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Sunday, September 9, 2012

The chandelier dilemma–would love your thoughts!



In my old house, I had a dining room that was not used very often, but was central to the house so it was very visible.

I don’t think I have ever shown this picture on the blog (understandably) – I looked!  But this was my dining room (in the old house) circa 2004.  Red dining rooms were quite common back then, but I despise red, so I did a warm orange tone with a bit of glazing based on Martha Stewart paint in ‘flower pot’ color.  The curtains are a similar tone to the walls – a very pretty orange, although they seem a bit lost given the wall color.

When this picture was taken, my mother-in-law had just downsized, and gave me her early 1980s Baker dining room table (it is actually a conference room table, and measures 50” wide and 120” long without leaves!) , 16 Baker chairs, and sideboard.  The table was big for the room, and too big for the rug that I had in there, so I ended up putting the end chairs in my attic.  The piece of furniture that I used to have under the plates on the wall was an antique French enfilade (which was moved to the kitchen), and was taller than the buffet, so the plates are a bit high in relation to the sideboard. They soon came down, and a mirror took their place. 

chand_brass
The main reason I dug up this picture, though, is not to ridicule myself for décor transgressions of the past, but rather to point out the chandelier.  This is the builder grade brass and black chandelier that came with the house.  I lived with it for many years – probably 10 years or more, and I always thought it looked like an insect.

Here is a photo from our real estate listing, when we had our old house on the market last year. I had the walls painted in about 2008 – Joni from Cote de Texas was one of my first blog readers, and when I asked her whether I should paint my dining room, she asked me why in the world I had deep orange walls when all of the pictures on my blog showed neutral or serene spaces.  I had the walls painted (in Farrow & Ball clunch, a great neutral), and it was like a breath of fresh air.  I still love those curtains that I had installed in the late 90s (although with time they shrank up a bit) – I have always been a fan of orange, and I particularly like how orange looks paired with light neutrals.

chand_old
But – back to the point of this post – note how I finally changed the chandelier. I ordered a chandelier from the back of a shelter magazine – from one of those little tiny ads.  I wish I had taken pictures of the chandelier when it arrived.  It was in about 15 different pieces, and the instructions were in Chinese!  The company had sent me the crystals for the wrong size chandelier, so I had to pretty much rework all of the strands to work with my size chandelier.  I smile at the memory now, but it was not fun at the time!  However, the chandelier really brought the room more up to date, and it was less than $300.  It was such a simple fix, I wish I had changed out the chandelier years ago.

Now flash forward to my current house. I love all of the lighting we selected, and we ended up purchasing most of the fixed lighting (sconces and chandeliers) for the house. 
However, we never found just the right fixture for the dining room.  The original intention was a fabulous antique crystal chandelier, but the right one never presented itself, and then my husband hit his financial and psychological limit on the lighting budget.  So this is how my dining room looks right now:

dining room dilemma
I was hoping that the naked bulb would be a constant reminder to my husband that we still need a great chandelier in this spot, but truthfully it does not phase him at all.  We tend to only use the dining room for special occasions (similar to how we used it in the old house – Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, and dinner parties), so he really doesn’t think about the dining room that much.  It is very central and visible in the house, though, so I look at this naked bulb every day. 

If I were to take the approach that I took in the old house, I would definitely get this chandelier that I found on the Shades of Light website.  It would look great in the room, and I love the curvy yet spare style, with the mixture of small ropes of crystal, and the crystal drops. The 12 light fixture measures 46” high by 36.5” wide, which would also work well in room (I think - what is the rule of thumb for chandelier sizing? The ceilings are 11’6”, the room is 14'x18'). And, the price is quite good.  I wonder whether it would take hours to assemble?  I would replace all of the plastic candle sleeves with wax sleeves, use silk wrapped bulbs, and replace the ball at the bottom with something a bit larger and not faceted.

chandelier
When looking through the real estate listings last year (I still like to do that), I came across a picture of a spec house that had been decorated at a minimal level, and had this light fixture in the dining room.  Ignore the table and chairs (which are too small and the wrong style for the space),  and focus on the chandelier.

So what are your thoughts?  Should I get the Shades of Light chandelier as a placeholder until I get the permanent chandelier (which could be years in the future)? Or should I hold out and be patient, and wait to find just the right fixture for this place?  I am not the type of person who does ‘disposable decorating’, so this is a dilemma for me!  If I get this chandelier, there is a chance that my husband will never let me replace it with an antique.  I don’t really have another space where I could use it in the house. But, there is also a chance that I might really like it!

We are going to work on the décor of the house in phases, and do another big round in both 2013 and 2014, but based on everything else that what we need, I don’t think that an antique chandelier will be high priority (given the price point of the antiques that qualify as ‘fabulous’ in my eye). If I don’t do anything, my dining room will more than likely be chandelier-less for many years.

Would love to read your thoughts!  (Email subscribers, click here to comment)
- Holly




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121 comments:

  1. No real advice, except to not get into the designer trap of thinking that something is only valuable if it is very expensive. If you like the Shades of Light chandelier in the picture, you will probably like it in person.

    Do you know if the size of the chandelier would work? What is the rule of thumb, the width should be about 12" less than the width of the table?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could not agree more. No one is going to know how much you spent.

      Delete
  2. Get the Shades of Light one. If you find an antique later, you can always sell this one.

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  3. I personally love it and can't imagine I would want to replace it. I say if you like it, then go for it. I think it is fantastic. Hugs, Marty

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  4. I would order the Shades of Light chandelier. Like jmm said you can always sell it! It looks great! When you make all the changes you mentioned it will look awesome! I have to ask, what is a silk wrapped bulb and where to you get wax sleeves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A silk wrapped bulb is simply a bulb that has been wrapped with a thin gossamer silk thread, so it softens the look of the bulb and creates lovely diffused light. I have them in my outdoor lanterns, and got them online - maybe through Bevolo? I think they can be found at specialty lighting stores.

