Elsie’s dream (DIY) light fixture

My dream light fixture (and it's DIY!)I'm so excited to finally share one of my favorite DIY adventures in our current home! If you're a crazy detail person you might remember that we kept the chandelier that our home came with for about a year (you can see it in this post) and we really liked it. When we first moved in it was the one fixture in the house that we actually wanted to keep. So you're probably thinking, "What changed your mind?" Well, every time we had people over for dinner and drinks we would usually end up sitting around the table. And the atmosphere at night was just kinda boring. In the spring we added string lights to the back porch and I started to wish for something more like that in our dining room. It was just so vibey in comparison. 

I usually take an eternity to pick out light fixtures. No problemo, though, because I went with simple metal pendant lights for almost every room in our home. I knew this room needed something special and different to accent our homemade 8 seat table, so I was on the lookout for that perfect "wow factor" fixture. Low and behold, I saw this pin and fell in love! I knew it would be a perfect for our space. I emailed my dad the photo to see it if he thought it was possible to DIY and his response was basically, "Let's do it next week". Enter happy dance! I found the one.My dream light fixture (and it's DIY!) So, this isn't exactly a DIY post, because we can't recommend you build a light fixture from scratch with no electrical experience. That sounds kinda dangerous, doesn't it? Safety first, y'all. But if you do fall in love with the design as much as I did and want to create something similar, these details could help you do that with the help of a professional. 🙂 Here's how my dad describes the process of putting this together!

"First, we decided to go with white, since her ceiling is white, and parts are easy to find. Next, we discussed the layout which was dictated by her dining room table size. We decided to have 11 lights total and cover above table evenly in a 2-1-2-1-2-1-2 pattern. Her table is 8 ft long and 3 1/2 ft wide, a large table as is her dining room. The next step was to draw the tabletop on a sheet of paper and note where the electrical wiring is located on the ceiling. Then draw the 2-1-2-1-2-1-2 pattern evenly and this gave us a template to work off of. We then had to decide how far the lights were to be above the table. With this information we could decide how long each wire needed to be from the ceiling outlet to the light socket. We soldered 18/2-gauge wire to the sockets and insulated with heat shrink tubing. All parts were white. Next, we mounted the 11 wired sockets on the ceiling using a hammer and white staples that worked well with the 18/2-gauge wire while referring to the layout template we made. We hooked up the 11 runs of wire in parallel with the electrical ceiling outlet. You will need to check your local electrical code in your area or have a electrician to terminate the wiring. We screwed in the lights to the sockets, tested the lights and finished by placing a white plastic cover plate over ceiling outlet."My dream light fixture (and it's DIY!)  My dream light fixture (and it's DIY!)  My dream light fixture (and it's DIY!)  My dream light fixture (and it's DIY!)  I'm so happy with the end result. We have a dimming switch in the dining room so the lights are perfectly soft for dinners with friends. I love the look of the fixture in morning light and at night, which I think is key. Hooray! With another giant project under our belts we're feeling pretty cozy over here. Now, who wants to come over for dinner? 😉My dream light fixture (and it's DIY!!)xoxo. Elsie 

Credits: Author and Photos/Elsie Larson, Project/Don Chapman (our dad!!)

  • You are so talented. These light fixtures looking awesome. These are a great way to add some flair to your room. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  • oh my, this is so beautiful!! i just loved it. i wish i knew how to do this!! thanks for sharing, it really is lovely

  • Great post and a great encouragement to others as it shows imagination and determination matter more than money when it comes to interior design. The bulbs look great against the clean white walls.In fact the whole room looks beautiful – love the collection of yellow chairs. Can we come visit!?!?

  • Love the light fixture, such a great idea and DIY. But I’m eyeing up your rug where is that from? I need something large for my dining room and don’t want to spend a forture.

    Thank you,

    Kim

  • That looks great. Love. Where did you get all the hardware- cords/ceiling plate? I’ve been looking all over, and yours looks so good. Thanks for the post!

