Archive for the 'lighting' Category

Our Remodel: Now with More Electrical and Bonus Insulation!

I’m still playing catch up with blog posts vs. real life progress so bare with me. I have a bunch of posts half written so I’m not going to take the time to re-write them in the past tense. It’s my blog so I can do things like that. This all means there are many more posts to come and soon!

We’re now onto running the electrical for the main floor. Wiring the basement lights seemed to take forever but with our electrician being more available things are really moving along. Just like before we’re helping out the electrician in every way we can by drilling, stapling, and pulling the wiring ourselves. The electrician left us this handy tool to help drill in tight spaces.

Trust me this thing has a lot of power. Throw on a long drill bit and this guy will cut through anything it can reach! We’re also working on wiring up all of the outlets with pigtails (except for the last outlet of the chain which only has one wire and doesn’t need pigtails).


In a previous post I showed the tape outlines of the furniture we’re going to have in the space and they have really come in handy for deciding where to put electrical outlets. I had drawn up the general placement of all of the switches and outlets in the rooms to meet code but with the walls built I’m not reworking everything to make for an easier installation. Like moving outlets a little so they can be attached directly to wall studs without having to add extra bracing or sliding an outlet to be hidden by a piece of furniture. I’m irrational and would rather not look at a bunch of random outlets I needed to add per code if I don’t have to.

We’re hoping to get away with not needing an outlet on both sides of the short hallway/entrance to the bedroom. If the inspector considers it a hallway we only need one but if he considers it part of the bedroom we’re right at 12’ between the one side outlet and the other corner of the hallway (there is a much more convenient existing outlet right around the corner but technically it’s too far away to count). Putting an outlet right at a corner would look strange so we’d put it in roughly the middle of the short wall but that has existing drywall and electrical so it’s not easy to add. Plus having two outlets in a short hall that is so skinny I’ll never plug anything in there seems silly. We’ll see what the inspector says. I did add an extra outlet next to the chair in case I ever want to have a floor lamp there for reading and at the last minute I added a second switch there for the overhead light which I think will be more convenient to turn off at night than the one near the entry door.

The one exposed junction box we needed due to existing conditions and the outlet will be hidden by a nightstand.

The master closet will have two lights and a high outlet (for some fun task lighting…more on this to come) controlled by the switch. This ceiling is a hot mess because of the chimney removal.

Here is half of the area we refer to as mission control. At the end of the hallway has a bank of three switches on both sides of the hall. They control (1) the entry chandelier, (2) the hallway ceiling lights, (3) the hallway movie theater lights (downward facing night lights at the base of one wall), (4) the living room switched outlets, (5) the spot light that used to be on the fireplace, and (6) the flood lights at both the front and back of the house…this is the most random switch placement ever. Both flood lights can also be controlled by a switch in the basement next to the patio door.

We’re keeping the mission control area because there is no other good place to put all of these switches but we’re going to organize them a little better. The outdoor flood lights have been separated. The back flood light (pointing toward the fenced in dog yard) will be only controlled from the basement patio door switch. The front flood light will be controlled from a switch next to our front door for when guests are coming or going. No more accidentally hitting a hallway switch and having both the front and back flood lights on all day!
The two newly freed up switch spots will be kept for future living room lighting. For now though we just ran un-connected wiring up to the attic and left it coiled in a roll up there. The switch plate will be filled with some blank off pieces so the three gang is now only a one gang. It’ll look strange but it’s much easier to make these changes now when we have the wall open.


The bathrooms are where the electrical boxes need to be a lot more exact. Wanting to have sconces on either side of the mirrors, all of the switches in a neat organized group that doesn’t interfere with the vanity backsplash tile or wainscoting, and hidden outlets in some of the cabinets makes things more difficult.

Sorry to say but electrical is normally a bit of a hack job (ducks from tomatoes being thrown) with electricians having a lot of say on where things get placed. Most homeowners don’t think about every outlet or switch. When I was getting quotes from electricians they were shocked to see I had electrical drawings showing where I wanted things. Yes I know I should have “building design nerd” tattooed on my forehead. But like I mentioned before going with a part-time electrician where we acted as his assistants allowed us to make those placement decisions and it was our time that was spent working out all of those details and putting in all the boxes ourselves. There was a lot of dimension checking on my part between the CAD files I had drawn up and what the actual space ended up being (which was luckily not too far off). Then a lot of things we considered when we were placing bathroom electrical boxes:


– What size the mirrors will be and where they will be hung. You want the sconces to be in the top third of the mirror height but not all the way at the top and you need the light from them to be at a pleasing eye level for flattering/useful task lighting. In the main bathroom I picked out sconces with a glass shade that point downward so the electrical box is hung higher so the center of the bulb is at the right height. In the master bathroom I have scones that point upward and have a shade that diffuses the light. You want that around eye level as well because if they are too high or too low you’ll be able to see the bulb. Another thing we considered was that Flannel Man and I are about 6” different in height so we came up with a happy middle number to use as our average eye height.


