Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Searching for light fixtures

If you read this blog often, the following statements are repeated in several posts. Chances are small that any store has the perfect light for every space in your home. The internet becomes a great resource. 

There wasn't a grand step-by-step plan to find the perfect lighting selections. My only suggestion is not to give up the search until you are pleased with every selection. I've tried to remember the idea that Lauren has repeated throughout this process; "We should not put anything in our homes that we don't love."

Whether organized or not, this is how our lighting search played out:

  • An initial visit to one of the lighting stores suggested by the builder
    (It is best to make an appointment first.)

    I took a floor plan, but had no photos of the house to share because we were still at the framing stage.
  • Talked to Lauren about her ideas for the house
  • Started searching Houzz and lighting manufacturer sights for ideas. We also searched photos of historic homes in books and magazines, plus looked at websites about historic homes.
  • Continued to touch base with lighting store salesman as we found lights that interested us

    Our lighting salesman has received emails from us with links to a specific light from a manufacturer's website, a photo of a light without any manufacturer's name (which I'm sure he hated to find in his email), links to photos on the websites of other lighting stores, and scans of photos from magazine pages. He never failed to find the manufacturer of any of these lights.
  • Invite your lighting sales person to your home if possible.

    I realize the stores have outside sales staff who do take-offs of the houses. But these people generally do not help make selections.

    I felt bad for our lighting salesman because both Lauren and I kept turning down his suggestions. I'm surprised he didn't give up on us. (He's laughed and told me that he can't believe we didn't give up on him.) Lauren was in town and we had an quick appointment with the salesman. I knew we had him confused about what we wanted. Sometimes it is difficult to explain until someone actually sees a space for themselves.

    Our salesman actually took time after work to meet us at the house so he could see what we were looking for. Once he saw the house, it was easier for him to understand our style. (But I wouldn't have insisted if he didn't want to make a personal visit for any number of reasons.)
  • Created an Excel spreadsheet of rooms in my house so I could keep track of selections.

    The spreadsheet also provided extra tabs where I could make notes of additional ideas. This became a lifesaver. I'm willing to email the spreadsheet to anyone who wants a copy. (You can contact me by leaving a comment below this post. Since I have to approve all comments before they are posted. I promise not to "approve" a post with your email address in order to keep you from receiving SPAM. I will email the worksheet to you and delete your hidden comment.) 

    I posted my "work in progress" spreadsheet in my shared Dropbox folder so my husband, designer, lighting salesman, and builder can all have access to it.
  • Visited almost every lighting store in the greater Houston area, either with my husband or a good friend with similar taste

    Your builder probably has an account at one or two local stores. If those stores do not carry the lights you want, there is still hope for you to use those stores. If that store can get fixtures from the manufacturer that makes a light you want, they can order it for you. So don't rule out a store simply because all of their lights are a different style than what you want.
  • Consider using a store your builder does not have an account with.

    Our builder allowed us to use other vendors. However, since he did not have accounts with these vendors, it was our responsibility to make any down payments that were required.

    *We found our chandeliers at a second store and placed an order for them at that store since the ladies there had actually pointed out the lights to us.

    *The store that I originally visited has stopped selling Casablanca ceiling fans. However, there is a Casablanca fan that is the best solution for a specific space. I visited the other store our builder has an account with because they actually sell that brand.

    *We found our exterior lights on a trip and ordered them through the manufacturer. 

Most of our work was actually done out of the store. I finally sat down with the salesman last week and finalized most of the selections. There are only a few outstanding items we have to figure out so we can place the order. 

There is hope!

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