      The wax sleeves can be found at good lighting stores too, and probably online. Many chandeliers come with plastic sleeves, but there are lots of pretty custom sleeves that can be purchased online (with great patterns). I like the wax-like ones, they come in white and ivory, and they make a lighting fixture look great!

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much! A trip on line is coming up!!!!

      Delete
  5. General rule of thumb for me is: round/square chandeliers look best over round/square dining tables. Rectangular tables call for linear/elliptical lights. Simple but effective decorating standard. That be said, for traditional chandeliers, I always chose antique over new.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith Kraft InteriorsSeptember 9, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      agreed so whole heartedly....then I saw who posted and realized that I am always in agreement with this group

      Delete
  6. I would definitely get the shades of light one - love it and like you said, many other things to spend on right now. Sell it down the road if you want too, but it is likely something you will have for years and gives you the breathing room to "stumble upon" the perfect one if you come across it - although I think that one is very lovely!

    My only concern in the first picture is the metal and what it looks like in person, and whether it will look cheap. It looks much better to me in the real estate photo though so it may work very well. I have had good luck with shades of light fixtures though - always have come in looking better/nicer than the picture so I would order it for sure and send it back if it doesn't work.

    I bought the Currey and Co elegance chandelier for my dining room thinking it was not perfect but I liked it and the price was reasonable. Everyone comments on how much they like it and I do love it now that it is in the room. . . probably won't change it for years.

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  7. OMG, I ordered a chandelier from the back of a magazine and it showed up in a shirt box size package. I couldn't understand until I opened it. Thousands of pieces. It wasn't even wired, my husband did that. I has to wire the crystals together, they were two pieces and then wire them to the fixture. I look at that dan thing every day and hate it and love it at the same time.

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  8. Seriously friend, you have to have a chandelier fast! Thanksgiving is just around the corner, then Christmas... and goodness, A Christmas Dining table in THAT room, in an Atlantan home, well.. would be like a Christmas tree without a topper!! Look for an iron/candle version that can be placed outside if necessary.. just get shopping! aka..former Atlanta girl...

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  9. You describe the room as being used for 'special' dinners. That deserves some sparkle. I'd order the chandelier from Shades of Light. If you don't like it, it can be returned or used in another room. You may discover when it arrives and is in place that it is 'the one'.
    Don't save the good dishes for specific events ....... enjoy the sparkle every day. Now go shopping!

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  10. I have to say lighting was important for me to get done, not every single thing but the main rooms even ones that have no furniture because we both cannot stand looking at a bulb:) I say go with the one you found, its pretty, you said its affordable and it will make your room look completed and you won't feel the pressure to put something up and will have something more than adquate. I hate assembling of any kind more than anything in the world!! Good luck Holly...

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  11. I love that chandelier! I agree with the other comments that if and when you find that special antique chandelier you can sell that one on Craigslist. I have ordered from Shades of Light ( I almost ordered that one!) and they have a great return policy,, so if you don't like it in person, just ship it back. mine came carefully packed and fully assembled and looked much more expensive than it was!

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  12. Get the Shades of Light chandelier and sell it when you can finally afford the one you truly want. I also noticed looking at your picture that your curtains look like they're hiding that beautiful french door! And makes that end wall look like it's being squeezed. Can I also suggest getting a longer curtain rod to open up the curtains a bit wider. They'll make the door look much bigger and make the wall look like it can breathe. :)

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  13. Place the order. I'm betting that doing something rather than nothing will be less regrettable. Like Athens Mom I was concerned about the metal. Then I went to the Shades of Light web site, and the finish looked much better. Have you looked at the Aidan Gray chandeliers that were featured in Cote de Texas a few days ago? The ones Joni showed were a little more stark but they have beautiful crystal ones, as well. Not sure about the price comparison, though.

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  14. I know what you mean about getting something with it being temporary. In my experience we won't get anything even for temporary that does not look good so chances are temporary turns to permanent. Now, that is not a bad thing if you love it. I did this in my kitchen dining room and I am so glad I got my temporary solution which was on clearance. I could not imagine anything else in its place now, so with with in mind, I say go for it, and enjoy your selection! Happy Weekend,
    Kathysue

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  15. What about an old castle feel? You could get those old style bulbs for it, but it off ebay (like the link below) and when you get the light fixture you want, it could easier fit in with any room.


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pottery-Barn-Robert-Abbey-Deep-Bronze-Chandelier-36-NEW-/230848124135?pt=US_Chandeliers_and_Ceiling_Fixtures&hash=item35bf9ed4e7#ht_500wt_1201

    Jan @Door251

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  16. you know i am not a designer, but in my experience, my temporary fixes end up staying. so if you like this pretty one, do it and maybe sweet talk someone (an engineer? mathematician?) to assemble while you are far away from the effin stress of that. i ordered our hallway chandelier the same way (a MASSIVE marie antoinette hung HIGH in the air) and my builder stopped speaking to me. also, months later i found a heavy box of crystals. apparently he just gave up. but it looks beautiful!!!

    i am feelin the gold tone btw.

    smiles to you.

    michele

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  17. In my experience, high quality antique chandeliers are $15k-$30k. This one in $950 or so. There is nothing wrong with purchasing a 'temporary' chandelier - builders do it all of the time - you can sell it on Craigslist when you find the right one.

