I’ve seen so many comments from a variety of sources about how terrible 2016 was and 2017 needs “to get here already.” I agree that we have lost some really talented individuals in 2016 (including my sweet Grandpa, Ed), but for us we were blessed with our son and for that reason alone, 2016 was a remarkable year for us. I will look back at 2016 with a lot of happy memories – it was a year for me where I really focused on myself and my family and tried to get the whole “Mom” thing down. It’s still a work in progress, but our little family is doing great and we will close out the year with a smile.
I also think 2016 was a fun year for us in that it was the year where we really started to tweak our home to be even more in line with our style. We purchased the home in 2015 so our first year was really spent moving in and getting settled in the space: new furniture, some area rugs, and cleaning up the yard. We made the house comfortable in 2015 and started fresh in 2016 with a laundry list of design elements to tackle; high up on the priority list was lighting.
My husband joked mid-year that he didn’t realize he married a “lighting expert.” I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I did research lights a bit obsessively this year, trying to find the best lights for our home from chandeliers to wall sconces, ceiling mounts to pendant lights, exterior house lights to landscape lights. We pretty much swapped out every light on the property and we have A LOT of lights. I did so much research because as it turns out, there are a lot of things to take into consideration with lights. First off, I wanted to keep in mind the traditional style of the house to make sure the new lights fit perfectly within the home architecture, including ensuring the lights flow smoothly from room to room. Secondly, I wanted to move away from the shiny gold lights that were in place in the home, but since we weren’t changing the gold hardware on the windows & doors, I had to find styles that complemented the existing hardware without pinning myself into a box of only shiny gold. Finally, there are so many interesting lights out there that it took me awhile to commit to the purchases. My hardest decision was probably the 2 hanging pendant lights over our kitchen island – for some reason, I couldn’t for the life of me make a commitment!
Once the lights were purchased, there were even more decisions to make including the length to hang specific lights, whether to put them on a dimmer or not, and the wattage of the bulb to put in (under the max wattage of course). It took the full year to do all the lights as I broke the project up into about three different sessions of purchasing, installing, and then reflecting. I found my lights from a variety of sources, all online: Pottery Barn, Serena & Lily, Ballard Designs, Lamps Plus, Shades of Light, Lumens, & Restoration Hardware. I purchased a lot of lights in the black family (which complimented the gold hardware) and played around with some wood accents, as well as a handful of lights with some muted, brushed gold which turns out to really warm up a space. I’m a huge advocate for putting lights on dimmers when you can — turn the lights up bright during the day and down to a soft glow at night. My three favorite lights all turned out to be the big statement lights: Our Serena & Lily Chandelier for the front entryway, the Ballard Designs Weathered Oak pendant light for the bonus room, and the Pottery Barn Bellora Chandelier for over the kitchen table. I think these lights really define my decorating style – they are beautiful but casual which helps create a comfortable and inviting space. Now that the lights are all replaced and 2016 is in the books, I look forward to the exciting projects we will tackle in 2017.
Happy New Year!