If this post were a fable, its moral would be – when something in your home just doesn’t feel quite right, do something about it. Or wait for it to randomly die on its own accord and take it as a sign. We’ll use this light hanging in our living room as our story’s lead character.
You may remember that there’s always been something “off” about it – it’s the only permanent fixture in that huge room, and it’s placed awkwardly in a corner (which is why Sherry tried to distract us from the annoying placement by adding a bit of color to the glass shade to cheer things up while I was out for a run).
But soon enough we both agreed that was not the solution. The blue tint was nice and soft in “real life,” but whenever we snapped photos of that side of the room (which is often thanks to this ol’ blog), it would cast an odd blue tint over that half of the room. I affectionately called it our alien invasion corner. So I eventually
nagged convinced Sherry to wipe off the paint, which is why many of you noticed that it was naked again. Three cheers for reversible projects.
Returning it to its natural state was a big help, and we even talked about spray painting the chain oil-rubbed bronze (to match the curtain rods that we’ll eventually bring in and Karl the sectional’s legs) but we always ultimately admitted that it wasn’t our style. In other words, we’d eventually like to replace it with a nice drum pendant or maybe even recessed lights that we’ll get installed throughout the room. So we wondered how much effort and time it was worth to keep attempting to pretty up something that we eventually wanted to replace or remove.
Then the light fairy took care of everything for us. Because the light stopped working. I’m not even kidding. It just up and died about seven days after Sherry’s big wipe-down. At first it flickered a bit. Then it wouldn’t turn on at all. We futzed with it a few times (changing the bulb, etc) but had no luck – it had given up on us. Maybe it could hear us complaining about how oddly it was placed (you can see just how randomly it was plopped into the ceiling in this house tour video that Sherry shared a few weeks back) and just lost the will to live. Poor guy.
We definitely weren’t devastated by the premature death but it was kind of a surprise. How dare it die (the nerve!) before we had a chance to nix it on our own terms. But since fixing the wiring wouldn’t fix the whole off-center placement issue (it’s neither centered in front of the window nor between the ceiling beams), or the fact that it just wasn’t a light that we’d pick for ourselves (and eventually wanted to replace) we decided to call off any further resuscitation efforts and let the darn light rest in peace.
As I began to remove the light once and for all, my autopsy uncovered the cause of death. It appears that a wire had torn or became disconnected right near the base. Which is something I probably could have fixed, but by this point we were set on removing it entirely. Smell ya later good for nothing not centered old broken brass lamp in the corner of the room.
We took the fast route in terms of concealing the junction box and installed a white plastic ceiling cap over a metal junction box cover to the tune of $2 (50 cents for the metal cover and a buck fifty for the white cap to help it blend in). We’ll get the whole junction box removed, or more likely shifted a bit to a more centered location in front of the window by an electrician at a later date).
Not the prettiest thing ever, but it’s certainly less intrusive and noticeable than the oddly-placed, non-functioning, outdated fixture that preceded it.
The best part is that we now get an unobstructed view out the window. No more gazing at the backyard and being distracted by thoughts of “I really wish I could yank that light two feet to the right so it made sense in front of the window instead of dangling over the left corner of the view.” Seriously, it takes a lot of energy to lament bad lighting placement. But now our ol’ pendant light is in a better place. Literally. All light fixtures go to heaven, right? Either that or the Habitat For Humanity ReStore (which is actually where we sent it).
It does make that corner a bit dark at night, obviously. But that will be remedied once our this-thing-is-taking-forever console table is finally completed and we’ve got a table lamp on that side of the sectional. And someday we’ll probably get an electrician to wire some new lights in all the right places (maybe some recessed ones, perhaps a crisp hanging pendant that’s centered in front of the window, etc).
R.I.P. Weird Light. You will be missed. Okay, not really. It just sounded like the polite thing to say.
Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co says
definitely better! That light was no good, but I CANNOT believe that it up and just died like that! Sudden shredding of wires… what?!?!?!
Glad to see it’s gone and cannot wait to see what you guys come up with! Very exciting (in a weird way, I know)!
Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans says
That lamp commercial gets me every time!
I don’t have sound on my work computer, so I couldn’t hear it. But, the commercial actually made me feel sad for that lamp! Your corner looks much much better by the way!!
ha! I felt the same way!! Poor lamp!!