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  18. Have you checked 1stdibs? I end up drooling over all the beautiful chandeliers every time I visit the site, and while it's expensive I think you could find something for $1000. If you don't find anything, I think that chandelier above is also beautiful and would fit the room well.

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  19. Go with what you love...life is short....Dianntha

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  20. Go for the shades of light fixture! Please don't be tortured by a spare bulb for special occasions for one second longer! When you find and can afford the truly fabulous, as many others pointed out, you can always sell this one. Your home is too beautiful and your taste too fabulous to live with a bulb. -An avid reader (ATL native, now in DC)

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  21. that's a tough one indeed. Question - is the remainder of your room "finished"? I tend to leave things alone until i can practically wrap up every design need in a single room. If it were my house, I would maybe look for something less expensive (garage sale, craigslist, ebay, etc) to see if i could find something that worked, that I could live with until the time came to buy the real deal.

    Bc that Shades of Light fixture is pretty, and I know I wouldn't take the time to replace it down the road. I know I would want an antique over a new every day, so i would wait.

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  22. I think I would wait. Your house is much prettier than the chandelier. Every time I buy something temporary I end up hating it.

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  23. You might want to take a look at Julie Neill Designs out of New Orleans... if you are not already familiar with her at http://www.julieneill.com

    Her fixtures are every bit as beautiful as antiques and not nearly as expensive...

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  24. I say wait it out. If you get a sub fixture you will live with that for years as history has shown.

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  25. I'm not sure if the color of the chandelier is accurate on my computer, but if it is -- and if your house is meant to be primarily French in inspiration -- then don't buy this chandelier. On my computer, it shows as a very American gold, not the richer European tones, and I would argue it will make your dining room look like Oklahoman-wannabe-French, rather than a more authentic feel.

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  26. If you were closer, I would loan you one of mine. I have two sitting in boxes. I think you should start looking at estate sales, consignment shops, upscale flea markets. Atlanta is a huge shopping venue, surely you can find something. Good luck and Happy Hunting.

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  27. I am in a similar situation. We have been renovating but, we are doing it in phases to stay within a budget so I have to practice a lot of patience. I say go for the Shades of Light chandelier and you probably won't even feel the need to replace it for a long time but, it will add sparkle to the room. Good luck!

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  28. I agree with Gaia about the metal finish. All that high, bright shine troubles me though the shape is nice. Our beloved Joni may recommend a simpler, distressed wooden chandelier- see her site for her favourite. If you're committed to the crystals, keep looking!

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  29. I say find a well-priced chandelier you love and forget the ultra-expensive antique chandelier. Not all of us are married to investment bankers or live on trust funds. Decide what look you want and then go for it, instead of waiting to be smitten by an unknown suitor. Ever watch "Sarah's House"? She buys vintage lighting all the time and then modifies it to suit her style. Find the cheaper alternative and get rid of the light bulb.

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  30. First, find your dream and quote the price to hubby. Secondly, suggest he split the price with you.

    Denise

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  31. I like the SOL chandelier, it is certainly an improvement over the bulb :)! I think it is fine to blend some lower priced items, especially when you have many fine items. Often the pieces people compliment are inexpensive things I've purchased. This always makes me smile and thank them.
    Have you visited the Big Chandelier? They did some repair and cleaning work for me. They have many charming refurbished fixtures.

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  32. DO NOT LIVE with that naked light bulb ONE MOMENT longer! Order the one from Shades of Light. I live in Richmond and have done lots of business with them over the years. They are great to work with and also would have all the other pieces and parts you want to make your changes (you may even consider calling the store vs. the catalog). If you do ever find the "perfect" one, just sell this one. Easy peachy.
    Cackie

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  33. Instead of ordering one that you haven't really seen (except for a photo), I would invest some time in looking at design centers, shops and find something similarly priced that you really like. It will probably be up there for a good long time--if not forever

    I have a somewhat similar problem at my house. I have a 20 year old nice quality large brass chandelier that needs to be changed out. My husband is resistant. My interior designer is adamant. It is not bad looking, but it is LARGE and obvious. Oh, what to do.

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  34. I would go for it! I think you've chosen a beautiful chandy. To me, lighting is like the perfect accessory that makes an outfit really seem pulled together.

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  35. I'm afraid I can't offer any decorating advice, but I am laughing heartily at your strategy to put the plain bulb where the light fixture should go. I too recently used this strategy in three or four rooms of our recently renovated house, and I'm afraid that my husband thinks that those $2 light fixtures are just fine. I had hoped that he would think that they were so hideous, he would insist I run out and buy the perfect light immdediately, but he couldn't care less. So I guess the thing I have learned is that it is definitely worth the wait to get what I really want, because when the checkbook is involved, I will only get one shot at getting it right. Had I bought some inexpensive light to "make do", I never would have been able to change it without some husbandly gnashing of teeth. Thankfully, I won't get much grief for discarding the bulbs for something better when the right thing (and the finances) come along.

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  36. I think that you should go for the Shades of Light chandelier as an interim fixture. There are so many holidays that are coming up - you will need one fast. If you can find another spot for it later, once you have found the right one that you love - even better.

    Linda

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  37. I would go for it and when the time comes for the antique deal with it then. Who knows - you may rally like it! I have found Shades of Light to have good quality in the past so I don't think you will be disappointed with it. BTW Horchow has their lighting on sale right now.........:)

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  38. I, too, have purchased chandeliers from "Shades of Light" (in Richmond, VA) and if you haven't seen them "up close and personal"...they are gorgeous! Life is too short - buy it - live/love it and then "get on with it"....the hunt!!! franki

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  39. Hold out for the right fixture.
    Keep looking.... Be patient...
    Temporary fixes have a way of "sticking around".

