Archive for January, 2011

Master Bath Idea Board

Thanks for the comments on my last post. I broke down and bought the Restoration Hardware Lugarno and Heath light fixtures over the weekend. The polished nickel was just calling me in even though I couldn’t get the antiqued brass finish I’d originally wanted. Trust me I found plenty of brass fixtures but polished brass = 80’s and hand rubbed antique brass = awesome but pricey. It was a blessing in disguise really because now that we’re trying to pick out the rest of the finishes for the room I’m finding the silvery tones work well with the marbles we like. I know, I know marble right? I’m the first one to tell you that marble stains, etches, and needs to be sealed annually. It just isn’t as practical as manmade surfaces are but it is so pretty that we’re considering it anyway.

I’ve been busy looking at tile, mulling over marble, and researching light fixtures for a while now. The main bathroom is going to have cool gray tones so we wanted the master bath to have warm tones like the adjoining master bedroom will have. In the bedroom we have a handmade cherry bed frame and plan to supplement it with matching cherry nightstands and dresser someday. So to carry that into the bathroom we are looking to have cherry vanities and linen cabinets but in a darker tone. This is what I’ve come up with so far:

Click to Enlarge

    (1) Restoration Hardware Heath flush mount fixture in polished nickel, 17” diameter over the tub

    (2) A combination of cream and tan floor tile from Crossville

    (3) Kohler 6’ long soaking tub with clean simple lines

    (4) Matching tan mosaic tile on the tub base and shower floor from Crossville

    (5) Custom made dark cherry vanities and linen cabinets

    (6) Mirrors with antique mirror “frame” this one is from Z Gallerie but it isn’t the right size for us so we’re hoping to find something similar

    (7) Restoration Hardware Lugarno sconce in polished nickel with bright white mildew resistant silk shades

    (8) Calacutta Gold Marble slab, this is an unusually light colored piece with a creamy white base color


I haven’t picked out the shower head, faucets, toilet, exhaust fans, windows, window treatments, sinks, or paint colors yet but it’s a start.

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Too blah?


Damp Listed Lighting for the Bathroom

With my previous lighting picks for the master bathroom thrown out the window I started my master bathroom lighting search all over again. This time I was looking for UL rated fixtures for damp locations. The fixture over the tub proved to be the hardest to come by. Per code any light fixture within 8’ vertically and 3’ horizontally of the rim of the tub needed to be rated for a damp environment. My problem is that the bathroom is fairly narrow and anything outside of that zone would be in an awkward location. Three feet in front of the tub would mean the fixture is directly over the door and between 4 sconces when I need light on the other half of the room. Three feet to the right and it would be over the shower which means it would need a wet rating which is even harder to come by. Three feet to the left and it would be over the toilet which I really don’t want to emphasize. So the lighting fixture was going to stay where it was and I just had to find something damp listed. Now most people would just stick a recessed light there (which are easy to find in damp and wet listed styles) and call it a day but I want something there to look at.

I started scoring the internet lighting sites most of which don’t have a separate category for damp listed lighting. Typically, damp listed lighting is just listed under “Bath” but just because it’s in that category doesn’t mean it is damp listed. You need to call or go to the manufacturer’s website to find out in most cases. What I did find was with websites that do list the dry, damp, or wet environment you can usually do a search for “damp” to find what is damp listed. The same goes for some manufacturer’s websites. Lighting Universe and Circa Lighting are two sites where this is searchable.

I also have been talking to our lighting department at work who gave me access to more lighting manufacturer’s catalogs than I knew what to do with. After a week of intense searching I was sitting on the floor surrounded by 6 bookcases full of lighting binders I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and had to quit. If I saw one more bathroom light strip I might choke someone! The urgency stemmed from the fact that the fixtures I was leaning toward are on sale for a limited time only right now. Even though we’re ordering the lighting far in advance I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to pass up an annual sale. I learned two things from my extensive search for lighting:

1.) There is a lot of ugly lighting out there! Seriously. 90% of it I would never consider putting in my house. Lighting manufacturers will copy each other no matter what. If the original light is ugly the next 10 knock offs aren’t going to be any better people! The “boob light” is a perfect example of this:
Who ever came up with this design and decided to make 3,587 different versions of it?! I’m guessing it was a guy.

2.) People are willing to pay big money to not have to search for lighting. There are just too many options on large lighting websites. When you look at the bathroom category on Lighting Universe there are 13,088 lights! 3,387 of them are nickel finished wall lights. Have fun with the next 85 pages of searching! Then when you’ve done narrowing out the 5 decent looking lights you get to search through the 8,060 flush mounts they have. Fun!

Instead many websites pick out some of the nicer looking lighting and tack on a nice premium. Take this light for example:

The “Lucia 3-Light” Chandelier from Horchow is $625

The same light from Lighting Direct is $399. That’s a $225 savings people!

