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Installing a Light Fixture

September 10, 2012 — 5 Comments

I did it! This has been on my list of things to do for so long, but honestly I’ve been very nervous to do it. As I mentioned in this post, when I first moved in I had the three main light fixtures that came with the house changed (entry, dining, kitchen). The other big one that I wanted to change out was my bedroom. I had my cousin do the three lighting fixtures when I first moved in but I’m all about boundary pushing these days so I knew I wanted to do this one myself. The fixture that was in my bedroom was unobtrusive but that isn’t really my style. Six months ago I got the Knappa light from IKEA to hang in there, I assembled it and then left it hanging off a chair in the second bedroom this whole time. I told you I was nervous to do it on my own… but today I mustered all the courage I had plus a lot of internet research and youtube videos.

I’m not going to lie, I did run into a few problems because the light fixture I chose didn’t come with a canopy (that round cap that connects the cord to the ceiling) and because my house is so old it was just all kinds of gross up there. But this post is in no way a ‘how-to’ it’s more of a ‘don’t follow my directions just be inspired that I did it and so can you’ post.

Let’s skip all the boring sweaty parts and just skip to my favorite part, no it’s not the finished product, it was shutting off the power at the electrical box. Why was this my favorite part? Because I felt like Laura Dern in Jurassic Park… it was awesome! Remember the scene where she is going through that dark underground compound trying to find the power box? And then she flips all those big switches to save everyone from death by dinosaurs? It was kind of like that except no dinosaurs or dismembered arms.

(Source)

Alright enough of that, here is the second best part… the finished product!

I’m so happy with the way it looks! I’m also super happy that I conquered my fear.

I’m a sucker for a cool light fixture, but I’m also not wealthy so my lighting budget is under $50 per light. When I first moved in I changed four out of seven light fixtures in here. (There was a ceiling fan in the dining room. How gross is that? Dust blowin’ all over your food!) I bought three lights at IKEA and one on craigslist (more on those here, here, and here) but there are still three that I want to change so I’m always on the lookout for cool and inexpensive light fixtures. Here is a list of some super cool ones I wish I had space for.

I love this cagey pendant from Urban Outfitters (here) for $49.00. It would look cool in a kitchen or bathroom. My favorite part is that cheeky red cord.
Sometimes you just need a basic light and I love this globe light from Lowe’s for $49.50 (here). Perfect for a hallway or closet.
I think I like this weird acorn/pinecone light from Lowe’s for $39.98 (here). It reminds me of my all time favorite light from IKEA (here) that is hanging in my bedroom (here).
My favorite bloggers just released their own line of light fixtures at Shades of Light. My favorite is this small orb light for $69.95 (here) which is a little over my $50 cap but they have a 10% off code on their blog which brings down the price. All their lighting is under $99 which is awesome!
I’m kind of obsessed with this light. I remember seeing it a while back on CB2.com and thinking it was cool but I couldn’t justify the $149 price tag. Well, it is now on sale for $49.95 (here)! I’m seriously thinking about getting it for my bathroom. It would add the perfect amount of edge that my bathroom desperately needs…. hmmm this may be happening.
I love this IKEA light, not because it super cool but because it is the perfect alternative to a builder’s grade “boob” light. And for only $29.99 (here) it is the perfect light for hallways, closets, and other areas where you want an upgrade without the price tag.
There isn’t a place in my current house for pendants but these are awesome and the price isn’t bad either. They’re West Elm ranging between $6.99 – $34.99 (here).
I don’t know how functional these pendants are but they are wooden and that’s cool. They are West Elm on sale for $34.99 (here). I like them grouped in a cluster like they are in this picture. I can see them in a nook with a reading chair (although I don’t know how you do light clusters… I always see them in magazines but I can’t help thinking, did they run extra wiring over there or what?).
This is another good light that is functional, pretty, and innocuous. IKEA for $29.99 (here).
I love vintage lighting. Some people may worry about wiring but I just worry about the way it looks and get a good smoke detector (just kidding). This light from Era Vintage is only $38 (here).
This light from Target also reminds me of my bedroom light fixture (here). This just happens to be extremely cheap at $15.99 (here).
Are you always on the lookout for a good light fixture like me? Or are you satisfied with your current lights? The three lights I haven’t changed are so simple that they blend in and are unnoticeable. I haven’t rushed to change them for that reason, but now I want to because I found so many good options.

