When To Add (Or Remove) Light Fixtures In Your House

Technically, we’ve only lived in two houses that we’ve owned, but I feel like I’ve already had a lot of experience with this area of changing lighting in a home. For someone that’s newer to the renovation game, you may have walked into a house and not been super happy with the lighting setup but not really realized that it’s something you can totally change (and it shouldn’t be a whole giant ordeal like some renovation ideas can be). Our current house had quite a few lighting areas that we redid, so I’ll show you some of the main changes and why we made them and then I’ll show you our newest fixture location in our front room being planned and carried out as well …Remove lights that are unnecessary or an odd location: This light location seemed odd to me from the time we first entered the house. There was a long branch-like fixture with little spot lights on it, but there was nothing below it to light up other than a window ledge, so it just felt kind of useless. I could have tried to salvage the odd location with a new fixture in a style I liked better, but since I was pretty sure I never wanted to turn the light on at all, I just decided to have an electrician remove the light and smooth the ceiling like it was never there. Pretty inexpensive and quick to have done. Lights to remove in this category are ones that you look at and say, “Why is that there??”

Add lights that help define a space as separate: The opposite side of that long den room is a spot where we added a light! Over by the window I decided I wanted a little breakfast nook table and to make it feel like a separate “official” space I added this pendant globe light above it. It helps give light to the table since it’s a little far from the main light for the room (I have all overhead lights in the house on a dimmer so they are more of a soft glow as needed) and a light above the table signals that this is a separate area from the couch, and makes it feel more official than just a random table by a wall. I needed the help of an electrician on this one too as they had to add a connection for a light in that spot and tie it to a switch to make it functional (I used the old switch for that odd branch light by the window in the example above so that saved some money there!).

Change lights that aren’t flattering: If you feel like there are lights that aren’t flattering, you can switch the location! I know there are a million bathroom lights that are meant to go over the mirror (and cool looking ones at that), but it’s juuuuuuust not my favorite in a bathroom or anywhere there’s a mirror you’re looking in for a decent amount of time. No matter how pretty the fixture, I have never used a bathroom mirror with an overhead light and thought, “Wow, this lighting is really flattering!” Never. Anytime I’ve had that thought it’s always been with sconce lights where there are at least two lights on either side of the mirror near face height (or in some bathrooms that have more of the “ring light” type mirrors but that may be a little extreme for some tastes).

You can see we moved that location of lights with our electrician in our guest bath and it made a huge difference in there. That may be just a personal preference on the overhead vs. sconce debate, but that’s how I feel on that issue. Regardless of how you feel on that if there is a space where you feel like people look kind of ill when you look at them, think about where the lighting is and if it’s too harsh/bright or in a bad location. If it’s the location you can move the box to a different area to not be the only direct light source in the room. Or you can add a dimmer to not make the light so bright, change the warmth of your lightbulb color, or you can add some floor lamps or wall lights to help fill in the light and have it coming from other directions as well (or all of the above!).

Add lights when other lighting isn’t adequate and lamps are awkward: Speaking of adding more lights, the last tip is to add more lights when what you have isn’t quite cutting it and it still feels dim. I think most of us have been in houses or rooms where there’s one overhead light for the room, but it’s just not bright enough to where it feels a little dim and sad rather than dim and cozy. You can definitely fill in the lighting gap with some floor or table lamps (you can buy dimmer switch cords for lamps which I highly recommend) but also think about some wall mounted options. I added two of these DIY mid-century sconce lights on either side of our TV and they were perfect for filling in a light gap on that side of the room. There wasn’t really a space I could put a lamp that didn’t feel awkward or wouldn’t have a cord running across the floor. So the wall mounted lights were just what we needed and since they are plug-in lights I didn’t have to have an electrician install anything, so that made it a little more affordable too.OK, so for the present day example, you can see in this “before” photo of our front room that the dining table light is all the way on one side of the room and then there is just a long area with no light fixture at all. We have a couch, chair, and coffee table on the other side and it’s the main area where we sit and hang out for parties, but it’s just always felt too dark over there. Even with a lamp, I just don’t get the light coverage that I want in that 2/3 of the room and a light there will help designate that as a separate space as well. If this room was used for one purpose with one central action area (like a den that’s just for sitting or a dining room with only a table) and it needed two fixtures, I would probably center the fixtures evenly and use the same light for both spots like Elsie has in her den. But since the areas serve two different purposes and are decorated to be separate (our dining area has a painted wallpaper on that section), I chose this mid-century light as a complimentary cousin light of the chandelier in our dining room and I think they work really well together.

