The downward-facing light bulbs made the top of our heads hot during dinner (sounds like a lame complaint, but it's true!), and the fixture was way too small for the space. We never intended to make this light a permanent part of our home, but seven years later we were still living with it and sweating through dinner.
As usual with our DIY projects, I get so excited to start working once I have a vision for the way I want things to look, I forget to take a "Before" photo. I dug through some old pics to find this one from way back when we still had a wallpaper border. It's not a great shot, but it does show the too small, head-burning light fixture.
So hubby and I finally went to a hardware store to shop for a new light. I had my heart set on finding a beautifully ornate chandelier with crystals dripping from it. Sadly, there was nothing like that in stock, and anything that fit this description was way over our small budget.
Then we found this light fixture marked down from $200 to $50. It wasn't at all what I envisioned. Truthfully, it reminds me of a medieval torture device, but the price was great, and I could see it had potential. With a little creativity and work, I could tone down the goth vibe and make it close to what I wanted.
While this was definitely an improvement over what we had, I felt it was still too dark, both color-wise and evil castle-wise. The fixture is made of real iron, but the shiny black paint finish made it look like cheap plastic. I added the shades to try to soften the harshness of the masculine lines and the dungeon look, but that didn't work as well as I had hoped.
Time for plan B:
Now this is more like it! I stole the crystal beads from our chandelier in our bathroom (the bathroom actually looks better without them). I sponge painted accents with Martha Stewart Metallic Glaze in Medallion - a cost of approximately $10 for paint and supplies. The new fixture fits the space beautifully, it is less medieval, and with the bulbs pointing up instead of down, we can enjoy our meals in pleasant coolness.
I also removed the shades and put them on our sconces over our fireplace:
I think they add a nice finished look to that wall and soften the light which used to glare in our eyes as we tried to watch television in that room. Now we use the sconces a lot more than we did before. I love when things work out better than planned!