A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Dining Room Light Fixture

Once we sold the dining room chandelier I started searching for bungalow-appropriate ceiling fixtures. It was much harder than I thought!

For one, authentic vintage light fixtures were super expensive everywhere I looked, either locally or online, and reproductions really weren’t any cheaper. This was in late October and I was hoping to find something before we hosted Thanksgiving dinner.

After visiting various shops who specialized in antique lighting and getting sticker shock, I ended up buying a brand new, simple drum shade, but quickly decided it was too stark/too new looking and returned it without even taking it out of the box. Finally, I went to The Bellows Shoppe in Winnetka. The guy who waited on us was very helpful and I loved how he talked about each light fixture, referring to each as “she”.

They had a nice 3-light option which was in a Deco style and appropriate for the age and style of our house. On the down side, it was a little smaller than I hoped — I was looking for a 4- or 5-light fixture. BUT the price was right on this one and I didn’t want something too big either. I had had enough of too big. Plus I wanted something that would be more of a ceiling fixture instead of a chandelier because we wouldn’t have the table centered under it and I don’t like the look of “swagging” a light fixture off to one side with a long chain.

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We were afraid it might not be bright enough for the room, but the three LED bulbs we bought give off plenty of light even with the dimmer on low. I also like how the painted glass shades look with our ceiling color.

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It’s a huge difference from the chandelier as you can see in comparison to the photo below, but at least no one has to duck their head as they pass through the room anymore!

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I’m happy with it for the most part, however I may keep my eyes open for slightly bigger options at flea markets, antique stores or auctions, especially something that we could get inexpensively that might need a little restoration and re-wiring.

4 Comments

  1. Morgan culture on January 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Wow! Looks so great with your grandfather’s workbench, too.

    When we look for light fixtures, estate sales and demolition homes are our best cheap resources. I signed up for estatesales.net in my area. We also have gotten some things at architectural salvage stores (I went to one in chicago, but can’t remember its name), and the best place of all time has been the prop auctions. Not sure if those exist in Chicago, though.

    I also got an amazing antique piece on etsy and even one on eBay, believe it or not! Etsy has a TON, but can be a little more difficult if the seller hasn’t used the same buzzwords and key words you’d choose yourself.

    • denise on January 18, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Thanks for the tips Morgan, that’s very helpful! I didn’t even think about prop auctions. There might be some here so I’ll have to check it out. The architectural salvage places have gotten really expensive. One was trying to charge well over $1000 for light fixtures from South America that weren’t even restored or wired for US voltage! It was insane!

  2. Chris on January 20, 2015 at 9:14 am

    The new fixture is a definite improvement. it matches both the architecture and your decor.

    • denise on January 20, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks Chris! I can definitely live with this new one for a long time, even if it’s a little undersized.

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