Let There Be Light!

16 Jan

What a day! At 8am this morning a crew of electricians showed up and didn’t leave until 6pm.

On Christmas day, we noticed one of the outlets in our family room was so hot the receptacle melted. Crazy scary. So we called an electrician and it snow balled from there. A previous owner did a lot of diy electrical work and the melted outlet made it apparent it was time to fix all the bad wiring. And since electricians were going to be here already, we decided to add lighting to our woefully under lit kitchen and family room. My days of cooking in shadows are over! The whole space is fresher and brighter now!

I took these pictures last night with all the lights on while it was dark outside.


And here it is tonight under the same conditions!


Much, much better. Take a look at the difference in the back by the door to the garage. So. Much. Better.


The fireplace side of the family room has always been so dark with the only over head lighting consisting of 3 recessed lights on the other side of the room. The electricians mirrored the 3 lights on the fireplace wall, added 2 lights spaced between, and put it all on a dimmer. The existing recessed lights were updated to halogen to match the fancy new ones.



In the kitchen the center light was taken out in favor of 4 halogen lights. The light over the sink was also updated to a halogen and  the recessed lights over the bar were taken out and replaced with pendants.




We decided to add the simple baby ceiling medallions instead of paying the dry wall guy big bucks to patch the 1 inch gap left from the recessed light hole that wasn’t covered by the pendant mount.

I’m so excited to see these suckers up because I purchased them over 2 years ago. Ballard Designs has a couple of outlets in Atlanta and one was conveniently located near my old office. I would pop in every few weeks and have gotten some great deals there. The very first time I went into the store I found these pendants in the “last call” section for $40 a piece! Down from $200 each! Ballard’s still sells them here. The reason for the steep discount? A few black scuff marks on the shade. I was able to get most of them out, but the remaining ones are virtually undetectable.


I knew that redoing the lights in these rooms would make a big impact, but I didn’t expect it to change the way I feel about the space. The old lights were weaker and let off a very yellow light. The space is much happier now.


In addition to marking “redo electrical in kitchen and family room” off my 2012 to do list, I can also put a big fat check mark next to “add electrical outlet to pantry for microwave.” So excited to get the microwave off my dining room floor (!) and in its proper place once we redo the pantry!

Next up: Painting the ceiling. Excuse me if I don’t get on that right away.


13 Responses to “Let There Be Light!”

  1. Teresa January 19, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    Those pendants are so cute. And wasn’t it nice there was already wiring there? I actually like the medalions at the base rather than just the base of the pendants. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  2. Whitney @ Drab to Fab Design January 19, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    I love your blog! Oh and your home is adorable! That electrical stuff is kind of crazy, but at least some good came out of it! 🙂

  3. Christine January 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Just came across your blog thanks to the link at Young House. I love the two huge pictures behind your sectional! Something like them would be perfect in my huge space behind/above my sectional as well. Where did you find them? Thanks for inspiring!

    • house185 January 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Hi Christine! They’re called Gunnera I and II Art Poster Prints by Dr. Robert J Thornton. Here’s a link to II: http://www.amazon.com/Gunnera-Poster-Print-Robert-Thornton/dp/B000EMW5ZC I couldn’t find the first, but if you google around I’m sure you’ll come across it. Allposters.com and art.com also sell it. Others too I’m sure!

      • Christine January 24, 2012 at 10:14 am #

        Thank you so much! One more question: Did you make the frames for your prints? If so, did you just put a frame around the pictures, or did you have glass cut to the size of the print? They really do look great! Thanks again. 🙂

      • house185 January 24, 2012 at 10:30 am #

        Custom framing was prohibitively expensive, so I had them mounted on foam core board at Hobby Lobby and my husband made the frames – no glass involved. Let me know if you have any more questions. If you end up purchasing them, I’d love to see them in your home!

  4. Christine March 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi again!
    Just wanted to give you an update on those prints I liked so much above your sectional… So I ordered both of them from amazon shortly after you told me what they were called and where you got them. After weeks of waiting, I got a message saying that Gunnera I was no longer available, and my order was canceled! Gunnera II is available on multiple sites but Gunnera I seems to be near- extinct (unless I want to pay $200+ from the UK). Thanks for giving me the info on them though. Oh, and if you see Gunnera I around anywhere, don’t hesitate to let me know! 🙂

    • house185 March 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      What a bummer! So sorry you can’t track it down. Are you going to keep the II? What about purchasing 2 of them to go together? I’ll let you know if I come across I!

      • Christine March 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

        When they canceled my order, they canceled shipment on both prints. Hmm…putting two Gunnera II’s together? Now that’s a thought. Do you think it would look strange to put two identical prints side by side? Maybe not. I’ll have to give this some serious thought…

  5. house185 March 2, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    I think the prints are so large and graphic, it could work. They’re not that different to begin with, you know? If I couldn’t track one of them down, it’s what I would probably do. Thanks for keeping me updated – let me know where you end up!

  6. Heather March 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Just came across your blog via Pinterest pin for your kitchen. Looks great! I really like the 2 white lamps behind your couch. Do you mind telling me where you purchased them? Thanks!

  7. Megan K March 8, 2017 at 4:47 pm #


    What color are the kitchen cabinets painted?


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