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Let There Be (Outdoor) Light!


If it hasn’t been incredibly obvious over the last handful of updates, we’ve really been focusing on our house’s exterior – and my goodness, the power of paint! And new concrete! And well made stairs! (Can you tell we’re thrilled to nix the baseboard talk; if only for a little while?)

After all of those larger upgrades, we were happy to hone in on something much smaller – those outdoor lights. Ours haven’t worked since we’ve moved in, and just last week, they officially died for the garden apartment, too. It was more than just a bulb issue; aside from their inability to properly mount onto the house, the ballasts were bad and the fixtures simply needed replacement. (Had it been as easy as replacing the bulbs, we probably could’ve given them a new coat of paint, but, ugh, these went way, way beyond that.)


The challenge came in the width – a lot of in store and online browsing had us coveting fixtures that were way too wide, and we were limited to no more than 8″ at the widest point and no more than 5″ for the base. We ultimately landed on these, which were exactly 8″ with a 5″ round base. Done, and done!


The only difference between what we got and what the online description would have you think is that the finish is matte black, as opposed to the glossy black you see in the listing. (There’s one review that mentions this as well, so we knew that before purchasing.) The seeded glass is a nice detail, and the matte finish complements our door hardware pretty well!


The garden unit had the same former lights as us, but they were installed upside down (um, what?), and they were dropped pretty low. Our tenant mentioned that it was blinding to come home at night, which, yea. We needed to fix that for them right away…


and much better!


We went with a similar light as ours, but because vertical height is limited in their entryway, we scaled back on the size and picked up these fixtures, which worked perfectly. Above, you can also see that we shortened the drop of the conduit – which, sadly, left behind two raw-concrete-colored patches, but our forever goal is to re-paint the entire foundation. (On a side note, we originally ordered four of these smaller lights, but they felt dinky next to our door + transom window combination.)


We’re amazed at how this teeny upgrade has made all the difference – but haven’t we been saying that with every change-up lately? It’s true. Not to mention, they work! (And as we were screwing in the last bulb, our next door neighbors came outside and applauded our weekend work – ha! It was funny, touching, and satisfying.)


We’re both feeling inspired by how far the front has come, and we’re so, so looking forward to more impactful projects as this warm weather is (finally!) sticking around. Our days and weekends have been jam-packed with DIY (morning, noon and night, as they say), but right now we’re looking forward to the coming days, because we’ll be taking a little adventure break visiting family and friends in NYC. These frazzled minds need a good rest, belly laughs, adventure and a recharge, and so, we’ll be back in a week – ready to go!

PS… NYC lovers! Can you recommend your favorite place for brunch? For dinner? For drinks? We have no agenda (but limited time), and we’re all ears!

PPS… For the love of pet and prints, we’ll still be taking Pet Shop and Print Shop orders as usual!

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  • Julia@Cukoo4Design6.6.14 - 7:43 AM

    Love the new outdoor lighting!
    Thanks so much again for writing something up for my little blog today and have fun in NYC.ReplyCancel

  • Cait6.6.14 - 8:16 AM

    The lights look fantastic! All of your recent updates have made such a huge differenceReplyCancel

  • Lynne6.6.14 - 8:41 AM

    I hope your neighbours are giving you great feedback about the improvements you have made to your home. It looks great and they should appreciate your hard work as it will reflect positively on their own homes :-)ReplyCancel

  • Linda6.6.14 - 9:04 AM

    For brunch, you should go to Kittichai for their unlimited drinks and lovely decor. It’s also a hop away from Dominique Ansel’s Bakery where you can get yourself the famed Cronut.ReplyCancel

  • Sasha6.6.14 - 9:19 AM

    Should you find yourself in Brooklyn, Blue Sky Bakery in Park Slope has the greatest iced coffee ever. They are also known for their muffins and addictive chocolate chip banana bread. The Prospect Park greenmarket is fun on a Saturday morning followed by a walk in Central Park’s littler sister, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, or the Brooklyn Museum. Down in Gowanus, 4 & 20 Blackbirds is renowned for their pie. There is also awesome BBQ at Fletcher’s right next door. The whole Ft. Greene neighborhood is teeming with great restaurants and has beautiful residential streets with gorgeous brownstones. Red Hook also has delicious food and even a great bourbon distillery- Widow Jane- which does tastings. Of course, there is also Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea on the weekends for snacking and fun antiques or homemade goods. If you want something delicious and fancier (read: a bit less hipster) in the city, sit in the bar room at Gramercy Tavern. It’s wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ Bungalov6.6.14 - 10:16 AM

    Oh yeah. A TON of a difference. It is looking good. We are about to do some new lighting for our back porch. Love the look of these. Might have to keep them in mind :)ReplyCancel

  • Brandy6.6.14 - 2:23 PM

    This NYC lover recommends the Clinton St. Baking Company (insider tip: instead of morning pancakes, try the fried chicken dinner for zero waiting time – it’s amazing). Love your blog, great work on the lights!ReplyCancel

  • The lights look awesome! I love that the garden entry matches with wee ones :)

    I hope you have a fantastic trip!ReplyCancel

  • B6.6.14 - 5:00 PM

    Recently moved back to NYC after living in Chicago for five years…haven’t found a brunch spot as good as our favorites in Chicago (Yolk, I miss you dearly). That being said, there are amazing dinner/drinks spot. A favorite is Galli, on Mercer St. in SoHo. Classic Italian-American with lgreat pasta options. Amazing drinks. Cool atmosphere. Bonus points for using Savoured to make reservations and get 15-30% off.ReplyCancel

  • Lesley6.6.14 - 11:39 PM

    Welcome to NYC! I was about to recommend Clinton St. Baking Company but Brandy beats me to it :) I had their softshell crab sandwich which was fantastic! Also Wafels and Dinges has a store in downtown (famous wafel place!)

    Love your blog and your kitties and puppies :DReplyCancel

    • Kim6.7.14 - 9:47 AM

      Thank you! Well it looks like we’ll definitely be going to Clinton St. Baking Company. You guys are great with your suggestions – we can’t thank enough!ReplyCancel

  • Those are some really good looking lights! They make a huge difference!ReplyCancel

  • Shelia6.9.14 - 9:57 PM

    Great job on the lights! Amazing transformation. We were in NYC this past April. I highly recommend Guys American Grill (Times Square) – I got the BBQ Buffalo Meatloaf – delicious! (and a huge order – plenty for two). GREAT place!
    Have fun!

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Kim and Scott

We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

Join us as we renovate and nurture vintage homes across Chicago + SW Michigan!

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