(Re)Warm The House: Lighting and Hacking

Only two more days until our haus (re)warming and we’re checking things off the list fast.  This past weekend I was so pleased with how much progress that we were making.  Saturday AM we were up early and swapping out ceiling lights.  When we upgraded our chandelier I mentioned that was also looking to put more modern ceiling lights in throughout the stairs and hallways.

 allan + roth 1-Light 12″ brushed nickel semi-flushmount $59.00 at Lowes

We picked up three of these drum shade semi-mounts at Lowes. These would work well for the landings but they would be a little large for the hallways and the entryway so we went shopping at IKEA.

PULT ceiling lamp $9.99 at IKEA 

Nothing fancy, but the PULT does the job and is inexpensive to boot.  Both lights were super easy to install and we were finished in no time. Wanna see?


*claps hands together in joy*


Who knew a simple light could make me so happy!  I’ve gotten pretty good at swapping out ceiling lights but I have to say the drum shade lights are the easiest lights to assemble and hang.  Seriously simple.

We were on such a roll and then we got in our own way.  If you remember when we had our chandelier installed we had the electrician also install a ceiling box over our dining room table.  If you looked closely at the photo you could see that the lamp was missing a canopy.  That is because we didn’t spend $149 on this lamp, we spent 29.99 for the ikea version.  The ikea version, KNAPPA, is a plug in pendant which is great for apartments and the like.


When we had the box installed the electrician simply lopped off the plug and wired it up.  He ordered us a cover from lamps plus and was on his way.  But the cover didn’t fit our light.  Perhaps he though we had purchased the expensive lamps plus version. HA, we had him fooled!  Matt and I hadn’t figured out what to do about the unfinished light situation when we happened on this beautiful light at IKEA.

OTTAVA Pendant Lamp from IKEA

On a whim we bought it to replace our beloved KNAPPA.  This was a very bad idea from the start.  When we got it home and started to wire it up we encountered a hitch.  Our junction box was too small.  We had a similar problem with another IKEA light where the mounting plate holes were spaced too wide for our ceiling box.  After a couple hours of trying to make it work  and a quick trip to Lowes I broke down and got out the drywall saw.  I removed our junction box, marked cut lines for a new Old Work ceiling box (which had an additional wider set of holes) and began hacking away.

 Old Work Ceiling box with tabs $2.55 from Amazon

I was covered in drywall dust but I was going to get this damn light installed!  An Old Work ceiling box has 3 fins attached to screws.  You adjust the height of the fins for the material you are working with (in my case drywall)  lay the fins flat agains the unit as shown above and insert the unit into the ceiling.  Push the screws up and then turn them about half a turn to position the fins out.  This holds your box secure in place.


Finally the OTTAVA is in place!

Before putting the glass bell on I asked Matt, “What do you think?”

“I hate it”

People, I may have lost my shit at that moment.  Ok, I did lose my shit at that moment.  Matt explained that the light felt too dark, that the metal fittings prevented light from shining up.  He wanted his KNAPPA light back. He was of course right, but I was tired and frustrated.

Swaping the lights out should be easy enough right?  Perhaps if I hadn’t broken one of the pieces to the light the day before when I was disassembling it.  Cue foreboding music.

I was bummed.  We were going to have to buy another KNAPPA (thank goodness they are cheap) and we still hadn’t figured out a canopy.  I will fully admit I was too pissed off that I had spent hours on this project already.  Thankfully Matt did a little research and came up with a little IKEA hack for us to try.  We went back to the store and picked up two lights.

KNAPPA Pendant Lamp $29.99 at Ikea

 MELODI Pendant Lamp $9.99 at IKEA 

The MELODI pendant looks a little like a plastic waste basket.  We weren’t so much interested is this little lass for her pendant though, we were after her canopy and mounting bracket.


This “hack” is seriously easy.

Step 1: Remove the MELODY canopy from the wire.


Note: You will need a utility knife and wire cutting tool in addition to the tools needed for installing the bracket per IKEA instructions. 


Step 2: Use your wire cutters to cut the KNAPPA cord.  We measured how low we wanted the lamp to hang and then added an additional 6 inches.


Step 3: Use the utility knife to score the cord about 3 inches from the end.  You should be able to slide the plastic cord cover off, exposing the wires and insulation. Cut the insulation back so that all you have are the two wires.


Step 4: Thread the wires through the canopy of the MELODI light.

Step 5: Install using the MELODI instructions.


And there you go, a finished light for just $39.98!  In hindsight I am glad that we were led astray by the OTTAVA light because it helped us figure out a great (and inexpensive) solution to our canopy problem.  I just wish I hadn’t broken the original light.

Has an impulse purchase led you down a bad path before?



Filed under Our Haus

5 responses to “(Re)Warm The House: Lighting and Hacking

  1. All of the new fixtures look great! Corey and I were seconds away from buying the OTTAVA light at Ikea the other day, but I wasn’t a fan of the mixed metal finishes so we went with something else. I LOVE the hack, though – it made a world of difference!

  2. Lol, this cracked me up! We’re after a pendant light for over our kitchen table but WHY is lighting so damn expensive??!! We’ll totally end up “hacking” something like you did!

    • I know, right? We’ve got a number of Ikea lights and we’re pretty happy with all of them, that said I LOOOOOOVE my fancy new chandelier from Lamps Plus- totally worth the $$. I say find one fixture to be BAM! and do inexpensive but nice looking lights everywhere else.

  3. Pingback: And Relax! | Parker Haus Roles

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