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Please help me with lighting and a coffee table!

Lola PN
2 years ago

Hi there! Well here I am 3 months after my first post and I’ve about had it. I really need your help folks for lighting and coffee table ideas so I can be done and move on with my life. I have other things/questions too but those are the key pieces I keep second guessing, obsessing and going in circles about.

So the quick background is I planned to do a complete “refresh” of my condo, started in the living/dining room. Sold/gave away all my furniture, and started fresh. I still had mostly passed down furniture; and I’m a single 40yr old woman in my own condo with a professional job (well until recently, but that’s another story)..it was time. I took out a wall of mirrors and was super proud of myself. I also painted the walls (excuse the tape, need to finish a 2nd coat in a few places), trims and am changing the outlets to a more modern square outlet. The exact sofa I had my eye on (color and fabric, both custom ordered) suddenly was on sale so I bought my first ever sofa and I thought I was on a roll! But then it stalled...

Reasons things lingered were the usual suspects - hiccups in furniture orders: delays, out of stock, just the complete wrong item, etc. Combined with (and this is my fault) getting help from a friend who works in design has helped other friends. But once I got past the “ohhh...you have to measure for a light fixture??” understanding, I should have not relied on her as much for style and trusted my gut.

I don’t know really know what my design style is except Eclectic which means, whatever I want it to be, right?! Hahah! I absolutely love the warmth of real wood accented with the glam/sophistication of gold, brass and marble. But alas, I cannot afford real wood furniture these days!! I do love vintage shopping and once my key pieces are set, I think it’ll be fun to add some more funky pieces. But right now I think I need cohesion..

Ok so hope you can see the pictures. The lamps (floor and table) are just here bc I literally have no lights. They actually live in the BR and balcony and are just helping out for now. My dining table hasn’t come yet and I’m unbelievably spatially challenge so I pulled together this weird styrofoam thing to understand the dimensions, ha!! It’s a very inexpensive round table with gold base. It’s gonna be fine.

https://trk.overstock.com/EAsBQyqZ40

I love my chairs, a copy cat of some I was planning to buy from Anthropology, but then I lost my job so no way. And I’m glad...these are cute for a fraction of the cost and I really won’t use them often. And I can even get a real nice chair later.

Anyways - first question is lighting. I only have wiring for one ceiling light, in the dining area. And the wiring is right smack in the way of traffic flow. Tried to circle it in one of the pics. I’m a single woman in this condo so I don’t formally USE my dining area to you know...dine. But I enjoy a nice space to have a cup of coffee, go over mail, have company over. I had a tall pub table in the past but I’m ready for a more elegant, adult look hence the real table. But I will likely push the table and chair over as it is now and I’m worried any light fixture is going to look off?

I’ve ordered a sputnik style fixture. But I can cancel it. Here’s a pic - what do you think?

Joey 6-Light Sputnik Chandelier
https://www.allmodern.com/lighting/pdp/langley-street-joey-6-light-sputnik-chandelier-lgly7439.html

My entry way light fixture lines up right up to that light and into my galley kitchen; the lights are almost perfectly aligned. I’m going to paint the existing entry fixture a matte black, keeping the rings that hold it in place brass. My thought was then it wld be a cohesive look of fixtures and not a misaligned dining room chandelier but I don’t know.

I need a floor lamp probably. This? But I’m thinking on the side of the sofa.

Vanvalkenburg 60" Task Floor Lamp
https://www.allmodern.com/lighting/pdp/vanvalkenburg-60-task-floor-lamp-golv2802.html

Next - deciding on a coffee table is giving me heartburn. I found a marble beauty at World Market, it’s actually ready for me to pick up. But I was reading about sizes after I decided to ditch my friend’s input (she’s fine, I think I was not fun for her to work with, with all my opinions). I LOVE my sofa choice, it’s 90” long and sits low, at 17”. The round coffee table I’ve picked is 30” diameter and 19” high. Sooo, it’s going to be too tall and not long enough, don’t you think? So now I’m looking at oval options bc I really don’t want a rectangular coffee table with this sofa, feels like I def need some curves here. But am I thinking too hard about it? I’m pretty convinced a lower table is the way to go but do I have to abide by the rule: “Your coffee table should be at least half the length of your sofa (but no more than roughly ⅔ the length)”? I’m willing to break “rules” as far as style is concerned, but who wants to be the woman whose pants are two sizes too small, amirite? Please help me not be that woman!

