Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sparks Flew

No, this post is not about how Seth and I met or anything else romantic.  You'll have to read on a bit for the title to make sense.  You may remember that I mentioned in part I of our house update post how I was thinking of moving the living room chandelier into one of the guest bedrooms.  My only real issue with it is its size.  I guess size does matter after all (well, in this case anyway).  It is just a bit small for our living room.

I wish I had a better picture for you, but hopefully you can get an idea of the scale problem by looking at the one above.  A few weeks ago, Seth and I were poking around an antique store just outside of town when I spotted this chandelier that I thought could definitely work in the living room.

I went over to check it out while Seth was paying for our purchases and the tag said $8. Yes, eight dollars.  I pointed it out to Seth as we walked out of the store, but he didn't seem too excited about it.  As Seth was about to back the car out of our spot and head home, I told him I thought we just needed to go for it.  We decided that even if it didn't work, we could 1) have it rewired, 2) use it solely as decoration, or 3) be glad we took a chance on it and spent only $8.  We got back out of the car and went back inside for Seth to examine it further.  A few of the sockets looked like they had possibly caught on fire at some point as there were black marks on some of them.  We bought it anyway.  Yeah, we're risk takers.

At home, we ran into two problems.  First, I realized that the fixture itself was over two feet tall.  We have eight foot ceilings.  As you may have noticed in the photo above, the chandelier is in the middle of the room.  With our current furniture set up, the middle of the room is the main pathway through it.  Have you figured out where I'm going with this yet?  We were going to have to do a little tweaking to keep Seth from running into it or having to duck underneath it daily.  Second, after testing it out, we found that we had one socket that wasn't working.  Although this needed to be fixed, I was shocked that only one socket had a problem.  Not bad so far for $8.

Seth went to work on replacing the socket (after a quick trip to Lowe's) and I brainstormed about the height issue.  Two sockets and a small fire later (it was his first time replacing one), Seth had the light working!  (Don't worry - the fire was contained within the light socket.  Cooter did have a mild panic attack and ran out of the room, but there were no permanent injuries.  However, after he recovered and braved the room to check out the light a second time, Rafie sneezed and he bolted out for good.  Poor Cootie.)  I was not so lucky with my height dilemma.  Seth removed the upper part of the chandelier and I was left with this.  Not bad, but not great.

My original idea was to purchase a stair spindle or a turned leg of some sort, cut it down to size, drill a hole through the middle, paint it gray, and add it to the top of the chandelier. I had something kind of like this or this in mind.

So, I went to Lowe's and bought a spindle.  Then we measured and fit a couple of pieces together.  This was much more difficult than it sounds since we had to make sure that the pieces we were planning to attach were the same diameter.  

Despite careful cutting, multiple attempts to sand them level, gorilla glue, and toothpicks it just did not work out.  Additionally, the dog thought it was a chew toy the next day while I was showering.  Fail.  It was then that I decided it didn't look too bad with the top piece missing after all.  So we hung it up.

Maybe one day I'll try to add something to the top again, but for now it's staying as is.  I would estimate that we spent around $15 total on this chandelier including the two new sockets, the spindle that ended up being a bust, and new candle covers (since some had black discoloration on them).  Say what?  Can you beat a new chandelier for $15?  I think it would be difficult.  

Has anyone else found an amazing deal on lighting for their house?  Or made your own chandelier?

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