Custom Urban Chandeliers

Custom Urban Chandeliers
Check out our shop on Etsy

Saturday, December 31, 2011

So. Many. Projects. So. Much. Fun.

I'm so excited about chandies and wood stain right now!  I've a couple new discoveries to share:

1. Mixing stains is my new favorite thing!!  I've come up with two colors to add to my offerings: a warm grey that is totally cool, but still workable for us not-so-very-modern folks and a mahogany that is rich, yet still contemporary.  I shared below my mix for the warm grey and now here is my mixture for the mahogany: 2 coats Ebony with a top coat of Gunstock.  Awesomeness.

2. After visiting the newest outpost of BIG NYC (Build It Green NYC) in Gowanus, I have now multiple projects in the works with my wood findings.  I found a chunk of hardwood floor that still has the metal connectors on the bottom, so cool!  I'm going to make the bottom the front of the chandelier.  But it's huge right now, I'm deciding whether to just make a giant chandy or cut it in half to make two.  Check it out:

Now I can't wait until they open after the holidays to check out their original warehouse in Queens.  So much to do so little time!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Lenox Coffee: Cool Place

I finally made it to the coffee shop in Harlem that purchased the chandelier and it looked amazing!  If you're in the area, it's a great little place to stop and have coffee.

Lenox Coffee in Harlem, NYC

The shop is decorated has exposed brick and new hardwood floors with all reclaimed wood furniture, including these cool benches made with coffee sacks and recycled wood!  It's called Lenox Coffee at 60 West 129th Street.
Awesome bench by RecycledBrooklyn on Etsy

It's just around the corner from Sylvia's on Lenox Ave.  Super friendly staff, great cup of joe, and a cool little spot.

The Wrong Desk Made from Reclaimed Telephone Poles

So there is a funny twist to the reclaimed telephone pole desk that my friend bought from Crate & Barrel story...

My friend is currently driving cross-country in an RV with her husband right now - so fun!  So she also happens to have an online shop called  A couple days ago she called me from the road because a customer purchased one of her dresses to wear on NYE, so I went next door to mail it for her.  This is the first time I've been to her place since she purchased the desk from Crate & Barrel.  So I'm expecting to see the desk I thought she purchased, but instead see this desk.  haha!  I had the wrong desk!  But it is so cool, a gorgeous desk.  It looks amazing in her apartment, she has such great taste.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Newest Stain Color: Warm Grey

Christmas is over!  I always feel a mixture of sadness that the holiday season is ending and sheer joy that the stress of dealing with holiday shopping, family gatherings, and eating/drinking is finally done.  So I'm getting back to chandelier creations...

In the midst of holiday madness, I was obsessing over the stain for the wood for my newest client's dream chandelier.  As I mentioned in a previous post she wants the look of a desk made from recycled telephone poles, but the weathered wood look is very difficult to re-create using plywood.  However after a couple trips to Home Depot and some scrap pieces of wood I think I've done it!

So first I bought the Classic Grey (271) stain by Minwax but it was too light to show up under the brown stain (Special Walnut).  It was a cool color though, note to self for another project.  I will post pics of it next post.  Back to Home Depot where I learned from my friendly little guy in the paint department that Minwax does custom stains, who knew!?  So we made a color called charcoal to give the wood the grey undertone needed to get that greyish, weathered telephone pole color.  One note: the custom stain liquid is much thicker than the regular stain by Minwax, so you have to use much less than the regular stuff.  My first attempt was too dark, i.e. used too much of the stuff.

So I tried it again using much less of the custom charcoal stain and then immediately taking off the excess with paper towels.  After it dried I added a light coat of the Special Walnut and voila!

Now I have a very warm grey color that is beautiful.  An exciting start to this unique chandelier that will involve gems!  Stay tuned for more updates on this beauty in a couple days.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cool Desk Made from Reclaimed Telephone Poles

Yesterday I received a call from a friend of the couple in Brooklyn Heights (my first order) that wants a chandy for her living room, also in Brooklyn.  She is a jewelry designer and used to be the senior buyer of fine jewelry for Barneys New York!!  I'm so excited to work with her!

Off to do research on wood stains and recycled wood, but this desk from Crate & Barrel is my new inspiration.  I love the greyish color of the wood from recycled telephone poles.  I can't wait to see it in person, my friend just bought this and it was delivered yesterday.  Hopefully we will get to see it this afternoon.

Lo and Behold!

My friend Lo lives upstairs from us and has been a great friend and neighbor to us in the last year since we had a baby.  She constantly offers to take the dog out, babysit, and practice her spray-tanning skills on me...she's quite good at it and I get a free tan in the middle of winter!  Well and let's face it, in the middle of summer too considering I don't really sunbathe anymore.  Also, did I mention Lo is also a makeup artist?  She has spruced up this working mommy on more than one occasion for parties, shoots, and special occasions.  What an amazing friend to have living right next door!

Anyway, I wanted to do something special for her as a thank you for all that she does for us and decided I would try to make a chandelier for her.  The challenge: her apartment is all white!  I had only been making chandeliers with a dark, rustic feel and her apartment is anything but.  So I started with a white stain that is called "pickled" that I found at Pearl Paint on Canal Street.  After staining the wood and sanding it, I used all white wire and cord grips to re-create the original urban chandy but using only silver hardware.  The result was quite chic compared to the more rustic original:
I am so pleased that she loves it!  We installed a dimmer on her switch so that she can control the light - for aesthetic purposes as well as practicality.  She always needs to control the lighting depending on the services she is providing to clients who come to her home for makeup application or spray tanning.  Now she can tan clients at night...including this mommy who can't ever peel away until after 8pm!

How high or low to hang a chandelier

I did some research on the matter and of course the answer to this question is pretty subjective and also a matter of style.  Generally it is recommended that a chandelier hang anywhere from 30" to 36" above the tabletop in a room with an 8-foot ceiling.  Then the opinions start to vary.  Some designers feel that you should add 3" to the suspension height for every foot above the standard 8 feet where as others still believe that 30-36" is still the recommended height regardless of ceiling height or room size.

When not hanging a chandelier over a table, the general rule of thumb is 7 feet above the floor.  I think when hanging anything, you should hang it where it looks best and mind not to hang it too low where people may bump into it.  Also remember the lower you hang a fixture the bigger it will look and the opposite is also true, the higher you hang it the smaller it will appear.  So it is also important to take the size of the room into consideration in proportion to your fixture.

The Brooklyn Heights Project

After posting the picture of my office chandelier on Etsy, my first commissioned fixture was for a couple in Brooklyn Heights that live in an amazing loft space.  They were renovating and had just purchased a reclaimed barnwood dining table from West Elm.  They wanted a large chandelier that would coordinate back with their new table. 

This is the chandelier hung in their dining space, so cool!  They said it was their favorite part of all of the renovations, happiness:)  This fixture is 24"x36" at the base and the longest bulb hangs down 4 ft from the base.  They have very high ceilings (10.5 ft) so we made the wire longer to hang it directly over the table.  My next post is about how we came to decide how low/high to hang it.

I decided to start a blog to document the unexpected growth of a little chandelier business that I never expected to be doing.  It all started with a light fixture that I created for my office in Dumbo, Brooklyn.  I was looking for something modern, kind of industrial, but affordable as I was on a tight budget.  I couldn't find anything that I was looking for so I decided I would make my vision on my own.

The response to the fixture I made for my office (see above image) was so great that I actually got a few custom orders.  So here goes my adventures in chandelier-making!