Pretty sure I am set on a marble top and I found a few ideas in oval but they are out of my price range. But I’d wait and stalk the right one, unless you guys think I’m being nutty and the length/height thing is a rule meant to be broken, like combining metals. Would a coffee table and an ottoman combo be an option?

I have more questions and would love any suggestions but I don’t know if this is too much. Well I’m including the other notes/questions anyways in case people are having a slow Friday!

  • The shelf and mirror are “new to me”, bought at a great price on NextDoor (craiglist type app) out of necessity. Ended up being much nicer than expected so I’ve put them in the living room. The shelf for sure is a great find, and I like the dull/muted bronze myself but does it look off? The mirror is bc I’m used to getting a good look in a full sized mirror in my living room, (remember, that entire wall was mirrors!). But is it sort of weird? Or does it work?

  • All of the walls have me questioning my life choices. Thought I had some ideas and art to put up but BARELY. No idea what to do the dining room walls. Art gallery style? But I don’t think I could come up with enough to fill the space. I do need a buffet/credenza eventually and a book shelf (for actual books not just display) so that space cld be used for that. And the frame resting on the sofa will go in that spot, obvs higher. I think I wld resist anything else on that wall.

  • The black box with the lamp on top is a litter box. Ugh. Two cats (the baby came aboard in June) so two boxes (bathroom and this), at least until things settle down.

  • Rug - yea, I bought this rug. It looked sooo pretty and brought me much needed uplift when there was NOTHING in here except my sofa and a raw edge coffee table made and left to me by an ex (it’s now my plant bench, I really showed him!). But is it too chaotic now? I cld replace it with a more neutral rug, easy to find an inexpensive one as i’m not that concerned with “quality” seeing as I have two cats and a ton of plants. I can keep them from ruining furniture but they gotta walk somewhere! (The cats, not the plants...I think). Then I don’t have to worry about buying things to match the rug? Or it’s fine?

-I don’t like this media console but oh well. What’s done is done. Thankfully it also wasn’t too expensive. But it took a long time to find an inexpensive one that didn’t look completely cheap, and it was a huge pain given the size and assembly. So it’s staying for now but for the record, I hate the fake wood.

-The small wooden cabinet is something I acquired prob 15+ yrs ago and I love! It was hidden away in the corner of my BR and I recently pulled it out from under a bunch of clutter and surprised at how much I do love it. But is it weird in this spot?? I’m thinking of doing a vignette, the items there now I just threw up to get an idea of how it may look. What do you think? With a good thought out vignette, will it work or is it still too small?

  • Other decor that I placed on the shelves are things I have or bought that I love and intend to display. I put them here as I started to unpack decor. I put some of the “yes!” things out to get a sense of my style.

  • Plant situation is out of control, ha!! But I love my plants! Just need to arrange them better, I’m picking up a four foot shelf (free!) tomorrow and the tape shows me measuring for it. Anyways, I like this look of the plants all together in a corner, with a few scatterings.

Oh my gosh, if you made this far congrats and thank you. It actually helped some as I was writing this so.. but PLEASE someone, anyone! Save me!!

I guess I can’t add more pics so if anyone responds I can show more

Thanks!!

Comments (69)

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Ugh this app.

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    OMG! you have crushed it with your sculpture of a light fixture! You're not kidding when you say you need visual hahaha. The new table is really cute.

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  • calidesign
    2 years ago

    You don't have enough room for a console table behind the sofa AND a coffee table. You need to choose one or the other. The console gives you a place for lamps, but I would choose the coffee table instead because you have no room for an end table due to your door and new plant stand, and it's important to have some where to set down drinks. You can use floor lamps.

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I like the pendant but I don’t love the look of that track lighting, sorry!! Is that suggestion based on giving me a lot of light?
    To be honest, I don’t have an issue with light in here. The sliding glass doors let in a ton during the day and in the evenings I’m usually out or the TV is on bc I use it for music/podcasts.
    And also - this looks like an electrician job or at least for a person who knows what they’re doing. I can put in a light fixture if it’s not complicated (I look up assembly directions on anything before I buy), sooo...let’s say I’m not in the position to hire someone right now. What wld you recommend in that case?


    I think I CAN manage to swag a pendant though, depending on the weight. I can manage drilling a hook/anchor into the concrete ceiling.


  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Ok, tried to write another post but I keep losing it.


