Monday, June 21, 2010

Living Room Fan Makeover

If you've seen photos of our living room, you might have noticed an ancient monstrosity looming up on the ceiling.

Yup, I'm talking about the ceiling fan.

When we first moved in, this ceiling fan was the least of our worries. It was actually much better than most other things in the house that bothered us - namely, the front door, the kitchen carpet and nasty cabinets, knotty pine wainscotting in the basement, the buried patio, etc (I could go on and on here, hah!). But now that we've gotten pretty far along in our remodeling of the house (roughly half the house is near completion!) the old fan stuck out like a sore thumb.

An old thumb that makes noise, that is.

Yup, that old baby would create a nice high-pitched whine whenever it was turned on, and we'd be lucky if the blades started spinning automatically - usually we'd end up giving it a little "boost" (which involved one of us perched precariously on top of the sofa arm). The use of the fan was not very convenient, not very safe, and it was pretty darn annoying even when the thing was turned on and actually working!

And then, surprise surprise, a couple of months ago the fan stopped working altogether.

Needless to say, we weren't very upset to see it die.

Tom's parents were changing out their ceiling fixtures and graciously offered us their old ceiling fan. How could we say no?

So, armed once again with my trusty can of white spray paint primer (yes, I've learned my lesson!), I went to work on it:

After a couple of coats of white spray paint, that old fan was looking pretty nice!

But --

Then we were out perusing some garage sales one day, and found a $100+ brand new white fan -- for 8 dollars.

With a light. And a remote (!!!).

While we were overjoyed at our sweet find, we were also a little worried about buying an item with so many electrical parts  at a garage sale. While the sellers claimed it was new and never even took it out of the box, you can never be too careful. But for 8$, we decided to take the risk and quickly snatched that baby up!

We installed the new fan (thanks to Tom and the help of our friend and the Best Man at our wedding, Clyde) on an 18" downrod to achieve the optimal fan height for maximum air flow in the room (the best fan blade height for 2-story rooms is in the 7-9 ft. range).

And we are totally digging the remote, which we were overjoyed to find an older-electrical adapter inside which configures the 30+ year-old-electric-work to actually function with a remote.


So no more precarious perching atop the sofa arms to adjust the fan for us, thanks, and we are more than happy to say goodbye to the high-pitched whine from the old motor, as well. Thanks so much to Tom's parents who graciously gifted us their old fan - we really do appreciate it, but I guess luck and maybe fate had something else in store for us (like a remote-controlled fan for 8 bucks!).

So what about you guys? Are there any projects you've started before you got lucky and found something even better? Any projects that you finished and then realized something else you could have used/done instead? Anyone out there score any fantastic deals lately at garage sales? Let's talk about our fantastic finds!

{Linking up to Coastal Charm's Blog Party}

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  1. My new laminate floor is actually a last-minute better find from the options we originally had. We're still in the middle of installing it, but I've got a sneak peek up if you would like to see (btw, thank you for your tips on it!). I really like that new fan! I hope I can find something like that for my craft room. The one we've got in there not only makes noise, but shakes as it moves too!

  2. That fan is perfect in your livingroom. Why not install the one you just redid in the garage?

  3. What a great deal!! I love how it looks in your room and the remote is sweet! Will you use the one from your inlaws in another room? I loved having ceiling fans in my last house and we still haven't installed any in this one. It's on the list though.

  4. Thanks for dropping in, guys!

    @Sarah - Your floor looks great! I think that sometimes those last-minute finds and decisions really turn out for the best. Like our fan. And your flooring. They're both fab!

    @Sunny - Hey now, that's a thought! We've tried to think of a place to install the fan (since it's all pretty and painted already) but hadn't thought of the garage. The only problem is the painted fan doesn't have a light kit with it (which we need in the garage). Perhaps we could purchase one, though! We'll just have to discuss that one. :) Thanks for the idea!

    @Heather - Thanks, we love it, too! We'll see about using the painted fan in a different room (the fact that it lacks a light somewhat hinders it's use!). I agree on loving fans - growing up in Florida, they were a godsend on those hot and muggy days!

    Thanks for stopping by, guys!


  5. Hi! I just found your blog from Sunny. I absolutely love your house tour. I also love this post- I really like what you did with the fan, and and I reeeeally like the wood beams in this high-ceilinged room! Consider me a new reader.

  6. wow, that was a great find! looks much better!

  7. What a steal! I love the new look of the clean, white fan. You never know what you'll find at garage sales!

  8. Thanks, guys!

    @hiphousegirl - Thanks so much for stopping by and being our newest reader! Sunny's blog is great, isn't it? She's awesome! :) I hope you'll have fun and maybe even learn a thing or two (or laugh at our mistakes!) as you follow along with our little house adventure here at This Fresh Fossil. Thanks again for subscribing!

    @Micah & adatewithdesign - Thanks, guys! And yes - it's so true, you never know what you'll encounter at garage sales! (which is why we love 'em!)


  9. Love your site! I'm so inspired to work on my first house!

  10. WOW!!! THat is a great deal, only $8!!!! And that is too funny that it is exactly what you wanted. Love it! Thanks for giving me this link.
    Bonnie :)


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