Monday, February 13, 2017

Project House Update: Starry Starry Night

One of the things that's taken me the longest to learn and has been the hardest when it comes to house projects is that the ideal solution is very rarely the first solution. As expensive and as long as it takes, sometimes it takes several tries to get it right.

Oh, but when it's finally right, it's so worth it. Let me tell you a story of how we now have this beautiful entryway chandelier.

When we first moved into our house, one of the first things you saw when you walked into the house was this light. Calling it outdated was an understatement. It was one of the first things we tackled when we started our house overhaul.

We replaced the original fixture with this bell pendant from World Market. I like the shape of it with the archway window of our front door. I like the antique brass finish with the Southwestern nature of our house. I like the secret touch of turquoise hidden inside.

However, Dan wasn't as happy with it, his main complaint being the lack of light. Due to its design, our entryway was being lit by a single light bulb and it wasn't nearly enough light. But the pro's outweighed the con's so we lived with it for over three years.

We lived with the brass bell until we repainted the entryway, getting rid of the hideous yellow that was also a 'learning experience'. The light needed to be removed to paint and Dan hated putting it back up. He wanted something better.

For months, I scoured the internet, trying to find the perfect light for us. And since Dan and I have such drastically different tastes, it was an uphill battle. That is until I stumbled across this arrangement of star pendants. The first image was going to be too small for our entryway, but once I got digging, I found some closer to what I wanted.

Image Source
Image Source
Star pendants like this are huge in Tucson. They're very Southwestern/Mexican. My mom has one in her entryway. My sister (after we found ours) went and got one for her bathroom. They are beautiful, timeless, and fit our house. It was an easy sell for both of us.

Dan and I both did some digging into where to buy these star pendants. After I failed to come up with anything substantial, Dan had an amazing stroke of luck. He found this website with a wide variety of styles. Once he gave it to me and I began poking around, I found that the store behind the website is in Tucson. It was less than a fifteen minute drive and we'd both driven past it hundreds of times, every time we would go to trivia.

This next part will really show how lazy we are. On Black Friday, 2015, Dan's parents were still in town for Thanksgiving and his mom loves Southwestern knick-knacks so we decided to kill two birds with one stone and pull the trigger on some lights. We knew we wanted three, for them to be similar but not matching, and of different sizes. We chose a 10 inch star with frosted glass, a 15 inch star with clear glass, and a 19 inch star with Mercury glass.

The plan was to hang all three together, but we didn't know the best way to do it. In the interim, Dan hung the largest one and we went on with our lives.

So the other two lights sat on a shelf in our laundry room, waiting for a good solution. Again, we lived with just one light bulb lighting our entryway for nearly a year. Around Christmas time, 2016, Dan was fed up yet again with have a dimly lit room. And since he is most productive when he has vacation time, I knew it was time to really move forward and not let his energy go to waste.

The solution I had always liked best was a three-light pendant canopy. They are hard to find, but they would allow all three lights to be mounted together and be part of one, singular chandelier. We modeled what we wanted with cardboard and balloons and it helped us determine the size of the canopy we would need. And like most of this story, once I pointed Dan in the right direction, he came through and found the perfect one.

Dan had an electrician wire it all together and then it was just up to us to hang it. He wrapped each star in packing foam and paper so that they couldn't break each other when I lifted it. I don't think I've ever been so nervous during a house project, but at one point, I was standing next to the ladder, on a dining room chair, holding the light bundle up so Dan could secure it. There was over a year's worth of work (kind of) in my weak little hands and the delicacy of it was not lost on me.

But miraculously it survived! And I did, too!

It's so beautiful. I love it. I absolutely love it. The bulbs are hidden in the smallest and the largest stars, but Dan went the extra mile and put an Edison bulb in the middle one, the clear one.

They hang a little low for our tallest friends, but they will heal if they hurt themselves. As long as they don't break my lights, we won't have any issues.

And it's even prettier at night. Through the arched entryway window, you can see them from the street. So it's even classed up the curb appeal of our house.

The Mercury glass and the Edison bulb have a yellower light than the small star, but one day that will bother me enough to swap it out.

I'm so glad, after all our previous incorrect decisions, we finally ended up with the right one.

If you don't happen to live in an area where you can get these cheap and quick like we managed to do, there are a lot of other options out there. Most are fancier and more expensive than ours, like this one from West Elm.

Like most of our projects, it took much longer than it should have. However, the slow crawl of our work doesn't annoy me as much as it used to. It's just what we need to do to end up with the right solution. When we rush, we make poor decisions. I'd rather do something right, and slowly, the first time.

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