Rescued Crystals. To the Rescue, Again


Whenever we move (which has been often) I look forward to hearing from the house on what it wants to be. I’m usually surprised.

I don’t really hear voices. But each house speaks…

They speak with their floors and walls and ceilings and natural walkways, they speak with the  direction the sun shines in, and the placement of the porches and doors and how the rooms relate to each other.

And then your furniture and the house get together and together they speak to you and will help guide you on the next step. Where are the empty spaces? Does this work for our family? What needs to be cozied up?

This house begs for natural elements that are imperfect and rustic and I know just enough about design to know those things are much happier if I had just the slightest touch of modern straight lines to draw attention to the rustic-ness. This house also did not like it when I put anything aqua in it. Trust me. The floors and an aqua coffee table didn’t get a long. No worries. 10 minutes and a half an inch of left over black paint and everyone was friends again.

The Art of Opposites

Quirky combinations and opposites are my some of my favorite design tricks. I have a tendency to be too matte finish (worth the click, this is one of my favorite posts) so sometimes I have to remind myself the value of something shiny and sparkly.

beaded crystal chandelier wood beads

I felt like our dining area lacked something. I knew the importance of a cleared off table especially since this is now our only table (we miss you homework table!) so I didn’t want to add something else in the room that I’d just have to move twice a day. So I wondered what I could embellish.

Then I remembered my little stash of crystals. A few years ago I found a really ugly and outdated chandelier at a yard sale. It was $5. And full of beautiful crystals. I was shocked that no one saw the worth of those faceted crystals.

Sometimes the ugliness of something can seem so powerful that it blinds us to the gorgeousness that is in plain sight waiting to be appreciated.

So, just like I added bling last year to a chandelier I traded for years ago,  I pulled out my drawer of unwanted crystals and looped them onto the wood beads of my rusticy chandelier.

wood bead chandelier with crystals DIY

I originally purchased this little beaded chandelier for the kitchen. But once I had my white pendants up over the island I felt like another thing hanging down in close proximity in the kitchen might make it feel like stalactites. So I decided to use it over our table. Here’s a little reminder of the direction I was going for with my kitchen lighting:


modern/rustic kitchen lighting

I had my eye on the large beaded chandelier for years and this house was the perfect mate for it, but when I thought I was going to use it in the kitchen I knew the large one would be too big for our bay window and I wanted to keep my budget lower. Sources and all the lighting info you want about the above lights are here. So I purchased the smaller beaded chandelier (from the more affordable team) and broke off all of those wires that went around the edges.

don't need 'em

simple decor & a disco ball!

The sparkles are from my disco ball that is sitting in front of the window.

wood & crystal chandelier

If I ever get tired of them or want to use the crystals someplace else I can just unhook them. And it girlifies our somewhat masculine leather and wood first floor without adding pink flowered wallpaper.


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  1. Look at your beautiful kitchen!!!!! I love the day stars the crystals make on everything. I hope a kitchen tour is coming soon.

  2. Your kitchen turn out great!

  3. You are so smart. Love the quirk and the contrast and all the light/dark showing up in this house. It’s beautiful.

  4. You are a “house whisperer.” And I love rustic modern. Adding a bit of sparkles to the rustic literally makes it shine. Love it! ox

  5. M…Quirky combinations and opposites is your design tip that I have appreciated so many times. In fact I was reminded of it and used it again just the other day. I might have recognized it in the past, but I wasn’t brave enough to utilize it. Thanks for that sweet friend. :)

    I’m wondering about the black drapes. They are so beautiful….yet heavy looking. Sometimes a photo doesn’t elicit the real feel of a room. So I guess I’m asking….how to they “feel” to you?

    Our first home we had built and installed pine floors. I loved that look so much. At that time I was into early Americana, but the contrast of the rustic with the classic made my heart pitter patter. I have no doubt you are enjoying those floors.


  6. Wow…it’s really coming together, slowly but surely. Are you planning on any color pops throughout? Or are you just not at that point yet? Either way, it’s gorgeous, especially those extra wide wood planks on the floor!!

  7. I love how light & bright it all looks!! Question: are you going to paint the wood trim around the doors & windows? I ask because my husband would never let me do that & I’m sort of at a loss for how to make my own dark living area light & bright. I may copy your white walls & window treatments!

  8. PS: I love how the crystals add pops of sunshine in the rooms. You are so great at bringing it all together!

  9. It’s just beautiful. I love it.

  10. You make me want a disco ball!

  11. In the second from the last photo, there is a gray shelving unit that has drawers and wicker baskets in it. That is exactly what I am looking for! Would you mind sharing where you found it?