    On those special occasions, set the table with tall candelabra and candles.
    Tall enough that they create teh illusion of a light source from above.
    (Ref Axel Vervoordt and John Saladino.)
    No one will ever notice there's no chandelier.

    Cheers,
    John

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  40. here's a thought holly, purchase this one now and when you find the forever chandy sell this one via your blog/store.
    we all tend to accept what is there, yours is a case in point from your previous dining room, and talk ourselves out of the "one and only". this as a back-up plan could just work!
    can't wait to hear what you do
    debra

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  41. Hold out for the real thing! I am never happy with temporary fixes....The naked light bulb is a better conversation piece than the may or may not work chandelier (plus lots of work)

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  42. You have gotten some great suggestions! I am on the fence. It seems whenever I purchase something to make do I am not happy. On the other hand Shades of Light is a great resource. Have you ever tried colored briwax to tone down a "brassy chandelier"? It is very simple and easy to remove if you don't like the effect. Definately go for the wax candle sleeves. Another option is mixing in some old crystals (easy to find at estate sales etc) to add some age. Good Luck I know how hard it is to make these decisions!

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  43. Buy something that you love!I would never advise a client to buy a piece just because a space needed filling. Look at Julie Neill http://www.julieneill.com . Her work is wonderful!

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  44. Try Roswell Antiques, on Holcomb Bridge Road. They have a fabulous line of antique chandeliers.

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  45. My friend is an interior designer and several years ago she did the interior design for a lovely home. The owner wanted a new chandelier in the foyer (this was a resale). Without consulting my designer friend, the owner bought a chandelier for his foyer that was NEVER one she would have selected for this focal point. It upset her that people knew she was the interior designer for the owner's home, but the chandelier the owner selected was not her style and she worried that people would assume she had selected it. She felt it was too glitzy for the overall look she had designed for the home. I know you have worked with Suzanne Kasler. She is a fabulous designer. I think you should allow her to select a chandelier for your dining room that fits the budget you have now. She would be able to select a chandelier that fits her style of interior design. I agree that you need something sooner than later in this space. When the timing is right, then you can buy an antique chandelier and sale the temporary one.

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  46. If you go with the SOL, add nice fat "antiqued" dripped wax candle sleeves to it.

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  47. Well, SO understand your quandry. As a designer in Sonoma, I was just going through the same issues with a client yesterday. The constant outflow of funds, and the other items on the list that take a priority. SOL is a fabulous source. Use them often. Another great on is Bellacorpro.com. Better pricing, no shipping/tax for us, and the most amazing selection of fixtures. Their website will make you crazy, but I have found it worth it for the savings. All that said, trust your taste--it is superb, you know what you want, and when your budget allows for the big investment for an antique happens, you'll have another wonderful adventure ahead of you. This one will make the room lovely until that time comes. Good Luck.

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  48. Buy once right!

    The pursuit of the right chandelier will be fun!

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  49. Perfect timing, Holly! I am going through the same situation now.
    I've decided to buy a few lights from Shades of Light as place holders until I find the right fixtures.
    I just received a couple of outdoor lanterns from SOL. After looking high and low, I am amazed at the nice design and quality for the price!

    I say, go for the SOL place holder until you find Mr. Right.

    xo
    Brooke

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  50. I agree with Velvet & Linen .... go for the SOL place holder until you find Mr. Right.

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  51. I ALWAYS have an opinion!

    I like that "Shades of Light" chandelier! I really like it!
    I would not take that "ball" off the bottom; it is an important part of the design! (that is a copy of an antique)!
    You are right about the wax sleeves; and I would also like it with very small shades!

    I would be happy with that chandelier forever! Everything doesn't have to be "antique"!!
    I agree with Brooke!

    Some of their things are really great and reasonable!

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  52. By the way; after hearing what Brooke said; I am on my way for outdoor lanterns at SOL!

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  53. p.s just don't make it too high! 30" max. off the top of the table!

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  54. Vintage chandeliers can be found on Etsy and Ebay. This is just an example. Perhaps you could purchase an inexpensive one such as this and then switch out when the right one is found? http://www.etsy.com/listing/108403673/vintage-brass-bronze-and-glass?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_includes%5B0%5D=tags&ga_search_query=chandelier&ga_vintage_rewrite=vintage+chandelier&ga_original_query=2&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_view_type=gallery

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  55. I think you've gotten more than enough advice by now, but my vote is to buy the Shades of Light chandelier as a placeholder. I am most definitely not into disposable decorating, so I completely understand (and usually recommend) waiting until you get the right piece (and are willing to make that BIG investment!!!) ... but if it's a bare bulb ... and in a main area of your house where you see it all the time ... I'd consider the inexpensive fixture an investment in my sanity! And when you are ready for the "real" chandelier, you can sell the inexpensive one or donate it to Habitat's REStore!

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  56. This is addressed to respond to your dilemma in semi-humorous but realistic reasoning:

    My advice is to buy the antique chandelier that you love as soon as you find it and it eclipses all other selections.
    In my case (cases), my rationalization is that my three children would split a one-third diminution of their inheritance by whatever sum I spent on something I thought spectacularly appropriate. This works whether you have one child or seven. (Of course "seven" is not a realistic number, but the math reasoning uses the same formula
    no matter the divider.)
    Of course, I do not advise using the mortgage, insurance or any other monies that are spoken for in advance. I am talking about discretionary funds whose use would not cause a financial melt-down crisis.
    Happy hunting!!

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  57. Buy the Shades of Light chandelier! A bare light bulb is no way to go for any amount of time, and who can say when the "right" chandelier will turn up? (Probably the day after you hang the place holder). Life's short so enjoy the beauty of the "bird in hand"

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  58. I realize that you have plenty of thoughts at this point, but I agree with most that you should go ahead and purchase the SOL piece. It's beautiful and will not be a problem to sell when you find the perfect one. I'm sure that many of your commenters would be first in line!

