Making a Chandelier?

One of my resolutions this year is to finally get the house sorted out.  The major remodeling of the basement and kitchens that we planned will have to wait because of George Bush and Gordon Brown, but we ought to at least be able to get the house PAINTED.  I mean, we’ve only been here two years.

Two things which really need to go are the two brass light fittings in the main downstairs living room.  I presume they’re originals in the house and so must date from about 1912.  This doesn’t stop them looking like strange brass jelly fish hanging from the ceiling.


As a Brit I’ve been taught to be respectful of original features, but I really can’t cope with these and the Husband loathes them. I mean look.


I would obviously like to spend several thousand dollars on two groovy light fittings but George Bush put the kibosh on those as well (he’s got SO much on his conscience). And then I saw this in Ready Made magazine.



Designed by Jean Pelle, they’re made from three light fittings, round glass bulbs and these gorgeous handblown ‘bubble’ balls from CB2.  All tied together with bits of string. I even have an electrical engineer (turned online advertising guru) for a Husband, so we shouldn’t even get electrocuted.

My questions for you are as follows:

– Should I ditch the original fixtures?

– Where’s the best place to sell the original fixtures?

– Will someone really pay MONEY for them?

– Am I really going to have the patience to put these together?

– Should I even bother?

– Are they going to look like expensive fixtures?

– Or just like a hopelessly homemade bundle of balls tied together with string?

Answers on a postcard please.

We’ll be talking paint colours next. FINALLY, we’re going to ditch the icky egg-yolk yellow.  Am beside myself with excitement. Some colour samples arrived in the post today.  I just have to paint them onto boards and then we can have a chat. 



  1. says

    Somebody might pay money! You never know, there are restorationists everywhere. If you can’t sell them within a fairly reasonable amount of time, though, make sure you give them to an architectural salvage place instead of just throwing them away! Such a donation is often tax deductible and it virtually guarantees the fixture will find a home… someday. 😉 I love those glass bubbles! Can’t wait to see your renovations.

  2. kate says

    sell or donate to architecture salvage place. is there nowhere else in the house they could be used? They could be restored and look cool if put in the just the right place.
    i love the bubble fixture. be sure to make it big enough and do very well, otherwise they can come across as rather homemade craft project.
    good luck!

  3. Jenn says

    As a trained historic preservationist and architectural historian, I say that you can replace them, but save them. Label what room they’re from and stow the fixtures away somewhere safe, but keep them in the house. That way you retain the original fixtures (even if they aren’t in place) and if you, or a future owner wants to restore the house they are still there.

  4. says

    Thanks Jenn. If they’re worth a lot of money I might be tempted to sell them, but otherwise I think I will keep them with the house.
    From looking at the Rejuvenation site and others I think they ought to have little shades on them which would make them a lot more attractive, so I might even look into restoring them properly.

  5. Anne says

    Well, I am one of those weird people who actually really likes your fixtures. My house has 5 or 6 original light fixtures, probably from the early 30’s. They are not beautiful, but I really appreciate the fact that they have always been here. Hold onto those!

  6. says

    You just need to ditch the fake candle bulbs (ognitive dissonance about upside down candle flames, here)and replace the glass shades that should be there. The bubble thing is going to look dated, IMHO, fairly soon.

  7. says

    Laura – the fake candle bulbs are what was there when we moved in. I agree they look strange. Does anyone know what sort of shades should be there and where I can get some? The more this thread continues the more I am tempted to restore instead of replace entirely.
    I’ve just taken delivery of the bubbles though, so I will make the chandeliers, maybe for elsewhere in the house. It doesn’t matter if they date soon as will cost about $75 a piece…

  8. Cynthia C. says

    I’ll gladly take the old light fixtures! I’m an old house freak and they would look great in the house I’m restoring. If you still have them, email me at

  9. says

    “…and the Husband loathes them.” LOL! I’m seriously laughing here, Poala! I saw that bubble chandie several times online and I really want to have it either in my livingroom or bedroom — they’re so beautiful!
    I have this thing for hand forged iron furniture (chandeliers and sconces) since I was young and done some redesigning for some of my lighting.
    – Should I ditch the original fixtures?
    ** YES
    – Where’s the best place to sell the original fixtures?
    ** Try Ebay
    – Will someone really pay MONEY for them?
    ** HAHAHA! LOL!
    – Am I really going to have the patience to put these together?
    ** You mean the bubble fixture? Of course!
    – Should I even bother?
    ** Uh-huh. 😀
    – Are they going to look like expensive fixtures?
    ** OH YES! They’re beautiful and very fun to look at.
    – Or just like a hopelessly homemade bundle of balls tied together with string?
    ** Definitely NO! 🙂
    I’m sure you did great! Where’s the post?

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