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This kitchen redo at Burgevin Gardens has been moving forward full steam ahead, and it’s really starting to look like a room! A nice room!
Here’s where we left off! A hot mess! Originally I did NOT envision doing so much deconstruction in here (this is supposed to be fast n’ cheap, remember!), but once we got into it…well. I just didn’t see a very exciting path forward with just cosmetic changes, and the “why don’t we just…” creep took hold. So we just went for it. Ultimately I’ll be glad we did, but right now it feels a littttttttle nutso because there’s still a LOT to do and not very much time to do it in or money to do it with. My favorite combo! The trade-off of a low budget is basically that everything becomes a project unto itself—instead of installing countertops, we’re making them. Instead of buying and hanging cabinets, we have to build some of them and hack the old ones. Et cetera. All individually manageable tasks, but combined it’s…no joke.
Naturally, things always have to get just a litttttttle worse before they get better. Ha! You may notice a couple of things:
- I had my plumber come out to re-route those exposed radiator lines into that corner chase with the rest of the plumbing! They’ll still be exposed over the window (I ain’t mad at it!), but that freed up the space I needed to move the dishwasher to the left side and center the sink under the window. That off-center sink always drove me nuts so I’m excited it wasn’t too big of a deal to make this happen! Since the sink is only moving a little, it should be easy to tie back into the existing waste/supply plumbing when the new sink goes in. (That’s right! NEW SINK! Which also means new cabinet! Which means I get to build a cabinet! More projects!)
- We took up the sheet vinyl floor and found the hardwoods! I knew they had to be under there. It’s not as though refinishing a floor is free, but still cheaper than buying all new flooring. And you can’t do much better than 100 year old fir!
- We have lights! We have outlets cut in! This was not especially challenging with an unfinished basement below and big existing holes in the ceiling to run new cable through.
- There’s a big long hole on the right side of the ceiling, which is for the vent! This hood vent insert can be vented to the outdoors or installed as a recirculating vent, but outdoors is generally preferable and it wasn’t too difficult here so, again, we went for it.
To move things along more quickly, I asked Edwin to drop in for a few whirlwind days to tackle some things that would have taken me much longer to do on my own. We got the duct installed, the hood surround build, the vent installed, the chase in the corner built, and plaster patched and skimmed, which was a huge help. Even though Edwin thought I was nuts for refusing to just gut out all the walls (when doesn’t he?), we saved nearly all the original plaster which always makes me happy, and just patched where necessary with drywall leftover from other projects!
AND OH HELLO, HARDWOODS! We removed as much of the old adhesive as possible using a scraper and this mastic remover from Lowe’s, which made a terrible and slow job less terrible and slow. This was mostly to avoid having to sand through it—since potentially it could contain asbestos, and because the sanding pads get gummed up really fast with tar-like adhesive, and those pads get expensive if you have to use a ton of them.
(Yes. Correct. We should have had the mastic tested for asbestos. It is not expensive and is good for peace of mind. This is a “do as I say, not as we did” kind of situation.)
So that’s basically where we are, which I don’t think is such a bad place to be! I’ve now poly’d the floors and am moving on into hacking old cabinets, building new ones, and hoping these concrete counters weren’t the worst decision I’ve ever made.
Now that we’ve stripped it all down and started putting it back together, I’ve been trying to make final decisions on the finishing touches like lighting, hardware, paint colors, and how exactly I’m going to make these cabinets work! I usually try to make a safe area on site for all the things that need to be installed, and I loveeeeeee the feeling of watching that pile shrink away as projects wind down. Three things currently residing in that pile are our light fixtures, which I’m so excited to see installed!
We have this small Progress Lighting pendant planned for over the sink ($70!), and two larger more impactful Kichler pendants to light the rest of the room ($135 a pop!). It can be a little risky sourcing from two different manufacturers if you’re trying to match finishes, but I took a look at both and the brass finish isn’t exactly the same but close enough! Both fixtures are really nice—including the fact that the small globe pendant’s cord is about a mile long and it comes with a bunch of brass extension downrods so you can hang it as high or low as you want.
