Up first, we replaced the lighting. The lights that were up in the front of the house weren't overly offensive (like other items in the house), but we didn't love them. Here's what we were dealing with (since I was a bad blogger and failed to take before pictures of the front, this is actually the same light by our back door -- we didn't replace that one):
So not horrible, but just not something we liked. Instead of keep something we didn't love, we contacted Bevolo Lighting in New Orleans because we've always loved the look of their copper lights. I sent them pictures of the front of our house, and they recommended a few style options for us and the appropriate sizes (at no charge). I wish all house decisions were that easy!
Per their recommendation, we got two of the French Quarter lights to go on either side of the front door.
(As an aside, I really hate the sego palms on either side of the door. They need to be removed, but we are just waiting to figure out what to put there instead. Suggestions welcome!) But back to the pretty lights . . .
Aren't they just gorgeous? All of the lights are handmade in New Orleans, and Bevolo's attention to detail really shows.
I also loved that they suggested we mix 2 styles of lights. For the column on the other side of the garage, which you can barely see from this picture, they suggested the Williamsburg light.
During one of our recent trips to New Orleans, we swung by the Bevolo store in the French Quarter. You can go to the back and see them actually making the lights. How cool is that? The lights in the picture are the raw cooper fixtures before they are oxidized.
Replacing the lights really did spruce up the front of the house -- even our neighbors noticed them. But we also decided to paint the door a high gloss black (it was previously a dark stained brown). After getting a shiny coat of black paint, the door was just calling out for a lion's head knocker (purchased here).