New Foyer Lights

I guess my last post (and looking at inspirational blogs) got my butt in gear because the next day after posting, I replaced the two lights in the foyer that were staring at me screaming, “Replace me!  I’m ugly!” and then took three weeks to post…  Sorry!   The holidays were hectic is my excuse 🙂 .

Here is what the lights looked like before:

Ugly Light!Typical builder grade ’80s light.  Ugly right?

Here’s the replacement:Middle Light

I had a hard time finding a style that I liked that complimented but didn’t outshine (see what I did there :), the crystal foyer light that I love.  I finally found one that I liked at Home Depot that was not too pricey, as lights can get super expensive.  These were $140 a piece (I ordered two) which is not too bad.

The installation was as expected- an hour for the first one and 20 minutes for the second since I had practice with the first.  By the time I was done, I felt like I had gotten a good arm workout and because of that, I didn’t go to the gym.  HA, I crack myself up!  I wasn’t going to go anyway…

Anyhoo, here’s how they look now:

Two Lights


And another angle, at the front of the foyer:

Front LightThe silver matches the crystal light and the shapes are also the same, so I thought they complimented each other nicely.

Next up is to find a new rug for the foyer as well as some nice artwork and to move the coral chair out of the room… sorry chair, it was nice while it lasted…


Let There be Light!

The chandelier in the foyer is gone and in it’s place is some serious bling!  But, as usual, there were some mis-steps on my part before arriving to the final light fixture.  Here was what was originally in the foyer:


It’s the Belora Chandelier from Pottery Barn and I loved it when I got it but I’m an idiot and didn’t take into account that our ceilings are low, so it ended up hitting anyone in the head who was over 5’9″.  Luckily, my family consists of short people, but when “normal” people came over, we always had to warn them to watch their head.  And in the case of the kids’ piano teacher who comes once a week and who is tall, he hit his head on the thing just about every week even with the warning!

It was also too wide and when we opened the front door, the door banged into the light.  About half the time, the really heavy crystal balls would fall off when that happened and either land on the ground (“whew”) or land on someone’s head (“sorry….”).  What a way to welcome guests into your home, right!  “DUCK and try not to break our chandelier!”


See the heavy, concussion-causing, crystal balls?!

So, I knew that I needed something that was either flush against the ceiling since the ceilings are low, or maybe semi-flush if it didn’t hang down too low.  I went to Lamps Plus online and found a light that I thought might’ve worked, but as my husband ALWAYS points out, I’m really good at getting things right the second time around.  So here’s what didn’t work:


It was super easy to install but I didn’t like it because it didn’t go with the “theme” of the foyer… It was too modern whereas, the foyer, and really the whole house except for my husband’s traditional office, is eclectic.  It was a nice fixture and I liked it but I just didn’t like it in MY house.

I went back to Lamps Plus because their selection is huge , their prices are reasonable, and I knew I’d find something else when I came across this light for about $300:

Chandelier in foyer


It was love at first sight!  It’s a little fancy because of the crystals but it’s also eclectic because of the “cage” around the crystals.  After a quick 20 minute installation, viola!



See how well it goes with the dentil detail in the crown molding?   And, I love how I can see the light from the two mirrors in the living room.  It also puts out major wattage since the bulbs that came with it are halogen so when it’s turned on, the entire foyer is bright, bright, bright!



This is a picture of it looking up which I did a lot the first night I installed it because it was mesmerizing!  Also, when the light’s on, it makes a pattern on the ceiling that is an extra little plus:



Now everyone’s happy, my piano teacher with the soon-to-be lump free head, the kids because they love the pattern the light makes, my husband because of the price, and me because it really is a beautiful light!




Shiny, Happy Mirror

I love to re-purpose, especially if that re-purposing involves spray paint so when we replaced the mirror above our mantel with artwork and the mirror was homeless (poor mirror :() I busted out my spray paint and got busy.  The last we saw of the mirror, it was gold and shiny above the mantle:


But then it got the boot and was replaced with a canvas print that just looked a lot better in the space.


I loved the shape of the mirror but not so much the color so I grabbed some paint from Home Depot and got to sprayin’ that bad boy:


First I covered the mirror with scrap paper that I just shoved between the mirror and the frame.


It actually worked out really well when I sprayed because hardly any paint landed on the mirror and what little bit did, I just scraped off with a razor blade.

