30 May 2017

The Romance of an Outdoor Chandelier!

I am extremely late to the party when it comes to Pinterest, and to be quite honest, perhaps that has been quite a good thing.  My head is already full of a thousand potential home improvements and prettifying ideas, and adding yet another social media platform for me to feed off and gain inspiration from is simply adding an extra book to the British Library sized pile of research images that already exist in my head!

But Ho Hum – I firmly believe that one can never have too much knowledge – or inspiration, and Pinterest really is a visual treat to behold and get lost in.  Due to this latest obsession – as well as some inspiration from a friend’s Instagram story, I recently decided that I simply HAD to have an outdoor chandelier in order to experience the sort of romantic, candlelit evening feasts that one sees on the pages of wedding magazines – usually  depicting scenes of fabulously chic marriage proposals…

I naturally ignored the fact that I am already married and have no need for a romantic proposal site – after all, there really doesn’t need to be a specific reason to set the scene for romance – regardless of whether the actual reality involves a boisterous chorus of supporting characters including a dog and teenagers who want to dine by candlelight too!

So, having stared, pondered and scratched my head in confusion at a garish red and gold baroque style chandelier that had been left in the basement by the previous owners of Hill House when we first moved here seven years ago,  I suddenly realised that thanks to the addictive habit of social media giving one reasons to ‘need’ unnecessary things –  it did in fact have a purpose after all!

This ‘purpose’ was helped by the fact that my husband had obviously had enough of my hoarding ways and had recently left the offending chandelier by the dustbin in order to discreetly transport it to the dump when I wasn’t looking…

Having rescued my ‘treasure’, all it needed was a bit of stripping down, polishing up and spray painting to even out the colour, and convert it back to the original purpose of a chandelier – to hold candles!

A quick trip to the DIY shop to get a few supplies was necessary, and having pondered over how quickly attaching the chandelier to some lovely rustic rope would cause it to go up in flames and land on my head, I settled on some solid and flame friendly metal chain link…

Having decided on the perfect branch in the garden, and in the absence of my husband who had hightailed it (one chandelier lighter) to the dump regardless, (I believe that the dump is his ‘Happy Place’), there then came the difficult task of getting the chain over said branch and down again without getting it entwined and caught up amongst the leaves.

After a few failed and rather perilous attempts, where the chain came back hurtling towards me with seemingly more force than I had thrown it, I realised that it would be easier (as well as safer)   to throw a far lighter ball of twine over the branch instead,  then by attaching the heavy chain to it’s end I could hoist the chain up with ease.

Once this epic feat of engineering (as I proudly relayed the experience to my husband upon his return…) had been achieved, it was left to attach the chandelier at the perfect height, and secure it with a heavy duty link.

This done, and owing to the particularly fine weather over the back holiday weekend, I was able to give the red areas of the chandelier a quick spray of gold metallic paint in situ, which then dried within minutes.

Five neutral tapered candles completed the look, and all that was left to do was to set the table and wait for sunset!

I think that a dining area lit by candles is quite fitting for Hill House – a country home that was completed in 1822,  at a time when all lighting would have been either firelight, candlelight or if one were extremely modern – oil lamp!

If you’d like to see the whole experience in ‘live action’, please head along over to my YouTube Channel here.

In the mean time, I shall be sharing a quiet, romantic, candelit supper a deux…plus 2 x 13 year olds, a 15 year old and a dog…Who said that romance was dead…!

Until next time,

The Diaries

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