Friday, October 15, 2010

Dining Room: Before & After

I believe changing a light fixture is one of the easiest things that can most transform a room. Good and beautiful lighting is necessary to all the activities in your home, especially in the dining room. If you are considering a change in the light about your dining table taking the extra step and center the fixture over your dining room table. More often than not an electrician you never knew (and long before you even moved into your home) hung the current fixture in the center most spot of the ceiling. This makes sense to an electrician but certainly not an interior designer. Now you are stuck with a table and a light that don’t get along. A handy person can do a quick internet search and find a how-to on moving the junction box yourself or, as a fan of out-sourcing, you can hire an electrician for the job. It will seem like an inconvenience and cost some extra money, but this simple change will make you’ll fall in love with your dining room again and every time you sit down for a family meal or just walk by you’ll appreciate the harmony you created. That is priceless.

That’s exactly what we did in this Bryant dining room. The smoked and etched glass fixture had to go. We swapped it out with the more elegant Round Pendant Shade from Restoration Hardware. It was centered over a consignment shop dining table and pulled together with oval back dining chairs from West Elm. Now the modern lines of the seating compliment the classic shape of the fixture and the expandable table fits the period of the mid-century home.

Ballard House 2.0: Light fixture fix

Completely replacing the 3 pendant lights in our kitchen wasn’t in our immediate budget, but I couldn’t live with the frosted glass shades put up by the previous owner. The fixtures are only a few years old, and their bronze finish matches the rest of the lights and door knobs throughout the house. It finally occurred to me to simply replace the glass.

(Before: The frosted shades felt frumpy)

What I thought would be a quick and easy decorating fix did take several trips to hardware and lighting stores to find shades that fit and that I liked. The winner was from Harold’s Lighting in Wallingford. At $10 each, this affordable shade instantly made the kitchen feel more modern and sleek.

Inexpensive, transformative and no special tools required – your decorator’s secret for the day.