ANYWAY. I think the key with mixing lighting (especially pendants) is to play with scale and the level of detail. A very simple and small fixture like the small globe will complement rather than compete with the large, more intricate design of the urn pendants. It can be a tricky balance, and generally it’s easier to pair a pendant with flushmounts or semi-flushmounts, but with a narrow room and 10′ ceilings I think keeping the lights off the ceiling will feel better.
The other thing I always like to consider is how the light will or won’t diffuse. I see people screw this up all the time, like when they want a cool industrial barn light but don’t think about how the shade will direct all of that light downward rather than diffusing it throughout the space. If you have other lighting (like recessed, sconces, or lamps) to pick up the slack that can help, but I don’t like recessed lights in old houses so I tend toward fixtures that will diffuse light rather than direct it toward a particular area. So for instance, a solid shade casting downlight would work well over the sink, but for the main space it might feel like an interrogation cell. Ya dig?
Actually landing on those specific fixtures was—I won’t lie—kind of challenging! Ultimately I pulled a bunch of options and then the homeowner and I chose together. The challenge wasn’t a lack of good options but rather A LOT of really great options—all from, you guessed it, Lowe’s! I’ve long thought that Lowe’s does a great job with lighting, but it’s been a while since I really dove into the selection and it’s only gotten better in the meantime. There are literally THOUSANDS of fixtures online to fit any style and any budget, including some really high-end looking modern pieces (ya know I like a mix!) that I totally didn’t realize they carried. But as someone who works a lot on old houses, I really appreciate that Lowe’s has a great selection of lighting that looks right at home in vintage or antique homes, but at prices that keep them attainable for projects where budget is a consideration…which is to say, all of them? I’ve really never done a project where budget limitations weren’t a main driving force in selecting finishes, and Lowe’s lighting has bailed me out more times than I can count!
SO with that in mind, I figured I’d have some fun showing you other budget-friendly fixtures we considered, and ones that I think are pretty great but didn’t really fit the bill for this particular room. I think the best ways to easily and relatively painlessly upgrade a space—especially a kitchen—is paint (of course), lighting, and hardware. So if you’re jonesin’ to refresh that kitchen or dining room before the holidays hit, maybe this’ll help you out! Or not! It’s your life!
(Of course, if you have a little more money to play with, check out what you can get for just a little more because there is some seriously great stuff! Note, also, that a lot of these lights come in different sizes and finishes—think of this like a light smattering of options!)
First the chandeliers! If this room were a little bigger it totally could have pulled off two chandeliers.
5. LNC 8-Light Champagne Chandelier // $130
9. Designers Fountain Emmet 6-Light Chandelier // $240
10. Litex Scott Living Fillmore Chandelier // $190
11. Globe Electric Aldred 12-Light Brass Chandelier // $242
12. Decor Therapy Sumter 8-Light Trestle Chandelier // $117
Next, pendants under 200 smackers! These should all diffuse light nicely around a space.
1. Cascadia Huntley Schoolhouse Pendant // $102
4. Westmore Lighting Stratford Pendant // $196
5. Livex Lighting Oldwick Pendant // $95
7. Golden Lighting Hines Pendant // $159
10. Kichler Jar Pendant // $70
12. Globe Electric Latiya Pendant // $43
13. Progress Lighting Schoolhouse Pendant // $153
15. Quoizel Soho Pendant // $40
18. Craftmade Legacy Brass Pendant // $134
More pendants under $200! These will direct light a bit more than the ones above to varying degrees.
4. LNC Delphinus Rust Rustic Bell Pendant // $50
5. Westmore Lighting Hastings Pendant Light // $189
9. Maxim Lighting Hi-Bay Bronze Pendant // $138
10. Craftmade Fredericksburg Oiled Bronze Pendant // $160
11. Westmore Lighting Farington Pendant Light // $90
12. Kichler Covington Olde Bronze Pendant // $119
13. Kichler Bronze Pendant Light // $100
16. Golden Lighting Duncan Aged Brass Pendant // $179
17. Progress Lighting Fresnel Dome Pendant Light // $169
Finally, little guys under $100! Great for over sinks, doubling up over islands, or anywhere you just want a lil somethin’ special.
1. Allen + Roth Webner Bronze Globe Pendant // $41
3. Progress Lighting Archie Mini Pendant // $50
5. Canarm Rowan Frost Glass Dome Pendant // $62
11. Quoizel Belmont Century Mini Cage Pendant // $90