Lantern Love: Installation

When Mom and Dad drove up with the nursery furniture, they brought along the lantern I’d been dreaming about. We all thought it was going to be a simple swap. Of course, it’s never really that easy, is it?

Although this isn’t the most recent photo of the kitchen, it shows what we were replacing. The light fixture does the job, but I wanted something with more pizazz…naturally.

In my opinion, the most inconvenient thing about replacing light fixtures, is having to turn off the power. How are you supposed to see what you are doing up there?!

Since our kitchen is in the back of the apartment where there is the least light, we ran a few extension cords over the counter to plug in an awful torch lamp that I’d been meaning to get rid of for a while. (That thing just keeps coming in handy! It might never leave).

Once the circuit breaker was flipped and the new lighting source was in place, we were ready to begin.

This next photo is terribly boring, but shows a very important aspect of the old fixture.



How does that popcorn ceiling look to you? Pretty ugly, right? But did you expect to find THIS underneath?



I’d completely forgotten that the last time we swapped light fixtures, Mom and I dodged a bullet by selecting a fixture that miraculously covered this nasty little surprise. The piece that was designed to attach the lantern to the ceiling definitely didn’t cover this much surface area.

The power was turned off, an extension cord was running over the counter and through the sink, and we had open electrical wires overhead – sounds like a perfectly convenient time to pause the project, don’t you think?

Thankfully a solution came to us quickly, but it wasn’t something that was just lying around the apartment. It was time to make a trip to Home Depot for a ceiling medallion.

I’d always wanted one, and now I had the perfect excuse. It might even take my focus away from the popcorn ceiling…maybe.

I saw exactly what I wanted at Home Depot online (this or this or this), but we couldn’t wait a week to have it delivered to my apartment or the store. My fingers were crossed that they would have something in stock that could be a perfect solution.

We brought along the piece of the lantern that needed to fit into the center of the medallion. (I always bring items like this to the store! If I make a guess – I’m wrong every time).

Sadly, there were only a few medallions in stock. The photos below show the two best options.

Dotted and Flowered:


Too Big and Plain:


I knew that my husband was already on the fence about the lantern, and a ceiling medallion could very well push him over the edge. I tried REALLY hard to consider the larger and simpler option. In the end, it just wasn’t the right size. If I wanted help getting this fixture installed (at 7 months+ pregnant) and if I wanted to have light in my kitchen again, I needed to move forward with the fancy one.

This was the glorious moment we held it up to ceiling.


Do you hear angels singing? I didn’t – and I was REALLY straining my ears. I wanted this to be the solution so badly! The medallion manages to cover the dirty spot and still show off the horrendously non-white condition of my ceiling. Go figure.

It was time to hit up my collection of sample paints to pray I already had a color that matched “dirty popcorn ceiling.”

As it turned out Revere Pewter wasn’t too far off. (I can’t decide whether that’s embarrassing or wonderful that a putty-grey somewhat matched my once white ceiling).



Dad tinkered and tinkered trying to find two screws long enough to connect to the ceiling bracket underneath the fixture and still reach the piece that attached the lantern to the ceiling. (You can see his efforts in the photos above). This was already a challenge…and then I added at least an inch of ceiling medallion.

He was really struggling to make my vision a reality by putting together pieces that were not created to be assembled together. After hours of reaching up toward the ceiling with a crick in his neck and his back, he was able to temporarily hang the lantern from the wires to see if we liked it before continuing to move forward. Obviously, the fixture is far too low, and the medallion has yet to be painted, but it was enough of a preview to get me really excited or to jump ship entirely.


The sad truth is I totally panicked and jumped ship.

The lantern might look pretty, but the light it was casting down onto the countertops had my head spinning. There were shadows everywhere (see the ceiling?), and it made everything look dirtier and dimmer than I’d ever dreamt possible.

Knowing that Dad still had hours of work ahead, I begged his forgiveness and asked if he could put the old light back up. I was so ashamed of myself for asking him to do so much hard work for me, and then changing my mind. Unfortunately, the alternative was leaving up the light and explaining to my husband why we can no longer see to cut our vegetables or clean our fruit (let alone the countertop!).

I have the sweetest Dad in the world and he kindly said he didn’t mind undoing all the progress he had made (even though I KNOW it had to be so frustrating!). I’m so grateful that he was not only willing to help me out with installation/re-installation, but he also allowed me to learn a valuable lesson about light fixtures: Lanterns belong outside…for now.

I can hear my Mom saying, “I told you so.” Fine. You were right, Mom.

I’m still dreaming of a new fixture in my future, or perhaps some under cabinet lighting (once I get those beautiful new countertops).

So we’ve come full circle in the kitchen today:




Not bad – but not great. Functional. Nothing impressive to blog about or inspire me, but it does allow me to cut my fruits and veggies without chopping off any fingers.

And yes…that IS a dirty dish soaking in my sink (I’m also typing this with one hand and a baby in my lap).

Welcome to my #MotherhoodMonday. Is that a thing? It should be.

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