Looking On The Bright(er) Side

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about the lights in our condo – mostly because we’ve not made much progress. But over the past two weekends, we’ve slowly moved forward in this department. First, we purchased a flexible track lighting system for the kitchen, so it went from small black fan that hits the cabinet door to beautiful aimed spotlight and bright light in every direction:


Before
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After
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But we didn’t mind the small black fan – it was much more updated and modern than the rest of the lighting had been in our condo when we moved in, so we decided to repurpose it and move it into the guest bedroom. So that light went from plain blah white builder ceiling fan and light to slightly cuter black and white ceiling fan and light:

Before
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It may change yet again, someday, but I think that it’s a little more fitting there in the guest bedroom, with the black and white and blue motif than it was in the kitchen, and since that room is fairly small, it doesn’t miss the larger fan!

As I look at the lighting more closely, I’ve restarted my search for a ceiling fan/light for the living room. More on that to come.

Slowly Moving Forward

We’ve been trying to chip away at our to do list and have managed to make some progress.

Project 1: Wardrobes/Chest of Drawers

We purchased our wardrobes from IKEA and thanks to a friend of ours, got them home safely. (Who knew those boxes would be so HUGE?) I assembled them and started filling them with clothes. And, several weeks later, they inspired me to buy all matchy-matchy hangers, so we now have coordinating hangers in all of our closets and wardrobes. I’ve got to admit – as geeky as it sounds – this makes me really happy.

In addition, we took on a rather large project when we purchased an unusual set of drawers that were originally intended as a sideboard, to become our chest of drawers in the bedroom. I just loved all of the drawers and the glass fronts on the top drawers. But the color wasn’t quite what I wanted, so I worked on stripping and repainting it. It took longer than expected, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. The before pictures are posted above and to the side. I’ll add after photos once I get the last handle attached.

Project 2/3: Office and Guest Bedroom/Kitchen Nook

Still no progress here, unfortunately. We’re continuing to look for desks that will work in the spaces – one black for the guest bedroom and a white one for my kitchen nook. We may end up having to hack something (I’ve got an idea for an IKEA hack for the kitchen one), but we’re still looking on Craigslist and everywhere else to see if we can find something less expensive.

Project 4: Living Room/Entertainment Center

We’ve finally ordered an entertainment center! See the photo of it on the left. I think this will be a great piece that will be functional (look at all those drawers for storage!) as well as really nice in our space and go well with my old world/new world mixture of design. I’m really excited about it and we get to go take a trip to the burbs (Woodridge, what!?) to pick it up on Thursday night!

Project 5: Patio

Unfortunately, while we do have a lot of great ideas for the patio space, we’re going to have to wait a while to implement these. This is mostly because… the patio is going to be destroyed. Yep- the structural damage that we knew about when we were looking to buy the place is maybe, finally, going to be fixed. Which brings with it, the lovely and large special assessment that we’ll have to pay, along with all of our neighbors, in order to fix it. So, we’ll be paying for improvements on the balcony, they’ll just be of the necessary kind, rather than for fun.

Project 6: Ceiling Lighting

No progress in this direction whatsoever. We’re still suffering from the evil and cheap lighting that was here when we moved in. Someday, hopefully soon, we’ll get them replaced. I’m really getting tired of the lack of a chandelier in the dining room and the ugly light in our bedroom and ceiling fan in our living room. Anyone else dreaming of new lighting fixtures like me?

Upcoming Projects

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We’ve got several projects in the burner and so many ideas!

Project 1:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, our next major project is going to be installing wardrobes on either side of the bed. As part of that project, we may also end up building our storage bed to fit our specifications. We want something with a shelf for a headboard and drawers underneath. Since most of the bed will be covered by the pillows and comforter, we can stain it or paint it however we’d like. Plus, it gives us time to find a fun, unique piece for our chest of drawers on the other side of the room since it won’t need to match anything else in the room.

Project 2:

There are a lot of options for Project 2, but I think we may decide to try to get the office/guest bedroom figured out. Right now it’s our messiest room, as all of the boxes that have yet to be unpacked (with only a few exceptions) can be found sitting in that room. Previously, we had thought to try to squeeze two desks into the space, one each for Dan and I. After looking around for a corner desk that would fit in the space, we had come to the conclusion that we were likely going to need to custom build something for that room, as well. But dear hubby had a fantastic idea today and I think we may be able to make it work. He noted that we had some usable space in the kitchen nook that could go toward a desk space there for me, allowing the office to just hold one desk, instead of two. Then we’ll have a bit more space for the air mattress when we have guests since that room is just definitely not that big!

Project 3:

Which makes Project 3 the desk out in the kitchen nook for me. I think this could look really cute, with fun organizers and a white board plus a desk surface that I can fold out to create a better art/craft space, as well as a good place to fold laundry fresh out of the dryer. Plus, we can put bookshelves along the wall to hold our cookbooks and our household binders, etc. I think this will be a great idea, as long as I can keep some of my arts and craft supplies inside the office to keep the nook as neat as possible and just wheel stuff out to my desk area when I feel like taking on a project.

Project 4:

And speaking of projects, the living room will need to be our next project. Since we have to get our new big screen TV off the floor! I’ve got the idea to create an “old world meets new” look with a Moroccan flair. I know that sounds like just a bunch of words compiled into a sentence, but I promise that I really do have a vision for the space. (I’ll blog more about that room, specifically, in another post).

Project 5:

We also want to really spruce up our patio to make it a bit more fun and cheerful out there. As many of you know – living in Chicago means that you can only use your outdoor space for a few short months (which seem shorter every year) so really cleaning up the space and bringing some color and texture to it will be key to maximizing our enjoyment of the space.

Project 6:

Then there is the lighting. Ever since we moved in, and perhaps even before then, we’ve wanted to subject whomever installed the lighting in our condo to severe levels of lighting torture. [I’m imagining bright lights shined in his eyes and perhaps being chained to look up at the awful fixtures for hours on end.] We hate pretty much every fixture in the place including the:

  • the ugly ceiling fan/light fixtures in both bedrooms
  • the cheap-o fixtures in the entry, hallway, and kitchen nook
  • boob-like sconces in both the living room and the dining room- which were orange when we first moved in
  • ceiling fan [no light] in the dining room where there should be a chandelier (and matching fan in the living room)
  • the randomly placed ceiling fan (which looks as though it may have been a more recent addition) in the kitchen which can’t be on when you’re cooking or you’ll open the cabinet into the fan blades.
  • the cheap-as-possible outdoor light at the back door and the decrepit light on the patio

As you can see – there isn’t much to love and there is a lot to replace. Not to mention the fact that we seem to burn through light bulbs a lot faster in these outlets than we ever have in any other light fixture. We can’t wait to replace these!