Beyond this hall is the entry way of our house. (Please note the bit of molding you see there -- the Chief's handiwork after ripping out the godforsaken louvered doors of ill proportions. He did an awesome job.)
This entry is the same age as our house -- from the second half of the nineteenth century, when I am pretty sure light had been discovered. And if not, surely it had been discovered sometime before the present millenium.
But no. No light.
I needed a chandelier. Actually, even a bare bulb would have been an improvement.
What I wanted was something maybe like this:
But I knew that time was short.
I saw something out of focus and small and dark on Craigslist that looked like it could possibly work, but when I went to look at it I was a bit taken aback.
First, it was covered with grease. The crystals were opaque. With grease.
Who puts a chandelier back in the box, coated with grease?
"You can dip it!" the lady assured me. Dip it? It's 2 feet high and 2 feet wide! Dip it in what, pray tell?
The the picture on the box was not reassuring either. (I regret not taking a photo -- sorry!). It was sort of a Disney version of what a chandelier might be in a bad dream, as far as I was concerned.Bright, almost neon brass and dirty -- was this what I had in mind?
But here we were, and there it was. Do you ever experience this? The inevitability of the sale?
This is how we have acquired many unsuitable dogs, by the way. Anyone who wants to close the deal, just get me into your house. I will have trouble leaving without taking what you are offering, no matter how much my innards are sinking.
Bridget told me to buy it, pointing out that it somewhat resembles the small one in the upstairs hall. I wasn't sure, but I talked the lady down from $85 to $60 (Oh, you are bargaining with me? She asked. Yes, dear, I am. I'm clearly destined to buy this monstrosity from you, but I can put up a little fight!), so I figured I could clean it up and resell it if I didn't like it after all, which I was pretty sure I didn't.
With a basin of pretty much equal parts hot water and ammonia, and a dash of Mr. Clean, I got to work. As she said, all the pieces were there, every one.
The day was one of the few bright sunny ones we had before the wedding, so I started to get a little more optimistic during this process. The crystals were indeed crystalline, so that was a good start. This is a lot of little crystals to get back on there, and at first I got them on backwards (yes, there is a backwards -- a pointy side -- and a frontwards -- a flat side)! But with a little help from my friends, I did it.
I wondered if I could make this into something like this:
Maybe by spray painting a duller brass? But then I was seized by an uncontrollable desire to go black! Drama! Intensity! I was feeling it!
Are you feeling it too?
It's a little high, because the door has to clear it when it opens, which it does -- by a scant 1/2 inch!
But I have to say, I love it! Do you think it's too high?
I wish I had another one for the dining room! And now I have to find something to replace that fixture in the vestibule (see it there? Blah.). Oh, I'll bide my time :)
Thanks to Melissa at The Inspired Room -- go see what others are doing today!
Thanks to Life as Mom -- frugality has its rewards!
Thanks to Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage!