The Cool Kids

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let your own light shine..

The last few families have used the room in front of our kitchen as a family room. It makes sense. There's a huge fireplace, it's cozy and people seem to enjoy that open atmosphere that allows everyone to  visit with the people in the kitchen...

When we walked the house though, and I stepped into the room, I knew I wanted it to be a dining room. It also makes sense. People can still visit and sit around. But the bonus is that everyone can eat while they are visiting. I love to cook and I love hosting brunches or birthday parties or barbecues. So there we go. It's a dining room.

My dining room table was a gift from the man when we bought the house. I think he knew how much I loved entertaining, but even more, he knew how important is was to me to have my family around the table for dinner as often as possible. He was right. Sitting around that table for meals is one of my favorite things.

Because the room wasn't intended as a dining room, all of the canned lighting was set up to show off the fire place. Other than that, and the use of lamps, there is no light above the dinner table.

We (my idea) thought about having a chandelier installed or you know, hang some orange electrical cord up and over the table with a big old 200 watt light bulb stapled to the ceiling. (The man's idea).. The benefits from his winner-of-an-idea? Dining AND tanning at the same time.

Our original problem is that I didn't want to lock myself into an idea I'd regret. Electrical is expensive and by hanging something dead center meant I'd always have to keep the table in one position.  TO be honest, I'm not in love with ceiling lighting. I love the light a beautiful lamp gives off. It's not harsh, or fluorescent and they are so easy to move around. Even better than lamp light is....candle light.

So let me show you my dream lighting for the dining room...

It's from Restoration Hardware (whom I love!) for the low, low price of 975 dollars. Holy McDollars!

I love the candle idea. I know that some are electric, but many are not. They let you use your own candles or the battery operated ones you can find all over. You can over flow them with candles or set out just a few. The only thing that I don't love is that the bottom is in two solid slats. The problem is you can be sitting at the table and not be able to appreciate the candlelight overhead. Oh and it costs just a wee bit more than I 'm willing to spend. By about.....$900! She is a beauty though, isn't she?

Going along with the general idea of the plan, I decided to create my own very low cost version. What I love most about the idea is that I can take it down as easily as I can put it up. Want to make one?

You'll need ...

A piece of ironwork. The kind that people buy for their garden or ginormous stairways. A rectangle shape is really nice, but I went for a diamond shape.

8 feet of small black chain. I warned you that I'm not spatial. I picked up only four feet and ended up adding on some heavier chain to hang up the project.

Eye hooks (2) attach to ceiling studs or beams

S hooks (4)

A piece of glass that will fit on top. I used one from a picture frame

A level

pliers (to open and close chain links)

Here we go. As always feel free to shake it up the way you like it. Also, no laughing at the woman who know what she wants, but can never seem to convey that information to the man or the helper guy at Lowe's.

Here is my iron work. I got it at Tai Pan for 18 dollars. My first intention was to tie it up with ribbons to the ceiling using the S clips. It was pretty, but I was afraid it wouldn't be strong enough for what I wanted.

We clipped the small black chain in half and attached to where I had the ribbon tied in the upper picture.
At the top of those, we attached an equal amount of larger chain to the small chain and hung them from eye clips we screwed into the beams. The S clips can be attached at the top of the chain (or you can open chain pieces with pliers and hook onto the eye hooks. I love the S clips because It's really easy to remove this if I change my mind. I was at first really upset about having to use the bigger chain, but now I love that it is definitely strong enough to hold what I want. Still though, those larger chains need to be painted black..

Once your ironwork is hung, you can lay a piece of glass on it to be a platform for your candles or what ever else you want to put up there. I took the glass out of the old frame (below) and set it evenly on the hanging iron work Make sure your glass is safely centered and level. You may want to warn anyone about the dangers of shards of glass. If you live at my house, you warn them by simply saying, "DON"T. TOUCH. THIS. EVER!!!"  Safety first, people.

Now it's ready to hang, or take down if you aren't happy with it. For now, I love it.

I bought these little glass bottles for 91 cents a piece. They are perfect for burning tea lights in . They remind me of little jelly jars...
 Here it is! My hanging candle chandelier. It glows at night and uses zero electricity.

Below is a view of the underside of the chandelier. A smarter person would have taken of the labels from the bottom of the jars, forgot

 Finally, here's a different look with round candles on top. I think it's going to be just what I've been looking for. and it's so much prettier than orange electrical cord.... :

There you go! A cute little non-electric/removable/interchangeable chandelier. Too sweet.

Shine your favorite kind of light all over the place today, friends


  1. Beautiful, darling!

  2. I love this, it's just beautiful. You are so darn creative. Please come to my house and make it all pretty for me. I'm also very much in love with your dinning room table. As I've said before, you live in Pete's dream house. You are doing a wonderful job in making it your own perfect space.

  3. Thanks, Stacy and Kimmi. Your comments made me so happy. I respect both of your opinions so much :)

  4. Beautiful Shel! Truly gorgeous. Now, what's for dinner?! :)
    Oh and please don't EVER come visit me here at my shabby home. My husband loves duct tape and orange cords.... A LOT! Thank you. :D
    Love, FF


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