It’s been a while since I wrote about Snowberry’s renovation.
Looking back on Snowberry’s down-to-the-studs renovation it feels like a lot.
I’m an overthinker.
When I sit down to tap out a post
one thing leads to another and next thing you know
I’ve written an encyclopedia.
Not the stuff of which successful blog posts are made.
Unless you’re in the midst of a renovation yourself
that kind of detail is of little interest.
Just get to the good stuff.
And that’s what I’ll try to do today.
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Today it’s all about the lighting.
And how I chose the lighting for Snowberry.
Like cabinet hardware … lighting is the jewelry of a house.
The icing on the cake.
And this isn’t just for new homes or renovations.
Updating your lighting is a great way to refresh a room or an entire house.
A lot goes into selecting the right lighting.
The design and style of the home, the budget, your own personal tastes.
At Snowberry, a major consideration was ceiling height.
Snowberry is a 1952 ranch style home.
With the 8′ ceilings typical of that style and era.
Any dreams I had of big, tiered chandeliers were quickly extinguished.
We hired a structural engineer to assess the feasibility of raising all the ceilings.
It could be done but it was cost prohibitive.
We decided to pick and choose, prioritizing the great room and foyer.
The great room, Snowberry’s original garage, had a generously pitched roof.
A prior renovation converted the garage to a family room/laundry room/mud room space
and for some reason lowered the ceiling to match the rest of the house.
It felt very low and squatty.
Next, we decided to tray the foyer ceiling.
The extra foot of ceiling height makes a big difference.
And allowed room to hang a small pendant light.
Budget is an important consideration.
We think of Snowberry as our forever home.
And allotted a generous budget for lighting.
There was savings to be had elsewhere.
Jim wants to know where.
Great lighting options are available at all price points.
You can scour the most amazing lighting stores only to come up empty handed.
And sticker shocked.
Then you find the perfect fixture at your local big box store.
At a reasonable price.
There are so many soup-to-nuts online lighting sources like
and, of course
And, more niche sources.
Some of my go-to’s are …
So, without further commentary … Snowberry’s lighting choices.
All the fixtures mentioned are linked throughout and also at the very end of the post.
Raising the foyer ceiling made a big impact. What does it cost to tray a ceiling like this? Three years ago, the cost for this small space was $3,000. It was money well spent and allowed me to hang a small pendant. The Arch Top Mini Lantern Pendant.
The library is Snowberry’s original living room. We decided against any ceiling lights. No can lights, no ceiling fixture. Nothing that would draw attention to the low ceiling. What we did do is paint the ceiling white and add perimeter lighting. A pair of Modern Library Wall Sconces over the fireplace and Dean Picture Lights over the bookcases.
We also added floor outlets for table and floor lamps.
Recently we converted the library into a dining room for a special occasion. With the perimeter lighting, fireplace, and candles on the table there was more than enough light. Everyone could see their food.
Snowberry’s kitchen is a long, rectangular room. A wide galley. A large sky light in the middle of the room breaks it up and allows a lot of light in. In addition to can lighting required by local building code, we added under cabinet lighting and puck lights in the glass front uppers. For the pretty stuff, three Garden City Wall Sconces.
DINING AREA ~
Snowberry has no formal dining room. Between the kitchen and great room, we have what’s essentially a breakfast room. I knew I wanted a Ro Sham Beaux beaded chandelier. We had two in our Fidalgo Island house, and they were stunning. There are many frame styles, sizes, bead choices … and hardware finishes. I chose to go the custom route working with Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home because I wanted to combine two styles. Serena and Lily offer two Ro Sham Beaux styles, the Malibu and Seychelles, each in two sizes.
Custom Ro Sham Beau Beaded Chandelier, similar here
GREAT ROOM ~
Exposing the pitched ceiling was a great idea! Pun intended. I decided against a chandelier. It would have hung directly over the center of the sectional sofa and who wants an overhead light shining down when watching TV. Not me. Truth be told I don’t want an overhead light shining down on me anywhere anytime. I only use the overhead lights to vacuum or search for a lost earring.
Sconces over the fireplace mantle would have been nice. The space isn’t terribly wide, and doors to hide the TV took priority.
We added floor outlets in this room too … for the Westerly Bone Inlay Table Lamp and a floor lamp. I’m considering a second lamp on the console table for more reading light and I like a balance look.
I recently added the Classic Adjustable Task Floor Lamp from RH next to the swivel chair. Similar here and here. The lamp came with us from our Fidalgo Island house and has been stored away in the garage.
Jim’s beverage bar sits in the back of the great room, and same as the kitchen, we added under cabinet lighting as well as puck lights in the upper, glass front cabinets. It’s very pretty at night.
Let’s take a look at the bedrooms.
MAIN BEDROOM, BATHROOM & CLOSET ~
Again … the 8′ ceilings. Sigh. I love the Jacqueline Beaded Flushmount light. If you’re fortunate enough to have tall ceilings it comes in a chandelier style too. The beads create a beautiful light pattern on the ceiling. That said, I rarely turn on the overhead lights and rely on a pair of Culloden table lamps. A similar lamp can be found here.
In the main bathroom … I fell in love with these French Cuff Wall Sconces and used three across the vanity.
What I’m not in love with is the Brielle Semi-flushmount chandelier over the tub. It was a last-minute decision driven by an order deadline. Good news … the price was right. It can be replaced down the road if/when the right thing comes along.
It just occurred to me that the Jacqueline chandelier might work here. What do you think?
In the walk-in closet I chose the Paris Flea Market beaded flushmount light. I used this fixture in our Fidalgo Island closet and loved it. The sterling silver finish tarnishes over time and creates a cool look. Similar to the bedroom fixture, the glass beads create a pretty effect on the ceiling.
GUEST BEDROOM ~
Are you a fan of a hanging shade? I am and I adore this Simple Scallop Shade in our guest bedroom. The Emilie Ceramic table lamps have USB ports in the base which is a great feature for bed table lamps.
GUEST BATHROOM ~
These Bryant Bath Wall Sconces are perfect for the tiny guest bathroom. They comes in several finishes. I chose the oil rubbed bronze and hung them upside down.
This bedroom was intended to be a second guest room. I envisioned two twin beds and a cute nightstand between them. The room was unfurnished when the pandemic hit which was a good thing because it quickly morphed into Jim’s home office. He got by with my petite desk (that’s it’s real name) for over a year. We finally broke down and furnished the room as an office, with two corner desks. The ceiling fixture is a the Pacifica Pendant. I picked it up at the outlet. It’s great for a bedroom, but with a only one, 60-watt bulb, terrible for a home office.
For additional lighting, I recently purchased two Chelsea desk lamps. But the lighting in this room is still less than ideal. This needs to be addressed before one of us goes blind.
EXTERIOR LIGHTING ~
And finally, our exterior lighting … the piece de resistance. Talk about icing on the cake. I’ve admired Bevolo copper lighting for a long time. I thought they only made gas lights. Turns out they make electric too. Early on in our renovation planning process we decided on Bevolo and submitted our architectural drawings online. Ryan from Bevolo (located in New Orleans) contacted me and we began the process of choosing the right style and size fixtures for our house. It was a fun process and after our order was placed it took about six weeks until the boxes arrived. Two weeks early!
We choose the Williamsburg flush mount style.
Bevolo Williamsburg Flushmount
And for our lamp post, the French Quarter lantern.
Bevolo French Quarter Lantern
A few random thoughts on lighting ~
- Nothing kills mood faster than harsh, overhead lighting. Is there anything worse than finding yourself at a dinner party seated under a brightly lit, undimmed chandelier? This has happened to me. More than once. Seriously. Dimmers are essential and we have them on all our light switches. ALL. OF. THEM.
- Incandescent light bulbs are personal non-grata in California. The newer, more energy efficient bulbs last forever but get a bad rap for creating harsh, unflattering light. That said, they’re much improved from when they were first introduced. The light is softer, not as harsh and there are options. I went to our local lighting store for advice on purchasing the right bulbs for our new fixtures. They are expensive, but like I said, they last forever and in the long run will save money.
- Floor and table lamps are another matter entirely and I use 60-watt soft pink bulbs. Yes, I know … we aren’t supposed to be using incandescent bulbs. Before the code change, I stockpiled 60-watt pink bulbs. I keep them in a big bin that sits next to our go-bags in the event of fire or earthquake evacuation. No, you may not borrow a pink bulb and if anyone gets any bright ideas about trying to pilfer one, we have security cameras. Clearly, I take my pink light bulb usage seriously. Because I care what you think of me, please know I keep our thermostat low, turns lights off when I leave a room, and don’t use major appliances during peak energy use hours … and all the other things recommended to run an energy efficient household. I’m confident that smart people are working hard to develop a soft, pink LED bulb. Until then … I’m good.
- Last year Jim replaced our hallway outlets with these Snap Power Guidelights. They’re like nightlights and create a guided path down the hallway when it’s dark. Very helpful when Pippa and Maggie want to go out in the middle of the night.
- As for can lights, I think they should be used sparingly. Or as sparingly as local building code allows. When they are necessary, try to find the smallest (diameter) light that meets the lighting needs of your space. I love directional cans. And always buy covered cans. If you have exposed bulb cans, you can buy covers for them.
Obviously, these are just my opinions.
And what do I know about anything?
You know what works for you.
I can’t help myself.
I have strong feelings on lighting.
PIN THIS POST TO SAVE FOR LATER ~
So, there you have it.
Snowberry’s lighting choices.
I’d love to know what you think.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Until Saturday, cheers from Snowberry!