Monday, February 9, 2009

looking for a pendant

I am looking for a pendant light for my home office. About a year ago, we took down the non-operative and disgustingly ugly ceiling fan. For that same amount of time, there have been bare wires just dangling down. The abscence of a fixture has become one of those things I tend to forget about until I am prepping the house for company, and suddenly realize how ghetto it must look to outsiders.

A couple of things to consider when buying a light fixture:
Why am I lighting the space? How much light to I need?
A work space: you need the room to be well-lit in general.
A dining room: opt for mood lighting vs. task lighting.
A living room: your ceiling fixture(s) just adds to the general ambiance, while lamps and picutre lights illuminate certain zones in the room.
The kitchen: definitely go for concentrated task lighting.
Your bedroom: a pair of wall sconces might lend a flattering glow but enough provide light to read by.
The bath: overall lighting for the ceiling fixture, and concentrated light near the vanity.

Here are a couple of my faves for the office from my top online sources for style. Of course, I want to keep it as cheap as possible, but I am seeking a modern fixture to add punctuation to the space. Tell me what you think.

At $129, the highest price, is West Elm's faceted glass pendant. It lends a sort of rustic and refined element, but remains contemporary with the clear bare bulb. It only accomodates a 60 watt bulb and is about 14" in diameter.

Ikea's Leran pendant boasts nautural elements and a very modern shape. At 24" wide, it certainly would provide a great sense of scale to the office. It is $90 and can take up to 150 watts.

My most fave, and the least expensive option, is cb2's Eden Pendant. It is clean and simple, totally mod, and only $50. At about 20" in diameter, with a 100 watt capabilty, I think it would be the perfect size and provide ample illumination.

Any thougts on what look I should save up for? Here are a couple photos of my office so you can make a sound decision.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

room with a nook

Okay, so I finally got to stretch my redesign wings again! We changed things around in the living room to make way for an heirloom Hendredon wing chair, and ended up with a happy little decorating surprise.

Upon graciously accepting the chair, I had resigned myself to the fact that something in the living room would have to go to the basement. The polka-dot Todd Oldham chair was the most fitting candidate. It is a great piece, but in the floor plan in my head, there was just no spot for it.

Although the wing chair was in desperate need of new upholstery, it was a really sturdy, classic piece. So I put on my budget decorating cap and schemed. The resolution: For Christmas, I asked for, and received from my mom, a pair of chocolate brown slipcovers, so I could also replace the one on my thrift store wing chair. Decorating note to self: free is always a good thing!

Last weekend, we began the redesign by de-accessorizing the space and removing artwork from the walls. Then the heavy lifting started, and so happened the happy accident. While simply setting the polka-dot chair down near the door preparing to move it downstairs, a delightful conversation nook began to take shape. And that is where the furniture stayed. The whole plan turned out to be much easier than planned, and not a sofa was moved!

Have a look at the photos.

The newly formed and cozy conversation nook. I brought in a rug from the TV room to ground it. The best thing about this arrangement is that the stereo is no longer the center of attention.

I added a couple of dark brown accent pillows, also from the TV room, to coordinate with the new slipcovers.

The bargain basement wing chair looks more regal in brown, but still inviting with the ottoman in front of it. The pillows on the love seat repeat the pumpkin color of the accent wall.

A closer look at the semi-custom fit of the stretch velvet slipcover.

For now, the room feels pretty good. I like the new sitting area, and last night I was grateful we kept the extra chair. We were able to sit over ten people fairly comfortably. As you all know though, with decorating, no room is ever completely done. And, in my purely subjective opinion,that is a beautiful and wonderful thing!