The Tip of the House Projects Iceberg

Natural daylight flex lamp from OttLite

We’ve now lived in our house for seven months (although it seems much longer, frankly).

By this point, we’re starting to get a good feel for things we want to change and where to start.

My parents like to joke that one phrase that has never been said in the history of the English language is, “The house is done” and I’m sure we’ll never have every potential project in this house done.

But we do want to make steady progress toward making our house a place we love to be, and we are definitely spending many weekends visiting model homes and the hardware store, because basically we know how to party.

Natural daylight flex lamp from OttLite

These are our top priorities right now:

  1. Painting. The main living areas are all beige, beige, beige, with the bedrooms painted in charming shades of orange, neon mint, and navy/burgundy stripes. This month, we finally picked up some buckets of paint and repainted the entire kitchen, breakfast nook and family room in a much better shade of white. Our bedroom (goodbye, orange!) is up next, as is my office. And then the girls’ bedrooms and the laundry room and dining room. Okay, fine. The whole house needs a good dousing with paint. 
  2. Flooring. The green carpet just has to go. We can’t make much progress at all without replacing it because it’s just so ugly and no amount of lovely furniture can disguise the fact that said furniture is situated on a bed of green hideousness. We’re also strongly considering replacing the carpet in the basement with wood laminate to open it up a little and also make it more friendly for messy crafts like play dough and painting. In a world where money was no object, we’d probably replace the tile too, because Bart doesn’t really care for it, but I’m not sure that will happen because it is fairly expensive, large tile and it’s certainly not offensive. It’s just not what we would have picked. 
  3. Lighting. The lighting in this house is just SO yellow, it’s ridiculous. We’ve been slowly changing out bulbs for higher wattage and ditching the yellow covers on the ceiling lamps, but even on those, we’re recognizing that our house definitely needs more lighting overall. The corners stay dim with only ceiling lamps, and although this house has a lot of windows, you kind of have to keep them closed in the summer because otherwise your room quickly reaches the balmy temperatures of a pizza kiln. My office is one of the very worst, so I was delighted to add this OttLite natural daylight flex lamp to my desk. It’s been so depressing to go into my cave in the evenings and work under the most yellow light imaginable, so having a light that produces beautiful, bright light and looks sleek and modern in the daytime is a huge bonus. I also feel like my eyes don’t feel nearly so tired when I work with it on. And if I ever get around to working on calligraphy, it’ll be perfect for giving me some decent light to practice by – that’s something way more fun to have under my OttLite than my laptop. 
  4. Family Room and Breakfast Nook Decor. We have so many blank walls right now (in part because we know we’ll just take things down to repaint) and we’re trying to figure out what we really want these spaces to look like – our highest priority is the family room and breakfast nook since that’s where we spend the most time. You cannot imagine how many evenings we have spent looking at Pinterest or paging through decorating books and magazines. 
Natural daylight flex lamp from OttLite
I haven’t even started thinking about the girls’ rooms yet. Come visit in 2019 and we’ll hope to be closer to our dream house. 

Natural daylight flex lamp from OttLite

Also, you can win an OttLite Flex Lamp of your own – just enter via Rafflecopter below (and, in the meantime, you can get 30% off any OttLite purchase with the code OttliteLED30)

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  • Reply Annette February 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I have a floor lamp one for my sewing desk and love it

  • Reply MommySizedHeart February 23, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    We've decided that we're doing our whole house in hardwood and add acent rus where needed. After living in 2 places together, we've come to the conclusion that my husband is allergic to carpet. We'd have replace the flooring but my husband is absolutely miserable and has a hard time breathing!

    We also need better light, I'll have to look into those lamps!

  • Reply Katy February 23, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I'd definitely use that Kano on my sewing table. It is in the basement and I only ever get a chance to sew in the evenings so I totally relate to feeling like I'm in a cave.

  • Reply Katy February 23, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I'd definitely use that Kano on my sewing table. It is in the basement and I only ever get a chance to sew in the evenings so I totally relate to feeling like I'm in a cave.

  • Reply Stephanie Kastelan February 23, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I would definitely put it by my sewing machine! I love to sew and with my machine in the basement (in not the best lighting) it would come in very handy!

  • Reply Alison Schutte February 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I'd use mine on my sewing table. It would really help light up our dark basement.

  • Reply Sarah February 23, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    As someone who works from home full time, that light would be amazing in my office. Michigan is very depressing in the winter and I could use some nice light!

  • Reply Kate February 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    It would be great for sewing and knitting!

  • Reply KLynne February 23, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    All our walls are beige as well. I really want to paint but it's an open floor plan. Basically that means we have to paint everything all at once. There's no easy stopping point. That's the only reason I haven't tackled it yet. I'm in my last year of grad school and have to work on homework late at night with low lights so I don't wake my son. This light would help out in that department so much.

