The Drum Shade of My Dreams: Updating a Kitchen Light Fixture

Dan and I have been moving slowly on the DIY front so far this year, and I can’t say that I’m complaining.  I’m trying to take some time to lighten the pressure on myself (#oneword2016, anyone?) and enjoying the time we have together at home.  This weekend, we went to two great New Jersey breweries (Cricket Hill and Magnify) with my good friend Cyd from New Jersey Isn’t Boring and headed to a housewarming party for friends.  In the meantime, I’ve made some pretty major edits to the Projects page of Creating Krista, so it should be much easier to search through all of the fun we’ve had over the past (almost) two years of the blog!  Enjoy perusing while I talk about one of the projects that’s been nagging at me for quite some time…

Updating the kitchen light fixture!  Our former light fixture had probably been mounted on the ceiling since 1993, so it was definitely time for an update.  I’m not sure when exactly the bug catcher diamond style fixture was trendy, but I can safely say it’s fallen out of my favor over the years.

I’ve been pining over pretty much every single pendant light since I started obsessively watching HGTV a few years ago.  Capiz chandelier?  Yes, please.  Drum pendant?  Simple and chic.  Glass-blown pendants?  Be still, my beating heart.  Unfortunately for my pendant light dreams, our kitchen ceiling is pretty low – about eight feet.  Dan is also a relatively tall man who frequently stands in the kitchen, whether he’s cooking, washing dishes, or tending to the countertop plants (and yes, he does all of those things without asking – I know he’s a keeper).  Between the low ceilings and the somewhat closed in walls, it just wasn’t realistic for us to place a beautiful low-hanging pendant in our kitchen.

After coming to this sad conclusion (and realizing that every single light fixture I pinned to our Kitchen Renovation Board was a pendant), Dan and I decided to make a trip to Capitol Lighting in East Hanover.  It’s your typical lighting warehouse with hundreds of options to choose from, including the blinged-out Club Krista chandelier.

While we were there, we both recognized that we liked the drum light fixture look: it’s simple, has very clean lines, and doesn’t overwhelm the space.  We also discovered that a flush mount fixture was the next best option for us when my pendant dreams were dashed.  Nearly all of the drum fixtures we came across were suffering from “boob light fixture” syndrome (here’s what I mean), so it was pretty challenging for us to come to find just one flush mount drum fixture that met our needs.  Right when we were about to give up hope, we sat down to page through a lighting catalog (very exciting) and found this beauty.  Since I’ve gotten in the habit of naming light fixtures, we’ll call her Abby.


She’s casual, sleek, a flush mount, and she really wears the brushed steel/silver organza shade look quite well.  For $179, we were sold.  We had to custom order the fixture and then waited until after we repainted the entire downstairs to mount it.

As with all light fixtures, there’s a process for mounting it that’s fairly straightforward.  I went into some of the detail in the bathroom light fixture post, but here’s a quick rundown of what we did to mount this drum shade in the kitchen.


First, as always, we had to shut the electricity off from the breaker.  We unscrewed the old light fixture which was just mounted with a couple of screws.  We then unwired the fixture. Every fixture has three wires: live, neutral, and ground.

We took the wire nuts off (used to attach the live wire from the fixture to the live wire from the house).  The wire nuts  (plastic orange caps) covers the live connection and makes it so there’s no danger of burning down your house.

Next, we had to attach the new fixture’s mounting plate to the junction box where the wires are coming out. For a flush fixture, it will attach right to the mounting plate on the ceiling.


We did the electrical work, which is really just taking the grounding wire from house and grounding wire from lamp, twisted them together and formed a hook to hook it around the grounding screw.  We attached the rest of the wires (live to live and neutral to neutral) from the fixture to the house and pushed them up into the ceiling.  I was a little busy assisting with the installation of the fixture at this point, so I didn’t take any pictures of the new wiring.

We then assembled the rest of the lamp according to the instructions, which were pretty basic – there was a big plate, which took two people to mount, the lampshade itself, and lastly the ring and the plate for the bottom.  There’s still a bit of a cap on the bottom of the fixture as you can see in the photos, but we really like the overall sleek look and simple design that it brings to our kitchen.

Here she is!  It was pretty fun to take our kitchen into the 21st century. I love a good drum shade.

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