DINING ROOM LIGHTING OPTIONS!

I have a drawer specifically dedicated to housing partnerless socks, which would be a brilliant idea if I were ever able to reunite any of them with their partners.  I have never once found a partner. I have a beige, wooly sock that matches a beige wooly sweater I own, that has sat, partnerless in that  tomb of a single sock drawer for 5 years.

Yet I keep them all with the kind of unfailing hope normally reserved for fad diets.

Other stuff?  Useful stuff?  Yeah, I just chuck that.  The one and only key to open the bars on my basement window?  Chucked it.  The instruction manual for my very complicated tomato press?  Chucked it.  The Prada skirt I got for $20 at a second hand store?  Chuckeroo.  I have no idea why, but it must have seemed like a good idea at the time.  Maybe I’m sleep chucker.

Which brings me to my dining room light, the Draper light from Crate and Barrel. I bought it on sale online a few years ago and really liked the bit of mid century modern it brought to my front hall.  Then this past year I did a bit of rearranging in my house and I replaced the Draper lamp in my front hall with an empire chandelier that I got from Kijij (Canada’s better answer to Craiglist) for $100.  I had to do this to because I didn’t want a mid century lamp over my new mid century Tulip table.  Too much mid century.

It was all going to work out fine because I could just  hang the Draper lamp in my library/dining room.  The light has kind of a library feel to it so I was confident it would look good.

And it probably would have looked good ….

… had I not chucked the extension bars for it.  The pieces of brass rod that let you drop the light lower.  Yeah, I chucked them.  I don’t know why but I did it. I guess I figured that once it was installed in the foyer I was never going to move it and was never going to need them.  But I did and I do.

After a bit of consideration I also decided that maybe I just didn’t like the light that much.  I could have searched around to find extension bars that matched the same burnished brass colour as the light or I could have bought some and painted them to match but that’s a pain for something I’m not completely in love with.  Like, I’d go to the ends earth to fix something (anything) for Idris Elba or even Jeff Goldblum.  Definitely Anthony Bourdain or Adam Driver.   But for say, Brad Pitt – yeah, he’s O.K. – but he’s not worth the work.

Neither is the Draper lamp.

As it turns out the Draper lamp is going to end up in the sock drawer.

Which means I now have to pick out a pendant light for the dining room.  I did a bit of browsing just to see what styles I liked and came up with a few.  The one I really love is the Lindsey Adelman type branch lights but I’m worried in a few years I’ll look back on it and think, “Oh look!  The Chevron of lighting fixtures!”.

I really do love it though.

Here are a few of the looks I’m considering, including that Lindsey Adelman knock off.

 

  1. Candle style chandelier.
  2. Geometric Gold sculpture chandelier.
  3. Lindsey Adelman (branching) knock off chandelier gold.
  4. Lindsey Adelman (branching) knock off chandelier black.
  5. George Nelson Bubble light.
  6. Globe light that I can no longer find anywhere on the Internet, lol.  Oy.

The first light, the sort of medieval looking candle style chandelier is nice and I really like the style but it’s a bit too … wrong.  I’m not sure why but I think it’s partly because it’s very busy with all the chains and links in the chains and 7,000 bulbs.  It’s just too much with all the books in the bookcases.  It also doesn’t look solid enough, it’s too wispy.

 

Now this light I LOVE.  I love it with all of my heart and a sliver of my appendix.  It’s a big, solid looking sculpture made from metal that lights up the room. What’s not to love?  At $1,369 it’s a bit of a budget eater, but since I did the entire room myself and I do EVERYTHING myself, I’d almost consider it.  I’d at least consider saving for it.

What’s selling  me on it is I haven’t seen it anywhere else before.  Also, to get over the sticker shock I’m considering it a piece of art and any piece of art is going to cost $1,000.  This one just happens to hang from the ceiling and light up.

 

And the Lindsey Edelman branching light.  I’m sure you’ve seen these lights before. They’re everywhere now and for a much lower price than Lindsey’s.  She came up with this design and deserves any and ALL credit for it.   Her designs are the Haute Couture of the lighting world and most of her lights cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Just look at this from her Cherry Bomb collection.

 

Yeah.  She knows what she’s doing that Lindsey Edelman.  Her branching light kind of disappears in this photo of my dining room but I think in real life it would show up beautifully.

 

 

 

 

Genius woman that she is, she offers a DIY version of her iconic branching light for $200 US, which I would have bought years ago if I thought it would be big enough for my dining room table.  She only recently added dimensions and photographs on her website so now I know it probably would be big enough.