    CaliDesign - thanks! Will def keep your suggestion in mind! I’m working on a very set budget anyways (doing well staying within it!) so i’ll focus on a coffee table first in any case and IF I end up feeling like there is room, a sofa table is a maybe. The West Elm one I also


    Some coffee table options I like right now: the CB2 rectangular one I love the look of even though I thought I really wanted an oval. and it’s a good price. The West Elm one combining the marble and wood is not what I expected to like...but my eyes keep coming back to it, it must be my style! But I have a personal vendetta again West Elm

    so I won‘t be giving them my money, but keeping this design idea in mind. The Anthro is what I initially thought of for my space, leggy and airy. This is not special enough for that price though. I can find this look for less with some more patience.


    Do ya’ll like any of these?









  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    CB2 and West Elm tables I mentioned above

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago

    The pendant I showed is very light and very reasonably priced I went white and gold so it still has some flair. But maybe first you should decide what you want to hang on the wall behind the dining set. What if you tried that picture you had planned for over the sofa, behind the dining set it would go well with the chairs and is a good size.

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago

    It might be helpful also to first get the plant stand and get that situated so the space is more open and we can see what we have.

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Ah, ok RL. Makes sense.
    Except - the lamps I’m using in the living room, I do need in the bedroom. I’m like moving them from room to room, super annoying. And stupid.
    What if I pulled the trigger on even one floor lamp, then I can make some progress like you mentioned and not feel so in flux

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago

    Sure I can see you picking a floor lamp no problem!

    Lola PN thanked RL Relocation LLC
  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Cool! what do you think of this? I def am into the aesthetic, but someone had a point that it’s faced down so not really a good living room light? those are the things I struggle with..I can pick what I like Ie, what looks good to my eye, but I question if I know what works best for my space





  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    This lamp

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Also since I am so bad at this - I’ll brag again to make myself feel better (bear with me!)

    The picture is my own photo from a recent trip to India, I had it framed but picked the frame, sizing, matting, etc myself and I’m sooo proud of it! It‘s a pic of tile work on a marble ceiling and hard to see online but the marbling really comes through in real life. Which is why I am so set on a marble coffee table. I fell in love with the look, feel and smell (yep, there is a smell) of real marble and since I don‘t see myself using it anywhere else in my home, I really want it for my coffee table. And *maybe* end tables but that’s less important to me


    I’m planning to frame many more of my photographs, in various sizes.

  • calidesign
    2 years ago

    The lamp above is a great light for reading, but it is a task light, not light for the room overall. You could use this one on one side of your sofa, and another lamp on the other side with better general light. Any of your coffee tables above will work if the sizes are right.

    Lola PN thanked calidesign
  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago

    Well I say give it a go over the dining table.

    Lola PN thanked RL Relocation LLC
  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I moved the dining table over and got rid of the cabinet. I think this will work for me in terms of traffic flow! Put my model light fixture up and quickly snapped a pic before it fell down (rainy and humid here today, nothing is sticking). So things are not perfectly aligned. But this might be ok?

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Dining table

  • groveraxle
    2 years ago

    Yes, center the dining table under the fixture. RL's pendant lamp is only 10.5" wide; too small. Of the coffee tables you show above, the one from cb2 would look best, IMO, if it's large enough.


    Let me see what dining pendant I can find that won't break the bank.

    Lola PN thanked groveraxle
  • ashtonchic
    2 years ago

    Love that Neri 1 light. Think your new table would look so cute centered under it. Just enough detail to be really classy. 3 different sizes though. I think I'd go larger, but it depends on size of table. Also, all three of the coffee tables are interesting. I favor the Leavenworth table since it picks up the gold from the Neri light. You are doing a great job!

    Lola PN thanked ashtonchic
  • groveraxle
    2 years ago


    Trent Austin Design Maconay 1-Light Single Dome Pendant & Reviews | Wayfair · More Info

    https://www.wayfair.com/lighting/pdp/trent-austin-design-maconay-1-light-single-dome-pendant-trnt4333.html

    Lola PN thanked groveraxle
  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks guys! Now I have sooo many choice but I’m not going to obsess and I do really like RL’s Neri light - I’m thinking black instead of white though.

    And based on measurements of everything, yea I need the 15 or 17 in pendant, I think both wld be ok

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Pendant in black and gold

  • ashtonchic
    2 years ago

    I like the white.

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    gotcha, thanks! I think either black or white will be nice...

    but being so spatially challenged, I think I need to make another “model“ fixture. Even if it’s centered above the table and I like where the table is, I can’t see how I’m not going to be irritated by this large pendant based on how low it should be above the dining table.

    or maybe I’m missing something. Hmm, please feel free to weigh while i scrounge up some materials for my model.

