Friday, April 29, 2011

Dining Room, Now with (better) Light

You may remember from my last post that our dining room was starting to pull itself together, except for the off-center, too-high chandelier. After poking around on the Internet for about 20 minutes, I learned how to fix this blemish on my otherwise nice room.

I had to buy a long length (about 6 feet) of lamp wire (same thing the hardware store would sell you to rewire an old lamp), some chain, and a hook with a toggle bolt. I also needed a couple of pairs of pliers, and some help from my every-handy mom (it's so nice how she visits when I need to get something done!).

First, we took the chandelier down from the ceiling so that we could clean it and attach a longer wire. Everything looked pretty normal up in the junction box under the chandelier's bonnet.

After cleaning up the (very dusty) chandelier, we unscrewed the ring on its top so that we could remove the cover and expose the wiring. As I hoped, the chandelier was wired in a fairly straightforward manner: the black wires from the light sockets were all bundled together and spliced to the black wire of the main cord, and likewise for the white wires. We disconnected the too-short main cord from these bundles (after twist-tying the bundles together to keep things organized!), then spliced in our new, longer main cord.

We got the chandelier rewired and put back together. Next, we drilled a (rather large) hole in the ceiling (made difficult by my lack of a half-inch drill bit) to fit our hook and toggle bolt. These are kind of fun when they go in easily, and frustrating when they don't.

Several hours later, we concluded our project with the beautiful vista below. Reattaching and correctly placing the chandelier was much more difficult that we expected; as we screwed the parts all back together, the long length of chain and wire became terribly twisted. However, the ours of having our arms in the air fooling with things above our heads were worth it. We can now see our food while we eat it! Hurrah!

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