It’s a contender.

I have a hunch I should maybe be looking at more black options though.  Black might be a better choice.

 

I’ve wanted a George Nelson Bubble light since I moved into this house.  In fact I wanted one so much and talked about it so often that a designer friend of mine, Carol Reed (who e-designed my kitchen),  believed that I had one.  I do not.  But if I did, this is what it would look like.

 

These globe type branching lights are another Lindsey Edelman inspired lighting option.  If not for the fact that I found the light online and then promptly forgot where I found it.  I thought it was Wayfair but if it was it isn’t on there anymore.

That’s O.K.  It’s no Anthony Bourdain.

 

I’m leaning towards the DIY Lindsay Edelman I think because, that’s what I do.  I do things.  Stuff, I do stuff.  But honestly, I wish I wasn’t quite so compelled to do everything.  If I weren’t so compelled I would just buy the Lindsay Edelman knock off for almost the same price and spend the time I saved not making it to do other more useful stuff.

Like  hacksaw the bars off of my basement window.

116 Comments

  1. Laura says:

    I’m with you on the branch lighting:
    It’s beautiful
    It screams 2016

    I pick the classic bubble. It’ll never be in the category of chevron/fad.

    • Karen says:

      I know that it seems like it screams 2016 (true) but here’s the funny part … she designed that light and it’s been around 11 years ago in 2006! It just suddenly became available to the masses last year. :/ I really do like it. Arghhhhh, lol. ~ karen!

    • Deborah Delosreyes says:

      Me too

  2. Julie Napier says:

    Go for the gold!! Love, love love it! I am with you that it just lights up your library/dining room.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, it’s really nice. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Catherine says:

        I’m with Julie on the chunky gold light. I looks like a piece of bold jewelry above the simple table and curvy chairs. It’s also gonna look gorgeous at night. And, while I love the Branch lamps I kinda think they get lost and look a little wispy against very graphic shelves. I think the exposed bulb lamps tend to case unflattering light and shadows everywhere. Kinda like those crime scene lights the police set up. Not really a look I’d go for in a dining room.

  3. Cynna says:

    Go with #1 or 2. The others are too trendy. Mid-Century Modern is on its way out.

    • Karen says:

      I get what your’e saying cynna, but honestly … Midcentury modern will never be “out”. It will always have a place in well designed rooms. 🙂 True story. ~ karen!

      • Cynna says:

        Maybe in small doses…
        I’m an inTeri or designer, and one of my brothers founded a very successful furniture company that originally based itself on mid-century modern design. You’ve probably shopped it.

  4. Paula says:

    I wish I had your vision, you are very talented. I know what I like, but I don’t know how to put it together. We are building an addition to our century home and I am worried that it is going to look like Grandma’s house (no offense to Grandma).

    • Karen says:

      If I ever built an addition on to the back of my century house (which I couldn’t because there’s no room) I’d do it very, VERY modern. Glass walls, black metal. That sort of thing. It’s soooo hard to duplicate the qualities of an old house that I know I could never do it. Hence … go total opposite. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Paula says:

        I have seen photos of modern addition onto century homes and some of them look really good. We live out in the country and as our home is board and batten we will be able to match it. The previous owner replaced the wooden windows (a sin in my opinion) with plastic ones, so we can match those as well.
        We are replicating the roof pitch, too. I will send you a pic when it is finished. You can give me some decor advice, you know, in your ‘oh so much’ spare time! lol

  5. Sara says:

    5. The other ones look busy. But who am I to choose your light? You seem to have better taste than me. My rules: 1. Is it a lot to dust, 2. Looks ok, 3. Work well, gives off enough light. My husband usually gets tired of what I like and replaces it. We have light wars. Too, #5 may not work for you. I do like all of them. Best luck.

    • Karen says:

      AH, yes, the classic George Nelson. Good choice. ~ karen!

      • Patti says:

        I totally agree. Sometimes less is more, and I think that you already have so much going on in that space, the globe light creates a beautiful, much-needed visual break. It was the only photo which drew me to look at the pieces you have in the room. I looked at it for much longer than the others, and I feel that is indicative of the success it has in letting that room shine.

        • Patti says:

          I also want to add that I feel the branch light looks good in the photo example you sent because it’s a minimalistic room – so it really has the opportunity to pop against the white, clean backgrounds.

