Even though we declared our kitchen project done over a month ago, there are still little dangling tasks hanging over our heads. Some, quite literally. See that shadeless stick of a pendant hanging down from the ceiling in the fireplace area?
That old pendant has been broken forever (despite me fixing it once already) so that half of the room has been cloaked in darkness for months. Well, or least in comparison to the rest of the room which has been light and bright since our little lighting overhaul during the kitchen reno.
Our temporary lighting solution has been this floor lamp tucked in the corner. But it too has woes of its own. One of the switches broke, so leaning over behind the chair and unplugging it/plugging it in is now the only way to turn it off or on. Not the end of the world, but not the nicest thing on the ol’ back when you’re doing it multiple times a day. We were over it after a few weeks and it has been the routine for a few months now.
We even grew to call it the Bend & Snap (Legally Blonde, anyone?) – and although it makes the “exercise” mildly more entertaining, we were always keeping our eyes peeled for the perfect replacement for the broken ceiling pendant. And it took a while to find it.
The struggle that we were having was finding something that doesn’t compete with the other pendants in the room. We wanted something pretty flush (since I’m a tall guy and I didn’t want anything that felt too close to my head in such an open area), but nothing boob-light-ish. Oddly enough a ton of flush mount lights in our price range were what Sherry affectionately calls boob lights. Any lighting industry peeps listening? There’s a hole in the market for good clean-lined and simple, not-curvy flush mounted fixtures that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Sure there are a few crisp drum shade-ish options, but not the same insanely wide variety that there are for their buxom counterparts (frosted boob lights, marbled boob lights, ORBed boob lights, etc).
Finally, at our recent trip to Ikea, we came across Aläng. Let’s just call him Alan for short. No wait, let’s do Alän since I just learned how to type that umlaut and I’m feeling proud of myself (ALT+U then whatever letter you want under it, fyi).
Anyways, Alän came in two sizes and we got the larger 18″ version for $40. Gotta love Ikea prices (many 18″ drum shades alone are around $40 without the light itself). But like most Ikea pieces, he required assembly – giving me flashbacks to assembling Max in our bedroom.
It wasn’t that bad, though. First I had to pop each of the three light sockets into the central fixture. Easy. Though it created a bit of a jumble of wires that made me raise an eyebrow.
But it looks like Ikea was one step of ahead of me, having already placed clips and channels to wrangle the cords. My eyebrow returned to its default position.
You can see how the wires are held against the sides of the central fixture in the pic below. Though I actually took this picture to show off how Space Invader-y this thing was starting to look once I added the spokes that would eventually hold the shade in place.
With the light as assembled as it could be without actually attaching it to the ceiling, I flipped off the power to the whole house (since neither our fusebox nor my memory is labelled well enough to be sure what breaker controls what) and began removing the old light.
With old light out, Alän could begin taking his pläce. Here’s he is all wired up and ready to be set flush against the ceiling.
The system that secures the central fixture to the ceiling is kinda just a glorified zip tie, which was a little strange to me – I’m used to screws and bolts for these things. But it was easy and seemed to work great, so I shouldn’t complain.
Then came turning the power back on to make sure my wiring was successful (it was). Oh and these incandescent bulbs were the only bulbs that we had three of at the time – but we’ve since replaced them with… wait for it… LEDs! And we love them so far. We’ll have to give you a full report down the road as to how they last and how we like them over time. But they give off a really nice bright glow and we love that they should last an unbelievably long time and save us loot in the long run.
But back to hanging the shade. You may be wondering how it’s secured. Well, those little spokey dudes are MAGNETIC. Yup they’re tiny, very very strong magnets. Like the Altoids of magnets.
This, like the zip tie, they had me doubtful at first – but as soon as I felt the shade snap firmly into place with pretty surprising force I was all smiles. It was easy and quick to do and I’m pretty sure I don’t have to worry about it falling on my head anytime soon (but if I did, the shade is pretty darn light anyways).
This is one of those can’t-capture-the-true-beauty items that we own, but in person everyone who walks in comments on it. This picture is the closest thing to showing the pretty subtle woven detail and the soft glow that it gives off. Update: lots of folks are asking if it gives off a lot of light, it’s not a glowing beacon that blinds you or anything but it should definitely be bright enough for a decent sized room or hallway. It only takes three twenty watt bulbs, but if you use CFLs or LEDs, they give off more light at lower wattages.
