Taking Risks

Sometimes it is a bit scary to take a risk. Whether that risk is a financial risk, an emotional risk or even a simple design risk. There is something inherently human that gives a little thrust of adrenaline when risk is imminant…whether the risk is significant or not.

Over the weekend, I fell in love with these great rusted birdcage light fixtures. They had a fab old patina and probably date from the late 1800’s. And the beauty was there were two!  I have no idea where these came from…or even why someone would have two identical birdcages…nor do I know how some creative spirit thought to turn the cages into light fixtures. All I knew…was love….love at first sight. But where could I put these beauties?

Several months ago I found these really safe…basic…nondescript penant lights in Pottery Barn that I decided to use over the kitchen island. They would provide a nice clean look and not distract from other areas of focus. But then along came the bird cages. Could they work? Would they be too large? Too obtrusive? Not to scale?

Fear set in. What if they look ridiculous? What if they don’t provide enough light? What if they are too over the top? Oh the decision. What to do? I wanted someone else to make the decision…to convince me these were a bad idea…to afirm these were a great idea. But ultimately, the decision was mine…and I was the one who would have to live with these fixtures forever. FOREVER. That is a long time.

My heart raced just thinking about them. After a couple of days of deep consideration, I realized that this fear, this risks, was silly. They were just light fixtures…and if they looked  stupid, I could easily change them. It wasn’t forever. I decided to take the leap…buy the cages and see what happened. Afterall, it was love at first sight…and how could that ever be wrong?

A fireplace with personality

Today I found out I needed to select the brick for the inside and outside fireplaces…oh and by the way…I had less than 24 hours to do so. And did I mention that whatever I select, I will have to live with for a lifetime…I doubt/hope we’ll never move again and renovations with C….never happening. 

 Little did I know that the bricks speced were regular old bricks and the plan was to paint them. That would have been ok with me…except that over the weekend I found this fabulous hand cut bricks from an old down town building. I really wanted to use these bricks. So I called the salvage shop to see if they had 900. I was told they did…but they had several different types in addition to the beautiful irregular ones I saw over the weekend.

I headed out of the office a wee bit early and jetted over to the salvage yard. Easy enough. Not so much. There were millions of bricks out there…all in massive piles in the middle of a field. The sun was bright and the colors on all of them looked terrible. This was not what I anticipated. The clock was ticking. I had to make a decision. ARGHHH. The ones I originally was thinking of using didn’t seem so great. I had this romantic vision of old beautiful brick to make a real statement in my house.

tick tock. tick tock. Pressure was on. I was about to fold and call it a day…resigning to new painted bricks. The vintage bricks were too expensive for the risk. But then to my delight, the owner of the salvage yard came over to help me. He showed me several options…out of the field in better light. Perfect. I chose the handcut bricks for the interior. They are delightfully irregular and full of personality. The exterior bricks are an eclectic mix. I met the salvage guy at the house at 9:00 am. Success. Bricks delivered. Brick masons ready.