Monday, January 25, 2010

Not such a bright idea after all

We live in a house that was built about twelve years ago as part of a large subdivision. If you've ever been in a subdivision home, you'll note that unless the first owner went all out, most of the fixtures aren't exactly what you'd call "upgraded". Or even "up to date". No, most of the time it looks like the builder went scrounging around in the clearance bin at Wally World. Especially the kitchen lights. Every kitchen in every home that we've bought in Sunshineville has the track light from Hell. You know the one, it's about three feet long, with four huge spotlights that can be aimed at strategic places. Like the wall above the microwave. Or maybe, out the window over the sink. Or the far corner of the kitchen where no one goes. Really, if I could get someone to rotate them around to music I could probably put on a pretty good "island dance" if you know what I mean. And if you do, I'm sorry I just put that vision in your head.

Anyway, in one of our previous homes we hired guys to replace the stripper spotlight with can lights throughout the kitchen. That house was really small and the hanging lights (along with the space ship chandelier over the eating area) really made it look smaller. When the guys were done, it looked really nice. It looked bigger and less chaotic. I loved it.

Fast forward two homes...when we bought this home fifteen months ago one of the things I hated was that it had the same damn light. It didn't look any better in this house either. I did manage to get one of the lights pointed in a semi-helpful area of the kitchen but generally, it's just a pretty worthless and ugly-ass light.

Three days ago, Mister C came into the house and said "Hey, John the electrician is here to talk about putting in lights." It was the end of a long day, there are dirty dishes in the sink, the dust bunnies are holding a rally around the island and I had already taken off my bra for the day. So, "Thanks for the three second notice sweetie, we'll chat about this later. Promise." John the electrician proceeds to talk with us about what we want done in the kitchen.

At the start of the conversation, all we wanted done was to replace the stripper light with two can lights and the three pronged "chandelier" that is currently installed with another can. As a side note, why do I always end up buying the house with the freakiest looking kitchen chandelier? The previous owners of all my houses seem to be trying to "modernize" the homes, and failing miserably in the execution. Moving on. After some discussion we decide to add two more cans in the kitchen in line with the one over the eating area to bring more light in and make it look better. Sounds good to me.

Then Mister C asks John the electrician if he can put some smaller lights on the bottom of the soffit so that we can have lighting directly over the counters. He can and we decide to do that as well.

The conversation then turns to our hallways and the lovely sconces (gack!) that currently only sort of light them up. Sconces made out of adobe and painted brown. It's a look. John the electrician can clean that ugliness up with only five more can lights. So now we've gone from three large lights to ten large and five small thereby doubling the original estimate in the span of thirty minutes.

Fast forward to this morning, when John the electrician showed up to start working. I had places to be most of the day so I missed his actual arrival but I stopped in a few times though just to see how things were going. By the end of the day he had removed the old ugly lights and installed the five can lights in the kitchen. He had also installed the small lights under the soffits. He's coming back tomorrow to do the hallways.

I have to tell you, it looks really nice. I love the clean, none cluttered look of the ceiling with the flush lights. It's amazing how much bigger and brighter it looks in there. And the lights under the soffits? Absolutely awesome. I can't wait for the hallways to get done.

But there is one, minor issue. Now that I have all this incredible lighting? Especially the lights shining oh so gently onto my counters? Holy shit do I need to clean.