Move-in day surprise

The day we moved into the firehouse (I kind of can’t believe that was just over 2 weeks ago) I was greeted with a few sweet surprises in the kitchen. Actually, I didn’t even notice them on my first trip to drop off the contents of our fridge. I was so focused on getting back to the condo that I didn’t turn the light on in the kitchen. In fact, I didn’t even look up. This conversation ensued:

Aaron: Did you notice the surprises?
Me: What surprises?
Aaron: In the kitchen
Me: Umm… no, but I didn’t really look around at all.
Aaron: (laughing) Clearly

On my next trip to drop of some breakable items the kitchen was my first stop. I was greeted by a (very obviously new) light fixture and pot rack!

This boring fixture with it’s make-me-want to-claw-my-eyes-out light, came down and was replaced with a stylish, Pinterest-inspired fixture.


Aaron had the hardware store cut a 10′ piece of 3/4″ steel pipe to 8 ft to match the size of the fluorescent fixture (and reduce the number of holes in the ceiling. We all know we have enough of those.) Each end got an elbow, a 6″ nipple (stop laughing, that’s what they’re called… or am I the only one that finds that funny…) and a floor flange that is screwed into ceiling.


Aaron used the existing box to get power for the lamp cord. Each strand got a lamp base and some extra yardage that he wrapped around the pipe for added interest. The 5 incandescent bulbs give off a ton of light. These pictures don’t do it justice and light fixtures are hard to photograph.


Sigh. I’m in love.


The inspiration for the pot rack came from an unlikely source. A week before we moved, we joined two good friends for drinks and a book signing. Deb of Smitten Kitchen recently put out her first cookbook. She is one my favorite food bloggers. Derren and Lisa share my affection for SK, Aaron… not so much. He’s not into food blogs, so he was there for the pre-signing food with friends. He was a trooper sitting through a cooking centric question and answer session. At one point, someone asked Deb the best thing about her kitchen. She immediately answered “the pot rack” because it saves so much cabinet space. I didn’t notice the light bulb going off over Aaron’s head, but I’m sure glad it did.

After a bit of measuring, he grabbed pre-cut 1/2″ steel pipe, elbows, a few T’s and floor flanges.



He slipped conduit hangers over the pipe and added pot rack hooks.




This addition saved me some serious heartache when I was unpacking the kitchen. There seem to be a lot of cabinets, but most of them are not deep and only accessible by step stool. Hanging the pots saved a ton of space for other essentials, like wine glasses.

Seriously ladies, if you can’t marry for love then marry for handiness and the willingness to put that skill to good use. (Ok, really marry for love… handiness is a super, awesome, mega bonus.)

Anyone else getting surprised by their significant other with light fixtures, pot racks, or other home projects? I picked up a meat smoker (free assembly courtesy of Home Depot) for Aaron as a “Thanks for doing so much work on the firehouse” gift. Apparently, home gifts are now how we show affection.

  1. The pot rack is awesome – I would love one. Like you, I find that despite the fact that we have a huge amount of cabinet/cupboard space, none are really the right depth for large serving pieces or larger pots/pans. So my stuff lives mostly where I want it, but some things are in other cabinets. Not the worst thing in the world. Strange, though, it feels like the designers of newer kitchens don’t really think much about the home chef – it’s like they want you to live a “take-out/bring-in” lifestyle.

    1. I noticed the “live a takeout lifestyle” phenomenon when we were looking at fridges. The french doors are the “hot” item. One of the sales reps told us that the manufacturers are pushing on people. The vegetable drawers in those things are SOO tiny – like shoebox size. They’re definitely set up for convenience foods. We opted for a side by side, which is what we had a few years ago at our house. I LOVE it. Huge produce drawers!!!

  2. I’m a few days late, but what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man you’ve got there. Love the light, love the rack, love that you’re getting to spoil each other a bit with domestication goodies. Welcome to being old, um, er, rather, being a grown-up. That’s what I meant.

    1. Welcome back 🙂 I think we’ve both accepted the fact that we are both old and very grown up 🙂

  3. I love your stories on here! I sometimes get to hear sneak peaks of house updates before they hit the blog, but the added story behind it that I get to read is so sweet!

    And you’re definitely right, marrying a man that is handy is a major bonus! Luckily, yours actually gets things done 😉

    1. Thanks! I figure everyone at work will get bored eventually. “We get it, Heather. You live in a firehouse!!” 🙂

  4. […] fixture, but Aaron has lots of ideas in this realm. (It’s also not the first time he’s made a light fixture for the firehouse.) He has a pretty extensive Pinterest board for lighting inspiration. For the living room. he honed […]

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