Nov 14, 2013

Stairwell Lighting

The attic project is moving along - next is building the base with the furring strips as spacers for the electrical. We just have to make a small detour for the main stairwell. Before we put permanently put down the attic plywood boards over the stairs we want to add two boxes for pendant lights. The stairwell has always been dark, but it’s been especially obvious since we put up the gallery wall. This is really the last spot upstairs that needs a ceiling light (Mike installed lights in each room and each closet). Once we put permanently put down the flooring it’s going to be much more difficult to install.

Mike put together a plan on how it will all go for switches and wires and boxes. Right now we really want to focus on the attic, so instead of stopping for lights and losing momentum, we’re just laying the groundwork and moving on. The wires and furring strips will be worked out now, even if nothing is live. The plywood board(s) that will go over the stair lights won’t be nailed down for now - they’ll just rest on top and we won’t put anything on them. This way when we’re ready to install the lights, Mike can just move the boards, do the work, then finally nail them down.

And now because of all that, I have pendant lights on the brain. We will need to get 3 matching lights - 2 for the stairs and then 1 for the hallway because they will all line up (and I hate the brass monstrosity in our hallway anyways). There are some gorgeous options out there with a very hefty price tag. I’d love to share them all but I don’t want to focus on things I can’t have. In our price range I mostly found a lot of ugly things and boring builder’s basic pendants. Since 3 lamps add up VERY quickly I ended up focusing on budget-friendly options from Ikea. They seem to understand good design and good prices better than most.

First, keep in mind certain elements from our stairwell and hallway. The paint color is Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. We have dark wood frames, beige carpet, thick white trim and white doors with antique glass knobs. In the hallway we have the textured painted wallpaper that I love.

And now the light contenders. My first choice right now is the Vanadin. It’s hand-blown opaque glass with a crystal detail at the top that reminds me of the the door knobs. Their slim profile would work well in our tall, narrow stairwell. It has an Anthropologie vintage feel to it that I think could blend really well with the house. The best part? They are only $20 each.

However… are they too “little old lady”? There’s a fine line between blending nicely with the old house and blending too well with the old house and looking like something we need to update. I have to see it in person to make a final decision, but it’s still my top contender.

Here are a few other options I like (in no particular order). There’s the new Ranarp pendant (2) which is a bit industrial, but has lots of beautiful vintage details I really like. The Minut (3) is very modern, but I really like the globe lantern look. It also comes in 2 sizes so we could do the larger version in the hallway. The Torna (4) is really cool and the pattern reminds me of our radiator covers. It’s just really pricey at $70 each. So is the Tisdag (5) but I like for it’s neutrality and ability to be focused on the gallery wall.

Of course now we have to actually go to Ikea and look at them all in person... It’s on the to-do list.. with a few other things.

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