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As previously mentioned, I have been putting together some new lighting for the house, and thought posting before and afters of the hallway would be nice for myself so that I could feel a few short seconds of achievement over how much better it looks!

This was the cobbled together ghetto shade that I put up a few days after moving in, just so I wouldn’t have to look at the decrepitly disgusting one that was up when we arrived.

(Please ignore the state of the walls – the supposed  paint job by the landlord was a joke…at best. It looks like he got a herd of camels in to lick the paint on. We still need to finish plastering, sanding and painting this area before it is fit for human eyes.)

This pendant is an Ikea hack…was free…and way better than what was there previously, but still irked me every time I walked past it by whispering ‘ghetto’ to me in a smarmy voice (and located at the junction of the stairs and hall that was A LOT of snide whispering!).

So, having ordered a cornucopia of historic lighting goods from Sophie and Stan at Cottage Industries, I was really excited to put together some new, industrial lighting that I would be happy to look at, day in and day out. It took a little finagling, as this was my first complete light from start to finish, but I think I managed ok, as  everything looks clean and professional and nothing has exploded yet. Knock on wood.

The first shot is of the grubby, painted over rose previously on the fitting (shown here after scrubbing years of grime away and flaking most of the paint off). I needed to make the bronze ‘gland’ I purchased look a bit more substantial, so the spray painted the plastic el-crap-o black, then topped it with new bronze cap:

The new pendant in situ – complete with photoshopped paint job on the ceiling (what it will look like after painting)!:

A sigh of relief.

On a wiring streak, I also, finally (after 4 years!), wired up the beautiful ceramic bulb holder that came with my Nelson saucer with the last of the yellow fabric cord. 2 lights done with a meter of this cord. Quite a face lift for a mere £3.75! The fabric flex makes a huge difference, a nice little detail that adds a little colour into the lounge.

And lastly, I managed to properly fix the fitting in the bedroom into the ceiling with drywall hooks, fixing the gong-show DIY the last person had done – randomly screwing into  plaster…not into struts, so the whole business was just hanging in sieve-like plaster by pure chance (what crack was this person ON?? You should see the things they did to this poor house, from hanging doors the wrong way around to painting what looks like toilet paper onto walls!). Oh, the RAGE on that discovery! Deep breaths…

I had to cobble together a new rose for the lamp out of a brass vintage one as the old one was cracked and didn’t quite feel right, proportionally.

So now the Belgian-bubble looks like this:

I left the little screw at the bottom of the rose black, as the light holder inside the lamp is black bakelight, but may still take it down and spray it white. As you can’t see the other black bit, it looks a bit odd. Though maybe it is just me.

I have always been a firm believer in paying attention to details and have decided (in girly analogy) that lighting is like the eyebrow of a home…properly groomed and maintained it can transform a room.

Of course always be super careful with electrical wiring – take a picture of the wiring before dismantling anything, so you can put the new wiring back in the exactly the same way. (Be especially careful with screw bulb fittings for table lamps, as the wires need to attach to certain screws to keep the live wire inside the insulated casing, and away from you!) Do your research, keep track of what you are unscrewing and stay safe.

Safety addressed – in my opinion, lighting is one of the things you should really spend money on when decorating. You can buy a simple, comfy sofa and dress it up with great cushions, but lighting either makes or breaks a room.

Cheap/boring lighting fixtures immediately make a room look ghetto, so investing in some beautiful lighting that you can cherish and keep for years is worth it. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune, but quality and detail make all the difference – scouring charity shops for good fittings and adding high end detailing, like fabric flex or a beautiful lampshade yourself, is simple and effective.

Good lighting injects personality in a room and the best lighting can create a sculptural focal point while imbuing the room with warmth and coziness. There is nothing better than walking into a room and getting a warm fuzzy glow with the flick of a switch!



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