the lighting plan

Monday, October 19, 2015

Days turn into weeks all too quickly these days.  I mean to post house updates but I keep telling myself I'll do it tomorrow and suddenly 3 weeks go by and I'm like, huh?  At this point in construction, we're just ready to be IN.  It's flown by but at the same time, we wonder when oh when moving day will finally get here.

Anyway, I digress.  I'm here today to talk about my favorite subject in the whole entire UNIVERSE: lighting.

From the moment we decided to build a house, I was most excited about getting to choose every.single.light.fixture. I spent hours looking at all the options out there and quickly realized that wow, this budget that we were given isn't going to be nearly enough to get all of the fabulous lights that I want.  There were more than a few compromises to try to stick to the budget, but we still went over.  Such is life, I say.  Budget schmudget.

So I'm going to take you room by room and kind of walk you through my thought process, obstacles, and where we decided to save vs. splurge.

To really get a handle on the lighting plan, I took our floor plans and, using a color coded shape system, marked where we needed each different kind of lighting: recessed lights (red dots), ceiling fans (big yellow square), pendants (teal circles), wall sconces (green squares), semi-flush mounts (orange circles), vanity lights (blue rectangles), and chandeliers (big coral-ish circle).

Here is the final lighting plan:

The more utilitarian rooms (the garage and the basement storage areas) are just getting fluorescent lights.  Fancy, I know.

I knew going into my lighting search that there were some areas I would be willing to splurge on and others that I could care less about so the cheaper the better (here's looking at you ceiling fans).  After meeting with our lighting guy (there's a "guy" for just about everything you can think of when you're building a house) and getting his input on the size of the fixtures that we would need (specifically for the foyer chandelier and the vanity lights), I started scouring the Internet and hunting down my new lighting BFFs.  Mr. Lighting Guy gave us four different sites that he could buy from using his lighting-guy-discount, so I started there.  The prices I list on the images below are RETAIL prices.  We rarely ended up paying full retail for anything (between the lighting-guy-discount and my mad negotiating skills), so just know that the numbers you see are not the real-life budget numbers.

Okay, enough background, let's get on with it.

The Foyer:

The foyer lighting situation was hard.  It was hard to tell if the chandelier we wanted would be large enough to fill the 18' ceilings without looking dinky.  Until it actually gets installed, it's hard to tell the scale.  I think it's going to look great, but time will tell.  Let me tell you a little story about the chandelier.  We found it on Home Decorators for $399 and asked Mr. Lighting Guy if he could get it cheaper and the cheapest he could find it was $425.  We thought that was strange, but hey, we'll go with the better price so we ordered it ourselves.  When I was getting the links for this post, I went to Home Decorators and now the same chandelier is $569.  I'm convinced that someone posted it for the wrong price and after we ordered it they realized the error of their ways and fixed it.  Sad for Home Decorators, happy for us!

For the dining room, I had originally chosen a fancier type of semi-flush mount that was around $269.  When nailing down the final lighting assortment, that was one fixture I was willing to compromise on and go with a more cost-effective option.  Enter the same semi-flush drum shade that you'll see again and again.  It's cheap.  I love it.  Enough said.

I'm incorporating some antique brass in a few different areas so I wanted to bring some in to the master side of the house, thus my favorite Newbury 4" fixture.  I'm probably most excited about seeing this fixture installed - isn't it LOVELY?!  Simply lovely. :)  I think it will bring some interest into the little hallway that leads to our bedroom.

Speaking of the Master:

Vanity lights proved to be the hardest decision we had to make!  These lights for the master bath were the last decision I made because I just couldn't find any that I liked for a reasonable price.  I'm really glad I stumbled upon these though because I think they are so cute!  This ceiling fan doesn't actually have a light so maybe it shouldn't be included here, but it's a fixture so I think it counts.  Our master bedroom has 12 can lights, so I figured it would be okay to get a ceiling fan without one.  We had a light on the ceiling fan in our last bedroom and I think we turned it on maybe once or twice?

The Living Room:

Like the master, the living room has tons of can lights so we wanted a fan without a light and found this one.  It's quite a bit nicer than the master bedroom fan (as it should be due to the price), but we liked the wider blades and needed the larger size.

The Family Entry (a.k.a. the mud, powder and laundry rooms):

Since the powder room will be the main bathroom that guests use, I thought it would be a good place to splurge a little bit with the lighting.  We could have gone with a cheap 2-light vanity light but I thought doing 2 sconces instead would feel a little nicer and be a little more unexpected.  When I found this natural brass sconce at Schoolhouse Electric, it was love at first sight.  It sold me on adding some brass in with some of the fixtures and knobs (like in the master hallway, and in the kitchen, below).

The Kitchen:

Originally, I had picked out these wall sconces for above the kitchen windows (which I still LOVE), but for three of them, they ended up just being too much of a splurge, so I found the Millennium gooseneck sconces instead and for half the price, I think they're a good alternative.

Bringing in brass into the Butler's Pantry in the form of two of these tiny cage pendants has me beyond excited.  Even though the butler's pantry is technically part of the kitchen, it's separate enough that I think it deserves a little bit of its own style, so the cabinets, while the same as in the kitchen, will be getting brass knobs and pulls to match the pendants above.  So excited!

When I first started looking for island pendants, I found some that we both really liked but they were sold out the next time I looked at them (bummer).  All other pendants had a hard time measuring up to those so it took us a while to move on and find something that we would be happy with.  In the end, I remembered that John and Sherry had simple glass globe pendants above the peninsula in their last house so I went on a scavenger hunt for the link to them and voila - simple, with industrial flare and would make a statement without drawing too much attention.

I already mentioned my love for the Newbury 4" that we're installing in the master hallway, so it was an easy decision to put one in the pantry as well.  We are not installing a door on the pantry so it will be open to the kitchen at all times and therefore needs a fab light.

Originally, we were planning on putting a chandelier over the breakfast table (this one, to be exact) but I started to worry that it would block my view into the living room, so we're just putting a can light there instead.  If, after we move in, I think one will work there, we can always add it later.

For S2's room, we went pretty basic with the light fixture and the vanity light, but I wanted to do something fun in her closet and I have always loved YHL's Geometric Diamond Light so it was an easy decision.  I think it will bring a little personality to an otherwise basic space.

The bedrooms in the basement have 10 foot ceilings, so ceiling fans were kind of a must down there. These are a pretty cool and affordable option and will also provide the main source of light in each of the rooms.

The stairs from the main floor down to the basement are one of my favorite features in the house.  I just have a thing about stairs in general, but ours are pretty fab, if I do say so myself.  Anyway, we needed some lighting going down the stairwell wall and went with two of these sconces.  My favorite drum shade semi-flush mount will be at the foot of the stairs, lighting the basement "foyer" where all the rooms break off from.

Okay, I think that wraps up this epic-ly long post about our lighting choices!  I think it's pretty obvious from this post the style that we're going for, but I'll share more soon. :)

P.S. Cabinets are being installed today - wheeeeee.

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