A Cheap Chic Chandelier

You may have read about my first early birthday present waaay back in this post about our hallway light.  Well, Aaron was gracious enough to let me have one more thing for my birthday in February so for over a month, I had been scouring the internet for a new chandelier for our dining room.  My apologies for just now getting to post this.  The time that elapsed from the beginning of this story to when the finished product actually came about was a pretty long while, especially since we were early in our pregnancy during that time and my sick self didn’t have the brain power to focus on anything, let alone our dining room chandelier. So just imagine my dining room being a hot mess for most of January and February and some of March as this is all taking place.

The chandelier that we inherited with this house was pretty basic and was there when we moved in.  I can tell that it used to be brass and the previous owners tried to remedy that, but were not successful.  They used, what looks like, the same crazy substance that makes up popcorn ceilings on the chandelier.  So it has that stippled texture.  I’m not sure why they thought that was a good idea. Even if I painted over it, that texture was still going to show through.  So if I wanted a nice chandelier in there, I was going to have to buy a new one (and thanks to our church yardsale, we were able to get rid of this one recently).

Here’s a photo with the old chandelier, although you can’t really see that stippled texture so well:

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I quickly discovered that chandeliers are EXPENSIVE!  Like hundreds to thousands of dollars expensive, especially if they have chrome on it, like I wanted.  My goodness, that’s certainly not in our budget.  I do understand that this is par for the course; that most people pay that price for light fixtures.  But I’m not most people.  I refuse to dish out large sums of cash when I know cheaper (still classy) options exist.

After a month or so of looking with no good results, a fortunate google search for ideas somehow brought me to an ebay page where I found a beautiful chrome 5-light chandelier that used to be a floor model at a Lowes store.  It said it came without shades, which I thought was fine because our current chandelier has 5 decent shades on it already. The new chandelier was chrome but also looked kind of traditional, which I loved.  I loved the whole thing!

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The price? Get ready…23.20!!!!!!  With shipping, Aaron only paid $46!!  Lowes is selling it right now (here) for a whopping $231.21!  I think I would throw up if I spent that much money on one light fixture.  And I can’t believe I haven’t tried ebay very much in the past.  For some reason I thought it was for old and broken things, but I’ve found tons of stuff on there that is new since then.

Well, as excited as I was, my heart sunk when it arrived and we found 2 issues.

1. The shades on our current chandelier that I thought I could reuse on the new one, don’t fit.  They don’t have the right kind of internal mounting and they are too small.  So we would need to find other shades.  Luckily, we were able to remedy this by picking up a few glass shades at Lowes.  I had a few gift cards from Birthday and Christmas that I was saving and used them for this purchase so we paid nothing out of pocket for the new shades – score!

2. It was bent.  The ebay listing did sell it “as is” and showed photos of it as is, so I don’t think they are at fault, but in my excitement over finding it, I probably didn’t examine it quite as closely as I should have.  But Aaron, being the engineer that he is, was able to hammer the arms back in to place so you’d never know they were bent.

Here’s the chandelier all bent, and with 4 different shades we were trying out from Lowes.  This picture makes it look so crazy.  At this point, I was almost ready to send it back.

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But, after Aaron worked his magic with a hammer and we decided on one kind of shade and added them in, it actually looked more like I had imagined.  Here it is all finished in our dining room. It really looks much better in person.

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Overall, I’m very happy with it.  I do wish I had paid more attention at the beginning to what I was purchasing, but you can’t beat a chrome, glass shade chandelier for under $50!  Especially since the shades are kind of a custom add-on, so no one else has this exact chandelier in their house, which I love!

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