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The light (fixture) hurts my eyes…

When we first looked at our new house, I loved the natural light that filled it. What I didn’t like were all the light fixtures. Every one of them were builder-grade, and the cheapest ones at that.

There were “pimple” light globes in the bathrooms, hallways and even our bedroom.

Every single one of the bathrooms had these light bars above the sink.

And the fans on the porch were literally shaped like domes, their blades drooping. I wish I had pictures of them, but it was one of the first things we changed out because they were a safety hazard (and more importantly, UGLY!).

We’ve been slowly changing out the lights, mostly waiting until I find a great buy or when I just can’t take another day of staring at them. Home Depot and Lowe’s have been great for finding clearance lighting at ridiculously low prices. The other day, I went to Home Depot and found a bunch of their display lights were on clearance for 75% off of the clearance price!! I picked up this for $11…

And this one for $12…

And they replaced two of the ugly globe lights. Love them!

While I was there I also picked up this for $19 – yes, $19!! They were originally selling for $129 at the store. I’m using a picture from the Home Depot website because it’s still in the box. Online, they are on clearance selling for $38 – I think there are a few more at the store if you are interested.

picture courtesy of Homedepot.com

Sadly, even at this awesome price, it doesn’t fit with my decor (wrong color), so my friend is going to take it. I also picked up two of these pendant lights that matched for $14 a piece and they too will need a new home (anyone??)…Most of the new lights in the house have come from the clearance sales at Home Depot and Lowe’s. I think the only things we’ve paid full price for was the fans for the master bedroom and the porch. I’ve picked up $4 bathroom light fixtures, new in the box, that were originally $139. It’s insane how low they will mark them down when they are just trying to get rid of the old stuff!

I am fortunate to have a brother who knows a lot, about a lot of things. He can fix just about anything, and is such a perfectionist that I know he’ll do it right. Since I don’t know a thing about electricity, Johnny started the week off with taking down two chandeliers (and put them back up when I was done repainting them!). One of my favorite bloggers that I found through Pinterest is Kate, from Centsational Girl, and she is a lover of spray paint. She has painted just about everything you can imagine with a fresh coat of spray paint, and I just love how her projects turn out! She’s done a few chandeliers/lights, including this one…

Centsational Girl's - chandelier after

so I read all her how-to blogs on the subject and jumped right in.

The chandeliers that were left by the previous owners are not exactly something I would choose, but these two have pretty good bones, just horrible finishes. I decided that before I got rid of them, I would attempt to re-paint them and see if they could be saved.

foyer light - before

This one is in the foyer. It’s a cruddy picture, sorry!

Foyer light - before

This pic shows the original color a little better…

And this one was over the dining room table.

Dining room light - Before

Why weren’t they the same color since they were literally next to each other (about ten feet apart) and basically the same style?? Not a clue.

Upon inspection, it turns out they were both originally had a gold finish. At some point, they were spray painted – and it was not a good job. The previous owner must have spray painted right over the dust. Lovely. I had to sand every last inch of them. Fun times. Don’t be jealous. I wiped them down, let them dry and then, I sprayed them with Rust-oleum Universal Metallic paint in Brushed Nickel. I was expecting it to be a little more silvery, but it had a little bit of yellow/gold tint to it. Either way, it was WAY better than it was.

And here they are after their mini-makeover…

Foyer chandelier - after

Dining Room chandelier - after

I love that they match now, and that they don’t look so dated. The only thing I’m worried about is whether I should have painted them black, since the gray we put on the walls is maybe too similar and they blend in too much? What do you think?

Another makeover that took place was the outdoor lights at the gate.

Gate light - before

They are at least 12 years old, and I doubt they have ever been cleaned. When we first moved in, they were on all day and night, and there wasn’t a switch in the house that operated them, and nothing at the gate turned them off and on either. Eventually, all of the bulbs blew out and we didn’t rush to replace them until we got them looked at by an electrician. My brother took them off the posts, we cleaned them out (ugh, so many dead bugs and other gross things) and he replaced the original bulb sockets from three candelabra lights to one standard light. This allowed us to use energy saver bulbs, which last longer and cost less to run than regular bulbs. When we had the electrician come, we found out that the sensor that was supposed to be turning it off every morning was defective, so we had that replaced. Now, they run from dusk ’til dawn, just like they are supposed to. I love to save money every place we can 🙂 After sanding down the worst of the rust and bubbled paint (there wasn’t much), I primed them with Rust-oleum metal primer and then used Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch in Espresso Satin finish spray paint.

Original lantern color - forgot to take the close-up before pic BEFORE we started!

And this is what they look like now…

Gate light - after

It’s amazing how just a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint will bring something back to life! Eventually, we’ll replace them with something a little more substantial because they are a little small for the size of the post they sit on. For now, I’m just happy that they work, won’t cost an arm and a leg to run and look 10 times better than before!

Besides all of those lighting projects, we also had two lights installed off the back of the house, my brother replaced the broken motion detected light by the garage and the hubby switched out yet another bulb light for my new laundry room light. Suddenly, things are looking a lot brighter around here.

So, last week was all about getting the laundry room done, and changing the lights out around the house. This week is about getting things back in order and repainting the rest of the trim and doors around the house. I love how crisp and clean it looks and it makes the new color on the walls pop! I can’t wait to be finished with that task, it’s my least favorite thing to do.

What projects are you working on this week?

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My current project

Currently, I’ve been working on our laundry room. When we moved here, it was one of the first things I wanted to do, but it kept getting put off because of the nine hundred other things that took priority over it, like getting the water system working. This is the laundry room “before”.

   Like all the other rooms in the house, except for the kids’s bedrooms, it was painted a depressing cream. The entire house was painted, from baseboards to ceilings, a dirty, dingy cream color that just made me depressed to be in the house. Unfortunately, the tile is the same sad color too, and it runs throughout the house. Sorry, I’m getting off topic.  Anyway, as you can see, the laundry room is pretty narrow. It sits at the end of the hallway, and leads to the garage, so it’s a high traffic area. There was no space for laundry baskets or to sort clothes, etc. . Although I liked that it had that storage piece in there, I desperately wanted a table to fold clothes on. In the old house we had no room to fold either, so all the clothes were folded at the kitchen table. This was a royal pain in the tush because with four people living in the house, there was always laundry on the table and it looked so trashy. Since we’ve moved here, I’ve been doing the same thing here too, except on the dining room table which is right next to the front door. Highly embarrassing to have our undies on display when people “stop by” unexpectedly to see the new house.

In true “me” fashion, I’ve been searching Pinterest for ideas for a table/cabinet/place to stash the laundry baskets. I’ve found quite a few that I would love to have. Here are a few of my favorites…

I liked the long table right over the washer and dryer.I like the space for the dirty clothes bins

I love the skirt around the washtub (ours is very similar)

And finally, I loved the cabinet in the corner, but I need it for basket space.

So far, we have replaced the old washer and dryer with the ones we had at our previous house. They are the Electrolux ones in teal, so our color palette is already sort of set. I found an “oops” paint in a lighter shade of teal at Home Depot which is as close to perfect for the room as I could get. Unfortunately, it was a custom color match, so it has no name. Last week, my brother moved the cabinet in the corner to the garage, and I painted the room. The trim and doors were painted white to match the rest of the house, and it almost immediately got rid of the dingy feel of the previous colors. I love white for it’s ability to cheer a place up!

I couldn’t find any kind of cabinetry that fit exactly what I needed at any of the big box stores, and I didn’t want to pay a fortune to have one custom made. So, off to the Home Depot we went. I love that place. It makes me happier than any clothes store ever has. We bought all the supplies on Wednesday and on Friday, my brother came over to assemble the cabinet. It is almost done except for the painting and finishing touches. Which is what I am doing today. I would have loved to have finished the table top in some cool way, like this…

But I don’t have the time, or the liver, to collect all those bottle caps 😦 I also thought a penny table top would be cute, but I decided against it when I realized that no one would ever get to see it under the piles of clothes!

I think I am going to just paint it, then tape off a design, paint it again and call it a day. Even without the whole project finished, I am happier than a pig in poo right now, as I finally have a place in the “laundry room” to do laundry! When I finish, I’ll post the “after” pics. Wish me luck!

Have any recommendations for a cool table top?

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