Instagram iconInstagram icon
Facebook iconFacebook icon
pinterest iconpinterest icon
YouTube iconYouTube icon
Tiktok iconTiktok icon
LTK iconLTK icon

How We Problem Solved An Off-Centered Light (And Why)

pendant light | sofa | ottoman | throw blanket

Tree House has seen a lot of electrical upgrades in the past few months – all those gremlins have been nipped! – with the biggest (and hidden) improvement being repairs to the breaker panel. We also had a handful of mysterious light switches that have since been solved, outlets added and boxes shifted, and today, we’re at the point where we feel good and, most importantly, safe, about the state of our home’s electric. But! There was one issue that we couldn’t seem to work around, and not surprisingly, all the difficulty was a result of Tree House’s pretty beam ceilings. (You might remember all the HVAC workarounds we dealt with, too, all to keep the integrity of those beams in tact!)

Do you see the problem?

The main light fixture in the living room is way off-centered! Before that teeny little bulb was swapped in, there was a dusty, wobbly fan. Surely that old fan tried to tackle a few heads if anyone dared to walk up and down the loft stairs, no? In any case, our dream scenario would have been to move that junction box from the far side of the room to the middle:

A conversation with our contractor had us realizing that the task would be more difficult than we would have liked, especially if we wanted that ceiling to remain in tact. Initially, we thought, we’ll just pull up the loft floor and move the junction box from above, put the floors back into place and – voila!

But, no.

The loft floors are tongue and groove, and as we began peeling back the layers of the onion that was this frustrating j-box, we realized that pulling from the middle of that floor and removing a strip of subfloor might result in irreversible damage. (For which we would have to source and purchase more flooring and match the stain and finish – and then find ourselves with a pesky floor creeeaaak! for all of time.) It was a risk, and it was a risk not worth fighting.

We were irritated at first, but we both agreed that it was time to get scrappy. Instead, we switched gears and decided to find a light we loved and swag it! We landed on the 6″ Nehalem pendant – in an oil-rubbed bronze finish and a flint ash wood stain – for a few reasons: 1| We could order it any length we wished, 2| there are countless ways to customize it, and 3| the 6″ fitter allowed for a 14″ globe, a size that was hefty enough to feel substantial in the room.

Rather than use a less attractive ceiling hook, we opted for this pretty wall hook and secured it (loosely) with a black zip tie as an extra precaution. Psst: Another idea? You could also use any cabinet hardware you love and replace the screw on the back with an appropriately sized hanger bolt!

Because the Nehalem pendant was custom made to our length, we had to be doubly – triple-y! – sure that we chose the right measurement. Before placing the order, we used a piece of twine, taped it to the junction box and swagged it over and down. We snipped the twine at our desired length, and that was the measurement we requested upon ordering!

The final step is to install the light on a dimmer (and eventually, every last light will have the option to be dimmed, too!), which we plan to do the next time we visit Tree House. We’ve also ordered a vintage rug, and after measuring the space five times, all my fingers are crossed that it’ll be just what we need to ground that handsome sofa. The living room may not have baseboards (and still have paint swatches on the walls), but it’s making strides!

Room Sources (So Far!)

sofa | ottoman | pendant light | pendant hook | tassel throw blanket | motorized ladder lift | bed frame | chambray bedding | linen bedding | velvet pillows | bedside table

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  • Jaclyn2.15.18 - 7:41 AM

    It looks beautiful. Are the ceilings the original stain color or did you all stain it?ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.15.18 - 9:00 AM

      The ceilings are original. We don’t think they’re stained at all!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel2.15.18 - 8:08 AM

    It looks really good! I love this solution to an annoying problem! I might actually steal this for our kitchen/breakfast nook…ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.15.18 - 9:01 AM

      Sometimes we have a tendency to overcomplicate things. We love a simple (and WAY easier) workaround to little bumps in the road!ReplyCancel

