Living room: Goodbye wires, hello wall lights


After nearly two years of looking at wires sticking out of the wall, I finally had enough. It was time to just bite the bullet and get some lights for the living room wall. Originally, the plan had been to put my table in that corner but then because the table was too nice to be tucked way,  in went the sofa. It was too late by then to rewire and plug the holes (I’d had enough!) Every now and then over the last couple of years, I’d brave a light shop. But as is typical when I am faced with too much choice, I could never decide what would work. I’d drag various friends with me in so that they could make up my mind for me but it never seemed to work.

Mary N., on a visit to Budapest before I’d ever moved in to the flat, helped me pick out the lights for the guest room. And they work well. So I figured I’d take advantage of her Easter trip to BP to sort out my living room wall lights. And she didn’t disappoint. It took about 30 mins to go through the shop and do the toos: too big, too small, too square, too round, too expensive, too funky.  I’d done a rekkie the previous week and had my choice narrowed down to three possibles. She chose a light I hadn’t even noticed…. one that was there and yet not there. Subtle, elegant, and not at all intrusive.

Back at the flat, Mr B was invited round for brunch, with his drill and the work began. Wires in Hungary weave a mystery of their own. The lights on are two loops and instead of meeting at the socket, all six wires have to feed into the light fixture. Which is fine if a) we’d realised this and b) we’d bought lights with the right-sized casings (see how much I’ve learned this afternoon!) But Mr B, to his credit, having already worked out at the gym that morning, was determined to complete this three-hour upper-body workout without having to go to the hardware store … again. Camels, and eyes of needles came to mind, but he worked it out and made it work.

Two lights up and all was well. Third light out of the box  and on the wall and oops… a different colour…white, not green! Same box, same serial number, same name, same size, same everything except the same colour. Fourth light out and it, too was different.

Now, bearing mind how irritated I get when I notice that my light switches are about 1mm higher on one side, it was amazing how quickly ‘different’ grew on me. Faced with the prospect of taking down all four lights (or rather, faced with asking Mr B to do this) and hiking across the city back to the shop in the hope that they might have two more of one of them – different suddenly came into vogue. Both lights on each wall are the same colour. All four are the same shape. And depending on how the sun is shining, they look anywhere from different to almost the same.

Job well done, I say. Thanks to all concerned for pitching in. Am dead chuffed that Easter dinner this year will be well lit!

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