Looking for a solution for an off-center overhead light? This one solution is so easy you can fix your overhead lighting problem for $4.97.

off-center overhead light

Today I’m going to go all after-school special on my light fixture.

I love it when solution shows up that simple and easy and brings along its own make-up kit.

This is what the office looked like when we bought it.

(total aside: can we press pause and look at those floors? Hello 1908. You were a beautiful floor year.)

It’s a super awkward room. There’s a bay window where there used to be a desk and crown molding that stops about 24″ down from the top of the ceiling and then no crown molding where the walls meet the ceiling and a random built-in on one side and fireplace in the corner of the room that makes it really hard to decorate around.

But by far the most egregious fault of the room?

This off-center overhead light fixture.

before off-center overhead light

Here’s the other side of the room.

See the fireplace?

See the built-in all alone by itself on the middle of the wall?

And see the empty space at the top of the ceiling where the light fixture should be?

room with off-center overhead light

I’m sure when they designed the room there was a really good reason for the off-center overhead light by the windows.

I’m sure in 1927 or whenever they got light fixtures there was a piece of furniture sitting right here and they needed extra light.

I get it.

I understand.

But now? In 2019? It just looks awkward.

And sad.

And lonely.

how to fix an off-center overhead light

I tried to decorate around it.

You can see one of the first arrangements of the room where I moved the desk over here to make the light fixture make sense.

I added a rug at an angle and some chairs that faced that fireplace and tried to make the fixture work.

But this arrangement didn’t really work at ALL. It just felt like a bunch of furniture in a room all jumbled up together.

And so I moved the desk over to this side of the room where it’s always been. This was my father’s desk and as far back as I can remember it sat right here it this spot with chairs in front of it.

I guess my mother was right.

(total aside: sometimes that sentence is a little difficult to type.)

But truth?

This is where the desk should go. I could almost hear it breathe a sigh of relief when it moved over to this spot. After I figured out the furniture, I called an electrician to move the light to the middle of the room and almost dropped the phone when I heard how much it was going to cost.

Yikes.

So I saved my pennies and ignored the random light and acted like it wasn’t there.

Until.

fixing an off-center overhead light

Until one day I was sitting at the desk and a brilliant idea occurred to me.

Something so simple.

Something so easy.

Something that would fix that off-center overhead light.

Something so four dollars and ninety-seven cents that I couldn’t BELIEVE I HADN’T THOUGHT OF IT BEFORE.

A HOOK.

What if I just hung the hook in the middle of the room and just extended the light fixture to the center.

Would it work?

Here’s a close-up of where the light fixture hangs on the ceiling.

Most chandeliers like this come with extra chain in case you have super tall ceilings.

We used all the chain that came with the fixture.

And hung it in the middle of the room.

We used an extra-strong hook (and our ceilings are shiplap so it screwed directly into wood to stabilize it).

If you don’t have wood ceilings, make sure you find a stud in the ceiling to hang it from.

Here’s another look at how it looks like from this angle.

I thought it might bother me with the chain hanging like that and I planned on covering it with a cord cover, but I thought that might draw too much attention to it.

The cord is nickel and the electrical cord that runs through it is clear and so you actually barely even notice it.

Your eye just assumes that the light fixture is in the middle of the room.

Just where it should be.

Here’s one last before.

And one last after.

It makes me so happy when I look at how far this little room has come. It’s an after school special with a makeover and a happy ending.

And truly?

Have you ever seen $4.97 look SO GOOD?

PS The office is painted SW Sandbar and the curtains are dropcloths (you can see how to make them here) and I’ll put all the links to the office below just in case you want to shop the room.

Comments

  1. Image for Maureen Maureen

    I love reading your newsletter, you make me laugh out loud every day - what a great way to start your day! Today’s chuckle came from the word EGREGIOUS! Whaaaaaaaat? You slay me girlfriend!

  2. Image for TERESA GONZALES TERESA GONZALES

    Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Older homes require a lot of creative thinking especially around electrical!!!! Brilliant solution!!!

  3. Image for Susan Susan

    Oh KariAnne! The time and craftsmanship it must have taken back in 1908 to create such a floor! Simply beautiful!I'm curious, do you know when the fireplace was added or is it original to the house? It's an interesting placement decor wise. I love how you cosy-ed up the office! And the paint color is spot on! You rocked it again!

  4. Image for Eileen Eileen

    I love your idea and have actually done it before. The only thing is that it looks a little as if it's being chased by the chain and the ceiling doodad is going along for the ride!!! Maybe because it's so far. Since the shade is white, would it look less visible if you painted the chain and the ceiling doodad white? Just a thought.

  5. Image for Kathy M. Kathy M.

    We have a light over our kitchen table which is off center and it drives me crazy. I guess we are both a little anal! Your solution is great and I will be shopping for some chain as soon as possible. Now just to get my husband to assist with the hanging of the light.😊 Kathy

  6. Image for Mary Anne Saunders Mary Anne Saunders

    We had to do this over both our kitchen and dining room tables. Our home was built in the 1990’s so you would think these issues would have been thought through before installing the electrical, but both areas were awkwardly placed. We tried the dining room table every which way until I figured out this solution.

  7. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Had to do that with dining room chandy - and it bothered me for a fast moment, and now don't even see it. Glad you worked out such a wonderful solution for that fabulous new chandy - looks great. Have a wonderful week.