      • Jill Hughes says:

        Recently bought the George Nelson bubble light. It’s not up yet, but will look great over my Scandinavian style table. The lamp even looks good in the box! Highly recommend it.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Number 2 …

  7. Frank says:

    Girl, You can light up a room just by being in it. You don’t need any fancy lights

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Not true. Although I did have a friend once whose teeth were so white I probably could have stood him smiling in the corner and dropped my household electricity bill in half. ~ karen!

    • Clare Hollingsworth says:

      Frank, there must be thousands of people on here who wish they had expressed that sentiment in just those words. (I am one of them!)

  8. Sandi Remedios says:

    I agree that number 1 doesn’t seem to work.
    Number 6 reminds me of War of the Worlds.
    I absolutely LOVE Number 5, if it was my home that is the one I would pick.
    I like the branch lights but they just seem to disappear, not enough oomph. I think you are right that if you were picking that style, black might be better or pewter.
    I also think it is very cool, that you can plunk pictures of lights into your dining room. I wish I knew how to do that, because it would make decision making soooo much easier.
    I also agree with you about Brad Pitt.
    Just sayin.

  9. Tina says:

    Nope, I like #1. I like the simplicity of it. And I think it could be easily made seasonal. Can you imagine what you could do with it at Xmas time?

    • Karen says:

      I have to be honest with you Tina. I did think of that, lol! What with my Xmas decorating obsession. I know, it’d be great. ~ karen!

  10. Judy D. says:

    I love, love, love the look of No. 5, the George Nelson Bubble light. None of the other options even come close to looking as good as the bubble light. As a side note, the other lights are DUST COLLECTORS. 🙂

  11. Frank says:

    Now that’s hilarious

  12. Jennie Lee says:

    I’m not sure you actually ASKED us what we think, but that has never stopped us before, right? I wish you’d photoshopped #4 for us, because I think it might look better in black, although I have never liked light fixtures that let you look right at the bulb(s). You obviously do not mind that. I’m afraid #5 reminds me of the 1960 light fixture I replaced about 3 years ago, here in my 1960 house. For 54 years, I did not like it, but it was not my house. It looked like the bubble, but was not squatty, it was more elongated and had a brass-colored rim around both top and bottom, and was more sharply pleated than ribbed. I called it the alien egg. When I took it down, I planned to give it away, but the plastic was so old it broke in pieces just from handling it. Number 4 in black, IMO.

  13. Sue says:

    Really love the bubble lighting . . .

  14. That odd guy says:

    2.Geometric Gold Sculpture Chandelier.
    Looks like something I made for Christmas in grade 2, but if you are into that sort of thing, we can do business, as long as Michaels has gold/brass construction paper.
    Easier to hang too, not nearly as heavy.
    I can definitely give you a discount taking into account how helpful you always are.
    Next to Hanin, you are definitely my fave celeb. Emma Watson was gorgeous and sweet, but I doubt she would do a chicken necropsy.
    Just seems a bit preoccupied with whatever…

  15. Carrie B says:

    I am totally in love with the bubble light!
    Never knew they existed.
    Also, something so clean an organized about the color white.
    Really digging your dining room chairs too.
    Thank you, again for turning me onto gorgeous pieces out there.
    You’re the best. 🙂

  16. Lois Baron says:

    How often do you dust? Seems as if dust will show up more on the black bubble fixture than on the others.

    I’d love to see #2 in person. In the photo it looks a lot like a fascinating collection of partly disassembled boxes, maybe cut-up egg cartons. (And that’s after I went to the website to get a better grasp of it.)

    All good choices–which makes it even harder, doesn’t it? lol.

  17. Valerie says:

    Number 3 is my favourite

  18. Elaine says:

    I like #1 but then again, I’m pretty old now so what do I know!? I drooled when I saw that Cherry Bomb photo! Wow is all I can say. Now, here’s my thought, Karen … you do so many jobs yourself (building that fabulous patio wooden furniture for example) so just think of the money us more non-gifted readers have to dole out just to hire someone. So, if you love something but it’s really expensive, I still say “go for it”! Life is short (and uncertain) so treat yourself; you’ve earned it!! There, I’m done and now I’m off to bed.

