First thing's first — we've had this beautiful and modern hanging chandelier style fixture in a brushed nickel finish in the upstairs hallway since we moved in:
It's been functional, but we found ourselves rarely using it since it required fluorescent style bulbs (this gave off a much brighter and unflattering glow than we liked) and if we're being completely honest, the modern fixture just wasn't the best representation of our style or the house. You know us, we're much more all about an industrial vintage type vibe.
This is where getting creative and a little patience came into play...
We swapped out the pendant light in our upstairs hallway with an updated industrial pendant I put together with a light kit and an enameled industrial shade we'd picked up at a roadside sale almost 1 year ago:
What's great about using a pendant light kit (like this) is how you can make a lamp out of almost anything you can drill a hole into. You can find kits in the pendant light section of your local hardware store, like we did, or find them online.
Just make sure whatever material you plan to use for the pendant shade isn't flammable since we're talking about electricity here!
You might recall, we had a vintage industrial porcelain and enamel green shade we'd picked up at a roadside sale nearly a year ago to the day:
It's funny to us how we let some things we find sit around for so long with the best of project intentions and then all of a sudden one weekend the inspiration and drive to get it done will strike (that's where the patience part of this update came into play)!
For the bulb, we loved the look and feel of the vintage style filament Edison bulb we updated our bedside table lamp with so much we picked up another longer version (like this) to use for the hallway pendant — these can also be found at most hardware stores or online.
For this project, all we needed was the pendant fitter kit, our shade, the bulb, a pair of wire cutters and a couple of good screwdrivers:
Here's what the pendant kit looks like straight out of the packaging:
To create the new light, it was as simple as unscrewing the joining socket from the base of the pendant kit, fitting our shade onto the socket and then re-screwing the joining piece back on over the shade to hold it in place:
Next up, customizing the length of the cord to our liking:
We'd measured how long from the ceiling we'd need the cord to be in order for it still hang well above the heads of through-traffic (even the tall ones like my dad and Brandon), but still feel low enough to give off that industrial pendant vibe.
Once we had the right cord length, I unscrewed the small joining piece holding the cord in place at the cap and slid the cap down the cord, screwing that little piece back in place to hold it at the new length.
Then I snipped the excess cord at the back with some wire cutters:
Then gently sliced open the outer cord wrapping to expose the two main wires inside:
Then stripped about 3/4 of an inch off the outer wrapping of those to really expose the copper wiring:
Then I unscrewed the metal frame from the center of the pendant cap that I'd use to help anchor this new light into the ceiling:
Now we're ready to hang this baby!
To swap out the pendant, I first needed to uninstall the current fixture. It's always a good practice to make sure all electricity is off when working on electrical projects — I even go so far as to turn off the breaker for updates like these.
This is also the type of job that required strict supervision — can you spot my supervisor below?
Once up on the ladder and equipped with a couple screwdrivers, I was able to gently unscrew the cap holding the fixture in place and loosen the wires connecting up into the ceiling (along with the older anchoring frame):
Then we were ready to swap in the new pendant light we'd made by connecting those same wires on the new light up into the ceiling and gently screwing the cap back in place to cover that big hole we now know is in the ceiling.
First I just needed to screw on that newer of the two anchor plates:
After we got it in and hanging straight, it was time to test our new light! I screwed in the Edison bulb, turned the breakers back on and asked Mary to do the honors of flipping the switch:
And that there is the smile of success on my face:
Here's how it's looking nowadays in the upstairs hallway in all of its industrial vintage glory:
We love turning the new lamp on now — before it had a bit of a stark and sterile vibe with the fluorescent bulbs but now it emanates such a warm and inviting glow. We've been turning it on as the only light upstairs while we hang out in the evenings downstairs and just love the warmer feel to it.
What weekend projects to you have on tap for this weekend?