03 March, 2009

Custard Shade Art Deco Chandelier for the Tenants' Unit, and a Plea for Input

Did I mention that our dream tenants have decided to get their own place? I can't blame them--now's the time to buy if you can--but they're wonderful, wonderful neighbors and I'm really going to miss them. Their lease is up this summer.

We rented the unit out to them just a few months after we moved into The Box House ourselves. We had made some minor repairs to the unit at the time, but knew there was a list of things we wanted to one day accomplish to make the unit even nicer. So we're looking at this in a positive light, and will take the time to make some additional improvements.

So, my theory is that replacing some of the light fixtures in the tenants' unit will help us get a higher rent. (In truth, I just get to indulge my light fixture fetish and hunt through eBay, online merchants, and the local shops to find one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.) There are two and possibly three fixtures I definitely want to replace before the next set of tenants--whoever they may be--moves in. The dining room and entryway have really, really cheap looking lights. The living room ceiling doesn't have a ceiling fixture at all; at the moment, I can't remember if there is an electric box in the ceiling for one or not, like there is downstairs. At a minimum, we want to replace the two and if possible, put a ceiling fan in the living room.

This is what Ted found on eBay for the dining room (these are the seller's pictures):

It's not as fancy as some of the lights we've been looking at, but it's also not as expensive. We negotiated with this seller, and got it for a very, very reasonable price. It'll arrive as soon as I get around to paying for it.

Because it's going into the tenants' unit, we wanted something more practical and sturdier than the more fanciful slip shade chandeliers, like the one we got for our unit downstairs. (Which, by the way, arrived by FedEx today and, although it was very well packed, has a broken arm. *Sob* I think we can fix it, but more on that tomorrow.)

Now I have my eye on this one for the entryway. It, too, is reasonably priced. It's circa early 1930s and is currently located in Europe. I haven't placed a bid on it yet, but I'm very tempted.

What do y'all think? Would these lights make you say "wow" when you walked in, and want to rent the place? Would they distract you from the fact that the kitchen doesn't have a dishwasher, and won't until we get the chance (*cough* funds) to redo the kitchens in both units? Do lights matter as much as I think they do?

I don't have pictures of the light fixtures currently in place up there. But trust me, they're fug, and do the unit no favors.


Admin said...

I like the last light fixture. But you should just give the apartment a coat of fresh paint and check the floors. If nothing has to be done with the floors, then your done!

Karen Anne said...

Definitely Wow light fixtures. But if I were a tenant, and not buying, I'd rather have a working dishwasher.

Admin said...

I second that Karen Anne.

Joanne said...

Ted said I asked the wrong question... It should have just been "would new lights make a noticeable difference, or do people notice those kinds of things?"

Fortunately, most of the other rental units around here don't have dishwashers either. One would give us an edge in renting, surely, but isn't in the cards right now.

We're trying to come up with ways to make the place appear nicer and homier without having to invest too much money; we still have two other properties we can't sell in this market and are trying to maintain. So money is super tight.

We'd prefer to have a dishwasher for our unit, too, but it's not going to happen until we can design the rest of the kitchen around it and install the circuitry that can handle it.

Thanks, Mom, for taking on the bulk of dishwashing duties for now...)

Lady Quilter said...

You're welcome! :)

Andy said...

Think of it this way: Future tenants aren't going to know what the old (current) light fixtures looked like. So if you're doing it for them, well, that might be lost on them. If you're doing it for you, then, obviously, it's a good move. :)

Anonymous said...

It's nice that you live in a town where tenants can appreciate historic details. Here, I'm sure they would call them 'dingy' and prefer a new home-depot special.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I re-read my comment and it sounded bitter to me and that's not what I intended at all. It really is nice that places like that exist.

Joanne said...

We suffer from that here, too. Before the current economy tanked, developers were buying up hundred-year-old four and six flat apartments like crazy and gut renovating them into condos. Everything gets ripped out down to the bare brick; most vintage features are lost. Whole streets and large swathes of neighborhoods fell victim to the condo boom.

I nearly wept when I saw that one developer had taken out a lovely wood and marble front stairwell--gorgeous carved walnut railings!--and put in a cheap, but modern, metal staircase with cheesy mesh panels. Very industrial looking, which didn't blend at all with the brick structure.

Far too many people equate new with better, I think. Even owners of historic properties.

(Planting Oaks, now I hope I don't sound bitter!)