Your best bet is to find something you like and search around for the manufacturer. A lot of sites won’t give you that but you can try searching by the name of the light. The Lucia light above is from the Murray Feiss Lucia Collection…how original. Once you have the manufacturer’s name you’ll get a lot more hits in your searches and you can go to the manufacturer’s website directly for more detail information and specifications.


Below are some of the nicer looking damp and wet listed flush mounts I’ve found. Starting with wet listed these are the only fixtures allowed in and over a shower.
Wet Listed Flush Mounts:
This one is sleek yet traditional!
Hudson Valley Lighting, Geneva 715, 15”D, $359

Circa Lighting, Milton, 9.5”D, $400

Circa Lighting, Garey, 11”D, $588


Damp Listed Flush Mounts:
Damp listed fixtures are required over a tub in the zone 8’ vertically and 3’ horizontally from the rim of the tub. Per code the only type of lighting allowed are flush mounts, recessed lights, and sconces. Chandeliers, pendants, track lighting, and ceiling fans are not allowed at all.

Hudson Valley Lighting, Newport 6515, 15”D, $279

Restoration Hardware has the best selection of damp listed lighting I’ve found so far.
Restoration Hardware, Dalton 17”D, sale price $245, regularly $329

Restoration Hardware, Barton 17”D, sale price $245, regularly $329

This one is my favorite. I love how the bracket detail gives it some visual interest.
Restoration Hardware, Heath 17”D, sale price $185, regularly $249

This guy is also damp rated but it only comes in a bronze color. Not exactly what I’m looking for but it would go nicely with the bronze Riley sconces below.
Restoration Hardware, Valencia 15.5”D, sale price $199, regularly $259

This one comes in an iron finish which would match the bedroom lighting fixture I’m looking to get but I have no idea what sconces I’d use with it. It is damp listed but for some reason it isn’t on sale right now for the Annual Bath Event.
Restoration Hardware, Quentin 17”D, $359


Damp Listed Sconces:
The damp listed sconces are required if they are in that zone around the tub but aren’t required per code over a vanity. It is a good idea though and is considered best practice.
I love the interesting structure of this one but I think it looks best in bronze.
Hudson Valley Lighting, Hamilton 5801, $149

Unfortunately the matching ceiling fixtures 5811F and 5813F are only dry rated.

Not that I could hang the second one up over the tub anyway because it’s a chandelier. But why bother getting only part of a line damp rated when the matching pieces aren’t?

This was one I had to call to find out if it was damp listed. I confirmed that everything listed under “bath” is in fact damp listed plus a few other fixtures like the flush mounts I posted above. For some reason this information isn’t listed online and Hudson Valley wants you to work through a dealer but they just have to call Hudson Valley to find out if things are damp or wet listed anyway. So I did some sleuthing and found Hudson Valley’s direct number. It is 1-845-561-0300 for anyone interest.

Now this is my dream fixture!
Restoration Hardware, Riley Sconce, sale price $90, regularly $119

As soon as I found out my first choice wasn’t going to work I tried to buy these fixtures in polished nickel but I quickly found out that is a discontinued color! I even called the store and got the list of stores whose inventory said they might have some left but I called each one only to find out their inventory was out of date.

The only colors they had left in this style fixture are bronze and antique silver plating (which is a darker silver color).

I didn’t want dark colored light fixtures in the bathroom because we planning to keep the room very light colored. To me dark colored faucets or lighting in white rooms become the black hole of the room. They are the first thing you’re eye is drawn to and I want you to notice the lighting but I don’t want it to be the only thing you notice. Instead I wanted polished nickel lighting. It will go with the warm colors in the room and the brushed nickel faucets we plan to get. My plan is brushed nickel for all the things you touch and polished for things you don’t touch like lighting.

Looking at the other damp listed lighting Restoration Hardware had…
I like this one but it only comes in a non-descript “Silver” color which seems to resemble chrome not nickel
Restoration Hardware, Reese, sale price $100, regularly $165

I’m not digging the crystal balls on the Wilshire and Crystal Ball sconces. Too girly for me!

The Campaign is too chunky for my style.

Finally, I came to the Lugarno. It definitely had the traditional feel I was going for and it came in polished nickel. I wish it was a little taller but the $65 price (plus $20 shade) won me over. I really wanted a sconce that would take their silk English-Barrel Shades because they are mildew resistant.


I’m leaning toward getting the Lugarno sconces along with the Heath flush mount.

On the other hand I love the Hamilton sconces too but I’m not sure how much I’ll like them in polished nickel. If I went with the bronze color it would go nicely with the craftsman feel and I could put bronze hardware on the cherry cabinets (uber craftsmanny). But then maybe I should go with the Newport flush mount from the same manufacturer to be certain it will be the same color.

But then if I’m considering bronze as a color maybe the Riley ones would be better…they just look so much better in polished nickel. Sigh.