  19. Thandi says:

    I’m going to say it:
    I love the branch lights. Love them. And if there is a cheap diy option, then you won’t feel bad if you’re sick of them after a few years. The bubble light is lovely and the gold sculptural chandelier is Epic, but oh dear lord the dusting. I HATE dusting. To be honest I thought the branch lights were constellations…

    • toni says:

      You’ve said what was in my mind …… the branch lights let the rest of the room shine. Important after all the work that went into “creating” the space. Having said that, I too love the bubble light, as I’m somewhat of a symmetrical fanatic … which may not be where you’re headed with your lovely skewed vision. The gold ……. takes my breath away. But that breath may well turn into blue air when dusting time rolls around. I’m with THANDI on that pitfall. Black is always a great anchor in a room …… but the dust aaaargh !!! So, I’d probably steer towards the branch style as long as it’s big enough.

  20. JulieD says:

    I didn’t know she offered a DIY version for 200 bucks! I’ll have to go look at that. I know it’s sometimes a relief to just go buy something (believe me, I know!), but would it be an option to make one similar – and large enough to suit- out of some nice pipe and Edison bulbs?

  21. Jennifer says:

    That Vermont something Cumulus light is ON SALE for $1050.00!!! I vote for that one. I love it too, but I’m not remodeling anything yet. I think it would look amazing in your room for years.

  22. Margaret K. says:

    Interesting set of choices. Not sure that 2, 3, and 4 would actually work well as dining table lighting, though. Fine as hanging artwork, but as table lighting?

  23. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Yeah, I’m voting for the George Nelson Bubble. I just love it. Soft even glow around the room. Which, remembering how you like to use dimmers, will be easy to amp up or down. And I think it’s a way better choice for a library/dining room than the harsher light of exposed bulb pinpoints.
    Yup. Believe me, it’s the right light someone sophisticated enough to be in The New York Times. But it.

  24. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Oops.
    Buy it!

  25. Catherine says:

    Bubble here too. I’ve always wanted one. Also I find nekkid bulbs too bright so I like shades/diffusers on pendant lights. But that’s just me!

  26. Lesley Brisco says:

    I’m going crazy trying to work out what the thing is under The Cherry bomb collection is!?
    Can someone help me out? Is it a photo, a painting, a mirror? Karen, please help an OCD reader!

  27. Allison says:

    Please do the gold geometric. It really is a work of art. My second place vote goes to the George Nelson, but that geometric one is just so gorgeous.

  28. Lynda0 says:

    Bubble👌🏻💯

  29. Leslie says:

    Karen, you HAVE to go with option number two. Agreed it’s a budget eater but if you love it, you won’t regret it. I had the same dilemma a few years back when deciding on a kitchen light and after thinking it over for a full year, I finally made the purchase. One of the best decisions I ever made – I still love it now and people always comment on how striking it is. Treat yourself – you deserve it 🙂

  30. Cathy Reeves says:

    #2,/#5. The stick ones seem too stick-y, too wispy. The white one disappeared in your photo. I like the impact of #2 and the color. #5 was made for your dining room. It shouldn’t live in anyone else’s home. The black bubble thing reminds me of something viscous that dripped from your ceiling and became suspended mid air.
    Gotta go, it’s Orphan Sock Day. Last one yielded 3 reunited pairs….woo-hoo!!

  31. Karen says:

    #1. Too castle. #2. Perfection. #3. Eh (that little sound like nah) #4. Great (because it’s got that bit of black every room needs) #5. Too ikea. #6. You’ll have a lovely piece of art. Just no light.

  32. Ev Wilcox says:

    Gold w white globes! The black ones will suck up the light (and show dust overnight!). BTW-thanks for The Times article. I managed to copy it and it now resides in my document file. Well done, and the photos were very good. Don’t get too famous-we’ll all miss you so much!

  33. Miriam says:

    #2 is amazing!
    I know it’s expensive but think of all the money you’ve saved by doing things yourself.
    If I were buying it, I’d have to pay someone to instal it, about $200 I’d say.

    And it definitely is a piece of art.

  34. I like the one you can’t find anymore. For me, it’s Richard Dreyfuss. I once followed a guy around Canadian Tire just to hear his voice, he sounded just like Richard Dreyfuss. I learned that he taught at the local college. I wanted to go to school and take his course just so I could hear that voice, that laugh, … sigh.

  35. Heather J Tebbutt says:

    When you look at the whole picture, #5 or #6 suit the room because of the curves which you have in your chairs. Love the Cherry Bomb branching light…a true work of art!

