Chris may have thrown up a little when he read the title of this blog post, but, hey, it’s how I feel. But, let me start at the beginning.
When we moved in, there was one light in the bedroom: the light on the ceiling fan. We gradually added a table lamp bringing the grand total to two lights. During the day, it wasn’t a problem since we have a bay window and a windowed-patio door that lit up the room but at night (especially when we were still rocking the dark tan wall color), the room looked like a dimly-lit cave. Something had to be done.
And so began my three-month-long appeal to Chris to install a light by the bay window. Did I mention that there was no electricity wired to that area? But at this point, I have yet to provide Chris with a mission that he wasn’t able to accomplish so, hey, why not?
A few weeks later, voilah! There was a light installed just over our bay window area. Easy as pie (for me, at least). Now I debated back-and-forth what kind of light I wanted to put in this area. I settled on wanting something simple since there was already a main light (the ceiling fan) and two table lamps beside our bed. I wanted the light to compliment these other three so you didn’t walk in and think, “what’s that doing there?” I was inspired by these two images I found on Pinterest (where else) and decided my life needed a shadeless iron chandelier stat.
Source: So bummed that I can’t find the source to this image but here’s the link to it on Pinterest.
I found a few options in various retail stores, including these:
Source: Pottery Barn, Audrina Chandelier, $149
Source: Pottery Barn, Armonk 6-Arm Chandelier, $399
I also knew I was bound to change my mind a million times therefore it needed to be an inexpensive light (sorry Pottery Barn) so that it could be easily replaced if I found it wasn’t working out. I did find this one at Lowe’s for only $69 that would’ve worked but challenged myself to find an even less expensive option.
Source: Lowe’s, Portfolio 6-Light New Century Black Chandelier, $69
So off to the architectural salvage store we went! We have a place in town called Discount Home Warehouse that has become a new favorite of ours. You never know what you’re going to find- old windows, shutters, iron fencing, doors, appliances, and, of course, light fixtures. It’s a great place to find really unique pieces at a great price.
After a short detour through the giant letters (if only they had a W!!), we made our way to the lighting room.
With my head spinning (probably from looking up and circling the room over and over), I found a suitable candidate. An old antique brass 5 arm chandelier for $30. Perfection.
Now for the big debate. I recently picked up this sunburst mirror for the bedroom wall which featured the same coloring as the chandy.
I was stuck. Do I leave the color as-is or do I spray it another color? If it was left as-is, it would match the sunburst mirror and antique brass was sort-of making a comeback. Or I could spray it an oil-rubbed bronze color so it would match the ceiling fan and lamp color. Hmm what to do what to do. So, naturally, I couldn’t make up my mind and the chandelier went up as-is. And there it stayed for a full year. Behold the beauty of brass.
Finally, I decided I had had my fill of brass and it was time for a transformation. This baby was going bronze. We picked up another can of Rust-oleum’s oil rubbed bronze spray paint from Home Depot and it was go time.
For a guide to spray painting, check out this post.
When Julie told me she wanted a chandelier in the bay window area, I immediately cringed. At face value, it seemed simple enough and it was nothing new, but this time I had to think outside the box, literally- Julie wanted the chandelier mounted just a few feet from the outside wall, which meant the roof would be sloping sharply downward at that point.
If you’re not familiar with electrical work, mounting and wiring a light where one is not previously mounted or wired requires going up into the attic, which is always a pain. On top of that, I’d be working in a space where two roof angles come together, meaning I had only a few square feet to work with. Basically, I had to lay down and support myself on ceiling joists using my ribs. That’s exactly how I like to spend my weekends.
I got the ceiling box mounted without any major issues, but Julie wanted a switch on the wall right next to the light. This would have been a nice touch and seemed easy enough- all I had to do was run a wire down the wall to the switch and then another wire over the bedroom ceiling to tap into the power on the main switch- but I realized that there was no access to run a wire down the wall. Again, simple enough- I did it before, after all, and was no big deal- just bore through the wood and drop the wire through. The problem here, though, was the limited space and sharp angles created by the roof, not to mention the fact that the roofing nails were protruding through the roof’s plywood base (another reason I hate attics).
So I grabbed my 1″ boring bit and went to work. The angle at which I had to hold the drill made it difficult to get started, but eventually I started making a substantial dent in the wood. A little more than halfway into the 3″ of wood I was trying to bore through, the bit jammed and the torque of the drill jerked my hand violently upward… straight into a roofing nail.
I take pride in my ability to maintain my composure in some pretty extreme situations, but looking at a nail that literally went in the top of my finger and come out the bottom cause me to panic a little. Fortunately, though, Julie was able to remain calm (which is rare) and while all I could manage to say was “uh… uh… uh… uh…,” she instinctively grabbed paper towels and met me at the stairs to the attic. I also panicked that I’d certainly get tetanus and die, but my mom managed to find my immunization records, and I think I’ll live to renovate another room.
Once I stopped the bleeding, I refused to continue with the wall switch effort, to which Julie understood she had no choice but to agree with. I simply put another switch in by our bedroom door, so now all our lights are controlled at one location, which has turned out to be more convenient anyway. After getting everything wired together, I demanded a break from this project- it already tried to take my finger, what might be next?
So a few weeks ago, Julie convinced me it was time to continue the chandelier project. I took it down and disassembled it for paint, and spent two days trying to put it back together (these things are like puzzles, and I cannot understand why it seems like there’s always at least three missing bolts). We still had exposed sockets so we bought some translucent socket sleeves at Lowe’s but I had to cut them down to size, and an exacto knife did the trick perfectly:
Lowe’s, Portfolio Socket Covers, $1.97 for a set of 2
Next, I had to paint them. Using what is quite possibly the most clever painting solution I’ve devised to date, I had all five fully painted in about a minute.
To oil-rubbed bronze…
I didn’t think I’d care much for it when Julie had the idea, but I honestly kind of like having the chandelier there. And it only cost me one finger.
And here are the results:
No turning back now! What do you think of our new chandelier? Would you have stayed with the antique brass color or would you have ventured into the oil-rubbed bronze territory with us?