Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Easiest Home Improvement Ever

I've learned many things about home renovations, but the most important thing is that renovations ebb and flow.  Some months, you are ninjas, demolishing and rebuilding things with lightning speed!  And other months, you are sloths, who prefer to crawl up in tall trees and hang out until things look better.  (Non sequitur of the day, sloths are incredibly cute and did you know they can starve to death with full bellies?  Check it out.)  We are sloths this month, kids.  OK, we are sloths this fiscal quarter.  It's hard to do things when it is cold/rainy and this Jan/Feb have been particularly narsty.  So, when our renovation behavior gets sloth-like, I become a big fan of the low-hanging-fruit approach to home renovation.  This requires assessing your to-do list and picking the things that can be knocked off with as little effort as possible. The low-hanging fruit in our life was replacing the hall light.

The hall light in our upstairs hall was really ugly.  Grandma-floral-70's ugly and on top of that, it put off yellow light, making everyone look sallow.  If there's one thing I hate it is overhead light, and especially unflattering overhead light.  From the moment I moved in, that hall light's days were numbered.  (Well, it was really just the shade who's time in this mortal sphere was limited.  The fixture itself was pretty unexceptional, it lived to see another sunrise.)  Here is the hall light shade after I tore it off the ceiling in a fit of tackiness-induced rage. 

(Just kidding, the husband took it down very gently.)

It turns out that there are only four standard sizes of ceiling fitting.  Who knew!  I learned this from the helpful website of Schoolhouse Electric.  Schoolhouse Electric is a Portland company and all of their shades are designed and made in the good old U.S. of A.  Their shades are incredibly gorrrrrrrgeous and if you have one bone in your body that gets excited about home renovation, their website is like crack.  You won't be able to stay away.  www.schoolhouseelectric.com.  Get on it. 

We wanted something vintagey and cute that would give off nice light.  All of the 4" fitter options are lovely: http://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/shades-type.asp?type=Fitter&code=4&fixDtl=0   but I chose the especially lovely P-4383-08-4.  

Hey baby.  Lookin' good.  Wanna come live at my house?

This literally was the easiest home renovation project ever.  I forked over 60 bones to Schoolhouse and a box arrived on my porch a week later.  I considered getting up there with a ladder to do this myself, but my 6' 1" husband arrived before I could get to it.  He unscrewed the four set screws holding in Grandma Uggo:

And put Miss Hotstuff on there and screwed the screws back in.  (While standing on the ground.  Tall people, bah!)

(This is the part where he's not totally sure it is awesome, but goes with it because his new wife has stopped ranting about the evil overhead light.)

Looking good Hotstuff!  Doesn't she look vintage-Hollywood-movie-theatre-glamour?  20's-deco-chic?  Whatever it is, I'm in.  Now, if you'd like to come over and stand in the hall, you won't be frightened off by everyone's sudden attack of jaundice.  Yay for a glamour-filled jaundice-free hall!  Hey, you have to celebrate the little stuff, right?  A non-hideous overhead light is call for celebration in my book any day.


  1. Love it....and love School House Electric. You must come see the fabulous lights we chose from them for our bathroom remodel.

  2. I found your blog on weddingbee and just had to say hi! I love reading about your home improvement projects because my fiance and I both can't wait to by an old house to fix up. Oh, and we're both engineers, too!