– Where will the vertical storage cabinets be in both bathrooms and how far away should the sconces be from them? There wasn’t a lot of wiggle room in placing these sconces (hmm should have thought of that before) so when there were wall studs in the way we had to go to shallow pan boxes that are only ½” thick. The wiring has to be run in a way so that you only have one wire into these shallow boxes (so they have to be the end of a daisy chain or each have their own separate line back to the switch).

Here we had to the left sconce before ending the daisy chain at the right sconce because it is only a shallow pan box.


– How high will the vanity backsplash tile be and how will the edges be trimmed out? In the master bath we’re going to use some type of pencil tile trim to finish off the edges nicely. We don’t have that picked out yet so we’re guessing on an average size for that. The three gang box of switches will be very close to where the tile ends so that will be interesting. In the main bathroom we’re using exterior trim for the wainscoting which will top off the vanity backsplash so…


– What height is the wainscoting running at and where do I want the light switches in relation to that? Turns out the wainscoting will be right around the average height you’re supposed to put light switches but I thought it would look stupid to stop the trim and put switches so I put half of the switches above and half below.


– I didn’t want the GFCI outlets for the vanities breaking up the pretty backsplash tile and Flannel Man didn’t want to cut them in the side of the tall vertical storage cabinets so we wanted to place them on the open wall space next to the vanities just below the lip of the vanity top. They will be easy to use right there but visually not right in your face.


– That meant we had all of the light and exhaust fan switches plus the electric floor mat thermostat (per the manufacturer this needed to be in its own single gang box) plus the GFCI outlet all in the few inches between the door and the vanity in both bathrooms. The means a double gang box + two single gang boxes for the main bathroom and a triple gang box + two single gang boxes in the master bathroom. I wanted this group of boxes to look neat and organized not just hap hazardly placed on the wall so that entailed lining up the boxes in as much of a grid as possible. Drawing them that way on a CAD drawing was one thing but installing them and running all of the wires to these congested wall cavities was another. Through some creative thinking we came up with the idea to construct some of supports and attach the boxes separate from the wall to make everything fit. We’ll see how it all looks with the switch plates on…I hope it looks OK!


– The grille and light/grille combos for the exhaust fans needed to be centered over the showers and in the case of our big master bath the toilet so final sizes needed to be known.


– The flushmount ceiling light over the roman tub in the master bath had to be centered…well that is what I thought until I realized it the tub needs to be a few inches off to account for the tub faucet being on one end. I know we could have avoided that little problem by putting the faucet on the front or the back but I didn’t want to half to crawl over the faucet to get in the tub and I didn’t want the faucet along an exterior wall where I couldn’t reach it. Having it on the side allows us to build a hidden access panel in the half wall between the tub and toilet. So after confirming where all of that would be we just centered the light over the window which is what it is closest to anyway. That exact spot was over a truss so we needed another pan box for the tight space.

An overall view of the master bath electrical:


We also started adding insulation to the exterior walls now that the weather is getting colder. For now we can only put insulation in the wall cavities with no electrical wiring until the inspector comes by to approve everything. Only after we stapled everything up did Papa Flannel point out that we had used the wrong type of insulation. We bought paper faced batt which is what we bought for the exterior wall in the garage. But because we’re trying to save energy by cutting down on infiltration as much as possible we’re using visqueen on these walls and any other future walls we open up. Visqueen is just a big plastic sheet that covers the wall from top to bottom with no seams. It is a vapor barrier and so is the kraft paper on the batt so we’re cutting lots of holes into the batt paper we’ve already hung up and bought.

(The floor in the main bathroom has to stay open until the inspector can approve the electrical for the basement sink lights.)


In a mad rush to get everything done before the inspector came over we quickly installed the bathroom exhaust fans and the grille/light combo boxes. We picked out some inline fans that will sit in the attic so that we can use the existing roof penetrations. We also loved the minimal appearance the grilles and grille/light combos have in the space and how much more quiet the system is since the fan is not in the space. So we went with a FanTech single grille with light in the main bathroom and a dual grille with one light in the master bathroom.

Cutting in the new small 4″ hole with the old 8″ exhaust fan hole nearby.

Up in the attic we installed the larger master bath fan (note the Y connection is simply resting on top of the fan in this picture so we don’t lose it):

And the smaller main bathroom fan:

Light/grille combo box shown nearby:


But really what would this post be without some more people falling through the ceiling?

