Although there’s so much going on inside, we try to spend time every week making sure our exterior stays maintained. We actually have some rather large plans for our backyard space, but that will have to wait until next year. Nowadays, we’re just happy to keep the lawn mowed and the flower beds weed-free, but making some sort of improvement every year keeps things progressing in the right direction out here.
Last year we got a fence (no small thing…or price! ouch!), but this year with most of our budget and efforts going into the kitchen, we turned our attention to something we could do quickly that would make a big impact. We zeroed in on those minuscule lights flanking our garage doors–I mean, squint!–and started looking for replacements.
Although they look low, these lights are about 8.5 feet up and the 5 inch width was entirely too small for our home. An issue I ran into while searching for a new light was filling the space above the lights. Most lighting, especially more modern exterior lights these days, all turn down. Although tiny, I get why they chose fixtures that turned up–there is just so much room up there! The last thing I was looking for was something black. I’m a lover or brass lighting, just wait until you see the lighting for the kitchen, but this house desperately needed some black to bring it up to date. If you have been following along for any amount of time, you’ve probably realized I think every space needs a little dose of black.
After a couple weeks of searching, I found a few lights that I liked okay (see below screenshot from my lighting Pinterest board), but they all turned down which I thought would just make things feel unbalanced and bottom heavy.
One night, I was checking out Rejuvenation’s site and I started checking out their exterior lights. Initially, I didn’t think any of them would work either since they almost all turned down (I feel like a weirdo going on and on about lights turning down or up–okay, I am a weirdo), but then I saw their Carson Straight Arm wall mount had so many customization options including an arm support!
I customized it to my little heart’s desire and showed Chris and he loved it. The upward arm support was just the balance the light and garage needed. It felt modern and traditional and a little industrial (our sweet spot) and the all black—gah! It was perfect.
While the rod and chain came right away, the shades took a couple weeks to get here. During that time, we also decided to add some hanging flowers to the center or our garage doors to finish off the mini makeover. We found a heavy duty hanging hook at our local CalRanch and drilled it right into the siding to a backer board behind.
And here they are together!
The lights are dreamy and everything we wanted in our exterior lights. That support arm balances everything out so nicely and the glossy black shade adds some much needed contrast to our exterior and ties into the hardware on our fence.
Here’s one last look at a before and after:
Sadly, the flowers got scorched while we were away in Mexico, but we enjoyed them for the last 6 weeks and knew they wouldn’t be permanent. Now, I’m just wondering if maybe that would be a good spot for house numbers or just keep seasonal flowers there. We’ll see! Fortunately, the lights don’t really need any co-stars, they’ve improved our exterior enough all on their own.
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
When you’re gearing up to try something new, whether it be jumping off a cliff into a cool lake, expecting your first child, or buying a new home, you need a cheerleader in your corner. You know, a hype girl saying you got this! It’s going to be great! You can do it! I’m here […]
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