I drew up a quick sketch of how each set would look in the space. Sorry it isn’t in color. I’m much better with CAD than Sketchup.

Option 1 – Lugarno sconces & Heath flush mount:
RH other

Option 2 – Riley sconces & Valencia flush mount:

Option 3 – Hamilton sconces & Newport flush mount:

The Hamilton sconces seem a little big don’t they? Flannel Man is “OK with any of these” which means it’s my decision but I’m torn. What do you think? Please take a moment to stop by and leave a quick comment on what you think I should pick!

Bathroom Lighting Debacle

Let me start out by saying originally we planned to do these bathroom remodels last year but we spent what was supposed to be the bathroom budget on the geothermal system. We’re sooo glad that we did but I’ve been saving inspiration pictures and planning the bathroom design for a long time! One of the first things I started looking for was bathroom lighting because the layout of the rooms weren’t finalized but I had an idea of the general lighting scheme I wanted. No bathroom light strips above the mirror anymore! Those things are hideous. I’m also not a big fan of the fixtures with two-three lights over the mirrors either. Don’t get me wrong they are a huge improvement over the dreaded light strip and many people use them to replace that but that’s exactly what they look like someone upgraded their lighting without wanting to move the electrical. No if we were going to take the time to start from scratch I wanted sconces on either side of the mirrors.

No more strip lights

I’ll go through the lighting I picked out for the main bathroom in a different post. This post will be all about the master bathroom because I have too many pictures.

In addition to the sconces I also wanted a small chandelier over the master bath tub because they look cool. I’ve always preferred bathrooms where when you walk in the first thing you see is the tub not the toilet, shower, or even the vanity. The tub is what screams, “Look I have a big enough bathroom to have a separate tub and shower!” And “I’m so wealthy that I spend lots of time relaxing in my deep soaker tub.” OK maybe the last one is a stretch but you get the idea. Ideally, I wanted a view of the tub from the door and a small chandelier over it. But finding a matching sconce and chandelier that I liked proved to be a challenge.

As we remodel the house we’re trying to bring in more of a vintage feel. Overall we’re going for “craftsman inspired” which basically means we’re putting in craftsman trim and doors but the furnishings and finishes aren’t necessarily from the craftsman period. I had a hard time figuring out a bathroom scheme because I was drawn to more glamorous spaces that have marble and are very white and bright. All of the craftsman bathrooms I’ve seen have bold colors and a lot of wood. I also like the spa look of frameless glass shower surrounds and big rain showerheads. So I tried to streamline the glamorous bathrooms with simple lines while having cherry cabinetry with shaker style doors (instead of a built in linen closet) and incorporated the spa shower. I guess you could call it “glamorous craftsman spa?” Ha, yeah I shouldn’t be allowed to make up style names.

The whole point of that explanation when it comes to light was that I don’t want a frilly, busy chandelier or sconces. I want something streamlined but still elegant which is apparently hard to find with such ugly lighting out there.

After a lot of searching i eventually decided on these fixtures:
lighting, shades of light, soho scone, $190
lighting, shades of light, soho chandelier in antique brass, $360
These pictures are from Shades of Light but I’m going to buy them from Circa Lighting (Bryant Sconce & Small Chandelier) because the price is better. Designed by Thomas O’Brien. Man I have expensive taste in lighting.

I know they are a bit of a splurge but I really think they will make the space. When I started this search I was looking for silver colored fixtures because I want to use brushed nickel faucets. But now after seeing these fixtures in antique brass I’m in love! Yes, I’m mixing metals and I don’t really care. The brass just has such a nice warm glow to it don’t you think? Plus, the fixtures are visually very light so it’s not like you notice “whoa that’s brass!” I’m also planning to not have a metal frame around the mirrors so that they won’t clash with the sconces.


So that has been my plan for bathroom lighting for some time now. I was going to just go ahead and order them this week when I was talking to someone from my work’s lighting department and found out that you can’t hang a chandelier over a tub or jacuzzi. I was like, “What do you mean I can’t hang a chandelier over a tub? I have a million inspiration pictures showing that?!” Well after consulting the NEC Handbook I found that you can hang a chandelier over a tub but it must be a minimum of 8 feet above the rim of the bathtub or 3 feet horizontally in front of the tub. This also applies to track lighting, pendants, and ceiling fans. The idea is that anyone that slips in the tub wouldn’t be able to grab a light fixture and possibly electrocute themselves. Recessed lights, flush mounted ceiling fixtures, and “securely mounted” wall sconces are OK in this area. Ahh that explains why my inspiration pictures show tall and vaulted ceilings with chandeliers! Seeing that we are stuck with 8’ ceiling heights and 3’ in front of the tub is right where the door swings open my dream of having a chandelier won’t be happening.

