Friday, August 15, 2014

All the Small Things 2014

With all the big DIY stuff outta the way, and the big hire-it-done things on the way, we're starting to focus on the smaller things around the house, and this past week was all about closets and lighting.

We had always planned on doing something with the bedroom closets, but we weren't sure what. Originally, two of them had the wire Rubbermaid shelving that somehow continues to be the most popular solution, and mirrored sliding doors. Neither were our style - they reminded me of the apartments on campus.


I didn't want to spend a fortune on closet systems just because I didn't like the look of the norm, but I also didn't know how to design the closets so that they would be most efficient as the kids grew up and not have to change them again and again.  So I started with just basic shelving and a curtain rod in the new nursery.

I bought 8' 1x2s and 8' x 16" x 3/4" white melamine shelf boards, mimicking what I did in the pantry. I cut the shelves down to the right length using a circular saw and some painters tape - this was a trick I learned from our friend Dave (used to own a great bar called Jukes that really gave a good push to all the bands I was in the past 6 years) who told us that if you put the tape over the cut line, it reduces splintering and cracking when working with plywood or melamine.



I also bought just a basic primed bifold closet door system - the problem I had with the sliding doors, aside from the gold and mirrors, was that you could only access one side at a time. I like the bifold so you can get the full width of the closet at once.

Since we moved the changing table into nursery #2, we put the extra changing pad on Ollie's dresser, and I added a shelf in his closet, and with one board left, I added one in the spare room as well.




I love that all three closets already had lighting in them with switches. Much thanks to the original builder for those.

Speaking of lighting, this house has an unbelievable amount of lighting in it. Most of it we don't use because they're just your typical "nipple" lights, but I really believe that a great light fixture can make a room.

Our good friend Marisa reminds us why they're called nipple lights with this illustration:



Let's start with the music room.


Super old photo, I know, but it's the only one where I caught the old light. We were walking through IKEA, and walking through the lamp section looking for bedside table lamps, my eye immediately was drawn to this huge hanging shade, the NYMĂ–, and I had to have it. The music room deserved to have a statement piece in it, and this was it. We bought the shade for $35, picked up a mini pendant light from Lowes for $18 (they sell mix-and-match, so you can buy the light without a shade), and we had an awesome statement piece.


Now for the entryway.


Again, super old photo, but here's one of the flush mount lights.

Probably 10 years ago, I found a pair of diner-style lights at a garage sale or thrift store or something - it's been so long I can't even remember. I bought them knowing I'd someday have a house worth putting them in,. so I've been storing them all this time, and they've been in the back of my mind through this whole renovation process. Originally, the chains were long enough to hang down nearly 3 feet, but because we don't have raised ceilings, I just took out all but two links and it worked perfectly.


And lastly, there's been a light above the stairway that we never use, and with the new look of the stairs, and how that was designed with that big open atrium, it also deserved a cooler light.


Once again, we bought a hanging light about a year ago that I'd been holding onto, looking for somewhere to put it, and now that the railings were in, I was able to actually put the Little Giant on the stairs and reach this junction box without fear of the ladder slipping. I can't recommend this ladder enough - they have them on Woot all the time for much cheaper, but honestly even if you pay full price, it'll be worth it. You can climb both sides, the sides raise up independently (so you can use it on uneven surfaces, like STAIRS!), and it folds completely out so you can use it as an extension ladder. This is not a sponsored post, I just love the damn thing, and it makes jobs so much easier.


Usually I don't use touched-up photos on here, but with the window, it was really hard to get a clear image of the light without boosting some highlights and contrast. The clear glass and Edison bulb are great. Again, the chain was too long, but we opted to add a hook to shorten it up, since the location of the junction box was not ideal anyway, and gave us a chance to better center up the light in the opening.

Now, if the rain holds out, we'll be roofing the band garage tomorrow, and hopefully adding some very cool chandeliers using the drum shells I picked up for super cheap on Craigslist. Stay tuned!


 

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