Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dining Room Upgrade: Chandeliers

Do you read Apartment Therapy or other design/decor/DIY blogs?  I don't - not regularly, at least.  I'll scroll through when I'm looking for something in particular, but I don't check them just to see what fun ideas jump out at me.  Actually, I find abstract inspiration more trouble than it's worth when it comes to home decor and design.  I don't have the money or the time or the skill to spontaneously decide to update bits of my apartment!

I also feel like I often fall through the cracks with design blogs because I don't own my property and therefore don't have the rights to make significant changes, and I'm not in a long-term rental, which means that I have to constantly weigh whether or not the stylistic upgrades I want to implement are worth the length of time they'll be in place.

Don't get me wrong, I love my apartment and I'm totally invested in making it a home for both me and Jon.  But I doubt we'll be in this unit for more than two years (which would mean we'd be moving out in spring 2015) and it's almost certainly going to be the smallest space we'll ever live in.  Why buy serious furniture if it's not going to be right in our next home or the one after that?

Of course, there are smaller changes I can make that personalize the apartment that have just as much impact as more expensive and/or permanent options.  And, while my amazing paint choices - if I do say so myself - won't come with us to the next apartment, some of the updates I have in mind can!

Case in point: a small chandelier for the dining room.  I love chandeliers.  I love them everywhere, especially in unexpected places, but I firmly believe every dining room needs one.  They just elevate meals to a more significant experience, you know?  You have to appreciate the food and the company when you're sharing them under a chandelier.  That's what I think, at least.

I haven't talked to management yet about taking off the ceiling light cover in our dining room and replacing it with a small chandelier or pendant, though it doesn't seem like it would be a complicated process, but that hasn't stopped me from browsing options online!  I prefer slightly more classic designs while Jon goes for more modern pieces - here are some of my favorites from around the web that I think we might both like.

Do let me know if you've every done this upgrade yourself!  As usual, any and all advice is welcomed, even if it comes in the form of "are you crazy?"  And I only browsed websites that I already knew about, but if you have other suggestions please do holler!  If you share a design or website that we end up using, I promise it will henceforth be known as the [Insert Your Name Here] Chandelier.  What an honor!

top from left: Crate and Barrel / Ikea / Restoration Hardware

Just a last reminder - our October link up will go live tomorrow at 7am EST!  The topic was chosen in collaboration with my two lovely sponsors this month, Belinda and Whitney, and it is:

What does being a "good wife" mean to you?

As I said on Sunday on Belinda's guest post, you don't have to be married - or ever want to get married - to have deep and complicated thoughts about this, and I'd love to hear your response regardless of how you feel about marriage, either abstractly or personally, or where you are in regards to your own wedding.  I've finally gotten my answer into a somewhat coherent form, though you might think it's a cop-out, and I know that you all will challenge me with your own answers.  I imagine the definition of a "good wife" changes based on your unique experiences and perspectives, and I'm so looking forward to your posts!  I hope you will link up with us tomorrow for this.

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  1. I've changed out plain ceiling fixtures to overhead fans in a couple of rentals (and in our house we own), but I've not changed overhead lighting to dropped lighting… my mom has, and I know it is trickier because of the wiring. Depending on your area's regulations/codes, you may have to have an electrician do it. But your building managers should know that and be able to advise you.
    Sounds fun! I like the Restoration Hardware one, duh, because I am a financial masochist.

  2. haha - the most expensive of the bunch! Ballard Designs actually has something similar in three different sizes for slightly less and in three different finishes:

  3. We didn't have a light at all in our dining room (our house was built and I think adding that light would have been an expensive upgrade), so we just went with one from Home Depot because we had a gift card and it ended up costing us only $10. It was pretty simple to install, although I can't say that personally since my husband and FIL did all the work. Do you get emails from One Kings Lane or Joss and Main? Those are great sights that have awesome finds on sale every day.

  4. oh man, I am SO glad I'm not at a life stage where I have to worry about rewiring my house :P

    but YES I was addicted to J&M and OKL and the like when I was moving into the apartment last spring! I had to unsubscribe from the emails because I was getting carried away, but there's no harm in looking every once in a while... haha!

  5. I was just looking at my dining room light this morning and thinking about how it's outdated. I'd love that Ballard one.

  6. Hanging lights are our dream but these damn Swedish ceilings with their weird plugs leave us with only lamps.

  7. When did the end of October get here? I love the link-up idea! I hope to have time to add my two cents. :)

  8. haha I came THISCLOSE to making every picture in that collage from Ballard - they have gorgeous designs!

  9. oh I hope you do! I know you'll have thoughts on this :) the link-up will be open for a week, so take your time! (though not too much time, because I want to read your post!)

  10. wait, what? do they just not work over there? that's frustrating!

  11. Oh I love this! I also love chandeliers. I'll be interested to see what happens!

  12. Look at lumens.com. They have some great pieces from a ton of different lighting companies for pretty good prices!!!!

  13. I wish our ceiling were high enough for that Ballard lantern! The more and more I look at my design taste, I know we're going to have to move somewhere like Denver. Or to Ohio, they're big on Craftsman style lodges. Sigh.

    Here in Hawaii, we're looking at new lighting, but I think most of ours are going to be accompanied by ceiling fans, so not much chandelier action here. I look forward to vicariously enjoying your chandelier upgrades - in a way that doesn't sound as weird as that sentence does. Yeesh.

  14. Well on the ceiling there is a plug just like on the wall where you would plug in your hair dryer and when we tried the one in the bedroom we shorted out the whole apartment!


I love reading your thoughts and suggestions! Please do leave a comment so we can get to know each other better.