  12. Love it! It’s all looking beautiful!

  13. i love that you’re not afraid to alter something new to make it closer to what you want. i’m going to remember that. and remember to pick up some chandelier crystals next time i see them…because i LOVE what you did with them here and they remind me of Pollyanna. :)

  14. This project is fun.


  15. Can I ask where you got your non-white table chairs? thanks!!

  16. The crystals are so fun! And add the perfect touch to the room. At first I thought it was the crystals reflecting the light, then I read ‘disco ball’. Love those :)

  17. Such a lovely look — without adding pink wallpaper. I applaud your restraint, but look forward to seeing what else you do to make your room sing.

  18. Beautiful — I love it!!

  19. We were just talking last night about how it has taken three months in our new rental to barely figure out our new living room and dining room.

    I like the rustic and modern look you’re getting out of this house.

  20. Hey, welcome back, sweet disco ball … we missed ya!


  21. I absolutely love those wide plank floors in your dining room – were they in the house when you bought it or have you added them and if so, where did you purchase them, please? They are exactly what I want for our home.

    Many thanks – love your blog !!!

  22. I absolutely love seeing you in my inbox (you are my favorite)! You always make me look at things differently – love it!!! Your kitchen looks beautiful and can’t WAIT for the next update!!!!!

  23. I love it! I absolutely love it. It makes my heart happy!

  24. Everything looks so beautiful! The crystals are perfect. It looks like everything is coming right along. Did you slipcover those dining chairs yourself? If so, did you blog about it?

  25. Love the neutral pallet and how you’ve pulled it all together. It is calm, unpretentious, and comfortable…l.o.v.e. it! And that beaded’s something that I would not have look it on its own but you have opened my eyes to new thank you! Love the subtle bling of the crystals.

  26. Lovely. The sparkles are calling my name. I think I’m now on the hunt for a disco ball.

  27. I love the picture with the sparkles! I do that with crystal prisms, getting a rainbow effect. A lesson learned from my kids’ Waldorf preschool!

  28. I can totally relate about how the house speaks to you. We moved into our dream home almost three years ago. We had our projects that we completed as soon as we moved in and others we have sat on awhile. I mentioned to my husband the other day how glad I am that I finally figured out exactly how I want to update the kitchen! I LOVE the beady chandelier!! :)

  29. Beautiful kitchen! Thank you for the inspiration!

  30. I love the way your style is evolving in this house. Seriously thinking I need black curtains someday!

  31. Calm and peaceful, with a little bling and sparkle for kicks. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  32. The crystals are brilliant!!! Loving these peeks at the new place!

  33. I wish I knew what my house wanted. Your house is beautiful. And huge.

  34. I see your range back there! What a great house, congratulations. I laughed at the aqua rejection – a house has a personality, doesn’t it?

  35. I love it.

  36. On a very dreary, pretty much smileless day, your crystals literally made me smile. Thank you. :)

  37. Nester,
    Love the sparkly addition.
    And I always love any of your disco light polka dotted pics.
    You are the reason I purchased my own 10″ disco ball off of ebay last year. Only problem is that I always find I am moving that thing to different rooms to catch the light and give me those gorgeous dots (which all my kids also LOVE).
    I think I am going to buy another one. Only larger this time.

  38. That is lovely! The perfect amount of sparkle. I can’t currently update my builders-blah kitchen lighting. But when I can, I hope it will have a mix of rustic and sparkle.

  39. You inspire me:) In fact, you’ve challenged me and I’m beginning to love my home in new ways because of the inspiration that you are! Thank you!! I have a light above my dining table that I LOVE but I’m having a really hard time finding the companion for above my island that speaks the same language and is the right contrast as well….my dining light is the Panorama Chandelier from West Elm (don’t worry, I got it on mega sale:)) If you have a minute and would offer input, I’d love it!! I love the mix of rustic/modern….

  40. As always–it’s beautiful! Want to hear how my house speaks to me? It taunts. It’s defiant. It dares me to pull it out of its lethargy and original 1978 brown and mauve glory. To peel off it’s 90’s wallpaper and to just TRY and peel off the latex paint that doesn’t want to to stick to the original oil-based paint because it wasn’t primed in between coats and turn ten kinds of carpet (no lie!) into one. Little does this monstrosity of DIY know…it’s days are numbered. Already the vintage front door is hot pink. I decided to be daring–I can just go from there right?

  41. Damn girl, you made your kitchen look awesome.

  42. This is a well written article. I will make sure that I will bookmark it and open this page again to read this useful information provided by you. Thanks.

  43. What you’re saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I’m sure you’ll reach so many people with what you’ve got to say.

  44. I love the topic i love the detail, i love all of them

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