...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Our EIL {electrician-in-law} completed his work on updating all the original ’50’s wiring this past weekend. It looks great! We can’t believe what a difference the lighting makes and many of the fixtures aren’t even in place yet. Plus, artificial lighting in every room allows Handy Hubby to work well past dusk if he feels like it {i.e. when putting together base kitchen cabinets :)}. Before, we were working off of a few shop lights after daylight hours and having to move them from room to room.

The first image above is looking into the kitchen from the family/living room. Those base cabinets are the kitchen island. More on the island a little further down. Let’s talk lights for now.

The trio of lights above the island are actually these¬†globe pendants {on sale!} from West Elm. The glass globes are intentionally MIA. We don’t want them to get shattered while renovating is still underway. We’ll probably end up switching the bulbs out after renovation is complete. The standard ones we have in there now are a little too blinding for everyday living but great for DIYing at night! We’re leaning towards an Edison-style bulb.

I’m loving the galvanized light over the future sink area. It projects out far enough from the wall to light the sink and countertop but doesn’t steal the show from the trio of pendants over the island. Our EIL said it’s not going anywhere. He’s very impressed with the quality.

That’s the view you get when you’re standing on the kitchen side of the island looking back towards the family room. Without skylights and pendants on the family room side of the great room, it’s noticeably darker. I plan on adding a floor lamp and table lamp to brighten things up over there. I’ve been dying to incorporate a tripod floor lamp into our home’s design and I think the family room just might be the place to do it.

Along the ridge beam, we chose to have track lighting installed to wash the vaulted ceiling with light and provide indirect ambiance over the great room. We bought the track lighting from Menards. They don’t have it listed online or I’d link to it. The brand is Quantum and the price was extremely reasonable.

Looking into the mudroom/dining room there’s a recessed light and what will be a dining pendant {haven’t quite figured that one out yet} where you see a naked bulb.

I knew I wanted a light in the laundry nook {it used to be a closet!} and recessed seemed to be the way to go. Again, we have plans to add overhead storage and a means of disguise to hide the washer/dryer. I see this nook being multipurpose – laundry room and bar area. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Back to the other side of the great room…

Could it be that this lit hallway is my favorite lighting element in the house? Yes. Yes, it could. And it is. I think it’s because it started out so dark and dingy. Design and DIY people say it all the time, “Lighting is a key element.” Our lil’ hallway is living proof of that – minus the hanging thermostat, dusty floors and messy closet.

When we first started planning the lighting scheme for the entire house, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really care about this hallway. I was thinking maybe hang a ceiling light and call it a day. After all, it was just a pass-through from the bedrooms to the great room and vice versa. But our EIL was very adamant about installing recessed lighting in the hall in a way that would wash the walls just in the right places. So we told him to go for it because we trusted him.

And I’m so glad we did! He obviously knew what he was talking about. The lighting is staggered so that each can washes a portion of wall. I can just see the walls lined with family photos and artwork! This hall is definitely going to become more than a pass-through.

Just off the main hall is this smaller hall to the kid/guest bathroom. It originally had no lighting but now it does.

The bathroom is lit up too although there’s nothing to see here except for a broken toilet and paint sample.

If you wanted to run the exhaust fan you could. It’s fully functioning! HH and I cannot – AND I MEAN CANNOT – wait to start tiling the bathrooms. They are going to be such unbelievable ‘afters!!!’ I hardly even remember the ’50’s pink tile and mold in the walls.

The nursery light is from IKEA. I’d tell you its name but I don’t remember and it’s not listed online because it’s being discontinued. I bought the very last one at our local IKEA a few weeks ago. It was less than $20. I was at IKEA to pick up the floating vanity and bathroom sink and hadn’t planned on buying any lighting but when I saw this ceiling light and its price tag, I knew it’d be perfect for the nursery.

The boys’ bedroom has a place-holding lightbulb for now. I want an industrial ceiling fixture for them. Something that’s appropriate now {at ages 6 and 3} and ten years down the road. Like the nursery, I’m steering clear of any themes in here. I want the boys’ room to flow with the rest of the house but have a youthful, playful and laid back feel to it. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but this room is going to have to function as a bedroom and playroom.

Another great idea that our EIL had was to light the closets in the two larger bedrooms. {The nursery closet is teeny-tiny and receives enough light from the ceiling light to go commando.}

So in the boys’ bedroom he wired a light inside the closet just above the frame. It comes on with the flip of a switch.

It should come in handy for getting dressed on dark school mornings…and keeping the Boogie Man away.

Another lone lightbulb in the master bedroom waiting to be replaced with something better. Since the light in our bedroom will be over the bed, I’m thinking a chandelier or hanging lantern could work well. I think I’ve talked HH out of a ceiling fan. I have my ways. ;)

We have the same closet light as the boys.

Eventually I see us needing to install a floor-to-ceiling closet organization system and when we do, this light will be well outta the way.

The wall sconce in the petite master {now there’s an oxymoron for ya} bathroom is perfect. It’s simple, industrial and slightly rustic. We love it so much that we’ll be installing another one in the kid/guest bath too. Below the sconce will be a mirror {hint: I already bought one and can’t wait to share it!} and floating vanity.

A recessed light over the tub/shower area should keep our small master bath feeling bright.

And, finally, a view back down my new favorite hallway. Ahhhhh. Sorry for the crooked shot. I was probably waddling.

Oh, and what’s that at the end of the hallway?

The beginning stages of a kitchen cabinet installation. If you’ll take a step back with me for a moment…we discovered that installing base cabinets onto a floating floor {like our engineered hardwood} could pose problems down the road. SO…in order to complete the flooring install, HH is installing the base cabinets in the kitchen then laying the flooring up to them. And that’s why you saw our kitchen island way up at the beginning of this post.

When we planned the kitchen layout eons ago, we knew we wanted a big island for food preparation and casual dining. It required knocking down a wall to get it, but it’s something we don’t regret one bit. In fact, I think we would have regretted not knocking down that wall. The 9′ long island {yes, I said 9’…that’s more than twice as long as the island we had in our previous 2,700 sq ft home!} is totally worth it. What can we say? We like open living spaces and a kitchen that allows us to see everything going on around us while we cook.

Not to mention all the added storage we’ll gain from those island cabinets. For fun, HH assembled the drawers of one cabinet…he just couldn’t wait. {Note: while the cabinet frames are white, all the lower cabinets including the island will be black. The sides of the cabinets and island will be covered with black panels so that everything on the exterior is black. For more specifics on our kitchen design, click here.}

Like everything else in the Underdog, the cabinets are dirty. HH has been working non-stop assembling and installing the base cabinets all last weekend and during the week as time has allowed. He says it’s gone smoothly. I think the hardest part has been just searching through all the IKEA boxes for which cabinet/part he needs next.

Update: HH finished installing all base cabinet frames tonight! That means the rest of the flooring can go in…after I work all weekend and HH gets back from two weeks of business travel. Ugh. But I’ll be sure to get some new pics up of the kitchen layout for you in the meantime.

That should bring you up to speed on the Underdog. Many, many thanks to our EIL, Jared. He sacrificed family time and free weekends to help us out. And he made our future home safe and bright! Still, Everett refuses to stop wearing safety glasses and a head light.

Things are moving along and we’re loving this phase of the renovation…installing the finishes we’ve been carefully selecting over the last several months. I’ve secretly been shopping around and making a few decor purchases too that I’m itching to share with you. It’s really starting to come together although there will still be LOTS to do after we move in. I think we’ll be tweaking this house into our home for years and years to come. And that’s a good thing.

FYI – Two of the light fixtures mentioned above are from one of my sponsors, Barn Light Electric. They also sent us two ceiling fans to be mounted in the great room and once those are installed, I’ll be writing up a review of their sponsored products which will include detailed images. So far, we are beyond pleased with them. All other lighting elements were purchased with our own money. Just being honest, folks!

Congrats to Suzanne T!! She is this week’s random giveaway winner!

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

53 Comments

03.February.2012

wow, what an exciting post! the pictures really capture how much light you’ve gained by knocking down walls/adding skylights/clever lighting choices…or is it the fact that the sun has finally come out in OH, after waaay too many rainy days this winter? ;)

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03.February.2012

Thanks for sharing your life and house with us. You are my virtual house decorator BFF!! I can’t wait to see it done. I’m remodeling my condo in Hawaii, but slower than you. Much slower. Lighting is so important! So far this house reno is amazing!

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03.February.2012

What a difference lighting has made! Your home is coming along beautifully! I looked at the old pics, and it has been a HUGE transformation! Although it has been a ton of work, it’ll pay off in the end, and you’ll be so happy. For sure knocking down a wall is a great way to gain more light/space. When we renovated our smallish kitchen, we knocked down half a wall (supporting beam). We don’t regret it either as the kitchen feels more spacious – before it was too claustrophobic. Looking forward to the next post!

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03.February.2012

Wow – it’s all looking so fantastic! It’s been so much fun to follow along as this renovation is happening – I’m getting to excited to see it all come together!

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03.February.2012

Wow!!! All the lighting is gorgeous! You’re choices are perfect!! I’m also envious of your huge island! We’re laying new flooring in our kitchen this weekend and will then move onto installing our white Adel cabinets that are already assembled in our garage. Can’t wait!
I’m impressed by how much you are accomplishing during this chaotic time in your lives! You should all be very proud of yourselves!

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03.February.2012

I am really impressed with how much you’ve already done to update this house! My parents are currently updating at 1970’s ranch in the southwest in the same DIY fashion, and I’ve been showing them your blog. Keep it up – the hard part is almost over. :)

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03.February.2012

Looks like there is a lot of progress going on! Good for you! I especially wanted to mention that I love the idea of a chandelier in the master bedroom…I just LOVE the look of that. I am in Florida where a ceiling fan is mandatory…seriously mandatory…especially at my age (read: hot flashes). Anyway, if you or any of your readers ever see a ceiling fan that has chadelier-like qualities, please email me! I found one but they want $8k for it, so that will be a no-go. Ha ha.

can’t wait to see your next update.

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03.February.2012

Looks great! I’ve been following the progress and it’s so nice to see if all coming together especially with finishes starting to be installed!

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03.February.2012

Love it! I admire you for taking on the Underdog! :)

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03.February.2012

I know exactly how you are feeling. Less than two months ago, our lights got installed and power turned on at the house we were building. It’s so nice(that’s an understatement) to not have to move works lights all over the place and deal with shadowy light while you work. Since it was new construction, we had to wait until we passed final inspection for the power company to turn the power on (we just had “saw service”). Check out our first view of light here on my blog: http://mattandallisonkelly.blogspot.com/2011/12/let-there-be-light.html

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03.February.2012

Looks amazing!!! Have you decided where the family will eat?

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03.February.2012

Pretty soon, you’re going to have to come up with a different name for the Underdog! Everything is looking amazing. I still can’t stop staring at the ceiling in your great room. (I humbly admit that I was on the ‘keep it natural’ team; I was so wrong!) Thank you for sharing this process with us, and for keeping it real! I predict seeing your house images all over Pinterest one day soon. :)

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03.February.2012

The light over the sink is amazing. I love the look. I am now trying to figure out if something like that would work in our kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

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03.February.2012

We are comically along the same timeline with our gut renovation. Installing lights and flooring this weekend!

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03.February.2012

Wow how exciting! It looks so bright and cheery. Amazing what a huge difference lights can make.

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It is looking so amazing! Each space is starting to take shape…this is the best part of a reno…apart from the end I suppose ;) I am so enjoying following along (aka living vicariously). Thanks for sharing! Happy Friday!