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  59. love your blog!
    my 2 cents
    hold out. it's not unique enough for you to be happy to look at as you pass through the room...which is the point. things you love, not things you don't hate very much...;)

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  60. I believe this is Valentina by Murray Feiss. I just seen it in person a few weeks ago for my new home. I fell in love with it. The crystals are beautiful. The gold is exceptional - very nice finish. Unfortunately, gold was not working for my dining room. I'm thinking of the smaller petite one for my daughter's room. It is a lovely piece!

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  61. Normally I am on favor of holding until you get exactly what you want but since that might be quite a while I say go for this one and fix it up the way you mentioned. At least then you can and enjoy the room and have a bit of sparkle in your life (always important). We are in the midst of an entire empty nest remodel and lighting has been one of those expensive but necessary items. Good luck and share a pic of the final room.

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  62. Get the Shades of Light fixture pronto! I highly doubt it requires assembly but the website should be able to answer that. I also think you should keep the faceted ball. I bought an inexpensive Currey chandelier online last year (that I saw hanging in Bungalow) and have been very pleased with it. It also has the faceted ball and a pretty antique gold finish.

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  63. a dining table without a chandelier is sad, so get the placeholder. you can always get a portion of your money back by consigning it when you get the real deal. and in the ensuing years, you might find a BARGAIN of an antique because you aren't feeling any pressure to buy.

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  64. Do go ahead ... the chandelier looks beautiful .. enjoy it now ...good luck !



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  65. A romantic Paris vacation for you and your husband (with a side trip to the Paris flea market) suggests itself in this situation. Oh, and what luck! You just happen to have all the necessary dimensions necessary for selecting a chandelier which will serve as a lovely reminder of the wonderful romantic trip the two of you shared in the Fall of 2012.

    P.S. Consult with your interior designer, get a definitive idea of what you're looking for since you will probably have a small window of opportunity in the flea market if your husband has limited interest in antiques. But then he might look for objects in his areas of interest. A win-win solution. And all in the name of romance.

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  66. Wait til you can afford a good one. You have spent so much to make your perfect home architecturally that the interior should be up to its level. Self-servingly, I ask you to look at my chandeliers on www.niermannweeks.com, if only to consider a variety of styles. Do you really want a lot of crystal in your serene home? Would a beautiful silhouette covered in a muted metal leaf, give you a more harmonious look? Further, if you buy from any of the designer lines repped at ADAC, then you'll get a fixture that's delivered already assembled, with decent candle covers, and with customer service to support you. Good luck!

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  67. I think it is a very pretty chandelier...I would totally put it in there until you find "the one." From reading your blog, I can tell that you won't "settle" for keeping it when you find an antique that makes you swoon. Give yourself time...that SOL fixture will look lovely in your room...Christmas is coming, you CANNOT have a plain bulb in that exquisite room!

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  68. Your drapery, French door and dining room table are too beautiful to not enjoy now. I would say to purchase a good one that you don't sink much money into (there are sooo many of these sorts of options out there now), focusing on getting on that is the right scale for the room and hung at the correct height. This will convince hubby that the room looked so sad and lonely with no chandelier. Then have the conversation that this is a place holder (think of an analogy of something of his to help with illustration...something he replaced with something better when he could). You then wait a year or two, and when the "right" one knocks you over, you get it!

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  69. I would buy this one because even if it isn't the chandelier of your dreams it will look 100% better than the bulb. I do wonder,as one of your other readers pointed out, if the metal is cheap looking in person, but you could easy remedy that with some finishing liquid that takes the shiny out.
    Karen

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  70. With all the free publicity that SOL has gotten from this discussion... they should comp you with the fixture...

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  71. One more idea....make the lightbulb a game. Red for Christmas. Blue. Orange for Halloween. Pink. I have a friend with a fabulous home with Paris flea market treasures in every corner. Her entry hall light was a lightbbulb on a wire hanging from the ceiling. She would say that it "kept her humble" and that she wasn't buying a chandelier until she found the perfect one. Guess what....the lightbulb on a wire is now gone and a beautiful antique chandelier is in its place :)

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  72. Hi Holly, I would definitely get it. I have the same dilemma at my home where we're chipping away at the decor and items become more of a priority than others. We have done the same with a mirror above our fireplace in our sitting room. We have a lovely little one now that we hope to replace with a beautiful antique gilded one when we find the right one (and can afford it). Jx

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  73. I have read all the comments and I say don't buy something you don't love - find something that makes you smile everytime you look at it. You have your dream home - don't get a quick fix for it.

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  74. I think the BEST advice you have gotten here is to consult with Suzanne Kasler to find you the BEST light fixture for the same price as the Shades of LIght fixture. Use it happily until the PERFECT one comes along. I think this is the answer!

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  75. Listen to your heart. Get a chandelier you like as a placeholder now, and maybe you'll use the dining room a bit more. You can always sell it later, or use it somewhere else. That bare bulb has got to go :-)
    xo xo

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  76. BA Mills - Mills InteriorsSeptember 9, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I can relate to your dilemma. I would normally say wait until you get the one you really want, but in this case, I think you need to find something to fill the space since the space and is so visible. Who wants to have an eyesore as the first thing everyone sees when entering your home? Also, you'll feel the need to "explain" the story behind the bare bulb ever time a new guest arrive. ...and worst of all, what if you just get used to it and never get around to replacing it!!! That's your worst nightmare. LOL

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  77. First of all, I love your blog! Now to your question, given that you may be waiting many years for the perfect and undoubtedly trés cher chandelier, and given that your husband is evidently not bothered about leaving just a bulb on the ceiling for the foreseeable future, I think the chandelier that you plan on ordering is an excellent long interim measure, especially with the upgrades to it that you suggested. You may even like it well enough to keep it and redirect those funds elsewhere in your house or life.

