Every year at about this time, when the leaves begin to fall and the storm windows start coming down, Jen and I get the irresistable urge to start changing stuff around. This is in part due to the proximity of Thanksgiving, when the Dugan clan makes its pilgrimage south for the Eating Of The Bird, and our own natural nesting instincts kicking into gear.

In general, this year has been different than the last, because we’ve ignored our house for eight months while our businesses have been getting traction. Sure, I was able to get the living room windows scraped, cleaned, and painted, and Jen made good headway on the garden, but that was in the spring, centuries ago, when it was warm.

Last week, after a few checks came in, we decided to call in some pros and finally get our living room wired. Up until now, it’s been incomplete, with a coat of paint on the walls, no baseboards, and a cardboard facade over the nasty fireplace brick.

living room-fireplace before

living room-southeast before

living room-northeast before

Our electrician recommended recessed lighting for the ceiling as a way to warm up the space evenly and add some variation to the lighting zones. The living room at one time had a central chandelier which was taken down and capped over, so there was no light switch in the whole room.


living room-fireplace after

living room-northeast after

The blue tape in this shot is the outline of what will soon be the pass-through French door into the doctor’s office. To the left of the door on the other side is a half-bath.

living room-southeast after

living room-fireplace after

The hole in the center is the location of the old chandelier box, which is now gone. The little holes behind that are from the wire hopping the joists. They will be covered by drywall at the end of the job.

living room-northeast after

The housings are HALO brand 6″ fittings; I think in hindsight I’d choose the 4″, and that’s what I’m going to specify for the kitchen. Overall, the light they throw is warm and full. We put the two over the fireplace on their own dimmer, and the other eight are ganged on a 600w dimmer of their own.

This is step one; The next phase is to wire the baseboards and get the room on its own circuit. We’ll be putting two plugs in on each baseboard as well as cable, phone and ethernet jacks. Phase three is to have professional drywallers come in and put 1/2″ sheetrock up on the ceiling over the plaster and around the lights so that the ripples and patches in the ceiling are covered for a smooth appearance.

Date posted: October 13, 2006 | Filed under house, living room | Comments Off on Living Room Lighting.

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