An ugly boob, a complicated 3-way and the nipple that saved the day

I’m in a weird mood today!  But now that I’ve got your attention…I’ll tell you the real reason I’m writing.  And I promise you it does involve a boob, a 3-way and a nipple.  For real. 

As you know, I’m in the midst of a hormone-induced living room makeover.   I’m happy to report that we’re not sitting on camp chairs anymore…but I haven’t taken pictures or written up the before/after post with the new couch moved in.  So instead, I’ll show you the light swap-a-roo that went down last weekend while The Hubs was gone. 

I’d been looking for something to replace our standard-issue boob lamp for quite a while.  I knew I wanted something simple, perhaps a bit modern, and hopefully not too expensive.  Ha.  Little did I know that light fixtures are not typically cheap!  So the hunt was on…I tried sale items at Crate and Barrel, West Elm, Shades of Light, Lamps Plus.  Then regularly priced items at Target, Home Depot and Lowes.  Nothing was catching my eye and everything seemed overpriced.   Until I turned to cb2 and found this little beauty:  the Eden Pendant Lamp.  Queue angels singing.

$49.95 + free shipping. 

Yep, she could be mine for less than $50.  So i bought two. 

Really.  

The only potential problem I saw was that it came with a light kit.  You know…the light bulb on a chord that needs to be drapped across your ceiling, down your wall, and to the nearest outlet?   Being that this room was getting a grown-up makeover I wasn’t too thrilled about this seemingly dorm-like  concept.   But after a bit of research I learned that several people have simply hardwired the Eden Pendant lamp to avoid this issue.   Score!  And sign me up for a dimmer while I have my electrical tools out, mmmkay?

A few days later, the light(s) arrived and are just as glorious in person, but I admit I was slightly nervous about the electrical work I was about to tackle. 

I decided to start with the dimmer, so armed with my headlamp, screwdriver, wire cutters/strippers and the new dimmer switch….I was ready to go.   Shortly after starting I realized that this process might be a little more difficult than I intended:  turns out this outlet is part of a 3-way.  Yeah, that’s right.  An electrical 3-way.  What this means is that the living room light can be turned on-or-off from two different light switches.   One would think that constituted a two-way, but the Internet tells me that 2 light switches plus one light = 3. 

 I fully intended on giving you a full walk through of exactly how I swapped out the old on/off switch with the dimmer….but being that it was (1) very dark with the power off and (2) a three-way, I decided to focus my attention on not making a mistake or starting an electrical fire.  I think I made the right decision. 

So here’s the new dimmer in place: 

Tada!  And it even works!

With my confidence flowing I decided to tackle the hard wiring of the light next.  Here’s what I was working with (and explanation of what a boob light is for those of you scratching your head):

I decided to remove the old fixture before making any drastic cuts to the light kit on the new fixture.

And here’s where I started to panic.  TWO bulbs?!  There are TWO bulbs in there?!    How am I supposed to wire a single bulb pendant to a TWO bulb boob lamp?!  

I tried not to panic. 

As I stared at the two-bulb fixture in front of me I started to wonder if I even needed to hardware anything at all.  Why couldn’t I just attach the pendant shade to this existing fixture and keep the two bulbs?   It was an interesting concept.  Then I looked back down at my lovely boob lamp and took notice of the nipple.  I think I could use that nipple to prove my hypothesis!

So I removed it from the glass fixture.    

The plan was to thread this rod through the pendant shade (where the light kit was supposed to go, and then screw it back into the fixture still attached to the ceiling.  Following me?  My biggest concern was making sure that the nipple part of the rod was wide enough to support the new pendant lamp.  Sparkles, rainbows and butterflies…it worked!

Thanks to the boob lamp, this was the easiest light change-up I’ve ever done!  It worked perfectly and just as I had imagined.  Secretly I was pretty relieved to realize that I wasn’t going to have to hardwire anything at all. 

Pretty dumb luck, right?  Well I’ll take luck however I can get it.  Dumb, smart, pretty, or apparently in the shape of nipples.

Lastly, I simply installed the diffuser and looked back to admire my handiwork.

I actually like how you can see the silver fixture up above the drum shade.  It adds a kick of “modern” to the fixture that I don’t think would have been there otherwise.  To me it just kind of works.  Oh, and there’s a good 2-3″ between the shade and the ceiling, so I don’t have to worry about things heating up too much in there.  Plus, there is an airway around the bottom of the diffuser so heat can escape that way too. 

You’ll see a full room-view of the finished product when I do the couch before/afters.  Sorry for the boring close-ups for now.  But I’ve got to keep some things secret. 

Oh, and about that second Eden Pendant lamp?  I’ve got plans to do the same thing in our future nursery.  Maybe I’ll be able to document the dimmer switch change next time.  If so I’ll do a little tutorial on it because it really was easy once I got past the fear of doing it.   Why the nursery you say?  Well I hear I’ll be up at all hours of the night or something once this babe arrives.   A sleepless clumsy person might want to see a little bit at 3:00 in the morning.  Just sayin’.

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11 comments

  1. I must say that dimmer lighting played a major role in Averys first couple of months. It was something I never expected to make such a big difference. You are way ahead of me on the mommy preparedness curve!

  2. Your skill set is mighty impressive these days, mama! Love the new lamp and the dimmer…looking forward to the rest of the transformation! :)

  3. Hi, this is inspiring me to do the same with my ugly boob light! How did you install the diffuser once the pendant shade was screwed on? TIA

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