More little house updates...

New Shutters

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Very soon after we moved in we lost a chunk of our front shutters during a storm. But it's taken us until now to replace them. Shutters--even the cheapies--are fairly expensive when you are replacing all of them. I kept toying with the idea of painting them, but Kyle finally talked me into just ordering replacements. I'm so glad we did. When we took off the old ones, almost all of them crumbled in his hands. They had been painted previously and were peeling and brittle and generally a mess. Short of the real, working, custom shutters of my dreams, these are perfect. A little pop of definition to the front of the house, not a single chunk missing.

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New Window Treatments

When we bought the house, every window upstairs had a white vinyl roller shade and every window downstairs had white plastic mini-blinds. We are slowly but surely updating those as we go. We hung bamboo shades in our bedroom. Added curtains I'm in love with to the living room. And we've finally addressed the roller shades in the kids' rooms. To be fair, vinyl roller shades are excellent light blockers. But even for roller shades these were in bad shape. Like... held together with packing tape, bad shape.

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But these white, cordless roman shades are much softer and prettier, and they fit the windows better. I only bought shades for the three windows in Hamish's room and the nursery, but if these continue to work well (and don't break next week) I think I may order more for a few downstairs windows as well.

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New Little Girl Lighting

This also shows off Hamish's new sconces. Eventually she'll have a bedside table here under the window, but I've been wanting little reading sconces in her room for a while. We found these at Ikea and they make bedtime stories much easier to see. Before we added these it was either the full strength of the overhead light or eyestrain.

New Hallway Lights

I alluded to this update a while back, and it's still not complete, but we are well on our way. We have two ceiling lights in each of our hallways (upstairs and downstairs) and I hated them. Square, inset fixtures. Yellowed and dark. They were NOT my cup of tea.


We looked into just replacing the glass in the fixtures, but no one even makes square can lights anymore (that we could find, anyway) and having custom glass cut for lights I didn't even like seemed foolish. So I scoured the internet and found Ikea's Vanadin ceiling light. Great price for the size and I really like the milk-glass looking faceted globe. At only about 5" high, we wouldn't lose headroom, but we would bring the bulbs and light down out of the ceiling to make things much brighter. So on a trip to Ikea we bought four.

The problem was that square can lights leave square holes in your ceiling. I thought the Vanadins would cover the holes, but I mis-remembered the side measurements for the hypotenuse measurement, and it didn't work. Oops.


But there isn't an Ikea handy, so returning them really wasn't an option. And they made such a difference in the hallway light.


So we headed to Home Depot and bought ceiling medallions to cover the holes. They were a pain for Kyle to install. He had to wrestle the old square cans out, then install wiring boxes where there weren't any, then thread on the medallions, then hang the actual lights.


But it was worth it. We are both pleased with how they turned out, and I really love how the medallions look with them. We liked them so much, we ended up hanging one in the foyer as well. I'm still half-looking for a better entry way light, but I like these, and the 5" height was a much better fit for our standard-height ceilings than the 2 foot lantern that was hanging in the entry before. It didn't bother us, of course, but we definitely had a few guests who needed to duck to get in the house.

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