Of course that awesome subtle texture is lost in further away pics (but oddly enough, not in person – maybe because these pics are much smaller than life sized?), but here’s Alän from further away. Ta-DÄH!
I don’t know why I stood semi to majorly off-center to take the shot above and the shot below, but in person it’s centered exactly between the two beams and it lines up with the mirror if you stand in the right spot. Düh.
But enough with the celebratory umlauts. In short: Sherry and I are thrilled with it. It’s pretty much exactly what we were looking for. Something that doesn’t fight for attention with the other pendants. Something that we’re not going to bump
our heads my head into. And something that’s not very boob-like. Plus it helps define that area over by the fireplace and feels more in proportion with that space than a single can light (or a directional light aimed at the fireplace) that we could have installed instead (we weighed both of those options and decided a nice clean-lined shade really helped add to the “casual living zone” feeling of that side of the room).
Heck, from the kitchen side of the room when he’s off, you hardly even know he’s there.
Though when the light switches are flipped on, we definitely appreciate his presence since it means the room is (finally!) evenly lit and we no longer have to bend over to plug in that darn floor light in the corner. In fact that light has since been banned from the room. We just don’t need it anymore (huzzah! no more bending and snapping!) and now that corner with the chair looks more balanced.
It’s hard to tell in these wide room shots since it just gets kinda blown out and the detail is lost because they’re small pictures (as opposed to actually standing in the room with it, where things are all life-sized), but in person the texture is such a nice detail that makes the light look special – but not so special that it’s fighting with the more special over-sized globe pendants over the peninsula (don’t tell Alän I said that). It’s a delicate balance. Wish we could capture this guy better for you, because the photos here really don’t do him justice. You’ll all just have to come over for tea and scones or something.
So that’s one thing off of our lingering kitchen to-do list. Although Sherry and I have been talking about spray painting our stools at the peninsula (we wanted to live with them as-is for a while before making any rash decisions) and we’re still not sure which way we’ll go. We’re hunting for a more permanent rug for the living area of the kitchen (the zone in front of the fireplace), so we’ll wait to get that pinned down before making any final stool decisions. You know in case we find an awesome rug with some tone that we wanted on the chairs that would then be overkill if it was in both places. But we promise we’ll keep you posted! For now we’re just trying to enjoy having a nice, well-lit spot for our nightly dance parties with Ms. Clara. Have you guys installed any lights lately? Or had any issues finding the right flush mounted fixture? Are you currently debating painting metal stools or some other accessory in your house?
[email protected] says
That light is wayyy better than the old one that was there – way to go. Love Ikea ♥
Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods says
HAHAHA! Bend & Snap…CLASSIC! You guys crack me up! But on a serious note, I’m loving this new fixture! Really fits this space perfectly!
Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove says
The new light looks great! I love how simple it is and that it doesn’t hang low.
Katrina @ 'Sota is Sexy says
LOVE the basket weave texture on the new fixture! (And mad props for the bend and snap reference. That’s probably my favorite movie ever.)
Hilary @ My So-Called Home says
Looks great! We just bought the Eden pendant from CB2 but haven’t had a chance to install it yet. Can’t wait though!
Seriously Sassy Mama says
I really like that fixture.
Zipties and magnents? Seems like something you would have in the premade house box kit things (eloquent, right?) Like these: http://www.greenmodernkits.com/
Haha, love that!
Karen F says
Funny – I was just in Ikea last week and saw this exact light and thought “what a nice alternative to a boob light”. Same wavelength, people! It looks great in your room and I’m sure you appreciate not having to swerve your head around the old broken fixture anymore(well, at least John).
Haha- amen! Thank goodness for Ikea!
heather s. says
I noticed it a few weeks ago and thought the same thing! I contemplated buying it but then held off since I don’t *need* a new light right now.
It looks great!
Julia @Chris Loves Julia says
The light is just perfect! Oh, Ikea. Way to pull through again. We are currently trying to decide on a fixture for the outdated former nursery turned art studio. In fact, we are letting our readers decide and in the tightest race known to man (only 2 votes separate the top two choices) we are still at a stand still. Here’s hoping we can crown a victor soon. I don’t think the capital…errr the room can handle two fixtures. :)
At the beginning of your post when you started talking about wanting a flush light that wasn’t a boob light, but wasn’t expensive, I thought, “Oh! Oh! I just saw one at Ikea last week that would be perfect!” and then I kept reading and saw that you had found that one too! I just thought that was funny. It looks great, and have fun at Clara’s party this weekend!