  • Haley2.15.18 - 9:13 AM

    Love it! I think swaging is a great solution. Also, I can’t wait for there to be molding! It’s going to look so good!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.15.18 - 9:49 AM

      We can’t wait either! We’re hoping to knock a bunch of that out in the coming weeks.ReplyCancel

  • kara2.15.18 - 11:22 AM

    we LOVE our nehalem – so fun to see it used somewhere else – and it looks just as good in your home! we looked for a fixture for our 1905-chicago-dining room for literally a year until we found nehalem: we have the same base color as you with an eastmoreland shade – and it feels modern and timeless and respectful of the original architecture. we’ve had it installed for a year, and i still love it. which isn’t always the case :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.15.18 - 11:28 AM

      The customization options feel endless. So happy you’re loving yours! It wasn’t until we found the Nehalem that we finally felt great with our decision to swag. :)ReplyCancel

  • Marti2.15.18 - 5:02 PM

    Using that nice hook was really clever! It looks like an official part of the light fixture.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah2.18.18 - 8:11 PM

    I love this post and it’s so timely for me! I live in a 1938 Tudor and while I love all the character that comes with an old house has, they usually have some quirks to contend with. We have a similar light situation where our current light is way off center in more ways than one (if that even makes sense) in our stairwell to our upstairs. We haven’t contacted an electrician yet to see about moving it, but with plaster and lath walls/ceilings, we know it could be a trickier fix than just moving it. I know you ordered this particular light knowing you could decide on the length of the cord. But, what about lights that don’t have ample length to swag? I have my heart set on a Moravian Star light…do you have any recommendations for buying a cord to increase length so you can swag a light? Love your posts and your inspiring blog!ReplyCancel

  • Tyler2.21.18 - 7:21 AM

    What are your thoughts on the sectional? We’ve been eyeing that same one for months but the price has held us back from pulling the trigger. We’ve made other purchases from Article so I don’t question the quality. Just curious on your thoughts.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.21.18 - 10:51 AM

      We couldn’t be happier with it. It’s supportive but comfortable, and the height of the arm/back rest is a perfect place to lay your head (or arms, obviously!). We’ll be writing a full proper review very soon!ReplyCancel

  • Jackelyn2.21.18 - 6:15 PM

    Hi guys!
    I feel silly asking, but can’t quite imagine how the zip tie would work. Would you be willing to show exactly how you secured it with the zip tie? I need to do this with my dining room light and love how yours turned out. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.22.18 - 9:23 AM

      Hi Jackelyn! We’re not at the house right now, so I can’t take a photo – but it’s really simple, I promise! We just wound the cord around the knob once, and then Scott used a black zip tie and secured that to the knob, too. This way there would be NO chance of the cord unraveling from the knob.ReplyCancel

  • Sabrina6.23.20 - 10:28 AM

    Where did you get that little hook or what is it called? ReplyCancel

    • Scott6.23.20 - 4:28 PM

      Hi Sabrina! It was linked in the body of the post, but “>here it isReplyCancel

  • Kerri10.28.20 - 1:29 PM

    Gorgeous, and exactly the solution I need. ReplyCancel

Let's be Pen Pals

Our Pen Pals have direct access to first looks, a peek behind-the-scenes, and exclusive interviews showcasing members of the #YBHDIY community. We can’t wait to connect with you!

Kim and Scott

We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

Join us as we renovate and nurture vintage homes across Chicago + SW Michigan!

Instagram iconInstagram icon
Facebook iconFacebook icon
pinterest iconpinterest icon
YouTube iconYouTube icon
Tiktok iconTiktok icon
LTK iconLTK icon

LEt's be Pen Pals

Subscribe for first looks, behind-the-scenes, and exclusive community content

/* footer flodesk form */

This site uses affiliate links. We will always disclose sponsored posts in the text and by using the ‘sponsored' tag.

© 2024 Yellow Brick Home. | All Rights Reserved. | PRIVACY POLICY