Dining Room/Hallway Light Fixture Installs
Exciting things are happening in the Strickland home! Let's talk hallway light first so I can ramp up to the excitement that is my dining room light. Our downstairs layout is super funky, and we have a big square hallway right in the middle of our floor plan. This is the same hallway I painted black while pmsing , then repainted Sea Pearl as I should have done in the first place. I also painted the doors black, which I love. Now this is the light fixture we had to work with: This picture doesn't give its ugliness justice. The glass was a smoke color and the shadows it left on the ceiling only accentuated the gross overly-popcorned ceilings that plague our house. I will say I am glad we are living with so many funky things in the house, because it gives me the opportunity to fix things up the way we want them while not paying for "upgrades" in our purchase price of the home. So in a way, things like this ugly 70s light fixture are good :)
When I was looking for hallway lights I had a few options in mind.
The cheapest option was one of those $10 balls you find at Home Depot with the white glass. I planned on spray painting the base black or gold, and since our home is old, it seemed like it might fit in being simple. After all, Schoolhouse Electric sells some gorgeous ones with white glass that, granted, are more shapely and pretty, but not all that far off. Except they cost like $150 for one flush mount. I still don't think this would have been a bad idea, but I wanted something with a hooded top so it didn't cast light on our icky ceilings. If you still don't think this little $10 ball might look good, imagine that I was going for this vibe, except not hanging. (Photo from Habitat by Lauren Liess)
Looking for one with a hooded top wasn't very difficult, but narrowing my choices down was. As lazy as it sounds, I wanted one that wasn't enclosed by glass because it's just one more step to change a lightbulb! So I had these two options:
I ordered this $40 Kimball light off Amazon, though they have it at Wayfair as well. The reviews were great and had a good amount of customer photos, so I knew what I was getting. After a quick coat of matte black spray paint (I didn't use high-heat) it turned out great! It works well with our black doors and vintage/natural vibe and keeps light from shining on our ceilings.
I apologize for the crappy photos! There is no natural light in here and when the light is on it's hard to take a picture as well 🙄 I used a 40 watt white globe lightbulb so it wasn't too bright and didn't leave a harsh shadow line where the hood stopped. I am happy with how it turned out and can't wait to add artwork in here with my $45 thrifted mid-century modern bench!
PAUSE can we have a moment of silence for the 4 transom windows somebody decided to panel over at some point? So sad.
Now on to my FAVORITE update as of late: our dining room fixture! I had been looking at some pricey ones online that I loved but would take me a while to save up for, when I stumbled across one that made me go "EEEEEEE" in a store with lots of people.
It's like a vintage-looking, greenhouse disco ball. It perfectly fits our natural/vintage vibe and looks like it almost could have been in our house when it was built. I am IN LOVE. First, I am in love with my husband who rewired and swag-hung this beast. Secondly, I'm in love with this beautiful light!
I got it from Southeastern Salvage, a store that is in Columbia, SC but I'm pretty sure has locations across the country. At first they gave me one that had the sockets going sideways instead of vertical, which is clearly different than their display.
I pointed it out in the store and the guy told me there were directions to convert it the other way. I don't know WHY I was like, "Oh yeah that makes sense," because it doesn't. So I took this HEAVY thing half an hour back home only to have Madison look at me in pity. An hour and a half later, I had exchanged it for the correct one and left it on the table. For all of you left hanging on my Instagram story, that's why. We were tired from hanging ceiling fans all day and I said forget it we are eating dinner and resting!
The fixture was $190-ish with tax and all. In perspective, that's a middle-priced chandelier, so I know I still got a great deal. Madison and I spend only by our budget, and it took up all my fun money for this month, but it was worth it! I've been learning lately about what parts of the home to put time/energy/money into, and this was a great choice. Before I do decorative things with furniture and accessories, I want to get in place some of the more fixed elements. This one makes a huge statement, adds curb appeal through our pretty picture window, and makes decorating the rest of the room much easier.
The old light fixture was original to the house and randomly placed in the room. Not centered, not above the dining space, just somewhere in between. Plus, it was crooked. How did people live with a crooked, off-centered chandelier for like 70 years?!?! Blergh.
We are planning on eventually redoing our ceilings, so for now we just swag-hung it instead of moving everything over and patching. It needed to be centered above the dining table, and we hung it so that the base of the fixture is 30 inches above the table.
The problem was that the wire and chain weren't long enough to swag it, so Madison had to rewire the light and replace the chain, along with reinforce the ceiling in our attic where we put the hook. He is my hero!
It came with a base to put on it, but I love the look of it without it.
Now, here is what it looks like up!
Is it not gorgeous? I took those photos this morning, but look how beautiful it is at night:
It is everything my dining room needed! Especially since my attached living room only has a ceiling fan, this light is the balancing focal point across from the mantel. We have it on a dimmer, so if we eat when it is dark we can tone it down.
Now that I've got this up, I'm getting excited to start doing the right stuff in my house. Meaning, no more buying trinkets and pillows until I've got a plan set in place and the more impactful changes in order. I'll let you guys in on that little brainstorm soon 😊 See ya!