Yup our electrician managed to stick his leg through the ceiling not once but twice in the same spot on the same day. The first time I was concerned he was OK. The second time I was just annoyed. His excuse was “the drywall is old and brittle.” Um I think the real lesson is you don’t weigh what you used to. And since when is walking on drywall OK? Seriously. We got no apology either for all of the mess he made. Now we have to replace most of the ceiling in the main bathroom. Luck for him that was the last day we needed him before the inspector came.


Basement Task Lighting

The remodel trudges on and we’re ever so slowing getting the electrical wrapped up on our end. Cutting holes, pulling wire, stapling, adding junction boxes, wiring up lights, etc. Then when the electrician gets done with his test hopefully we’ll see his face again so he can help us hook everything up and look over our work. Only then can we get the underfloor electrical inspected and put the floor back down. If the electrician doesn’t start showing up after his test I might have to take extreme measures like kidnap his dogs until he does. There are only so many excuses a person can take before they snap!

Anywho since Flannel Man and I work opposite shifts we do most of the small tasks individually at night after work (his “night” starts at 2 am). At night it’s just me and the dog. She needs to be in the same room as me at night to see what I’m doing…you know to supervise for consistency. The other night after cutting in some ceiling boxes I decided to take a self portrait with the dog because there is always a lack of pictures from these individual work nights. Most of them turned out blurry or dark but for the first one worked out. It just makes me laugh.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s all going on in this photo shall we?


What a great little summary of our lives right now! It’s not all doom and gloom like my last post might have sounded. We’re still having fun just more antsy to get things done.

With all of the basement recessed lights in we still had some task lighting to figure out before we could get the basement electrical inspected and close up the floor. The alternating recessed lights look great and give a nice even amount of light. We’re very happy with the look and the amount of light they put out. It’s like night and day with the new recessed lights vs. the two old flushmounts that were lighting this space before. But this is going to be a multifunctional space so task lighting will be beneficial and add another dimension to the lighting scheme in the room.


The first area that is going to have task lighting is the desk that will be built-in to the nook under one of the windows. On our current desk I use a desk lamp and it works well but I also have a much larger L-shaped desk right now. With the limited surface area that can fit in this nook I wanted to go with some overhead pendant lights that don’t take up any desk space. The pendants will be right in front of a big window so I don’t want them to be too big or take up much visual space. We also want a bit of an industrial feel to this room so I’m leaning toward a clear glass shade or a more industrial wire cage shade.

Schoolhouse Electric, Lowell

Hudson Valley 8001

For now we just cut in the electrical boxes and wired up a nearby light switch. The electrician wanted take a short cut and consolidate light switches putting it on the other side of the room near the sink or the entrance. But I didn’t want to have to walk across the room everytime I used the office lights. That is beauty of assisting the electrician you can put things wherever you want them as long as you can make it work. We’ve had plenty of time to do minor changes like that with him taking the month off.


Another area we want task lighting is what we’re dubbing “the reading area.” Very creative right? This space will have either a daybed or banquette similar to a window seat sans the actual window. It’s a nice spot to curl up and read a good book because it gets a lot of natural light in the afternoon from the patio door and has a view of the back yard. But it’s not deep enough to do much else without impeding on the traffic flow. There I wanted to have two armed sconces on either side of the daybed that switch on individually by hand. This part of the floor above was not tore up and with the manual switching thankfully it wasn’t needed. There is an outlet on that wall we’ll be able to pull the power from and with a little drywall patching we can easily add those later. I’d love to get some sconces like these in the space:

Hudson Valley 4721


Finally, there is the Awkward (with a capital A) sink area. As I explained previously this area is going to become our utility sink…well actually that is how we use it now and we’re going to keep it that way. It had its own ugly flushmount light and switch but the light was a few feet behind the sink. So when you turned it on and stood in front of the sink it created a big shadow on the whole space. After tearing up the floor above we saw that the beam took up almost the entire soffit above the sink which explains the strange light location. The beam is very big and covers almost the entire countertop so the best place to put task lighting would be recessed into the soffit. The lights could stick out below the drywall but anything more than an inch or two and I would hit my head on it when I lean over the sink. It’s a tight area!

