Inspired, again.

I am constantly on my computer.  And Rob is constantly nagging at me to get off my computer.  What he doesn’t know is that at any moment, I could find inspiration on my computer.  Take Thursday night, for example.  I was up far too late, reading and rereading interior design blogs.  Sometime around 11pm, I was reminded of a design book I had received last Christmas.  I realized that I hadn’t opened this book since we found our house, which meant I could look through it with fresh eyes. I found the book and began flipping through the pages.  I was excited to find images like this one that put looks together that I had only imagined.

And images like this one that encouraged more imagination.

I had previously picked out a drum shade pendant to replace the countrified faux patina chandelier that came with the house. But the above image had me wondering if I could find something even larger in scale.  I returned to my computer and started searching for an alternative.  I quickly came across a popular kids’ craft involving a balloon, some yarn, and glue.  I did a bit more research and found the craft adapted to the scale I had in mind. The next morning, I told Rob he was either going to love me or hate me because I had a great idea.  I was going to DIY a dining room light fixture and save us $150 in the process.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The obligatory “before” pictures

Rob installing the new pendant

And the “afters”

We’ll see how long it stays up there!


9 Responses to “Inspired, again.”

  1. Wow! I’m impressed! I can’t believe the difference. I hadn’t noticed the old fixture, but then it was hardly worth noticing. But this gives a whole new look to the room! Great job!

  2. The scale definitely works. You needed something to demand presence in such an open space, and this accomplishes that. It also provides a nice contrast to all the straight lines, flat planes, and neat and clean surfaces you have going right now. As much as I like mid-century-modern and contemporary design, I sometimes get overwhelmed (or maybe underwhelmed?) by tendencies toward unadulterated minimalism. It can become too spartan; too clinical; too cold; without life. It only takes the smallest touches to mitigate that problem, and the spherical form plus the imperfection suggested in the hand-wound yarn adds just enough subtle organicism that warms and humanizes the space; this obviously fits well with its being a light source. Little decorating touches can do the same thing, but your fixture does it with hardwear, which is more of a design feature than a decorative one, right (You, of all people, can tell me if I’m right to make that distinction.)?

    Fashion works the same way for me. Beautiful tailoring and the simplest solid color combinations can fall flat on their own or become completely enlivened by just a touch of stylish imperfection, of purposeful nonchalance. The Italians call it “Sprezzatura.” The trick is to do it without it seeming contrived. Easier said than done.

  3. You are right, Mark. And it certainly wasn’t intentional. Obviously, I set out hoping to bring balance to the dining room by incorporating an oversized fixture, but I didn’t expect it to have as big of an impact on the decorative side as it did. It actually allowed me to pare down the small decorative items I previously had in that space. I only wish my interior design Sprezzatura translated over to my fashion sense. I would have it made.

  4. You may already know about it, but there’s a great fashion blog that offers nothing but street photography of interestingly attired people from all over the world. It’s called The Sartorialist, and its written by the photographer, Scott Schuman. The url is He’s inspired a lot of copycats too, and many of them are as good or better than he is.

  5. I meant to say that he has a great eye for capturing examples of sprezzatura “in the wild.”

  6. Mark,

    I have heard of that blog and actually try to stay away from it! I can have enough light fixtures, wall paint, and ceramic knick-knacks (well, maybe not the knick-knacks), but I can never have enough jeans, boots, and sweaters. In other words, it just makes me want to buy non-stop.


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