Thursday, October 21, 2010

the most important things in life aren't...chandeliers

So yesterday I was blessed with a few hours to myself in the morning. What a gift! I spent the whole time browsing along each and every booth at Monticello Antique Mall in Portland. I love that place! Many of the vendors are very gifted at display, and I like how each of their individual personalities shine through their choices of stock and collectibles.

this is one of my all-time favorite dining rooms from a magazine EVER.

I was on a bit of a fact-finding mission, scoping out vintage chandeliers and pricing them. For those that have followed my blog for a while now, you will be very disappointed in me when I confess that I STILL have no chandelier for my dining room. Yes, the room that received a makeover two and a half years ago. Uh-huh. That's the one. No chandelier. What I do have (don't be jealous) is a gaping hole in my ceiling where I have also neglected to even install a three dollar plastic cap to cover the electrical wires hanging from the ceiling. I'm trying to figure out some way that I can pass this off as some kind of new design trend, but you all are too smart. I'm pretty sure you'd see right through that one. Anyway...

Back to chandelier shopping. It was supposed to just be a pricing and fact-finding mission, so I could be properly researched and prepared when the big moment FINALLY arrived to actually make a chandelier purchase. (Oh my goodness, I just realized that I should have taken my camera with me and showed you pics of some of the chandeliers I found! Bad blogger! BAD!) But, lo and behold, apparently my guard was down or something, because I found one that I got sorta attached to. The price was really reasonable and it was a good combination of old, rustic, and glamorous (what with the silk shades and all!). To further sweeten the deal, the booth vendor happened to actually be there in her booth that day and she offered me an additional 15% off! Yowsa!

So as you might imagine, I took a pic of the chandy with my phone and promptly texted both my husband and one of my girlfriends. (I have no idea how to get a photo from my phone to my computer, so don't even ask to see it.) Then, when I got impatient for a reply, I actually called my husband, who had apparently only just received the text and hadn't formulated a response yet. I love and adore my husband and one of the things that he is really good at is finances. Me, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the old finances. I mean, I am a bargain shopper, I do my best with the money the budget allows me each month as far as providing for the family's needs, etc. but I am not the one that pays the bills.

So, we had to have a difficult conversation. He didn't like it, but he had to tell me to "wait" on the chandelier, because there just wasn't the money available for it right now. He didn't like feeling like the bad guy, but there you have it. As you might imagine, I didn't care for it either. At the moment he did seem a little like a bad guy; not because he actually was, but just because in his quest to be a responsible money manager, he had to tell me to wait. And I wanted it. Now. Like, for some reason I've been able to wait for two and a half years, but suddenly I felt I could not wait another thirty minutes.

Well, here's the point to this whole long sob story. I'm ashamed to admit that I allowed it to ruin the better part of my day. But when I left the antique mall and got back into the car, there was a song playing on KLOVE that goes "I don't want to gain the whole world, but lose my soul". That line was convicting for me. It was a gentle reminder that life is not about acquiring things. Not even cute, on-sale things. Not even things we "need". I had allowed my disappointment in not getting to purchase that chandelier to suddenly cast a shadow over an otherwise lovely day.

When I was growing up, my mom had framed print in the living room that said, "The most important things in life are not things." I've always loved that quote, but apparently every once in a while, I still need to be reminded of the truth in that saying.

I was inspired to write this post because of a post I read over at Remodeling This Life called "There will always be something else". She's doing a series of 31 Days of Living Simply. And she's been able to make a similar point to mine in a much simpler way (haha) and with fewer words. You should check it out.

I read a lot of blogs about decor and design, and let me tell you, it's very easy to start feeling discontent with your own home when you see what others have. But once again I remind myself - "the most important things in life aren't things". I've been teaching my kids recently that when they are feeling discontent, they should make a list of five things they are thankful for. By the end of that list, their attitude has changed and they have a new perspective on things. Why don't I follow my own advice more often?

P.S. Oh, and I'm glad I have a husband who can stand up for what's best for the family, even when I don't like it. I sure do love that guy.

The photos in this post are a few dining rooms (and their chandeliers) that make my heart go pitter-patter. All photo sources: decor pad 


  1. true. but the chandelier i ordered from ballards came ups today and i'm over the moon. lol and text the photo to your email and save the photo to your computer from your email. that's what i do. and i swear i DID get the message from your post...even if it doesn't appear that i have. :o)

  2. Thank you for your post. I love your blog, especially when you share a bit of yourself. Good message, Madam!

  3. Okay, I feel the need to write a long comment...LOL! First off I love your dining room, I had never seen it before. Secondly, that room that you show with the blue and green looks fabulous with the red touches, I don't know that I would ever have thought of putting red in there but it rocks! Thirdly, have you seen that huge big white ball chandelier at Ikea that looks like a big snowball...I think that would look fabulous in your room and lastly, don't you just love K-Love. I have it on all the time at home and when I'm in my car.

    Check that chandy out at Ikea, I don't know if it's your style or not but OMG I can so see it in your room.


  4. I love what you had to say. And hubby's really appreciate a grateful wife who is content with the things she has!

    It is difficult in this techno age to be fine with what we do have when at the click of a key we can peer into others homes to see what we want or to want more than what we already have.

    Thank you for the reminder!

  5. Your chandelier story sounds similar to my floor story. So we still have the worn floor.

  6. I soooooo get it. I think the family budget is why my husband now has this newfound love of "treasure hunting" with me on Saturday mornings. Although I value his opinion and I *know* what we can and cannot afford sometimes he is the voice of reason reeling me back from the cliff of no return. I also have house-envy and I peruse a lot of blogs. I know how you feel. Thanks for the reminder about "things" is timely as I will be setting out tomorrow morning with my man. I'll be the one with the big-as-dinner-plates eyes saying "oooooooooooooh" and he'll be the one showing me his open wallet with moths flying out of it :) I love your stuff, Lady!

  7. A beautiful post. Thank you for linking to me. And you know what? sometimes I think I should use more words. but that's the beauty of each of our gifts - we tell *our* story in *our* way. You will find the right chandelier at the right time and it will be so worth it. Trust me, I know every emotion you wrote about here. 4 1/2 years into our remodel, I know that whole "i've been without it for years but now suddenly have to have it this instant" feeling.


  8. I hate having a budget. The good thing is, there are a ton of chandy's out there so another one will come along. Send the picture as a message from your phone to your e-mail and then save it from there. I wanna see it :)


thank you for commenting, dahling! I can't wait to hear what you have to say. :-)