Last night my husband and I hung a new chandelier in the dining room. When we built the house, we were given a "lighting budget" to use to choose lights for the house. For our 2700 square foot house (not counting the finished basement, which we added later) with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths (3.5 including the basement one), dining room, family room, kitchen, breakfast, and laundry rooms, we were given a sum total of $300. You could spend more, but it was tacked on to the price of the house. Basically, that price was not quite enough to buy the cheapest possible "cap light" for every fixture that needed a light. We tried to pick a set of basic lights that were asthetically pleasing, but inexpensive enough that we could redecorate without cringing.
Our dining room fixture was a basic, shiny brass 5-arm chandelier--the type that goes for about $30 at your local home improvement store. I've been drooling over antique crystal chandeliers since a trip to New Orleans several years ago (a trip that included several plantation tours and a French Quarter house tour). Beautiful, but many of them require a second mortgage and ceilings that are a bit higher than our 8-foot ones. My husband has been pointing out wrought iron and other plainer styles for just as long, complaining that the ones I like are "too shiny". We finally found a good compromise at a good price (about $100) in a sort of antiqued nickel finish with some crystals (enough for me, not too many for him). So last night we assembled and installed it.
I have decided that the electricians who wired our house were either idiots, insane, or on something. My husband spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out which breaker the dining room fixture was on. "Dinning room"? Nope. (I guess "dinning" is not "dining" misspelled after all...) "Hall"? Nope (I still don't know where our hall is...we don't exactly have much of a hallway anywhere). "Spair"? Nope. (Note this is not a "spare", since it actually controls useful outlets). "General Use"? Nope. Aha! Our dining room is on the circuit labeled "Master". This lovely circuit also contains the overhead lights in the kitchen, family room, and master bedroom.
Anyway, once we figured that out, the rest wasn't so bad. Except that I was exhausted (it was 9:30 by the time we had the power off, and I'm usually snoring by 10), things went relatively smoothly. In other words, my husband did most of the hard work. But, it looks great!