Well, it has been one year (and five weeks) since I moved in to my little house and I have to say, best mistake ever! Why mistake? Honestly, I was not financially prepared to buy a house, but I really wanted one so I did it anyway. There is a saying that goes something like, “Bad decisions make for good stories” and that is literally the story of this blog. I wrote more about my decision to buy over continuing to rent for twentysomethingindy.com. You should check out my article and the rest of the site because it’s awesome.

The point is I wasn’t completely ready to become a homeowner, but I love this house and in my mind that equals so far so good! I simultaneously feel like I’ve been here forever and for a month, but it’s actually been 13 months. Let’s take a look back on all the progress I’ve made (with the help of friends, family, and hired hands), shall we? Also, bad before pictures because I wasn’t a blogger then and for some reason didn’t think to take any ‘before’ pictures, ah well, live and learn.

What I accomplished this year on the outside:
– I had the exterior painted
– While it isn’t seen and nobody would notice, the biggest, most expensive thing I had done to this house was a major electrical repair before I moved in. I hate spending money on stuff that isn’t seen and appreciated but I guess not dying in a house fire is good too.
– The backyard fence was repaired (not pictured)
– I added patio chairs to the front porch (a minor improvement over just plain empty)
– While not a large accomplishment I managed to mow the grass several times… go me!
On the agenda for the coming year and beyond:

– Screen in the front porch (it is already framed and ready)

