IMG_1949there are many things i think i did wrong in this renovation. but hey, it was my first time on the job, and let’s be real: there was a slight case of amateur hour going on in these parts. i did my best, certainly, but there are many small things that i’d change if i could go back and do them again.

one of those small things, as it turns out, i can still change! and that’s my kitchen lighting. see, before i embarked on this renovation, my mindset was more, “ooh, pretty lights!” and less, “i need an actual lighting plan.” in fact, i didn’t even know a lighting plan was a thing. no one tells you these things, you know? you only hear about them while you’re listening to the chris loves julia podcast and it’s too late to make a change!

{sidenote: i am obsessed with the chris loves julia podcast, and you should be too}

anywho, suffice it to say, when the contractor and electrician told me two flushmount lights would suffice for kitchen lighting (and told me i really didn’t need under cabinet lights and that they would be way more expensive), i listened. and they were wrong. turns out, i could have used a lot more lighting in my kitchen. i should have coughed up the extra dough for under cabinet lights.


i should have added more task lighting, and more specifically, i wish i’d added library sconces above my shelves, like the kitchen below (i also wouldn’t say no to that gorgeous simple gold pendant above the sink).


i DEFINITELY should have gone for three flushmounts instead of two. and most importantly, i shouldn’t have gone with exposed bulbs in the kitchen. exhibit A, folks (my kitchen):


as i pretty quickly learned, those sort of cool exposed bulb flushmounts are all well and good–when you don’t really need them to cast off a lot of light. they’re hip, yes. they look cool, yes. but functional? not exactly. i’ve tried a large variety of different bulbs in these babies (if you’re curious, they’re these from the young house love for shades of light line), and unfortunately, they simply don’t cast off enough light for a busy kitchen bee like myself. additionally, because there’s no glass shade for the light to bounce off of, they tend to be a little bit harsh when they’re on. NO BUENO.

but as my girl carrie bradshaw says, COULDA SHOULDA WOULDA. i didn’t know what i didn’t know, and so i made some mistakes. luckily, the one above–the type of flushmounts i bought–can be fixed. YIPPEE! i’ve been living in the grand apartment for almost 5 months now, so i think it’s safe to say i’m somewhat settled. and being settled for that amount of time has given me lots of moments to ponder what type of lighting i should do next. as of now, i’ve landed on doing a traditional schoolhouse style. i know, i know, so predictable. but i think they’ll work, height-wise, and for the most part, they’ll allow for a higher wattage than the ones i have now (which are limited to 75 watts).

i have my eye on something like this:


two of them, obviously – but you get the idea. as of now, i’m not leaning towards brass (the kitchen is black and chrome, finish-wise, and i think adding brass might be a bit too much).


i sort of had my heart on the above style (which you can find at schoolhouse electric), but with the black and white striped shade (i’m thinking the stripes will play nicely off the my floors), but it seems schoolhouse is no longer making that colorway. SADSIES.

which has led me to go back to the drawing board, and scope out a few other schoolhouse style options.



too blah?

Z000235_A5805_A0028too art deco?eadd8334e507d4253502486363f87e17

still too harsh, what with the clear glass?

as you can see, i’m having quite a bit of trouble deciding. thoughts from the peanut gallery?! help!


remember that 2002 nelly song dilemma (feat. kelly rowland)? no? let me remind you.

“no matter what i do, all i think about is you…even when i’m with my boo, you know i’m crazy over you.” 

it was–and still is, if you ask me–a JAM. a slow jam, but a jam nonetheless. anyway, a nelly style dilemma is what i am having right now in regards to my bedroom sconces. every time i think i’ve found “my boo” i go crazy over another sconce! CHAMPAGNE PROBLEMS, people. but seriously, i am spoiled for choice (there are 9 TRILLION sconces in the world), and i can’t for the life of me find the sconce for me and my bed.

bedroom sconce

why, you might be asking, does this matter now? i’m still in the construction phase. why am i worrying about lighting? well, as it turns out, there are two kinds of sconces: plug in and hardwired. hardwired means they are actually wired into the wall, early on in the process–which means that if i’m going this route, i have to choose their exact placement NOW (if i go for plug in, i have a little more time to decide). i haven’t 100% figured out my design plan for the bedroom yet (i want to wait until the closet is built out to see where things will fit/what will fit), and i’d also like to upgrade to a queen bed (but need to wait on my budget to decide). both of these things make choosing exact sconce locations now a wee bit complicated.


