These little lights of mine..

...I'm gonna let 'em shine! Let 'em shine, let 'em shine, let 'em shine.

Have you ever been to my house?  If you have, then you know about the eye sore that is my dining room chandelier.  Correction: was my dining room chandelier.  I love when friends come over for the first time and we get to the dining room part of the house tour, just so I can hear their reactions.  "Oh, what a cool chandelier!" "Wow!  That's neat!"  And then when I immediately reply with "It came with the house.  I hate it.  You can have it if you want," their opinions seem to change a tad.  "Yea, it is kinda big."  "It would be cool for a beach house."  

Even after a year and a half of house tours, I still haven't been able to send it home with anyone!  My husband was even starting to offer some cash to go with it and still, no takers.  I knew it had to be new when we moved into the house because the previous owners hadn't even gotten around to clipping the extra length of wires hanging from after the installation.  I caught wind that the woman that used to live in our house had meant to take it with her, so I sent her an email and offered to sell it back to her for $200.  She seemed interested but said she'd get back to me.  I thought I'd made a quick, easy deal!  Two days later, she replied that her designer didn't think it'd work in her new house.  Imagine that.

Here's my pretty two-tiered plastic shell and bead light fixture in all its glory.

shell chandelier
shell chandelier

I had intended to immediately put it up for sale on Craigslist and put in something new, but we switched gears and started working on the living room and other areas of the house and it became a low priority.  It's not like we were even using the room since for a year it didn't have a table and even now, it still doesn't have chairs.

BUT!  Now I'm hosting my first shower in this house in a little over two weeks, and I've decided it's high time I start trying to pull this dining room together.  I spent last weekend repainting it for the second time, and am much happier with the color of the walls now.  I've had chairs purchased for a while but they're desperate for a makeover, so that's been put on this weekend's to-do list.

Before Christmas, Matt had given me the green light to order a new chandelier in January, but then we got hit with lots of vet bills and that purchase got put on hold.  I did a LOT of online shopping to see if I could find a chandelier I liked that was cheaper than the one I'd had my eyes on for MONTHS, but just couldn't find anything that fit the bill.  In fact, most of the ones I found made the one I wanted look relatively cheap.  Probably because he was tired of hearing my whining, but mostly because he's the best husband EVER, Matt gave me the green light again to make the purchase!

Pottery Barn was running a sale that weekend but, as my luck usually goes, my chandelier was one of the only things NOT on sale.  It didn't even come with free shipping!  After putting it in my online cart and seeing how much tax and shipping were going to up the total, I panicked a little.  It just seemed a little high for something I didn't HAVE to have right away.  Even though I really, really wanted it!

My good friend, Allison, has a connection with someone who works at Williams Sonoma (sister company to Pottery Barn) so I decided to hit her up and see if we could maybe get it ordered with a little employee discount.  Thankfully, she was happy to ask her friend and didn't make me feel completely awful for using her for her connection.  I got prematurely excited about my new chandelier at a discounted price so I was really let down when Allison's friend said she'd do it if I could wait 2-3 months.  So sad.  The baby shower is this month, not 2-3 months away!

Ok, fast forward a couple days and Allison forwarded me an email about free shipping from Pottery Barn.  I was doubtful that my chandelier would be included since it wasn't the last time but I checked anyway and low and behold, it had free shipping!  That was a good fifty bucks I could save.  I called Matt and woke him up (he was away on a business trip) because the offer ended at midnight and in his sleepiness, he told me I could order it.  Isn't he a doll?  :)  And hooray for saving on shipping!

Then guess what?  The next morning I had an email from Pottery Barn saying they were extending a 15% off all full-price online purchases sale for one more day.  Say whaaaa?!  I had just made a full-price online purchase less than 12 hours ago!  So I sent an email to customer service with my order confirmation number and the code for the 15% off offer and hoped for the best.  I was a little doubtful because I'm pretty sure when I made the original purchase, you could only enter one promotion code, so I would've had to have chosen between the free shipping and the 15% off.  However, if they came back and said I could only have one, the 15% off was a better deal so I could've asked for the extra credit for the difference.  I was supposed to get an emailed response to my inquiry within 24 hours.