I had an electrician come out and add a light box for that area so we could install the fixture there and they put that light and the dining light in the same switch location so we could turn on and off the lights for the whole room in the same place. I also had them add separate dimmers for both lights so they can be controlled separately as well. I was laughing because when the workers were done, they said it looked so much better and it really balanced out the room to have the second light and I was like, “I know! I agree!”

See how pretty that looks? It absolutely does the duel purpose of adding light to that area of the room and defining the space as it’s own area—love it! I would definitely suggest having the same type and warmth of bulbs for fixtures in the same room. Otherwise, one can really stand out in a bad way if you have cool-toned LEDs in the one and warm incandescent bulbs in the other and they are on at the same time at night.

So now you know your lighting options when thinking about changing up the lighting in a home! It’s definitely a good thing to keep in mind when changing a space (or changing the functionality of a space you currently use) to know what’s possible and that it’s not a huge renovation project like some other home things can be. Hope these tips are helpful the next time you’re thinking about a lighting change! xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Hufflepuff-Inspired Bedroom

Today, I wanted to give you a tour of the Hufflepuff-inspired bedroom in our Florida Airbnb. If you missed the first bedroom tour (Slytherin!), you can see that here. I wanted to make sure and tour Hufflepuff as one of the first rooms because, as it was pointed out to me on Instagram, the Hufflepuffs of the world are often forgotten.

Our Airbnb house has two stories. The upstairs has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Here’s some of the art and what the stairway leading to the bedrooms looks like.

Here is a before and after of this bedroom. We did change the carpet on the stairs and landing, but other than that most of what we did on the second floor was paint and furnish/decorate. I chose a golden yellow color for the accent wall in this room. This bedroom is on the smaller side so I decided to add a bunk bed to maximize both the sleeping area and floor space. We imagine that likely it will be families with children staying in this home so the two bedrooms that have bunk beds were designed with that in mind. Although I must admit, I also stay in Airbnb homes most of the time when I travel and I have sometimes ended up in a bedroom with bunk beds, so they work for adults too. 🙂

The bedroom is simple and uncluttered with the beds, an area rug, side table, and floor lamp. There is also a really fun owl bean bag—a great spot for reading. Ha! This room has black velvet curtains to keep the room dark for sleeping, but there’s plenty of light in the room otherwise. Keely helped me create a little framed piece of fan art with the Hufflepuff motto that hangs above the side table. And the paint color is Midsummer Gold from Behr.

Even though the room is quite simple every piece was chosen with care. Here’s a few things in the space: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 (similar) / 5


Here is a peek into the bathroom. This bedroom as well as the adjacent bedroom (which I’ll share soon—it’s Gryffindor!) both have doors that connect to this bathroom. Check out the room sources below for more details. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Room Sources: bunk bed, curtains, area rug, side table, floor lamp, owl bean bag, Hufflepuff door banner, bathroom rug.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Elsie’s Favorite Removable Wallpaper on Etsy

I have been spending a lot of extra time on Etsy recently since we are moving soon. I’ve been saving lots of pretty things in hopes of including them in future room projects, and I have been pretty blown away by the selection of removable wallpaper! I love using peel and stick because it saves on the expense of installation when you DIY, and it’s easy to swap out when the time comes to redecorate or move.

Here are a few of my favorite patterns I’ve saved on Etsy recently! Oh, and I am considering using peel and stick in our dining room and laundry, so I’d love to hear which patterns you love the most!

(By the way, the paper pictured above is from Chasing Paper and it’s what I used in Marigold’s nursery.)

1. Pink Mudcloth 
This is so pretty and cool. I can see it being used in all kinds of rooms!

2. Pink Cream Terrazzo
I have suddenly developed quite a big terrazzo crush and I’m really liking this pattern.

3. Hand-Painted Watercolor
This is so classic and very appealing to me! My favorite wallpaper patterns are typically soft and neutral.

