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A Little Bit of Sanity and A Lot of Chaos: Why can't I have a chandelier in my laundry room?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why can't I have a chandelier in my laundry room?

I am totally bummed about this project. I wanted it to work out so badly. It still will, just in a little smaller version...I think.

I've been building this up, so I might as well share it. I almost didn't because it is kind of a failure. But, in a way a success too. Does that make sense? I love the way it turned out, the problem is it is a tad too big for the room and Tom keeps hitting his head on it.

So, the concept  - SUCCESS! The execution - SUCCESS! The outcome - FAILURE.

But, I will get it to work, so help me, if I have to go out and buy a brand new smaller chandelier, this will happen.

Here's the story:

I got a chandelier at ReStore for $30. I had no idea where I would put it, but I thought it was great, so I got it. It sat in the utility sink (that has yet to be hooked up) for over two months.

Then, in an effort to clean the house and get things ready for our garage sale in May, I looked at the chandelier while standing in the laundry room. Then I looked up. Why not? I thought....and so I did.

Holy mess!


I love it! It's so fun! If I could just get all the other stuff out of there, then it would be perfect.

Okay, so I'm going to do a step-by-step because I know people will want to know how to change a light. It is really not that difficult. You just need the right tools.

First. Turn off the power at the electrical box. Each area of your house should be marked on the box and you just flip off the corresponding switch to that area. Often one switch controls a few light switches and plugs.
Then find one of these doo-hickies. 

It tests to see if a wire is still hot. If it is still hot, don't touch it! Eh-hem....you know who you are.... If it's still hot, you've got some issues. See a professional. Or a Dad. Or your hubby, I guess.

Start by taking down the existing light.

Then you can take the wires apart from each other. And you are left with this mess.

Generally there is a black wire and a white wire and a grounding wire. I don't know if you can see it, but the grounding wire here is coiled up right behind where that black wire is, by the junction box....

Bored yet?

Pretty daffodils.

Back to it. So, then you notice that your box doesn't have the proper set up for this kind of light, so you may have to run to the hardware store. Good thing it's right over the hill!

Grab this stuff:
A bracket, a washer, and a thingy with threads to attach the light, to the bracket.

I'm sure there is a more professional way to do this, but here's what I did:
I put the long thingy through the bracket. And strung the wires from my chandelier through the thingy. (Totally professional terminology here.)

Then put the washer on. This side is going to go in the junction box to keep everything from falling down. I know. Can you believe that little thing keeps everything from falling!?

Okay, so screw the bracket to the junction box. See how the wire goes through that middle thingy....
Those two wires with the caps have the electricity that we need!

Next, you've got to attach the wires together. A professional would totally know what to do when you don't have one set labeled and you forget to write down what the other set looked like when you took the first light fixture down, but, I'm no pro. So I went with my gut. Guess what. My gut was wrong, but this is funny. You'll laugh and call me an idiot. Seriously. I did.

So twist the wires together at the ends and then put these red caps on and twist until you feel like it's good enough. I'm pretty sure you are supposed to cut the wires so you have some fresh wires to work with, but I didn't. Send me to jail. Hopefully I don't get electrocuted someday because of this.

Okay, so once the wires are hooked up, run down and flip the switch on the electrical box and see if the lights work. Oh, and duh, turn on the light switch that works the light....ummm...I didn't. So I assumed that I had the wires wrong. So I switched them (after I turned the electricity off again). Then I went back down and switched the power on and came up and they still didn't work so I went over to try and fiddle with things, walked right past the off light switch, and then as I'm standing at the light I look over and say, "I'm such an idiot." 

Flipped the switch and wallah! Lights worked. So, really, it worked out, because I had to switch the wires anyway! Goodness gracious. I'm a hot mess. 

Bored yet? I am!

Pretty flowers.

Working light.

Then I noticed I didn't have an S hook to get the chandelier up higher, so we had to take another trip to the hardware store for that. Bummer. 

Now, it is hung and lovely. I just need to finish some organizing and it will be ready...for something. I don't know what, maybe it will inspire me to do the laundry.

This was done while hubby was away. And as you read above, it needs to be moved because it's just a tad too big for the space and hangs a tiny bit too low. But I will have a successful story in the end. Stay tuned.



