As part of Serena’s design brief for the master bedroom (see “Bedroom, Design, & Bling”), we needed a new ceiling light. When we first bought the place, there was only a blank canopy plate that covered what once used to be a light. I upgraded it, by putting up a temporary light (and wall switch - don’t get me started on all the pull switches that were originally throughout the house).

temporary light

This may not seem like an upgrade to some, but that’s besides the point. It provided decent lighting when I used the bedroom as a workshop. Now, it’s a bedroom and hence it needed adequate lighting (read - mood lighting).

Continue reading “Bedroom Lighting” »

Old houses don’t seem to have many electrical outlets. That’s where I come in.

electrical boxes in new study

Continue reading “Upgrading Electrical” »

smart box vs dumb box

Continue reading “Smart Box” »

This is the light fixture we inherited in the front hallway. It has all the qualities I do not like in a light: pull chain, brass, octagonal.

Entryway light before

Continue reading “Another Pull Chain Light Down” »

Lighting is not something I know a lot about (neither is home renovating, but as witnessed here, I’m always willing to learn). Before buying our home, I was happy to have compact fluorescent light bulbs everywhere. Not only was it the environmentally friendly thing to do, it definitely kept our energy bill down. But a recently, we’ve made a few exceptions in rooms where ambiance was more important.

Continue reading “Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget” »

Original Living Room Wall (picture taken during home inspection)
Original Living Room Wall (picture taken during home inspection)

The wall looks decent in photos. But already, you can see gaps (the black lines) between the moulding and the wall/ceiling. Up close, you can see cracks in the plaster. There is an especially long crack spanning the entire length of the ceiling. Also the sconces are not exactly the prettiest. It’s apparent that we don’t have the same tastes as the previous homeowners (chandelier, plates, etc). And they don’t work. The switch on the wall does not turn on/off the sconces, it only controls the outlet directly below.

So what’s in store for the living room?

Continue reading “Updating the Living Room” »

Well I’m back on my feet working again, maybe not at 100%, but good enough to do some damage.

The living room project requires some preparation before the real work can begin. This means laying down red rosin paper for floor protection and sealing off the doors to the other rooms. Here I used plastic sheeting and taped it to the trim. The goal is to isolate dust and debris; once all the work is done, I just peel the red rosin and the plastic away for easy cleanup.

red rosin on the ground, and plastic over the doorway

Next step is to upgrade the electrical wiring.

Continue reading “Living Room Prep & Rough Electrical Work” »

The ceiling fan originally was located in the kitchen. Given the small size of the kitchen, the fan made it feel cramped.

ceiling fan in kitchen
The fan in its original spot in the kitchen.

We decided to move it to the living room, where a breeze would be more useful. First, I shut off all circuits.  After taking a while to figure out how to remove the fixture, I finally disconnected it and got it off. The fan blades were coated with cooking grease and dust. Just delightful. I had to spent a few hours giving it a good scrub.

Continue reading “Transplanting the Ceiling Fan” »

The mini kitchen makeover starts.

upper cabinet needs to go

The upper cabinets got the heave-ho. That part was easy. First I removed the upper crown molding, chipped away the caulk surrounding the wood, then unscrewed the cabinet from the wall. If I had more foresight, I would have gotten a helper to stabilize the cabinet as I removed the last screw that was holding it in place (the cabinets are quite heavy). Unfortunately, I was alone when the cabinet quickly dropped to the counter. No harm done, though.

Continue reading “How To Sneak Electrical Work Into Any Project” »

bare bulb in kitchen

We’ve lived with a bare bulb dangling from our kitchen ceiling for almost 2 years now. The time has come to dress the naked light¬† Fortunately for us, Serena’s parents donated a light fixture they got from the Philipines, made out of sea shells (you really wouldn’t know it, unless someone told you).

Now, for the moment of truth…

Continue reading “New Light Fixture in Kitchen…Finally” »

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