Sunday, April 17, 2016

Jewelry for the Dining Room

I've been wanting to replace the dining room light fixture from the moment we looked at this house. Now that we have been living here almost three years (!), I finally bought a new chandelier. I can't believe it took me this long, although it's not like we haven't worked on other house projects in the meantime...

Anyway, I was actually paralyzed by a combination of indecision and sticker shock. I know there are lights available at every price point, but I was having a hard time narrowing down a particular type or style--I like traditional! And modern! And farmhouse industrial! And midcentury modern! And art deco!

Pinterest boards helped me collect all the things I liked, but didn't really help me narrow down my choices, and when Pinterest introduced me to The Perfect Chandelier For My Life, I gleefully clicked over only to discover that it has a price tag of $36,000.00. So, no. Not so Perfect For My Life.

I e-mailed a few friends, basically asking them to choose a chandelier for me. I got encouraging, but vague responses. What? You don't want to JUST PICK the chandelier for my dining room?

Meanwhile, I kept living with my dining room light looking super ugly because it wasn't a nagging priority and you know how you get used to things in your own house and even if you don't like them, you kind of stop seeing them. Then someone new comes over and you see your house through their eyes and you think, "OMG what if she thinks I LIKE the dining chandelier and I picked it out and I think it's supposed to be hanging that high?" Or you go to someone else's house and you think, "This house looks so amazing and getting a new light fixture would TRANSFORM my dining room."

Also, it's not like we ever got to the end of the month and said to each other, "Oh, look, we have all this extra money! What could we possibly spend it on?"

And so the dining room light fixture remained.

Then my friend Monica sent me a link to some blog that had ten chandeliers for under $200.

I decided This. Was. It. I was buying a new chandelier. Even if it wasn't PERFECT, it was going to be an improvement on this situation:

Some bloggers would have done a properly styled "before" photo without the box of the new light spilling out all over the table, but I am not one of them.
Oh, that poor stunted light. Perched up there like a spider whose web spinners got stuck or something. The Nester website offers a piece advice for changing things in your house that is something like, "You can't mess up what you already hate." I hated this light, but mostly I hated the awkward height at which it had been hung.

I narrowed my favorite under-$200 chandeliers down to my two favorites, which were completely different styles (this was the other one, if you're curious). Honestly, I really like both of them, and I think either one would have looked good in my house (better than its predecessor, at least). I kept going back and forth, and then I just decided to stop weighing things like "bigger impact" against "neutral decor" and just pick the one I liked best. So, I went with my inner magpie and ordered the sparkly one. It had great reviews and it's just so... sparkly!

So many glamorous jewels!
I laughed at Zuzu's enthusiastic approval: "Oh, Mommy, it's SO BEAUTIFUL."

But it does look pretty nice, hanging out and sparkling in there.

So pretty! There's probably a setting on my camera that would photograph this better. But instead I'll just snap this with my iphone and post it on the internet.
At first I was afraid it was a little small for the room. I think a bigger one in the same style could have been overwhelming, though. And even if it is on the petite size, it still looks so much prettier than the one that was there--partly because I just prefer this style as a matter of my personal taste, but mostly because the height on the other one was so completely wrong.

Why can't I take a straight photo? Tilt head slightly to right.
(For reference, according to Google and interior design blogs, chandeliers should typically hang 30"-34" inches above the table if you have 8' ceilings.)

I love the way the crystals make their tiny rainbows, and I love the pattern that it makes on the ceiling, but mostly I love the way it looks like my dining room just got a blingy new piece of jewelry. I still haven't gotten used to it, so every time I catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye, it makes me really happy.

How about some ambient lighting and wine with dinner?
I did have to assemble the entire thing, including hanging each strand of crystals, and the enclosed directions were laughably vague. It was basically a picture of each part with incomprehensible arrows showing where they were supposed to go, but no written instructions. I managed to get it figured out, though, and I kind of like the light more because I forged it with my own two hands assembled it myself.

One more BEFORE:


Heart Eyes.
Now the dining room is totally showing off and you know what they say about giving a mouse a cookie... the sort-of-beige entry way light is seeing its final days. 

Your days are numbered!



    The only way I could countenance going to hardware stores with my parents as a child was the chance to look at the sparkly chandeliers and console myself with the promise that I would buy one someday when I was an adult.

    One of the saddest parts having (finally!) bought a house is that it as built around 1700 and has the plebeian ceiling heights to go with it. I can touch the ceiling in most rooms standing flat-footed, and I am not tall. There is no scope for sparkly chandeliers in my house. *sad face*.

  2. For what it's worth - the other one you were looking it does nothing for me. So good pick.

    Since we have a farmhouse style kitchen table I want two of those Edison style lights, but since we are moving the recessed flood light looking light bulbs shall remain

  3. I love it!! And, yes, now the entry way one has to go lol!

  4. So which girl gets the dining room jewelry?

    Sorry, kidding. But you know, there was the whole jewelry splitting, will and trust discussion last post...

  5. LOVE IT. If you don't mind my asking, where would one get this chandelier?

    1. One could get it here:

  6. I love it! Did you replace it yourself? I am super impressed!

    1. Yes, David and I had to do it together so I held it up while he wired everything.

  7. I have that exact same nipple light in the exact same place in my house. Believe it or not, it is the least-bad light fixture in the house! I love the new chandelier--and I'm totally jealous!

  8. Beautiful choice. and also yes, now you need to get rid of the boob light in the entry. too much nipple ;) lol

    1. It's like a saggy boob with a huge nipple. #icanrelate #breastfeedinglightfixture