what a difference a shade makes...

i feel like i use that joke a lot. note to self, don't become a cheesy one-liner joke recycler. eep.

but! when i got those giant green lamps into our den, i did realize what a difference some nice, cozy lamp light makes. what i had already realized is how much i hated the overhead light fixture in that same room.
this room is officially the dining room, according to the builder's plan for our townhome. because the room is carpeted [we have kids!] & because there's a much larger room right off the kitchen with nice hardwoods, it made absolutely no sense for us to have our dining room table in here [although we did try it for a minute during christmas this past year]. so, that at least explains the existence of this standard, boring, dime-a-dozen builder's grade 3 lamp dining room fixture right in the middle of my living room.
i've tried other things to hide it, my favorite being 3 big white paper lanterns which i did like for awhile. i've even covered it in candy canes & hung 2 giant snowflakes on it, in attempts to give it some holiday spirit. no such luck.
i finally decided i wanted to find a ginormous drum shade to just cover it all up & make it feel more living room appropriate. the problem was, i'd need one that was 20 inches or more in diameter to fit over the arms of each lamp... which is no cheap thing to buy. sure, i'd heard plenty of stories of folks finding the holy grail of a 24 inch drum shade in perfect condition on ebay, at a thrift store, or at a lamp outlet place. but i was short on time & long on impatience with this ugly fixture.

i started by taking the glass shades off & using an S hook to loop the chain up until the fixture was about 5 inches from the ceiling.
pretty, right? you can see why i was in a hurry to cover the whole thing up. i was going to try out an embroidery hoop tutorial, but couldn't seem to find the huge hoops [actually quilting hoops] in stock anywhere. plus, i was a little tired from my last few projects going ever-so-slightly wrong. ever feel that way?

as luck would have it, i was browsing through world market looking for throw pillows when i stumbled across this guy among their mix & match lamps & shades... a big burlap shade that was 17 inches across the top & 20 inches across the bottom for just $30.


but did he fit?

there's not much room between the light bulbs and the edge of the lampshade & i had to unscrew a bit of the bottom of the fixture to get it on there, but who cares? it's exactly the look i wanted with no diy-ing & only $30. speaking of bulbs, i also got some new ones at wal-mart that specifically mentioned "open fixtures" on the packaging. i think the twirly energy-saving ones were just too darn bright.

here you can see how close the light bulbs come, & the ghetto rigging careful configuring i did to make the shade stay on there. we decided to keep the light on all day when i was home one afternoon & if the burlap didn't burst into flames, we were probably ok. [i'm mostly kidding- the bulbs are not hot to the touch & the shade has a plastic lining. use lots of caution & common sense when it comes to tiny electrical glass balls in your home!]
big drum shade for the win! i love love love how it looks! it's made a major difference in the room feeling like a den & not a dining room.
what's your favorite way to rig up some new lighting?

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