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03.February.2012

Wow!!! Everything looks so good.

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03.February.2012

It is all coming together! You have to be so excited.

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03.February.2012

Please share your secrets for talking your husband out of ceiling fans in the bedroom! I’m currently in an EPIC battle over this!

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03.February.2012

love love LOVE everything y’all are doing! Can’t wait to see the incredible before and after’s. What are you planning on doing with the front door?

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03.February.2012

wow things are really coming along, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel now ;) such a beautiful job you and your hh are doing!

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03.February.2012

My favorite part is the boys in the background ‘helping out.’ They look like they love working on the Underdog!

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03.February.2012

Congrats! I can’t believe how the lighting makes a big difference…

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03.February.2012

How do you like your pendant lights hanging above the island? Are they true to what they look like online size wise? I’ve seriously been crushing on them online for a while but can’t take the leap and order them. I’m so glad you have them hanging so I can see what they look like!!

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03.February.2012

*love* the lighting!!

We did our kitchen with Ikea cabinets in October and I can’t be happier. We had a rough time hanging the wall cabinets (I took them to the ceiling and added crown molding, which is what caused the “issue”) but it was totally worth it. It looks like you might have the same ones – Ramsjo? Good luck with all the Ikea instructions!!

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03.February.2012

wow…it’s all coming together so beautifully! i love seeing all the lighting set in place!

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03.February.2012

i am going to start introducing my sister to electricians! your eil did great work. your rustic/industrial lights give a great feel, even in empty, dusty spaces. i can’t wait to see the finished looks.

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03.February.2012

AMAZING. You guys must be so proud – the house is looking stunning. So, so excited for you!

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03.February.2012

Everything is looking so, so good! I’m not usually a fan of track lighting, but the way you’re using it along the beam in the great room is perfect. I also like the staggered lights in the hallway; so much more interesting than marching in a straight line! BTW, I really hope you’re planning to keep that front door. I can’t imagine anything better than the original.

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03.February.2012

I get such a vicarious thrill out of reading up on your remodel! Out of curiosity, if laying a floating floor under cabs is poor practice, what about a floating floor under the dishwasher? My appliance guy urged me to put flooring under the dw when we get to that phase, but we’re definitely going with a floating application…. advice always appreciated! Much thanks! (that Everett is such a cutie with all his safety gear)

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replied on February 8th, 2012

M – Since the appliances are freestanding {not attached to the walls} it’s okay to lay a floating floor under them. They have wiggle room. As I understand it, there’s a problem with a floating floor under cabinets because the cabinets are also attached to the walls and if you get some movement from expansion/contraction of the flooring, there’s no give which could result in problems with the cabinets and walls getting damaged eventually. Hope that makes sense!

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03.February.2012

I love that the lights are in! I bet it feels like a HOME now!! So exciting! And…the cabinets going in…amazing. you are going to be moved in before you know it!

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04.February.2012

I just wanted to drop by before a whole weekend spent rehearsing and giving a concert with my choir. It’s all coming together in a very VERY nice way ! You guys must be thrilled ! What are your goals to achieve in order to be able to move in ? Are you still thinking of letting the bricks as is or do you feel they would be too busy with dark floor/caramel couch and everything else and paint them white ? I followed the links on this post and they reminded a bit who the house was a few months ago … !!! GREAT JOB so far ! You’re so good in your choices and in the way you make them come true.
Should be the same for your dream ;)
Take care.

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replied on February 8th, 2012

Ariane – We’ll be leaving the brick fireplace surround as-is until after we move in and get some furnishings in place. I want to see how the brick does/doesn’t work with all the finishes before we take the plunge and paint it.

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04.February.2012

loving all of it!! I especially can’t wait to see all of the kitchen!!

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04.February.2012

I’ve been following the Underdog intently, since we also have an old ranch house and I’d love to knock down the wall between the kitchen and living area (AND raise the ceiling, but that seems way out of our budget). Our stove and frig is on the wall that would be knocked down, so our island would need to house the stove too. I’m wondering if you somehow attached the cabinets/island to the floor and if there is power to it?

