Mar 16, 2011

Lights Out!

Ever visited someone's house and let out a big sigh as you walk in? It just has that nice comfy-cozy feel to it. It isn't cluttered, but it isn't bare. It's how I want my home to be - so there must be something tangible that makes these homes homey! It used to be that I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was that made these homes have such appeal. But recently I've been a little more observant. The colors normally muted. There are normally throw blankets and pillows - and maybe a few magazines...but not too many. The book shelves are not too crowded and have variation and depth. There are normally a variety of plants - that add that splash of natural green and extra oxygen to the room. And the lights - they are never florescent or even bright. In fact, what I've found to be pretty much universally true is the use of lamps. They create such a nice ambiance that is the icing on the cake. When I finally realized that this was the touch that was missing in my home, I started using more lamps. Then I realized that not only were they a wonderful artistic touch, but they are a huge money saver! Here's what I mean:

Take a look at this picture - it's of the ceiling fan in my living room. It is the same ceiling fan that is in all the bedrooms as well! It has a whopping FIVE light bulbs! If you only put 40 watt bulbs in each socket, that is still 200 watts of energy - for one room! And the lights are all concentrated in one area!

For a while we just didn't put bulbs in all the sockets - but honestly, that just offends my sense of style! So, this is how I rectified the situation. The picture below is in our living room (where the ceiling fan above is). Rather than a minimum of 200 watts for the fan - we have a total of 80 watts! It is plenty to give us enough light and give a nice comfy feel to the room. If we need more light at the other end of the room, then we can turn on the light in the hall (one bulb) or the light at the entrance (one bulb).
This shot is in our bedroom. We have a three-way light bulb in this lamp (50/100/150) - so if we need more light, we can just click the lamp up a notch!
We also use a lamp in our daughters room. We have a 60 watt bulb in there, and that is plenty of light to change a diaper, or anything else necessary.

Another place you may not think of putting a lamp is in your bathroom - but it totally works! Look at all the light bulbs required in my master bathroom light fixture! Yep, that's 8 light bulbs! I forget the wattage on those, but it gets super hot in the summer!

So, we've just put a little lamp on the ledge, and it works perfectly! I do have to turn on the main lights when showering or putting on make-up, but that's about it!

Now, you may think that purchasing attractive lamps will completely negate any savings you may have by using them - and if you went to regular store, you'd probably be correct. But - you have to be creative. The lamps I use in my living room were given to me by a friend who could no longer use them. When I got them they were beige with lamp shades that looked like old-timy hats. Cute for a little girls room - not so much for my living room. So I spray painted the bases black and bought new shades at Target for $6 each! The spray paint I got for free. So both lamps cost me a total of $12 and a little time. The lamp in my daughters room was one I bought in college at a garage sale for $5. I bought a new shade for it and it is perfect! You can ALWAYS find lamps at garage sales and stores like Goodwill. Just be creative and think about how different it might look with a little spray paint and a new shade! 


hollie said...

I like the ambience of lamps. Unfortunately, my children are fascinated by them as well. I found lamps on the floor with the knobs screwed off one too many times. So packed them all away...maybe I can bring them out again someday :)
Our bathroom fixture is like yours and those suckers get HOT!

Sarah Faith said...

I cannot have lamps. They will be knocked over and broken. Hopefully your little girl is NOTHING like mine and you won't have to redesign your entire space when she gets big enough to do some damage. ;)