Nothing quite says “relaxed basement family room” like an 1800’s chandelier dripping with crystals. Am I right or am I right?
Okay, not really. In fact, when I shared the very meticulous sketch for this particular area of the family room, I drew out what is clearly a lantern-style light fixture. Not an 1800’s crystal chandelier.
Clearly, a lantern fixture.
Buuuut, I looked around online for a lantern-style light fixture I loved quite thoroughly and they were either more than I wanted to pay or not quite the look/style I imagined. A couple of weeks ago, I shared this quote from Feels Like Home on Instagram …
I actually had a chandelier and I hadn’t even thought of using it!
The main reason I hadn’t thought of using it is it wasn’t what I envisioned. And, it seemed like sort of a crazy idea to try it. Those of you who have followed me here on the blog for many years and who followed my hints on Instagram may have guessed the light fixture I was going to try. It’s the 1800’s chandelier that we removed from my Opa’s house before it was put on the market.
We were initially going to leave it in the house, but after I wrote THIS POST, so many of my readers encouraged me to keep it. I knew it would be worth the trouble of taking it down and wrapping all of the crystals, but it also seemed like an impractical thing to lug around. But, we have. We stored it in our basement in PA and we moved it with us to Minnesota. I even had plans to try to hang it in our foyer, but it was going to be too expensive to have an electrician hang it and we’d then have to pay to remove it whenever we move. (Since it’s a family piece, I wouldn’t want to leave it.)
So, it’s been sitting on a bucket in the utility room, all of the crystals wrapped and boxed up. It always made me a little sad to see such a beautiful 1800’s chandelier sitting on a 5-gallon bucket next to the water softener, but this isn’t a simple light fixture to use. It was originally a gas fixture that belonged to my great-great-grandparents. It is incredibly heavy and almost needs to have a room built around it (my Opa’s dining room was built around this fixture.) I wasn’t going to be able to hang it in the dining room of my suburban MN home, which was certainly not built to hold such a heavy fixture.
But, in the basement, it could work because we had to swag the fixture anyway. We could hang it from a heavy-duty hook screwed into a joist that could easily support its weight. It would also be easy to take it down whenever we sell this house.
It was free to try (well, we had to spend a few dollars on a hook), so we decided to go for it. If it looked silly, we could just take it down. I had the odd feeling that it would work. Not only would it give us a fixture to hang over a table to provide light for puzzles and games, but it also would get the fixture out of the utility room. And it definitely works with the gentleman’s lunch club/English library sort of vibe.
(I still need to fix the cord cover so it fits properly.)
Right when it went up, I was excited about it. Not only excited but so happy that this gorgeous 1800’s chandelier is hanging in my house instead of sitting on a bucket.
I kept saying to Jeff, “Doesn’t this look so cool?! It’s so over the top!”
I then started the process of hanging each crystal onto the chandelier. This is a tricky process because most of the crystals weren’t labeled and there were two different types and four different sizes! We also used one extra tier that my Opa hadn’t used, so I had to account for that.
It took me a couple of hours, but I got it all figured out! It might not be right, but it works.
I never ever would’ve shopped for an 1800’s crystal chandelier for this room makeover! Certainly not one this big and ornate. But, I love it.
Yes, it is a little crazy and totally over the top, but it seems to work. It’s surprising in a good way.
I have to admit, it makes me smile to think of playing family board games and doing puzzles under this chandelier. I mean, why not?
Here are some close-ups of this 1800’s chandelier…
I’ve never seen another one like it…
The best part is that while the chandelier is definitely formal, the furnishings and the room itself are still very casual. It can still be used for sleepovers, pizza/movie nights, and hanging out with friends. It’ll just all be done with a huge 1800’s crystal chandelier handed down from my great-great-grandparents in the room!
You may have also noticed I found the round oak table I was looking for! I’ll share more on that tomorrow…