Does Good Design = Expensive?
Building a home means endless decisions. Making so many choices with seemingly endless options is tough. Choosing the lighting for our farmhouse build has felt very open ended. Even after I've made lighting purchases, I keep rethinking and returning and rebuying things. The budget can easily get out of control when choosing products for an entire project at once, so I try to bring a mixed source approach to finding, making, and purchasing my fixtures. This way I can feel ok about spending more money on the perfect pieces and make do with a few things that are less expensive in other areas. So choose some things that you love and do a little research. I believe that you can find the design elements you want in your price range if you're willing to do a little leg work.
Our electrical trim-out is near and I've been making my light fixture list and checking it twice. I have several lights that I purchased at antique stores, a junk yard, and a few DIY projects, but I still had a few remaining fixtures that I needed to round up. I wanted to keep the lighting budget pretty low, not an easy task when there are so many gorgeous options! Very little that I've found on the shelves suited the country farmhouse feel that I want for our home, so I scoured the Internet, mostly Pinterest, and here are some of the farmhouse fixtures that I've chosen:
Ballard Design's Carter Indoor/Outdoor Galvanized Ceiling Fan $349.00 (look for coupon codes, sales, sign up for their e-mail list, etc. and you can get it closer to $250)
I'm using these fans inside in the living area and one in a little seating area on the back porch.
This fixture will be perfect for the upstairs (kids') bathroom. There are no windows, so I wanted to choose something with several lights.
Go Home LTD's Sidewalk Lamp from Atlanta's Apparel Mart
This is a wholesale account that I order through on occasion for my business and I found these beauties for my master bath. If you love them, let me know because I had to buy a few extra to meet the minimum and I need to sell them!
I plan to use this fixture in the mud area, upstairs hallway and pantry.
I scored these lanterns when they were salvaged from a wrecked truck load. They're exactly what I would have ordered. They're pretty large and I think that the outside needed something a little darker to balance the white on white.
You can't always get what you want (Unless you're crafty!)
So after I figured out that I did not want matchy matchy fixtures and that I wanted to mix styles as well as metals, I set out to have a little thrifty DIY fun. I'm sure that there will be more to come, but here is what I have so far:
My Version: Brass Chandelier and spray paint $12
Designer Version: Jubilee Chandelier from Wayfair $219.99
A friend sold me three brass chandeliers for $20, so I set out to give each one a new look. This is the smallest one, so we'll value it at $5. This one only needed one can of Krylon spray paint and we have a fancy new chandelier for my girl's closet.
Crate Light Fixture
My Version: Antique Crate from Davis Street Antiques and light kit $38
Designer Version: Billcart Chandelier by Currey & Company $1060.00
This fixture is super easy to make and turned out to be such a unique piece. Simply find a crate (or make one), drill a hole in the top big enough for the light kit to fit through, and attach the light kit. Voila! And you didn't even have to spend $1,000! Winning! This will be installed in my son's closet. I'm looking to make one more from a larger crate or basket for his bedroom.
Hand Forged Iron Chandelier
I came across this fixture, thanks to my cousin, at a junk yard in town. They sold it for only $100 and I had to purchase about $40 worth of little "candle" tube pieces to go around the exposed wiring from Allen Electric. It will be installed in the foyer, in front of a triple window. I knew that this space needed an high-impact chandelier, but didn't think that I would be able to find one in my price range. This was the best of both, great price and gorgeous looks!
My Version: Junk Yard Special $140
Designer Version: Savoy House Bourges 24 Light Chandelier $5,098
So, if you're building a house, remodeling, or just redecorating remember that there is almost always a way to get the look that you want without busting your budget. Pinterest, DIY blogs, thrift stores, surplus warehouses, and good old fashioned ingenuity will be your greatest helpers. If you can't find a swap for something, splurge on that item and try to save everywhere else. You can do it! And you can do it within your means.