Let there be Light!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 08:46PM
Brenda Levos in Remodelling

When I first mentioned that I wanted to replace the four bulb flourescent light with a chandelier, my husband shot me that look, the one that says "you can't possibly be serious." It was a look that I was frequently seeing these days, I just smiled, and hoped it wouldn't prove to be a crazy idea. I had seen a number of them on Pinterest, but in your own space, actually working in the kitchen, was it practical?

I pulled from the other room, the one that I had selected and purchased at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Moorhead around the same time as the island. I had contemplated buying it for a couple of weeks, there were a number they had to choose from, but the one that most interested me was the one that had 10 candelabra bulbs. I figured going from the flourescent bank of lights to a chandelier, it needed to be able to throw enough light for working from day-to-day. There is nothing worse than a dark kitchen. Price tag on this baby was a whopping $20, but it looked like it had potential, so I decided to get it.

(If you are looking to pick up a second-hand chandelier here are some things to consider: it might not work, look at the overall shape and past the current finish, consider how many bulbs and maximum wattage per bulb, check to see if any hanging hardware comes with. We needed to do a little improvising with the bolts and bracket for hanging, but you can find all kinds of parts at your local home improvement store. Make sure you measure the dimensions of the plate and placement of holes before heading out.)

I picked up a can of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, which is the metal we had decided to go with for the faucet handles and hinges. I removed the bulbs and sleeves, taped everything off well, gave it a light sanding and hung it in the garage from the garage door brackets.

It took a few coats from all different angles to get it fully covered. Just when I thought I had it fully covered, I would find a little spot that wasn't, so back at it until I could see that it was well covered.

The chain needed to be shortened a few links, and re-wired to hang in the center of the room above the island. I wanted it high enough off of the work surface so that it didn't interfere with food prep, but low enough that it still lit the area well. Also, when standing, I wanted to be able to have a conversation with someone on the other side of the island without having to dodge the chandelier. After a bit of discussion of eye-level with my husband who stands 8 inches taller than I, we settled on a good height and got it all wired into place.

He had to admit that it was looking pretty good (thank goodness!) and after replacing the switch with a dimmer, the moment of truth was upon us, would it be bright enough?

More than enough light! I really enjoy being able to dim it down in the evening to a nice soft warm light. Since this photos was taken, we have switched out to a frosted bulb for softer glow. Much better than the office-like flourescent. Amazing what impact some time and a $30 investment can do!

Up next....The Mantle Shelf

Article originally appeared on Morsels of goodness for the digital junkie by Brenda Levos (http://www.ineedchocolate.com/).
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