Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Finish Line

If you've been following along, you know that I'm moving. You also know that I've had a nightmarish time getting the shell of the new place ready to move my things in. Progress is slow, but it's progress none-the-less, and this morning I can finally see the finish line. (I was going to say light at the end of the tunnel, but since saying that would likely mean that it's only another train freighting more disaster, I'll leave that one alone.)  I started using a construction adhesive on the back of the tiles and it seems to have worked like a charm so far. It takes much more time than I'd like for it to, but my hope is that it will save me the trouble of having to go back and glue planks down after I've moved in. 

The apartment started out looking like this: 

It's a good space, lots of room and big windows to let in a ton of light throughout the day. The dining room is a little dark, since there's a large tree in the back of the building that shades the afternoon sun. If you've been reading along, you already know that typically, the apartments are finished with cheap wall-to-wall low pile synthetic fiber carpet. I had them leave it in the bedrooms, but I just couldn't see myself enjoying living with it in the living and dining room. Thankfully they agreed to let me do what I wanted, but they sure as hell weren't gonna do any of the prep work! 

Tears, beers, and increasing fears about whether this was really a good idea ... I've got this: 

Much better, right? Granted, I've only just begun, but with the floor mostly finished I can start working on the "pretty" things, and prepping for the furniture to come in. 

The seagrass rugs are from Safavieh, (I got a pretty good deal on eBay) and the 10x14 fits the living room space perfectly. I started to play with the furniture arrangement this morning between laying planks and I think I have an idea of what I'm going to do with all of my things. The new Chinoiserie cabinet will be centered on the long wall you see here, which is the first wall you see when you come into the room. Blue and white porcelains will go on top, probably some art. 

Furniture gets moved on Saturday, so I have until then to finish the floor (only 14 square feet to go!), paint the baseboards, clean the walls, hang the curtain rods and the blinds, and then curtains (which I'm still not 100% sure about). 

Friday I'll cart my art, kitchen things, toiletries, clothing, and those sorts of sundries to the new place, and Saturday at noon, all hell will break loose! If you hear screaming or crying, it's likely coming from over here. 

In other news, however, let's talk about this terribly ugly light. (No offense if you're a fan.) I hate it, but a light in that room is woefully necessary. Because the light is centered to the room, and not to the actual flow of traffic (there's a door to the kitchen that makes putting a table directly under the light impossible) I'm going to have to do something that I really don't like ... swag the new fixture! Has anyone figured out a way to make this look good? In my head I just see this: 

Right? Am I right? Seriously - this could be my apartment after shot. Eeek! But really, is there a way to make them look less like that one? 

Even with a better fixture, and much nicer decor, I just can't get behind the look of it. If I were in a home I owned, I'd pay the $260 and have someone move the box over. That's not possible here though, because (1) I'm not paying to have electrical work done in a rental and (2) I have no idea how the place is wired, as there is another unit above me. I had thought about capping the light, so there was no hanging fixture, and using sconces on the wall instead, but there aren't enough outlets to make that work. 

So, I thought I'd bring it here. Maybe you'll have a suggestion? Between glue fumes, and sleepless nights - I'm running low on ideas! 


  1. If the fixture is interesting, I can ignore the swag chain. Industrial bulbs? Copper pendant? Black pendant?

  2. Trust me when I tell you: you GOT this.....I follow you religiously and am always delighted at your creativity and resilience...I just don't usually comment. You can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear faster than anyone else I follow. Just relax and breathe and let it all flow out of always does! I DO want to play devil's advocate just a bit, however: while generally NOT in favor of spending hard-earned $$ on someone else's property, I have definitely DONE it for my own piece of mind...and $260 seems like a small price to pay if moving that light fixture a few inches in any direction would solve MULTIPLE design problems AND make YOU happy to boot. Dare I say that some of us have definitely spent MORE & garnered LESS!!! Ok that is the last of that from are a WIZARD in situations like this so I cannot wait to see what you conjure from your ample "gifts"....good luck and God bless!

  3. Would you be adverse to track lighting? That might obviate the center connection and still offer the light where you need it. Not the ideal solution though. Good luck, I think you are doing everything in just the right order. Ann

  4. Hi, looking good, keep up the great work!
    As for the ceiling light, perhaps something asymetric, ala lindsey adelman-style?

  5. I don't think that swagging is too bad., but not all the chains are metallic color. If the fixture had an old paint look and the chain and ceiling were the same color, it wouldn't show as much . Probably not very helpful.

  6. hard to tell how off it is - you can get a BIG medallion to put if off center a bit - BUT - god, it's not that expensive to have a guy move it. you could probably find someone to do it for $100. so worth it. look around for a cheap electrician. Barter w/someone. but have it moved if a big medallion can't find it. SO WORTH IT.

  7. I don't think I'd want to see a swagging chain either. I think what I am about to suggest is what another commenter already has. Could the cord be encased in a metal strip (not sure what it's actually called) and kept against the ceiling running over to where you need the fixture to hang? The metal strip encasing the electrical cord could be painted out the same color as the ceiling to "disappear" and not stick out like a sore thumb. (Hope this makes sense!) i'm sure you'll come up with the perfect solution.

  8. Going back looking at the last photo, I suppose the ceiling cap (the round thing that hugs the ceiling and covers the electrical box) would also need to be painted the same color as the ceiling. The other commenters above have some very good suggestions!

  9. If you absolutely positively will not move the electrical box I would paint the cap to match the ceiling and put a matching chain cover over the swagged chain to make it less noticeable.

  10. Has there to be a light fixture , of any sort , above a table ? In this case I would cap it . Why making the ceiling look lower .
    Try to find the classic , slim , elegant , brass standing lamp . With this fixture you can adjust : up , down , left , right .
    You can put it easely aside, and back again when light on the table is needed . F

  11. Hi. Have you thought about capping the ceiling light and hanging a chandelier, fitted with candles, where you need for it to be? It's a great look and if you mostly use your dining room in the evenings, candlelight is magical. I have the same predicament in my dining area. I just use candelabras on my table as a staple and lots of candles in various brass candlesticks. Seems to work. We have great dinner parties.

  12. Could you install a faux beam in the center of the ceiling? or, build one made from wood? Stain it... or, paint the beam the color of your ceiling.