Dining Room

Let There Be Light

Do you know what’s awesome about having a father-in-law that lives right across the street and is an electrical expert? He can come over and help you hang your new dining room light fixture on a Wednesday night. I would say that I don’t know what I’d do without his help in this sort of situation, but I know exactly what I’d do: end up with several holes in the ceilings, electrical burns and maybe some bumps and bruises to boot. All joking aside, this process wasn’t really rocket science, but it was extremely helpful to have his know-how to guide me through it – and his muscle power was completely necessary for this beast of a fixture.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

We went with the Eldridge Rectangular Chandelier from Ballard Design. This light fixture isn’t technically “new”; Ash’s parents gifted it to us the Christmas before last – as in Christmas 2012. It has been sitting in a box in the corner of the dining room, waiting patiently until we had a new table. Even though Ash hasn’t decided on chairs, we wanted to go ahead and hang the light so we can get this ball rolling a bit more quickly toward to the finish line.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The issue with hanging this light fixture – and why we had to enlist my father-in-law’s help – is because the previous light fixture in this room (which we just replaced with a plain light bulb when we removed the 1970’s ceiling fan), was about two feet and a few inches over from the center of the dining room table. That meant it was going to take a bit more than screwing a new bracket onto the box and hanging the new fixture.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

To start out, we first had to decide where exactly to hang the light. We used a combination of a laser level and a tape measure for the majority of this process. (Step 1) The first thing we did was measure the distance from the wall to the middle of the table. (Step 2) At that point, we moved the table out of the way and measured halfway between the two windows. (Step 3) Then, we used the laser level to make a mark on the ceiling that was perfectly centered between the windows, then placed the laser level on the ceiling to make a mark in the middle of the room. (Step 4) Next, we made marks on either side of the ceiling exactly the distance we measured in step one. (Step 5) Finally, we shot the laser level across the room, lining up the two marks made in step 4, across the mark made in step 3, and made a faint line with a pencil on the ceiling to guide our placement of the new bracket.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

After the measuring was done, we used a 2 inch hole saw to make a hole where the wires would come through the ceiling (the rod in the above photo is the vacuum attachment to catch some of the dust). Since (with this particular fixture) we were making the junction inside the new bracket, we didn’t use an actual box. In retrospect, I’m not sure if that was the proper way to do things, but it worked really well for us. If you’re hanging a light fixture without a bracket, this is where you would install a junction box. Here is a great tutorial on how to do that.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Once we found the studs, we realized the bracket’s pre-drilled holes weren’t going to line up exactly on one side. That being the case, we drilled two new holes using a titanium drill bit. Titanium drill bits are high-speed steel drill bits (sometimes called HSS bits) that have a titanium oxide coating and are great for drilling through metal.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Rather than using the provided mounting screws, we decided to use some heavy-duty 3-inch screws that would really hold tight to the ceiling joist. Seriously, we could probably hang an engine block from this bracket.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The fact that the old fixture was so close to the new one really helped us out with this next step. We were able to take down the old box and push the same wires over to our new hole. Of course, this left a nice, round hole in the ceiling where the old light was. I laid a plastic shopping bag inside the hole to keep the blown-in insulation from falling through it. We just hung this light fixture last night and haven’t gotten around to patching it up just yet but I’ll explain how in a later post next week for anyone curious.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Here’s when it started getting dark outside so the photos look a bit wonky – but Ash is calling the above photo of me “artsy”. After putting the fixture together, all that was left was the usual wiring and screwing the fixture onto the bracket. I’d say this was the easy part, but this fixture is heavy. I ended up standing on the floor with the fixture resting on my chest/shoulders while Kevin put the screws in and Ash held a flashlight so we could see what we were doing. Once it was up, we actually had a hard time getting a couple of the screws in all the way, so we placed the card catalog and the packing material from the light fixture underneath for safety while we backed the screws out and put them back in.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Once the heavy lifting was done, we cleaned the glass and screwed in the light bulbs. Considering how much of an undertaking I expected this to be, I don’t think things could have gone better – mainly due to the help of Ash’s dad. We read some reviews of this particular light fixture (after we bought it out of curiosity) and some people mentioned that it look 3 people to hang it. Well, they were not wrong. So, if you’re planning on hanging this light fixture, or one similar, make sure you have some extra help.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Aside from my love of cup pull handles, I’m not much of a “decorating enthusiast” (I leave that to Ash), but I really like the clean lines and how it doesn’t take up too much “visual space” but still makes a statement. The vintage-looking bulbs really help “make” the fixture.

