Our Home Tour At Night
As a home blogger, 99% of the photos I take for the blog happen during the daytime hours. With photography, lighting is everything and you really just can’t beat natural light. In fact, when I shoot a space, I always turn off all of the lights in the room so I can just rely on the light streaming in from the windows.
However, there is something kinda cozy about a home during the evening hours, with the shades drawn and the lamps on. While I love our home during the day, it’s extra special at night and feels incredibly cozy and warm. I figured it was about time to give you a home tour at night around here!
My Evening Ritual
Rory goes to bed around 7pm and once she is down for the count, I go around the house preparing it for the evening hours. Finn and I clean up the kitchen, run the dishwasher, and put all of her toys away in the living room. I’ll then draw our shades closed in our bedroom and the living room and turn off all of the overhead lighting.
With the canned lighting off, we rely solely on lamps around here and it really does make the space inviting and cozy. We’ll lock the doors and sometimes light a candle so we can just enjoy the quiet of our house at night.
My Lighting Rules
When it comes to lighting, I follow a few rules to make our home as comfortable as possible.
- Dimmers Galore: Every single one of our overhead lights is on a dimmer switch. I think this is incredibly important so you can control the amount of light coming into a room. We have these LeGrand smart switches and they’re great because we can sync them to our phones and Alexa. (You can read more about them in this blog post and video.)
- Warm Bulbs for the Win: Most of the light bulbs in our house are 2700 Kelvin because they emit a nice, warm glow. I chat more about the difference between light bulbs in this post, but that is my go-to color temperature.
- Overhead Lights Off: At night, I don’t really enjoy the harsh shadows that come from recessed canned lighting. It isn’t very flattering, so we often turn off all of our recessed lighting during the evening hours.
- Lamps On: We use these smart plugs for all of our lamps so we can turn them on and off using our phones or Alexa. At night, I’ll say “Alexa, turn on the living room lamps” or “Alexa, turn on the bedroom lamps” and they’ll automatically go on.
The Living Room
Let’s start in the living room. As I mentioned, I like to draw the solar shades here because anyone can see directly into our house at night. Before I installed these, the entire neighborhood could see what we were watching at night. Ha!
With the floor lamp and the table lamp on, our living room has a nice warm glow. You may notice something a little different here…our coffee table is gone! It’s been temporarily moved down to the basement to give Rory a bit more floor space to play. We kept moving it to the side during the day and eventually we thought, “Let’s just keep it out of here until we figure out a more permanent playroom situation.” It’s been great to have a nice open spot on the rug!
Before Rory, we used to spend a lot of time in the living room at night. Now, I find that we’re both often finishing things up during the evening hours. Finn is doing work in the basement and I’m upstairs taking a bath or watching TV in the bedroom. But on the weekends, this is definitely where you’ll find both of us hanging during the evening hours.
Living Room Sources
Hardwood Floors // Wall Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” // Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White” // Door Color: Sherwin Williams “Tricorn Black” // Couch // Rug // Leather Chair // Gray Chairs // TV Sideboard // Entryway Console // Modern Planter // Floor Length Mirror (old from CB2) // Ottoman // Floor Lamp // Table Lamp // Curtains // Curtain Rod // Dining Table // Dining Chairs // Dining Tray // Side Table (DIY project) // Wood Side Table // Tree Basket // Olive Tree // Custom Frames // Pouf // Lidded Basket (similar) // White Vase // Gallery Wall Details // Solar Shades
My same lighting rules apply here in the kitchen. The recessed cans are all off, and we have the sconces, dining chandelier, and undercabinet lights on. These are all on dimmers, so I can make it lighter or darker in here depending on what we’re up to.
If you remember this blog post back during the kitchen renovation, I shared all of the details about adding in-cabinet lighting to our glass cabinets. We still adore them and will often turn them on at night. We’ve also used the fun colors on them (most recently for Rory’s birthday), which is always an exciting change.
I’m also really happy we added the undercabinet lighting in the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite light sources and makes the countertops look so pretty. If you’re doing a kitchen, don’t forget to add this!
I like “closing” the kitchen for the night after dinner. Cleaning up, running the dishwasher, and turning on these subtle lights just cues to me that it’s time to stop grazing for food and get ready for bed.