4. Clementine
This makes me so happy because I had a DIY version of this wall in our first kitchen and I loved it SO much. I will always have a soft spot for a clementine wall.

5. Flamingo Flock
Obviously love this!

6. City Plan

This is FUN.

7. Muse Mustard
This is cute. It’s funky, but the color scheme keeps it a little more neutral. I love mustard.

8. Skylight
This is so gorgeous—maybe for a nursery.

9. Stone Lastriko

10. Vintage Peony
This is right up my alley. Love a large, neutral floral.

11. Pink Brush
What do you think of this? I’m into it!

12. Pink Terrazzo 
These colors are so nice!! I really love this one!

13. Chinese Cranes
Adorable, and of course you know anything Chinese earns bonus points in our home! 🙂

Have a great day! xx- Elsie

Slytherin-Inspired Bedroom

Our Harry Potter-inspired bnb house has five bedrooms. So, of course I had to make four of the bedrooms themed after each of the houses of Hogwarts. This master bedroom is located just off the kitchen and dining area. It’s a very spacious room (quite a bit bigger than the master bedroom in our own home, ha!) and since the full bathroom that is attached to this room already had green tile that I didn’t plan to change, I decided to make this into the Slytherin-inspired room.

Here’s a before and after of this room. Clearly updating the floors was a big change for this space. Other than that, all we really did was paint and then decorate/furnish this room according to the theme.

Each room that is themed after a Hogwarts house has a banner on the door, indicating which house it is. I also chose to add one colored accent wall in each room, picking a color that I felt represented the house—so of course our Slytherin-inspired room has a dark green wall. There is a king-size bed, side tables, a large dresser, TV, and a few fun/spooky decor items. I also chose to add black velvet curtains, which I actually have in my master bedroom at home as well because they do such a great job of blocking light in case you want to sleep in.

Here are a few of the items from the room. I have to admit, the snake rug is probably my favorite! Items: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

Keely helped me make the prints that hang above the bed. I wanted to have some fan art in each room that had something to do with the houses motto or history from the books/movies. In the Slytherin-inspired room, there’s a print with the definition of Horcrux, one that is a “recipe” for Polyjuice Potion, and then one is the words to one of the unforgivable curses (the killing curse! ah!). And I chose Green Agate from Behr for the accent wall. See the room resources below for more details. Are there any Slytherins out there reading this? Do you feel I did your house proud? 🙂 xo. Emma

Room Resources: area rug, bed frame, curtains, side tables, side lamps, black dresser and then I added other pull knobs from The Home Depot, green vase and throw pillows / HomeGoods, comforter, black skull / JOANN, house door banner, snake and skull banner / Walmart (halloween decor), bathroom rug. Accent wall paint is Behr Green Agate.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Easy DIY Living Wall Art

If you have ever wanted to make your own DIY living wall art from artificial plants, then you are in luck because I am pretty sure this has to be one of the easiest projects, and I just LOVE how it turned out. I was inspired to create these because I recently took down my faux living wall and I wanted to reuse as many of the faux plants as I could. I love the look of artificial plants around our house as green is one of my favorite colors and I just think it adds so much interest to any room.

As you can see, I created four panels of artificial greenery above our piano, but you could easily create just one or any number/size that fit your space. This project is super customizable and the panels end up being lightweight, so you could even hang them with command strips if you wanted to make this project renter-friendly. Here’s how I made this DIY living wall art.

-artificial greenery (I bought all of mine from JOANN when it was on sale, and thrifts are a great place to look too)
-stretched canvas, any size
-small scissors or an X-Acto knife
-paint + brush
-pipe cleaners

You’ll want the paint and pipe cleaners to be a similar color to your artificial plants. I made four green panels and four autumn-colored panels, so I can switch these out with the seasons as I just love to decorate for fall! Plus, I already had lots of autumn-colored faux plants I wanted to reuse as well.

Step One: Paint the canvas. This does NOT have to be perfect. The goal is just to make the canvas mostly covered, so if your plants allow a few peeks through it won’t show the canvas.

