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Our Weekend Project: It’s Cool . . .

I am really excited about what Hubby and I worked on over the long weekend.  Have you noticed that you rarely see ceilings in the townhouse tour?  This is why:

Yep.  We’ve got some big, bad ceiling fans in all three rooms upstairs. 

Wait one minute.  Are you thinking they aren’t so bad?  Trust me: they look much better in photos.  In real life they are scuffed (How?? What on earth can touch them up there?), and just plain big and beefy.  Also, the naked bulbs I used to see first thing every morning seemed to glare at me, all wonky lookin’.

 Have I shown you the salmon pink one?  I rest my case.

Before you get all excited, fantasizing about the gorgeous light fixtures you think we installed, you have to know something about us: we are one of those weird ceiling fan families we used to mock on Trading Spaces.  You know the ones: when the designers took away their ceiling fans they would walk off set in a huff, but still have their mics on so you could hear them sobbing in the background.  

Hubs and I both grew up in Northwestern Ontario.  It’s colder there.  Neither Hubs nor I ever lived in a home with air conditioning.  We relished the limited number of toasty summer days we got.  Ottawa, on the other hand, can be so damn humid that we stick to the sofa, our desk chairs, our clothes, and all but wither and die during the steamiest weeks in August.  The townhouse has no forced air, so that means no AC.  Plus, even when we open the windows we have less air circulation than detached homes.  Ceiling fans have become our friends.  We especially love the one over the treadmill (even if it is freaky to run inches under the whooshing blades). 

Long story short, ceiling fans were here to to stay (I’m sorry), but we looked casually for nicer ones.  For three years, we only found ones that were either a lateral move . . .

. . . or way out of our price range.

We finally struck gold last week when we found a simple, modern style in brushed silver, on sale for $219.  We also scored an extra 5% off because I asked nicely.  I have been feeling a little antsy about spending that amount of cash, but look:

So pretty.  This newer model also does a much better job of circulating the air AND the light is less jarring – it even has a dimmer option. 

The best part is, each fan controlled by a detachable remote (it replaced the light switch) that I can pluck off the wall, set on the nightstand and then change the speed or turn off the light from the comfort of bed!!  To make me sound less lazy, I can also turn it on while running on the treadmill without missing a beat.  I heart this gadgety feature.

Installation took longer than we thought (about two hours per fixture), but Hubby was a super star at figuring out the instructions.  There was nothing that stumped us, it was just a lot of fussy work and holding heavy things (over our heads) – multiplied by three!  We were also delayed by having to touch up the ceiling because the base of the old fan was much larger and so parts of the ceiling hadn’t been painted the crisp white we drenched the house in.  Two generous coats, applied with a mini foam roller, did the trick!

Now I can finally show you our ceilings.  All three bedrooms have the same style fan, for a unified look.  I’m so happy.  We didn’t lose any function, we won’t sweat like pigs in the summer, and each of the three bedrooms is a smidge prettier and more modern.  Just don’t talk about the popcorn. 

Apologies for not hiding the treadmill.  I kept it real with these photos – no tidying!  We’ve been trying really hard to stick to using the treadmill, and it’s not the easiest thing to put away.  I fear that if we put it in the closet, for even a second, we’ll never use it again!



  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    February 20, 2013 / 1:21 pm

    ooh i love that find! we have ceiling fans and we LOVE using them… ours are ugly. when we can, i would love to similarly replace ours. but it's not a priority since they are up in our bedrooms. 😉

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 20, 2013 / 5:05 pm

      Yay! A fellow ceiling fan friend! I stare at the one in my home office all day long, so I'm so relieved to finally have it replaced but we did lived with them for more than three years, so I definitely understand having it low on the priority list! Plus they are pricey! Good luck finding a nice version for your bedrooms, whenever you get to it 🙂

  2. Jae
    February 20, 2013 / 6:52 pm

    I have this same problem – ugly ceiling fans. They are necessary though. Nice change.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 20, 2013 / 8:00 pm

      Sooo necessary! I'm amazed, though, at how difficult it was to track down a reasonably priced ceiling fan. A lot of home improvement stores have pretty dated styles.