Not wanting to start the search all over again I’m now looking for some brass flush mount lights that would match the Bryant Sconces. This is what I found:
lighting, circa lighting, basil flush mount, $240
Basil Flush Mount, also from Circa Lighting

Otherwise I considered putting a sconce on either side of the window over the tub or just a plain old recessed light there too. Then I got a call from the Circa Lighting rep and got some even worse news…the Bryant Sconce can’t go in the bathroom either because the natural paper shade would be ruined by the humidity and the fixture isn’t rated for a damp location.

So I need to start my search all over again! Looking through my massive collection of inspiration pictures again I’ve found what style of lighting I’m drawn to. Sconces with shades seem to be the overwhelming favorite. Uplights and downlights throw the light in one direction but shades give off light in both directions and diffuse the light you’ll use in the mirror. There were also flat bottom and curvy bottom sconces in my inspiration pictures as well as torch inspired sconces. I’ve sorted my inspiration pictures into these groups as well as some sources for similar style lighting:



Flat Bottom Sconces*
Overall these seem to be a more modern looking option.


overall, house of turquoise, by garry mertins, 1
Source: House of Turquoise, by Garry Mertins

shower, hgtv
Source: HGTV

lighting, restoration hardware, nolan sconce, $150 2
Source: Restoration Hardware, Nolan Sconce, $190

tile floor, mirror and lighting, elements of style
Source: Elements of Style

vanity towel holder, at chiacgo, country living
Source: Apartment Therapy Chicago, From Country Living

overall, lighting, mirrors, vanity, houzz, by becker architetcts limited
Source: Houzz, By Becker Architects Limited

tile, afterall insp 3
Source: Asfterall

vanity, olson design and construction
Source: Olson Design and Construction


lighting, restoration hardware, nolan sconce, $150 1
Source: Restoration Hardware, Nolan Sconce, $190

lighting, gerorge kovacs wall sconce
Source: Lighting Universe, George Kovacs, P470 Wall Sconce, $64

lighting, troy lighting, saratoga wall sconce, $125 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Troy Lighting, Saratoga wall sconce, $126

lighting, bathroom mirror wall light nickel, vaughan online
Source: Vaughan Online

lighting, hudson valley, 591 grayson, $110 at lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 591 Grayson, $110

lighting, hudson valley, 361 dillion collection, aged brass, $140 lighting direct
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 361 Dillion, $140

lighting, hudson valley, 366 dillon 6 light chandelier, in antique nickel, $650 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 366 Dillon 6 light chandelier, $650

lighting, restoration hardware, reese sconce, $185
Source: Restoration Hardware, Reese sconce, $165

lighting, minka lavery, glass note bathroom light, $80 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Minka Lavery, Glass Note bathroom light, $80

lighting, hudson valley, 2801 miramar collection, old bronze, $72 from lighting direct
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 2801 Miramar, $72

lighting, hudson valley, 2814 miramar collection 4 light, old bronze, $450 from lighting direct
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 2814 Miramar 4 light, $450

lighting, shades of light, linen shade chandelier 5 light, $500
Source: Shades of Light, Linen Shade Chandelier, $500

lighting, candice olson, 668 4 light chandelier, $540, lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Candice Olson, 668 4 Light Chandelier, $540



Curvy Bottom Sconces*
Note there are a lot more curvy sconces and chandeliers out there these are just a few of the streamlined options I’ve found. Curly cues and swirls need not apply.


cabinet, cote de texas
Source: Cote de Texas

backsplash, houzz, by robin muto
Source: Houzz, By Robin Muto

color scheme, la dolce vita, angie hranowsky and the coastal living idea home 09, circa lighting
Source: La Dolce Vita, Coastal Living Idea Home 2009, By Angie Hranowsky, Lighting from Circa Lighting

overall, southern exposure, from ashley whittaker
Source: Southern Exposure, By Ashley Whittaker

overall, old but modern, houzz, by robin muto
Source: Houzz, By Robin Muto

overall, little gree notebook, fabric shade post
Source: Little Green Notebook, Fabric Shade Post

lighting, things that inspire, by nate berkus
Source: Things That Inspire, By Nate Berkus


lighting, sea gull stockholm sconce, $64 lighting universe
Source: Sea Gull Lighting, Stockholm Sconce, $68

lighting, sea gull stockholm 5 light, $200 lighting universe
Source: Sea Gull Lighting, Stockholm 5 Light, $282

lighting, hudson valley, 1811 rockville, $180 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 1811 Rockville, $180

lighting, hudson valley, 171 logan, $200 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 171 Logan, $200

lighting, shades of light, optic crystal sconce, $200
Source: Shades of Light, Optic Crystal Sconce, $200