You can buy six recessed lights for $55 at Home Depot right now, and they are easier to install than you would expect!
I have a supporting beam running through the ceiling of my apartment, and because of this my lights dont light up the other side of the room… really annoying, specially in the rooms where they have spot lights, but no light the other side of the beam! argh
Your living room is so huge still, even considering how its pushed forward infront of your console table! love it!
Nancy Morrison says
LOL at the lamp commercial!
And I agree that sometimes you have to remove something without a planned replacement. No sense in keeping something around if it annoys every.single.time you see it.
Glad to see it go! I’m dying to swap out my boob lights in my own apartment!
crib tales says
Sherry – I think you’ll dig this video about light-love as well – a friend directed it for a reality show in ’08ish (he won) —
BTW, I so almost painted our ugly kitchen fixture your method. Haven’t done it yet, but I’m happy to see the paint was so easily removed (in case, you know, I hate it or something!).
So cute! Love those lovebird lamps!
Julia @ Chris loves Julia says
RIP. We have a plethora of bad lighting in our home that we just bought. One by one we have plans to remedy them, but nothing bugs me more than our dining room chandelier! It is completely off-center! Not centered with the window. Not centered in the small dining space. It has me completely perplexed as to what someone was thinking. The good news is, we are definitely changing it anyway.
Check it out a few of the bad lights we inherited here.
The dining room chandy is the top right. (ugh)
When I walked through my current apartment for the first time it was daylight, and I never realized that it had no overhead lighting whatsoever. Seems like something I would have noticed regardless, but no, I did not. So strange. My light comes from lamps, and there’s no switches to turn them on with so I have to go around to each one and manually turn them on. It can be a bit of a headache. And it’s odd for decor purposes as well.
You can buy a kit where you plug the lamps into this little plug that goes in the outlet and then you have a remote that will turn all the lamps on at the same time. Works great!
The same thing happened to us! We didn’t realize our apartment had no overhead lights (well, the bathrooms and kitchen and an oddly placed ceiling fan/light in the dining nook, but none in bedrooms or living room). Luckily a bunch of our plugs are wired to switches. But we did have to make a run to Target on our first night to buy a lamp because all of our things were still in the truck with the movers (and we had just moved 7 hours away)!
Ashley McCormick says
Oh goodness! I totally felt horrible for that little lamp in the commercial. It was all “Brave Little Toaster” for me, sitting out there in the rain. But the end was pretty great, lol :)
Krysta @ Domestic for Dummies says
Totally agree, that light had to go. Not gonna lie, that was probably the saddest commercial I have ever seen regarding light fixtures :( Can’t wait to see what you put in it’s place though!
emily @ the happy home says
our 1960s beach house has a ceiling fan that isn’t remotely close to centered over…anything… in the dining room. it just kind of hangs there, dejected and dusty, over the left side of the table.
just a rental house, though, so we can’t move the location!
OOhh…wow…I’ve never been first.
During the daytime it seems brighter in that room without the lamp blocking the window…strange, huh?
Ugh, off-center lights. We have a 1 1/2 story house, which means the entire upstairs is our master bedroom. Awesome, right? Sorta. The previous owner added a bathroom upstairs, which is super convenient, but left the original boob lights. Three lights that used to be evenly spaced down the center of the very low ceiling are now located immediately outside the door to the bathroom, three feet off-center in the middle of the room and over the stairs, which is eye level once you’ve reached the top of the steps. lovely. And there’s no attic above the bedroom, so this is definitely an electrician down-the-road project. yay.
Huge improvement getting rid of that guy! Way to die at the right time, fugly light.
We have many a strange lighting configuration in our 1948 house. We have fixed some of them (put recessed lights in the kitchen and dining room, centering the chandelier over the dining table, adding an overhead fixture to the dark hallway). However we haven’t yet tackled the living room lighting problem, which involves a huge fugly brown ceiling fan with three bulbs that shine in our eyes while we sit on the couch, and a set of horrible 70’s track lights that shine on exactly nothing. Hopefully we can conquer them this year!
Plate or no plate, it looks better gone! But you knew that …
In our old house, the light over the kitchen table was too far out to have the table against the wall but too close to the wall for a chair to fit comfortably between the wall and a centered table. We never fixed it in the 9 years we lived there! How’s that for procrastinating?