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  78. One more comment about the finish ;) I ordered a Murray Feiss knock off of the Visual Comfort gothic lantern for my upstairs, rarely seen entrance hall. I wanted something that was the right size and that looked like boys, since that is all that lives up there. I got it from BellacorPro and the finish is ok. Not great unfortunately. Not as nice as my other fixtures that I got from Circa, Robert Abbey, Restoration, Currey, Cyan Designs, etc. It will stay for a while and replaces the bulb, which was visible from the street almost (!) - window in front of lantern. I will likely replace it down the road though and consider it a 200.00 place holder.

    All that being said, I didn't think the Murray Feiss fixtures looked great in person, but this one is significantly more than the one I purchased so maybe the finish is an upgrade. . .

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  79. Hey Holly,

    I too have a big empty space in my living room waiting for the right unique antique! Dane is clueless whether there is a light fixture there or not. I have a lady who specializes in French, Swedish and Italian antiques and she has been asking me to visit her warehouse in Atlanta. Let me know if you are interested in taking a look one day before you make your Shades of Light purchase. I love that fixture too though. Take care, Amy

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  80. Holly,
    I think you sould wait on the perfect chandelier. Have you thought about putting a recessed light in or a beautiful lantern, which you could use elsewhere later.

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  81. Love your blog and enjoy seeing your beautiful new home. Wish you had shown more of the room to get a better feeling for the space. And I assume you are keeping the traditional dining room furniture. My opinion on the chandelier is that it looks cheap. The arms look like hollow brass tubing and the finish seems more like polished brass than gold leaf. The size seems to be good but it has a cage like shape that I don't care for and I'm not so sure about the glass saucers. It doesn't look like a quality fixture to me. I would keep looking or consult with my designer.

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  82. Ginger - About the House Interior DesignSeptember 9, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Well, I am having a great laugh...We moved to our c. 1901 Renaissance Revival mansion (complete with a 3rd floor ballroom) in 2008. Our Grand Old Dame seduced us - but I quickly realized that nostalgia will only go so far and I felt as if I was rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic! I'm a designer and obsessed over my plan, etc. before beginning a massive renovation on 2 mostly "original but non-functional" bathrooms and master bathroom. My vision was to respect the original architecture and classic intent - while bringing our Old Dame into this century. After 7 months, we were mostly done...but I was absolutely mentally and physically exhausted; golf season started and so...the bare ceiling bulb will finally be replaced this week with the chandelier that has been sitting in the box since being purchased 2 months ago. The bare bulb has driven my husband nuts...he travels a lot and doesn't notice many things. I think that it will be interesting to see how long it takes him to notice the new acquisition!!!! So, in your case, I would probably move forward with the "temporary" fixture!! I actually "got smart" and covered the ceiling hole with a plate in a lame attempt to disguise it!!

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    1. Ginger, you are my kind of woman.
      Ann

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  83. For what it's worth…hold out! The best designer in Birmingham helped my husband's grandmother, mother and then me for years…she said to never settle…you will never be happy and you will only waste money in the long run! Wait and get what you really want! ( not to mention we have the most fabulous chandelier arriving this week from being wired that you just might want to see! ) Also…so glad to see the neutral paint on the dining room walls that made your fabulous curtains come alive! I think that is what I need to do as well…and forget the amount that I spent on the glazing of my "green " wall with my green silk draperies! Hmmmm….I really did love that color!

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  84. Have you looked at Currey and Co. and Circa Lighting.

    I think the Shades of Light is alright, but am concerned that even with your nice sized room and ceiling height that it will be too large for the table. I would not do a chandelier larger than 30-31 in diameter, unless, very, very light. Also, I'm not wild about the finish here. However, you could change that after you get it with a bit of paint.

    Please check out Currey and Co. 9882 Crystal bud Chandelier- medium is very pretty

    And also at Circa Lighting, I just did their Paris Flea Market Chandelier in the medium size and it is very, very pretty and looks like a genuine antique. (in the natural brass which will oxidize naturally over time) I would ere on a chandelier that's smaller over one that's too large. But again, these decisions are subjective and if you don't like the SOL chandelier, you could return that one.

    best ~ Laurel

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  85. Hi Holly. It's hard to tell from the one picture that you've put up how the overall look of the dining room is. This makes it tricky to offer much of an input. I can say that over here chandeliers are not really an Aussie thing. I personally prefer a less 'structured' look overall, leaning more towards the contemporary. I'm a contradiction in many senses since I equally adore the coastal look in a house. With me, when it's contemporary, it has to lean towards a minimalist look - Danish appeals, as does white-on-white. Chandeliers are a throw-off from a bygone era of grandeur, and are viewed by many these days as being dust collectors. Also there is the mentality that unless they have hugely inflated price tags and are stand-out, drop-dead (love the pun!)gorgeous, they can be perceived as being cheap, gaudy and nasty. Have you thought of re-inventing your dining room (again) and giving it a more contemporary twist? They do say that a change is as good as a holiday! Anyways, here's wishing you inspiration in bucket loads and belief that you can achieve anything, especially on a budget! Good luck. Hx :)

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  86. Obtain a nicely worn pendulous outdoor carriage lamp at a salvage store. Ask husband to hang it for you. Move that lovely sideboard to the window. Have each family member select and nurture a plant to sit on the sideboard. Let each member choose a fabric to cover their seat on the Baker set. Tell funny stories about your mother in law at that table. Frame and hang each family member's art on the wall. You have lovely taste and a good eye. You can breathe some life into it and enjoy life.
    Lightheartedly,
    Lenore

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    1. Seriously funny, Lenore

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  87. omg had i know you were living with a FREAKING LIGHT BULB, i would have bought you that damned chandy myself and sent to you,

    do it. anything is better than that lightbulb. today order it. or something like it.

