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One year ago, we moved into our new home. Not newly built, mind you, but new to us. Since then, we’ve primped and polished her, beadboarded our bathroom, installed a small patio, and painted our hearts away. We’ve also spent a fair amount of time wondering about why the previous owners did what they did.

  • Why did they install laminate flooring in the living room when the foyer and kitchen that run into it are original hardwoods?
  • Why did they purchase a brand-new gas stove but not properly measure the space before said purchase, resulting in their having to shave off part of the countertop edges to fit the stove into the space?
  • Why did they only paint half of the trim in the house white and leave the other half cream? Why, God, why?

After lamenting about these things, we’ve slowly but surely set out to fix them. (They are, after all, part of the reason we got this place at the price we did. We were willing to do the work.)

We bought and replaced our cream light switches and outlets with white ones to match the white plates that they installed (while leaving the cream switches and outlets. Again, why God?).


Nice. (Yes, I took the “after” photo in another room. Laziness, my friends.)

We’ve also wondered why they took down the light in the dining room area of our open-concept living room.

We cannot surmise why, except that they didn’t use it for eating, but for working out/paying bills/storing their band equipment.
Which we do not do. So, we need a light. Oddly enough, though they removed the light and dry-walled over the location of it, they left the switch on the wall. They simply replaced the light switch with a blank solid plate. So we looked around, thought about it, and decided there must have been a light up there at some point.

On Tuesday, we had an electrician come out. He put some sort of gauge up against our ceiling and said, “Yep, you have live wires up there.”

There are two ways to look at this situation. A) Because they left power to the wires, the electrician was able to find the wires easily. Otherwise, he would have had to make multiple holes in our dry wall and run wires to the spot that we wanted a light to hang from, resulting in a $1k job instead of $100. That’s the positive way to look at it. B) Because the wires were live—even though they were capped—they were against building code, which states that you must have access to live wires. The spot should have been capped instead of dry-walled over. It also might be somewhat of a fire hazard, though a small one. That’s the not-so-positive way to look at it.

It didn’t take the electrician long to get us all up and running and legal, code wise, so tonight B was able to install a light that we bought at Home Depot. Ladies and gents, the photos:

I obviously don’t know the correct way to photography a light source. The last shot shows the most accurate color of our wall. This light was a compromise on our part. What I wanted was slightly more expensive (and when I say slightly, I mean I wanted a Pottery Barn light. We went to Home Depot. Marriage = compromise = money for new jeans?). 😉

Even if the light isn’t our first choice, it works for the space, and I can’t tell you how incredible it feels to have light in the back half of our living room. It’s a huge difference!