Category Archives: lighting

The green, green grass of home

The kids started their new schools today, because it is the start of a new grading period. Meaning for the next couple of weeks we leave our current house at 6.20, drive to, through and past the city to get the high schooler to her school on time.
Then we have an hour and a half to find breakfast before the elementary school opens its doors for the other kids.
In the afternoon the roles are reversed, high schooler gets out an hour earlier than the younger ones.
This means house visits!

We’ve spied on the school bus, lounged on the hearth in front of the fireplace, and had breakfast at the kitchen island.

Here are some staged photos from the Parade of Homes.






This light will swap places with the one above the kitchen table.
Our dining table will live in the kitchen, and this area will be a reading nook.



Edited to Add: The Parade is over and the staged furniture and accessories were moved out on the 22nd of October.
All ready for touch ups that Friday, Cable guys on Saturday, Cleaning crew on Monday and our stuff on Tuesday!

shades hill october 17 2015

Front lawn is coming in nicely!
Much less work than the poor neighbours who seeded their lawns during summer.
Front yard October 17 2015

Our oak tree is changing color.
We also have our first weeds in the garden beds.


Something has changed within me

Something is not the same.

The electricians and the painters were working at the house today putting in their finishing touches.
Appliances have been delivered, there are big cardboard boxes in both the kitchen and the laundry room just waiting to be installed. Fridge and freezer are evident, as is the dishwasher, not sure if the ovens have arrived yet. In the laundry room boxes we have washer, dryer, 2 pedestals and we think the 5th box in there might be the laundry sink.

Speaking of kitchen. I was thrilled to see this today:backsplash

Yes, I especially like the damaged drywall areas!

Why? Because yesterday it looked like this:IMG_2719
And I hated it. Those light mint green tiles made the whole backsplash look pixelated and the stark contrasts did not work for me at all. Especially not with the countertops, and those are not going anywhere.

If the light ones had been in a shade in between the dark and the middle colour, with more of a brown tone it would have been much closer to what I had envisioned.

Luckily, our head tile guy was installing the rubberized membrane on the dog tub in the basement. We happened upon him as we were checking out the basement while I was still whining about the kitchen.
We told him how we L-O-V-E how the shower turned out, but that the kitchen backsplash was atrocious (clearly no fault of his, that selection is all on me), and how I had read up on glass paint in different forums and been to craft stores earlier in the day to figure out how to paint the backsplash until we can have it replaced.
He said that since it wasn’t grouted yet, he could ‘just have his apprentice pop some of the light ones out’.
Serious doubletake.
He double checked to make sure he had enough of the other two colours to be able to pull it off, and he was only 1 bullnose tile short.

So instead of having a grouted backsplash today, we have this, and I couldn’t be happier about it!


More changes, we have hardscaping!
The foundation plants are also in. There are 6 trees left to be planted in the front yard, you can glimpse them to the right of the trucks in the photo. Also 6 more trees for the west side, but we are waiting on more dirt before they finish off the front yard and put down grass seed.

Landscaping happened yesterday, and we had them take out one of the apple trees in the back yard that was a little mutilated during septic tank install.
I liked that tree, but it will be easier to get the fence in now.

The new stairs leading down the the backyard, they flipped those huge stone slabs around with a backhoe and scooted them into place after digging out their spots with hand shovels.



And here is the backyard, the disturbed areas here have been seeded. The septic mound in the very back has new grass peeking through the straw!

We will kill off the ground covers in the treed areas and either seed it or plant something that is less likely to be poison ivy.

Heading indoors again:


Lockers, with hangers.


The kids’ fans were all lit up.

So were the can lights.

stairs and the light

Do you see it?
the light

It is THE light. The one I gave up my DIY itch for.
It is right where it should be and I think it looks awesome.

Another happy room.

powder room

Powder room, with electricity.

I think I might not have to stencil these walls after all, those are some really cool shadows cast by the chandelier.

The mirror is the only thing missing in here.

stair landing light

The painters had stained a couple of lengths of baseboard, to replace these white ones on the stair landing. It just looked odd with stained baseboards flanking the actual stairs, then switch to white at the landing and continue with stained for the other half of the stairs.

Also, there is a safety light here for night time stair-strolls.