Blogger Cat said...

Lovely fixture...I am sure it will be moved to another readily enjoyed space in your house. Can't wait to see what is next...I am sure you will find the right size/look to make your vision come true!

April 5, 2010 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

LOVE the idea of a chandelier in the laundry. After all, in this house it's the room I spend in the most - other than the kitchen and I have one in there :)

April 5, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

That light is unbelievable! It makes the room look so classy.

April 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger anita said...

Heeeeey, you know where that would look good? My dining room! Or you can just get a shorter husband. Either way...

April 5, 2010 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Low Tide High Style said...

I love it! And the end result is that you learned that a chandy looks awesome in your laundry room, now all you need to do is find the "right" chandy! Restore here you come!

Kat :)

April 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

So I know this post was about the Chandelier you hung in the laundry room - but I have just fallen in love with your "Lost Sock" wall hanging. Did you make that yourself? I would love a tutorial - or at least a close up picture so I can figure out how to make one of thosee for myself!

April 5, 2010 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Kirsty said...

I'm so relieved you like it!

Amy - I wrote about that Lost sock collector here:


Hope that helps! If you need more info, let me know!

April 5, 2010 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Your posts always make me laugh. I love the flowers!

April 5, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Kolein said...

OH my...you are so silly and hilarious! I roar out loud here at my desk while reading MOST (ALL) of your posts!!

First I want to say, "I love your laundry room". There.

Next I love the sock thing. I think that's when I first found you or were you THE ONE who decorated your wooden clothes pins? Well, either way. Any ideas for a plethora of lost socks. No lie. I was just in my laundry room stuffing them into a drawer and thought I could hang these on a retractable laundry line or think of some better way or place to put these! Gosh!

I love your chandelier and that you gave us a tute on how to do electric...I was lost after the first photo of daffodils....which means I won't be doing my own electrical. But I did look at all your photos!!!

Where there's a will there's a way. And after following you for some time I just know you WILL find the WAY!!!!!

Could your husband just squat when he's in the laundry room??

Have a great day!

April 5, 2010 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Natalie Catherine said...

gorgeous! why not feel a little fancy while doing the laundry!! hehe. we put a fancy light in our master bedroom..and i think it's too big for the space but i love it...you need a little glam and romance in your day! :)

April 5, 2010 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger anita said...

If I could figure out this twitter thing I would tweet to you that I love the sneak peek at your chair! :)

April 5, 2010 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

Nice find, with the chandelier! What if you used a little screw-in-the-wall hook and swagged the light so it hung over the washer/dryer or more over to the window, someplace that it wouldn't be in the flow of traffic? Hard to tell from the pics the proportions of the room, not sure if that would work IRL... Good luck!

April 5, 2010 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Your laundry room looks pretty amazing to me! Even without the chandelier! I thought it looked good in there, too. Too bad husbands have to be so tall. ;)

I would love for you to stop by my blog for a fun spring block give away! Have a great night! alittleknickknack.blogspot.com

April 5, 2010 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Frugal Home Designs said...

That looks great. It would maybe even coax me into the laundry room more than once a week :)

April 5, 2010 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Amy Kinser said...

Looks great...love the idea. Can't wait to see where it ends up and what takes its place.

April 5, 2010 at 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it -- and it's so timely because I have a light fixture I've wanted to hang for sometime but hubby's back is out. Now I will try it for myself. Now -- do you put the brown with the white then? You did a wonderful job and are multi-talented (my hero)!

April 5, 2010 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger I'm Just a Southern Girl said...

wow, I think I wouldn't mind doing the laundry if mine looked like that!

April 6, 2010 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Sabrina said...

I LOVE that you jazzed up your laundry room with a fancy light...sad that it's not going to work...excited to see what your happy ending will be.

April 6, 2010 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Oh man, I laughed out loud when you showed the daffodils! Too funny. If you want to keep it in there, why not swag it over the washer and dryer (or closer to the window) so you're not standing directly under it? It looks awesome in there!

April 6, 2010 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger The Peterson Family said...

I love chandeliers in unexpected places, so I have always wanted one swagged over my tub. On a porch would be nice as well..

April 11, 2010 at 8:37 AM  

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