DAY 24 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Light It Up

If you think I’m going say for you to go buy all new light fixtures, well you are only a smidgen correct. Maybe 5% on point because there is so much more to be done with lighting than just switching out a light fixture. Today we will work on lighting as a complete package.

DAY 24 Lighting.png

There’s a lot to be done in the lighting department. Below are the many ways you can make an impact in your home by adjusting your lighting needs.

Replace Your Bulbs With The Right Bulb, Even If It’s Not Burnt Out

Edison Bulbs

Early on in the Edison bulb craze, I realized it wasn’t for me. That’s right. No. Here’s why: many of the light fixtures that feature Edison bulbs look great in the fixture, but work horribly in the room. I once put a light fixture in a bathroom with Edison bulbs and my newly renovated bathroom felt like a haunted house. Edison bulbs are horrible for actually seeing anything as they don’t put off enough light, especially in a lighting situation where you want to see what you are doing. They also tend to be a little too orange-y/amber in color for my taste. Maybe this has changed over the years, but still, I haven’t gotten over the let down of a cool looking bulb not working the way I wished it would. I have a hard time going back to things after I have already shunned them, like capri pants and Costco.

Bright White and Blue Hued Bulbs

On the flip side, nothing feels more clinical than a bulb that shines just as annoyingly as fluorescent bulbs. The ones that come to mind are new LED can lights. I tend to stay away from LED lights in general because of this. They typically are so blue in hue that they feel like you’re getting prepped for surgery. If your room feels horrible, try switching out the bulbs for something a little warmer. It seems counter intuitive, yet you’ll thank me later.

Globe Bulbs

Instead of using Edison bulbs I like to grab round incandescent bulbs. They put out great light and have a nice shape as well. They work well in those situations where an Edison bulb would look good, but won’t work well for lighting purposes. They also work well in situations where you’ll be looking up at the bulb from below, such as in the bathroom where you don’t want look up and see the swirly CFL bulbs hanging down.

Appliance Bulbs

How annoying is it to open your freezer or dryer and not be able to see inside? Fix that shit already.

Update Your Light Fixture

Paint It

We’ve hit this in several challenges already so you know full well by now that you can paint a light fixture. Shut off the power to that fixture, flip the switch on and off to test that it is in fact off, then take that puppy down for it’s spray paint treatment. Put it back up the same way you took it down.

Decorate or Un-decorate It

If your bathroom vanity light or dining room chandelier are dumb AF, you have a few options.

  1. Replace the shades with something different. Home Depot sells shades by themselves.

  2. Remove the shades completely. Do you even need shades? Maybe, maybe not.

  3. Replace the bulbs for something a little more shapely and call it a day. Sometimes it’s just that flame bulb that is bringing the wrong vibe. Try a globe bulb to modernize it.

  4. Add something to your light fixture like beads, crystals, what have you.

Replace Your Fixture

Sometimes you just have to jump ship and try something new. I like to buy light fixtures from Amazon, Etsy, Shades of Light , West Elm, World Market, CB2 and Pottery Barn. There is always a sale going on at those box stores so keep an eye out. Here are some of my favorite fixtures I’ve used over the years.

Remove A Light Fixture

This is something I’m doing regularly now, as in I’m not putting fixtures where I would have normally. I may even remove some. For instance, for a long while pendant lights were the norm in any kitchen I would design. Now, I decide if that kitchen would benefit from them or if it would detract. My newest remodel, The Rattan Ranch, was one such case. I have rattan basket style pendants hanging above the table in the adjoining dining room. I couldn’t think of a light fixture that would compliment those lights and not compete with them. I also didn’t like the idea of more lights hanging down in my face. So, I just did without. I do still have can lights, but no pendant lights over the peninsula.

Dim It

Maybe you’re not suffering from a light fixture problem at all. Maybe you just need to be able to tone it down a little. Add some dimmers to some lights, especially the can lights. This will make your nights and early mornings much more enjoyable. See the DAY 22 pleasure post about other ways to make your home feel more pleasurable.

If you shop for a new light fixture or light bulb and if you put this plan into action, we want to see! It’s so motivating to see things getting done! Use #updatedontrenovatechallenge!

Saturday Six: Remember Your Flip, Girly AF, Elimination

Six random thoughts on a Saturday…

ONE - remember

Back in Phoenix! It was a whirlwind of chaos, design and shopping in Cincinnati this week! I literally cut most people and projects out of my life the entire week and just straight worked. Some of my friends and family didn’t even know I was in town. I feel bad about that but then again I seriously went non-stop and had very little room to breathe even! I don’t think I’ve ever been that focused. I even forgot about my own flip! Someone asked me about how it was going and I was like, “Ummmm, hmmm I don’t know!” Whoops.

TWO - missing

I got this light for the Cincy Airbnb, but it never was really seen since it will be going in the sofa area and the sofas have been MIA. It’s really cute and not a bad price for a floor lamp!

THREE - inappropriate

Sometimes I want to have my own podcast so I can ask people questions that are not normal for every day conversation. Is that weird?

