Laurel Street Blog

Cocktail Attire for the Dining Room Ceiling

Posted on: March 3, 2009

Ok – I was worried when I decided to cover the chandelier chains that it might be ‘too much.’ But I think it turned out ‘just right.’ Actually, I can’t believe that I looked at that long ugly bronze chain for as long as I did… looking back at the before picture, it just looks really unfinished.

The canonical 'before shot'

The canonical 'before shot'

Loving it. Is it too much?

Less may be more, but think how much better MORE can be!

Just in case you missed the previous post on what the medallions looked like before (they had a before and after too!) here you go:

Medical disclosure: My opthamologist does not recommend staring at these medallions in their former state for a long duration.

One of the inherited medallions. I personally did not do the Ted Turner-ization and colorize this bad boy.

One of the inherited medallions. I am not responsible for what was previously done to this innocent architectural embellishment.

(Twice) primed, then painted in a semi-gloss version of the ceiling color, the medallion went up very easily.

I slipped the cord cover over the chain and humped the whole kit up my uber ladder. Then I performed some twiddly bits with wires and screws (while fighting a mild vertigo). After that, I improvised some artful scrunching of the cord cover. I descended from the heights and stood back and thought, “Wow, that looks like somebody knew what they were doing!”

The Uber Ladder

The Uber Ladder

The light fixture canopy was still bronzy gold and didn’t make a smooth transition from the cord cover to the medallion, so I hauled out the ladder again and painted it white this morning before work.

There is one hidden secret (I will bare all). The medallion was thicker than the central “screw tube” that binds the chandelier to the junction box and holds the canopy cover in place… it was too short so I couldn’t connect the canopy! This was a real problem, the canopy was just sort of flopping around. This was definitely not the desired effect. The hardware store was closed and I didn’t want to unwire the whole thing again anyway, so…

…HOT GLUE! A few little droplets of hot glue stuck the canopy right to the medallion. It’s a crafty fix all right, but I’m not going to let a little thing like doing something ‘right’ to get in my way, that’s for sure.

Added bonus: This entire project cost me less that $10.00. I inherited the medallions, I had trim paint and primer in the closet and the silky fabric for the chandelier chain cover  cost almost nothing from JoAnn fabric. And I am always the only male in the local JoAnn buying fabric at any given time. They don’t look at me funny anymore, thank goodness.

P.S. It’s true the light fixture is nothing special. I bought it on a super clearance sale online, but it was a tremendous improvement over the corroded and flitchity ‘Colonial Williamsburg’ shiny brass number that hung in there when we bought the house. One day (soon?) I hope to have a wonder like this from Julie Neill (aka The Bayou Contessa) to hang in this spot.

Allyne Chandelier by Julie Neil. Sigh...

Allyne Chandelier by Julie Neill. Sigh...

9 Responses to "Cocktail Attire for the Dining Room Ceiling"

So nice to meet you and must say I’m impressed with all the beauty in your new home. The chandelier looks amazing after your redo. What a great find this lovely house must be after the stress of living through Katrirna – I will be back to read more of your posts. Are you an interior designer?

Meanwhile in answer to your question, I use flat latex paint for everything – and find that Valspar from Lowes is a great paint at a reasonable price so use it all the time now. They will custom match too – even matched a Farrow & Ball color as no way can I afford $60+ for a gallon of paint! My brother in France uses only F&B which he goes back to England to buy – how crazy is that!

Eggshell would be fine too but as I like to put the coat of Briwax on to finish, flat is fine, and I get that nice hard finish for protection along with the very soft glow.

Enjoy your day.

That’s great Mary, I suspected it might’ve been flat, since you are using the Briwax for the top finish. Thanks for letting me know! I love the look you’ve created in the dining room and will definitely be working up some old chest of drawers and maybe my (not so precious) coffee & side tables as well with your technique.

Thanks for the kind words about the site and my house… I’m not an interior designer, but a graphic designer. But I just love my old house and love a healthy does of home projects on the weekends! I’m adding you too as one of my ‘dutiful daily reads’ in my sidebar since I’m so often at your site!

Many thanks,


lovely job! it does look nice and finished now, and it definitely isn’t “too much.”

[…] The ‘Back Story’ Cocktail Attire for the Dining Room Ceiling […]

This is great, really beautiful. Does that mean the dog is out of the dog house now?

Nope – Louis is still very much in the house. Since I didn’t catch him doing it at the time, so he got off pretty easy with the book chewing. (I did shoot him a few ugly looks for a few days, however!)

My quick-fix tip for chain cover: buy wire edged ribbon, and just wind the ribbon around up the chain completely covering it, and then tuck the end in at the top. It solved my problem when I couldn’t find a chain cover color that suited my room!

That is a fantastic idea!

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Laurel Street Blog

Nate and Louis

Well, hey there. I'm Nathan and this is the Laurel Street Blog. It's a place for talking about design, decor and DIY (with small amounts of snarkery snuck in). I'm a pretty restless guy who loves house projects and lives in a 150+ year old cottage on Laurel Street in New Orleans. Since the house always has something going on with it (or falling off of it) I'm subsequently blessed with a never-ending supply of Web content to share. Oh - and you can drop me a line anytime Enjoy!

Can I get a tweet up in here? Follow along @LaurelStreet

The Laurel Street Cottage

March 2009
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