Doing a renovation requires a lot of decisions that involve money. Sometimes there's a fine balance between what you want and how much it costs. One of the things I've found helpful, as I did with the Louis XVI chairs, is to study the details of expensive options and then look for something with similar details that's more in tune with my budget. You may remember this light fixture from my Chinoiserie for your Porch post. I'm glad I didn't fall in love with the light because at $1200, it wasn't even a consideration.
You may also remember this entry set on the left with the crystal knob on the inside. This would have been a splurge at nearly $400 but I found the Schlage entry set (on the right) at Home Depot for $144. It doesn't have a crystal knob on the inside but it looks very similar on the outside and gave me an extra $250 to work with.
You may also remember these $24 lights I bought for the front and back porches. Last week I had a friend hold up one of the lights on the front porch. The large beam supported by the columns...
...covered up half of the light so all you could see was...
...this big udder hanging down between the two columns. It looked REALLY silly. Sometimes you just can't plan these things. So I went back to the drawing board to find a light that was a short pendant.
It's fairly easy to research details for a historical house; there are plenty of real-life examples and/or books to look at. But deciding on a light fixture for a house that was built before electricity was invented is a more difficult task for me. There seems to be a big gap in styles between what I perceived as Colonial (think Paul Revere) and later styles such as Victorian and Art Nouveau.
After my visit to Marblehead where I saw a lot of these onion lanterns, I did a little research on them and found they were used on whaling ships and as a work light into the 1800s. The round glass helped shed water and protect the flame from blowing out while the cage protected the glass from breaking. If you've ever been Cape Cod, you probably saw them everywhere.
So I traded in one of my $24 lights for this onion lantern pendant. I hope it works out better than the udder light. I do think this round light works better against all the straight lines of the house but I also think this choice is a little bit of a copout. You see these lights quite a bit but you'll see in a minute why I chose it.
These Baldwin house numbers sell for about $10 at Home Depot but I've been looking for something really unique.
I've been looking for something vintage like this French enameled house number found on Etsy...
...and they run about $20 to $30 each, but I haven't been able to find my house number and I wasn't sure I wanted to add blue to four paint colors I'll have right at the front door.
But on my search, I just happened to come across this company in Denmark called Ram Sign...
...where I found these enameled house number in black. They're made custom in four days.
This was a splurge compared to the Baldwin or vintage French house numbers at $69 (shipping is free) but I'm still within the money I saved not getting the crystal doorknob.
And the thing I love the most about the onion lantern and the house number is...
...how well they work together. The clear glass with the black ring of black metal is almost the reverse of the black circle with a white ring around the edge of it. I think they look great together.
*** House Preview ***
The weather cooperated a little bit this week and the house is just about all primed. All of the raw wood, white primer and old brown trim have been reduced to just a few colors. The problem is none of the colors seem to be the right colors. I'm a little scared.
The primer on the front is very brown and the paint on the shingled side of the house is a blueish gray. I took out my original sample cans of paint and none of them are the same. The primer on the front is closest to what I chose, but the final paint color should be darker and grayer. I have a call in to them to make sure there's no confusion.
Here's a closeup of the tongue-and-groove siding so you can get a better idea of what it looks like. It was hard to see in the photos when it was unprimed cedar.
And here it is up on the attic pediment all primed and ready for paint. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
Hopefully the weather will continue to cooperate.