Ever since we bought the house I had had a plan in my head for this area. Line the soffit with either recessed or non-recessed puck lights tied together on one switch! Imagine the nice triangular rays of light hitting the back wall which will someday be covered in a pretty mosaic tile…sigh. It would be cheap and easy. But nothing is ever as cheap or easy as you’d hoped. The distance between the bottom of the beam and the drywall was just shy of 3 inches. As I explained my idea to our electrician and our local the electrical supply company they both thought it would be easy to find a recessed light that would work in the space. Upon further investigation it wasn’t. Everything that is that shallow is made for kitchen cabinets and is only rated to be mounted on or in cabinetry. I couldn’t find a single puck light rated for drywall. Which seems crazy considering I was even looking at fixtures that were flushmount to the underside of the drywall out in the open! But after talking to a few lighting companies they said they get too hot for drywall applications. I could only find one fixture that was UL listed for drywall and it was a very expensive mini LED recessed light. So we went back to considering all kinds of ugly and unconventional options like a track light on the front of the soffit, recessed lights a few feet behind the sink with gimbal trims, and battery operated lights. We even considered removing the bottom part of the soffit and replacing it with stained wood but we thought that would look strange with the rest of the soffit continuing on across the hall in all drywall. With the batrooms now over this area putting a light back where the old one was wasn’t even an option anymore because there is now a duct there. After agonizing over the decision for weeks we bit the bullet and just bought the LED lights. We knew we’d never again have the floor above open for access and without that we wouldn’t be able to wire anything to the soffit space where we really wanted the lights to be.

It took weeks for them to arrive because they are a new product that is custom made for now. At least that extended lead time coincided with our missing electrician. When they came I was initially a bit bummed. They didn’t look like they were worth the outrageous price we paid for them. You could see each of the three LEDs inside and the lens looked small compared to the trim size. But I gave them the benefit of the doubt and we installed them anyway. Installation was didn’t exactly go as planned…

    Late one Sunday night I marked out the evenly spaced lights and put a nail in the center of each one and thought:

    How luck am I that I didn’t hit any of the 2×4’s above! Maybe this is going to work out after all.

    Then I put in another nail on each edge of the 2” holes we had to cut and hit not one but two 2×4’s.

    Bummer. Now what?

    So I moved each light in an inch.

    If they are all evenly spaced the distance from the side walls doesn’t matter.

    Hit two more 2×4’s.

    Duh! OK I’ll just space them out instead.

    Hit a 2×4 on the first hole.

    For the love of…

    So I go back to the original layout and Flannel Man offers to help by somehow fitting his hand under the beam from the floor above. A lot of yelling and confusion ensues.

    “Which one can’t move?”

    “This one?” *knock, knock*

    “And this one can move left?” *knock, knock*


    “My left or your left?”

    “Mine. And the far one can move over the width of my middle finger.”

    What the? “Can you convert that to inches?”…

A few scratch pieces of paper full of quick calculations later and I realize there is no combination where the lights can be evenly spaced. So we take the layout that is the closest to even and learn to deal. No one but me will notice right?

The lights are low voltage so we had to find a space for a transformer that was accessible too. Originally, we thought we could put it in the wall above the light switch or even all the way down into the back of the cabinet below but the easiest location ended up being in the ceiling of the reloading room. So Flannel Man ran 14-2 wires for each light individually across the basement bathroom ceiling and into the unfinished reloading room. Then another 14-2 back to the switch in the wall. This turned out to be much easier than daisy chaining with the tight clearances. We had to add a junction box to gang everything together first because the transformer barely has enough room for one wire much less four. (Note: You have to read the specifications for your transformer carefully though to make sure you can have that much wire between the transformer and the lights. If it’s too far away you’ll lose too much to line loses and the lights will be dim.)


When everything was up and running Flannel Man switched the lights on for the first time and I’m pretty sure I heard a chorus of angels. It was heavenly. Perfect! Exactly what I had envisioned! The lights look so much better lit than they did when I first took them out of the package. I couldn’t be more happy with them.

Look at all of that light! The soffit went from being an eye sore to useful. This is no longer the dark little corner of the basement no one wanted to use.

Note the old light location on the left.

Getting new wiring to this switch was a real pain because this wall lines up with another wall below. But somehow Flannel Man managed to fish a new wire down there using the existing wire.

The new lights almost transformed the space. And the only reason I say “almost” is because the extreme mess and ugly orange countertop below.

Just keepin’ it real people.

Seriously though aren’t those beams of light on the back wall awesome?! Imagine this area being a concrete countertop with a big single basin stainless steel sink, a tall arched pull down faucet, a glass mosaic backsplash that runs up the whole wall, and new distressed white cabinets below. Won’t that look great someday?!



P.S. For anyone else looking at the Juno mini LED lights these lights we went with the 2 1/4″ MD1Ls in the 3000K temperature, flood optic, and white finish. I wasn’t kidding when I said these things are custom made! We considered the gimbals but they stuck down from the ceiling slightly and cost more. Plus we didn’t think we’d ever really adjust them. The 35 degree angle of the flood gave us just the right amount of light on the back wall so a gimbal wasn’t needed. You can find a lot of great detailed lighting calculation info here. For the transformer we got the 60W white one but later found out we could have went with a slightly smaller size for only four lights. There was almost no price difference between the transformer sizes so we didn’t bother to return it.

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.

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