  • Reply allie J. February 23, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Like the other commenters, I'd put it on my sewing table. My husband and I are slowly, slowly starting our home improvement projects. My top priority is replacing carpet, as well.

  • Reply Janae February 23, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    As a college student, there are so many ways I could use this lamp! Of course, I would mainly use it for school work, but think of how pretty this little lamp would make an otherwise dull dorm room!

  • Reply Samantha Seufert February 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I'd put it on my husband's desk! He's recently taken a lamp from our bedroom to put near his desk which means our bedroom is sooo dark (read:no overhead light).

  • Reply Unknown February 23, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    This lamp would be so helpful for crafting at night in my dark office

  • Reply Sherry February 23, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I'm thinking about repainting this summer. Eric is not so keen.

  • Reply Kathleen Forbes February 23, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I've heard of those lights! They are perfect for crafts when it's not daytime.

  • Reply Grace Haynes February 23, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I think I'd use that light on my nightstand. It seems like a nice amount of light for reading at night.

  • Reply Rebekah February 23, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Somehow we always manage to find another project to work on in our house too! One of the best things we did lighting wise, was to buy daylight LED bulbs. They are completely which (like I can set my white balance to sunlight on my camera, white) and there is absolutely no yellow feel. I LOVE them. We have a house that was built in the 70's and has little-to-no overhead lighting, so throwing a few of those bulb in out lamps has made a huge difference! Although, most of our upcoming projects include adding can lights to every room in the house 😉

  • Reply heather February 23, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    We're in the same boat. We've only been here 3 months but I just can't stand this wall paint any longer, so paint chips are lining up all over the house.

  • Reply Miller Family February 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I would use the ottlite to help me do crafts at night after the kids have gone to bed.

  • Reply wtiger9 February 23, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I'm not a super crafty/ project-y person, so I'd probably just use it for reading

  • Reply allerkins February 23, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    This is the perfect lamp for my husband to work on his art. He draws autobiographical comics that are simply the best! (and I don't think I only love them because I am a prominent character in the stories) hehe.

  • Reply Jen P February 23, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Couldn't agree more that there's always something more to add to the list. 🙂 Good luck with all your projects and the light looks great!

  • Reply Señora H-B February 23, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    I would read or work on needlepoint/sewing projects.

  • Reply Glittergirl February 23, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I'm learning to crochet. Mortified to realize how my eyes are ageing!

  • Reply Glittergirl February 23, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I'm learning to crochet. Mortified to realize how my eyes are ageing!

  • Reply Alysa Stewart February 23, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I would do some drawing and painting. I've been doing more of that lately, and sharing it on instagram, and it's a lot of fun.

  • Reply Hawke February 23, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I would use it for reading. I also want to check out how it would work for food photography when there isn't enough natural light.

  • Reply Hawke February 23, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I would use it for reading. I also want to check out how it would work for food photography when there isn't enough natural light.

  • Reply Feisty Harriet February 23, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Arizona-beige-tan is the WORST! And it's everywhere. I have 2 rooms left to paint and the yellowy brown will finally be gone. I also am working on replacing every single lightbulb, and all my lamps have white-white shades because it doesn't sully the light coming out of them. I realize they aren't as trendy, but I don't care, I need white light on pale gray walls to keep my sanity. (As a side-note, my favorite bulbs are not the super efficient greeny-white light ones, but 65w bulbs that are lavender-blue glass, which gives this gorgeous clear-white light! Dah, I love them so much!)



  • Reply Jessie February 23, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I would use this light on my desk, too, and I think it would motivate me to work more on the recipe book project I have underway!

  • Reply Tara G February 23, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Our house (we also moved in recently) has similar issues–not a lot of light at night and windows that bake us in the summer! We love our new house though, and are slowing replacing bulbs and such as well. This light looks great–I have a corner of my kitchen that I use as a baking station that is mostly in shadow. The OttLite would be perfect to brighten it up!

  • Reply Melanie February 23, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I'm excited to hear about your updates! I just bought a house and it's tempting to try to do everything at once. It's probably a good thing that I can't afford to do everything right now because it will give me time to live in the house and figure out what I really want. Plus, the amount of painting I need to do is totally overwhelming (the previous owners LOVED funky colors of paint), so it'll be good to just bite things off in small chunks.

  • Reply Jessica Buttigieg February 23, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    That lamp would be great in our super dark basement where our desk is!

  • Reply kristi February 23, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I was just thinking about an OttLite last night when my eyes were crossing under yellow light while cross stitching.

