And You Light Up My Life…. Art Deco Chandelier Restored

My creative work has suffered recently with the advent of job hunting. The good thing is that it seems I am still in high demand which always makes the hunt easier, but it is hunt nonetheless. It takes time and energy and concentration. The great thing is that I have completed most of the big projects, so, the ‘to do’ pile isn’t taking up so much of the garage.

One thing that The Kid and I did recently was a real change of styles. We were notified of an old abandoned house that was scheduled for demolition – as the farm land was being incorporated into a commercial farm.

Side note: I would love to find one of these old farm houses that is still in good shape and just buy the house and the land under it and live on it. Out in the middle of no where with just enough land to grow vegetables and a few dogs and have a barn for restoring furniture. But then I am reminded of the whole “no internet” thing and having to drive everywhere for groceries and materials and restaurants! And then I put that little dream back into the dusty recesses of my mind.

Anyway, these old houses can be a treasure trove of goodies. Sometimes you get lucky and find all kinds of wood work – such as doors and trims and moldings, even staircases and sometimes even stained glass! This particular farm amazingly had this pristine chandelier hanging in the living room… with five perfect shades on it! This is just about unheard of!

photo 1In fact, the same chandelier hung in the next room – sans shades of course – so we took that too, just in case we needed extra parts for the first one. Believe it or not, it was still wired and I am betting that if the house had electricity, throwing a switch would have resulted in light!

Once home, it was time to clean up that bad boy. I had order new sockets and fabric wrapped wiring from my new favorite lighting place, Color Cord Company. The selection available is so great, that it took me forever to finally choose a color! Great problem to have, I say!

I snapped a couple of photos of the wiring so I would know how to put this thing back together:

photo 2

You can see what decades of neglect can do to a fixture… even one of this 3I set about taking it all apart and cleaning all the pieces. The finish was word very badly in a couple of places, so I just opted to spray paint everything. Another decision that took a while to make, whether to paint it to look like the original brass or update the color. After perusing the paint aisle at Home Depot, I selected a beautiful new shade called Rose Gold.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.49.25 AMThis is similar to the brass but prettier and softer. I had cleaned up both sets, just in case we needed to use parts from one, but everything was there! Now The Kid set to re-wiring the fixture.

2015-05-16 13.39.46

We were actually able to salvage the original sockets! Talk about quality!2015-05-16 13.40.01I love his attitude when faced with something new. He researched it online and then went and bought the materials he needed and set about completing the job. Then it was time to piece the chandelier back together. 2015-05-16 13.51.16Slipped the shades on to it (they are called “slip shades”… something I learned in working on this project. No holes!) and we were done!

2015-05-16 14.52.58And here is the finished project:

2015-05-18 11.36.51

A few more photos taken to be able to list the item:2015-05-18 11.36.34

I had chosen the deep brown fabric cord and included about 8′ of extra cord so that if someone wanted, they could add a chain and hang it from a higher ceiling.2015-05-18 11.37.32

From the research I did, I was able to find that this was about 1930’s era, called ‘Art Deco’. Amazing that after 80 years this was still hanging and its five slip shades were in pristine condition!2015-05-18 11.37.46

I have been on the lookout for five more shades, up to this point, I can only locate four. If I am able to acquire the necessary five, I will put the other fixture together as well. What a bonus it would be to have matching chandeliers! I am so tempted to use these in my hallway, because they are simply beautiful and elegant, but they really do not match my house’s more modern style. And I do need two in the hallway. So, we’ll see what comes first, if I find five more shades or the first one is sold.

We’ve been trying to do some gardening but we have been having an unusually wet and cool spring. The Kid digs the hole for the compost and the rains come and fill it like a miniature swimming pool! I will share more tomorrow!


%d bloggers like this: