Hallways: New Lights, Outlets and Switches

Getting Electricals Done

At long last 173 has new lighting in the hallways and stairwell!  Not only that...all the outlets, phone jacks, switches and plate covers are changed out!  Let's start with the switches and plates.  These first couple pictures were taken right before painting, but they show the new plates really well:

I went with brown switches and outlets...

We went with Imperial Bead Aged Bronze set from AmerTac.  They didn't score great on Amazon (3.5 I think) but they're fantastic.  A nice solid metal and the finish is gorgeous.  Of course, they went on after the switches and outlets were replaced.  I'm always nervous about messing with electricity, but I'm glad I did.  Some of the outlets and switches had no ground, and now all of them do.  Here's a shot that'll show you why working with electricity here made me nervous:

What a mess!  I had to clean it all up, reorder the wires and, just for safety sake, wrapped them with electrical tape!  And here's a sampling of some of the switches that were still here at 173!

The one on the left was at the top of the steps and worked the stairwell light.  it was ceramic encased and the wires wrapped around from the back and screwed into the front of the switch!  At the same time, the switch on the right was at the bottom of the steps.  In that one, the wires screwed into the top and bottom!  And I gotta tell ya' - the positioning of the wires on both were in no way analogous to a modern 3-way switch.  It took me two evenings and several lost hours of sleep to figure out where each wire went on the new switches.  And that was after watching several YouTube videos!

That brings us to the lights.  Check this out, less than a year after moving into 173, the first round of hallway and stairway remodel was done, and the most modern lights we could afford went in...

Those notes are from my pre-blog house journal.  $80 for all three lights!  Certainly there were better quality lights back in '98, but like I said - the best we could afford!  The downstairs hallway light was one of these:

Remember those?  Hey, back then they were in style!  And by-the-way, according to the Huffington Post, some of the fashion styles of the 90's are back in style - including brass fixtures.   Anyway, the new light is in and here it is!

I've mentioned before that the woodwork here at 173 is kinda Mission style, so we decided to go with mission lighting.  This light was gorgeous, but it came with a single post from the base, so requisitioned the base from one of the bedrooms because it was a much more substantial-looking base:

Then there was the upstairs wall sconce.  Again, back in '98 the style was...

Now...and I love this...

The Tiffany-style lighting is very representative of the Mission style and just looks fantastic at 173!  But there's another lighting look for the Mission style that tends toward Prairie style and is a beautiful compliment to the Tiffany style.  To keep from making 173 too cutesy-matched, the chandelier would be Mission style, but lean toward Prairie!  But, before we get there, here's the '98 chandelier:

Yep!  She was a beaut!  But alas, times change, styles change and the chandelier changed!

I love the lines!!  And now, I have to tell you, not a single one of these lights was simple to install, not even the sconce!  Just how it is with old houses, but it was well worth the effort!  Finally, the bonus light.  You see, I originally found the chandelier after days of searching.  I just couldn't find the right one on Amazon, so I started looking on lighting websites...also no luck.  Then I searched local lighting stores and finally found the chandelier that seemed like it would work. 

At the local place, the chandelier was about $140.  Not bad, and less than what was budgeted so - yay!  I was going to pick it up the next day.  But the night I found the light, I was laying in bed and thought - I wonder if this can be found for even less, so I googled the company, style name and product number.  Prices came up at different sites from $125 to some $400.  Then I put the info into Amazon and wha-la!  There it was...exact same company, product number and everything, but the price was different.  $45!  Yes, that's right - $45!  So of course I had to buy it then and there.  But when I clicked to pay, there was some other kind of Amazon discount automatically applied and the chandelier ended up costing....wait for it....$38!!  Can you believe it?  That's even less than the chandelier from 1998!

I mentioned the bonus light.  Because of the incredible savings, I picked up a light for the phone stand in the front hallway!

See the little squirrel?  Iconic of the little boogers that tease the pooch!  So, there's the new lighting for the hallways!  Now it's time for wrapping up little details for this project, so there should be just one more post on the hallways!
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