The LED hand rail lights are yet to be installed.


Rocker switches in the office.


Power and ethernet ports. The desktop powerhouses will be hardwired for speed.

Our cabinet maker is building the built in bookcases off site, but besides that small thing, the office is finished.

The great room looks like this.


Those surround sound speakers make me sad.
We have this beautifully finished, perfectly smooth expanse of wall, and then there are those -things-.
The painter will try to dilute the wall paint down and atomize spray them, but the holes in the mesh are so fine it might not work that well.
What on earth was he (as in the husband) thinking?

Oh well, maybe I should take up tapestry making and cover that whole wall.

On a happier note: fireplace stone is pretty much the only thing left in here.
And blinds.



The rack with the home automation system,  waiting for more tech toys to move in.

master bedroom2

Master bedroom with electrical outlets and TV installed.

The electricians and painters were doing their final work, and the rope light in the tray ceiling was going in as we watched.

This room is done!


The ball over the tub all lit up.
The tub filler and the shower faucets are still in boxes in here.


The sconces that will flank the mirrors over the vanities all work.


Master closet #2 gets to close this post.

Workday visit

With a house showing, a truck full of dogs, and time to kill I went over to the house just after noon today.
Pulling up I noticed a lot of vehicles. A Chippewa Stone truck, a HVAC truck, a plumber truck and 7 other miscellaneous pickup trucks, cars.

And a dozer.

Inside there was a lot going on.
The trim carpenter and his crew were doing finish work, partly following the path left by the hardwood floor installers.
The lockers now look like this:

The lower section actually slides out, (or did before the front edge of trim was attached) so the flooring underneath is laid in full sections, like the rest of the floor.
!!! NB: Shoe space !!!

Looking UP.

garage foyer light

That is the garage entry foyer light.
Meaning one of the teams in the house were installing light fixtures.

The light looks a little on the small side, or maybe the ceiling is just big.


kitchen counters

Kitchen counters!
They are beautiful.
The installers were rolling on sealer and stepped out of the picture just as I took it. The granite is still wet in this photo.


Eric’s sink.


All the pieces fit, it is almost like they do this for a living.

This is the counter area closest to the pantry door.

Next stop: office.

office wainscoting and floor

The header for the paneling is in place, as is the shoe molding.

office fan

Bubble glass  office ceiling fan!
I wonder if the other side of the blades are darker. I think that might look better.

master showerShower!

master bath

Bathroom sconces and bathroom countertops. Sink mounting in progress.
Now I don’t have to wonder how they did it.
Worker count in here: 1.

master fan

Master bedroom ceiling fan.

master wall

Master bedroom wall colour in the corner meets floor. Got shoe moulding here too.

Electric outlets and switches, and the lighting in the tray ceiling are the only thing missing in this room now!

stair handrail

Stairs were also being worked on while I was there.
Notice the moulding at the bottom of the pillar.  I think that looks nicer than the crown on top.


Worker count in this area: 2 (3?).

floor dining corner

This is the same corner I took a photograph of yesterday. With more floor and trim.
The floor is gorgeous in daylight!

I think the reveal of the last of the Big Unknowns that were decided before we even signed the contract to buy the house turned out to be a nice one. It has character.

powder room chandy

Peeking into the dark powder room, there was sparkle!

The hole in the ceiling behind it is for a fan. The light might sparkle, but like every room in this house, it is actually meant to be used.
Do not like superfluous spaces. (Remembering the house hunt this spring with the countless formal living and formal dining room of so many colonials.)

powder room
This is where one of the plumbers were working.

boys bathroom vanity with counter

The boys’ bathroom vanity counter is in place and so are their two sinks. The granite is very pretty.

I am not a big fan of Jack&Jill bathrooms in general (this is a T&C bathroom). But the boys do brush their teeth at the same time, and I have witnessed enough space squabbling with accompanying toothpaste leakage to think this might work very well for them.

Two people were installing wood floors in Ts bedroom, to the left, and another was assembling a ceiling fan in C’s bedroom to the right.


M’s countertop and sink. Hers will likely be messier than the boys’. On the other hand, the toilet will be a lot cleaner.

There were a few people in the unfinished part of the basement too.

