Let There Be Light! – Part 1: Concrete Ceiling Solutions

Hope you all had a lovely 3-day MLK weekend! We certainly enjoyed ours – and not just by ordering takeout and staying in our PJs all day. We actually threw a party, went out to dinner with friends, and out to lunch with friends Sunday and Monday! Who knew we could be so social?!

It started out as a bit of hectic mess when the doctor let us know that our baby’s gender results had come in Thursday night. Mike and I had already decided that it would be fun to throw a gender reveal party, and I wanted to know as soon as possible. This basically meant I was on a mission to throw a party together by the following evening.

I think I’ll go into more detail about this adventure later this week…but I wanted to explain why there wasn’t a blog post on Friday. I was running around like a crazy person: getting groceries, cleaning the apartment, decorating, delivering a cake carrier across Manhattan, sending out last-minute invites, coordinating family FaceTime schedules and generally freaking out that I’d know if my baby was a boy or girl that very night! Eeeek! I was way too excited to sleep Thursday night, let alone sit and write a focused blog post on Friday. Even if I’d had the time, I know it would have been painfully full of excessive exclamation points, squealing noises (see above: “eeeek”), and WAY too many smiley faces.  You’re welcome.

Now onto the REAL topic for today…

I have a confession. My husband and I eat dinner at the coffee table…every night.

In our defense, we didn’t have a table or chairs for the first year of our lives together, and it kind of became a habit. A bad habit.

Once we finally had a beautiful table and pretty chairs to sit on, we didn’t have any good sources of light near the table. Eating there after dark was a mess (unless I pulled out candles…which is only really appropriate when you actually “cook” – not order in Thai food).

When Mike’s parents came to visit we had to bring over the desk lamp just to see the card game we were playing…that’s when embarrassment drove me to go shopping. (One of the lesser known shopping motivators in life).

I saw a classy looking swag light in a listing on a Street Easy listing for our building (inspiration as usual) and I decided that this would be a perfect solution!


I found a cute light at Home Depot and struggled with the large (though thankfully lightweight) box on the subway home. As soon as I got home I started hunting for my collection of cup hooks, so that I could have this up in time for dinner!


As you might have guessed…that didn’t happen.

Apparently, our ceilings are non-permeable. They are made of concrete and are most definitely not going to accept a cup hook that I’m attempting to screw in by hand, standing on top of my antique table (I don’t recommend this).

After further research and a building wide email asking for helpful ideas, I found out that a hammer drill would do the job, if I’m lucky to be strong enough to force it up into the ceiling. Lovely.

Luckily, my brother was coming up to visit and I asked him to bring his hammer drill on the drive from Baltimore. With the drill in hand, ready to attempt to hang my lamp, he asked me a few questions to make sure I was going to be happy with the final product.

In the end, he was absolutely right. I wouldn’t like the look of the thick white cord running down my wall and to the plug that was not centered below my table. It was going to look sloppy and distracting. He saved me from making a terrible decision. Thanks Matt!

So we continued eating at the coffee table while I figured out some options:

Option 1:

A Floor Lamp

We had a decent amount of store credit at Crate and Barrel/CB2 from our wedding so we checked out a number of their arching (and non-arching, but very cool) floor lamps to reach light over the table.


Source: CB2 – 199.00 + shipping


Source: CB2 – 199.00 + shipping

We even seriously considered this Target version (for half the price) but its reviews were terrible and I still wasn’t convinced that a floor light was really the best solution.


Source: Target – 99.00 + free shipping

Would the height of the arch be enough to allow us to walk under it/comfortably sit under it during dinner? Would the length of the arch be too long reach past the table? Is it odd to have it smashed in the corner, just to bring light to center of the room? Something was keeping me from buying the arching floor lamp (even though we had store credit to cover it!). I knew there was something better out there.

Option 2:

A Cantilevered Light Fixture

These light fixtures are designed to attach the wall (almost like a sconce) but they reach far into the room to provide overhead light. Perfect, right?


Source: Pinterest: Spatial-Lighting.co.uk – No Longer Available


Source: Babble – Etsy 165.00 – Unavailable


Source: Etsy – 395.00 + shipping


Source: Mimishim.com – DIY project

The thing I kept running into with all of these cantilevered lamps, was that they were either no longer available, or they were CRAZY expensive. And on top of all of that – they really weren’t my style.

The last lamp DIY project got me thinking…could I keep my Home Depot purchase and rig a bracket to hang the lamp  over the table? I spent hours researching plant hangers, L brackets, and another of hardware that looked like it could do the job. At the end of the day…I still wasn’t convinced the brackets would hold a lamp they weren’t designed to support. And would it look crazy just bracketed to our wall?

I wasn’t confident enough in my idea to take a leap of faith on that one.

FINALLY (while flipping through the Pottery Barn Catalog for random inspiration) a light fixture caught my eye.  I couldn’t believe how perfectly designed for our space this fixture was! It even included the L-shaped bracket I was imagining…and it was under 150 bucks!


Source: Pottery Barn

Yes, I realize that this is a wall sconce. But, isn’t everything in Pottery Barn built to be oversized for people who don’t live in NYC?! A sconce seemed like a perfect solution for a little apartment. I didn’t need it to make a “statement.” I just needed it to provide some much-needed light over my table!

I cleared it with the hubby and placed my order!!

Check back tomorrow for all the details on my adventures installing this little guy!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s