...because home doesn't happen overnight.

studio lights 1

This post has been a long time coming. Management at the warehouse changed hands last year. For the most part, it’s been a good thing. The new managers are making improvements, enforcing regulations, bringing in new and exciting tenants and generally cleaning up the property. One change they’ve made is requiring work orders for any improvements or maintenance concerns to be submitted through the main rental office. Management then passes along the work orders to maintenance and the task is added to a long to-do list and prioritized.

The new rule affected the installation of lighting in the space I occupy. I was in need of task lighting over a worktable. Steve and I had thought we could tackle the project ourselves by borrowing scaffolding from maintenance. (The ceilings are 18′ high.) But when the rule (which I realize was made to ensure the safety of tenants and address tasks efficiently) was made, a DIY installation was off the table. Since a leaky roof, a non-functioning bathroom, a needy boiler system and all the other issues that come with an old building take precedence over pretty lights, it was months before the lighting installation climbed to the top of the list. But they’re up! And they’re amazing!

studio lights 6

They’re the Wesco vented deep bowl pendant lights from Barn Light Electric Co. I ordered the 20″ shades in textured black. Due to the 18′ ceiling height, I needed a custom cord length. Each light is made-to-order so I was able to specify a 15′ cord versus the standard 8′. The location of pre-existing light boxes dictated the placement of the pendants but, on the work order, I instructed maintenance to hang the lights 30″-36″ above the table. They look and work great! Before, there were two lonely lightbulbs on the ceiling above the table. They were so high and didn’t really do much to light the surface of the table.

studio lights 5

Speaking of the table, it was a $250 eBay find. The seller was local so we were able to pick it up and avoid shipping costs. It’s a vintage Drexel (the same manufacturer as the dresser in the boys’ room) banquet table. It’s HUGE. With two leaves in place, it easily seats 10. Without the leaves, it seats six. It isn’t in perfect condition but it’s solid which makes it an ideal work surface. It can take abuse and I don’t worry about inevitable scratches, dings and paint splatters. I love the brass detailing on the corners. It reminds me of campaign furniture.

studio lights 4

The bentwood chairs are knockoffs. I scored six of them at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore last summer for $12. Total. Yes, you’re doing the math right. THAT’S $2 PER CHAIR. And, yes, that price is so ridiculous that I almost feel guilty, but I can’t because I’m too busy jumping up and down with giddiness over the score of a lifetime. Sometimes I’m in the right place at the right time.

studio chair repair

Two of the chairs had splintered / worn places on the seats from years of use. Steve filled them with wood putty. Later, I sanded the patched spots and brushed on two coats of glossy black paint. I used Glidden’s trim & door paint in deepest black, leftover from painting the french doors at home. While it isn’t specifically meant for furniture, the trim & door paint worked amazingly well on the chairs. After everything had cured, there was a noticeable increase in the structural integrity of the painted chairs and the slick surface is super easy to wipe down. I stuck the black chairs at the heads of the table and left the other chairs in their original condition.

studio lights 2

On one side of the table, I opted for a pair of simple wood benches. Ever since our stay in an Asheville cabin, I’ve had all the heart eyes for bench seating. It’s super kid-friendly and feels more communal than individual chairs.

Last month I hosted a co-ed wedding shower (it was more like a big party than a traditional shower) for my sister and her fiancé at the studio. I had to borrow and set up extra folding tables and chairs for 40 guests, but everyone gravitated toward the banquet table and the benches. I had “a moment” watching people eat, drink, talk and laugh around the table.

studio lights 3

Even though this isn’t an actual living space, I hope you take away some ideas or inspiration for your own home:

*Mix-n-match seating around a dining table lends a casual vibe.

*Consider benches for kid-friendly seating options.

*When scouting furnishings, search secondhand local sources (ReStore, eBay, craigslist, etc.) first, then fill in the gaps with big box purchases.

*Think outside the paint can. Many specialty paints can be used beyond their marketed application.

*Old + new work best when sticking to a limited color palette and when pieces share similar lines.

*In an open space, punctuate zones with oversize pendant lighting.

If you’re in need of quality lighting, I can’t recommend Barn Light Electric Co. highly enough! They have a slew of residential and commercial options. In my own home, I sourced the sconces above the kitchen and bathroom sinks from the American lighting company. I’ll never forget when the electrician (our cousin-in-law) installed the kitchen sconce. He was so impressed with the quality and construction of the light that he asked for the source so he could recommend it to future clients.

Barn Light Electric Co. is kindly offering up a store credit to one lucky reader! See entry details for the giveaway below. I rounded up a few of my current favorites if you’re interested in checking them out. I prefer neutrals but many of the lights are offered in different finishes and colors to suit any style.

Barn Light Electric Co.

 

Sources (clockwise from top left): angle shade gooseneck / wire cage flush mount / downtown minimalist sconce / downtown minimalist brass double sconce / barnes flush mount / chateau modern pendant / downtown minimalist 3-light brass chandelier

PRIZE: $500 store credit to Barn Light Electric Co.

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the U.S. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “BARN LIGHT ME!”

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 20th. One random winner will be announced Monday, March 21st.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Feel free to share your latest lighting dilemma and which light(s) you think would solve it.

Good luck!

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.* Congrats to Karen who has been renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse over the last decade and needs new vintage-esque lighting to finish off the place!

P.S. – IKEA cabinets in the studio. Organization in the studio.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

991 Comments

15.March.2016

Barn Light Me!
We’re finishing our basement and starting to pick out lighting. I’ve had my eye on several from BLE!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME…

Latest lighting dilemma? Ha… every light in my house is spec grade… so we’re one-by-one upgrading… (there are so many boob-lights, it’s unreal… and tell me you know what I’m talking about!).

