My 3 Monsters: A Tale of Two Chandeliers

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A Tale of Two Chandeliers

Many of you reading this blog have never been to my home.  You may not be aware of how dire our lighting situation has become.  Ann, you are aware.  For years {since the very day we bought this home}I have looked at the 80's style track lighting in my kitchen with lights the size of #10 cans and thought, "Someday, sucker, you're goin' down".  Then, as each bulb burned out and we tried {and failed}to replace it, my disdain for that light grew.  And grew.  But it was so high up there and chandeliers are so expensive.  And there we sat, me and that ugly light fixture at an impasse.  For years.  About six months ago I bought a chandelier on Craig's List for $10.  It was nothing fancy, but it was an exact match to the chandelier in our dining room which was good enough for me at that price.  And then that new chandelier sat in the garage because the ugly old beast was STILL SO HIGH up there.  Mocking me with it's one wavering light pointed at the wall 15 feet up instead of down into my little kitchen.  So, it brings me great pleasure to share with you our projects of last weekend.  I screwed my courage to the sticking place {I love that expression} and climbed up the ten foot ladder balanced precariously on top of an old, just-barely-big-enough dining table  where, from the highest rung on which you are allowed to stand, I could just barely reach that old monster.  It came down without much of a fight and the new one was installed.  I only dropped a screwdriver on my forehead once and the teeny tiny little screws about a thousand times in the process.  But it's up and it works and now I can actually see when I cook.  I have found myself thinking, "Is that what that really looks like?" several times.  Because I've been cooking by the light of my microwave.  For eight years.  Now, before I show you the triumphal photo, let me disclaim that I know one bulb is already burned out and it needs light shades.  I'm working on that.  Also, you should know that it's hard to take a good picture of a light fixture.  OK. With that, you may now see:

In the grand scheme of things it's probably nothing special, but to me it is nothing short of miraculous. Do you love those turquoise doors up there with the book page wreath?!  Those are the doors that we removed from the entertainment center I recently refashioned.  I couldn't bring myself to throw them away because I knew they'd be good for something.  I just didn't know what until now.

Now, chandy #2.  Our home was built in the 80's and the bedrooms all have builder stock faux oak and brass ceiling fans.  Those, too, have taunted me for nearly a decade. I whipped the boys' fan into shape last spring, but Sydney's . . . oh, I've had big plans for that one for quite some time.  This uuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhgly fixture was Freecycled to me back in June:
It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but I knew with a little gumption {and spray paint} I could transform it.  So it sat in the corner of my master bedroom and waited for me to get inspired.  'Til the day I had the vision.  Not a literal vision. You know what I mean.  There is a chandelier at Ballard Design that looks like it is wrapped in gilt vines and tiny crystals.  It is stunning, as well it should be for nearly $400.
It also faaaaaaarrrrrr too grand for the scale of Sis's bedroom.  And I had my heart set on white and pink.  This is what I came up with:

I wrapped the frame of that old brass light in a couple of wired berry garland I got on Christmas clearance last year.  The garland was brown and red.  I got a few raised eyebrows from family members who weren't sure if they wanted my monstrosity hanging in their home {ahem, Brent and Syd}. No matter.  I told them to shut up and just let me finish since it wasn't costing us anything to try my genius idea out and then I took that bad boy out to the garage and sprayed it white, which immediately won them over.  To make it sparkle like the Ballard one I went to the craft store and picked up a couple strings of sparkly pink bicone beads and randomly stuck them right onto the ends of the little twiggy things {super technical process}.
You can see them in there if you look reeeeeeeealy close.  It looks all sparkly in real life.  You can also see that my paint job isn't perfect to which I say, "Shut up.  It's fine."  This light, too, needs cute little shades, but I am absolutely in love with it!!  It looks so perfect in her pink and brown "sophisticated princess" room.  See:
And then we all lived happily ever after in our BRIGHT, shiny, well-lit home.  The end.
I'm linking up!!



  1. The first thing I noticed were those amazing robin egg blue doors! LOVE THEM! Good for you - getting UP there and getting things done.
    It makes me feel good to read your blog. I feel like I am actually getting things done right along with you (I am however in reality not doing any such thing). Whatever - living vicariously isn't all bad! :)
    Love everything! Sis is one lucky gal to have a talented mom (she'll learn to trust the process).

  2. You are too talented for words! Did Brent let you know we called Christmas? Thank you SO much for the gifts! They are amazing! All your work did not go unnoticed. The girls love their gloves, I love the cookbook, Sherm loves the gift card (I love the envelope you made for it) and we all love the game (even if 3 yr old Leah beats us every time, no joke!) Thank you, thank you. Did I mention we LOVE you?!

  3. That is fabulous! What an awesome idea and I love those turquoise doors, too!! --Erin at

  4. Great job! Love your version.

  5. Love it! I am in the middle of a chandelier make over myself! Mine will be spray painted white when said and done. Yours is BEAUTIFUL! Men. They don't get the vision!

  6. I love your redo, so cute for a little girls room. I heart that Ballard light too and have been pondering something similar for my dining area. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. This is great! I love your creative lighting solutions!

  8. BRILLIANT!! Love it. Wow, after that transformation no one should ever question your vision!!

  9. NO WAY! That looks amazing! I applaud you for your vision.

  10. what a great vision! I also spray painted my ugly builder stock chandeliers. I love to see what others have done!

  11. That looks awesome! What a great knock off! I'd love to see you at my linky party (it goes on all weekend)

  12. This is BEAUTIFUL!!!

    starting every monday over at there will be giveaways and linky parties! so come and join in for some fun and inspiration!

    -The tootsie wootsie

  13. what a cool chandelier! and quite the transformation. super cute!

  14. It looks fabulous! And yes I do love the turquoise doors! I would love for you to link this up to my Sew Crafty Saturday party! ~April

  15. I like your interpretation of the original. It shows a lot of ingenuity!

    Warmly, Michelle

  16. I love this idea - I have a few brass light fixtures still remaining in our home and was trying to figure out what to do with them- thanks for the inspiration. I am hosting my 2nd link party at

    I would love foroyu to link up!


  17. Hi Amy! Fabulous makeover - I love the finished look - so pretty! Thanks so much for linking up to The Sunday showcase party - I have featured this today. Stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Hope you have a wonderful week ~ Stephanie Lynn


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