Upon moving into our home, one thing I tried to ignore but couldn’t was the entryway chandelier. I mean… it was kind of hard to miss. The existing fixture was a massive, black sprayed painted chandelier that somehow attracted dust and cobwebs like a magnet. The hanging height also made it very difficult to dust from the staircase, so it was always half dirty and dusty (which was maddening). I tried to be patient knowing it would be a chore climbing that high to swap the light anyway, but when Hudson Valley Lighting reached out to work together again- I jumped at the opportunity. While Emmett was excited to see the existing light go, he wasn’t as eager to climb up and trade it out. The ceiling in the entryway is 30+ feet tall. Click through to see how things unfolded and of course to check out the before & after images. I’m also chatting future plans for our entryway.
*This post is sponsored by Hudson Valley Lighting. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!
First of all… crazy story. I didn’t realize the previous homeowners were following along on social media, while Emmett and I lovingly referred to the existing chandelier as the “haunted house light” because it was spray painted black and covered in cobwebs. That’s what it reminded me of and it stuck… kind of like the “bananity” yellow vanity in our guest bathroom before we renovated. These things just pop into my brain and I have no filter, so I say them out loud. Anyway, I received a VERY kind IG message from the previous homeowners admitting they were the ones who painted the massive (then brass) chandelier black. I apologized profusely for the funny nickname (I know how attached I get to our homes and the last thing I wanted to do was offend them), but luckily they were incredibly cool about it and thought it was pretty humorous. Hey- it was cool in the 90’s and now it’s ready for a makeover. That’s how these things go. Maybe in 30 years, someone will be questioning my design decisions. Who knows. Anyway, sometimes my job is weird- sharing allllll aspects of our life and home renovation. Homes need updated, it’s a fun / stressful process, and it’s very important to laugh along the way. That was my reminder!
Anyway, this is what the light fixture looked like before…
We have a stunning view of the mountains, which is perfectly framed by that large window. The black chandelier totally took away from the gorgeous scenery given its high contrast and ornate shape. I wanted to find something that felt lighter, and allowed the landscape to be the star of the vignette. You can appreciate the beautiful Marcel chandelier, but it doesn’t compete with the gorgeous montainscape in the background. It’s not overbearing or visually heavy.
Let’s talk about the process. This chandelier switcharoo was an allllll day event. Emmett first borrowed the biggest ladder available at his work. He strapped it to the top of my SUV, drove it all the way home, and unfolded it, only to find out it was too short to get the job done.
He took the ladder back, made a quick trip to Lowe’s on the way home… purchased scaffolding (such a guy thing to BUY that instead of rent, although we’ll probably use it for future projects), and spent an hour setting it up. Once the scaffolding was in place, we had already wasted half a day. He immediately got the old fixture down. It was about three times as heavy as our updated option. I hauled it out to the garage, and came back to help him install our new chandelier. Every single existing light fixture in our house has been installed wrong. I’m not sure who built this place, but 98% of the boxes have been stripped and replacing light fixtures turns into an ordeal. We hoped that wouldn’t be the case for this one, but unfortunately it was. After Emmett swapped the box and made electrical updates, we were ready to roll.
You know me… I wanted a ceiling medallion, so that added an extra step. Ha! Emmett was ecstatic. In all seriousness, once he made the electrical repairs the actual installation happened quickly. I am still shocked when I walk out of our master bedroom and see the white fixture. It feels SO much brighter and lighter in our entryway. The heavy, uneasy contrast is no longer there and it really changed the entire mood from multiple vantage points.
There are actually two light fixtures in our entryway… the chandelier and a flush mount in the upper hallway that leads to the bedrooms. I figured we might as well swap them both for better, permanent options. I wasn’t about to photograph that gorgeous new chandelier and leave the existing boob light right there as a giant distraction or reminder of the 90’s. I’m dropping a before image below:
I found this pretty brass Romanov fixture and couldn’t imagine anything other than that beauty living in the upstairs hall. It might just be my favorite fixture in our entire house!
At the end of the day, through all the ladder / scaffolding / messed up electrical struggles, this day long event was well worth our effort. Even though we have yet to transform and renovate our entryway, swapping the light fixtures made a huge impact!
Speaking of our entryway, if you’re curious about my longterm vision for this space… we’ll be closing off a doorway and adding tile to the entry, but we’ll be keeping the staircase configuration. I’d like to remove the carpet from the stairs, replace the balusters, and give it a much needed makeover. The cherry wood definitely has to go. I imagine we’ll strip it and paint it someday… probably not anytime soon though.
The light fixtures in our formal living room are also from Hudson Valley, so I knew the finish, quality, and craftsmanship would be excellent before ordering our new entryway fixtures. It was really just a matter of making selections.