Kitchen Cabinetry in the colors “Bonsai” & “Cottage” // Quartz Countertops // Pendant Lights // Under-cabinet Lighting // Counter Stools // Farmhouse Sink // Polished Nickel Faucet // Pot Filler // Soap Dispensers // Sink Scrub Brush // Butcher Block // Refrigerator // Dishwasher // Range // Kitchen Runner // Double Oven // Gold Knobs // Gold Pulls // Counter Canisters // Walnut Dining Table // Chandelier // Wall Color // Bench Cushion from Patio Lane in Sunbrella Fabric “Capriccio Toast” // Dinner Bell // Wine Fridge // Frame TV // In-cabinet lighting // Askel Walnut Floating Shelves // Wood Fruit Tray (HomeGoods) // Rattan Bowl // Wood Cutting Board // Marble Utensil Holder
The Main Bedroom
I absolutely adore the glimpse into our main bedroom at night. The chandelier is so beautiful and then you get a glimpse at our new dresser in here and my heart just gets so happy. There used to be nothing on that wall when you walked into the room and I’m so pleased it’s now a focal point.
I found this gorgeous dresser from the local Restoration Hardware outlet store for 70% off and it was the best deal. This piece is huge, such high-quality, and holds so much stuff. I’ve been having so much fun styling the top and I keep changing things up. I ended up adding the same table lamp that we have in our living room up here to add light and more black in this space. Not to mention, I always think it’s a good idea to repeat some elements throughout your home to keep it cohesive.
While Finn gives Rory a bath at night, I’ll often come in here, put on my pajamas, draw the shades closed, and wash my face. It’s a nice little ritual to signal that the day is coming to a close.
The sconces were the ultimate addition to this space as I discussed at length in this blog post, and they really make the space feel elegant and high-end. You’ll notice that the old nightstands are still in place (the new ones have arrived and they’re fantastic), but I’ll be sure to show you the new ones in the bedroom reveal blog post next week. (Yes, it’s finally time to cross this room off my to-do list!)
This is the spot where you’ll likely find me during the evening hours, usually watching TV on our Frame TV. I also usually have my laptop in hand, often editing pictures, planning the following day, or responding to comments, and unwinding for the night. I love sitting here in my pajamas and resting. It’s such a comfortable spot to end my days.
Main Bedroom Sources
Frame TV // Wall Color: Benjamin Moore “Boothbay Gray” // Bamboo Shades // Dresser (Restoration Hardware Outlet) // Door Knobs // Ceiling Fan // Nightstands // 9×12 Rug // Cream Bed // Wallpaper // Rug Pad // Mattress // Gray Velvet Curtains // Curtain Rods (with European Gold Rub ‘n Buff) // White Duvet // Sheets // Cream Bed Blanket // Bench // Sheepskin Throw // Striped Pillows // Lumbar (custom) // Large White Vase // Brass Sconces // Table Lamp // Marble Tray // Marble Picture Frame // Planter // Hallway Chandelier
Finally, my home office. Thankfully, I don’t spend much time in here at night. I do my best work during the daytime hours, so this room is often closed up for the night once Rory goes to bed. However, if I do need to work, this is a good spot to do it.
The gold chandelier (no longer available, but this one is similar) has the softest glow and I’ll often turn the table lamp on for extra light. The built-ins look very navy during the day, but at night, they’re a bit more grayish/black and they’re so pretty. I’ll often finish up work and look around this room with so much pride, knowing we did most of the work in here ourselves.
Home Office Sources
Wall Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” // Trim Color: Valspar “Simply White” // Built-In Color: Valspar “Chimney Smoke” // Built-in decor sources in this blog post // Drawer Hardware // Cabinet Hardware // Chandelier (similar) // Wall Mural // Loveseat // Rug // Leather Pouf // Oak Desk // Table Lamp // Small Floor Planter // Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig // Fiddle Leaf Basket // Window Shades
Thanks for Checking Out Our Home Tour at Night
I’m so happy to share this little home tour at night. It’s fun to see how these spaces look and feel so different, depending on the time of day. I wish I could have snapped some pics of Rory’s nursery at night – it really is so cozy – but alas, I didn’t want to interrupt my sleeping princess.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.