  • amazing…what an awesome room, the new fixture totally makes it. I love how simple yet well thought out and pleasing to the eye everything look in there. “Less is more” done So right;)

  • Ummm… what is a 2-1-2-1-2-12-1- etc pattern. What does that mean?

    Do like it though.

  • Can you explain the sunflowers that I see in the background hung on coat hooks? I want to do that same thing in my home but the photo isn’t close up enough! I love the look though!

  • Well this is just wonderful. I love hands-on, DIY dads. Lucky for me, my mom is pretty hands-on, DIY too!

  • Oh Elsie it looks amazing! And I love the sunflowers hung up too.
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

  • I need this in my life. It’s beautiful!

    http://www.thestudentinthespecs.blogspot.com

  • looks beautiful. you are so blessed to have a capable and willing dad to help with your projects. he rocks. 🙂

  • I really want to see the lights at night, a true photo of what kind of ambiance they create.

  • Great job to Elsie’s dad! This looks incredible! I love the yellow chairs too — did you buy them all that color or paint chairs all to match?
    xx

  • That looks amazing and I love your use of bold colour with those brilliant chairs.

  • So unique! This came out beautifully – so cool you could enlist your dad for help 🙂

    Bailey
    http://akabailey.blogspot.com

  • this looks outstanding. I am renovating my dining room and doing a mix of retro and contemporary. this lighting idea might be kinda perfect for what I am after. I can’t wait to share how it turns out in my space.
    www.oomphlove.blogspot.ca

  • Wonderful post! Youve made some very astute observations and I am thankful for the the effort you have put into your writing. Its clear that you know what you are talking about. I am looking forward to reading more of your sites content.
    http://www.msdynamicsaxtraining.com

  • I like your post!

    This is my Blog on Blogspot follow me please !

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  • such an amazing idea..looks very pretty! I really love the color of the chairs and the dining table’s wood looks super cool.

  • Gorgeous! Bare bulbs are so simple and elegant. Lighting isn’t as scary as many people think (especially if your dad’s around!).

  • I always dreamed of having a kitchen like this. What I like the most is the combination of different types of chairs.

  • I love those lights! Definitely having something like that when I own my own house. Really like the idea of using different chairs but having them all the same colour – looks funky!

    Caitlin

  • Hi! Looks amazing with all the light over the tables, just how I want it in my home! If its ok I want to use two pics on my blog so I can give my family some inspiration too. I will Link to your side. Have e nice day 🙂 /Natalie

  • Hey Elsie and Emma!

    If you like tinkering with electronics and want to learn more, but start off simple, I would recommend arduino! It’s a micro controller that you can connect LED’s to, along with homemade sensors, and program it simply using your computer with a USB cable. It costs about 20 euros and you can use it over and over again to make amazing new projects. You can make touch sensors with just some tin foil!! I use it a lot for my Industrial Design projects (I am a student that loves DIY’s and crafts combined with tech!) and made several cool lamps with it. Doing something similar would add a whole new level of DIYing to this project!

    Imagine just touching one of the bulbs, and the entire thing would switch on or off… 🙂

  • I think this turned out fantastic! I just wanted to say that I like your version much better than the one you found on Pinterest!

  • I love this lighting look. I’ve noticed a lot of bars and restaurants doing it. I also love your cute mismatched but matching table chairs!

    Hilary x thehealthycollective.com

  • This looks great. I´ve seen a similar light decoration, with different wire colors and light bulbs in different sizes. That lookes very nice too.

  • Love it!! Reminds me of this installation at La Condesa restaurant in Austin, Texas:

    www.wearedesignbureau.com/projects/la-condesa-restaurant-guide/

  • The lights look so good! Also love the different chairs painted the same colour! What a great idea! x

  • Hi Elsie,

    Have you mentioned before where you got the lights in the backyard that you reference in this post? I just got an amazing apartment in San Francisco that has a great yard!! It needs some sprucing up and I am on the hunt for string lights like the ones you have 🙂

    Thanks!!

