Seeing the store every day tends to dull my senses a little and I realize I don’t spend much time looking up and really seeing the lovely and unique lighting we have. While doing a lighting order recently, I got distracted by the formula for determining the chandelier size for a particular space when I was supposed to be working on a customer request for non-chandelier, flush mount lighting. I know what he is looking for but what I was seeing in my mind was the ceiling mounted lighting of houses from my past. Those non-descript, post-war design light bulb shrouds that hugged the ceiling.
When we still lived in our “accidental dream house” I sent our number 3 child to her room to fold her laundry. All the kids were infamous for abusing the laundry chute. Their idea of cleaning their room consisted of taking clean, folded, laundry they were too “unambitious” (code word for lazy) to put away, and drop it back down the chute. They weren’t even imaginative enough to unfold it first. They just took the laundry I painstakingly washed and folded for them and threw it down the chute. Bombs away, mom will never be the wiser, room clean-problem solved. The number three child got the brunt of my wrath one day when I opened the laundry chute door and her washed and folded laundry fell out at my feet. It was a never-ending mountain of laundry in those days and this discovery set me on the war-path. I added a load of her jeans, fresh from the dryer and handing her a full laundry basket, I pointed up the stairs and ordered her in my fiercest mommy’s-had-it voice, “GO! And do not come down until this basket is folded AND put away.”
For reasons still unknown to me, this child thought it would be a good idea to stand in the middle of her bed and shake out her jeans before folding them. On the second or third shake, the leg of the jeans wrapped itself around the square glass light fixture mounted on the ceiling. It shattered sending shards of glass raining down. Minutes after sending her to her room there were blood-curdling screams. I rolled my eyes wondering what disaster she had contrived in order to get out of this chore. She had a flair for the dramatic and I was prepared to not fall for her shenanigans this time.
I waited at the bottom of the stairs for her to appear and was shocked and awed when I saw the blood spurting from her face, with each beat of her heart. Several hours later we were home again. While the gaping wound was worthy of a few stitches, it was thankfully not as bad as it originally seemed. In the end, I folded that basket of laundry… again.
In those days, the ongoing home improvement was just considered a work in progress rather than what we call a remodel by today’s standards and I didn’t look up much then either. Lighting wasn’t even on my radar but it is the key to the very soul of a room. Lighting is so much more than LIGHT. It sets the tone of the space, it is a focal point, a statement. Harsh over-head lighting simply cannot be tolerated, itisn’t warm and cozy and I’m all about warm and cozy.
I will never see flush mount lighting and not think of the great lighting/laundry debacle. Only in my family could such an obscure object be hazardous.
Back in the Pretty in Paint zone I’m being more intentional to see our inventory for all of its aesthetically pleasing goodness. It’s always a good idea to look up now and then. In the event a chandelier is in your future I’ll leave you with that formula for determining what general size to look for:
Measure the width and length of a room. Add these two numbers together and consider the resulting figure as inches rather than feet. This is the diameter of the chandelier that will best suit your space. Then allow 2-3 inches of chandelier length per foot of wall height.
Warning: Be advised, folding laundry beneath light fixtures could be hazardous to your well-being.