Design

An Exterior Light Facelift

August 5, 2015  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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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.
exterior before 2 progress

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.

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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.

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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.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 10.38.27 AM

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!

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 8.37.23 PM copy

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.

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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.

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And here they are together!

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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.

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Here’s one last look at a before and after:

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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.

What do you think?

  1. cherulie says:

    You know…..maybe it’s the roof. Needs to be a diff. color. And maybe a new set of garage doors….LOLOLOL. How do you like the way I am spending your money????

  2. cherulie says:

    Hmmmm…..I love the lights. But, feel there is something missing on this garage. Don’t know what though. I’m thinking that there should have been a larger and more dramatic looking “long” light fixture on both sides. I feel that somehow these very pretty lights look lost on this house.
    Funny how different people see things differently.

  3. June says:

    I think for safety/emergencies, you should add house numbers. Love the lights!!

  4. Mark.C says:

    Amazing job. I love the way you design the light. Looks narual and lovely.

  5. Anna says:

    I think house numbers in the center would look great! To be completely honest, I was struggling with the hanging plant, thinking the whole thing looked a little too symmetrical, but I think house numbers would balance it all out well.

  6. Katy says:

    Wow! What a difference they make! They do a really nice job of framing the area and I love the contrast of the dark fixtures with the white doors!

    Katy
    http://www.alittledailyhappiness.com

  7. Aimee says:

    I think that you made a great choice, and this is not really relevant anymore, but I think rejuvenation let’s you customize if lights shine up or down. I love their stuff!

  8. Lori says:

    I’ve been looking at those same lights but keep not buying them because i’m concerned that they won’t provide enough light other than directly down from the fixture. How do you feel about the amount of light that they provide?

  9. We have hanging flower baskets on our front porch and after tons of seasonal plants dying in them, I bought faux ferns at Michaels and plopped them in the baskets. They totally look real! And I can’t kill them!! Something to consider. :)

  10. Lauren B says:

    Love the lights! I’m also a fan of the pergola idea suggested or house numbers. Our house also has the garage closest to the street and I’ve always thought that it seems like the most logical place to put house numbers. (Our mailbox is grouped, so that’s not an option for us.)

  11. Colleen says:

    1) I love love love LOVE those lights! :) Great job picking them out! and 2) Out of curiosity, have you now thought about adding any decorative black or dark bronze hardware to the all white garage doors to tie in with the lights?

  12. Amanda says:

    Is it just me or does anyone else think that space above the garage doors is perfect for a simple pergola a-la YHL?
    http://www.younghouselove.com/2013/04/building-a-garage-or-carport-pergola/
    http://www.houzz.com/pergola-over-garage

  13. Jackie says:

    I like the lights a lot. I guess I’m unsure of why you didn’t place them higher?

    Best,
    Jackie

    • Chris says:

      Hi Jackie! That was definitely an option, but that would have required cutting additional holes, patching siding (which also requires finding out where we can buy our specific siding) and moving wires. Maybe some day we’ll do that, but with the current kitchen project we just didn’t have time to take that on yet. In the meantime we felt like the chain would help bridge that gap so it didn’t feel quite so low.

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