Lighten up.

I haven’t yet started a countdown to the number of days left before we are homeowners. I know it’s really close, but yet it seems really far. To help the days pass quickly, I spend lots (an obscene amount, really) of time looking at stores, blogs and catalogs to decide what to buy to make our home feel more “us.”

While the house is lovely, it could use some nice modern touches. And some traditional touches. I feel like my design ideas are somewhere between wanting to honor traditional features such as crown moulding, chair rail and hardwood floors and wanting modern touches like fancy lights, modern furniture, and luxe accessories. Is that what people who describe their style as “transitional” mean? Because whenever someone says they have a “transitional decorating style” I usually smile, nod and wonder what the hell they mean.

Anyone know?

This whole modern vs. traditional struggle reminds me of a conversation Daniel (my hubby) and I had when we first put the offer on the house. Here’s a summary.

Daniel: So, since our kitchen has oak cabinets and white appliances, I really think we should keep a “country” feel in our kitchen so it doesn’t look weird.

Me: <brain wanders to my mom’s cow-themed kitchen> Daniel, if you’re telling me this, I do NOT want to buy the house. I will not do it. Just because we live in the country doesn’t mean we have to be country. I am calling the realtor and taking back the offer. OHMYGODICANNOTHAVEACOUNTRYKITCHEN.

Daniel: Calm down.


Yeah. I am a little dramatic, I know. I am fine with it.

Three weeks later we are still under contract, and I have convinced him we can make the kitchen modern. I’ll just stain the cabinets one weekend when I can ship him off to a football game with his dad. No worries.


One of the first things on our to-do list is to replace light fixtures. Why? Well, frankly some of the ones in the house are dated (AKA: fugly) and they don’t serve their purpose. For instance, the hall light doesn’t really light the hall. And the foyer light is teeny tiny. So, let me show you some of my ideas and you all can chime in!

We’ll start with the foyer.


Do you see that TEENY tiny light up there? Stop squinting, I promise you it’s there.

Well, the sparkly lover in me wants to put up a grand chandelier, but I realize in the space we have, that would look tacky. Hmph.

Here are some of the contenders for the honor of foyer light:


$110, from Overstock

Pros: Modern, timeless, simple.

Cons: Kinda expensive for what it is.


$170, from Overstock

Pros: Modern, sparkly, not too sparkly

Cons: Sparkly, will it hang too low, and it is also $$$

And if #1 and #2 had a baby, here’s what the spawn might look like:


$124, from Overstock

Pros: Flush to the ceiling, simply white, little dash of sparkle

Cons: None?

Which is your favorite? I am really, really leaning towards #3. Have you seen some on other sites that I might be missing? I love, love, LOVE me some Overstock, so I stalk their stuff like everyday.

Moving on down to the hallway, which is another problem area.


Again, small light for a long/narrow area.

In this space, I don’t want one light because I feel like it’ll give off a UFO glow, so I thought a track or rail lighting system would be fab. Bonus points if I can move the lights in different directions/positions.


$73, from Overstock

Pros: Not bulky, 4 lights and they pivot.

Cons: Not a fan of the finish (bronze)


$36, from Home Depot

Pros: Inexpensive, satin nickel, pivot lights.

Cons: Do not like the frosted shades very much.


$80, from Lamps Plus

Pros: Modern, yet classic. Affordable!

Cons: Don’t like the pointy backs of the lights.

Overall, I wish I could have the first set in a satin nickel finish. I love how the lights look like photographer’s lights.

Seen anything like that?

And in the kitchen there is a HUGE light. It’s the big box style, and I do not have a picture of it. Shucks. My ideal thing to do in the kitchen would be recessed lighting. However, I am cheap and want to DIY the installation of the recessed lights, but I am also too chicken to actually attempt it. Sigh.

Well, what do you all think? Are there better choices out there and I need to keep looking?



  1. Embellished Bayou
    August 26, 2010 / 3:34 am

    I think light fixtures are one of the easiest (and often most inexpensive) ways to update your home. Of course, you may not be able to change out all the fixtures at once, so you may have to live with some outdated ones for a while. I love all of your chandelier choices, but I would make sure it flows with whatever you have in the adjoining rooms. I think #3 is my favorite, too, but they all may seem a little formal for a foyer? I dunno, you should get what you like best & what suits your style & decor. We just put up a new light in the hallway and it is similar to those track ones you pictured, but all three bulbs are in the center. We got it at Lowe's.

  2. Jax
    August 26, 2010 / 12:54 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE foyer lamp #3! WINNER WINNER CHICKEN STEAK DINNER! It's totally you.As for the track lighting…ehh not too big of a fan for use as a hallway light. Maybe recessed lighting would be best there? I see your reasoning why since it is a thinner hallway, and maybe I just can't picture it well, but if you are going to do track I would use a light paint (reflect light more) and use the lights to "feature" wall art. Think resturants that have certain pieces spot lighted. Then the picture/item is featured and the light will still bounce to light up the hallway. 😀

  3. August 27, 2010 / 4:43 am

    What are the shades made of for the entry way lights? I can't really tell, but what ran through my head was that is high up there and I am not gonna want to dust all those cute little geegaws or bobeches or what ever the heck they are.I am not sure about track lighting in the hallway. That is unless you have some great artwork that you can direct it on and even then, not so sure.