Do you know who Chico is? The one with the pony tail? He was Candice Olson’s electrician. I used to be so jealous of Candice when I would watch her remodel and redecorate a space while having Chico at her beckon call to add can lights here, or a pendant over a side table. Where was my electrician to do all of my fabulous lighting work? Well flash forward a few years to today:
Since we moved into our house, I have wanted pendant lights over the kitchen island or bar. Unfortunately I didn’t have the builder put any in from the beginning and the can lights that we do have are in an odd configuration with NONE of them over the bar! Well no fear, I finally added these awesome pendants and barn wood for my own vintage industrial lighting, without calling an electrician.
So this was what I had created previously. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVED these ratan ball pendant lights but they caused a few problems that began to bother me. 1. I don’t like seeing the extension cords on the ceiling 2. they didn’t give much direct light to the bar and actually blocked some of the light of the existing cans.
So I had been on the hunt for something else over the bar when I found these gems at my local ReStore, the Habitat for Humanity thrift store. They were only $5 each! I’ve been wanting to add some brass to my house but the exterior of these was tacky brass if you know what I mean.
I went on the search for a spray paint that was neutral, funky, matte and had a vintage industrial look. It also had to go well with the brass on the INTERIOR of the fixture, since it was in fantastic shape. Wal-Mart is one of my favorite spray paint sources and I came across this Rust-Oleum ”Camouflage” can. It is a dark gray-green. It reminds me of Restoration Hardware’s paint color “Flint”.
I took the pendants apart and painted them separately being sure not to paint the brushed brass on the inside.
I laid out all the parts on the bar. Oh, I also bought a new electrical wire with a plug on one end. They had these at ReStore for 25 cents and they would allow me more flexibility later plus the wiring on these guys was really outdated. In addition I went outside to my barn wood stash, yes I have a large stash of barn wood, and grabbed a piece that would work to connect the two lights and hide some wires (read more about my barn wood ceiling here and my salvaged wood lamps here).
Now that the light fixtures are all painted and put back together, it was time to tackle the wiring. I’ll be honest, this was the scary part. I had this figured out in my mind and begged my husband to do it for a while, but decided to get ‘er done myself. I grabbed a circular cutting tool that was in my husbands tool box. It is made for stuff like this and cutting out holes for door handles. I drilled out a hole exactly above where I wanted one of the pendants to hang (so that if I changed my mind, I could hang a pendant and the ceiling cap would cover the hole completely). I made sure that it was also inline with the floor joists where a can was and also in line to drop over my cabinets. Specifically a cabinet that had an electrical outlet inside. I had two choices, one where my “organization center” is and the other where my built-in microwave is (they almost always have an outlet but the microwave only uses one of the receptacles). I chose to head toward the “organization center” since the floor joists in the ceiling went that way. I disassembled the can light between the bar cut out and the “organization center” cut out so that I had a large opening with access to the floor joists). I placed a flashlight up in the ceiling in each hole. Then a fished an extension cord from one side to the other. When I couldn’t see what was going on or why the cord was getting stuck I popped my phone camera up in the ceiling and looked at the screen (I felt like MacGyver!). Eventually with the help of a metal hanger turned fishing hook I had the extension cord plugged in and the female end hanging out over the bar.
Now for the barn wood. I measured out how far apart I wanted the pendants and a hole for each one to thread the power plug through. Because my drill wasn’t as large as the plugs on the pendants, I had to cut off some of the extra plastic on the plug end. No worries, I only cut the “wings” of the plug so it was just excess plastic.
Here is the final product. You can see that I screwed each of the pendants to the wood. Then I hid one of the wires under wood. I plugged both of them into the extension cord and pushed all of the extra wires up in the ceiling. Then I screwed the wood to the ceiling covering up the wire and hole that I had cut. So that I could turn them on and off and dim them at will, I attached a dimmer switch that sits on the bottom shelf just inside the cabinet door.
I love the warm glow that the brass interior of the shade provides. Since the shade is opaque, it forces the light straight down so there isn’t a glare when working at the bar. The wood between the pendants that was used to hide the cord and circle opening really tie the two fixtures together and add to the rustic industrial look. And all this without an electrician and for about $15 including two pendants, two power cords, an extension cord, and a couple of new bulbs!