Haha- love it!
Staci @ My Friend Staci says
Magnets and zip ties? Now you’re talking my language.
BTW, it’s not in this post, but it is about lighting, so not completely off topic, but I love the light that sneaked into a few pictures you took looking out into the “alley” that will soon become a deck. You know, it kind of looks like flower petals? I hope you like it as much as I do, or when you replace it I’ll be begging for you to mail it to KS.
Aw thanks Staci! That came with the house!
Love it! It blends to perfectly and isn’t intrusive! Great pick guys!
I have been looking for a new light and this is perfect! Our kitchen/dining room is too small for a pendant and I can’t wait to try this one!
John, you cräck me up! :D
The new ligth looks great. Soooo jealous that you guys are close enough to an IKEA to get all of these inexpensive and awesome items for your house. Here in Kansas City, we’re about a 7 hour drive from an Ikea in about every direction (Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas). We’ve made the trek to MN once to do IKEA, but it’s not something we’ll be repeating anytime soon with 2 babies in tow. Le sigh… enjoy the new light for all of us non-Ikea-ites!
Aw man Michele- that’s rough! We’re actually 2 hours away but we have family who live out there, so whenever we’re going to an event (this time it was a one year old b-day party for our nephew) we drop in on Ikea too! Haha.
Staci @ My Friend Staci says
Sounds like you live pretty close to me ;) I have the same IKEA woes!
Don’t forget Denver (Centennial), which I swear they built just to rub it in. :/ I would even be happy to drive to St. Louis, if they’d just build one there. Or to order online, if they’d get that situation straightened out…
Ugh, I feel your pain, too! (Well, I live in Des Moines, so it’s only FOUR hours to Minneapolis…but four is not overly doable). They CLEARLY need another Midwestern Ikea!!!
Makes me think that those of us who live close to an IKEA should start some form of legit shipping business where non-close-to IKEA people could send an order, get it picked up, pay, and add a bit for shipping to help with IKEA’s lack of doing this.
My husband and I live about 10 minutes from IKEA in Woodbridge and refer to Telegraph Road (which it’s on) as “IKEA Road.” I’ve been known to stop in for the $1 frozen yogurt when out, too… just ’cause :-)
Midwest peeps, there have actually been a number of online petitions to get an IKEA in KC but so far no luck. KC would be a really good location since there are several other large/midsize midwest cities within a 3 hour drive–Omaha, Des Moines, Topeka, etc.–but thus far ikea won’t budge. According to the rep I spoke to the Centennial CO store was the last store in their 10 year US expansion plan and there are no plans to build additional stores now. Not sure if it’s just wishful thinking or not but I’ve heard it discussed at Mid-America Regional Council (a multi state planning and economic development council) meetings that once Ikea completes its new distribution center in Illinois that they will revisit the issue of another midwest store. FWIW we probably aren’t getting an Ikea in the next 3-5 years but that the 5-10 year timeframe is fairly likely. So my Besta and Effektiv dreams remain just that….dreams. sigh…
Oh man – who knew they were playing so hard to get! Hope you get one soon!
HECK YES! I saw this at Ikea while picking up their Kristaller chandelier and thought it would be a good office light. This was months ago when it first came out so they didn’t have it wired or hanging up on the display. I couldn’t see what it fully looked like and I didn’t want to be one of “those people” to open the box in the store.
We bought the Alang floor lamp in white last year and love it. It gives just the right amount of lighting in the room, and I do agree that the detail on the shades are subtle, but we like subtle! We’ll need to consider these ceiling lamps for the hallways and such, to replace the ugly standard globe lights.
I have them too!!! I love them! And when I saw that J & S now have the same-ish light in their house that I have in mine….I felt honored haha. Is that weird? :P Nothing like finding another similarity between yourself and people you think of as celebrities :)
Haha, we are far from celebrities, but you’re very sweet to say that. Haha.
LOVE this light fixture! This might be what I need for my entry way! :)
So preeeetty. I, too, have had a really tough time finding an affordable flush mount light that is crisp and clean-lined. They are so expensive! I’m really digging this option and think I’ll put a smaller version of this in my hallway.
