Is your interest in my kitchen project waning as it continues to drag on? Well too bad, because I’m still working on it and thus will keep blogging about it. This weekend we were in Vermont visiting friends and family, and people kept asking us how the reno was going and if we’d be done soon. The answers: “It’s going,” and “no.”
BUT, we’re making progress and we will reach the end eventually. And in the meantime, I don’t have to worry about running out of things to write about on the blog. Today I have a quick project to share, and then Friday I’ll be back to share some more progress plus shots of the FINISHED FLOOR and a budget breakdown to-date now that the biggest projects and expenses are behind us.
Today’s post is about lighting. Most of our kitchen lights are recessed — which is great for our low ceilings — but we also have a pendant light over the sink and a chandelier over the island. The pendant is pretty nondescript, but has been looking especially lackluster since we partially disassembled it during the wall removal and never bothered to put it back together:
The chandelier is incredibly unattractive, and is also a major hazard. When there’s a table or island under it everything is fine, but when we’ve moved those items to do work in the kitchen like removing and installing floors, suddenly it is just a metal and glass structure hanging randomly in the middle of the room that anyone over 4’5″ is guaranteed to slam their head into repeatedly. I actually broke part of it with my head the first day we moved in.
And it only got worse from there. At some point in the last year Sam unscrewed the canopy in a fit of rage and started trying to take the light down, before he realized that there were live wires running to it and he probably shouldn’t do that (he’s not the most familiar with electricity…but at least he knew to stop). So it’s just been hanging there making us mad and looking totally dejected.
With the floor almost done, I finally decided the chandelier’s time had come. I really didn’t want to spend much on lighting given where we are with the budget (more details on $ spent to-date on Friday), and since we have such low ceilings I didn’t want to go too crazy with statement lighting anyway. I did want to find something with enough mass that it wouldn’t look too dinky hanging over the island, though.
Given Naomi’s dining room chandelier hunt, I thought this had the potential to turn into a months- or years-long search. Fortunately I found something I was happy with in about 45 minutes of online shopping.
At 36″ wide it seemed like the perfect size for our island (which is 48″ long), the price couldn’t be beat, and the reviews were favorable. I hit “buy” and the next week it was on my doorstep.
Installation was pretty quick. First I shut off the power to the ceiling box, and removed the old light by disconnecting the wires and unscrewing the light from the mounting plate. The new light came with several extender stems to easily change the drop length, and I opted to use just one of them.
It was as simple as pulling the wires through that, trimming them to length, attaching the new mounting plate, matching black wire to black wire and white to white, and then screwing in the fixture. All told it took about 20 minutes from the time I opened the box to the moment I flipped the breaker back on. It probably would have taken me longer if I’d bothered to take more than the one process shot above, but I didn’t. Sorry. Let me apologize with this after shot:
Ahhhhhhhh, so much better. The coffee bronze finish isn’t my favorite, but before I decide what to paint it (oil rubbed bronze or maybe something colorful) I want to get the cabinets painted so I have a better idea of the color scheme in the space. When the time comes, it will be really easy to take the light down, hit it with some spray paint, and then reinstall.
The unexpected win was that I ended up getting two new lights out of it. The package came with an extra metal shade (not sure that was intentional), and so I decided to take down the pendant over the sink, remove the glass shade, hit the canopy, stem, and extra metal shade with some oil rubbed bronze spraypaint I had on hand, and reinstall the light using the metal shade instead of the glass shade. Easy peasy!
Let’s see a side-by-side to remember where we started:
Right now it looks a little odd because it’s the same shape as the chandelier but they’re slightly different finishes, but I think it will look great once the chandelier is also ORBed or painted something more colorful.
And so for the price of $135, I have crossed kitchen lighting off the to-do list and the concussion-inducing chandelier is finally gone from our lives. Hurray!