  • T B
    2 years ago

    I'm not a pro, definitely spatially challenged, and can't figure out my own decorating style, but I know a good thing when I see it, so I just wanted to pop in and say your space looks great so far!

    Has anyone suggested the possibility of two smaller, matched/complementary coffee tables? I wonder whether that might look nice along the length of your sofa while also offering some flow through the middle of the room.

    Love the idea of wallpapering the dining room wall, especially if you can find something that will be a good background or matting for your fabulous photo!

    Could the leaning mirror be altered and mounted horizontally behind the sofa?

    Your place is coming along so well-- don't lose patience! :)

  • Elaine Ricci
    2 years ago

    Greetings to your kitties from Skink (the tuxedo) and Luna (the tortie)!

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Aw TB - thanks! Very nice of you to pop in to say that!

    I thought about the double coffee tables but I didnt like the look, too cluttery or something . i can find a long enough coffee table, just a matter of round not fitting my space and that’s totally ok. I LIKE the CB2 one more and more .


    I’m not sure I can alter the mirror and it’s really for utility as well as aesthetic! I like having a nice full length mirror here so when I get dressed I can back up and see how my bomb outfit looks! Haha! My bedroom doesn’t give me the same room to get as good of a view.

    I had floor to ceiling mirrors on this dining room wall which was very 80’s and I finally got rid of them (myself!). I don’t miss the look but I’m spoiled in terms of awesome dressing mirrors! Maybe I will figure out a good option for the bedroom eventually but not dealing with that now! One project at a time



  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Here’s a view of the mirrored walls as I started demo. I wish I had a good before pic of the whole space but the whole thing sorta started rolling before I could think to take one

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    The model won’t stick to my ceiling folks. But I do want to show ya’ll what I mean, so I’ll try again tomorrow! I don’t think I’m going to do a pendant unless I swag it or move the junction box.

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago

    swag it.

    Lola PN thanked RL Relocation LLC
  • Yayagal
    2 years ago

    This one is on Perigold and is on sale. I have it in copper hanging in my bay window.

    Cyan Design Celia 1-Light Bell Pendant | Perigold · More Info

    They have it in three styles.

    Lola PN thanked Yayagal
  • Yayagal
    2 years ago

    It's marked way down by 80%

    Lola PN thanked Yayagal
  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago

    I never defy Grover (LOL) but I would not want my table in the center of the only walking path to and from the front door to the kitchen... we swag the light and do it with some style, you kind of have that mid-century thing going so swagging will fit right in..

    Lola PN thanked RL Relocation LLC
  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Ha RL!
    I do like the swag idea, I really truly do. I just need a “I can do this now and don’t have to pay more than the light fixture cost for it bc I‘m STILL unemployed” solution.

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    And I don’t generally do things half-way only to have to do it twice, you’ll just have to trust me on that. But I can’t not have a ceiling light here for much longer or I’ll lose the bit of sanity I’m clinging onto. So here‘s what I’m doing tomorrow:

    I‘ll ask the saint of a maintenance man here in my bldg if he would drill a hole into the concrete ceiling for a hook. I don’t have the drill bit to do it myself (and to be honest, I’m scared). So if yes, even if he doesn’t have time right away, I’m going to model a pendant (really really like the Neri) swagged over the dining table when the table is in a spot that I can be happy to move around AND is still usable for people to sit. IE - I don‘t know why I thought I wanted to push it up against the wall as if it didn’t exist. Doesn’t make sense and it’s not necessary! Ok folks, I’m getting there! (And please pardon the dramatics, i know it’s just decor ).


    And I can hear the next question - why did I get rid of the ceiling fan with lights then?? Well i’ll tell you why - I listed it to sell online thinking eventually, in a few weeks or something, i’ll get some interest. But I immediately got a buyer for that 1983 fan for $30! And he wanted it soonish. I didn’t want to lose the sale! Now that $30 will pay a good portion of a light fixture!

    And I LOVE that the ceiling fan was able to be used!

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Oh I got my (free! Yeay!) plant stand! Here’s how it’s looking...I have it up on a box to add about 4 inches bc it was a bit shorter than the seller, oops I mean GIFTER measured. I’ve never used furniture risers but I’m thinking I can get some of those or DIY something. It’s a stable, sturdy shelf so it’ll be easy to lift up a bit. And i’ll spray paint it black when it stops raining here in DC. Not gold right?! Ha! Maybe gold... haha!

