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New Lights, and New Favorites

There are three existing lights in the hallway: the one that you can see below, hanging down (which is cute and has a round glass shade), and two others that don’t match. Now that the hall construction is complete and the walls have been painted, I want all three lights to be identical for continuity. I was looking for flush mount fixtures in brass to match the metal finishes throughout the Victorian, in a small scale, and in a classic style. I wanted something that looked good, but nothing that was too much of an in-your-face statement piece (hallways are utilitarian spaces — they don’t exactly need chandeliers!). I’ve been a fan of Schoolhouse Electric’s fixtures for ages, so when they offered to provide lighting, I chose three Newberry 4″ pendant fixtures in brass and these white glass shades. They arrived a couple of days ago, and they’re going to look fantastic.

The New Lighting for the Hallway

(Oof, that belly. Almost done!)

We’re rewiring the house soon and getting rid of the old BX, along with any hidden knob and tube that’s still active (oh, the joys of old houses!), so we’ll have new fixtures installed then. We’re also having all of the switches on the first and second floors changed out for new push-button switches at the same time. There are a few original ones left in the house, and I love them! I’m so excited that all of the switches are going to match.

OK, and I have to share the new collection that Schoolhouse Electric just released this week. We’d been emailing back and forth about the lights, and they gave me a sneak peek at everything… and whoa. Way more exciting than finishing up a hallway! First of all, this bedroom is perfection. You know I love a good Jenny Lind bed, and a good floral.

Schoolhouse Electric Bedroom, Fall 2014

My favorites from the new line are below. I want to put a room together around all of these pieces! Can’t you just see it? So awesome when a collection leaves you feeling inspired.

Favorites from Schoolhouse Electric, Fall 2014

  1. Brass Planters

  2. Flowering Confetti — His — Silhouette Framed Art

  3. Flowering Confetti — Hers — Silhouette Framed Art

  4. Wayne Pate Bouquet Framed Art

  5. Fuller Pendant — White Glass

  6. Charcoal Stripe Linen Duvet

  7. Ceramic Bud Vase

  8. Woodland Meadow Sheet Set

  9. Library Ladder

  10. Lenox Bench — Canyon Coral

The Nursery, After Construction

Who’s ready for some pretty pictures? (Sorry to disappoint. It’s the nursery.)

The Nursery, Before

The Nursery, Before

The room is about 12’x12′ though the built-in cabinetry takes up 2′ of floor space along the window wall, and the doorway comes into the room 2′ as well. She doesn’t look like much yet, but see that radiator by the door? Here it is from another angle, not too long ago.

Second Floor Construction

Walls and a door are a big improvement.

The nursery will not be ready for the baby’s arrival — obviously. I would love to have it at least cleared out, cleaned up, and with primed (if not painted!) walls, but we’re 10 days from the due date. I don’t know if it’s going to happen. The important thing though is that there IS a nursery. It exists! There may still be a kitchen sink in the room, but at least it’s no longer hooked up!

The Nursery, Before

I’m due on the 26th, but I’m willing the baby to be born on the 23rd (it’s totally going to work, you guys). My birthday is on the 22nd, but my grandma’s is the 23rd and it would be very sweet if they could share the date. Brandon’s going to be working on the room, getting it presentable and trying to throw a coat of primer up, so we’ll see if the baby cooperates with my proposed timeline.

The Nursery, Before

The Nursery, Before

We’re using the brown glider and ottoman that we already have (not so stylish, but very comfortable), and our black jenny lind crib. You can see them in the old house, in both Eleanor’s and August’s nurseries. We don’t need a dresser or bookcase since we have a wall of built-in storage, so the room should come together pretty quickly and easily. Paint, a rug, fabric, art… I’m looking forward to the fun part of working on the nursery now!

Choosing Our Hardwood Flooring for the Hallway

When Brandon and I bought our Victorian, we knew that the flooring in the hallway on the second floor would need to be addressed eventually. There are a couple of soft spots with noticeable give, and our home inspector estimated that we could probably go five-or-so years before replacement/repair would be necessary. The floor hasn’t gotten any worse in our year of living here, but since we were opening up the back of the hallway and putting in new flooring, we thought we may as well choose new flooring for the entire hall now.

Hallway:  Old Floor

Hallway:  New Floor

Our contractor’s schedule is usually booked up pretty far in advance, but he was able to move our remodeling project up so that construction on the hallway and nursery could be completed before baby number three arrives. Putting in the new flooring throughout the entire hall isn’t as pressing as the rest of the project was though, so with the major work already done, we’ll have our guy back out in a few months to finish up once his schedule has been cleared. I don’t expect our flooring choice to be discontinued anytime in the immediate future, but just in case, we’re going to buy and store the rest of the wood needed to complete the hallway so that everything will match. There is a significant difference in the thickness between the new and old wood, but we’ll keep a runner over that transition for now so that nobody trips or stubs their toe.

Selecting the new flooring material was up to us, so that we could choose the type, style, and finish ourselves. I asked if he had a recommendation for where to look, and he said that he had been referring his customers to a relative newcomer, Floor & Decor. I wasn’t familiar with them before that day, but coincidentally, I had received an email that same morning about their fourth Chicagoland store set to open in Skokie on the 12th. They were interested in working together, and after visiting (and liking) the Lombard location per my contractor’s recommendation, the timing worked out perfectly to partner on our hallway project.

Floor & Decor

Bruce Hardwood Flooring, Oak Gunstock, at Floor & Decor

Brandon and I chose a prefinished wood floor for ease of installation, and we also picked up an underlayment to muffle sound. I was a little worried that the micro-beveled edges on the wood planks would bother me since I like the smooth mirror-like finish of flooring that has been finished in place, but the floor looks great. I didn’t want a jarring change down the hallway, so I chose a color and wood that was similar to what we already had throughout the house: Gunstock Oak. I also went with the skinny 2-1/4″ planks to match the original floor as closely as possible. The hardest choice to make was whether we wanted engineered or solid hardwood. Engineered wood floors cost less, and there are some great quality options out there, but the longevity of solid wood won us over. Hallways are high-traffic areas and solid wood can be refinished multiple times over the years if need be, and it felt like a more appropriate choice for the house.

Bruce Hardwood Flooring in Gunstock Oak, from Floor & Decor

The old flooring still needs to be replaced in the original part of the hallway of course, but it looks fantastic already. So exciting to see the hall being returned to its original state and configuration!

hr 644

Floor & Decor carries ceramic, stone, tile, wood, and laminate flooring, so be sure to check them out if you’re in the market. They offer free design consultations, and their showrooms are large enough that they often have the materials and tools you need in-stock and ready to take home. Floor & Decor already operates 44 stores across the country, and their new Skokie store will have events for the whole family this Friday and Saturday during their grand opening!

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