  8. Image for Mary S Mary S

    YOU are so smart. Not sure I would have thought to do that! Thanks for the reminder of working smarter and not harder! Words from an old boyfriend! Ha! LOL... Another job well done my friend. The room looks perfect as usual.

  9. Image for Jo Jo

    I did this in my kitchen a few years ago. The original fixture was installed in 1963 to hang over a harvest table. My table made the light off center. My handyman suggested this. Worked great!

  10. Image for Richella J. Parham Richella J. Parham

    Yep, I've done this, too, and at first you might think "I don't really like that. . . " until you realize that it's really no big deal, and it's amazing to solve a problem with so little money! I think sometimes because of easy credit it's easy for us to jump to expensive solutions instead of just putting up with tiny little imperfections that don't really make much difference. Well done, KariAnne!

  11. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Perfect! I will show this to hubby to convince him that, "See? I'm not the only one that thinks that way!" I have a parlor in which the light fixture is offset. I think a pretty fixture of some kind would look perfect suspended there, in the middle of the box-beams and viewed between the oak columns. Why didn't the FIRST owners think of that?? But then I think, maybe there was a piano involved . . . ;) Happy Monday, friend!

  12. Image for Pat Pat

    But where did you buy the new light fixture ? I have to match one with the two pendant lights over my island as they are so close together

  13. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Ok, hold up! Can I Wednesday light from a referral with no.overhead lighting? This is the case in our 1950 home - no ceiling lights. Help!!! Details, please.

  14. Image for june june

    I love this. We have to swag our dining room fixture to balance the space better. The desk looks very heavy. My dad had one like it. Your pic brought back memories of many a homework night😊

  15. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Correction Can I add a swag. light to a room with no ceiling light? What do I buy to make this happen? Instructions, please.

    1. Image for Writer49er Writer49er

      Get a plug-in swag light! Swags come in hard-wired and plug-in versions. My office had no overhead light, and while I didn't want the light over my desk, I needed light in my room for when I wasn't sitting at my desk. My office is wired so there is a light switch at the door that connects to the nearest plug-in, so all we* had to do was hang the light and plug it in and I can use the switch for it! Plug-in swags have off-on switches on their chains, usually down by the bottom. There are many attractive ones out there, so get shopping! *I use the royal "we" here. Yes, I could do it if I had to, but I have a handy hubster who prefers to do it himself. All I have to do is fake like I'm getting out tools to do something, and he's there!

  16. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Great idea, but i do wonder what that fixture was used for, that will have to be a mystery. I love your light fixture.

  17. Image for Jenn Jenn

    I had to laugh out loud when you said "sometimes those words are hard to type" in regard to Mom was right! So true! But as I mom I think....why don't my kids see how smart I am!

  18. Image for Martha Woods Martha Woods

    I'm about to get into the same type of challenge. I hope mine can be solved as easily. By the way, I passed your house today and I love the black and white pillows on your front porch. Do you remember where you got them and did they happen to come in navy?

  19. Image for Debra Matcovich Debra Matcovich

    I love the room. This time I just don’t agree with this decision. I’d save your pennies and install a new fixture, In the right place.

  20. Image for Marianne Marianne

    I have the opposite problem, my dining room light fixture is in the Middle of the room, where the table use to be, I was not a fan of having to walk around a table to go from the living room to the kitchen, (the dining room is between the 2 ). So I have been waiting for my hubby to add a hook and chain, and switch out the light fixture. Our Table for the most part is against the windows, instead of the middle of the room, but if we have a lot of people for Thanksgiving, It has a couple extra leafs.

  21. Image for laura@everydayedits.co laura@everydayedits.co

    Wait. The ceiling is made of shiplap? The ceiling is made from wood? Do y'all have drywall in Texas? Do you call it dryawall or sheetrock? What covers the walls (under the paint). Is that a regional thing or just in a 100 year old house. I learned something new today. And, yes, I love the hook and the price! xo laura

  22. Image for judith judith

    What a great solution and price! By the way, the trim in that room is known as picture molding. In days of yore, to support pictures and avoid lots of holes in the wall, pictures were suspended from wire which was hanging on nails inserted in the picture mold.

  23. Image for BeverlyO BeverlyO

    I appreciate how you have shared your struggles with this room and updating your old house. I grew up in an old house built in the 1800s. My parents were young and money was tight when they set up housekeeping there. They used inexpensive wood paneling to cover the walls in their den and it was only eight feet tall. So, they put a piece of trim molding above it to finish the edge. Then, my mother painted the drywall above the trim the same color as the ceiling which seemed to make the trim work as a transition between the paneling and the drywall. As for your light-centering solution, I am going to give the same concept a try. The light would be centered over the dining table if I didn't have a china cabinet against the wall. However, I moved the table away from the cabinet and now the light is off-center. Thanks for the idea!

  24. Image for Mah Mah

    Lol! Your funny! We had to do that to 3 chandeliers, 20 years ago. It took some getting use to, but after 20 years I don't think about it anymore.

  25. Image for Peg Peg

    I have the hook in my dining room and called the electrician because I didn’t like it. Like you, after I heard the price, I embraced the hook!!! xoxo

  26. Image for Sonya Sonya

    Great idea. I actually have one of those in my home and had thought about this idea once or twice but was worried about how it would look. Now I know it looks perfectly fine. I have to make that change in my home. Thank you

Comments are closed.