In this house, the only light surprise was walking in and finding that the old owners had taken the dining room chandelier, leaving only a hole with wires hanging out of it. My mom and MIL were incensed, but I was secretly relieved — I didn’t like it, and it gave me a reason to replace it (even though having to spend the money to do so sort of sucked).
is sherry’s real life bff, Katie B?
Katie is definitely one of my two real life BFFs! But the one John’s referring to is Cat (my other BFF, of 11 long years!).
hahha, I love that commercial. Good riddance lamp!
Chenell Tannure says
Oh. My. God.
That commercial may be the most brilliant commercial EVER (next to the Volkswagon commercial where the two guys pick up the chair and then put it back on the street…)
The weirdest thing about our house was the lack of lights in the living room. Its a pretty big room and not one single light. We lucked out and had my dad (whose an electrician) come out for a visit and install two recessed lights and two fan boxes for us. Now the room is perfectly lit and we love it!
LOVED the lamp commercial!
Cait @ Hernando House says
Does a too-low fixture count? We had a ceiling fan with a light kit that practically beheaded tall friends in our living room. Thankfully that sucker got replaced a couple of weeks ago.
I have one! It was actually done by us and I have been wondering if it was the wrong placement ever since. Ok, so we have a long rectangular shaped living room…and there is an entrance on one side so we have the actual living room area or furniture setup more on one side but we centered the light in the middle of the room….SO, yes, it looks good if you look at the room with no furniture but the squared area where the furniture is the light is not centered in. Do you think we should have centered it on the furniture end of the room instead of centering it in the entire room? Does this even make any sense? Sorry, I tend to over explain. :)
Hmm, how about posting a pic to Facebook with your question and we can judge by seeing it?
When I read “Sherry’s favorite light commerical ever”, I thought “Please be the IKEA commerical with the lamp out in the rain”! SCORE!
Haha, the “that is because you crazy” gets me every time. Hilarious.
Aya M says
Oh no! It’s not only left to the 40s-60s. Our house was built in 2000, and we still have one veryyy random light fixture (similar to the one you just took down) hanging in our kitchen. There’s no purpose whatsoever for this light…and we have yet to decide what to do with the ugly thing. I had actually just blocked it out of my vision and memory, til I read your post today. Conviction. That baby’s gotta go!
Next month will make it 14 years (yes, you read that right) that I have lived in my house with the chandelier hanging off centre in the dining room. Placing the table in the centre under it would leave the table in a weird place. It’s an open concept house, so if I move the light, I have to repaint the whole ceiling, which includes a double story foyer which requires super ladders to accomplish. So, off centre it still hangs. Plus, I would like to replace the fixture, and still have not found “the one”. Well, not at a price I want to pay! Life, and off-centre lights, goes on…
LOVE that Ikea commercial. Makes me want to cry and roll around laughing, all within the span of 60 seconds.
We inherited some…taste specific..light fixtures when we moved in. The worst was fan/light combo with weird green metal flowery vine looking thing coming from the down rod.
I can totally relate. In our breakfast nook in the kitchen the light that is supposed to be over our table nicely centered is actually like 3 feet across the room in front of the patio door. Makes no sense. We had to manuver it just to get the door open and closed and we sit in the shadow of the light as we try to see our food as we eat. Trying to save up for an electrician to come fix this! Makes you wonder what people are thinking and why in the 30 years this house has been on this earth that no one has previously had an issue with this and moved it. LOL
We have a weird light placement in the dining area of our eat-in kitchen. It seems that when they build the place, they just centered the junction box in the room. Literally, centered. Somehow they forgot that you actually need to enter the room from the hall/living room and therefore can’t center the table. To make matters more interesting, the previous owners placed a hook to “solve” the problem but somehow, they too misplaced it. (Either that or they pushed their table right up against the wall, which would be a little strange) So now we have a misplaced junction box, misplaced hook and a popcorn ceiling that doesn’t make any changes easy. As of right now, we’ve just dealt with the location but at least changed the fixture. Ugly fixture and bad placement was just too much to handle. Hopefully I’ll be able to come up with a solution for the location issue before too long.
Much better I wasn’t a big fan of the lamp.
I hate that our house doesn’t have a light over the kitchen table or dining room table. Yep that’s right you can’t see what you are eating. Yes there is recessed lighting but there is something about a nice light fixture over the table just scream at you to bump your head on it…..
