Reilly + Copper » Home, Health and Furbaby Adventures of the Zeller Family

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The Evolution of a Living Room

I’m so glad that I’ve taken so many pictures of our house before we start changing each room.  I was digging through my iPhoto Library and found a ton of photos of our house in various stages of completion.  Jake and I started making this house our home together when he moved in December 2008 (two months after we started dating – we were rebels.), and going back through the photos of how our living room has evolved in three years absolutely amazes me.

Living Room - Circa December 2008

The two long walls in the living room started out a beige color and the two shorter walls were a navy blue.  Check out the 20″ Sony TV – straight from my dorm room!  The ceiling was a boring white with that awful ceiling fan.  A little piece of history though – Jake and I had our first smooch on that couch in front of that itty bitty TV!

Living Room Circa 2009

Living Room Circa 2009

Once we moved in together, we had more furniture than we knew what to do with.  We moved Jake’s leather couches in, my beaten up, covered in dog hair couches out, and got rid of the navy walls in hopes of lightening the room up.

Shortly after that change, we decided we didn’t love the leather sofas because they didn’t allow enough room for us to cuddle together, and definitely didn’t allow for enough room for the dogs to cuddle with us (priorities!).  Lucky for us, we ended up with a roommate who just so happened to come along with a big squishy sectional sofa.  And whom bought a condo several months after moving in with us.  A condo too small for said sectional, so we inherited it!

Living Room Circa Fall 2011

As comfy as that sofa was, we decided we were ready to be grown ups and overhaul the room so that it had a cleaner, more cohesive style.  It’s not complete quite yet, but leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a couple of months ago!

Living Room - Circa now (Jan 2012)

Living Room - Circa now (Jan 2012)

Living Room - Circa now (Jan 2012)

Still have quite a bit of work to do, but we feel like we are headed in the right direction!


Brooke Kelly - January 16, 2012 - 10:30 pm

Look SO GREAT!!! Love it Meredith!

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Living Room – Edison Light Fixture

Let’s start small.  A simple light fixture.  We had been drooling over a light fixture such as the Edison Chandelier from Pottery Barn for awhile.  Loved the chandelier, didn’t love it’s almost $400 price tag (though it’s currently on sale for $299.99).

Pottery Barn Edison Chandelier

Pottery Barn - Edison Chandelier

As usual, we had the ‘we can make that’ mentality and went off in search of the right type of cord covered wire and pendant conversion kit.  Unfortunately, we had no luck in finding the exact materials we had in mind.  Jake came across a similar fixture at West Elm – the Industrial Bulb Pendant  for $99.00 with the bulbs sold separately (Edison bulbs are PRICEY so this quickly added to the expense of this fixture.

West Elm Industrial Pendant

West Elm - Industrial Pendant

Convinced he could still make the chandelier himself in a much more cost effective fashion, we decided to put the project on hold until further notice.

Fast forward a few weeks later and we are browsing through West Elm while my parents were in town for Christmas.  We ended up purchasing 2 of their Sweep Upholstered Armchairs (another story for another blog post!) and I had to go into the warehouse part of the store to look at the boxes the chairs came in to make sure they’d fit in our SUV.  A pile of black cords caught my eye as I was following the clerk further into the depths of their warehouse – to the naked eye, it would have looked just that – a pile of cords.  To the homeowner who has been on the hunt for just the right cord for an off the wall lighting fixture – it was like striking gold.  I stopped the clerk in his tracks and asked him if they were getting rid of the sample chandelier that had been abandoned in the back.  After a quick discussion with his manager, they gave us the floor sample of the Industrial Bulb Pendant (which was really just a base with a bunch of wires and sockets) for a steal.

West Elm - Industrual Pendant

FOUND! Floor samples of West Elm's Industrial Pendant, stashed away in the back storage area just looking for a good home!

We purchased a different shape bulb then it was displayed with – the true Edison shape.  Home Depot carries them for about $8 a piece and they work great on a dimmer switch.  We were told that there are Edison bulbs that have been in a fire station in Nashville for almost 50 years – they still work, they just never turn them off!

The Original  - Vintage Style Bulb

Vintage Style Edison Bulb

Once hung, the next step was figuring out how to suspend the individual cords/bulbs – they hung way too low to stay in a cluster the way shown in the photo below.

West Elm Industrial Pendant is up! (Sorry for the bad iPhone pic!)

It took us a few days to figure out how we wanted to go about pinning the bulbs up (a lot of bruised foreheads from walking into the low hanging fixture in the mean time), but after a bit of trial and error (open threaded eye bolts, closed threaded eye bolts, screw hooks), we finally found that our best bet were cup hooks with a safety – they hold the cord just right, allow you to adjust the height of each arm and the safety ensures the cord won’t come loose.  We threaded the cup hooks into drywall anchors of an appropriate gauge so that they would stay put in the ceiling and support the weight.  In between the anchor and the cup hook, we placed a large fender washer to give it a more finished and solid look once installed in the ceiling. I should also mention that we had to spray paint the hooks and washer a flat black to match the fixture – the hooks were brass and the washers silver – not a pretty combo!

Fender Washer

Cup Hooks with Safety

Cup Hooks with Safety

Screw In Drywall Anchor








Arms all anchored to the ceiling


We thought about adding something decorative over the bulbs, but after playing with it a bit decided we really liked it just the way it was!

Final result:

Hung and lit!

And that’s it for our first home decor post!  If you dig the box beam ceilings, palm frond art or are wondering what the heck that big window on the right in the photo is….stay tuned!;)



Krista - January 16, 2012 - 5:44 am

LOVE it!!!

[...] Spice Life is better with more chandeliers — Strubgrass Manor Cool Side Tables — Condiment Living Room – Edison Light Fixture — Reilly and Copper Dollhouse Office & Guest Room — Repurposed Studio Rubba Dub Dub — [...]

Linked up on West Elm! » Reilly + Copper - January 22, 2012 - 2:18 pm

[...] linked to our Edison Light Fixture DIY post because we used their awesome industrial pendant as the foundation of our [...]

[...] we just couldn’t leave well enough alone.  Ever since we hung the Edison Light Fixture that we created from the Industrial Bulb Pendant from West Elm, something about it had been irking [...]

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Change of Direction

Jake and I spend a lot of time together. A lot. We both work from home, we love road trips (because we refuse to board our dogs, we make the 12 hour drive to see my family in Virginia rather than fly it – lots of uninterrupted togetherness), and we just plain like to do stuff together. That being said, we’ve decided this blog would be something fun to do together. To post about our home improvement projects (as they are never ending), our crazy ongoing health kicks, and probably a good bit about our babies (Reilly + Copper – the blog’s namesakes).

We had recently come across a blog by a husband and wife team called Young House Love and spent quite a bit of time enjoying going through their blog.  I knew I recognized the husband and after a little bit of Facebook stalking and a quick flip through my middle school yearbook realized we had gone to middle school together.  Anyways, their blog is amazing – and completely inspired Jake and I to start documenting more of what we are doing around the house, in the yard and in our lives.

So Reilly + Copper is changing direction a bit – less of just my ramblings and more of, well, a little bit of everything in the world of the Zeller family.  We are so excited to start sharing some of our projects, our learning experiences (we have gone through a lot of trial and error in our home renovations!), and maybe a little bit of inspiration.

Stay tuned!:)


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