If only I could tell you how many different lights I’ve browsed, reviewed, and considered in the last 20 months of homeownership. My first lighting-related project was to update the living room ceiling fan. There were actually hardwired ceiling fans in every single room, and some people (like Pete) love them, but I tend to be fully anti (they’re almost always so unattractive); I find myself favoring standing or desktop fan styles that can be hidden when not in use unless it looks stunning like this or:
Central air isn’t installed in this home, but I do get a wonderful lake breeze all summer when the windows are open (which I happen prefer over AC any day). So, I made the executive decision to replace some of the fans with pendants, chandeliers, or modern close-to-ceiling lights.
In the living room, I took a chance and installed new track lighting from the IKEA 365+ LUNTA collection. The pleated glass pendants are amazing (and inexpensive, like <$40 for the whole shebang) and really helped to transform the living room, but I had a problem with them once they were hung. The living room is already a little cozy, with dimensions of 10’x20′-ish, and the low-hanging lights made it feel even smaller. I had installed them about 3 feet above the coffee table (which they were centered over it), and at about my eye-level when I was standing (I’m 5’9″). And in addition to visually shrinking the available living space in the room, I did slam my head against it a lot when I was cleaning (yow), but that’s my fault, not the fixture’s issue. It was one of those instances where I really (really, really) wanted it to work out, but after a few months I knew I needed a new plan.
I actually didn’t exactly come up my “plan B” at lighting-like speed like I’m sometimes known to do – I lived with the lighting as it was for just about 4 months, when out of nowhere a new idea crashed into my lap. My co-worker had mentioned in passing that she had replaced the chandelier over her dining room table and did I want to look at the old(er) one (which was still in fantastic condition). Did I ever! She let me borrow it for a few days so that I could mock-hang it up in the room. [Cut to me, standing on the coffee table with the chandelier, positioning a camera across the room to auto-photograph and ultimately allow me to decide whether the size and height of her light would work out in my space. Ponder, weigh options, consider different chandelier heights, ask around, survey friends, adjust height again, decide.]
Sure, I’ll take it.
She sold it for me for a great price; definitely for less than I could have found something nice elsewhere. Can’t get better than that. I don’t know the exact style or item number, but it’s Crate and Barrel circa 2005.
The white pendant lights came down, and the black/bronze brushed chandelier went up easily. I toyed with the height quite a bit in the first day it was installed – anyone who’s hung a light like this knows that there IS such a thing as too low and too high and it’s a challenge to pin-point the perfect size until it’s actually up and you can step back (and step under it, and lay on the couch near it, and walk down the stairs and pretend you’re seeing it for the first time, OK-OK, maybe I’m a little detail-oriented). Ultimately, it worked BEST when most of the links came out; two black carabeaner hooks hold the weight of the light, leaving the wiring loose, and the 6 small bulbs really illuminate the room much better than the two pendant lights. (And, I installed a dimmer switch too, so it can go from bright to moody in an instant. Love. If you want to see how, read about it here.)
Can you the difference in bulbs? Two are round, four are oblong. Can’t make up my mind on what I like more. It’s what I had in my stash. Someday I’ll make a decision and make them all match, but for now, I’m probably the only one who notices.
OK, in the end it worked out and everything just fell into place. The pendant lights found a new home in my dining room over the table, and they worked out perfectly in the space, so happily, I didn’t need to find a buyer for the pendants and a new light for the dining area.