so why would anyone in their right mind choose hardwired sconces? for starters, hardwired sconces tend to be cleaner (see above), a little more sophisticated (like these from pottery barn), and for the most part, tend to look a little more intentional. which, you know, they are, because you chose them ahead of time and MADE A PLAN as to where to put them (anyone who knows me knows I LOVE PLANS).


that being said, plug ins have come a long way (i have been eyeing these pretty babies from schoolhouse electric, as seen above). it’s not all “you mama says you ugly” cords up in here. and, as a major benefit, plug ins offer way more flexibility. so long as you have an outlet relatively close, you can put them up whenever, wherever.

though my electrician assures me that i am “the boss” he’s also said multiple times that hardwired would be better, and if i can figure things out now, i should. but i just can’t decide! i want the flexibility to upgrade my bed and futz with the layout in the design phase, but i also have found many a hardwired sconce that i quite like.

so, where does that leave me? here are my top contenders are of now. they are TOTALLY different. the top is a sophisticated hardwired choice, the bottom is a younger, pop-ier plug-in option that comes in both white and brass. thoughts?!




an amazing entryway | tom dixon light fixture

i am finally getting ready to kick off renovation (cross your fingers for me; we’re just a few weeks out, hopefully!), and that means i can FINALLY start BUYING THINGS. with that, however, comes a crazy amount of indecision; as excited as i am to start actually turning my pinterest boards into reality, i’m also terrified of spending money on the wrong pieces.

my latest obsession? entryway light fixtures. i know, this is basically the tiniest and seemingly irrelevant space in the entire apartment–but it’s also the first thing people will see when they enter the space, and i have my heart set on making a statement. because i am building out a closet on one wall (the other will house the entry to the kitchen as well as the breakfast bar), i’ll have just a small portion of wall space to play with.


eskayel wallpaper | TTH apartment as seen in vogue

on that small swatch of wall, i’m hoping to install a little bit of this eskayel wallpaper (seen above in taylor tomasi hill’s ULTRA FAB chelsea apartment)–but the real showstopper of the space will be the light fixture i intend to purchase.

which brings us to the topic of today’s discussion. now, i know what you’re thinking (especially you, mommy): entryway light fixtures are NOT an important piece of the puzzle, nor are they a place to spend a lot of money. why would you spend $300 on a light fixture for a hallway when you could spend a mere $30 on this?

boob light entrway

the infamous “boob” light | $30 from home depot

i’ll tell you why: because no one, and i mean NO ONE, needs a nipple on their ceiling.* ladies and gentleman, i introduce you to one of the biggest design sadsies in all the land: the simple flushmount fixture (more commonly known as a “boob light).

boob lights have been gracing hallways and the odd living room for decades now. they’re the default option for rental apartments, builder’s units, and for anyone who built their home in the 80s. but just like bad eighties hair came and went, so too should boob lights. i’m not sure WHY a light fixture that looks like a breast ever had a moment in the sun, but boob lights certainly did, and for some terribly sad reason, they refuse to die.

let me tell you this: cheap boobs are NEVER in style. ever.

thankfully, there are no cheap boobs in my future. i’ve been blessed by what my mama gave me, and i also have a bit of a budget to spend on my entryway lighting. so, let’s see some options, shall we?


moravian star pendant | $285 at furbish studio

the first contender is one i’ve had my eye on for years. actual, literal YEARS. this light fixture from furbish is at once simple and eclectic, and it’s also made of mirrored glass, which in my book translates to GLITTER which is my favorite thing in the whole wide world. unfortunately, it’s also rather pricey, so unless i can snag it on sale, it might be out of my budget.


geometric ceiling mount | $169 at shades of light

the second is a simpler, less expensive option from shades of light. though it’s not particularly fancy, it has the same geometric lines of the star pendant from furbish–and it’s $100 less!


gold feathers fixture | $175 at one kings lane

the third offers some serious GLAM factor, but might be a biiit too gold for the space (i can’t believe i’m admitting that something in life could be a bit too gold for me).

so, friends, tell me: which one would you choose? i have a few months before i have to actually start ordering, but if i settle on one i truly love, i’ll go ahead and pull the trigger ahead of time. help me decide!

*i (of course) recognize that interior design is not a given. it is a luxury. not everyone can afford a nice entryway light. some of us just need a light, any light. in those cases, a boob light is perfectly acceptable (though even then, i’d say you can spend your $30 on something better than the above. this, for example, is a way better option for just $5 more).