Great Vintage-Looking Light Bulbs with "Candle Light" Type of Glow // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Speaking of the bulbs… We purchased these from Restoration Hardware the same time we ordered the table. The bulbs are 60 watts, which means this fixture puts out a pretty decent amount of light. They’re very much on the “warm” side, which means the light they cast is pretty yellow (Ash mentioned it was a lot like a “candle light glow”). It’s a great, vintage look, but it’s definitely a mismatch for the rest of the lighting in our house (most of our bulbs are halogen or LED). We’re going to keep our eyes out for a vintage style bulb that matches our existing lighting a little better, but in the mean time, we’re happy with these.

How to move your light fixture placement and install a new one // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Ash and I both love the new light fixture. When we first got it out of the box, we’re a little concerned it wasn’t big enough for the table (which is 112″ long). Now that is up, we think it’s the perfect size and will look even better once we hang curtains. The addition of art, etc it will also balance everything out accordingly. In the meantime, we now have a proper light fixture and this place is looking a little more like a real dining room. Now, if Ash would just decide on chairs…

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Kerri
    March 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    love that light! dining chairs are currently the bane of my existence. i’ve looked at hundreds of chairs and still can’t make up my mind… :/

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks! Oh, yes. I knooooow the feeling, haha.

  • Reply
    Emily Mc
    March 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I’m glad our house isn’t the only one with off-centered ceiling fixtures, I just don’t understand it, what a pain in the rear! Our living room fan is off by about two feet and we may re-position it when it gets upgraded soon so thank you for the tutorial on that. The new light is AWESOME and I can’t wait to see what y’all do with the space 🙂

  • Reply
    Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art
    March 27, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    That looks so pretty. Love the Edison bulbs with this kind of fixture.

  • Reply
    Erin
    March 27, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve been in love with that fixture for a while! Sadly, we have vaulted ceilings so it won’t work in our living/dining room… but I love long ones like that. Were thinking of putting 2 of the eldridge pendants up side by side. I think it looks great with your table, btw! I cannot wait to see what you do for chairs and curtains!

  • Reply
    Erin
    March 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    looks great!! :o)

  • Reply
    dana828
    March 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Love both the light and the table! I, too, have a dining room light sitting in the box just waiting to be hung (this one: http://bit.ly/1o8Z8HL) I’ve only been waiting 4 months…;)

    • Reply
      Ashley
      March 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      I freaking love that fixture! We actually thought about selling this one and going with that one instead, haha. It just wasn’t quite big enough for our table. Go hang that puppy!!

  • Reply
    Kelci
    March 27, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Looks fabulous! I love the table and light together, and it’s looking perfect between the two windows. Can’t wait to see the rest of the room come together!

  • Reply
    Kelly Goldman
    March 28, 2014 at 8:29 am

    SUCH a pretty fixture. Totally worth it.

  • Reply
    Heidi
    March 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

    That light looks like it was tailor made to be partnered with that table! Can’t wait to see what chairs you use.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Kayla
    March 28, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I absolutely LOVE that light fixture. And I’m having a hard time finding new dining room chairs too. I’ve been searching for over a year, and just can’t find the right ones. I hope you have better luck!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    March 28, 2014 at 11:34 am

    OMGOOSSSSH I love this light paired with your table and windows. It suits you two (and your kitchen styling) so much better. LOVE how two little changes can make such a difference.
    BRAVO!

  • Reply
    caroline [the diy nurse]
    March 29, 2014 at 9:54 am

    wow what an amazing light. it looks great and the scale with the table is spot on!

  • Reply
    Julia
    April 1, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I agree about your curtain dilemma! So hard and unfortunately expensive so unlike pillows you can’t just go on a whim as easy :). I LOVE your dining room table!! My husband & I are in the market for a breakfast room table in the vein. Would you mind sharing your source?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      April 1, 2014 at 11:53 am

      Thanks! It’s Restoration Hardware’s Flatiron table (http://bit.ly/1mI6AIr). You can catch our post about it here.

  • Reply
    Kristen Walton
    April 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Now you’ve got me obsessing about your chairs, too! Here are some I liked to go with your table:

    http://etsy.me/1lEKbvb

    http://etsy.me/1q1g8xm

    http://etsy.me/1lsIWgh

    http://etsy.me/1j7gJL2

    • Reply
      Ashley
      April 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Great picks – I love the fourth ones especially! They’re a little similar to some we’ve been looking at at Restoration Hardware.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    April 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Love the light with the table. Just wanted to check which finish you have brass or bronze for the light. And your table was rust finish? Thanks

    • Reply
      Ashley
      April 4, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks! It’s the bronze finish for the light and rust for the table.

  • Reply
    Natalie
    April 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    That looks fantastic! I was thinking of getting one of those for our kitchen island bench.

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