The sconce is nice but wow the matching chandelier has a big price tag!
lighting, shades of light, optic crystal chandelier, $1000
Source: Shades of Light, Optic Crystal Chandelier, $1,700

lighting, thomas lighting, trillium 6 light, lighting universe, $297
Source: Lighting Universe, Thomas Lighting, Trillium 6 Light, $238

lighting, progress lighting ashbury 5 light chandelier, $500 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Progress Lighting, Ashbury 5 Light Chandelier, $518



Torch Sconces*
These are my personal favorite! I don’t know if it’s the old school feel of having a light that barely resembles a torch on the wall or just the visual balance between the shade and extension below the bracket.


hardware, gold hardware, not a fan, the ugly duckling house, may be from wildinkpress 2
Source: Wild Ink Press

marble floor, honed, things that inspire, Lori Tippins 1
Source: Things That Inspire, By Lori Tippins

overall, colors and tiles, houzz, by biglarkinyan design
Source: Houzz, By BigLarkinyan Design

mirror & lighting, emily a clark, Charlotte Homebuilders Association Tour
Source: Emily A. Clark, From Charlotte Home Builder Association Tour

lighting, hudson valley, 8901 trinity bathroom light, $110 lighting universe 2
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 8901 Trinity, $110

tile, floor, hex and wainscotting, decorpad, by anne chessin 2
Source:Decorpad, By Anne Chessin

mirror, from southern exposure blog
Source:Southern Exposure

lighting, hgtv
Source: HGTV

lighting, restoration hardware, lugarno, $69 2
Source: Restoration Hardware, Lugarno, $89

storage, molly frey design
Source: Molly Frey Design

mirror, la dolce vita, texas french home place des vosges
Source: La Dolce Vita, Place des Vosges

overall layout, houzz, by bockman forbes plus glasgow architecture
Source: Houzz, By Bockman Forbes + Glasgow Architecture

lighting, sconces, decorpad, artistic designs for living
Source: Decorpad, By Artistic Designs for Living

mirror, harmonyandhome dot blogspot dot com
Source: Harmony & Home

vanity backsplash, houzz, work well for main bath, by elizabeth dinkel design
Source: Houzz, By Elizabeth Dinkel Design

sink, two separate sinks, from cote de texas, ca home for sale
Source: Cote de Texas, From CA Real Estate website

lighting, tile and curtians, VInteriors, candice olson
Source: VT Interiors, By Candice Olson

tile, floor, hex and wainscotting, decorpad, by anne chessin
Source: Decorpad, By Anne Chessin

tub surround, faucet in wall, a lifes design, from my home ideas
Source: A Life’s Design, From My Home Ideas

lighting, a lifes design, metropolitan home
Source: A Life’s Design

shower wall surround, design sponge, jessica helgerson
Source: Design Sponge, By Jessica Helgerson

lighting, decorpad, by alisberg parker architects
Source: Decorpad, By Alisberg Parker Architects

lighting, design sponge, jessica helgerson
Source: Design Sponge, By Jessica Helgerson

lighting, efedesigns, by barbara berry
Source: Efedesigns, By Barbara Berry

lighting, with similar style mirror, from design sponge
Source: Design Sponge

lighting, houzz, by de humphries
Source: Houzz, By De Humphries

basket weave tile, phoebe howard, east hampton
Source: By Phoebe Howard, East Hampton Home

vanities, on either side of the door, vt interiors, from m elle design
Source: VT Interiors, By M. Elle Design

lighting, the newlywed diaries, by amy morris, her parents home
Source: The Newlywed Diaries, By Amy Morris


lgihting, DVI halifax wall sconce, $74 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, DVI, Halifax sconce, $82

lighting, DVI Halifax 5 light chandelier, $300 lighting universe
Source: DVI, Halifax 5 Light Chandelier

lighting, restoration hardware, lugarno, $69
Source: Restoration Hardware, Lugarno, $89

lighting, hudson valley, 151 spencer, lighting universe
Source: Hudson Valley, 151 Spencer,

lighting, hudson valley, 8901 trinity bathroom light, $110 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 8901 Trinity, $120

lighting, kichler wall sconce, $90 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Kichler Lighting, $95

lighting, kichler quinn sconce, antique pewter, $100 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Kichler Lighting, Quinn sconce, $105

lighting, kichler quinn 5 light chandelier, in antique pewter, $390 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Kicher Lighting, Quinn 5 Light Chandelier, $418

lighting, hudson valley, 621 aberdeen, $150 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 621 Aberdeen, $150

lighting, hudson valley, 626 aberdeen collection 6 light, old bronze, $650 lighting direct
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 626 Aberdeen 6 Light, $650

lighting, quoizel, ferrara sconce, lighting universe, $142
Source: Lighting Universe, Quoizel, Ferrara sconce, $158

lighting, quoizel, ferrara 5 light, lighting universe, $358
Source: Lighting Universe, Quoizel, Ferrara 5 Light, $398

lighting, laura ashley lighting, state street wall sconce, $85 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Laura Ashley Lighting, State Street sconce, $85

