June 27, 2012

#190- Hanging an Antler Chandelier

I'm not going to lie to you, living in this house has been pretty fun lately.  We've had our share of extremes since we moved in over a year ago, from excitement, to depression, to exhaustion and everything in between.  There was something so frustrating and defeating about working into the midnight hours every single night for months on end, and waking up every morning to a gross construction zone.  I would look at other blogs with all these gorgeous and well decorated homes, and be filled with jealousy.  

We kept at it though.  Instead of giving up, we pushed it into overdrive.  We were going to have the house we wanted to live in, even if it killed us.  Fourteen months later a lot of the tough stuff is done, and we're finally getting on to the business of decor and personal touches.  And there is one touch we've had in mind since the beginning, that we finally got a chance to concur.


Above is a photo of our Loft, as viewed from the Living Room.  From the start we wanted to tear down that dated, beige-yellow track lighting and replace it with a statement piece.  Something that said Modern Natural Lodge, and gave the house a little character and intent.  I wanted an antler chandelier here.  Badly. 

Problem #1- Do you have any idea how expensive antler chandeliers are?  Every time I found one to swoon over, I would fall out of my chair at the price.  We are not the type of household that can spend $800+ on a light fixture.  (Or anything for that matter. #CheapDIYers)

Problem #2- Do you know how hard it is to find/acquire antlers to make your own chandelier?  I suppose this answer depends on where you live and the type people you know, but for me, it was as impossible as me getting into my skinny jeans right now. 

So when the Hubs sent me a Craigslist listing of a local guy selling an antler chandy for just $150, I was at the guy's house within 4 hours.  When I got there I was a little disappointed to find that the chandy was natural, not all white as he had shown in his listing, but used this to bargain a bit and got the piece for $125!  It was still in the Styrofoam in the box, never even taken out.  I attempted to hold in my party dance until I left his house, but I couldn't control my bootie and did a little conga on the way out to the car.  

The first step was to take down the old fixture, which we were pretty worried about since it was anchored into the natural wood tongue and groove ceilings.  We were pleasantly surprised that the holes in the wood were small and all but invisible, and there was no discoloration or anything on the ceiling once it came down.  Party rock was in the house. 

Unfortunately the ceiling box was way off centered on the wall, which meant we would have to swag the light.  I don't love that, but short of removing and reinstalling the entire ceiling full of panels, there wasn't much we could do.  We quickly moved on.

I knew almost immediately that I was going to spray the chandy white, but the Hubs wanted to at least see what it would look like natural, so we took 10 minutes to quickly hang up the light and take a look.  Because compromise (and proving your spouse wrong) is what marriage is all about.

Hubs took the bad boy back down in failure, and brought it out to the patio to spray with many, thin coats of a gloss white. 

After a good 48 hours of dry time, we brought it back in wired it up.  Here's a quick before pic of the Loft that sort of shows the old lighting. (Not to mention the gross carpet and rug, halleluiah for that replacement!)

And here it is now with the new light:

I love how it gives a certain feel to the whole house, as you can see it from the Living Room too:

My only concern was that the six 40 watt bulbs would be way less light than the 6 spots on the track lighting, but actually, I think this baby provides more light.


 Since the lights on this fixture point up instead of down, they seem to illuminate the whole wood ceiling,  really making the room feel warm, and well.... lodgey.  Yep- that's a word.  Don't bother to look it up, just trust me. 

Both the Hubs and I realized that this might be one choice in the house that is pretty personalized.  I mean I'm not sure why, but I gather that not everyone loves a good antler chandy as much as I do.  But in the end, for just $125 and 30 minutes of work, we're thrilled with what this piece adds to the room.  From the beginning the goal was to take this strange house and embrace the things that made it cool and unique, while downplaying the things that made it feel 80's and dated.  Now we just need to find a rug for this room, which I hope to post about shortly.

What do you think?  Anyone else made a daring lighting choice lately?  Or chose an upgrade in their house that you know isn't for everybody, but you don't care because it's really for you?  I mean if this is our forever house, then I really shouldn't care what potential buyers think, right?  Heaven help us if we ever try to move again!


  1. I love that...my brother might try to steal it from you :)

    1. It's damn precious, I wana stole this from you Kristine...

      antler lamps

  2. A bear rug with a head of course, would be appropriate with your new light fixture....... :-)

  3. I love it! we spent last week in the Olympic Nat. park and I've decided to incorporate the decor in the lodges we stayed in into our home. antlers! Roosevelt elk heads! leather Morrison chairs! and knotty pine in the basement.

  4. AnonymousJune 28, 2012

    Your loft looks really nice with the changes!

  5. The light looks great - especially with the cardboard safari trophies. Now you just need a faux animal skin rug (zebra, cow, bear with head or whatever) to complete the theme!