Gutting an old house has its share of drama. Today I’m sharing how Pepe and Carols helped me solve a hideous design dilemma in our hallway.
“How’s the house coming along?”
That is, quite possibly, the question of the century.
If you are one of the unfortunate souls who’s been at the receiving end of my response, then you know that what typically follows is a long and exhausting explanation of the latest adventures and mishaps at the bungalow – a highly animated tale where my voice (along with my blood pressure) rises at an alarmingly fast rate until I’m fully screaming and wailing my arms like a lunatic.
The response, however, is always, always the same, “Well, at least you get to design it however you want.”
Um, no. That’s actually one thing you don’t get to do when gutting and renovating an old house.
Let me explain.
Our bungalow is comprised of two main parts. The front part was originally built in 1930. It includes the entryway, mud room, open concept living space, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. The back part was added on about 30 years later. It consists of one bedroom, two walk-in closets, the laundry room, and the master bathroom.
I know – riveting information, right? But stay with me for a second.
The problem is that for whatever reason, the original owners built the back part with dropped ceilings. And when I say “dropped,” I’m talking a 1.5-foot difference. So whereas the main part of the house has nearly 9.5-foot ceilings, the back part of the house has standard 8-feet ceilings.
This brings us to one major design dilemma: The hallway that runs from the front of the house to the back of the house is all sorts of awkward.
I mistakenly assumed we’d fix this issue when we re-framed the layout and changed up the floor plan. But unfortunately, due to some support beam nonsense that the husband tried to explain to me, but I totally stopped listening once I realized what it meant – we couldn’t have a normal hallway. We had to leave a dumb little portion of a wall sticking out on the right side, smack dab in the middle of the hallway. The dropped ceilings in the back part of the house had to stay as well, because – guess what! – it costs more to raise ceilings than to build on from scratch. Go figure.
You may be thinking, “So what?”
Sure, awkwardly-shaped hallways are nothing to lose sleep over in the big scheme of things, but when it came time to choose lighting, I was in a bit of a pickle.
Thanks to the dropped ceilings in the back of the house, I couldn’t use a standard flush fixture. “Flush” refers to a light that hangs fairly close to the ceiling. However, “fairly close” is still 6 or more inches below the ceiling – not ideal for my 6’2″ husband.
Yes, sconces on the ceiling.
I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with such an idea – but it sure feels like it every time someone new visits our home and comments on my choice of lighting.
What do you think of the idea?
It’s definitely not my first “unique” lighting choice; have you seen our living room chandelier?!
But I am curious to hear your thoughts. Would you ever consider installing wall sconces on the ceiling? Have you ever had to think outside the box to fix design dilemmas in your home? I’d love to hear your stories!
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