– Add a daybed or some other type of furniture to make the porch more welcoming
– Dig out and replace those large ugly bushes in front (forsythia is the dream)
– Potentially replace the sidewalk up to my porch
What I accomplished in the living room this year:
– Painted it ‘Suede Gray’ by Behr
– Added a gallery wall, furniture, art, etc.
– One thing I managed to ‘un-accomplish’ was that I broke two of the blinds. Lame. They are those $4 ones from Walmart but I refuse to buy them because they are ugly.
– Added a faux sofa table (here)
On the agenda for this year:
– Buy new blinds! Seriously, it is about time. Those blinds are hideous, but I can’t seem to jump on a blind style (more about my indecision here).
– Get a second couch. I want to get the same couch I already have and put it where the red chair is now.
– Mount the TV. I got a mount and haven’t taken the time to hang it yet.
– Add art around the TV?
– I’d like a bigger rug, different coffee table and side tables, a real sofa table instead of a faux one, etc. but I’ll just have to see how much my budget can handle this year.
– Rearrange gallery wall, change out pictures, etc.
What I accomplished this year in the bathroom:
– Installed new medicine cabinet.
– Painted the room three times (ugh) and it ended up ‘Ballet White’ by Behr (more on that here).
– Hung art, towel rack and hook, crates, and a second shower curtain (more on that here).
– Installed new faucet.
On the agenda this year:
– I’m thinking about painting again, I know, I know, but seriously wouldn’t it look beautiful navy blue? I asked my friend that and she said, “isn’t every room in your house dark blue?” Touche´.
– Re-grout the tub and shower. It’s gross and a good re-grouting is loooong overdue.
– Change the light fixture. I am really good at cropping out things I don’t like so it isn’t pictured here but the current one looks something like this and it’s fine, but I really want to get something else so hopefully this will be the year.
What I accomplished this year:
– Painted it twice and it ended up ‘Canon’ by Ace Hardware (side note: I love the black walls, way more than even I though I would).
– Added art and open shelving.
– Added a chalkboard wall.
– Installed cork floors! (toe kick is not present in these pictures, but it is in now- I need to take pictures again).
– Installed new faux wood white blinds to the windows and the door.
– Installed new light fixture.
On the agenda for this year and beyond:
– New countertops and backsplash (so excited for this!)
– Possibly replace the light? It hangs at about 6’1″ and whenever my 6’2″ brother comes over he complains about it so maybe I’ll lift it up or just change it completely.
– I’d love to add a ceiling light by the chalkboard wall. It is super dark back there at night (and not just because of the black paint, it has always been dark back there). Not sure how much that would cost but it’s on my brain.
– I’ve been thinking about added roman shades or something else to the windows.
What I accomplished this year:
– Painted it ‘Underwater’ by Behr.
– Added curtain rod and curtains (here)
– Installed new light fixture
– Added gallery wall
– Added postcard wall art (here)
– Recovered dining room chairs (here)
What I hope to do this year:
– First and foremost I want to get my dream bookcase (here). The wall to the right is blank and sad and I want to change that as soon as possible.
– I’ve been thinking about repainting, ugh I know, what is wrong with me? I’m obsessed with painting! But no seriously, I like this color, it’s just… I can’t put my finger on why I’m tired of it.
– Re-do or do something completely different with the corner gallery wall, it looks messy and it’s a little too much with the postcard wall art (and I really like the postcard wall art).
– Touch up the paint around the light fixture’s canopy. I’ve been meaning to do this for a year, maybe writing it down will make me do it.
– Replace the buffet. It is an IKEA clearance piece that I got for like $40 and I want to replace it with something more solid.
What I did this year:
– After living with an off-white paint color for six months, I decided I am not a white room kind of person so I went bold and blue by color matching Sherman Williams’ ‘Loyal Blue’ (more on that decision here).
– Furnished it mostly via craigslist (campaign dresser, jenny lind bed) and IKEA (Rast dresser, Billy bookcase, Knappa light fixture).
– Hung a light fixture on my own! (here)
What I should accomplish this year:
– I’m really dreading it but the floors seriously need refinished. When I first moved in the bedrooms were carpeted (see the before picture) but since I really hate carpet I ripped it up. The hardwood floors are original to the house and actually look pretty good but in this room they sprayed the trim and since they were planning on putting carpet down they didn’t worry about getting white paint on the floors. See the right of the picture above? How the paint comes out about 2-3 inches from the trim? Not cool people who painted the trim, not cool. I may actually tackle this project on my own but we’ll see how brave I get.
– I’d love to add curtains or roman shades to this room. The white vinyl blinds in there are fine, but I think an upgrade would be nice.
– If I get my dream bookcase this year I will be moving all the books from this bookcase into that one (plus my books from storage) and then selling this one. I really like this bookcase, but if I have my dream bookcase I really won’t need this one. If all that happens I’d like to get a parson’s desk for that spot to create a sort of in-room office space.
What I did this year:

– After being used as a storage unit for 12 months I finally cleared this room out which was a big weekend project.

– I left my daybed, rug, and old dresser in there.

– I craigslisted a desk and bought a chair and lamp set at a used furniture store. (here)
– I painted this room with the left over paint from the kitchen’s first paint job, ‘Suede Gray’ by Behr. (here)
– I DIYed fabric lampshades. (here)
– Added a little bit of art that I already had. (here)
– Cleaning should definitely get it’s own bullet point because I did a lot of that in this room.
What should get done this year*:
*My student has only been here two weeks so I haven’t decided if I’ll keep hosting someone but for now she’s there and I won’t be doing any projects in this room, but if I don’t keep hosting… 
– The hardwood floors in this room also need refinished, although they aren’t as bad as my room since the trim in here didn’t get painted.
– Change out the basic light fixture for something a little more fun.
– Add curtains or different blinds.
– Repaint it a more exciting color.
Not too bad for 13 months! I’m happy with the progress I’m making. Most of the projects I did this year were lower cost things like painting, getting used furniture from craigslist, and making my own art. I tried to space out the expensive projects (Jan ’12- electrical repair, June ‘2 – bathroom tile, July ’12- exterior paint, Feb ’13- kitchen floor) and since I did four major projects in 13 months that averages out to about one project every three months. If I continue on that path this year, I hope to do the kitchen countertops, screen in the front porch, refinish the bedroom floors, and upgrade the landscaping in the front – but we’ll see what actually gets done!