DIY Light Fixtures

When it comes to a piece of furniture or a rug, I purchase it intending to keep it forever – those items are investments. When it comes to smaller things, light fixtures, wall paint or art on the wall – I’m fully aware that I change them far more frequently than my husband enjoys. The way I look at it is, everyone has a thing! My husbands really cares about cars – our cars, new cars, old cars. He likes talking about them, he likes reading about them, he likes working on them. Decorating is my cars – I like talking about it. I like reading about it. I like doing it. New light fixtures, wall paint, and art on the walls are easy ways to refresh or update a house without breaking the bank. I love my house and I like to keep it looking nice. Call it a waste, call it unnecessary etc. Everyone has a thing – I don’t buy a lot of clothes, we rarely eat out, and we don’t spend a ton on traveling – keeping my house a space I like to be in is my thing.

Our house has 21 light fixtures in it. Yes, I counted… we have 21 fixtures in the part of the house that we use. (There are another 2 rooms we don’t use but that is a whole other post – seriously, I am already working on it.) I am going to be honest, we can’t buy a new light fixture every time I want to replace one. If it sounds like I am making fun of myself for how often I want to change thing like lights, I am.

I think I do a decent job coming up with creative decorating ideas. Sure, there have been a few times I have failed – I tried to stain a seagrass ottoman from Ikea once… my husband came home and asked why the ottoman looked like it had caught on fire… When you take out the occasional fail, most of the time I impress myself with how much I can do with a small budget and some elbow grease.

I love the light I made for our bedroom. We had an old brass foyer light. I honestly can’t remember where we got it from. I think it came out of a house my husband did some work in. My husbands occasionally brings home things he gets from jobs to check and see if I want it for a project first. He knows the way to my heart. This brass light he brought home reminded me so much of the light my parents had in their foyer when I was growing up – their house house was built in 1987. I removed the glass from it and spray painted the fixture with a can of dark spray paint. I used Rust-Oleum Flat Metallic Spray Paint in Burnished Amber – it is dark like oil rubbed bronze metal but has a hint of brown in it which I think gives it good texture.  I am very pleased with the results of the light. Brass is coming back in style and I actually really dig it but oil rubbed bronze was the right shade for our calm muted bedroom.

 

 

The current light in our kitchen is also one I made. It was made from a bathroom vanity light. I like the results so much that I did it a second time to make a light for our foyer. I started with a 3 bulb bathroom vanity light just like this one – the light I used for the kitchen was just like the one in the link – same brand and color, and removed the glass sconces.

IMG_9534
This is what the light in our foyer looked like to start with.

I then removed the center bulb. The entire metal piece where the center bulb is screws completely off. You can then pull the wires out for the center bulb. Each bulb has its only wires that run from the ceiling mount to the bulb socket.

img_9540-e1523971815972.jpg

Next, I turned the two remaining metal pieces (which have plastic bulb sockets in them) so that when you mount the light, the bulbs are facing down. One side turned easily for me. The other side was screwed on very tightly. I tried very hard to get it to turn, I eventually had to ask my husband to do it and he got it to turn using pliers. If you feel like the end pieces won’t move for you, keep tying. They may be on tight but the light is assembled by screwing those end pieced on so they will move. The light I used for the kitchen was already oil rubbed bronze but I used the same Burnished Amber spray paint on the silver one for my foyer. That’s it! It is now time to just mount your light to the ceiling using the regular mounting hardware and directions that the light came with. The only thing we have left to do is touch up our ceiling where the new light has a much smaller base. Ceiling paint is now on the list!

IMG_0315
Foyer Light
FullSizeRender 8
Kitchen Light

You now have an industrial, simple, exposed bulb fixture (which you have been seeing everywhere lately). Bathroom vanity lights aren’t too expensive and if you are like me, you might already have some lying around!

Good luck if you decide to update some of your own light fixtures! Post pictures if you do!!!

 

 

 

 

THE Farmhouse

Almost 8 years ago my husband and I, along with our 2 oldest children, moved into my DREAM house. I had pined after the idea of living in this house for years. At the time it was a cream, 100 year-old, in need of some repairs farmhouse that had been in my husband’s family for 50 years. My mother-in-law had moved into the house when she was 4 and grew up there. My husband had lived in it a couple of times growing up (his dad was a builder and they moved a lot). It’s just a good house. It’s a house with roots. It’s THE Farmhouse, as my husband’s family affectionately calls it.

The first time I saw THE farmhouse was when my husband and I were dating. I remember us driving by it and my husband casually mentioned “that’s my grandparent’s farm…”. I remember saying something along the lines of “That!? Your grandparents live there!?” Let me stop you here. I’m not sure what you are envisioning but the house was not in it’s prime when I first saw it. Hundred year old wooden farmhouses can get away from you quickly. The house certainly needed some work but it still shined. I could envision what it looked like in it’s prime and I could certainly see what it’s potential was… even with green stuff growing on the cream paint, a pile of old furniture on the rotten front porch and azalea bushes so mature they were blocking most of the large farmhouse windows.  My husband’s grandparents are ONE OF A KIND!!! Seriously, they deserve their own post detailing who they are. I will summarize them for the time being as “hard-working, God-fearing, 80 some year old, good-hearted humans who currently still farm.” They lived in THE farmhouse at the time but owned and worked on another farm also. They were for sure busy with bailing hay, feeding cows, fixing fences, repairing tractors etc. Updating THE Farmhouse was not on their “to do” list and rightfully so.

Shortly after my husband and I got married, my husband’s grandparents decided to build a smaller, brand-new house on their other farm down the road. THERE it was! We saw an opportunity to get in THE Farmhouse. Not too long after they moved, we quickly rented out our house… like really quickly. We had the idea, found renters, packed and were out in less than a month. July 2010, the week of our 4th wedding anniversary, we moved to THE Farmhouse with our 2 year old & 3 month old girls. I remember laying in bed our first night here and telling my husband “I can’t believe we actually live here!” That’s how magical I found this place and 8 years later, the feelings are only stronger.

Within the first week of living here I was on the phone with a close friend filling her in on all the craziness of moving, life with 2 kids, living out of boxes and just exactly how much work THE Farmhouse needed. She told me I should start a blog about the process of bringing a 100 year old house back to life with 2 small kids and an even smaller budget. Blogs were more rare at the time and life was busy. We were unpacking, figuring out how to rent our old house (without an agent), I was nursing one child, potty training the other and had just agreed to start watching my niece a few days a week – blogging was not as the top of my list and the idea itself exhausted me.

Fast forward 8 years later, 2 more kids, a couple of walls taken down, a wedding at THE Farmhouse and gallons and gallons of paint – I am kicking myself for not starting that blog! A digital look book for my kids. A journal of this adventure we have created. A place to share the obstacles we have faced while fixing up this house. A place to share the times we had an idea, saw it through and treasured the results. A place to hear feedback from those who have tackled that project already…

 

We have checked large projects off our list and added new ones just as quickly. Not all of our projects are fun (think termites…) but all have been rewarding in some way (think wood floors).

I am a wife who married a part of her that she never knew was missing, a mom of 4 children, a group exercise instructor, a certified personal trainer, a self-taught gardener, a whole food eater who LOVES a good home project and lives in a house that is 108 years old. Here is my adventure…