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my apologies to Lowe’s


Since I don’t have anything brand new to write about today, I thought I would share some more details of my half bath makeover.

First, my oh-so-fancy TP holder…


I knew I wanted something nontraditional, so when one of my “pickers” sent me a picture of a wire fry basket (I’m assuming that’s what it is), I thought, “Hmm…If I can rip the handle off, that would make a pretty nice holder for the toilet paper.”  Don’t ask me how I think of this stuff, but that’s just how my brain works.  It ended up working out perfectly.

The story behind this light fixture is a little embarrassing and evidence that I get waaay too emotionally invested in DIY.  I had a chandelier in bathroom that was beautiful, but it didn’t provide enough light, so I went out to Lowe’s to find a new one.  I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted and, of course, I couldn’t find it.  So, after meandering around the lighting department for a while, I decided this simple black chandelier would work.  It was the right scale and I could personalize it with shades.  I looked for the box and…no box.  Ah!  My mom and I started digging behind other boxes to see if one might be there.  I finally asked someone in the lighting department if I could buy the floor sample.  “Well, we’re getting more in on Monday, so I don’t really want to sell the floor sample…”  This poor man had no idea he was dealing with a passionate DIYer who was ready to have her bathroom finished that day.  I asked again, “Please.  I’m trying to get a project finished and I don’t want to have to drive back out on Monday.”  He wasn’t budging.  I was ready to cry or go into a speech something like, “You have a light fixture and I want to buy a light fixture.  This is a store, isn’t it?”  I just sighed in defeat.  I started to leave the store, really bummed and decided to try one more thing…  talk to someone at the customer service desk.  I pleaded my case to the woman who was behind the counter and I must’ve seemed very distressed, because she treated me as though I was about to go into hysterics.  The end result was a store manager telling the gentleman who had declined to sell me the light fixture to take it down and sell it to me.  Yeah…it was a little awkward as I stood there waiting for him to hand me my prize.  I felt embarrassed for making such a fuss over a light fixture.  Well, it was done and I went home with the chandelier.  “We’d better hang it today, since I made such a commotion about it.”


I bought some plain white shades to dress it up a bit and then sewed a pleated trim out of gray grosgrain ribbon.  I simply affixed it to the shades with a hot glue gun.  It was a happy ending, but let’s just say I didn’t show my face in the lighting department at Lowe’s for a while.

I, Miss Mustard Seed, do solemnly swear that I will never make such a fuss over a light fixture again.  Hold me to that, OK?

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  1. I had a similar moment in Target a couple years ago. I had wanted a specific throw for Christmas – got a different one, so I went after the holiday to exchange. They were out, we’re going to give me a refund….and I actually stomped my foot and whined. So embarrassing. And the guy gave me a look like, “seriously?” yeah. Over a throw. We all have our moments. 😉

  2. Libby says:

    Avtually, it’s very nice, and I can see exactly why you’d make a fuss over that light fixture. I quite like it. I think I might’ve made a fuss too :-)

  3. Karen says:

    I am a retired manager from Lowe’s and can tell you it is an awesome company to work for. I am also glad you didn’t give up and went to customer service. Associates are trained to help the customer any way they can. Taking down a lighting fixture to satisfy a customer happens everyday; he was being lazy.

    I hope each of you, when dealing with associates in Lowe’s, treat them with respect and keep your dignity. There is no reason to ever get upset. If the person you are talking to isn’t helping you just ask for a manager. There are always several managers on duty that can and will help you.

  4. Stacy says:

    this happened to me at Lowes. i found a 110 dollar chandelier that was marked down to 19.00 . they had no more boxed ones left. I asked the man if he could get me the display down and he looked it up on the computer and said no i cant sell you the display cause we are getting more in. I was a 38 year old woman about to cry. i kepted asking him and he told me he can sell floor samples unless it was the only one left and was no getting any more in. They also had some on display that they were out of the box and on sale i didnt even ask for them. I went in the next day and guess what all the ones that were on clearance that were on display were All gone including the one i wanted. I was really upset. A guy told me a man came in and bought all of them from out of town . He even bought all the ones that were on sale the displays and what was left in the boxes. i was thinking he might have been a builder. I go to Home depot find on on display and told them what Lowes did to me and they said can have whatever i wanted that they were on display. There were a couple that were missing some parts and he marked it another half. They even marked the displays down further than what the sale price was since they were on display. I always buy my lights from Home Depot from now on!

    • Stacy says:

      sorry i need to proof read next time.he said he couldnt sell the display unless they were not getting any more in.

  5. Karen says:

    FYI… Lowes has a flexible program now. If the model you are looking for isn’t available in the store you can order it online right there at the store – no shipping charges – and have it delivered directly to your home. Even though you won’t have instant gratification, you can have the item within a few days that is not on hand at the store.
    Retail is a VERY difficult business and is getting harder all the time because of demanding customers who ‘want what they want and want it now’. I am not opposed to getting your way, but I am opposed to being ugly, rude or insensitive to get it. Lowe’s is very good about taking care of their customers. Please be kind and considerate when asking the ‘above and beyond’. Lowes is more than willing to meet the demands of their customers.

  6. My mom always taught me that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. If you can squeak with a smile on your face, you are more than likely to get the grease! Good for you.

  7. Eileen says:

    One more story. My husband and I went to Home Depot this week, went to the lighting department, asked questions, etc. We said we need that light and pointed to one of the displays. The sales associate(older man), said, “sure”, but there weren’t any in stock. We asked, Can we buy the one on display? He said, “sure”, climbed on a stepladder, (I helped hold it) and he took it down. Then he said and I’m paraphrasing, “It was on sale, but this is the last one and they won’t be getting anymore in and it wasn’t inventoried right, so it’s a penny, which means to Home Depot that it’s free!!” Hubby and I both said, WHAT??? I still don’t quite understand the inventory issue, but we took it to the counter and the clerk rang it up as a penny, which company policy meant it was free!!! I’m telling you that we were flabbergasted!!! and very happy. We thanked everyone in sight. We have previously mailed letters of commendation to the CEO of Home Depot about the clerks in that store, so maybe it’s good karma. The point I want to make is that the associate was so nice about taking down the fixture. He did his job. That should have happened in your case,too.

  8. Because when a girl needs a light fixture, she needs a light fixture!

  9. I just found your blog and love, love it. I use a wire waste basket for lots of rolls of toilet tissue in my bathroom. I could not find an old wire basket and bought mine at Ballard Designs. Love it so much and I always have plenty of TT near and can restock easily.

  10. Love this, how did you make the ribbon around the shade? I can sew a little but I am thinking this simple light would look great in my home. Thanks.

  11. wendy says:

    The reasoning behind stores not wanting to sell displays is twofold. One is the cost of having to assemble/display the items again (high labor costs). The main one, though, is that the displayed item gets wrecked, or at least beat up & the store takes a loss or has to write the item off. The store is still going to make their money though, the loss is passed on as higher costs in the future which all customers will bear. It’s unfortunate that customers have so little understanding of business practices. It’s doubtful the Lowe’s employee was ‘being rude’, he was probably following company policy, which was created for the above listed reasons. If the Mustard Seed business continues to grow & succeed, you will be forced to make decisions like this, then maybe you will be more understanding.

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