The house I bought a year ago, and have been slowly fixing up ever since, doesn’t have an entryway. The front door opens directly into the living room. There is a light switch right inside the door…which operates the porch light. The light switch to actually illuminate the room you’ve walked into? Well…that’s all the way across the room beside the kitchen doorway. There are only two electrical outlets in the room, so I had to stand a floor lamp near the door, which is plugged in behind bookcases.
The light itself, a hideous, needs-to-be-painted ceiling fan, isn’t oddly placed. But, seriously? What makes a person think, you know what would be great? If we could trip walking across the living room every time we come home at night.
Our house is an electrician’s nightmare. My favorite is the light fixture at the top of our staircase that is always on. But, there is a switch right next to it (that leads to nowhere) and a switch just down the stairs (that leads to nowhere). So, we just have to leave the bulb un-screwed. 1930’s for ya!
(P.S. The switches are wired with speaker wire…perplexing.)
[email protected]'er All About It says
Here’s another weird lighting thing….
scroll to the end, but basically we had an off-center light in our bathroom that we accidentally made “on-center” when we moved two walls – hah! And our house was built in 2005!!! Yea, way to go, builders!
Haha- love that accident! It looks great!
The giant ceiling fan/light in our kitchen. LOVE the ceiling fan for its cooling properties but placing a light behind where the chef (me) stands casts all sorts of weird shadows on the cooking space even with the copious under cabinet lights and the new lights that my hubby hung above the sink. No idea how to solve it…but it will live there for now. Unless of course the rain and subsequent leaking from exactly where the fan/light is hung has weakened the ceiling enough to necessitate us taking it down. Seriously where was this problem and brown staining when we had our inspection THREE months ago?!?!?
Julie @SavvyEats says
We have more of a “missing light” problem. Our dining room has a cap over frayed wires where a light used to be and two windows, but no other source of light…
We actually have the opposite problem. In the eating area of the kitchen, the light is centered in the room. We won’t be centering the table in the room (and under the light) because there’s a doorway and we need room to walk. If we move the table slightly to the side, you’d eat the lamp for breakfast. Plus, I don’t like the looks of it. So I need to convince my husband that we need to move the lamp and get a prettier one.
We always complain about the ceiling acne in our house. It’s a new build, and we moved from an 80 year old house with NO ceiling lights. Now we have pot lights every where, eyeball lights aiming at every wall, smoke detectors in every room, speakers from the built-in sound system. I can’t stand looking at our ceilings.
GOOD job on getting rid of the off center lamp.
And I LOVE that IKEA commercial!
Melissa @ A Place to Nest says
OMG- you are speaking my language. It has been the subject of much discussion lately- our darn dining room light. The light itself is not the worst thing. Matches all the builder grade lights in the house. My issue is the placement. In order to put my dining room table and stuff where I want it- I have to have the light not in the center of the table. Here is the biggest issue- the light is hanging down from 2 story open area ceiling. There is no way to reach the top. I need advice if anyone has it. Anyone ever rented scaffolding??? My idea is to buy a new light and move it up higher so it lights up the whole stairway and up towards the ceiling and is less- dining room only lighting. Help anyone!
Anyone have advice or experience with the same thing for Melissa?
my husband put the ladder on the dining table. but i think ours was a few feet down the vault, so maybe not as high as yours.
it also wasn’t centered. you can place a hook in the ceiling where you want the light to hang and drape the cord from the original placement to the hook and down. make sense?
Melissa @ A Place to Nest says
It does make sense. I have thought about doing that. It is just reaching there. It is really high up. Even a ladder on a table would not be high enough. We might just let that one be bc heights are not my or my husband’s thing. thanks for the tips
Aw, look at that. You said some pretty harsh things to that light. Now it’s gone and committed suicide. Oh the guilt! I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. Light killers.
I know right? We feel bad. Kinda. Well, not really. Haha. We’re heartless!
That was a good idea removing the unwanted light fixture. Even though that corner doesn’t have a light source right now, you’ve cleared that space of an object that was rather distracting, despite being functional. Now you can better visualize how to anchor that side of your large room.
It’s amazing how a simple change can really clear a space of energy that kind of drags and distracts.
Also, I wanted to add that although I can be very critical of design, it comes from a place of true appreciation for the arrangement of space and also for you and your hard work. That’s why I keep coming back to your website. You make all of us feel welcome.
