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interiors & styling: Swapping Our Entryway Chandelier

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!

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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…


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