Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow leads to unintended consequences- a story

They say it's going to snow a couple more inches tomorrow. What is up with that? We already broke the record. I'm really over it.

So here's a little story about what we've been doing to stave off cabin fever when we couldn't get out and what we've done when we could get out.

Stuck in the house, Meg got creative and tried to paint her 80's-a-riffic, shiny brass, dining room* chandelier. Not having any non VOC paint and not wanting to open the window during freezy, snowy weather, she got the bright idea to use black and brown fabric paint markers to go for an antiqued brass look. file photo of ugly light fixture

*it's not so much a dining room, as it is a small bit of floorspace on the edge of the living room, and the light is the only built-in light in the entire LR/DR combo area.

It took a long time, and it made Meg's arms tired from all that reaching up, but at last she was finished. Unfortunately, even a crazy marker job didn't stop an ugly light fixture from looking any less ugly. In some ways, it made it more noticeable. Even Bob thought it looked kind of bad. On the bright side, Bob and Meg came to a somewhat quick agreement that that funky, dated light fixture really ought to be replaced. (photo coming soon)

A couple of days later, Meg started searching online for a new light fixture. Bob said to let him know when she decided. Meg showed Bob some options. It made Bob sleepy. The next day, the whole family headed out to Ikea to see one of the light fixtures in person. There was free lunch for the kids too, which was a nice bonus. Bob and Meg looked and looked, and thought and thought. Some things looked different in person than they had online. Sometimes that was for the better, some times for the worse. Meg liked one in particular, but just wasn't sure. She wanted to go see another one she had liked at Lowe's. So the family purchased some kids hangers and IKEA chocolate and headed to Lowe's. Powered up by chocolate, young Kiree didn't seem to miss her usual nap time nap. She did however act crazy after a long, long time in the lighting department.

Bob and Meg looked and looked at a very few light fixtures. Bob did have some opinions after all. Will this one be too big? Will this one hang too low? Would that one be too dim? Would that one have a positive effect on resale value? The one Meg had seen online and liked seemed now to her to be much too large for the teeny, tiny "dining room." Another one that Bob liked was really cool and modern looking, but the metal on it wasn't black- would that fit in with the other stuff in the room? Jaide asked repeately which light would be purchased. "Probably none," Meg replied. Jaide wanted the ones with all the "beautiful" colored glass and by the end, wanted anything. Jaide and Kiree wrestled in their car cart and tried to get in and out repeatedly.

Finally, Bob wrote down the item numbers and prices for the fixtures they were most interested in. Meg knew that at least one of them had been less expensive online (and she was right you know). Later that day, Meg poured over various internet sites trying to find a suitable light fixture. Chandelier? Flush mount? Semi-flushmount? Modern? Traditional? Candelabra bulbs? Standard Bulbs? Halogen? No, not halogen. Finishes, prices, shipping? Well, what about the first one? The one back at Ikea? Bob and Meg discussed and discussed. Meg looked at more internet sites until her eyeballs nearly shrivelled up and disappeared. Bob went down in the basement. Meg finally decided. The one at Ikea, with little shades, on clearance from JC Penny's site. Let's hope she doesn't change her mind.


Hules said...

You really think that old one looks funky, and outdated? You sure it's not just a style preference? We just bought & installed brand new ones from Home Depot last Summer that look very similar to the one you don't like. They are brass & glass... But to me that's an elegant style that goes well with a fireplace or dining. Brass & Glass have always seemed classy to me. But then, again I'm not really an brown "earth tone" kind of gal that all the newest homes look like here.

Meg said...

Ours is the original from the 80's. It's hard to get the full effect from the little picture on the blog. I think it may be the style more than the finish in this case that makes it seem dated- which was kind of brought home to me after I tried to "paint" it. I've seen some very pretty shiny brass chandeliers, even though it's not the trendy thing right now. I think the other problem is that that fixture just isn't right size-wise for our teeny space and it doesn't fit in so well with our more casual decor.
I was thinking about this earlier and I was remembering that growing up, we had a black, wrought iron chandelier and that I'm kinda drawn to that kind of style now. I was curious Julia, if you've seen any similarities in what things you had in your home as a youngster and what your style is now. It definitely hasn't been conscious thing for me, but I do have a yellow kitchen as did my mom. I'm with you on the brown thing though, I finally painted over all our dirty beige walls with a nice sunny pale yellow.

Hules said...

Hmm, that's interesting that you linked what you liked growing up with. I'm sure that's why styles get recycled. My brothers were much older than me so the style of my parents home was very 70's. Brown on the outside... Even puky green wallpaper that I tore down when they went on missions & I acquired their rooms. I actually disdain that in my mind. Maybe that's why I can't do earth tones. I looked to other classy homes & interior design in college to form my ideas. I was pretty young in the 80's, but maybe it did have an affect on me. I've always liked brass... Brass frames, light switches, fixtures... Even our fireplace frame is brass.

It also might be all the time I spent in Paris at the famous museums. The Louvre & Palais de Versailles & Musee D'orsay are all adorned in brass and gold. I actually picked up most of my clothing styles (especially dresses, suits, & coats) from that year and a half. It was the time of my life that I was really deciding who I wanted to be... Style & Everything, so I wouldn't be surprised if it also affected my belief of what is opulant, classy, & elegant.

I would even love a brass plated harp someday. When we were married in 2,000 all my friends had to have white gold & I
wanted the traditional diamonds with yellow gold. I just hope it doesn't make people think our rennovations are dated :(

Hules said...

Hmm, well maybe we should just plan on taking our brass & glass with us when the time comes that we build our new home. I guess, if it's not the style we can always buy different light fixtures when we are ready to sell.

I also adore marble & fancy crown molding. You've really got me thinking because my taste was definitely acquired sometime in my life. The more I think it had to be Paris.

I guess I should be more trendy, but I do envy your yellow kitchen! I wanted to paint our kitchen yellow, but it was my husband's only objection to all of my decorating schemes. So, he agreed I could paint the girls' playroom a light lemon instead.

Meg said...

I loved your yellow playroom! Isn't it funny guys don't care too much about stuff like that and then every once in a while they object to something? Well, at least that's how Bob has been. How long are you guys planning to stay in your house? I think the only time it really pays to be trendy is right before you're selling since trends come and go so much. I'm trying to strike a balance here since I'd like to get stuff done now but we'll probably be here another two years. I'm sure I'll have to do a lot of painting again when the time comes (just for the condition if not the color). It will be nice to be in a house we plan to stay in. Then we can just do what we really like and not have to worry about what most appeals to the masses.