I ordered the chandelier at 9:00 on a Wednesday night and got free regular shipping.  At 7:00 on Friday night, not even a full 48 hours later, the new chandelier was on my doorstep.  What?!  It arrived faster than my Amazon Prime items I'd ordered the same day!  Unfortunately, though, I had not received a response from my email so I accepted that I wasn't getting the extra 15% off and just got excited about it being installed so soon!

The very next day, Saturday, while my mom and I were out shopping and Matt and my dad were at home hanging the chandelier, I got the email from Pottery Barn that they had credited my credit card for the extra 15% off.  Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah!!!  

Oh my gosh, this has become the longest, most drawn out, boring story ever.  Sorry.  I'll cut to the chase.

Here are a couple more pictures of my original chandelier.  You can't really tell from the pictures but it was hung ridiculously low.  Like, so low even it was even at Anna and Wyatt's eye level.  It really made the room feel smaller than it is since it blocked your line of sight.

shell chandelier
up close

Are you ready for the most ridiculous part of this story?  As soon as I had these pictures taken (right before the guys took it down), I got ready to upload them to Craigslist to put the chandelier up for sale.  Before posting it, though, I did a little bit of research so I could figure out the correct name and brand of it.  Y'all, it came from Horchow and was originally FOURTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS.  Are you freaking kidding me?!?  It eventually went on sale for one thousand and fifteen dollars which I hope is when the previous homeowner bought it although either way that's the most overpriced light fixture I've ever laid eyes on.  The shells and beads are PLASTIC.  And now it's hanging in my garage.  I feel like maybe I'm totally missing something and I should bring it inside and put it in a glass case.  It's quite possibly the most expensive thing that we own.  And I've got it listed for $250 on Craigslist though, to be perfectly honest, if someone offered me fifty bucks I'd say SOLD!

I'm just glad it's finally out of my dining room.  And I love my new one!  It's the Paxton Glass 8-Light Pendant from Pottery Barn and, even at full-price, is only a third of the price of that other one.  

new chandelier
new chandelier

These pictures don't really do it's beauty justice, but I was using my iphone and trying to avoid all the piles of crap around the rest of the room.  :)  I'm debating switching to vintage bulbs for a warmer glow, though we also installed a dimmer switch which really helps tone down the brightness when necessary.  It's crazy how much bigger the room looks now that you can actually see it all at one time!  Now it's even more noticeable that we don't have chairs or anything hanging on the walls.  Gotta get on that ASAP.

Since the title of this post is plural, I'll move on to the next new light.  The original chandelier in the kitchen wasn't nearly as offensive to me when we moved in as the dining room one was.  However, it still wasn't really my style and I knew I'd eventually replace it with something I liked better.  

When we moved in, one of the 9 bulbs was out and during dinner one night, Matt jokingly told me that I could order a new light fixture as soon as all the lights burned out.  You better believe I didn't forget that promise!  Over the past 16 months, we have watched the lights slowly burn out one at a time, til we were down to just three of the nine lights still working.  It felt like we were having candle-lit dinners every night.  :)  

Since the bulbs were obviously way too high a wattage for the fixture, the bulbs that lasted a while started burning through the white shades making this chandelier look worse and worse over time.

burnt chandelier
burnt chandelier

My handy husband has become quite the electrician and was able to uninstall this one (and install a new one) on his own in the dark.  

handy man
burnt chandelier

I really didn't have plans to change this light fixture before the party, but I thought if I could find something reasonably priced at Home Depot or Lowe's that I could pay for with my own little stash of cash, that it would definitely look better than having burnt shades at the baby shower.  Even if it was just something to tide me over until I found a light fixture that I really loved.

I found this Allen + Roth pendant light fixture at Lowe's and thought it was just okay in the store, but I really love the way it looks hanging in my kitchen!  It's amazing how much light it adds!  I guess I hadn't really noticed how dim our lighting was getting...

Again, horrible pictures and please excuse the packaging mess on the table, but you can still tell it's much better, right?

allen + roth
allen + roth

Whew!  Are you ready for this incredibly too-long story about light fixtures to be over?  I am; I'm tired of typing.  :)  Maybe I'll have better pictures and less words next time!