Week 12 Journal: Let There Be Light

The Curbly House Week 12 Journal: Turning on the lights
Ahhh ... It seems like just yesterday we walked through the Curbly House and decided to take a chance on it. But, in reality, it was waaaay back in January!
And this week, we put the finishing touches on the inside: light fixtures and switches. Read on to watch our weekly video update and find out how we chose lighting fixtures for each room.

Note: the 'after' shots we're using here are cropped in pretty close, because the interiors of the house are even close to finished or decorated yet, and we want to save those wide reveals for later when everything's looking pretty.

Believe it or not, the Curbly House has been running on one single electrical outlet and a few construction flood lights all summer. This week, it was finally time to put in all the new outlets, outlet covers and light switches. It was like rejoining the future!

Our single outlet

We decided to use dimmer switches for all the lights throughout the house. Dimmers are a small luxury that you don't appreciate until you have them. We worked with Lutron (the company that actually invented solid state dimmers for residential use) and got a box full of switches:

Lutron dimmer switches

(For some reason, this was one of my favorite deliveries ... maybe it's the geek in me).

We're using the Lutron Mastro digital dimmers on the first floor. These are tap switches (not toggles) with an adjustable preset and customizable delayed fade-out. 

Lutron Maestro dimmer switch

created at: 09/07/2012

These dimmers can cut energy costs (by up to 40% when the lights are dimmed halfway - try Lutron's energy savings calculator to see how much you could save). We have 5 inch recessed can lights in the living room, and when they're all turned on, they're really bright ... so it'll be nice to be able to adjust the light to the exact level we need.

Upstairs the switches are all the Diva paddle toggle style (these have analog slide dimmers). And in the bathroom we got an occupancy sensor switch with built-in dimmer. It turns on automatically when you walk in the bathroom, and turns off when the room's unoccupied. Fancy!

Lutron Diva dimmer switch

If you ever want to give a room a really quick, cheap facelift, try replacing the outlets, switches and covers (or have an electrician do it!). It's incredible what a difference these little details can do; they really make the room look finished. 

We hooked up with LampsPlus.com for most of our light fixtures. They have a mind-boggling selection of lights (including a ton of chandeliers, like this crazy $20,000 one, yowza!).

We loved this 'upside-down' bronze chandelier for the dining room. The bronze matches all the window and door hardware in the house, and the linen shades give off a nice soft glow.

(Note: for each of these I'm including the product shot from the website, as well as a shot of the fixture in our house ... I think it's always helpful to compare product shots with the real thing)

Bronze with Off-White Shades 6-Light 26 1/2\\


Dining room chandelier

The old dining room

In the dining-to-living-room hallway we selected a ceramic sconce that's actually meant to be used outside, but we thought it worked perfectly in this space:

The hallway sconce

Ceramic Collection 12\\

The old sconce

The space in the stairwell is super tall, and we wanted something dramatic. We chose this Possini Dandelion chandelier. It’s about 15 inches in diameter with with brushed steel wire construction.

Dandelion fixture

Possini Euro Design Dandelion 15 3/4\\


The stairwell, before

For our bedroom, we wanted a flush-mount fixture to maximize head room. The  Possini Euro 16” drum mount fixture has an ivory-white pleated fabric shade, and we think it's pretty elegant.

Our bedroom fixture

Possini Euro 16\\


The original bedroom fixture

Here's our upstairs hallway fixture, just a simple flush-mount opal glass ceiling light:

created at: 09/07/2012

Possini Euro Design Opal Glass 10 1/4\\

Finally, for the bathroom lighting we went with this 4-fixture white-linen glass sconce ( it's plenty bright for when you're doing bathroom stuff, but you can dim it down to almost nothing (for when nature calls at night):

The bathroom light

Possini White Linen Glass Chrome 32\\


Bathroom light

Now we can do all the things a normal family can do in the house, for the first time in months! We can go to the bathroom! We can turn on the lights! We can even turn on the lights while we go to the bathroom! It's incredible.

Next week will be even more incredible, as we round up a bunch of friends and bribe them with beer and pizza to help us clean the place up and move all our stuff. 


This is a post in the Curbly House series! Follow along as we document every step of our complete home makeover, from gutting the walls to putting up the finishing touches. And don't forget to let us know what you think in the comments! 



This post was sponsored by LampsPlus.com. However, all opinions are my own.

Lutron donated product for use in this project.

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bruno on Sep 10, 2012:

@CKM - we're using SYLVANIA 60w (770 lumens) incandescents. But they're compatible with CFLs as well.

CKM on Sep 10, 2012:

What type of bulbs are you using with the dimmers?

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