Looks great -amazing progress!

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replied on February 8th, 2012

Chris – To pass inspection, yes, we had to have power run to the island. HH and our electrician ran it through the concrete slab to the spot of the island months ago in preparation for installation. The island cabinets are attached to the floor. I’ll have to ask HH exactly how he installed them.

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04.February.2012

Its really starting to look like a house now! Yay for you!

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04.February.2012

I love love love your style! I know it is hard to wait on renovations. . .but you guys are doing a great job. =)

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06.February.2012

First time commenter but long time reader here. I love your blog. Things are really starting to come together now. I have a guestion about the lights in your boys bedroom closet. Is that a hard wired light? Also can you share the name of the light. We have small closets too but it would be nice to have some light in there. Thanks!

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replied on February 8th, 2012

Theresa – The closet lights are hard-wired. I can find out the brand for you next time I talk to our EIL.

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06.February.2012

So exciting watching this unfold. Are you planning on keeping the front door (guessing it’s the one that was there when you bought the house)? I think the 3 little windows are so cool and retro.

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replied on February 8th, 2012

Marla – The front door is staying! Of course, it needs some sprucing up – paint – but it’s grown on us. There are also orange-y plastic inserts over all 3 windows within the door that we’ll remove to let in more light and get rid of that awful orange glow that they give off.

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06.February.2012

The hallway lighting is brilliant. Narrow dim hallways are so depressing. Instead you have a mini-gallery space. I think you might need to name this child Jared. Or Jaredie – whatever (:

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06.February.2012

Just had to let you know…I tried The Perfect Pregnancy Workout for the first time yesterday! OMG I was not expecting the last three minutes of movement to be that difficult! But whoa!

Thanks for the recommendation! : )

Nicole

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06.February.2012

Dana, I don’t know how it’s been so long since I’ve checked up on your blog, but I see you guys have been busy! The lighting (and the rest of the flooring) looks awesome! It’s really starting to look like a HOME! Yay! So glad for you.

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06.February.2012

Wow, wow, wow! Everything is looking great and really coming together so nicely. You’ve made beautiful choices with everything so far! Are you still working on your interior design course and documenting the house for it?

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23.March.2012

I love your kitchen! It looks almost exactly how I am in the process of doing mine. Same handles & all.

I have a question cause I am having a hard time getting the paint and even the primer to look smooth with no brush marks. We are using a gloss acrylic paint in white which I love but I am not sure what is going wrong with texture & stuff.And we haven’t even started on the actual cabinet doors yet. We plan on having a painter we know spray those but I am unsure of what to do with the cabinet boxes. Do I just need to sand the heck of of them or what? (They didn’t start out rough). Yikes!

what do ya think? Thanks

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08.May.2012

Wow :) I’ve just found your blog since AT posted your master bath Reno. (I love the penny round tile and wish The Tile Shop shipped to Canada). The lighting you used in the closets would be great for my little laundry room. Did you ever find out the brand/store where EIL got the fixture? Can’t wait to go through your blog and keep up to date with the next project!

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replied on May 8th, 2012

The closet lighting is actually 3 fluorescent lights meant to be mounted under cabinets. Our EIL ran them in a series. It was a great idea as they can be placed on the wall {instead of the ceiling} and take up virtually no space yet still light the closet. You could do this with probably any brand of fluorescent undermount light.

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20.January.2013

I’m a first time commenter, but long time reader with a lighting question. I just bought the same pendant light for my kitchen and I am installing it over my island as well. I realized that the canopy piece is too small to fit where the recessed lighting can is in place and I was wondering if you or HH know of something that I can purchase for the canopy piece to fit perfectly? Thanks :)

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replied on January 20th, 2013

You could try buying a basic vinyl ceiling medallion from Lowe’s/Home Depot and painting it to match your ceiling then install the canopy over that. That’s my first thought.

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12.August.2014

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