Saturday, February 8, 2014

On being frugal-- Part II

In this part of the series, I will focus on one recent time when frugality paid off in style and ambiance-- the first time-- and where waiting until the timing was right proved to be the wisest move of all.  Patience can be difficult to manage when being bombarded with images of enviable rooms and so much cool stuff on the market for the home, but is also a necessary element of having a home that is authentic and evolves with you.

Our house has five recessed lights in the great room, you know, the kind that look like big, white fish eyes.  When we moved in they were filled with incredibly bright flood light bulbs-- so bright that we chose to never turn them on, even though that sometimes meant stumbling around the house in the dark in order to get to another light switch or a table lamp.  

I had been intending to replace them with pendant light adapter kits to change up the style just a bit but wasn't quite ready to take that plunge.  The adapters I'd seen were priced at $30 each and glass shades were an additional $15 to $25 for each light.  With 5 lights to outfit, the cost was adding up quickly, and so I waited.

  We were shopping at Lowe's recently (I seem to mention Lowe's quite a bit, don't I?), and I noticed that some of these adapters had gone on clearance for $6 each.  Six dollars for the bronze finish adapters I had been hoping to purchase-- what luck!  They are the kind that are supposed to have a hanging drum shade with them, however that would have looked too bulky in this small room, so I opted instead to simply outfit them with 40-watt round Edison bulbs, and I am smitten with how gorgeous they ended up being!

The lights emit the softest, warmest glow, one with a quality similar to candlelight.  At just 40 watts each, they are dim enough to be easy on the eyes.  They are sprinkled around the room in such a way as to create an even light, eliminating shadows and bright spots.  They also draw attention to the dramatic cathedral ceiling, which soars to about 24' at its peak.  And since they occupy very little visual space, they don't compete with the other elements in the room, such as the windows or the decor.  The pendants are subtle and simple, hinting at industrial style, which also seems to be a recurring theme with me these days.

My husband was skeptical, not sure how they would look.  "Oh, ye of little faith," I said to him, "Trust me on this.  It will be extremely cool."  In my book, "extremely cool" is about as good as it gets.   To his surprise, he loved them once I had gotten them all installed, which was quite simple to do.  They simply screw into the socket, and you wrap the cord inside the fitting to achieve the desired length. He said the soft lighting adds some romance to the room.  In a multifunctional space, where kitchen, dining, and living areas are all very close together, this can be difficult to achieve but is something I work hard to create.

I am among the thankful that Edison bulbs will continue to be produced.  CFL's just would not provide the same ambiance, even though they certainly have their place beneath a lampshade.

So for $13 times five, my great room glows every evening, providing warmth on these cold winter evenings.  This is one instance where being frugal, being creative, paring things down to their simplest forms, and waiting for the right time to act has paid off.  

And that makes me all warm and glowing inside!

Until next time...


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