lighting, laura ashley lighting, sate stree 5 light chandelier, $306 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Laura Ashley Lighting, State Street 5 Light Chandelier, $306

lighting, restoration hardware, riley sconce, $155
Source: Restoration Hardware, Riley sconce, $120

lighting, arras cone wall light us, vaughan online, nickel with large backplate
Source: Vaughan Online, Arras Cone wall light

lighting, candice olson, 675 margo wall sconce, $118 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Candice Olson, 675 Mango sconce, $118

lighting, candice olson, 668 4 light chandelier, $540, lighting universe 2
Source: Lighting Universe, Candice Olson, 668 Mango 4 Light Chandelier, $558

lighting, access lighting, vienna wall sconce, $68 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Access Lighting, Vienna wall sconce, $68

lighting, access lighting, vienna 5 light, $280 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Access Lighting, Vienna 5 Light Chandelier, $288

The price of this one has doubled since I saved it!
lighting, meyda, tiffany 4 light chandelier, $570 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Meyda, Tiffany 4 Light Chandelier, $1000

lighting, currey and company, 4 light chandelier
Source: Currey & Company, 4 Light Chandelier

lighting, shades of light, soho scone, $190
Source: Shades of Light, Soho Sconce, $190

lighting, circa lighting, bryant sconce, antique brass, $168
Source: Circa Lighting, Bryant sconce in Antique Brass, $168

lighting, shades of light, soho chandelier, $360
Source: Shades of Light, Soho 4 Light Chandelier, $360

lighting, circa lighting, bryant small chandelier, antique brass, $360 2
Source: Circa Lighting, Bryant Small Chandelier, $360

lighting, shades of light, soho chandelier in antique brass, $360
Source: Shades of Light, Soho Chandelier, $360



Other Lighting*

lighting, and double vanities on either side of door, houzz, by blount architecture and interior design
Source: Houzz, By Blount Architecture & Interior

lighting, chandelier over tub and different looking sconce, decorpad
Source: Decorpad

lighting, my design dump blogspot dot com
Source: Mydesigndump

lighting, emily a clark, Charlotte Homebuilders Association Tour
Source: Emily A. Clark, From Charlotte Home Builder Association Tour


lighting, csn lighting dot com, Quoizel laurie smith millenium wall sconce in gallery gold, $110
Source: CSN Lighting, Quoizel, By Laurie Smith, Millennium sconce, $115

lighting, quoizel, millennium 3 light pendant, $270 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Quoizel, By Laurie Smith, Millennium 3 Light Pendant, $310

lighting, csn lighting dot com, Quoizel laurie smith millenium wall sconce in gallery gold, $730
Source: CSN Lighting, Quoizel, By Laurie Smith, Millennium sconce, $760

lighting, troy lighting, sausalito sconce, $160 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Troy Lighting, Sausalito sconce, $162

lighting, troy lighting, sausalito 5 light large pendant, $560 lighting universe
Source: Lighting Universe, Troy Lighting, Sausalito 5 Light Large Pendant, $558



As you can see a lot of designers get around the matching sconce and chandelier issue by not matching them at all. I like the look but for the master bathroom I think staying consistent will help tie everything together. The bathroom will already have an identity crisis with the glamorous/craftsman/spa combo!

So now I have to go research all of these fixtures that still look interesting. Anyone have any suggestions?

*Disclaimer – I’m not an interior designer and I have no idea what these sconce styles are really called but this is what I’m calling them. OK? It’s my blog and I can do what I want.

Our Biggest Renovation Yet!

I am so giddy with excitement to finally be letting you in on our plans for the next two years. Starting next July we’ll be taking on a major remodel that includes all three bedrooms and two of our bathrooms. Half of our main floor will be torn up while we live in the basement rec room. Our master plan for the house is to remodel all of it but the bathrooms were the best place to start because they were holding this house back. With our main bathroom having goldenrod fixtures and a faux black marble sea shell shaped and our master bathroom having avocado fixtures with gold accents they are a constant reminder that this house was built in the 70’s. And with each bathroom only being 45 sf we wanted to expand them.

Main Bathroom:
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Master Bathroom:
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Looking at the layout of our house the most logical way to expand the main bathroom was to remove the wall between the two bathrooms and double the size of the main bathroom. Then the master bathroom will be moved to what is currently part of our bedroom. This will nearly triple the size of our master bath and allow us to have two sinks and a separate shower and tub. Our master bedroom is very large but taking out that much space would leave the room feel pretty small. To gain some sf back we’ll move the wall between the living room and master bedroom 6 ft to the south which will also expand our walk-in closet to a nice size.

(Click for larger version.)

(Click for larger version.)