  36. Kirsten says:

    I like the branch and I think it would look nice….. but that gold one is a knockout!!! It looks the best in the pictures. My husband teases me for this but my motto is ” if I want it, I must need it” No this does not imply that I own mink coats, fabulous jewelry, or a Porsche. My wants/needs are not very extravagant, except maybe for the chandelier that I splurged on 5 years ago. Every time someone compliments me on it I beam and say ” thankyou this room really needed it”

  37. Teri says:

    Ah, to have electrical service that would allow a chandelier – my century home doesn’t even have OUTLETS in the ‘ahem’ dining area. it does, however, have a lot of clutter. Every light switch is different – some are bakelite and switch HARD, some are 70’s replacements and switch soft, and I have a grand total of ONE 3-way switch in the entire place (and 100 Amp service). I think prior to ME getting a fancy-dancy hanging light, I should remove 2/3 of the clutter in the house, and upgrade the electrical….. But I love your photoshopping and sharing. not actually a fan of hanging lights, I have a friend who is 6’6″ and when we built the great-room in my younger-old house, my poor designer was having conniptions as I made her hang the dangly pretty lights 2 feet higher than one would normally do – but I knew if we pulled the tables out of the way for a partay, my friend would break the lights…. 😉 Pick what you want, Karen, and indulge yourself.

  38. Susan Claire says:

    I like the bubble, but my first consideration would be just exactly how much light am I getting? I wouldn’t want to blind anybody, but 25 watts isn’t going to cut it. Second choice would be #2-I would love to have an alien wasp’s nest hanging over the dining room table.

  39. Kathryn says:

    I think all of these are cool in their own way. But I’m gonna go with the simplest design in your awesome dining room /library. The bubble light. The others seem to get lost in the background of the library.

  40. I think you should come to the treehouse… sit… and just contemplate light and life. ha 🙂 Sounds like a great solution to me! PS. the squirrels may even weigh in on your decision making.

    PS. You could hang a paper bag from the ceiling and it would still look great because, hey… THOSE BOOKSHELVES… hello gorgeous.

  41. Carol-Anne says:

    My vote is for the George Nelson Bubble #5

  42. Sylvia says:

    Hey Karen, if you are anything like me, which I suspect you are, since I also find Anthony Bourdain worth “fixing”, haha, you have already made up your mind, you just want your audience to justify your purchase. That messed up gold metal is amazing! It’s different. Whimsical. Out of the ordinary. Big statement. And, you know that’s what u really want! Right? I say go for it. It really is an “Anthony Bourdain” kind of light.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! No I really haven’t made up my mind. Or even stopped looking! But I agree with all of your points. 😉 ~ karen!

  43. Linda in Illinois says:

    I pick #5 George Nelson Bubble.. it is shaped more on the order of the chairs. Seem to flow better with my eyes.

  44. Jane says:

    The branch lighting is too light and busy. Your books create enough business. Gold or bubble is my pick.

  45. Angela says:

    I still like the original Draper light the best!

  46. Mary W says:

    I loved the gold geode squares so much and said to myself you wouldn’t pick it. Then you said you loved it and I congratulated myself for being wise until I saw the price and I just couldn’t. I did say NEVER the white squished globe, not ever, it is ugly. THEN I saw it hanging in your space and said this is IT. It is perfect and I don’t even like it. But to tell the truth, my favorite is the cherry bomb light. BUT I think you could actually make a similar one that may even look better when using real twigs and if I were an electrician, this is certainly the one I would make for my shop – everyone would be coming to my store to view it. Maybe chose the gold geode nugget or the squished globe but make the cherry bomb to hang somewhere – would love to see what you come up with. It is beyond cool.

  47. Leslie says:

    Definitely #3 as it is airy and gives good flow. The others look too clunky in my opinion.

  48. Barbara Cooper says:

    # 1 or 5 would be my choice…but that’s just because I’m anal about symmetry in some things. Most of the others seem too bulky or heavy for the area. But I know you’ll pick the perfect fixture!

  49. Kim C says:

    I know zilch about how to pull a room together but upon examining your post today I found at least three things that I could imagine would make me say wow if you were able to implement them… chandelier #2 combined with Chef Bourdain and Mr Goldblum. 😉
    I need to add, Karen, that photo way up near the top, with Margaret, had me stuck there for a long time just staring…that single tulip in front of your black plates, the wood, the black linens…perfection!!!

  50. I really love the second, gold one. It’s like a giant geode or multi-faceted mineral hanging from your ceiling. I think the angles of it contrast nicely with the curves of the chairs, but it’s still less “busy” than the other ones.

    I can’t stand the branch lights, or sputnik lights if we are talking about lighting hates (not that you were considering them, anyways).

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