One was moving the window screens from the area under the stairs where they have been stowed.

Another was doing something with red and blue pipe.

hot water heater Also, we now have a water heater!

Total worker count, no idea, they kept moving around, but maybe around 13. Plus Mike-the-Builder who was showing a couple around, discussing their future house.
Point is, it wasn’t crowded.

slope from driveway

Closing with the view from the concrete pad outside the garage, looking north. I want a split rail fence going from the side of the house here curving right and away into the trees and straight back to the far side of the septic mound. I estimate it will be 6-700 feet. *gulp

This is where the landscapers will install sandstone steps leading down to the backyard and patio.

Next week!


Edited to add:

west side

This photo was taken on September 18th (the day after the others), just to show where we are at, dirt wise.

More dirt is scheduled to arrive early next week, so lawn installation has been pushed to Wednesday.

I see the light

I’m talking about the one light fixture we were missing: the dining table chandelier.

It will share the big vaulted ceiling space in the kitchen with the three island pendants:

kitchen island pendant catalog

The middle light, the lowest.

After a lot of browsing, I found two collections at Restoration Hardware that grew on me.

camino light

san sebastion light

Both have optional Edison tube or squirrel cage bulbs and both come in round and rectangular. We prefer round, more like our foyer light.
The Camino comes in sizes we could use. But it has only extension rods and not chains, like our pendants will have.
San Sebastian on the other hand, has the chain elements but the round versions are huge in scale.

Also, the Restoration Hardware prices are steep.

Presenting: Liam – oil rubbed bronze 24 light chandelier, 48″ ⌀
Half the price of the RH varieties makes it even prettier.
Or handsomer?

use dinette light

I use antlers in all of my decorating ♫♩♬

Aka: Lighting revisited.

We had picked out all the lights, except the entry fixture since Whitmer’s did not have one that fit my preconceived notion of what I wanted.
We went quite a bit over our lighting budget.

Quite a bit as in double. >.<

Which would be OK if we actually cared a lot about lights.

We don’t.
Since we were happy with many of the fixtures, we’re just adjusting the big ticket choices.
This is the light we had picked out for the dining room. first dining room option

It looks neat. Combines some industrial vibe with glass that is not crystal but still sparkles.
(Eric has a thing about crystal being ‘old people lights’ I guess it complements purple hair.)
However, it is not $800 worth of pure awesomeness.

We decided to switch it out to this instead.


Similar concept, if busier and more random. It is a lot prettier to look up at, considering the formal dining room will be a reading nook. And a little less expensive.

We will do dark/bronze’ish fixtures throughout the living areas. The one shown above is chrome with clear crystals whereas the bronze version comes with amber crystals.
I don’t know how that will turn out. Either warm and cozy, or like someone covered everything in the room with a thick layer of nicotine grime. It will be exciting to find out!


Here is the bronze & amber version, but in a size smaller than we will get.

Another change of heart and a complete change of direction, style wise: The snot lights will not happen. Not just because of the price.
I saw these cute pendants at Pottery Barn, more like old helmets than mucus.

kitchen island pendant catalog

And Whitmer’s carries something similar enough that I can live with it. Maybe.

The size we want will not have the vertical bands, not as helmety. I still like the restoration vibe. But it gives me another problem.
It is really tough to settle on an ‘over the dining table light’, to go with the little helmet wannabes. They will share the same big cathedral ceiling space.
Something with classic white glass would work, but sounds awfully boring. Any number of dark/bronze chandeliers could work, but it is really difficult zoning in on something.
It would be simpler if we just picked a theme and stuck to it, like Gaston’s antlers in Beauty and the Beast.

Here is a photo of our outdoor lights that I managed to not get pictures of on lighting day. I think it’s a happy medium between traditional and contemporary. And as a bonus it has bubble glass.


And here is the master bath sconce, x 4.

master bath sconce

Finally, the entry light.
Even though I want to make one, I realistically don’t have the time to commit to it right now.
I prefer this one over the tons of other orb lights out there due to the arrangement of straps and the shape of the chandy in the center.

Stone and light – Design meeting #3

Our first stop today was at Chippewa Stone, in Medina and our second was at Whitmer’s Lighting, in Fairlawn.