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!!! I am dire need of an amazing lighting piece for our bedroom.

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! (Please)

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! Would like different lighting in bathroom.

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

We desperately need to update the lighting in our house, so this give-away would be amazing – those lights are so pretty!

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15.March.2016

Barn light me! Love the studio space!!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

We are doing a total remodel. We need lights in every bathroom, the kitchen, entry, stairwell. I was just shopping this website over the wkend. This would come in handy!
Dana, if you are heading to Seattle any time soon, please come help me! I could use your magic.

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15.March.2016

Barn Light Me! Love the pendants!

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15.March.2016

“BARN LIGHT ME”!!!!!

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15.March.2016

Barn light me, please! The light fixture in our bedroom is very off center, and it has driven me crazy since the day we moved in. I have been dreaming of having it rewired to the center of the room and replacing it with a better fixture!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! Love the space…

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15.March.2016

barn light me! The lights are lovely.

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15.March.2016

Barn light me!
Desperately need new lighting in the kitchen.

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15.March.2016

Barn Light me! I am looking for wall sconces to go over two large windows in my kitchen! So sick of looking at wires hanging out of my beautiful tile wall!! PS Those Pendants are gorgeous!

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15.March.2016

Barn Light Me! We refinished our attic 2 years ago and we still have a plain light bulb on the ceiling…it has been waiting to be dressed up!

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15.March.2016

Barn light me! This space is absolutely beautiful!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! :)

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15.March.2016

Barn light me! I’ve been doing a master bedroom redo the past couple weeks, we finally have a grown up bed! But the overhead light is now sorely out of place and I have my heart set on some rustic industrial bed side lights.

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15.March.2016

oh please, BARN LIGHT ME! love these lights and your new studio!

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15.March.2016

barn light me!!

please help me replace the million year old ceiling light in my bedroom, the one with the wheat etched in the glass (does anyone know what i’m talking about??)!

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15.March.2016

Barn Light Me!
We are renovating our 112 year old farm house and could use some gorgeous lighting!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

Love this space!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME…perhaps to replace my 10+ year old Ikea dining room light. Barn Light Electric has so many great options.

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! Beautiful table!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME PLEASE !!! we are building our home – and all builder grade light fixtures are in simple language “pain” . :-)

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15.March.2016

Barn Light me! We are building and they have such an awesome collection. Your studio space is looking great, thanks for all the tips!

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Barn light me! Those chairs, I’ve been eyeing some on Craigslist but the sellers availability is very limited and we can’t agree on a day and time. I’m going to cry, ha just kidding. But seriously $2 a pop, u go girl! And the table was another great buy, the studio looks great! Congrats!

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15.March.2016

As I read through the post and saw the first couple of pics, I kept thinking, “This space feels so good!” And then you dropped the news that you hosted a co-ed shower for your sister, which made the whole space feel even better since I was picturing people milling around with wine glasses in their hands under the glow of the new pendants. I’m inspired by the smaller-home-amplified-by-separate-rental-space concept that you’ve pioneered here. Very cool.

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15.March.2016

Barn light me!! Great space!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! Love how your studio is coming together. We still have lots of lights to update in our house and I have my eyes on your glass globe lights for our kitchen and maybe a drum pendant for over the kitchen table. But I think a farmhouse style pendant light would be great downstairs over our game table.

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

Just moved into an older home and slowly replacing 50 year old light fixtures. This would sure help a ton! Oh boy!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!!!

I have the worst lights that the previous owners of our ’90s home thought were cool. And it turns out lights can get pricey!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

We’re in the beginning stages of a total gut kitchen reno (purchasing our Ikea cabinets Thursday… EEEEEE!!!!), and I’d LOVE some Barn Light Electric Co. lighting to complete the space! Crossing fingers and toes! :)

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! Oh I need something nice for our hallway. We are on a 5 year plan to renovate our 1980’s home and were surprised with baby #3. So that plan is now on hold, it would be nice to at least change the rusty brass fixtures.

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15.March.2016

Barn Light Me! I’m always spec’ing lights from Barn Light electric!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! Our little entryway needs help in the lighting department. It’s an odd space and we only have one little light so it’s rather dark.

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15.March.2016

Barn Light Me, Please!!!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

The ones you chose are beautiful!! I would love that in my home!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

I’m eyeing that caged light for my oldest son’s room! We also have a very long table in our dining room…I can’t decide between a single light (with decent span like the one Julia at CLJ used above their dining table) or to go with multiple pendants. The irony is that I could get 2 pendants for cheaper than a single light that would do the job :P

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

We just moved into our house less than a year ago, and I’m determined to methodically eliminate all the boob lights throughout…

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! We are buying a house, and all the fixtures need updating. I don’t even know where to start.

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

Split entry house. Enough said.

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! Love the lights over the big table.

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15.March.2016

Barn Light Me! We are gut-renovating an entire house on a tight budget and need to purchase all new lights. Barn Light electric Co. lighting would be amazing in our new space!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME!

I’d love one of those gorgeous pendants for our hallway renovation; my husband wants to keep the old pendant (blah) but a new one would be perfect!

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15.March.2016

Barn Light Me! I really need a light for over my dining room table. There are so many great options!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME :)
I need to update our builder basic lights in both the nursery and guest room. My hope is to transform the guest room to a big boy room for my son. I want something kind of industrial and modern – the ‘boob light’ has got to go!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! PLEASE!

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15.March.2016

BARN LIGHT ME! Because lights are the icing on the cake, and I have a sweet tooth!

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