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  88. No bayonets! You will never use the room like it is. At least get the second choice if what your heart's desire is a long way off. You never know, you may even get to like it more as it hasn't cost the earth or you can put it on ebay when your boat comes in. Lesley - Perth, Western Australia

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  89. I have that exact same chandelier but in the six-bulb size. It is not shiny brass at all, but a very antiqued look with different variations of color. In person it looks more like a burnished gold leaf. I love it and it has a high quality look. We only had to put the crystal ropes and drops on. I had a great electrician install it, and he put all the crystals on for me!

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  90. Get the chandelier....you are right, you may end up loving it. I could not live with that lightbulb....ever. the room is too pretty to have that ugly thing in the ceiling.
    Christy

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  91. Holly-
    I LOVE the chandelier, and could live with it forever! It would look amazing over your table. I say go for it.
    Happy Monday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  92. You have celebrated multiple holidays and birthdays with friends and family and somehow a light bulb didn't embarrass you? Unbelievable There are so many beautiful chandeliers in the marketplace, including antique ones, it's hard to believe you have been sitting this one out. I agree with so many others that you need to act now. I have to say also as someone pointed out above, I can't believe your designer put your drapery on such a short rod. Perhaps its just the picture, but unless you need to close these occasionally, change out your hardware as well.

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  93. I can see arguements to both directions, but perhaps in getting this less expensive fixture NOW, you can bargain your way in other decorating areas! The fixture is really lovely and really, why blow the whole wad (excuse the expression) on a fabulous light fixture in a room you rarely use? In a perfect world perhaps, but we are all working with a budget! I just compromised on my own dining room fixture and am very happy with what I installed. Not perfect but allows me to concentrate my wallet in other areas of my renovation.

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  94. Holly, hold out, please. Look at Visual Comfort and also check for auctions and estate sales in your area as well as actique lighting shops. This will be a focal point in your home. You might also consider a mirror above your sideboard or another wall to reflect the light as well as the piece. Given the height of your room I would hand the chandelier 39" to 40" off the table. Are you still using the conference table? This chandelier you describe seems very wide to hang over a dining table. The norm is 2/3 the width of the table. Till oyu find the right piece I suggest you find an acceptable one at any of the places I mentioned earlier or even a Habitat for Humanity or other thrift or consignment shop. Keep us posted!

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  95. Hi Holly,
    I have followed your blog for quite some time and while building my new home used it many times as a reference/idea library!! My herringbone fireplace,blanco kitchen sinks, rohl faucets all because of you!! I think doing nothing in lieu of doing something for a dining room fixture would be a shame. You have worked diligently on your beautiful new home and I know there are fixtures out there well within your budget. I used all Visual Comfort in my home and love the look it provides for a fair price. Keep blogging you do a great job!1 Oh and I was always so, so about an Alaskan cruise but after seeing your pictures I am all in so needless to say my husband thinks your blog is well worth the bookmark on our mac!!

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  96. Hi Holly,

    Bravo to you for buying an "assembly required" chandelier off the internet. We did the same thing 12 years ago. While it took us several hours to put it together, we saved around $500 to $1,000. I don't know about you, but I don't make anything close to $200 per hour after taxes. Just as you did, I hung the crystals and beads the way I wanted them and still get "oohs and aahs" from visitors.

    Now to your current dilemma... I like the interesting top of the chandelier as well as its overall shape. However, the bright brass looks a little too "new" for my taste. Since you have mahogony, Chippendale furniture in the room, brass is certainly the right metal. You can age it a bit by removing all the crystal, spray with self-etching primer, spray with a old gold or similar color and then seal with a satin finish overcoat. I did this with an old chandelier that was a dull brown color. It is now a lovely warm color but without an overly new brassy look.

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    1. the picture is not an accurate reflection of the finish. As I mentioned in my comment above, I have that same chandelier. It is not shiny brass. It has an "oxidized gold leaf" finish. It is mottled with some darker areas, like a burnished gold leaf. It is not at all a shiny brass.

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  97. I agree with Charlotte.Des Fleurs (above) It does look too shiny and new.... I really thought the chandelier in your previous house was awfully pretty,. Perhaps you can find another one...

    I would also like to suggest , in order to show more of the pretty shape of the window, move the curtain rod ends out further. It would create a more loose and elegant line , give a more light and airy feeling to the room, and be more in proportion to the size of the table and chairs.

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  98. I am a new subscriber to your blog but have enjoyed it immensely! You mentioned that you seldom used your old dining room, however, so maybe this is an opportunity to switch it up a bit; maybe make it less formal? You seem very traditional but the art that you post is a sometimes a little more contemporary. Why not try something like the Capriz chandelier from West Elm? It is a perfect piece to soften a traditional room but it still very elegant. And, as an added bonus, any slight breeze that comes into the room (such as from your lovely french doors)causes it to make a lovely tinkling sound. At less than $300 it is not a big risk. Then.. if it were my room...I would paint the chairs and put different chairs at the ends, maybe some really elegant wicker. Bet you would use it more then...!