  3. erica | wicked bride
    February 20, 2013 / 7:52 pm

    Loooooove the ceiling fans! We're ceiling fan peeps too, although we don't have them in our new house (yet?). We do have AC, but the fans are so much more economical to turn on when the windows are open. Plus, maybe it's just me – but our house gets super stuffy sometimes. It's just nice to have fresh air circulating. That fan is gorgeous – and even though it's a bit pricey, it's unlikely that you'll ever change them, right? Far better than going with a cheaper option only to replace them in a few years. And bonus? It looks very industrial-aircraft, which I know you're going for!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 20, 2013 / 8:03 pm

      Hubby is dying for me to say this: so you're a fan of ceiling fans as well? Haha.I love the feeling of fans over AC. Sometimes AC hurts my joints, I have no idea why. We have a dinky little window unit from the former owner's but I rarely use it. And I agree: the stuffiness is an issue too. Oh my gosh, $219 was a STEAL. You should see the prices out there! Even total uggo ones can be steep!! But it hurt to have to buy three at once. I just didn't want to wait and then not be able to buy all three the same. I will not be changing these at all. Ever. And hopefully the next owners won't be turned off by no AC with these sexy fans 🙂 The others, esp. the pink one, just dated our home!

  4. Amelia @ House Pretty
    February 20, 2013 / 7:54 pm

    Much improved! I especially like how it looks in your bedroom. I completely understand the whole ceiling fan debate – yes, they can be ugly, but they are so practical and I'm not sure a light fixture exists that would be worth sticking to your furniture all summer 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 20, 2013 / 8:05 pm

      Thanks Amelia! I'm pretty excited about them. Apparently they can help circulate warm air that gets trapped at the top of rooms, too, so if they ALSO keep me warm in the winter, ceiling light fixtures are dead to me, lol.

  5. Shay
    February 20, 2013 / 10:01 pm

    Great find! I'm really liking how this all turned out for you. Those rooms are much more inviting now (not that they weren't before) but it does seem to open the place up for some reason.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 21, 2013 / 2:08 am

      Thanks Shay! I agree and I think it might be because these are a touch more delicate with fewer blades and dangly bits! I'm so happy to hear it makes the rooms more inviting because the worst offender was in the guest room 🙂

  6. Dana@Mid2Mod
    February 20, 2013 / 11:21 pm

    Love your new fans! The ones in my house are somewhat similar. You remember how hot Texas gets, so you can understand that I'm a fan person too. I keep them running year 'round. I went with modern black fans in the new apartment.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 21, 2013 / 2:11 am

      I would DIE in Texas. Just melt. I'd be surprised if you weren't a fan fan. I think I spot one in your most recent Construction Saga post. Looks so sleek!! I cannot wait to see the whole place.

  7. Martine
    February 20, 2013 / 11:24 pm

    Thank you! I had given up hope for an attractive and affordable option.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 21, 2013 / 2:12 am

      I wasn't perked by them, but Multi Luminaire has a great selection of other fans in similar price points. Our local location expanded their store and it was nice to see it in person (they have more inventory now). Happy to help! 🙂

  8. Vintage Market Place
    February 21, 2013 / 12:57 am

    WOW what a difference!Amazing and so streamlined. Yeah, those others didn't fit at all with your style.We definitely can't live without ceiling fans here. We run them every night thru the winter on the cool air circulation setting, just to sleep.I thought for half a second how nice a new light fixture would be in my studio but then snapped back to reality fast.Amy

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 21, 2013 / 2:13 am

      Another fan!! So happy we're not alone :)I often ogle beautiful light fixtures and because it's cold here now the fans didn't seem like a big deal but Hubby reminded me of the stickiness and steered my away from the lighting section back to the fan section. Good call, I'll thank him come summer!

