I've been cleaning things up out there (the massive maple trees make quite a mess with all of their droppings), planting a few things (including tomatoes and herbs), and making a list of odds and ends I'd like to get to complete the set-up. One of the things that I already knocked off the list was a new umbrella for the dining table. Here's my new black and white striped beauty in action...I opted for a rectangular one with a teak pole:
Another major item on my list is wall-mount lighting. Last summer I ordered some lantern sconces from Quoizel and after having them installed, I had to take them down and return them because they were constructed so poorly (made in China, of course) and would not sit straight on the wall. The situation really irritated me because the engineer at Quoizel that I spoke to about the issue just argued with me and tried to blame my electrician for the problem. I will never source anything from them again...poor quality, bad design, bad customer service, and most (if not all) of their products are made in China. Fail.
So, I had to start over with my sourcing mission which has been an absurdly long process. Because the j box is located close to the fascia on our house, most lights won't fit so it's been a bit of a nightmare trying to find the right size, finish, and style. I've seen tons of great fixtures that I've logged on an Outdoor Lighting Pinboard for future reference and along the way I found a couple of options that suit my needs. Here are the two finalists:
I keep going back and forth, but right now I'm slightly leaning towards #2 (Minka) because it has a black finish as opposed to the darkened copper. Since our furniture is black and I want to do polished nickel door hardware, I'm not crazy about the idea of throwing another metal finish into the mix. The fact that the backplate is mounted higher on the fixture is also swaying my vote. #1 might sit too close to the fascia.
But, I love that the Shades of Light fixture is made in America (the Minka one is China). And maybe the antiqued copper will look pretty black?
Here are some quickly Photoshopped mock-ups of what each would look like:
What's your vote? I'm totally rooting for the Shades of Light one because it's made in the USA, but the finish and size are potential problems. I so wish I could see both in person! Unfortunately no showroom in Dallas has the Minka one on the floor and Shades of Light is catalog/internet only.