When we moved back to Cleveland, the first thing we did is replace all of the shitty faux-brass lighting and cheap fixtures in the house. I'm not sure why I lived there for eight years before and didn't do it, but it changed the look of the house dramatically. Here in the OC, we built the house with no lighting upgrades at all (because they were mostly a rip-off). Yes, that means that we've got some work to do.
There are a total of five super cheap fixtures in various hallway locations. I knew they would suck, but wow, as I sit here looking at one, they're hideous. They're good candidates for what everyone calls the "boob lights" at Home Depot. They have a brushed nickel base, and there's a "nipple" that caps them. I think they're under $30 for a pair, and we put up I think four or five of them in Cleveland.
We're struggling to find what we think we want for our kitchen. We got a pendant mount over the sink instead of more recessed cans (there are already five), but haven't found something to put there. We think we want a monorail-style set of pendants, two or maybe three, and probably red, so we can light the entire area from the sink to the end of the prep surface. We'll probably have to go to a lighting store. In the mean time, we scored some LED lighting to put under the cabinets on one side, and they're awesome. Well done, Ikea.
We did get most rooms pre-wired for fans (the bedrooms, office, loft and living room), but didn't actually get fans installed. Our thinking was that the wiring alone adds value to the house, but not knowing how the house heats and cools, it would be silly to just prematurely start putting fans in every room (though this seems like a common practice in Florida). After a few days, we learned that Simon's room got very warm starting in the afternoon, which makes sense since he's on the west side of the house and gets the afternoon sun. We bought him a fan right away, and I installed it this evening. Our bedroom may need one, but we want to find the right one. So far, I'm not sure the downstairs rooms need them.
I'm actually thinking a little about exterior lighting. I saw some neighbors had some epic pendant lights on their front porch, something I never considered. Maybe I should rethink that for the inevitable day we get a real tropical storm or hurricane, but they look cool. We'd like to do something interesting on the patio, too. I also think it might be neat to accent the exterior with a low voltage system of flood lights, but that's totally non-functional.
At this point, the optional stuff all has to wait, because I have spending fatigue. The cost of moving, a new fridge, a couch, paint, etc., is burning me out, and we have a lot of lingering medical bills to pay (individually purchased health insurance tends to suck). But since we hopefully are here for the long haul, there will be plenty of time for these projects. For now, I mostly want to enjoy what we've got.