Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nuts n Bolts - Hardwiring IKEA Lighting

It's been a while since Kerry shared with you our new "master" bedroom (it's really not very "master-ful"). Today, I wanted to share with you how to hardwire some basic IKEA wall scones, that are meant to be plugged into an outlet.

One of the projects that Kerry was pretty certain she wanted in our bedroom, and I wasn't fully on board with at first, was hardwiring lamps over our built-in nightstands. Of course, after I got it finished, I remembered why she's the designer. What we started off with was two ARSTID wall lamps from IKEA. 

First things first, I opened up one of the packages and examined the 'base' of the light to determine the best route for modification for hardwiring. I found that in order to access the wires the back cover plate needed to be removed from the base by taking the two screws out on either side of the fixture. 

Once the back plate was off, I cut the plug end off in order to pull the wire through the hole on the bottom of the fixure.

After the chord was out of it's designated hole, I pulled the plastic wire guard out and put it aside for a minute.

I used a 5/16" drill bit to put a hole into the back cover plate.  Be careful, the plate will want to spin around once the bit catches. I used the hammer to hold the plate in place. Pliers probably would have worked better, but that was all that I had up in the room with me at the time.  I also drilled it onto a scrap piece of wood so I didn't end up putting a hole in the floor.

Once the hole was drilled, I placed the re-used wire guard in the new hole.  It's important to put this piece in place as the new hole will have metal burs on it that could cut into the wire as you pull it through, so this will protect your wire.

Take a look at the wires in the back of the fixture and take note of the black wire, this is your hot wire. You will need to take a marker and put a mark on the end of that wire where you cut the plug off, so that you know which wire is the hot one when connecting it to your power source.

Once my wires were marked, I drilled a hole in the wall where we wanted to place the fixture. I then used the plate to mark on our wall where I needed to drill for the drywall anchors.  Then Kerry got busy drilling the holes and I got the anchors in place.


Next, I ran the wire through the hole I had already drilled in the back plate... 

... then fed the wire into the wall and to our power source (in our case, we used existing outlets).

I was careful to make sure that before connecting anything that our power was off! This is an absolute must to avoid potential electrocution. 

Once I was certain our power was off, I took the end of the wire and stripped the two ends of the chord, and connected the hot wire to the top gold screw (on the left) and the white (neutral) wire to the top silver screw, on the right. Outlets will be labeled with which side your hot and white wires should be connected to.   

If you are unfamiliar with wiring, it might not hurt to do some googling on how to properly wire up an outlet.  Typically the power comes into an outlet on the bottom of the outlet and if it is in a series, the upper screws provide power to the next outlet or in this case the light. 

Once the wire is connected feed the rest of the wire through the wall and mount the plate to the wall with the previously installed drywall anchors. 

Re-attach the fixtue to the plate with the two scews on either side, place a bulb inside the fixture and turn the power back on.

This may seem like an intimidating venture, but it really is pretty simple. If you are uncomfortable with electricity then this probably isn't for you. However if you know you're basic wiring, you should be good to go.

So, are you up for hardwiring some IKEA lights yourself? Anything I missed that you want to ask?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dream Home - For a Cause

First off, I must say right now I would 100% rather be at the Media Breakfast for the Spring One of a Kind Show that starts here in Toronto today and runs until Sunday. Unfortunately, I'm actually at my Dr's drinking something really sweet and checking in on this little peanut who is just about to hit 25 weeks (I can't believe it!). Hope everyone who attended had a great time, and I wish I could've seen all of your lovely faces! I can't wait to check out the show this weekend!

I know, I know... Dream Home usually comes on Tuesday afternoon but I just could not resist sharing this home today. As I mentioned in my Crown Wallpaper post yesterday morning, I took a little trip out to see the Princess Margaret Home Lottery Show Home in Thornhill, Ontario this past weekend. I headed up with a friend of mine and we ooh'd and aww'd over all of the rooms, and I just knew I had to share this gorgeous home with my lovely readers.

 The home I am about to share is the $3.99M top prize in the lottery, and comes fully furnished and decorated, along with $20,000 cash. Ummmm... yes please! 

Living Room

The flooring was, without a doubt, my favorite part of this room. I loved how rather than using an area rug to accent the space, they used alternating colours of wood, bordered by a darker wood! It was brillant, and would be such a smart idea in our home of two dogs and a baby on the way!

Oh... they also carried over the flooring I loved into the dining area of the kitchen! Again, beautiful and easy to clean - does it get much better than that?

There was also this great little butlers pantry that connected the kitchen to the dining room... and had an additional dishwasher. Who wouldn't love two dishwashers - especially after a night of entertaining friends and family?

Dining Room

Though the furniture wasn't really my style, I was still impressed with the size of the space... and I also loved those beautiful light fixtures.

Reception Rooms

That sofa! Those pendants! And let me tell you those rugs were so plush and lovely! I adored these two rooms, which were separated by pocket doors. The second room I thought would make an incredible library with floor to ceiling book shelves...


The staircase was so grand and impressive, and I loved the runner.

And how about those lions??...

Master Suite

The best part of the entire home! The master suite with dressing room, massive bathroom and a bedroom that dwarfed the king size bed! It was lust at first site, for me. I'd say, "I'll let the photos do the talking" but really - they simply cannot do the space justice! You MUST see it in person.

Other Bedrooms

This girls bedroom was incredible. I could imagine moving in and just replacing the bed with our crib for the time being. The wallpaper (which yes, was supplied by Crown Wallpaper), was the highlight of the entire bedroom. To get the full effect you would need to see it in person - it was perfect!

Not many people could put this much pink in a bathroom and really make it work...

There was a tub/shower in there as well - directly across from the toilet. The whole space was separated from the sink area by pocket doors - perfect for a little girl who would love having slumber parties in her beautiful room.

This room, for a boy, was also incredible and very rock and roll. I was so in love with the floor lamp (and The Beatles poster, which is not pictured).

Guest Bedrooms / Suite

The first guest room I have no photos of, as they where staging it as a home gym, but I could not stop myself from snapping photos of the gorgeous bathroom that was attached (yes, every bedroom had it's own bathroom). The subtle greens in there made it seem like such an oasis...

This next bathroom belonged to the guest suite! It would be the perfect space for B's parents when they come to stay. Their own bathroom, a huge walk in closet, a sitting area and small wet bar with mini fridge to supply them with some refreshments of their own...

Movie Room

The basement was largely unfinished (also perfect for me and B... still giving us space to work our own magic), with the exception of this incredible movie room. Love the tiered floors with two couches and the giant projection screen.

What a great place for a family movie night... all that's missing is a popcorn machine.

Laundry Room

No surprise that even the laundry room was gorgeous (and fit with all of the red in the house without being overdone)....

If you're in the GTA I definitely recommend making the trip out to see the home. It's much more impressive and beautiful in person, and worth the visit. If you want a chance to win this beautiful home you can head over to the lottery website and buy your chance to win one of the many homes or other incredible prizes. Don't forget that all of the proceeds go to help conquer cancer in our lifetime!

Have you been out to see the show home yet? What room do you love the most?
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