    But it’s a good improvement I think!! A few of the plants are taking air on the balcony, the ones that like the humidity. And so, no it’s not a final arrangement... I’m thinking I will put all the orchids on the stand. But if any of you are plant lovers, you’ll understand this tip I got from my mother - don’t spend too much time arranging plants *just so* or they’ll rebel. And I found it to be true! Some die and others grow like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors to show you who’s boss.

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Don’t give up on me folks!! This has been so helpful and I really really appreciate all the input. It’s hard adulting by myself sometimes, so HUGGSS to you kind strangers

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Sorry for all the posts, I keep thinking of things to help you help me, ha!

    The wood bench I have takes up a lot of space, I know. I want to give you a good look at it bc i can feel you wondering why I don’t use something else less bulky. But this is something....

    An ex made this. Not for me. He made it as a coffee table for himself and gifted it to me this summer when he moved across the country and cld not take it. It’s heavy and it’s special in its own imperfect way. I‘m keeping it. Because it’s unique and because he made it. BUT I don’t like it as a coffee table bc (1) with all the plants in here it’s just too much and (2) I can’t deal with having to explain where it came from EVERY.SINGLE.TIME someone sees my place. So I found this idea on insta and I think it’s lovely here. It’s got this huge cut out in the middle that my design friend has mentioned more than once that I should cover with glass or something to make it more I dunno...practical I guess . But it’s not my creation and I would not do that.



  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago

    I sell it online for like 150$ and get yourself a new table....this one is just weird anyway, yah you could add glass but it won't change the back story. I think you should try the mirror over the sofa lengthwise, you can just lean it on the back of the sofa for a test spin.. then with a narrow console table, you still have room for a coffee table.

    For the light get something with cord not chain, most of these style pendants aren't very heavy and that hook would rate for at least 25 lbs, we are talking like 7 pounds lol. the picture on the right is more about the pendant than the mirror.


  • calidesign
    2 years ago

    The coffee table/bench is an interesting piece, but it is too short for your sofa, and since it makes you uncomfortable to talk about it, it means you should get rid of it. Sell it, and use the money to get the marble topped coffee table that will make you happy. That is what making a "home" is all about. I really like the suggestion above about using your mirror horizontally over the sofa. It will reflect light from the window, and be safer than a leaning mirror.

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago



  • T B
    2 years ago

    Not design advice, but just try rewriting your mental script about that table-- "it's handmade; isn't it unique?!" No relationship history, just let that go. You don't have to ditch the piece, just simplify your outlook and you might find there's no actual discomfort there-- it's just a table. If you like it and it works for you, keep it.

  • groveraxle
    2 years ago

    Keep the bench. It's a perfect plant stand and it has a history.

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Ok - I haven’t even read all the responses yet and I will but Shut the Front Door RL!!

    A capiz shell chandelier is literally something I wanted way back when I first started thinking of doing anything with my condo at all! Back when I had a big high paying job and I was ready to buy what I wanted from Anthropology...I LOVED the velvet chairs and the capiz chandelier!! Here’s a pic I have in my wish list album on my phone! but figured...”eh, my style is dumb, it’s all modern/sleek/etc now. Plus I can’t afford it anyways. Blah blah.” Screw that! Of course I can afford it, so many within my range. And now I actually know that yep, I LOVE IT and I want it in MY condo.

    Ok too weird. Did I mention a capiz fixture?? No right? Oh wait, you can see my saved ideas I think, so Is that how you knew? Anyways... I LOVE LOVE IT. I’m a little floored actually, so I might need a second

  • Lola PN
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    My Maintenance saint came by to bring me a ladder and I asked about the ceiling. He explained how it’s tough bc you can’t just use a drill, need a hammer drill (I think that’s what it’s called?). But he will do it! So I’m going to find one that looks like it might work!
    I’m going to try HomeDepot. Their return policy is just so amazing. They will take back a a fixture even if you’ve installed it. Not a refund but store credit which is pretty much cash considering you can buy literally anything there.

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    2 years ago

    Ta-Da! I guess I should be sorry, but I never looked through your idea book lol. I just started thinking you kind of have dark over there, and if you put that batik prink with the navy chairs, pink would be a natural fit, and the shells soften it up ...........those were my thoughts, plus this light was really a good price for capiz as they are never cheap.

    You go gUrl!

  • calidesign
    2 years ago

    Cost Plus World Market has several.



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