The only problem is that we have a fireplace on the angled wall. The fireplace is in a poor location because it is right where the main walkway is around our stair railing so you can’t have anything more than one chair in front of it or you’d be blocking traffic. Add to that that last year we found out that the fireplace is inoperable due to a 2×4 in the chimney and we’ve made the decision to remove both the basement and first floor fireplaces and chimneys. The basement fireplace is operable but is huge, ugly, in a poor location (it angles toward the stairwell wall), and we’re not sure we could save it so it is going as well. Otherwise we’d lose a lot of space for the existing chimney to stay which will be in the middle of our closet. Plus, it will free up a lot of space in the basement for unique storage solution I have planned. Everyone thinks we’re crazy to remove two fireplaces because it will decrease our home’s value but my defense is (1) an inoperable fireplace which is in the main living area isn’t adding much if any value, (2) the dated look and awkward placement of the basement fireplace is not what today’s homeowners are looking for, and (3) the new bathrooms and master closet will add more value to the house than the fireplaces ever would.

First Floor Fireplace:
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Basement Fireplace:
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**Fireplace Rant**
I have to admit though that I’ve never been a fan of fireplaces. I like that they add a nice focal point to a room but they are so inefficient and drafty it makes my HVAC engineer head spin! You have a huge hole in your house that just dumps your heated air outside people! You wouldn’t leave your front door ajar all winter. Even if you have a damper in your chimney unless it makes a complete seal you’re still letting hot air out. Then you look at how much it costs to run a gas fireplace (about $1/hr) and you’re getting hardly any Btus of heat for your money. Wood fireplaces have cheaper fuel if not free but they take longer to get a fire started and once you have it started you need to be there for a long enough time to enjoy and watch the fire burn out which is not nearly as easy as flipping a switch on and off. Plus they are dirtier and you have to split and store wood. My thoughts were only confirmed when Flannel Man and I moved into our previous apartment that had a gas fireplace. In the year we lived there we never turned it on once. We were meaning around the holidays but that is when our schedules are the busiest so it never happened. I know a lot of other people who are the same way; when they bought their houses the fireplace was a plus and they planned to use it all winter but when it actually comes down to it they don’t use it for more than 4 days a year. If that’s the case they should just stick one of those balloon chimney blockers up there for the majority of the year and just treat the fireplace as decoration.
**Rant Over**


Since we are moving so many walls we also need to move, add, and remove some windows. One of the windows in the living room will need to be removed since it is where we are moving the wall to. Similarly one of the master bedroom windows is where our new master bathroom wall will be so it will need to be removed and instead we’ll have two smaller windows on either side of our bed. Another window will be added to future master bathroom to bring in more light and balance out the space. We’re going to keep the existing 6’x3.5’ window opening on the north wall but we’ll replace the window so it matches the rest. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a bathroom with natural light!

Which brings us to the floor. We want to rip out the stained off white carpet and replace it with hardwood floors. But where do we draw the line to have it start and stop? Originally, we were thinking of just doing the master bedroom since that would be the extent of our remodel. But seeing that we wanted the same floor in the hallway and two bedrooms we decided to include them into the project as well. Plus that makes the hardwood “stopping” line a much smoother transition where the entry peal-and-stick (which will be tile in the future) meets the hallway. We’re also going to be sound-proofing all three bedrooms and installing new trim and interior doors.

We’re looking to do everything ourselves besides major electrical and piping. Our timeline is pretty flexible since we can use the baby blue bathroom in the basement (yes we had every 70’s color in our house!). We’re looking to do demo, windows, the main bathroom, and the floors in the first year. Then we’ll finish up the master bath and closet in the second year.

DIY Savings: Tree Removal

The cost of tree removal seems to be a popular question so I’ll do that next. My experience is that the cost can vary a lot depending on your area and on the way the tree needs to be cut down. If the tree can be cut down in one piece it will cost a lot less than if it needs to be taken down in pieces to avoid hitting anything. We have had to cut down three large trees so far (I’m not going to include the smaller dead trees we cut down since they were easily a DIY project and not something we’d consider hiring out).


First there was a tall hickory that was only 10 feet from the house and the shed. It was actually touching the power line that runs from the house over to the shed! I had wanted to cut it down ever since we moved in but it was a very nice tree and hickories are known to be very strong so we let it go. Then when we were determining the best location to put our geothermal loops we realized that the best location ran right where the hickory was. So we decided to cut it down. We made sure and do it before we built the fence in the backyard because the tree was so tall it spanned the whole side yard and would have hit the fence. To help make sure the tree fell where we wanted it to Papa Flannel brought over his bobcat.

You can see the future fence area that is exposed dirt in this picture:

When the geothermal loops were put in we had the backhoe driver remove the stump so there was no need for it to be ground out.


Last fall we cut down the other two trees. The big black walnut in the backyard was leaning toward the house and sandwiched between the new fence and an oak we wanted to save. We had to cut it down in lots of little pieces which meant getting our hands on a bucket lift. Fortunately, we had a family friend who is a farmer and let us rent one for only $100.

