Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Dining Globe

Ever had the feeling that you have a million started-but-not-finished projects going on? It seems that way around here... Last week, I finally made my pilgrimage to West Elm in Oak Brook/Chicago while attending training for work. I did an equal (double?) the amount of damage at Ikea in Schaumburg on my way home. Going to these stores only got my head spinning faster and concocting even more projects and house tweaks - dangerous!

West Elm's been killin' it lately with their designs. I've been eyeing the Globe Pendant Lamp at West Elm for a very long time now, and after seeing it in person, I suspected it might work in our dining area. Here are a couple of glass globe lamp inspiration rooms straight out of the WE catalog (styled perfectly, of course):

You cannot ignore those awesome candle holders.

I tried a couple of times with some Ikea lamps, but those didn't make the cut and I ended up taking them back. Thinking that the dining area needed a lamp with a more natural feel to balance out the laminate table, I tried Ikea Boja, which turned out looking too "country":

Yikes. What was I thinking?

And then I tried Maskros, which everyone seems to have. Not the right look, either.
Not quite Bartley dining area material.
So, I visited West Elm and saw these pendants hanging in the store. While I drew the line around $60, I thought I'd take a $99 gamble/splurge. Glass is not too overstated, timeless, and heck - this fixture is so amazing I knew I could find a home for it somewhere in this place!

On this lighting adventure, I had to learn how to install a ceiling lamp. For those of you who have never tried it, it's not nearly as scary or hard as you'd think! Just make sure you have the power turned off (a lesson I'd rather not learn the hard way) and it'll be less scary.

My tips for installing a ceiling lamp (besides following the instructions):
1) Turn off the power. Hilariously, this took us about 15 minutes to accomplish, as Ben flipped switches in the garage and I'd yell, "Nope!" from inside the house when the fridge or the a/c went off. Ironically, those switches were even labeled...
2) Make sure you have all of your tools and hardware - screws and stuff - with you. I had to have Ben hold the lamp up above for me while I scrambled to get a drill, or a screwdriver, or the screws that fell off of the ladder...  doing some pre-planning and having them readily available on top of the ladder with me would have made it possible for this to be a one-person job.
3) Know what height you want the lamp to hang from. I almost cut the hanging wire too short, even with the buffer length that I'd built it. Once I had it installed, it was too high. I had to take the whole thing down and start all over again, fighting with screws and all. I could've probably saved 20 minutes if I'd measured it right the first time.

Issues: the light fixture was not centered to the table without blocking traffic around the kitchen counter. Also, the glass shade is really ugly. The builders, who occupied this house before us, put a make-shift S-hook in the chain so that the lamp would hang really close to the ceiling, making me question why they even put it there in the first place.
Not sure why the lamp was hooked so high.

My OCD side cringes at the off-centeredness of this photo.

After: I found that it's really expensive/difficult to move the hole in the ceiling where the electrical is installed for fixture, so I pulled the table out as far as I could. 75% better. I also bought and installed a filament bulb for the lamp since this photo was taken, but when I snapped this, I was just hoping the light actually worked!

 A night-time close-up of my freshly-completed handiwork:
Busted! Yeah, I need to finish off this frame gallery.

Final thoughts on the West Elm Globe Pendant:
As always, you get what you pay for with this lamp. The fixture and hardware are extremely well-made. Even the metal piece that attaches to the ceiling is heavy-duty... not just for looks! I haven't purchased a lot of things from West Elm in the past, just because I'm not able to see it before I buy it, but this lamp is very convincing. The only thing left for me to do is clean off my grubby prints from the glass!

I'm still surprised at how much a single light fixture can change a room. For less than 100 bucks, it's a change that can seem to transform the whole space. I actually enjoy looking at our dining area now!

So, have you made any big-little changes in your house lately? Any plans to play around with lighting? Or how about sharing some of your tips on changing lighting/electrical fixtures in your house?

post signature


  1. I've been eyeing the Globe Pendant Lamp at West Elm for a very long time now, and after seeing it in person, I suspected it might work in our ...

  2. What did you do with extra chord that's hanging down? The thing is like 5 feet long! Your help would be appreciated!

    1. Hi!! GREAT question -- I ended up trimming the cord to the approximate length and stripping the wires before I hung the globe. Any of the excess I was able to shove back into the junction box. Hope that helps!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...