When you are renovating a house from top to bottom (and I guess the same would be the case if you are building new construction as well), it’s easy to get lost in the details. You have to pick out every. single. stinkin. thing. Switch plate covers and cabinet hardware, and door bells… things that you use every day but kind of forget they exist until you have to decide which one to buy for your house. With all these details to figure out you can find yourself looking at finishes individually instead of cohesively. At least for me, that is the way things started when I was picking out our light fixtures.
We had a pretty big window of time in between getting our offer accepted and actually closing on the house. During that waiting game we only got to go inside a couple of times. So it was a lot of obsessing over the few pictures I had while trying to envision how everything was going to come together. And once we were finally inside and I could really start to get a better feel for the space, one area where I had to back up and regroup was with our light fixtures.
I’ve talked several times now about how the layout of this house “flows.” Open floor plans are a blessing and a curse. They are great for living and entertaining, but can be challenges when it comes to design. For example, I was sure I wanted these stunning pendants for our entryway and breakfast nook.
But once we installed our living room fixture I knew that these pretty babies just wouldn’t work. Statement piece in the living room, statement piece in the dining room, and two statement pendants? I can’t have everybody making their statements all at once! It’s that old too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen situation. Except my cooks are light fixtures… are you still with me?
Let me introduce you to our living and dining room fixtures and you’ll see what mean.
I know ceiling fans don’t exactly scream “farmhousey” vibes. There are so many other bloggers and Instagrammers I follow with the most gorgeous chandeliers in their living rooms. I am totally jealous of their ceiling jewelry, however, we live in Florida. We get 24-hours of fall, two weeks of winter and a week and half of spring (and not necessarily in that order). The rest of the year we have hot, hot, and hotter. So ceiling fans in the living room and the bedrooms are a must.
But I was so stoked to find this guy at our local Lowes.
If you’re going to have a ceiling fan, might as well have a pretty one! I just love how the oversized bolts give it that industrial feel.
Plus, these blades are not the laminated cardboard-like blades you see on most fans. They are made of real hand-carved wood, and they tie in perfectly with the floors.
But this thing has beauty and brawn, because it pushes some serious air! The curved shape of the blades means it really packs a punch. We’ve nicknamed it “the hurricane.” The fan speed goes up to 6 and we pretty much never have it any higher than a 3. When it is nice out we open up the French doors leading out to the pool, and with the fan going it’s just perfect.
One 80’s glam masterpiece down… three more to go!
Back when we were house hunting and I was obsessively watching Fixer Upper (as one does of course), I fell head-over-heals hopelessly in love with this Magnolia chandelier.
I knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that this fixture would have a prominent space in our next home. I mean just look at her… everything metal and white and distressed and good. But fast forward many months down the road, when make believe time is over and it’s time to buy real things for my real house. Magnolia is no longer selling this chandelier! So the sleuthing began. I would spend every one of mini-me’s soccer practices sitting in my mom chair on the sidelines scouring the Internet on my phone. Until finally! I found her!
Gracefully Restored’s Etsy shop came to my rescue! By this time we had already decided that the matching sconces weren’t going to work in our space. But I had found the one that got away, and my dream chandelier was on its way to me! I told you before that the dining room is becoming my favorite room in the house, and once the hubs hung this chandelier, it sealed the deal.
I love the way the cream color pops against the backdrop of the dark walls.
And the quality is just impeccable. The finish, the details… everything!
It’s been a while now since we bought our chandelier, and I’ve seen it pop up elsewhere. But I would highly recommend Gracefully Restored. She sent us a gorgeous product and her service was great.
But now that we had these two beautiful pieces up, it was time to regroup on pendant lighting. I just knew we had to go with something simpler. We found these pendants at Lowe’s and they fit the bill.
Plus at only $39 a pop, they put some money back in the budget.
This fixture is actually almost identical to a Pottery Barn pendant that is twice the price. Score! I originally put Edison bulbs in them, but didn’t like the light they gave off. I swapped them out for these cool oversized clear bulbs and love the look. I think it adds to the aesthetic of the fixture. And they are cheaper and give off a better light than Edison bulbs.
Here is the same pendant in the breakfast nook.
As you can see we are finally getting some furniture in. I absolutely love these barstools from Target. I bought two for this nook and three to put at the bar once the kitchen is finally finished. The table is from Pier 1, and it took me forever to find the perfect bar-height table for that space. I had to order it online, which made me nervous. But I was so stoked when it came in and matched the color of the barstools PERFECTLY!
More industrial bolts that make my heart happy. Things are really starting to come together around here!
I really do love the way all our light fixtures in the living areas work with each other. You can see in this picture how close the entry way pendant is to the living room ceiling fan.
I feel confident that the first pendant I had in mind would have been too much. Just like I talked about with paint colors, lighting has to “flow” within this floor plan. Standing in center of our living room, you really have all four of these fixtures in your line of sight.
“As For Me and My House” Sign: Mary and Martha
If I had kept my train of thought of “let me find the prettiest pendant light fixture I can to go in this specific spot” instead of working on how all the light fixtures would work together, I don’t think I would have ended up as happy with the finished product. For me, those beautiful chippy pendant lights–as pretty as they are–would have taken away from the simplified, modern farmhouse feel that I want. I talked a little about that same concept in my last post, where I wrote about my struggle to really define my own personal decor style. I think it’s easy it get lost when you just go pick out pretty things individually, instead of designing a cohesive space.
I had picked out beautiful, statement-making flush mount fixtures for our hallways and laundry room as well. But after my little step-back-and-regroup, I decided to leave the originals and just freshen them up with a little spray paint. The ceiling fans in the two guest bedrooms were in good shape, and not obnoxious like the living area’s crystal-laden monstrosities. They will also be getting a budget-friendly DIY make over. That’s all still on the to-do list, but I will of course share once we get them on the ta-done list.
What do you think? Is it better to simplify sometimes, or do you like every piece to make a statement?
Up Next: We add some much-needed privacy to our front door with the easiest, cheapest DIY ever!