Before & After: Improving a Dated Dining Room Light

A few weeks ago, I asked for some advice on dealing with my dated brass and smoked glass dining room light. I appreciated both the sympathy and the ideas which sparked a few creative thoughts of my own. After a truly epic DIY fail involving coffee filters, vellum, and a malfunctioning glue gun, I put dealing with the dining room light on the back burner while deliberating my options. Then last week, I went to the mall and found the solution to my problem…

That's right, I found the perfect drum shade for the dining room — large, red and (because the store is going out of business) inexpensive. For only $35, and some admittedly frustrating moments wrestling with less-than-standard electrical fittings, I now have a dining room light that fits my style and my needs.

The shade was a little complicated to work with because it had a uno fitter filling the space in the middle. My initial plan was to simply cut out the bottom of this fitting to place the shade over the existing light, but it quickly became clear that the size of the existing light made it impossible to slip the shade up from beneath. Since the whole light had to come down anyway, my husband and I decided to take it apart to see if we could find a better way. A little trial and error, some colorful language, and we found a way to make the uno fitting work to our advantage.

The glass shade is in a closet for when we move out in two years, and we now have a much more attractive light that casts a more useful glow over the dining room table. Since this light is on a dimmer, we can now create actual atmosphere for a meal, and even during the day, the light is now a focal point rather than an eyesore. Not bad for $35 and an afternoon of labor!