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Living room fan swap

Hey guys! So I’m continually realizing that there are projects we’ve completed that never got shared on the blog. Until some recent changes at Evan’s job, he would frequently have to work 11-12 hour days, and therefore I’d take on all the home/life-related responsibilities when I’d get home from work, so basically we had like zero time. We were honestly lucky to get any projects done, we just didn’t have time to blog about everything. So I’m here to gradually get you guys up to speed with the changes we’ve made.

First off is something we thought would be minor but ended up being a big upgrade in our eyes: swapping out our old living room fan.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

We’ve done a few fan swaps in our time, like the one in our office and the extra-difficult one in our bedroom, so we’re no strangers to the process.

It’s always good to start by turning off the power, you know, so you don’t get electrocuted. Then we laid down a drop cloth to catch any ceiling dust or screws that fell onto the couch. Caught a cat instead.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Next we unscrewed the glass globes and lightbulbs since they’re the most breakable. Then we started removing the fan blades (you just unscrew them).

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

After the blades were off, we went to work on the drop rod and base of the fan. There aren’t tons of pictures of this because we needed two pairs of hands (that’s where the motor is, so it’s heavy!).

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

We disconnected the wires and reconnected them to the base of the new fan (you can see a great step by step of this here).

Then it was time to put the new fan together. First off, this is the one we got. We did a lot of research about what size fan we needed in order to get air circulation and light in such a big room, and this one fit the bill and our style. We’ve had it for over two years now and we still love it! I guess you could say we’re big fans…

To install it, we first added the drop rod and base of the new fan. The bulbs and glass light coverings were part of the main body of the fan so they were up at this point as well.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Then we screwed the blades into place. It’s a pretty simple process.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Last but not least, we swapped out our ugly 70’s dimmer, which we couldn’t even use because the old fan bulbs buzzed but were too high for us to bother swapping them out. We replaced it with a crisp white switch.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Here’s the new fan!

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

So remember earlier when I said this swap ended up making a bigger difference than expected? It’s because our new fan has down lights AND up lights – and that is amazing! See, 90% of the time we only have the uplight on. Unlike our old fan (and most fans) that only shine down and cause harsh shadows on everything, the up light shins up on the ceiling and the light is diffused indirectly throughout the room.

And if we need bonus light (like when I’m making ornaments at the coffee table watching Gilmore Girls), we can turn on the down light and gain some bonus brightness.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Updating fans and light fixtures may seem like minor projects, but that kind of stuff has a huge bang-for-your-buck (and effort) effect on making your home feel fresh and updated. What do you guys like to do to your house that feels like a nice update, but really isn’t that hard?

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Fan vs Evan

Replacing the fan in the master bedroom seemed like a pretty dang easy project. After all, we had already removed a couple fans, so installing one couldn’t be that different right? Ha. Hahaha. We’ll take a moment of silence for Evan’s fingers and then we’ll get started on the post.


So here’s how the old fan looked in our bedroom. Not absolutely terrible- but we did feel that it really dated the room.


It especially revealed it’s age when you took a closer look. Mmmm, dat glass…


So Evan, with his height and all, got to work disassembling the fan. He started with the blades and light covers.

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After he removed the base and snipped the wires (don’t worry, the power was off!) we were pretty confident it was going to be smooth sailing. But then we saw these.

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A bunch of nails- NAILS- holding our fan into a ceiling joist. No mounting kit, no screws. This meant it was going to be WAY harder to remove this thing.

Evan finally managed to pry them out, but those five nails cost him about half an hour and the use of his index finger (it’s hard to simultaneously use a hammer and pliers above your head while on a ladder. Would not recommend).


You can see by the multiple gouge marks on the nails (oh and the one that BROKE IN HALF) that this was quite a battle.

The good news is that after this, installing the new fan was a breeze (Ha! A breeze! I’ll see myself out…)

Evan installed the base and the down rod (so that it would hang lower than the ceiling, like our old one). Then I hopped up and spackled/painted around the edges of the base, where we had kinda beat up the ceiling trying to get the old fan out.

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Then it was on with the blades and the lights! :D

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Somehow after that we never took an after picture… so I went and took one today! (Psst, you can check out the details of how our room has evolved over the past year here).

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We feel like the new fan suits the room MUCH better. The brushed silver ties in with the lamps and bed frame, and overall the look is way more sleek and modern. Woohoo!


Not a Fan

Our office, which was originally a breakfast nook, has  been coming along little by little. We added the two tall Besta cabinets after our media center swap, and we borrowed a couple chairs from our dining room that made it look a lot prettier than our old office-y chairs.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

But there was one thing that kept getting in our way. Well, getting in Evan’s way.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

Yep. My 6’5″ fiance could not walk through the center of the room without bonking his head. This was a problem. Plus it’s not like the fan was a looker or anything in the first place, it was quite dated and a bit of an eyesore.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

So we went to Ikea (wooooo!!) and picked up this guy to replace it.

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 12.47.03 PM We wanted something that would lay pretty flat against the ceiling, was contemporary and subtle, and didn’t break the bank. At $40 this wasn’t a crazy bargain, but with similar looking lights going for $150 at Crate & Barrel it didn’t seem so bad. Also, we liked the subtle texture it brings into the room.

But before we could put up our new light, we had to take down the dust collecting device fan. The first thing we did was turn off the electricity to this part of the house. That’s a must! We then disassembled it piece by piece, starting with removing the globes and light bulbs since those were the most breakable, then the brassy piece that held them, then the blades.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

We had saved the previous owners curtains to use as drop cloths for various things, and it really helped having one underneath the fan disassembly to catch any stray screws (and/or stray cats) that fell.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

When it came to adding the new light, Evan just followed the directions to hook the wires up properly. Don’t be intimidated by this part, it just takes a couple minutes. It does help to have two people though- I held the fixture base while Evan did the wire working.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

When everything was connected, we tucked the wires up into the ceiling hole and screwed things in.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

For a brief moment it looked like we had some sort of tiny alien space craft on our ceiling. Until we added the big glorious shade! It was easy because it just popped on with magnets and it’s very light.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

It may be a subtle light fixture, but it’s crazy how much better it makes the office look! It makes our ceilings look way higher, it’s nice and contemporary, and best of all Evan can walk through without hitting his head.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

While we were improving the office, we decided to add that big photo frame above Evan’s desk too. We don’t know if it will stay there permanently, but for now the size was right and it looks much nicer than a blank wall.

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

Mochi is always sneaking into my pictures. Little fluff <3

To save you some scrolling, here is the before and after. Even though it’s not an earth-shattering change, it’s one that we think definitely improves the space. And seriously- don’t those ceilings look higher now?

Not a Fan - evanandkatelyn.com

Next on the list is to change those curtains (they were the previous owners) and maybe get a round rug for the space? Wonder if that would look nice.