Love it. It looks awesome. What a great choice!
Karen T. says
I’m so glad you posted this!! I’ve been looking for a light just like this one to use in our nursery, but everything else I’ve found is so darn pricey.
*Celebratory umlauts* <— :)
bridget b. says
love it! p.s. have you guys heard Pentatonix’s version of Clara’s new favorite song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn3Zkq9PP_Y)? I swear I think of you guys every time i hear this now. :)
Ooh that’s awesome!
What a great score!
John, I’m still trying to figure out how to create an umlaut. ALT+U then u again? I’m ashamed that this is what I take away from this post…
Haha, yes on our Mac it’s alt + u then u again (or whatever letter you want under it, for example, alt + u then a = ä).
I’m using PC, but I figured it out…not that I will ever use it, but thank ü!
Haha- you’re welcöme!
I’ve been eyeing that same light fixture for a similar space in my house. Just haven’t made a decision yet. Although this, is nudging me toward yes.
So glad you got that light and reviewed it for me :) I’ve been looking at it online for a few months and couldn’t decide if it was something I would like. I was thinking of it for my son’s room. Do you think it’s spray paintable?
Hmm, I’m not sure how it would take spray paint. It’s very thin and papery- sort of like a paper lantern. I’d be nervous about trying it, unless you just misted it very softly with a light color (anything too dark might look blotchy and block light).
I am looking for a light for my kitchen it is super dark, with no natural light. It is also super tiny so I wanted to something that I wasn’t going to take up a lot of visual space. I am wondering with this light I noticed that it takes 3 lightbulbs but how bright can each light bulb be? Do you feel light it gives off a lot of light??
Oh yes, if gives off lots of light- especially if you use LEDs or CFLs since they give off more light at a lower wattage (ex: three 20 watt CFLs or LEDs are multiple times brighter than three 20 watt regular bulbs).
Just put this light in our bedroom last weekend! Love it!!
Natalie Muurisepp says
Welcome Alän from the M¨¨risepps (hey I don’t know why there aren’t U’s under there. But really the umlauts are the real focus for this girl who married-an-Estonian-and-flaunts-her-umlauts like arm candy
Haha, too funny!
Jamie H says
This is the same light we are planning to put in our nursery. Do you think it will light a whole room well based on seeing what it does in your kitchen? It looks great in there, I’m just wondering if it will do justice in a bedroom with no other ceiling lights!
yes! Especially if you go with LED bulbs since they give off way more light for lower wattage (so you can put higher wattage LEDs in).
love it. i was looking and looking for a light just like this without spending a fortune and you guys went and found it for me…Yeah! is this new to Ikea because I swear i was stalking their sight religously looking for over a month?
I think it might be new! We hadn’t seen it before this trip.
How do you think this would look in a hallway? I am thinking about the “14…also, is the light as yellow as it appears in the close ups?
I think it would be gorgeous! In person it’s bright white if you put white bulbs in it (there are soft yellow bulbs that might make it yellow, but it’s white in color- not sure why it looks yellow in pics since our bulbs are white).
Awesome! This is a great alternative to tbe boob!
I can totally see your bar stools in turquoise!
I am thinking the same myself. :)
Ooh, I love the Aläng drum pendant. I have three Aläng table lamps and a floor lamp (in different shade colors) and am a big fan of how modern yet soft they look. What a great addition to your kitchen!
Kristin C. says
I am in love with Alan! I’ve seen the light (no pun intended but I like) on the website but you give it so much more justice. I’ll have to add it on my shopping list. Sadly, our Ikea is about 3-4 hours away so I’ve only been ONCE and near about broke the bank, lol
Janelle D says
I didn’t even know these existed! I really like it. Also, there appears to be spaces for screws on the white plastic bulb-holder in case people want to further attach it to the ceiling (know what I mean?). But, it seems like the zip-tie does the job, so no worries!
OMG I am loving the light fixture. I want to replace all the boob lights in my house (5 total). Does it give off enough light? I’d hate to spend a fortune on lighting in our house. On a side note, did you know that next week at Short Pump they are having a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for kids? I’m taking my girls. You get to have lunch with Alice and the characters from the book, face painting, baloon animals and the such.