FOUR - pinned

I really am stuck now in this contemporary vibe. Never loved it before working on the Cincy loft. Now I want to Art Deco everything. I’m sure my Comfy Cactus Airbnb will receive the deco treatment bc it tends to take on my design whims for some reason.

Side note: I’d also like to do a girly AF Airbnb. Like with pink marble or granite counters. So there’s that.

FIVE - mine

Dudes. World Market is having a 40% furniture deal! It ends Sunday 11/25! I’ve been eyeing this chair in particular. Might be time to pull the trigger!

SIX - eliminate

I often think, “What can I get rid of?” I mean I do like a good purge, but also when designing. I get sick of the routine of the same things over and over. I mean I like lighting. Like, a lot. But, sometimes when I feel like I’m in a sort of rut, I just get rid of something and change it up. Like pendant lights. It was ingrained in me that one must have pendant lights over an island or peninsula. But, sometimes the idea of something hanging in front of all of the other fun, beautiful things I had planned was not sitting well. So, I just got rid of them. At first it felt naughty and wrong but now it’s like BYE. I like it. I feel so rebellious. I’M SUCH A REBEL WITH MY NO PENDANT LIGHT KITCHENS! :)

What you might have missed this week…

  1. November book club was announced! See all book club months here.

  2. The Comfy Cactus Phoenix/Arcadia Airbnb has last minute availability Nov 12-16, then nothing else until the weekend before Christmas and the beginning of January.

  3. The Shack Phoenix/Biltmore Airbnb has last minute availability Nov 12-14 and Nov 18-22, then nothing else until December 13-20. We also have New Year’s open!

  4. Look for the Cincinnati Airbnb listing to go live in the next week to 10 days!

Before & After: Eclectic Spanish Modern Bathroom

Ok dudes. Today I'm talking Before and After of my Almeria project bathroom. I don't know if you remember....but this house was cute AF and straight up my alley. Like seriously the most perfect project. It was in the Coronado Historic District here in Phoenix. It had all the small closets, arches and REAL hardwood floors your heart desires. Swap out the Spanish style to traditional and this might as well have been one of my Cincinnati flips. To give you an idea of the style of the house, check out the exterior below.

The bathroom in question was very interesting when I got it. Very.

Clearly this was all coming out, but nothing much was going to change as far as the layout was concerned. It's a small bathroom and the only one in the house. The only thing to do here was to max it out design-wise. I also wanted to make sure it was light and bright. Here is the design I put together.

Almeria bathroom design board

Obviously that dresser was not going to fit in there. It was just a place holder. I had to go out and find the right vintage dresser that would fit which I found at Zinnias At Melrose almost immediately. Next up was deciding on the focal point of the room. I found the ogee pattern tile at Floor & Decor and decided to put that on the back wall of the room, the window wall in the shower. In order to keep the rest of the shower from competing with the accent wall, I chose a regular ole subway tile with white grout. With white walls in this bathroom, the subway should fade away. And it did. 

Ogee tile accent in bathroom

For the flooring I decided to do marble, also from Floor & Decor, in a herringbone pattern. The finishes I decided was going to be brass. I could have gone with my go to Delta Trinsic shower faucet, but found a different style I thought played a little better with the ogee tile. I liked the subtle details on the shower head. Something different!

Next, the lighting! Oh that light. I love it. I love how it is so dramatic. It really brought your eye line upward and filled out the higher ceilings.

And let's get to our favorite.... the Before and After!!!

Spanish style Phoenix home bathroom before and after

I think this bathroom turned out nice and bright, just how I wanted it. If you want to know where any of the items I used in this bathroom are from, just check the source list below!


GET THE LOOK

Tile Floor - Sahara Carrara - FLOOR & DECOR

Tile Shower - Subway Tile - FLOOR & DECOR

Tile Shower Accent - Villa Heirloom Arabesque - FLOOR & DECOR

Toilet - Glacier Bay - HOME DEPOT

Towel - HOME GOODS

Towel Hook - Liberty - HOME DEPOT 

Shower Curtain - Fieldcrest - TARGET

Vanity - Vintage - ZINNIAS AT MELROSE

Counter - Sparkling White Quartz - ARACRUZ

Door + Doorknob - Original

Faucet Shower - Delta Addison - AMAZON

Faucet Vanity - Delta Trinsic - AMAZON

Mirror - Project 62 - TARGET

Plant Pots - Thrift

Sconce - LightCookie Parato - ETSY

Sink - Decor Star - AMAZON


Before & After: Clarendon Project Master Bath

I have so many rooms to post Before & After's for it's not even funny. I'll just start plugging away at it, though! Today I'll be talking about the master bath at my Clarendon Project. This house, if you recall, had an addition put on so technically this new bathroom is in the old master bedroom. The master closet, located beyond the door pictured above is the old master bath. Here's what that bathroom looked like before. A hot mess of yellow black and green.

Clarendon Project before photo of master bathroom

Even though this was a small bathroom, it does NOT equate to a small closet! Quite large in fact! But enough about the closet. Back to the bathroom. Here is the old master bedroom before it became a bathroom. Take note of that window's location.