  9. cred
    February 21, 2013 / 12:52 pm

    Seems like there are more fan fans amongst design enthusiasts than you'd expect. But they are so practical (we run ours in the winter to circulate the heat from our woodstove). Yours are lovely- we replaced ours with a modern version (not as nice as your brushed silver) with remote. Would love to source the same ones you bought when we move. So beautiful!I can relate to the unnerving proximity to the ceiling fan when I use our elliptical. Good luck staying on track (ha) with the treadmill!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 21, 2013 / 3:06 pm

      Horray for fan enthusiasts lurking among design enthusiasts! Sometimes practically has to win because homes are for living. Ooo, the elliptical would make it even scarier because don't you kind of move up and down on those as well? Yikes! I'm doing poorly on keeping up with the treadmill but I shoveled yesterday. That counts as fitness, lol.I linked to the fan in the post, but here is the info again: they are from Multi Luminaire )

  10. Oona
    February 21, 2013 / 11:19 pm

    Yes, we like ours too… though the colossus between our kitchen and dining area looks like somebody hauled in an elk and strapped it to the ceiling antlers down. Your new, sleek fans must improve your state of mind. Now, here's the thing: that flamingo-pink number really is so awful you need to be sure it's memorialized somewhere. If it's already made a one-way journey, for heaven's sake keep the "before" photos. Priceless!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 22, 2013 / 1:54 am

      Haha! That pink one is atrocious. Even worse, it exactly matches the pink tub, tile, toilet and sink we had before. So this was no accident, it was premeditated, lol!

  11. Mary
    February 22, 2013 / 1:49 am

    I have the same ceilings as you did! All the rage in about 1995 I think when they were installed as part of a building rehab. I changed the metal one for a fan with one light with a white shade, still waiting for my perfect fan to swap out the frilly shades. I love your fans, not sure that silver would work for me. Thanks for showing me I'm not alone!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 22, 2013 / 5:47 am

      Hi Mary, Ooooo, yours were newer! 🙂 Ours were stamped with dates from the 80s. Blech. So many extra years of dust trapped in ours . . . I wonder if one day people will look at my stuff and post a blog about it saying, "oh gosh, look at this hideous 2013 style!!" Happy you're a fan fan too! Our model comes in a really pretty oil rubbed bronze, too, which I loved but wasn't sure would work. I think it needs a taller, less stark space. Hope you find your perfect fan!!

  12. Stephanie
    February 23, 2013 / 10:32 pm

    Ceiling fans can be ugly, but a necessity for a lot of homes. I always ask my clients if they need the ceiling fan, to me that is more important than tossing it out all together just to achieve a look. I love the ones you picked. They are so streamlined and not in your face ugly lol Great job.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 27, 2013 / 4:57 pm

      I love that you ask clients if they need a ceiling fan. I can imagine your clients LOVE you for that! I hope we see more and more stylish and affordable models available. I'm just happy I found one that works for us!

  13. Whitney
    February 27, 2013 / 4:47 pm

    Oh girl, I am with you on the ceiling fans. My husband and I love sleeping under a fan, and I've been contemplating buying one for the bedroom light fixture in our new home. I wish there were more fashionable options. I adore the fan you chose. It looks very sleek and modern, but still has function. Your home is gorgeous. The natural light and bright colors really pop. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 27, 2013 / 4:58 pm

      Thanks Whitney! I hope you find the perfect one 🙂

  14. Keira
    March 4, 2013 / 3:56 pm

    I am so with you on ceiling fans! We do have forced air and central air conditioning, but there is nothing better than open windows with lots of fans going– until it gets unbearably hot! I even use them with the air conditioning because it gets the cool air up to the 3rd floor. They are also a much more environmentally friendly way of keeping cool. We're planning on putting in 4 when we find the right ones. It does surprise a lot of people when they find out that I'm choosing to put them in. Even our electrician! I don't know why. I don't even think the modern ones look bad. Kind of industrial.

  15. Ann
    January 3, 2015 / 12:07 am

    Another fan fan. I have ours going 365 nights a week. And in White Rock I have our bedroom window open too, even when we have -5°C weather. This I can do because the temperature never stays that low for long.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 3, 2015 / 4:37 am

      I'd love a mild winter!! We use ours now to keep warm air down at our level – not trapped up by the ceiling in the living room.

    • Ann
      January 4, 2015 / 3:00 am

      Anything to keep the air moving.

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