No, you’re not in a saloon, you are in my dining room last year. When we moved into this house over ten years ago, I bet we had a Casablanca saloon-style fan in every room. Well, Howdy folks, come on in!
We recently remodeled our dining room and needed a new light — one that was big enough to cover our big family dining room table. After months of fruitless searching at lighting stores and online, I gave up. I knew I wanted something different, but I just did not know what I wanted. The answer was right under my nose the whole time.
Enter Jacqui Van Ham, local artist who I had profiled in the past, as a FACES of Louisville and as the creator of great custom lighting around town. Read that article here: louisville.styleblueprint.com.
I asked her about where I should look to find a big new light fixture for my dining room. She answered “right here.” Previously, I would have never asked her because I thought custom lighting was way out of my price range. Turns out I was wrong. Let’s just be clear here: all lighting is expensive, I don’t care how you shake it out, so don’t go into this thinking you’re only going to spend $100. You’re not.
Jacqui asked me what I wanted and I told her honestly that I had no idea specifically, but that I wanted it to be modern and clean. She came to my house to get a feel for the space and my aesthetic. What’s my aesthetic you ask? It’s now neutral colors with a shot of kids’ mess everywhere. But, the overall goal is simple, light, and clean.
I basically handed the project over to her and told her to work her magic. Here’s something I have learned as I get older: let people do their jobs, especially creative ones. My husband about keeled over when I told him that I was spending the money to get a light made and that I basically had no idea what it was going to look like until we got it. I have a lot of faith in Jacqui Van Ham; I’ve seen her stuff and it’s all good.
She went home and wrote this up for me:
The idea I have in mind would use some great blown glass shades, and reclaimed lumber and distressed hardware. I would like to create something “statement” but still elegant and definitely NOT cluttered feeling. I would run the drops from a custom built “box” that will hide all the electrical guts, and allow us to drop several lights without cutting into your ceiling.
She gave me a mock-up a week later and I said go.
A couple months after that, we got the light. We had to hire an electrician and Jacqui brought an assistant for the install. It was great to watch. Even more entertaining was watching Lamont, my electrician, and Jacqui talk passionately for an hour about lightbulbs. Yes, these two had definitely found each other.
Here’s the final shots of the light installed. It’s long enough to cover our big dining room table and makes a statement just like she intended. But it’s not “too much” and it gives off the perfect amount of light for the space.
It truly is a work of art.