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It’s Electric!

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We had an electrifying weekend….that is, we did a lot of work with electricity. Now that we have drifted our focus to the other rooms on the first floor – we are working with the family room (attached to the kitchen – seen in some kitchen pictures), the dining room, the living room, and entrance way (sort of part of the living room).  Between all of those rooms, there are a lot of electrical outlets, light switches, and light fixtures.  All of them needed to be changed.

You may be wondering, why in the world do you need to change an outlet?  Let me show you:

This is one of the old outlets in the dining room (ignore my weird shadow in the picture). Notice the outlet is a different color than the outlet cover? That made it ugly. In addition to ugliness, many were dirty and dingy as well.

There are 4 – 5 outlets in all of the rooms I mentioned. In the past, Jim has performed the changing of the outlets but with 15 or so outlet changes looming before us, I needed to get to work as well. On Friday night, Jim and I did a Home Depot trip to get the majority of the supplies we would need to make-over the first floor. After our trip, Jim taught me how to change an outlet. I have watched him do it before, so there was not anything too surprising. One outlet change later – I was working on my own!  At times, I struggled to move the wires where I wanted them to go, but I successfully changed every outlet I attempted – pretty cool!  We divided and conquered. Before long – our outlets looked like this:

Clean and one color!

The best part of our new outlets are that they are tamper resistant.  That means when we have kids, we won’t have to put outlet protectors on everything because they have a built-in protector!

In addition to switching out the outlets, we also changed the light switches. In the family room, we had light switches that were circles and dimmers – hopefully you know what I mean. Jim apparently hates those types of light switches – so we went to regular  (we didn’t really need a dimmer so it isn’t a regular dimmer). The switch in the entrance was one of those flat switches. We also switched those to regular. We added a dimmer switch to the dining room and a cleaner switch in the family room for the backyard lights. With both of us working hard – we were able to get everything done before 11pm on Friday.

On Saturday, we weren’t able to get started until the evening do to a busy day for both of us.  On the theme of electrical – we decided to focus on the light fixtures. The family room had an unattractive white and gold fan without a light.

Not cute

Since the fan and the two recess lights (seen in the background of the photo) are the only fixtures in the room, that side of the room is pretty dark. We needed a new fan with a light. We have switched out two ceiling fans already (see here), this was a piece of cake. We really like the ceiling fan we bought before, so we got the same one. The new fan adds so much light to the room – it is great.

Much better

Once we finished the fan, we set our sights on the dining room.  The previous owners used the dining room as an office-type room. It was horrible. We have already made strides to make the room more like a dining room – aka ripping up the carpet and re-doing the woods floors.  Although we have not purchased a dining room set yet (it’s on the list), we know that down the road we will have a dining room table in the room.  Therefore, like any nice dining room, it should have an appropriate light fixture.  This was the light fixture in place:

Don't you love our textured ceilings? We don't...

The light fixture isn’t horrible, but it is not very dining room like.  That is good for an entrance way or hallway, but a dining room needs some sort of chandelier.  We didn’t want one that was too fancy because that isn’t us and wouldn’t fit the overall house.  We couldn’t have one that was too big or hung too low because we do not have very tall ceilings.  We were able to find the perfect chandelier when we went to Home Depot Friday night.  After the fan was done – we moved right on to putting the chandelier in.  It was not too difficult and before we knew it – our dining room light fixture looked like this:

Pretty!

Jim decided to add a dimmer for the light switch in the dining room, so the chandelier can dim as well.  It changed the whole feel of the room.

There was one more light fixture on the first floor that we tackled Saturday night.  The entrance way had a pretty hideous light fixture.  It was all glass and gold.  We even bumped it when we were moving in and broke on of the pieces of glass. Jim especially hated it.  We found a perfectly normal and nice light fixture to replace it.  The entrance way went from this:

The picture doesn't do it justice

To this:

Ta-dah!

One the entrance way was complete – we called it a night. Sunday would bring us more projects.

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