  • Reply Ashley February 23, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    We just moved to OK and live in an apartment with our three kids. Our bedroom has this weird (also really yellow) light on the WALL?! So, to have some "daylight" on my desk would be a huge blessing.

  • Reply Jessica Krueger February 23, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    I would love to use this on my nightstand for before bedtime reading!

  • Reply Jessica February 23, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I need a new lamp on my nightstand!

  • Reply Shelly February 23, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    My whole house feels dim especially my daughter's room. We need to change the ceiling fan to a bigger light and get some lamps.

  • Reply Lisa February 23, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I'd love it for reading at night or on a table for scrapbooking!

  • Reply Heather Sebastian February 23, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    I make and sell jewelry; this would be immensely helpful 🙂

  • Reply JoLee February 23, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    It took us forever to hang pictures in our house. What finally pushed us to do it was that I had some friends coming into town for a visit, and I really wanted it to look like we actually live here. A great lamp is a benefit to any project or just pleasant to read by.

  • Reply D and B's Mommy February 23, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Balmy temperature of a pizza kiln! Too funny! I live in the sometimes dreary Pacific Northwest, so I'd love it for reading or grading papers in the evening.
    We were really good about painting a few rooms in our house before we moved in….Now it's 10 years and 2 kids later, and I haven't made a whole lot of progress beyond that!

  • Reply Suzanne February 23, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    My little apartment has few windows, large shade trees blocking the little amount of sunlight that could get in, and pretty terrible artificial lighting in general. I will have to look into this idea of brighter, more natural lamp light. I could use it for all of my nighttime reading and studying.

  • Reply Cami Hall February 23, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Ooh! I need one of those lamps in my office! I was sewing in there the other day and it was so dark!

  • Reply Brian and Courtney February 23, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    That is a lovely lamp! We have plenty of overhead lights, by it is nice to have something on a table or desk.

  • Reply Janet T February 24, 2016 at 12:02 am

    My husband's dark office would love this light. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Reply SS February 24, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I work from home at least half the time and it's SO DARK here in the winter. So I would love to have some nice light just for working away on my laptop. I think I'd also use it for sewing. Thanks!

  • Reply Laura {a spoonful of joy} February 24, 2016 at 2:25 am

    I like to think of the sloooow progress we've made in updating our home as extra time to dream up the possibilities! 😉
    That lamp would be perfect in the sewing nook my husband is creating for me at the moment.

  • Reply Unknown February 24, 2016 at 3:20 am

    I need a light like that for my classroom! I teach in a row with no windows and I think I would get so much more done and graded if I had a really bright desk lamp like this!!

  • Reply Meg February 24, 2016 at 4:06 am

    We have incredibly yellow light in our basement apartment, which means there's basically ALWAYS yellow light. Thankfully I think we're getting close to house hunting days, but until then, that lamp would be awesome! I'm always cringing when I look at the projects I worked on at night in the light of day.

  • Reply Natalie February 24, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Mostly reading but even just enjoying life! The northeast winters are rough when it gets dark SO SO early

  • Reply Unknown February 24, 2016 at 5:18 am

    For sewing!

  • Reply Maria RM February 24, 2016 at 10:13 am

    As a reader and knitter, I would love this!

  • Reply Elsa Baumgarten February 24, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    I would use it for sewing!

  • Reply Emily February 24, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    I'm living in a basement apartment with TERRIBLE lighting – even with floor and table lamps there always seems to be a dark side of the room. It's miserable, especially in winter! A lamp like that would be a lifesaver.

  • Reply Alisha February 24, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I really need a light in my sewing room!!

  • Reply Marty C. February 24, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I'd use it for illuminating sheet music. The overhead light in our house is super dim.

  • Reply Courtney Haas February 24, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I would use it for reading

  • Reply Gina M WildOrchid February 24, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I would love to use it for reading and needlework.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  • Reply Celeste February 25, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Seriously? Reading in bed of course! Also, if you wait long enough, green carpet will probably come back as a new rage soon enough. 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca Major February 25, 2016 at 4:23 am

    I think you just convinced me to buy a house that doesn't need any home improvement projects. Do those exist?

  • Reply The Apron Gal February 25, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Definitely blogging but also reading scriptures or party crafts!

  • Reply Jonnie (JB) February 26, 2016 at 7:09 am

    I would use this for my cross stitch

  • Reply Karrie Millheim February 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Reading books

  • Reply Alicia Snow March 11, 2016 at 4:47 am

    I feel you. We've been in our house for a year now. When we first moved in the walls were salmon, bright orange, and brown. We are now on the final stretch of painting, only one bathroom and the laundry room is left. Yes, it took us a year to only partially paint the interior of our house. Haha. But we have an endless list of projects that I don't think we'll have be finished.

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