Step Two: Once the paint is completely dry, add the plants. I did this by poking small holes in the canvas and using pipe cleaners to attach the stems/vines. It made me think of when you open a package (like a children’s toy) and the item is twist-tied onto a piece of cardboard or plastic. That’s essentially what you are doing with the artificial plants.

That’s it! It’s seriously that simple. These did take a little while to complete. I started listening to the podcast Dolly Parton’s America while making these and it’s such an interesting series—highly recommend. Thanks for letting me share and happy crafting! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Project assistance: Ethan Randolph. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Keely’s Bedroom Makeover (Before + After!)

Since the last time I checked in house-wise, we had a pretty big change: we moved! At the end of last summer, we very unexpectedly found a house that we felt was perfect for us in an area we wanted to eventually move. The way everything came together, we felt we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Even though I wasn’t totally ready to leave our old home that we had put all our hearts into gutting and renovating (anyone else get SUPER emotional leaving their first home?), the idea of having new rooms to spruce up felt like a really exciting challenge that made it much easier to transition.

The first room we decided to tackle was our master bedroom. Our old bedroom had black walls, so we definitely went in a different direction, haha. As soon as I saw this Sera headboard from Article, I knew I was going to design the room around it. It was love at first sight. It’s made of cotton velvet (so luxurious) and has a mounting ledge that makes it super easy to attach to the wall.

To complement the dramatic, lush feel of the headboard, we decided to paint the room a soft, muted pink. Out of the five samples we swatched on the walls, Seaside Villa by Behr won and it’s exactly what we had hoped for. I have the feeling I’m going to use a fair amount of pink in this house—it’s a color that makes Michael and I feel cozy and relaxed, and to me, it’s totally a neutral. 😉

The opposite side of the room had some space that needed to be utilized, so we decided on a sitting area, and it’s been such a great addition. This pink table and comfy, but very chic chair (love the gold legs) also from Article totally stole my heart. The painted top on the table is the most perfect shade of blush! As you know, we love Article around here. They offer free shipping over $999 (it’s usually just a flat rate of $49 for orders under that and smaller shipments are $19) and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee so you can try out your new furniture in your home. If you’re not completely happy, they’ll pick up the furniture and provide a refund, minus the delivery and pickup charges which is $49 in most cases — so I love that there’s some flexibility and you can try different things if you need to. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re stuck with an item you order because it’s big.

After landing on the pink, green and cream color palette, I decided on adding some terracotta/rust into the mix for some extra texture. I came across a new favorite website for flora-related decor, which is where I found the vase and sun palms (similar here). The brass swans are vintage and so far I’m very impressed with the function of this essential oil diffuser.

This print by Arielle Vey was also one of those things I saw and just knew its home had to be here in this room. Her work is truly some of my favorite photography. This print is 30×40, which is pretty big, so we used this DIY from the blog to make a frame for it and it saved us some serious $$$. I also love that if you find some decorative trim that you like, you can use that for your frame edges! Very customizable.

Formerly, I had left the top of our dresser pretty bare, but putting some of my favorite books (LOVE Beyond Beautiful! Recommend so highly) and some plants on here has sparked a lot of joy. This candleholder was such a find for me! I saw it in the Target aisle and it deeply affected me, haha.

This room has quickly become our favorite in the house–just ask our model pictured above (she wants to be in here 24/7). She always sits at the door like “OK, ready for bed now?” and it’s so funny! Putting this room together has reminded me of two things: paint can change everything and designing around one or two focal point pieces (in my case here, the headboard and the Arielle Vey print) can really help to make things easier and more fun. Thanks for tagging along today! xo Keely

Sources: Sera Headboard in Balsam, Calcite Ivory Spin Chair, and Silicus Pink Table c/o Article, Duvet cover in Lambskin / Amazon, Tassel pillow / Marshalls, Rattan side tables / Southeastern Salvage, Sconces / Amazon, Sitting area lamp / Amazon,  Rug under bed / Rugs USA, Rug under chair / Rugs USA, Macrame above bed / Amazon, Rust pom pom throw / Amazon, Tray / Target, Candleholder, Target / Terracotta vase / Afloral, Pom pom pillow / Target

Credits//Author: Keely Rust. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.