The stoneyard visit took an hour and the lighting took three (!). And we still didn’t pick a main entry light.

We met with Interior Design Studio Katie, who helped us work through the stone yard’s selections of natural stone and quartz as well as the plethora of lightning options. I’m combining the two visits in this post, so things that belong in the same area get grouped together.

The first slab both Eric and I could agree on liking was Giallo Ornamental Light, which will go in the kids bathrooms, both the boys’ and Ms in the basement.

Kids bahts counter

As a refresher, their bathroom vanities are espresso stained maple, and their floors a light ceramic tile.

kids bath floor grout and vanity

bathroom lights The kids will have this light above their mirrors and vanities, but upside down so suicidal bugs will fall out and not accumulate in the glass chamber of Doom. The boys will each have a 2 light version, and M will have a 3 light over her mirror.

All three are getting the same ceiling fan in their bedrooms, with modified boob light >_<

Kids fansThat was it for today’s kiddie selections


Chocolate! What’s not to like.

This is the counter for the laundry room. The cabinets in there will be white and the tile floor has the same small grain look as the counter. The photo of the tile is a little lighter than reality.

Laundry floor

On to the master bath. Here we went with a Caesarstone Classico in Nougat.

I’m very happy with how this worked with the striped floor especially.

Katie had samples of our flooring and vanities, among other things, in her awesome bag-of-holding. Here they are all together:

Master bath counter and floor

Master floor shower wall and accent     Master bath floor and shower floor

These are the other master bath selections, shower wall with accent to the left, and floor, shower wall and shower floor mosaic to the right.

I did not get a picture of our bathroom sconces, because I forgot. They will be similar to this one in shape, mounted vertically on each side of the mirrors in the master bath.master bath sconcesAnd finally the crazy ball that will go over the master tub, it will be one size down from the one showed.

master bath chandelier

Here is our master bedroom fan, followed by the bigger great room fan with dark blades.

master bedroom fangreat room fan

The office will have this fan with seeded glass (so we’ll till get those cool patterns thrown on the walls from the bubbles in the glass) and an old bronze finish and darker blades than the picture shows. 

Onward to the kitchen!
Katie found our backsplash! It’s a crackle subway tile in three different shades of green, I think it will look awesome! Something along these lines with a third of the tiles darker, and a third lighter than this. Emser Tile Cape Cod 3

Since we have white cabinets Eric wanted a darker counter while I leaned towards light. So we tried finding something in between. We saw this and really liked it:


It even had some olive in there, but there were only two slabs left from this lot, and both were claimed. They had another batch but it was a lot darker and busier, not for us.
A few rows further back we found something else we both thought looked nice. Again they only had 2 slabs so in a worst case scenario we will only get it on the island, and then go with a calmer medium dark gray Caesarstone quartz on the perimeter counters. In this slab we have some light and medium gray with darker gray veins and there’s also some taupe in there and a green tint.

When we came to the kitchen lighting, Jason, our sales rep at Whitmer, mentioned this ‘really different Area51 series’ in passing, we passed it in the store and I made a remark that it reminded me of ‘Alien mucous. It’s a snot light!’. After a moment followed by ‘I like it.’
Eric actually agreed, it wasn’t as crystally as he had feared.
The cage around the glass blobs will be a dark antique bronze instead of white, and it will have two buddies to dangle with over the island. It really looks a lot cooler in person and the green of the glass works well with the green of the backsplash.

snot light kitchen  The hard part was finding a kitchen table light that played nicely with it. After some old school catalog browsing we found something we hope won’t look too out of place. Also with greenish glass.

We’re going with the bigger one, to the table light

There will be a flushmount light by the garage entry, and a small classic crystal chandelier in the powder room.

Eric claimed he will never look at this light, and if he has to use the half bath, he’ll keep his eyes closed.
I honestly don’t care as long as he hits the inside of the toilet :p

We did pick out a very cool looking chandelier for the ‘formal dining/reading area’ form a catalogue, but I forgot to take a photo.

The one light we have left is for the main entry. I want a metal hoop ball pendant/chandelier, with a crystal pendant in the center, but I haven’t found the right one yet. I might try to make one and when that thought strikes, it’s difficult to settle for something less than that image that evolves in my head.