Lots of folks are asking if it gives off a lot of light, so we added an update to the post. It’s not a glowing beacon that blinds you or anything but it should definitely be bright enough for a decent sized room or hallway. It only takes three twenty watt bulbs, but if you use CFLs or LEDs, they give off a lot more light at lower wattages. Hope it helps! And as for the short pump tip, that’s adorable! Thanks for the heads up!
It looks great! And the magnets are a really fun detail, which I assume makes for easy bulb-changing.
Looks great! Makes the ceiling look taller too since there isn’t a light hanging down.
My mom had hip surgery and couldn’t reach over well to her bedside lamp to turn it on and off, so I bought a plug in adapter at home depot that comes with a remote so she could push the button to turn the light on and off. I eventually bought one for ourselves as well for our christmas lights which works great! Could be a solution to your “bend and snap” light if you are wishing to keep it.
Keep up the good work, can’t wait to see how your deck turns out!
Such a great tip!
Also, Ikea sells a rheostat type switch on a cord, so you can move the switch of any lamp to somewhere besides where it is, within a range. I have several, one to move a foot switch lamp to have a switch (with dimmer) on an end table, since the foot switch is buried in the corner behind a chair.
I love the remote adapter idea. I’d like to add that to some ceiling fans.
Alli, thanks! My 86 year old mother has a floor lamp behind her chair that I just found out that she has to climb on the chair to be able to reach the switch! I was going to switch it out for a table lamp (against her will)but I will be going to Home Depot to look for one of these instead. She will be thrilled to be able to keep her lamp!
OOOOOO love this light fixture! Didn’t know how another pendant was going to work out in this space, so I’m super happy to see what you went with. Once again, keepin’ it classy youngsters :) Love it.
Dön’t tëll më thät rëäding YHL döësn’t tëäch yöü änythïng!
Bwahahahahahahaha. Comment of the day goes to Cäthy!
Rebecca @ the lil house that could says
I was eyeing up the same light for our nursery but it was out of stock when I went!! We just installed some sconces yesterday, which required adding electrical boxes for them. That’s a post (hopefully) for the husband to write because I have no clue what he did :)
You didn’t say it so I suppose I will: your future’s so bright you install shades!
Nice! Have you ever thought about painting the ceiling to give it a pop of contrasting color?
We did think about that for a little while, especially since there’s crown molding and some beams, but we’re nervous about drawing too much attention to the ceiling since those beams aren’t evenly spaced along the whole room (there are more on the fireplace side if that makes sense) – so it might look unbalanced.
I could not agree more about the void of non-boob flushmount lights!! I have replaced all the light fixtures in my new house except for the obligatory boob-lights because I haevn’t been able to find anything non-boobish to replace them. Very frustrating. Functional? Yes. Ugly? Double Yes.
Ginny @ goofymonkeys says
I love it! I love how it’s not a huge statement in the room – I think if you picked something with more color or obvious style, it wouldn’t look right. When it’s off this sort of blends in with its surroundings. Great choice!
Robin O says
AAAAAAAA-MEN!! Seriously. I’ve been looking for a non-boobish semi-flush mount light for our kitchen for over a YEAR. A nice one has been so hard to find. I like the one you got though! I may have to look into it! Great find guys. And it looks great in your kitchen/sitting area.
I’ve been coveting the Aläng wall lamps for way longer than I should, given their price. It’s been so long that I had no idea that there was a ceiling lamp in the same style! The 14″ be a perfect replacement for the nasty boob light in our upstairs hallway that I’ve never gotten around to replacing.
We have an Aläng wall sconce in my daughter’s room for reading stories before bed. I highly recommend them. Exceptionally sturdy, very pretty, and not overwhelming. So stop coveting them and go get-cho-self one, sista!
Tea and scone? I’m in! If only I wasn’t halfway across the country…
Also- loved the Legally Blonde refernce. Way to go John! Have you ever heard the soundtrack for the musical? There’s a great song that teaches you how to bend & snap on it!
Haha, we’ll have to see if that’s on iTunes.
That’s so exciting! I just hang 4 of those lamps in my living room couple weeks ago!! I cannot believe i am having the same lamps as the younghouselove team! :-) Following your blog for long time… i always enjoy the reading and what you show. Greetings from Spain!
Haha, I love that they’re in Spain too! Go Ikea!