I found this chandelier in a state at a local Brocante for 4€. I was so excited because, even though it was badly tarnished, the detail was exquisite. I had placed it in the passenger seat next to me in the car and was driving to pick up the girls when I glance over at a set of traffic lights to admire my special find. That’s when I noticed it, the parts where the light bulbs where held had the electrics burnt away.
My heart sank – would I have to throw this beautiful thing away?
My mind whirred – what could I do with it instead. It simply couldn’t end up in landfil! I considered removing the electrics completely, gluing tealights holders in their place and hanging it from a tree outside as a form of external, candle lighting for al fresco dining.
Then one day in the supermarket I saw what I realised were replacement light fittings. I bought one and asked my Pops, who lives here in France, could they be used to replace the destroyed ones?
My dad’s a star! After much tinkering he managed to attach it. We ordered more and the remainder were replaced to.
When we first moved here at Christmas I took it out and set to work cleaning it. An entire week later and an aching arm saw a gleaming, beautiful chandelier.
Halfway through the project I’d lost the will to live. My mother in law was over for Christmas and she’d sat with me as I’d scrubbed with brasso. At one point, about two thirds of the way through, I looked up and said “maybe I should just paint it white?” She’s from the rougher parts of London, but as a grammar school girl she sounds posh and is a cultured woman who is able to relate to everyone, irrelevant of class. At this moment though it was like an Eliza Doolittle moment as she exclaimed “What after all that work!!!”
So I reconsidered.
After the job was finished I put the chandelier away with the view of putting it up as soon as possible, however other things have intervened. With the completion of the ceiling medallion I couldn’t resist putting them both up this weekend.
Unlike the light under the stairs, or in the laundry room or even our bedroom this was a trickier task and I had to call in my hubby to help after I did started as it was too heavy to do all on my own. Nevertheless when the bulbs where in and the candle cap shades where on I was so pleased with the result.
The hallway is starting to take shape.