July 21, 2011

#30- Oooh, Sparkly

Sometimes you have to splurge.  Yep, this self proclaimed thriftster, who won't spend $20 on a throw pillow, occasionally breaks her own rules and spends a little too much on a household item if I know it is going to substantially benefit the room.  But let's back up a bit, in the case of The Lodge, our plan has been to make sure each room has at least one focal point or wow piece.  Obviously we're still working to achieve that, and this house is going to take a long time to come together, but we hope that the pendant light over the kitchen table makes a statement, and the curtains in the Loft really seem make the room.  But when it came to the dinning room, there really wasn't anything going for it.

Listing Photo

In fact, this 11' x 12' room wasn't even used as a Dining Room by the previous owners, more like a pass through on the way out to the back yard.  Sure, we removed the tile floors, took down the full wall mirror and installed new hardwoods, but the room still was basically just a small, boring room right off the kitchen.  If not for it's proximity to the kitchen, you may not even realize that it was a Dining Room at all.  Obviously a table and chairs will help, but another major item that says "Dining Room" is a chandelier or pendant light.

The search wasn't easy.  We wanted something that was a bit fancy to work with our antique dining table, but we also wanted it to look natural to work with the bring-the-outside-in vibe we were going for in The Lodge.  In the end, I just couldn't stop coming back to this chandelier from West Elm:

It is a nod to the traditional chandelier, yet the square lines give it a really modern feel.  The capiz shells bring a sparkle to the room, but they also introduce a natural element.  At $299 it was way more than I've ever spent on a light fixture, but as I said in the beginning, sometimes you save your pennies all along the way so that you can spend them on one big item that will make the room.  We were certain that this fixture would be the wow factor that our little characterless Dining Room was looking for.  It was a 10% off moving coupon that finally threw me over the edge.  I nearly kissed the sales clerk when I bought it and skipped out of the store.  Unfortunately, installing it didn't make me quite as happy.

P.S.- Yes I do wear sundresses all the time when I do home improvement.  It's not because I'm fancy like that, but because sun dresses are the next closest thing I know to pajamas, and nobody judges you when you where them to the grocery store.
Yep, we were pretty disappointed to find each little shell wrapped in it's own little Fort Knox of plastic and tape.  I expect to work for it when we buy stuff at Ikea, but I wasn't expecting this from West Elm.

So the Hubs began what would be a half and hour process of freeing all these guys, and that's with both of us working furiously.  We're a little super competitive when it comes to say... everything, so obviously it became a contest.  For the sake of our marriage I won't tell you who won.  (Hint, the winner isn't bald.)  Finally, the last strand of shells was unwrapped and we had this:

Still working on that better camera with a wide angle lens. You get the idea though.
There's still a lot left to do in the room, but so far I love it.  It's gorgeous and catches your eye the minute you enter the room.  It may be hung just a bit too high, but I'm waiting to see how the rest of the room comes together before I move it.  It may be just a bit too much for a small room if it were lower.  Oh yeah, and see that photo in the background?  Here's a close up:

I came across this guy on major clearance in Home Goods before the bank accepted our offer for The Lodge and I couldn't help but buy it as inspiration for the new home.  I hope to introduce some textiles to the room in these silvery blue and burnt orange colors to soften up the room and give it more personality.

What about you guys?  Anyone else splurge on a big item lately?  Have a crush on West Elm like me? Do tell!


  1. That chandy looks great!! The purchase seems to be well worth it already! Love the color scheme you're thinking about in there too!

  2. You're right, it's FABULOUS!!!! Hmm, this may have just pushed me over the edge ...