Orbs

Who doesn’t love a good orb, right?

spheres

Especially an orb light.

sphere lights

We have recessed lights all around the perimeter of our living room. (For some reason I can’t get a good shot of that with my phone, but here’s a pic from when we first bought the house.)

can lights

We used the room that was intended to be a formal dining room for our classroom, but since our living room is plenty long enough, I put a table at the end near the wet bar to function as a formal dining table (which we actually use mostly for crafting/sewing/art projects). That’s a horrible run-on sentence. My bad.

That area is semi-separated from the rest of the living room because of the furniture arrangement. I mean, it’s just right there…but it feels separate since the sofas face the other direction. I have a dresser behind one of the sofas that functions as a sofa table and/or a buffet on the dining room side.

sofa table buffet photobombers

I’m a huge fan of open concept living spaces. In fact, if it weren’t for all the benefits/perks of living in a suburban neighborhood (we have two pools, a park, soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, walking trails, and great neighbors in our current neighborhood), I would totally buy an old warehouse and turn it into a completely open, super-hip home with that urban loft feel. That’s my dream. After I reno a mid-century ranch. After all my kids leave home.

Oh, who am I kidding? We’re totally getting an RV and following them around. But if I didn’t have children or care so much for HOA subdivision living, that would be my plan.

Anyway…I love the wide open feel of the current “great room” trend we’ve been seeing for the last decade. I hope it never ends. However, I do like to define spaces with things other than walls. Like furniture placement, bookshelf dividers, rugs, lighting, so on and so forth.

I wanted to hang a light over our formal dining/craft table in order to further define that space. I did not want to tear out the can lights and start a new construction project. Besides, I wanted it to be super simple to change if I decided to move the table at some point. I didn’t want to install a permanently low-hanging light like you’d typically find in a formal dining room or over a kitchen table.

Off to Lowe’s I went. I already knew about pendant adapters and hoped they would fit my 30-year old recessed can light. They kinda sorta did.

I bought this one.

recessed light adapter

You literally just unscrew your light bulb, screw in the adapter, slide the cover plate up, and tighten it. Then you have a hanging pendant light and can add any globe that fits it. Or make one. Guess which I did.

But first, let me tell you how we made the adapter fit. See that pic up there? See how it’s a current style of recessed light? Mine looked like this…

recessed light

It has the thing where you can tilt the light. I’m not sure they still make this type, do they?

recessed light trim

Because it was this type, the entire trim kit had to be pulled out of the housing.

trim kit

When I did that, the light socket was free hanging. (The black hooks held it into the tiltable trim kit.)

socket

I sighed and mumbled something about it not fitting, at which point the hubs came over to see what the problem was. (He’s a genius, remember?) He said, “well, why don’t you just use a hanger to bridge the gap?” (Or something to that effect.) I probably said something like, “what the heck do you mean? Bridge the gap?”

The black hook is just a piece of metal that holds the socket up so it won’t fall. It was made to fit the size of the trim kit, but the light doesn’t have to have the trim. The trim kit is just there so you have a nice edge for your light and so you don’t see the ugly inter workings of the housing. Of course the adapter comes with a plate to cover the housing and trim anyway.

It would be fine to use a hanger. It’s still just a piece of metal that you would hook into the housing where the trim kit had been attached. So it’s not like we’re doing something weird or dangerous or different than intended. It’s just like we’re making our own little adapter to bridge the gap for the other adapter to fit. (But you should definitely use caution around electricity and don’t sue me if you catch on fire.)

I hope some of that made sense. Maybe a picture will help?

hanger hook

When the hubs suggested a hanger, I rolled my eyes that we STILL have wire hangers. I swear I’ve been throwing them out our entire marriage. Where do they keep coming from?! I hate them! But I thanked him for having some. 🙂

Once the light socket was hooked up into the housing where it belonged, the adapter screwed right into place. Then the cord could be rolled up to the length needed and then the plate is held up to the ceiling by tightening the little screw thingy. Seriously, if you didn’t need to alter it, this thing is as easy as changing a light bulb.

I swagged it on a cup hook in order to have it perfectly centered over the table.

cup hook swag

Then it was time for the pretty part.

This adapter is meant to convert a recessed light into a pendant light. It fits most all pendant globes on the market currently. It also fits the drum shades that are meant to be hung.

I wanted something more substantial than a pendant and I didn’t want another lamp shade to dust. Besides, I already knew I wanted an orb light.

I tried to think of an affordable, pliable material to use to make my own and then I found this tutorial on Pinterest.

Duh. Why didn’t I think of that?

Then I found these clearance bamboo shades at Lowe’s.

bamboo shade

I just glued and clamped and glued and clamped and glued and clamped some more until I liked the look.

clampbamboo

I also made several other orbs/spheres during the drying time, because why not? I have enough bamboo to make an orb for everyone in my city. I made some of them smaller, which required soaking and shaping the bamboo so it wouldn’t snap.

soak bamboo shaped bamboo orb progress

I have no clue what to do with these, but it was fun. I still have a kajillion bamboo slats left. Hit me up if you’re in need/want of some.

orbs

I did a test fit with my orb and light socket.

dry fit

Then I spray painted the orb, as well as that screw on part, with bronze paint to match the rest of the light fixture. I assume it’s white since it’s intended to be hidden inside a globe or shade?

centered

And of course I don’t have any stunning pictures. You guys weren’t expecting good pics, right? I swear my house looks so much better in person. *Will trade design work for camera and photography lessons.*

orb light on orb light off living room

Psssst…There has been a lot of progress in the master bathroom. I’ll post some updates next week. Don’t forget to Spring forward!

Tell me what you think