    Amanda

  • Your dad sounds swell! My dad is handy, too (I bought my house a year ago, and he’s swapped out all of the ugly builders’ grade “boob” light fixtures that came with my house for vintage fixtures that are more appropriate for the age of my home). Yay for dads! Especially handy ones!

    Your house is beautiful and inspiring. You guys seem like incredibly hard workers, and I always look forward to reading your posts each day. Thank you for sharing your projects, and I’m SO excited that you are coming out with a home decor book next! Do you know when that will be released?

  • That looks amazing!!
    So cozy,
    XO,
    Belen

    *** www.androbelinsider.blogspot.com ***

  • I love this lighting so much. So pretty and perfectly industrial.

    -Jen
    yourstrulyjen.com

  • I love the idea, but I am too much of an energy freak to have so many light bulbs. 🙂 I’m in the process of switching out my light bulbs with the NanoLeaf! It is the world’s most energery efficient light bulb (I am not affiliated with the company at all). Having a lower energy bill helps us do the things we love like travel and eating great food!
    http://liveitinerantly.com

  • What a cool idea. I think it looks great. It gives it a nice touch. Great job from 3girls1apple.com

  • This looks amazing! It’s such a simple idea but it makes such an impact on the room. Also I love the hooks along the wall, that’s a great idea as well!
    -Bianca
    The Impossibly Cute

  • I LOVE this! Currently trying to figure out a way to make this work in my dorm room. Fingers crossed. Thank you for sharing!

    xx
    youngmildandfree.com

  • Yes, it was. 🙂 We just added the piece with the hooks.
    Thanks so much! elsie

  • Wow, it’s so neat! I love it.

    I can’t remember what your chandelier looked like but I like the look of those too, so hopefully you saved it and will be putting it in another room. We have our 1940s one on a dimmer and it adds plenty of atmosphere to a party, including a party of two!

  • I love when they are lit! They look as if they’re hanging in mid air without any wires! These could be decorated so many different ways for so many different holidays! Love it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    http://sometimesgracefully.com

  • Wow!That’s great! It’s so airy in your dining room and these lamps are like stars in space.

  • Wow!That’s great! It’s so airy in your dining room and these lamps are like stars in space.

  • this is so good!! your dad sounds awesome 🙂 also I love that you painted different chairs the same color for your dining furniture, I’ve been dreaming of doing the same thing. but I’ll have to hunt for the perfect chairs first!

  • The second to the last is my favorite shot of your dinning room. It has soo much charm!
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Those are beautiful! The white works well in the space, but I’d imagine it would be pretty simple to switch up the colors if needed. That makes it an even cooler project!

    The Rambling Fangirl

  • This is literally also my dream! I have been talking to anyone who will listen to me about how I want to have cafe lights strung up in my dining room!

  • This is great! My brother just finished his dining room light fixture and it’s somewhat similar to this. He of course is a carpenter and building from scratch is nothing to him. Lucky for me, I have him should I ever decide to build from scratch 🙂

  • So cool! Though, I have always wondered if having lights without covers like that would hurt your eyes to look directly at.

  • You should paint or cover the cords that are on the ceiling with fabric so it’ll look like a starburst on the ceiling. 😉

  • This is so PRETTY! I love it! I’ve seen the pins and been baffled but this has made it clearer! So cute x

    illuminatedteapot.com

  • Oh my oh my oh my! This is for sure going on the project list. Absolutely adorable and I just love the simplicity!

  • I love it! I love your dad more! He is awesome! I am jealous of your beautiful fixture! Great job.

    Jenni

  • loving your chairs! I spray painted chairs that were left in the apartment when we moved in, and I think they are the SAME yellow!! with our fairly dark gray walls, they are the perfect pop. one is used as a desk chair and one is our towel “shelf” in the bathroom.

    love the light fixture too! wish I had electrical expertise to do something like that!

    cheers.
    jenn @ beyond the stoop

  • Every time I see those yellow chairs I want to make my chairs yellow. I’m so in love with the way they look in this space. The lighting fixture is also amazing. Thank you so much for all the inspiration. I’ve been painting a lot more from all these delightful picture postings.

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