Friday, November 30, 2012

Kitchen Lighting Part 2

Next up, getting the pendant lighting put up.  I think that's the major element our kitchen was missing.  To me it fills in the empty space between the ceiling and island and almost creates a separation of the kitchen from the family room.  The pendant would be mounted where the former recessed light was.  To make things a little easier, we opted to replace it with something that has one connection box with several pendants attached instead of drilling more holes to hang individual pendants.

We found a pendant fixture in Lowes that would do the trick.  We went with a pendant bar in nickel and blue crackled glass pendant shades.  Problem is, the can light left a hole that is seven inches wide and the bar for the pendant light is only five inches wide.  

This bar is not going to cover that huge hole.  What to do, what to do?  After searching online, I found several videos where we can add a box to the gaping hole and just patch around it.  We used a ceiling brace similar to this.  It went in between the ceiling joists and you twist to tighten it.  The teeth on each end grip into the joists.  This gave us the light box we needed  and the support to hold the light fixture.

After this was in, we patched around this hole and the other holes left from the florescent light boxes.  We used this method to patch the holes using leftover drywall pieces and pieces of wood cut to size.

Using the instructions for the pendant fixture, we mounted it to the ceiling.

Love the pop of blue the pendants add to the room.  A coat of ceiling paint left to go and this project is complete! 

See part one of the process here

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Countdown To Christmas: Snowman Advent

The kid has been asking about Christmas.  The Toys R Us book came a few weeks ago and I can't tell you how many times she's looked through it and told me how many things she needs from it.  Really?  A four year old needing a three story Barbie house?  I guess.

Since she's so excited this year, I decided to let her make her own countdown calendar.  I like the one from last year but we really didn't put it to use.  We didn't stick with the activities and ended up in the closet.  So here's what I came up with. 

I traced two circles from poster board and glued them together.  She glued on googly eyes, a nose, a hat from scrapbook paper, and drew on a mouth.  Simple and I feel better that this one will actually get used daily.  I hung it on the refrigerator for easy access.

Each day, starting with December 1, a cotton ball get's glued on the day's number.  By Christmas eve, the snowman will be full and fluffy and the next morning is Christmas.  I explained to her how it would work and she immediately asked if was Saturday yet so she could get the first one on.  Yes people, Saturday is December 1st.  I can't believe it either.  

How are you counting down the days with your kids?


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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kitchen Lighting Part 1

Since we made the move to have the secondary bedrooms overhead lights installed, we decided to go ahead and get the kitchen lighting done too.  Ever since we moved in, I've wanted recessed lights around the room and pendants above the kitchen island.  We had two humongous box lights and one recessed light in the middle.  I never understood the thinking of the contractors and why only one recessed light was installed.

First step was to remove the box lights and put in the new recessed  lights.  We went with a five inch recessed light kit from Lowes.  I didn't want anything too large.  

I had already marked where I wanted the recessed lights to go.  There would be six total.  The goal was to keep the two center holes where the box lights were and add four more holes for the other lights along the outside.  

Things don't always go according to plan.  The hole closet to the family room was on a beam and the can couldn't be put inside.  This meant moving that light about four inches back.  The hole near the back wall was next to a gas line.  We wanted to stay clear of that and just moved the hole back.  The other four lights were lined up accordingly.  The center recessed light was removed to make way for pendants.

The instructions for installing the light kits was pretty easy and we had a friend that knew electricity to come help with the wiring.  The kit comes with a template to trace the hole onto the ceiling and the wires connect right into the fixture.  Once the first light was in, putting in the others took no time.  

The light in the kitchen now is already more even and natural.  No more harsh white brightness.  Those box lights should have been gone a long time ago.

Next step, pendants!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's wishing you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Be thankful for everything and everyone in your life.

And oh yeah...don't eat too much, I know I will!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Changing The Girl's Room Light

I told you last week we finally added ceiling lights to the secondary bedrooms.  That meant we got to pick out a pretty light for my daughter's room.  I had seen this one at Ikea before and knew I couldn't do anything with it at the time.  It would have to be plugged in and swagged just like the paper lantern that was previously in her room. 

While in Lowes getting some supplies, I saw this one.  It was almost identical.  The best part about it, it came with a canopy and could be installed at the ceiling light box.  This one is larger by about 5 inches and has one less row of petals.  Didn't matter to me.  It was perfect for her space.

It reminded me a lot of a flower and I knew my daughter would like it.  Girly but very modern.  I couldn't wait to get it up. 

With the light on...

I love the pretty glow at night.  I feel like my daughter's graduated a little into something a little more mature.  What do you think?


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Art, Gallery, Or Mirrors?

When I started laying out the design for the living room, I thought I knew what I wanted.