Amy Wolff says
Hi.. off the subject-
What do you have planned for Easter? Decorating ideas? Egg hunt ideas? Basket ideas for Clara?
We’re going to make her a little Easter basket and spend some time with family. We don’t usually decorate the house for Easter and we figure she’s too small for dying eggs (maybe next year) but the family always has an egg hunt (even the grown ups participate) so that should be fun.
Amy Wolff says
Sounds fun. I did google to see if you did any decorating in the past and couldn’t find anything! :-)THANKS!
Love that ad, hysterical!
The lighting in our apartment is a little ridiculous – the only overhead light is in our kitchen! We live in Brooklyn, near they Navy yard, in an apartment complex that once housed sailors – and I guess they weren’t so much into lights? I wanted to hang a pendant light in our dining room but all we have is a random sconce on one wall (and, luckily, lots of windows). When I saw that you were dealing with this oddly placed light, I totally felt for you.
Looks great and can’t wait to see the finished console table!!
Oh don’t talk to me about lights. Imagine this, the ceiling is square, the light should hang where you would draw an imaginary line down the middle, Nuh uh, draw a line 4/5 of the ceiling over to the right!! It. drives. me. crazy. Rental house too, so no changing it anytime soon.
Also, be honest…did it really die on its own accord, or did Sherry commit secret hanging light murder in the middle of the night? ;)
Hahah, I’m innocent! I swear!
Paula W says
My house (1969 ranch) has no overhead lights in the original LR but that is fine, they’d have never been in the right place and I almost never use overhead lights anyway, just lamps. But my lamp story is in the DR where there had been the cheap brass chandy. When I moved I brought along my (very very valuable antique stained glass lamp and a friend helped me hang it. It took a couple of hours of measuring, sitting in chairs, moving the DR table around, etc, to decide precisely where it should hang and how low.Of course it didn’t go right where the cheap chandelier had been but no matter… Then we hung it which was fine. But after a decade my sister and I (co-owners of the inherited beauty though it hung in MY house) decided it was simply too valuable to hang in this little modest ranch house in Maryland.
When we took it down and sold it I agonized for a few weeks about what to put there (wanted a little more contemporary feel in the DR) and I ended up having recessed lights put in (including centered over the DR table where the Good Lamp had been). Now the room is much bigger because this big view-blocking lamp is gone. Might some day hang another pendant of some sort but for now I’ll enjoy the open look and the act that I can put some bodacious centerpieces and flower arrangements in the room! (AND the lamp paid for a kitchen reno that was sorely needed).
Lighting problems are not restricted to houses built in the 40s, 50s, and 60s! We have a house built in the early 80s and outside of the kitchen, hallway, and bathrooms, there are 0 overhead lights in the rooms. Instead, the switches are wired to outlets, except the outlets that are on switches make absolutely no sense in relationship to where lights would be placed on furniture and plugged into the wall. We’ve added lights in the bedrooms, but there is no way to add them to the family room (an addition in the 90s, which is also the worst offender) without tearing up the floor in the upstairs guest room. Even the placement (of the GOLD) lights in the bathrooms and kitchen leave a lot to be desired. Sigh. Logical lighting placement is the only thing that I desperately miss from our first house!
There’s a horrible ceiling fan/light combo that’s in my kitchen. It’s ugly AND it’s in a very weird location. If you want to have a table centered under it, it better be a tiny little round table since the location requires being right in front of one of two sliding glass doors to the patio. I also have an ugly shield light (I don’t know what else to call it) that’s off-center in the actual kitchen portion. I think it’s supposed to have a marbled effect, but it really just looks dirty! Not to mention, the holes from the previous light (or the previous owners’ attempts to install it themselves, which really would NOT surprise me) are 100% visible in the ceiling. Oh, and the ceiling is that weird late 80s/early 90s “popcorn” ceiling. I love my house, but those things really irk me!
We have a weird wall light fixture that looks like it belongs in a public restroom in a Greyhound station. Nothing against public restrooms or Greyhound stations, but it casts this weird yellow-green glow and buzzes like a bug zapper. I would love to see it go!
Where did the window go in the last room photo? A trick of the light I’m guessing but I had to go back and check to make sure that a window was supposed to be behind the couch like I thought.
Isn’t that funny? The light shining through “disappeared” it!
Ellen, I did the same thing! It actually looks like it’s been photoshopped out!