The Vanna Venturi House

My Dream Wood Floor

Here’s a quick ‘how long have you been reading this blog’ check. Remember when Brandon and I installed bamboo flooring in a couple of rooms in our first house?

Installing Bamboo Flooring

We were so house-proud. Dark bamboo was especially good against pale pink walls!

It looked equally at home with charcoal gray, too. There are a bunch of options out there for dark bamboo, depending on whether you like it to be almost black, a little warmer with more brown, textured, or smooth. This espresso stain looks the closest to the finish we used all those years ago. Floor & Decor has a bunch of videos on their site, including one all about bamboo flooring.

Dark Gray Bedroom | Making it Lovely

That home was old (built in 1910), but the second floor was a later addition and we felt like we could deviate a bit from the style of the house. The dark floors were dramatic, and they provided the contrast I tend to love in design. A word of warning though — dark floors, be they wood, bamboo, carpet, or tile, need more frequent cleaning because every speck of dirt, dust, or pet hair shows. Still, they look good enough that I would take the tradeoff.

We’ve put in new flooring in the Victorian too. I was very pregnant when we remodeled the second floor, so I wasn’t about to do the installation myself. We did half of the hallway and got to a stopping point, with the intention of taking a break, having a baby, getting the house rewired, and then continuing on. The electrical work is about 80% done, according to the electricians, but the last 20% is going to see us ripping up a lot of the house to access everything. Poor house. But then we can finish the hallway (and a few other projects that the rewiring had put on hold)!

The Hallway's Floor, in Progress

The solid hardwood I chose for the hall is a skinny Gunstock Oak. I tried to match up our existing wood floor as closely as possible, in color and width. I do sometimes miss the drama of the dark floors in our old house, but a medium tone is beautiful too.

In a different house though? I would kill for a chance to install one of these gray wood finishes. I’ve seen a few of these at the store, and I think this one is my favorite. Installed in a chevron or herringbone pattern? It would be so good.

You know, like in Jacques Dirand’s Paris flat.

Jacques Dirand's Home

Sigh. Total dream floor. Does it really fit in a Chicago Victorian? DON’T CARE. But it doesn’t make sense to randomly add it to a hallway, and so we didn’t. Now if we were ever to replace the floor in the main rooms? It would be a serious contender.

14 Ceiling Fans that Don’t Look Terrible!

Our house does not have central air, and Chicago summers are hot and humid. I was a little concerned that we would be uncomfortable as the temperatures rose, but it hasn’t been too bad. A shady porch for enjoying a breeze helps. 10′ tall ceilings inside and transom windows above the bedroom doors help. Window A/C units help. Portable fans help, and though I’d rather choose fixtures for looks alone, ceiling fans help. There are four in the house already, and we’re planning to add at least two more.

14 Ceiling Fans that Don't Look Terrible!

Here’s what I’ve been looking for in a fan:

  • simple and classic, early vintage style, or industrial-inspired

  • nothing too modern or so simple that it looks cheap

  • light kit optional (depends on the room — lamps/sconces are adequate in bedrooms)

  • four or five blades

  • no gimmicks (gyro fans, palm leaves, etc.)

  • black, bronze, or brass (in another house I might prefer white, but here I don’t think the color works as well)

  • roughly 48″ across, give or take a little

Some of these are available in several finishes, but I tried to stick to black or dark bronze for the roundup so they could be compared more readily by shape and style than by color. Many are also adaptable to house a light kit, and the down rod can often be adjusted for height.

14 Ceiling Fans that Don't Look Terrible! | Making it Lovely

Classic Bistro Style

  1. 52″ Harbor Breeze Classic Outdoor Ceiling Fan, Lowe’s, $80

  2. 42″ Progress Lighting Airpro Builder Ceiling Fan, Lowe’s, $111

  3. 52″ Sea Gull Lighting Quality Ceiling Fan, Lowe’s, $171

  4. 43″ Gemma Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan, Home Depot, $242

  5. 52″ Bistro Ceiling Fan, Restoration Hardware, $289

  6. 54″ Ainsworth Ceiling Fan, House of Antique Hardware, $310

  7. 52″ Heron No Light 4-Blade Ceiling Fan, Rejuvenation, $450

  8. 52″ Hunter Original Ceiling Fan, House of Antique Hardware, $463


  1. 52″ Progress Lighting North Park 4-Blade Ceiling Fan, Lowe’s, $214

  2. 42″ or 52″ Lapa Ceiling Fan, Barn Light Electric, $446

  3. 42″ or 52″ Machine Age Polished Copper Ceiling Fan, Barn Light Electric, $475

  4. 52″ Industry Ceiling Fan, Restoration Hardware, $499

  5. 60″ Peregrine Industrial No Light 4-Blade Ceiling Fan, Rejuvenation, $500
    also seen in the leading image, with an LED light

  6. 52″ Earhart Ceiling Fan, Restoration Hardware, $579

p.s. I totally should have had two matching post titles in a row.

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