (except the existing barney colors) I figured the lime green shade would work perfectly.  


Bye sad clown fan.... hello new light.  Now if only I could muster up the courage to paint this room...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Can't Stop Painting...

April 2014

This year seems to be the year of painting everything.  This time I decided to paint the guest room.  Back in the winter,  I painted the panelling in the room white.  Since there was only panelling on two walls, this left two walls unpainted.  These walls were plaster and had several damaged areas that we had not fixed.  One location was the area around the new wall light the other area was some existing  damage below the South window that we had avoided for three years.  Not having the money or energy to do a full skim coat of the the walls,  I decided to try and fix these areas as best I could.  I chipped away any plaster that was loose and then over the course of several days patched and sanded the areas back.  

I think I did a pretty good job, although as I worked I kept noticing more areas with cracks, dents, and dimples. If we stay in the house long term we will probably have to have the plaster professionally repaired, but since this is our guest room I patched what I could and primed the areas.  As you will noticed the room was a light butternut squash color.  Our roommate picked out the color and we liked it, however, we never kept the swatch and had no idea what it was.  We either had to try and color match the existing color or paint it an entirely new color.
The decision to go with a new color hinged on a gift. For our wedding, a family friend of Josh's gave us a large beautiful watercolor they had painted.  We loved the painting but walking through our house we were having a hard time finding a wall that was big enough to work with the painting.  Honestly, there was only one wall in the house where it would truly work and it was in the guest room above the dresser.   We decided to take down our current piece of art (which we like, but holds no sentimental value).  The only issue was the watercolor really didn't work with the rooms orange color.
We decided to try and pull out the muted colors in the watercolor by painting the wall a dark color.  We felt the room could handle going dark given the amount of white trim, panelling on two walls, and the large window and closet to break up the space.  We tried several dark blue grays from Benjamin Moore.  In the end, we choose Lead Gray. I went out and bought a gallon and set about painting the space.

Once again, our lighting caused the color to come out way more blue then we were expecting.  It reads a deep navy and not so much gray.  But when we put the watercolor up against it- we were completely sold. 

This was probably our most saturated color to date and no matter how good frog tape is, there was a fair amount of touch up.  The bold color against the white requires a perfect line, so I spent an afternoon with a mini brush touching up the wood work and ceiling.  

The room has a bit of a nautical feel with the blue and white, so I took the vibe and brought our large ship painting from the stairwell and put it in the room.  Perfect fit!  Josh hung the piece and I cleaned the room.  I think we can call this room almost complete.