The other tree was a very rotten cherry tree that was leaning over our new fence. We couldn’t get the bucket lift near the tree like we had planned because of the uneven ground. So we tried using a pulley system and the bobcat to help direct which way it fell. That didn’t end well.

Luckily, it didn’t hit any of the posts and we were able to repair the fence with just some treated 2×4’s and new pickets. You can read more about how we cut down those two trees here.


Difficulty Level
Moderate – It doesn’t take many tools to do but it’s important to be careful. Everyone who was in the bucket lift was wearing safety harnesses for example. Both of our dads have a lot of experience cutting down trees so that was a big help too.


The quote we got for hiring someone to cut down the trees, dispose of the debris, and grind out the stumps:
Hickory = $800
Cherry = $800
Black Walnut = $1,500 (it costs more because it couldn’t be cut down in one piece)
$3,100 Total

Our costs:
Borrow a cherry picker from a friend = $100
Material to repair the fence = $125
$225 Total

DIY Savings = $2,875

We still have the stumps for the cherry and black walnut trees though. The cherry tree was in the woods so it’s no big deal and the black walnut stump is part of a flower bed I’d like to make so I was thinking of putting a big pot with annuals on top of it.

DIY Savings: Garage Floor Grinding & Epoxy

For the new year I’m going to start a new series about how much we saved doing a renovation ourselves instead of hiring a contractor to do it for us. There has been a number of projects that we originally were planning to hire out but after finding out how much we could save by doing it ourselves we went the DIY route. DIY projects take a lot more time but can save you big bucks if you’re willing to take them on. Hopefully, this will help other people make an informed decision on whether to tackle it themselves or hire it out. I’ve added a new DIY Savings tab in the right column:

DIY Savings


The most recent project we saved money on by DIYing it was our garage floor. After converting our one car garage back into a two car garage we needed to fix the uneven floor that was creating water issues. Then the garage floor got an epoxy coating to finish it off. In our long search to find a contractor that would take on the project we did get one quote for $3,900. We ended up doing it ourselves after we found a place to rent the heavy duty concrete grinding equipment from. It was a messy and time consuming process but it was well worth it. We went from this:

To this:


Difficulty level
Grinding the floor – Moderate
Transporting, moving, and controlling the heavy machinery were the hardest parts. You had to make sure to keep the machines moving or they would make the floor even more uneven.

Applying Epoxy – Easy
There was a lot of prep work and the process took a long time but it was overall pretty simple.


Rental of scarifier = $140
Rental of floor grinder = $75
Renting carbide blades for the floor grinder = $50
Wear on floor grinder’s diamond blades = $290
Total cost of rental equipment = $555


Rustoleum Professional Grade Epoxy Kits = $350
Rustoleum Anti-Skid Additive, Concrete Patch Kits, & Degreaser = $118
Brushes, buckets, squeegee, rubber boots, respirator, goggles, mixer attachment & everything else pictured = $347
Total cost of epoxy floor = $815


Combined cost = $1,370
Contractor’s bid = $3,900
DIY Savings = $2,530

Stay tuned for even more DIY Savings posts!

Walking on Water

This time of year the amount of usable space we have nearly doubles. Why you ask? Because our pond is frozen over. What you didn’t know we had a pond? Well we do. 1 ½ ponds actually…and an island.


Anyway, we like to take full advantage of all the extra walkable area and the access we have to the island in the winter. Since we live in the country we don’t have any sidewalks. This isn’t a big deal most of the year we just walk out dog in the ditch where she enjoys sniffing out critters. But in the winter the ditch is full of snow and the roads are sprinkled with salt that gets between her toes and cuts them up. So we walk her on the ponds instead. It might seem strange but she loves it because there are lots of places to smell that are normally inaccessible and because there is typically less snow on the ponds (she hates walking in deep snow). It’s a win – win!


I always love walking under this huge willow tree in the winter. Eventually we hope to clear a trail and put a bench under the willow branches on the land side.



Exploring the island. Something must have smelt interesting to warrant walking in the deep snow.

After some freakishly warm temperatures and freezing rain this past weekend the ponds were very slick and would have been perfect for ice skating. We’ve had a lot of people tell us that they used to ice skate on our ponds actually. They were popular winter hang out spots back in the 70’s. We don’t have any ice skates but we were out sliding around in our boots with Sophie. She was taking Flannel Man for a ride:


Also this year with his new snow plowing ATV Flannel Man cleared off part of the pond so we could play broom ball. Flannel Man had is two younger brothers come over to test it out and we had a brutal battle.

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In the end we had one broom that survived. Apparently they don’t make brooms like they used to!

This is the story of two twenty something newlyweds who are learning to adjust to life in their first house, a 1973 fixer-upper.
DIY Savings