I saw the living room in Emily Clark's house and a light went off.  I loved the large artwork behind the sofa.  That was the look I was going for.

As I started exploring more options, I saw more things I liked.

The photos in this space look great.  They are all the same size and shape and evenly spaced.  Not to mention how they float against the gray accent wall.

I came across this idea with the mirror behind the sofa but maybe it's a little too formal for my family.

I've seen several variations of stacking floor mirrors vertically and I like it a lot.  It would be an impactful feature and cost effective too.

I think hubby likes this idea of putting more family photos up and arranging them randomly.

But I must say, I love the classic look of a sunburst mirror hanging above my head.

What's above your sofa?  So many ideas and I can't decide.  This wall needs to be covered pronto. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Changing The Background

I wanted to bring more blue to the living room.  After seeing several pictures of accent walls, I decided to go for it.  I went through my paint swatches and found one that I thought would complement the other blues throughout the downstairs.  The one I chose, Behr Gulf Winds.

The color goes with the blue in the accent chairs and is almost the exact match of the blue pillows in the family room.  Trying to keep things cohesive and flowing all around.

The pillows here fall a little flat now because they blend in so I definitely need to get on finding more.  The wall behind the sofa is still bare but still can't make up my mind on what I want.

I pulled the lamp from the family room in here.  The lamp in the corner no longer goes and hopefully I'll find something better.  I want a tall lamp with a drum shade.  I've got my eye on one so it'll be mine sooner than later.

I actually like the red table now.  It pulls the red from the accent chairs.  Believe me, there have been several times I almost pulled out the stray paint.

I'm glad I pulled the trigger and painted the wall.  I was a little afraid it would be too much but I had to take the challenge.  If I didn't do it, I wouldn't have known how it was going to look.  The room is more defined and stands out now.

Made any simple but drastic painting decisions lately?

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Lighting Issue...Gone

Remember when I mentioned before that none of the secondary bedrooms upstairs had overhead lighting?  Well we do now.  It was time for me to start planning the nursery and we decided now would be a good time to get the lights installed. 

For the girl's room and the nursery we chose standard light fixtures until we figured out what we wanted permanently.   

I was thinking about keeping her existing paper lantern but shortening the cord so it didn't dangle too far down into the room.

Hopefully these will be changed quickly so I don't have to look at the boob lights for too long.  Hubby laughed when I called them that in the store. 


The office got an update with a square shaded fixture.  They had them marked down in Lowes and we couldn't pass up the modern shape.  

It gives off a warm glow at night.

I think it fits in perfectly with the rest of the room.

I can finally throw away the leaning lamp that's been moved from the girl's room to here.

So glad the lighting problem has been resolved.  Now I can move onto to bigger things.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I've Got A Secret

Here's where my mind has been lately...



So if you haven't guessed it already, we're expecting!

Baby #2 is on the way.  

We're all so excited to be expanding our family. 

So excuse me as I haven't blogged as much lately.  I've been more tired than usual and on the weekends I've been laid out on the sofa.  I had good intentions to crank out some projects but my body just wasn't allowing me.  I'm slowly starting to feel like myself again so bear with me.

As soon as we found out, I started planning a nursery.  Ok fine, I was planning a nursery a year ago.  I guess that's why the guest room stayed empty for so long.  We knew what we were after when we moved here last year.  I can't wait to share with you the plans I have for the room.  We won't know what we're having until next month so I'm holding now but with my finger on the trigger.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

10 Fabulous Ikea Hacks

I'm starting to become a regular at the good ole Ikea.  That store has so many great pieces for cheap.  I have noticed though since being a blogger, that many of us have some of the same pieces in our home, like the Expedit or Rast.  It makes me smile when I come across a blog where someone has taken a simple Ikea piece and added something to it to make it their own.

After adding some wood to the legs, Matsutake turned this Ikea Ingo into a beautiful piece.

The Painted Hive turned an Ikea Moppe Drawer into a gorgeous card file drawer.

I've seen many Rast hacks but this two toned look from Little House Blog is one of my faves.

How many of us haven't seen a Billy bookcase turned into a built in bookshelf like Just a Girl?  Ever since I saw this, I've been wanting to add built ins somewhere.

I love how I Heart Organizing turned a small Expedit into seating for her playroom.

Centsational Girl took a Vittsjo and made it a shelf for her kids' study.

The Sweet Beast made a dipped beauty out of a Svalbo.

I have been wanting to DIY a rug for the longest.  The Erslev is the perfect thing.  It's exactly what Cape 27 used to create this chevron rug.

DMC Studios took a plain white chair and used paint and decoupage to create this beauty.

I would love to create this play kitchen from Ikea parts as seen on Apartment Therapy.

I've got a few pieces around that I would love to hack.  What about you?  Done any hacking lately?

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