My Cabin Lighting is Not Pine Cone

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And god said unto the world, “Let there be light……in the cabin. Because the cabin is really dark. And didst thou know that wood walls absorb light? Unlike white walls which reflect light, meaning that lighting in a log cabin should not be smited (don’t look that up because I don’t think I’m using it correctly – said god). And thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s light but, instead, worship at the altar of thine own light. Preferably from such midrange outposts of rustic modern design like CB2 or West Elm. Without an abundance of thine own light, do not blame me if you stubbeth your toe or squint at stuff because that is your own damn fault. “

It’s so true, god is right. We spend so much time talking about walls and floors and bathrooms and kitchens and really the most impactful aspect of my cabin reno (besides a flushing toilet with no bat guano in it) is good lighting.

Lighting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a big design change. If you hate your dining room, instead of calling a contractor, you should immediately take down the boring, run-of-the-mill fixture that is probably way too small and currently hanging too high above your table. Then grab your purse and get thee to the nearest on-trend home store, stopping only to drop your too-small fixture on the curb for the upcyclers. Look for something that is bigger, bolder, and preferably a little out of place in your home. Too much match-matchy renders many things invisible – one item blends into the next, never daring to speak its truth for fear of being noticed.

The existing cabin lighting is UGLY and insufficient. I said UGLY.  Fugly. I try to remove the offensive fixtures in the cabin during Trash Out but Mike wrestles me to the ground and explains that we will have NO light in the cabin unless I put down the crowbar. And for a moment, I’m okay with that. The darkness, I mean. But then I get up and try to act like I’m not OCD about getting rid of fugly things.

Here is the lighting that was left in our cabin:

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See that big gaping broken lightbulb hole? Don’t you wonder how long that’s been there? Yeah, me too. Poor cabin.

And here’s my favorite:

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It’s the Vintage Bare Bulb Flushmount; for those aspiring to the “Who Cares? It’s Just the Cabin” motif.

And that’s pretty much it. Three half-assed lights for a three room cabin. Not pictured is a plug-in swing-arm sconce installed right behind the bedroom door; even when it’s not swung-out, the door crashes into the stained polyester shade every time you open the door. And if you were to swing out the swing-arm sconce, it would be like jamming a chair under the door knob. Good luck, robbers!

My obsession with the fugly lighting situation causes me to make love to the internet every night, looking for replacements. As you can see from the photos at the top of the post, I’m not going to the cabin store to get my box-o-cabin lighting. My cabin lighting is not pine cone. I want strong, clean lines with rustic materials.

And I settle on this:

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The paper lantern is from Ikea and it’s the perfect foil to dark cabin walls. It won’t surprise you to know that white paper lanterns are the most popular form of lighting in Sweden, both at home and at the cabin. I don’t actually know if that’s true but it sounds good, doesn’t it? From my vast experience in looking at pictures of Swedish homes and cabins, I feel like it must be true.

The other two fixtures are from CB2.

And here’s how they look:

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Honestly, I’m not completely happy and I might have to keep shopping (sorry, Mike). The glass globe in the kitchen is pretty good but gets lost amidst the log walls. The black sconce looks a little clumsy and sheds very little light. I actually LOVE the white paper lantern but Mike HATES it. His biggest complaint is the unsightly cord that swags from ceiling to wall. So I plan to put a bandaid on the situation by replacing the ugly white plastic cord with a fabric covered cord kit like this:

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I purchased the black and white cord on the right but they’re also available in all the funky colors on the left. These are from Urban Outfitters (I’m considering the red one if the black and white doesn’t make any impact).

I replaced the plug-in swing-arm sconce in the bedroom with this:

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No more slamming the door into the stained polyester shade! It sits flush against the wall and it makes me happy. Sometimes I go in the bedroom just to visit it.  Everyone in my family keeps asking “Kristin, why a k?” like it’s a completely random and ill-fitting choice. Like where did that come from?!  First of all, sheesh! Eye roll. And second, he who does the shopping gets the letter.

And although my cabin lighting is not pine cone, might I remind you that I Was Wrong About Antlers and we still have this shining beacon of cabin-antler love:

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Sometimes I love being wrong.

So this is me lighting a fire under you: get up off the couch and go look around your house. Is there a place where you could have some fun and make a statement with some new lighting?

It just might make you feel like you got a whole new house.

7 Comments

  1. Now I realize how wrong the chandelier in my dining room is (too low, dated, etc.). Of course, the living room is still a work in progress so I’m going to be hard pressed to get my husband on board with dining room changes this week. Love this post!

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    1. Here’s the secret, Colleen: just “take care of it” on your own and have him come home to something beautiful hanging overhead. It’s just like buying a lamp, except you need an electrician. This can save you a LOT of time and spare you some really stupid arguments.

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  2. SO good. SO funny. SO spot on. You make design seem like fun, when to someone like me, it can be agony. I never seem to find what I like at a price I’m willing to pay. Plus, I can be somewhat impatient with the whole shopping process. But when it came to finding a light for our dining room, I actually did have success at Southern Lights, Inc. in Burnsville. It’s the perfect size and incorporates a bit o’ contemporary with a bit o’ classic and I love it. But not as much as I love your blog. Supa fun stuff. 🙂

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  3. Sweet baby Jesus, I just found this site. I have read every entry so far and laughed my ever-loving, warm, toasty, Southern ass off. Please don’t stop. Snow? Cold? Sinking in snow? A freezing river? This is too wonderful. I say that as someone who puts a sweater on when the temp drops to 78F. Seriously. Cannot wait to see the finished product.

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