Clarendon Project Master Bedroom before becoming a bathroom

Remember, I typically renovate smaller, older (and sometimes historic) homes. Renovating in these somewhat larger and higher end homes was newer to me a year ago. Since then I have done many more but this bathroom was planned more than a year ago before I became comfortable with the higher price range. So, I had to get used to remodeling a bathroom this large with soaking tubs and all that fanciness. To my surprise it's quite a bit more expensive! Soaking tubs and their plumbing fixtures are not cheap, yo. This house sold for around $600,000. Fanciness required!

So, without further ado, here is the after!

Master bathroom with marble herringbone shower and wall tile, black soaking tub and brass and nickel fixture finishes

To get your bearings, the window in the before bedroom photo, it is the same placement as the one above the tub. Obviously in the after it is larger and well...new. Still, same general location. Hard to believe someone's old bedroom became a bathroom, isn't it?

Let's Talk Design

I teamed up with The Builder Depot for the shower in this bathroom and if you know anything about them you know that they have ALL THE MARBLE. Yaaaassss. I had my heart set on a herringbone pattern so I jumped on their Carrara Bianco Polished 4x12 subway tile. I wanted the tile to be laid in a "WM" herringbone pattern (I just made that up) where the tile opening (like Pac-man) would face up and down, but when I walked in they had already started laying it like this. Is this called Pac-man herringbone pattern? I think so.

I was totally fine with this. In renovations sometimes you go with the "mistakes" because "fixing" it would've cost time and the result would not have been any better than what was already on the wall. This way looks great, too! Next time I'll be sure to write on the wall the direction the tile should go. Lesson learned. Or relearned I should say. I know this. It's hard to remember everything! So many details. I STILL MAKE MISTAKES!

Next was the tub. My first soaking tub order! Man was I delusional about how much this would add to the cost. Not only do you have to buy the tub, obviously there is a faucet needed and that is not cheap either. Add to that the cost and process of putting it there in the first place. Here in Phoenix we don't have basements. So, you have to bust up the concrete and create a trench for the new plumbing to run through. Not cheap.

From the beginning I had my heart set on this Signature Hardware tub. With that decided, I had to figure out the faucet. I was set on Delta's champagne bronze fixtures for the entire bath, but with the tub faucet being priced over $1,000, I couldn't bring myself to do it. So, it was time to mix finishes. I chose the Signature Hardware Carissa Freestanding Tub Filler which was a tolerable $629. The look was just about the same as the Delta so I went for it.

Signature Hardware soaking tub and tub filler faucet

We also carried the herringbone pattern across the wall under the window and below the tub as a backsplash of sorts (adding more to the cost of this bathroom).

Sorry I'm whining so much about the costs. If you do these sorts of bathrooms all the time then it is like YEAH DUH but for me this was a new layout and new price range... and a little overwhelming. I still design small bathrooms where the complete finish material cost is under $2,000 so to dish that out for just a tub and faucet was mind blowing. To be fair, Signature Hardware had great products and great prices in comparison to some others I was shopping. 

Moving on with the design, to balance out the nickel tub filler faucet I chose nickel vanity faucets. And can we talk about that marble counter!? OMG that marble is called Carrara Arrabescato and is basically the most beautiful counter I have over seen.

To keep the room balanced with the brass in the shower I put brass swing arm lights above the vanity. It's starting to sound like a circus of finishes but I think with the mostly white, gray color scheme, it's ok to mix the finishes a bit.

I had a bunch of tile leftover from another project so I used it here. Waste not want not! I was happy it kind of faded away to let the marble and tub shine! 

The only thing that I think would've made this bathroom better is some plants and other styling materials. But, when you are busting your ass to stage and get a house on the market, you forget these things. Or you forget to bring your smoke and mirrors in from the other rooms for the photos. :) I say smoke and mirrors but I hope you know I mean only in the styling for a photograph department. There are only so many plants and decor I can BUY, haul around, store and PAY to store. Maybe I need to do a post about this because nobody talks about it. NOBODY. I guess the lack of staging and styling really didn't matter, though, since this house was under contract in less than 6 hours!!!!

I was very happy with this bathroom and can only imagine how comfy that will be soaking in that tub! Let's finish this up with a good ole Before & After and the source list!

Colors and Finish Sources:

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy DE6335

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy DE6335

Walls: Behr Whisper White HDC-MD-08

Walls: Behr Whisper White HDC-MD-08


Shop The Room: Client Retro @Rnchhouse Kitchen

Wanna know where something in my Client Retro @Rnchhouse's brand new kitchen is from!? Look no further! Below the photos is a source list for many of the items in this kitchen including which paint colors we used, the appliances, fixture and hardware! Most of the decor items are vintage and from my client's personal collection, therefore cannot be linked. Sorry! You'll have to start scouring the thrift shops near you. :)

*This post contains affiliate links

White Shaker Kitchen with long subway tiles, black retro hood and gold brass pulls
Black and White Kitchen Retro with Floating Shelves and marble counters

Door: Dunn Edwards Barrier Reef

Walls + Ceiling + Trim: Behr Ultra Pure White