What do you think? Do like our new chandelier better than the existing version? All of these little updates add up to a big transformation eventually. It’s fun crossing these little tasks of the list! We’ve been doing a lot of these types of projects lately. I’ll link all of our HVL light fixtures in a shopping slider below, if you’re curious about sources…
PeggiMay 20, 2020 at 6:01 am
Oh my goodness! Such a striking difference; those fixtures are stunning. I love the slightly exaggerated height of the chandelier shades. And that Romanov flushmount-sigh. Thank goodness you now have scaffolding, so Emmett can dust your beautiful chandelier.🤣
Yikes about the former owners! Years ago we bought a house directly from the owners. As they were giving us a tour, highlighting features and flaws, the husband attributed some quirk to the previous owners. The wife chimed in and said whenever something seemed wonky or strange, they (mostly jokingly) cursed the former owners’ taste or workmanship. She laughed and gave us permission to do the same! I sometimes chuckle as I make changes to our home and wonder what the next owners will be lamenting! Can’t imagine anyone regretting your lovely choices!
(BTW, Thanks for the tip yesterday! I had purchased that very product somewhat skeptically, so your rec made me more confident.)💙💜💚
SarahMay 20, 2020 at 8:35 am
Aren’t they beautiful? They’re really making me smile as I walk up the stairs each day. My father-in-law arrived yesterday and even he commented “cool light”, haha! The former owners (who built the house) are very kind, amazing people. We’re lucky they enjoy following along and the process, rather than feeling upset that we’re updating everything. There was another family who lived here in between us and them, so it’s probably fun for the original owners to see the interior after time has passed. I’ve heard many similar stories to yours about walking through the house with the previous owners… it’s always such a touchy, awkward subject. Ha! As attached as I get to our homes, once it’s time to move on- I try to remember that the new inhabitants will enjoy making it their own in different ways (which is what I’m all about). It’s always emotional, but special knowing someone will love the home (regardless if our tastes align). So glad you had already found the texture product! Let me know how it goes- I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully. Happy Wednesday :) Two more days of school left… good luck! xo
LaurenMay 20, 2020 at 8:09 am
Such a cleaner more cohesive look! I love that it just blends now; the other one has its own place in the aesthetic world, but I agree it wasn’t right for the house. So funny about your nicknames…I too have random odd and sometimes cringeworthy nicknames for things…more-so from our old house. Your choices are always right on point with the rest of your aesthetic. That Romanov flush mount though!!!😱😍It’s perfect and gorgeous and subtle…That’s a fixture that dreams are made of! I have swapped the entry light in ours, and the high ceilings are no joke! I can’t believe Emmett bought scaffolding 🤣 I didn’t even know you could buy it, I just thought it was the thing to rent it. Now that I know differently I might just pull an Emmett. It’s more likely that Jeff will before me though, Lol. Our window has no view and we have no angles where we can see out of it, which is kind of a let down and waste of space in my opinion, especially since they didn’t arch it like the rest of the front windows. One day…lol. What a gorgeous backdrop you must have against that light! Like a painting I imagine. Anyway, it looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see what else you do with the entry. It’s hump day; Happy Wednesday!
SarahMay 20, 2020 at 8:23 am
Thank you! I feel like I can actually take in the beautiful mountain view out the window now… it’s just lighter- I’m loving it! The flush mount fixture is definitely my favorite fixture in our entire house (so that’s saying something)- it’s incredible!! High ceilings are so tough when it comes to home improvement (swapping lights, painting, whatever)- such a challenge. Ahh yes- Emmett and his scaffolding. A couple of our friends have already asked to rent it from us (LOL!), so he’s pretty pleased with himself. I think it was around $500. Your arched windows sound beautiful! Happy hump day, Lauren :) xo
DannaMay 20, 2020 at 11:23 am
Oh my..that flush mount is g o r g e o u s ! Your chandelier is so simple but beautiful! I bet the view is stunning!
If there is lighting I do not like to swap out or purchase its boob lights or entry lights. I would rather shop for dining, bathroom, kitchen lighting. You have incredible taste when finding the right lights for your homes.
I saw Emmett on the scaffolding in your stories and with him on the stool and was a bit nervous for him. We have the same problem in our entry..super high ceilings.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
SarahMay 20, 2020 at 11:50 am
Thanks Danna! I’m smitten with it. It’s probably the most beautiful light fixture I’ve ever owned. We have SO many boob lights scattered throughout our house… especially since it was built in the early 90’s. Haha! Emmett with the step stool on TOP of the scaffolding made me nervous. I advised against it, but of course he didn’t listen. Luckily, he survived. Vaulted ceilings are so beautiful, but such a paint to paint or swap light fixtures. Maybe next time we’ll hire it out for peace of mind. lol! Hope you’re having a wonderful week :) xo
LenaMay 27, 2020 at 10:19 am
Looks gorgeous! We have two Marcel chandeliers in our home in the bronze color and I love them. But I must let you know that if you use an incandescent light bulb it will burn red marks into the shades. And the crazy thing is the light fixture instructions say to get incandescent light bulbs! We bought LED bulbs and haven’t had any issues since. And I must say Hudson Valley was very nice and sent us new shades.
SarahMay 27, 2020 at 6:36 pm
Thanks Lena! That is so good to know. We put LED lights in them right away and haven’t had any issues. So weird! Glad to hear Hudson Valley did a nice job with their customer service- love hearing that :)
JenniferJanuary 25, 2021 at 1:02 pm
Hi Sarah. Do you plan to repaint your entry way or carry the SW Aesthetic White throughout this part of your home?
SarahJanuary 26, 2021 at 8:19 am
Hi Jennifer! Our entry will be a different color when it comes time to renovate that space.