Then I spray painted about 10 light coats of Rustoleum Satin Paint in Summer Squash and viola, the finished product:


It makes me happy to see that mirror right when I walk into our house :).  You can see where our front door is from the reflection in the mirror, it really is right when you walk in.  Here’s another pic:


The wall color is Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore (a shade lighter than Revere Pewter) and love how the yellow and gray look together.  I scored the basket on clearance from Target.  I love Target…

The little table is from Ballard Designs and was free because I bought one for the office that was a little off kilter when I put it together (the screw holes wouldn’t line up correctly), so Ballard, being the great company they are, sent me another one for free and told me I could keep the original one since it was almost all put together.  I fixed the original one by breaking out the drill and making the holes bigger then superglueing the screws in the holes- something I didn’t want to do if Ballard wanted me to return the original!

With the addition of the funky gold and coral chair and now the mirror, the foyer is coming along nicely!  Next on the list is replacing our too-low hanging chandelier that always hits people in the head when they walk into our house…  Welcome to our home!  Sorry about the concussion!  More on that later.

Gold and Coral Chair

A while ago I posted this chair that I love:


cute blue chair

I like the simple lines and especially the fact that it was bi-colored and BLUE (my favorite accent color).  It looked like an easy, quick project so I definitely wanted to DIY one for my house.  I checked out a couple donation stores and found a chair at Goodwill for $10 that I thought I could work with:


The lines weren’t as clean as I wanted, but I thought that if it didn’t look the way I wanted after I was done with it, I could always give it to the kids for their treehouse (which is where all our cast-offs go).  I wanted to paint the bottom gold and the top coral since even though I love blue, I’ve learned that I have to stay away from blue as much as I can since that is my go-to color and my house is at risk of looking like the Smurfs live here if I’m not careful!

The first step was to get all the gloss off the wood with a liquid de-glosser.  I used TSP de-glosser that I picked up at Home Depot.




I wanted the bottom of the chair to be gold because the chair was going in the foyer and right next to the foyer is my living room which has gold accents and I wanted the two spaces to relate to each other.  So, I flipped the chair upside down in the grass and started spray painting the legs using Rustoleum gold spray paint.





I sprayed about 10 very light coats and let the coats dry for about 10 minutes between coats.  I was so happy with the results after I was done because the legs were shiny, bump free, and drip free.  I high-fived myself for picking a project that was easy and awesome but then came painting the top part, and soon I was kicking myself in the rear!


I decided to use latex paint for the top of the chair because I couldn’t find the color that I wanted in spray paint; although I did find a website where you give them the paint color from any manufacturer and they make spray paint out of it but it was really expensive (like $20 a can) and I wanted this to be an inexpensive project.  So, latex paint is what I worked with and after lots of headaches and drips and sanding and time and cursing, I came up with:



It was way too light on the top and when my husband saw it and said, “I didn’t know you were going for the old lady South Beach look,” I knew I needed to reevaluate the color.  So after spending about three hours painting this atrocious color, I went back to Home Depot and picked out a brighter version and got this:



This was too dark and sadly, still ugly so I lightened it:





Still terrible.  And at this point, I had so many coats on the chair that there were bumps, brush marks, drips and general ugliness.




Even if the color was perfect, which it wasn’t, I couldn’t live with all those imperfections!  I even tried thinning out the latex paint before painting and the paint still globbed in lots of places, so I did the only rational thing and spent the next 2 days stripping all paint that wasn’t gold.  I used Citristrip which is an environmentally friendly gel stripper and had to apply 3 coats since I had so many coats of paint to strip.


After stripping the chair, and going to 5 different stores, I found a spray paint that would work called Coral Isle by Krylon and after another 10 coats I finally got it right with no bumps, drips, globs, and no cursing!








See how the gold in the chair relates to the gold mirror and accents in the living room?


I even found a cute little pillow at Target for $5 that I think goes well with the chair.

The next step is to add some art above the chair with blue accents to break up all that coral a little.  In the spirit of trying to do this with as little cash as possible, I’m going to DIY the artwork and already have some ideas that I think might work.  I’ll let you know when I come up with something that is share-able!

Notes from this project:  USE SPRAY PAINT!!!  It leaves no brush marks and if you spray light coats, no drips.  I will for evermore use spray paint to refinish furniture because I value my sanity.