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  99. one more comment...I personally would hold out for something that you love, wasn't that the whole point of building and designing your custom home ??? I would expand your options in searching for the perfect chandelier regardless if it's antique or a new piece. All the things I acquired that I loved, I still love and live with them today. Things I was so-so about, I grew to dislike and disgard.

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  100. You will HATE the SoL fixture. They look really cheesy in real life.
    Even creative changes can't mend the awful patina.
    Believe me, been there done that.
    I say wait and keep accumulating your pennies.

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  101. Never do anything temporary. Temporary always becomes perminent. Your husband will say " I know dear it's been 5 years but it does the job and we need other things"
    I have client's that put 4 "temporary" chairs in their living room and 2 "temporary" bar stools at the kitchen island and guess what?? 12 years later their all still there because there's always something else to spend money on instead because their doing the job.
    The naked lightbulb may grate on you but it might eventually grate on him. Let him have a fabulous Thanksgiving and Christmas diner party under that naked lightbulb and friends comments might just bring him around sooner than later.
    Good luck.

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  102. Hi Holly,
    I always enjoy reading the earlier comments...so I know you must as well.

    OK, first. I have to say it is amazing the transformation in your earlier dining room. The lighter paint color really enabled those gorgeous orange curtains to pop! And, I loved that chandelier. Did you have to leave it behind?

    And considering that it was Joni who gave you advice on the first living room, I couldn't help chuckle at her advice above. I think the lone bulb would probably drive me crazy, too. So, I would definitely try to do something so that you can enjoy the room. Whether it is the chandelier above or another....it doesn't have to be an antique to make the room. But, left undone....well, the room is still not done. You just have to decide how important it is in the scheme of everything you've done. You've created an amazing home...choose what will make your heart soar.

    xoxo Elizabeth

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  103. Number one here - if you are one of those women who let their husband dictate what you buy for the house then you and I don't have anything to discuss.

    However, I have recently faced a chandelier question. I am just finishing building a half million dollar log cabin and wanted an Italian, wood chandelier. The first one I found online was a real antique for $22,000. No way I'm going to spend that much money for 9 light bulbs. Then I found an online craftsperson who wanted $8700 to make me one. Considerable searching later brought the price for these chandeliers, some times called "Curves and Leaves" to within reason. Then I really looked at the design of the chandelier. Nine lights on narrow gauge arms that radiate out from a wood base. How hard could that be to make? I went to a box store and bought most of what I will need for under $100. Then I got on YouTube to get the details in hand. I will get started this weekend. Ann

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  104. I say go with the temporary one....if and when you ever replace it, just sell the old one! Forgive me for saying so, but my concern in your diningroom is that beautiful window. How would it be to extend your curtain rod past the window and raise it a bit. Then that beautiful window and the lovely world outside would be visable to your room. I feel like you are hiding a thing a beauty!

    Enjoy decorating your new space...and I love your site!!!

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  105. Shades of light one without a doubt! Absolutely stunning, if you don't get it I will ha!

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  106. Hey Holly - heaven knows if you'll ever get to my comment since I am at the end of a VERY long list! But for what it's worth, I would hold out, but I am the type of person who lived with no furniture in my living room for over 2 years, waiting til I could afford what I really wanted (for the record, I still have, and love, what I bought over 10 years later). While the Shades of Light fixture is ok, knowing your taste level and style, I think you could definitely do better and will be happier in the long run. Your husband will get sick of looking at that naked light bulb!

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  107. I'm not sure about the chandelier, since we have very different taste (although I'm glad to read the finish is not as shiny as it looks in the picture). I will give some unsolicited advice, though: I think your curtain rod needs to be widened. That lovely arch should be more visible.

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  108. Holly, I have really enjoyed reading all the advice you have received especially the advice about the drapery! Amazing I might add! Your dining room is beautiful as it is. I would imagine that when you entertain in there now, you do so with candlelight and don't even notice the bulb. I am all for waiting for the perfect chandelier but if it is bothering you why don't you ask your designer, if she likes the SOL light as a placeholder until she finds the perfect piece? When my clients do that, I hustle to find a better option for them if I don't' like what they have chosen. I know I always appreciate them including me on decisions, even if it is not something they plan to keep forever if I am working on the entire home. Generally, I find something that works and everybody is happy. I know if it is Suzanne Kasler, you are probably feeling this not something she would want to be bothered with unless she were placing the antique, but I don't know how she works, so can't answer to that. If it isn't a situation where you feel you can ask the designer, then go with your gut. You have great taste and you will know the right answer!

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  109. I would go to some good auction houses and see if you can find one. I have a beautiful crystal one that I bought at an auction house in downtown DC. They frequently have wonderful ones. You can always put it back in an auction if you find one you like better.

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  110. I say enjoy your home to the greatest extent possible now and get the Shades of Light chandy!

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  111. Your new house is so lovely and the other fixtures look so unique and high quality, I just wouldn't compromise on such an important piece. Go real french, real bronze gilt, real crystal, etc. Try Ebay, eventually something comes up that's perfect, someone else scored on auction, etc.

    Right now, I see a few, just a few $ more but loads more patina:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/STUNNING-VTG-FRENCH-CHATEAU-CRYSTAL-CHANDELIER-LIGHT-LAMP-LUSTRE-DROPLETS-/261094539488?pt=UK_HomeGarden_Lighting_Lamps_Lighting_SM&hash=item3cca7280e0

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/antique-1920-Heavy-gold-Bronze-French-Empire-Chandelier-RARE-9-lights-crystals-/250993316512?pt=Antiques_Decorative_Arts&hash=item3a705e12a0

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Crystal-Bronze-Chandelier-Gold-Gilded-Italian-Vintage-French-Empire-Old-/140759320240?pt=Architectural_Garden&hash=item20c5e8c6b0



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