Let There be Light

Awhile back, I shared my journey to match our home’s ceiling paint; and since I was successful in finding the paint match I was determined to start replacing many of our home’s overhead lights.

When the previous owners of our house renovated it they installed the same inexpensive flush-mount light in nearly every room of the house. These boring builder-grade lights are affectionately called “boob lights” by many DIY-ers 🙂

Here’s a look at the light in our master bedroom, which was at the top of my list to replace since I stared up at it daily.


For our master bedroom, I wanted a pendant light was a bit more chic and that matched the contemporary style of the room.  For awhile now, I’ve been eyeing this capiz shell pendant from Pottery Barn for its sophisticated, layered look; and when it went on sale a few weeks ago I took the plunge and ordered it – I even scored an additional $20 off using a coupon code that I found online.


Nick has replaced several of our home’s overhead lights and the process is usually pretty easy. After turning off the power, his first step was to remove the majority of the fixture’s 6 feet of cord and chain; since our ceilings are only about 8 feet high, and the pendant is 18 inches long, he took off all but 6 inches or so of cord and chain.


The next step was to remove the hanging bracket from the old fixture and install the new bracket.  This is where we ran into trouble; while installing the new bracket, Nick noticed that the drywall around the electric box was very roughly cut, and since the base of the new fixture was only 4 1/2 inches around – almost the exact same size as the electric box – the base wasn’t going to be big enough to hide the hole and the damage to the drywall.


You can see a close up of the electric box below, and how the drywall was heavily chipped around the outside. While we figured we’d have to do some ceiling paint touch-ups, we weren’t planning to do drywall repairs!


So we brainstormed our options, which included either trying to repair the drywall or installing a ceiling medallion, but neither solution was ideal to me. Then a light bulb went off (HA!) and we realized that we could potentially swap the bases of the old and new fixtures. Thankfully both bases were separate and removable pieces from the fixtures, and Nick said he could easily reattach the old base to the new fixture.

Before we took that last step, however, we needed to update the color of the old base since it was much darker than the new one.  


So I got out my craft paints and got to work and 15 minutes later we had a closely matched base.

You’ll notice that my painted base is darker than the original base, and that’s because I realized that the two pieces of the Pottery Barn light weren’t a perfect match; the base was significantly lighter than the fixture (not sure why Pottery Barn did that)…so I intentionally painted the base darker to match the actual fixture.


Once the paint dried, Nick attached the painted old base to the new fixture and then hung the light. You can see below how well the painted base matches the rest of the light.

(And since we reused the old base we didn’t even need to do any ceiling paint touch-ups!)


Then came the fun part of removing the dozens of plastic bags that were holding together the strands of capiz shells.


And here’s the final result, I’m so happy with how the pendant looks in our bedroom. When the light is off the color of the capiz shells complements our beige wall color, and when the light is lit it casts such a nice glow on the room.

*It’s hard to tell from the angle of this photo, but the light hangs entirely over the bed so there are no concerns about anyone walking by and hitting their head on it.


I especially love how the pendant looks at night; don’t you think it casts such a pretty shadow on the ceiling?


One light down and many, many more to go!


5 thoughts on “Let There be Light

  1. Very nice, Nick and Sara!!!! Keep up the great work!! Judi commented that the light was on sale and with a coupon!!! What a deal!!!

  2. Pingback: It’s Electric | Isn't It Sweet

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