Wednesday, March 10, 2010

1 Kitchen Lights = Jen's Delight!

Oh boy!  I just couldn't wait to share a special moment I had this weekend.  But, first, the background story.

IHeart Organizing oh so very much, however, I also have a little passion called My Home.  Oh yes, unfortunately, since I work from home, and spend hours upon hours inside it's happy quarters, I also spend hours upon hours dreaming of what it could be.  That equals a hubby who doesn't quite understand all of the passion since his lies more along the lines of football and golf, but one that is always willing to put aside some weekend fun for my weekend projects.  Well, last year we hit the project mother load, and got ourselves in pretty deep.  Like, still trying to get out deep.  Yeppers, the ol' "To Do" list is never ending and growing by the second, so this year, we both made resolutions to slow down and spend less.

That being said, I did beg for two major home improvement projects {and about a zillion little ones} this year.  And I promised him that with each of them, I would do what I could to spend less.  So it was agreed, that I would get new lighting in the kitchen and entry way, and we would build a new entertainment center in our living room.  Big smiles for me!  The reason for the lighting, is that we are still living cookie cutter style with the plain jane ones originally installed when we built the house.  And as most decorating gurus would say, "Lighting is key!"  It really is one of the major things that can make or break a room, and I am ready to have my kitchen made!

As far as the entertainment center goes, I know I will save a boatload when we build a Pottery Barn inspired version, for a fraction of the cost thanks to the absolutely beautiful genius over at Knock-Off Wood.  Since she has me covered there, I had to figure out a way to save money on the lights.

I feel like I did OK in the lighting area, probably could have done better, but I am learning at this thrifty stuff.  I decided that I absolutely didn't want to compromise on the style I was trying to achieve, which is a mix of contemporary and cottagy because that is pretty much the theme of the rest of the home.

I had this light fixture picked out eons ago for our foyer, so I completely splurged {$119.70} and went with it, because it's always out of stock and EXACTLY what I had my heart set on for months:


I love it's elegance and details, plus it has clear glass vs. frosted which I already have everywhere else in my home.  Something about it felt perfectly right.  And although it's not installed yet, I am still confident that it is perfectly right.

Back to the kitchen though, this is where the real magic happened this past weekend.  And I can excitedly say that I feel as though I did save some moola here.  I had checked multiple websites for Schoolhouse style pendants, and found they typically ranged in price from $80 on the very low end up to the hundreds on the higher end, majority were right around $100+ smackaroos.  So imagine my delight when I stumbled across these lovely ladies:


Coming in at only $57.75 each, I was pretty much sold.  However, thanks to an amazing on-line coupon code website, I was able to snag another 15% off and they already had free shipping.  Total cost for two: $98.10.  Rock on!  Two for the price of one.  This girl was over joyed at this point!  Plus, they seemed to completely mesh with my painted off-white cabinets which were enhanced with wainscoting and pretty brushed nickel hardware.  Matches made in heaven.

Finally, the show stopper.  Here is where the more contemporary lighting comes in.  For the lighting over the table, I knew I wanted a hanging drum pendant.  I searched high and low for the perfect one, and surprisingly, settled on one that is very chic and simple, that I scored on eBay for $109.99 plus shipping for a total of $146.94.  Which must of been a great deal because I see that now the same fixture is listed for $139.99 plus shipping.  I can now sleep better knowing I got it when the price was lower!

The reason I decided to splurge a little over some of the versions offered by Crate & Barrel, Overstock and West Elm, was because it offered brushed nickel mounting hardware included in the price, vs. only a cord which many other options presented me with.

Enough chatter right?  Like, get to the fun part where you can see before and afters of the transformation?

Ok, here you go:

Before we had stock home improvement store lighting, in the entryway, kitchen and dining area, all designed to be very matchy matchy:

You see how little substance they provide for the overall effect of the kitchen?

And the now the After:



Like, totally amazing difference right?! {hopefully since it came with a total investment of $245 clams}

Would you like some before and after side by sides?  Well, sure then!


And again:

{are you gawking at the napkin ring holder or the lights?  They are both worth looking at!}

And finally, a quick closeup shot:

I have always heard how important lighting is to a space, but I think this beyond shows how true that statement really is!  And although I was slightly nervous at breaking up the easy peasy consistent light fixtures with a mix and match effect, the new styles work in harmony! 

Now I am calling out to all of you!  Anyone have any dramatic lighting changes in their own casa or have a similar story to tell?  Did I score some good deals or did I fall short on my new years resolution?  I would love to hear your thoughts on the before and afters!

1 comment:

  1. I am loving it! They all look great! I'm especially in love with your drum pendant light - makes me wish I had gone with something like that rather than my chandelier type dining light. :) It looks spectacular!

    And I'd have to agree with you (and the pros) - from my own experience, lighting really does make a huge difference! And replacing the lights in a room is one of the cheapest ways to update it, too (the cheapest probably being paint). In our basement area we had two of those little 15$ ceiling flush-mount light fixtures, which worked but offered zero ambiance and flexibility, which we were really craving for that theatre/bar/lounge area. We replaced the 2 lights with track light fixtures and put them on dimmers, and they are amazing! They were easy to install and definitely have transformed the room and give it a more "lounge" type feel. :)


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