When I Move One Day, These Are Going With Me

Many years ago when I used to go out antiquing almost every weekend, I ran into a good friend in a local antique shop. I was so surprised to see someone I knew in this large, but kinda off-the-beaten-path shop. She was headed out the door with a big brass chandelier in her hands. I complimented her on her awesome find, it was a beautiful chandelier!

As she made her way toward the door, she shared that she was in the process of moving. She had bought a lake home nearby and had just sold her city home and wanted to take her dining room chandy with her, so she needed a replacement. That definitely got the wheels turning in my head!

Back when my son was in middle school, I worked part-time in sales for a plantation shutter company. I would sometimes help with answering questions about their products at the huge home shows held a couple of times a year at the World Congress Center in Atlanta. There were always tons of home products featured at the home shows–lots of booths with companies promoting their various wares.

 

One booth was staffed by a gentleman who created beautiful, custom, crystal chandeliers. I had long wanted to replace the builder-grade, brass chandelier in my dining room, so I always loved walking through his booth and oohing and ahhing over his gorgeous chandeliers. At that time his chandeliers were way outside my budget, but I could dream.

The last year I helped with that particular home show, I wondered if the chandelier guy would still be there. He was! As I walked through his booth, I spotted one chandelier that stopped me dead in my tracks. It was EXACTLY the kind of chandelier I had always envisioned having in my dining room, and it looked to be the perfect size! I knew at that moment that this was the year I would have to make the chandelier dream come true.

In talking with him, I came to learn that he was actually a full-time farmer in a small town here in Georgia. During the wintertime when he had a lot of free time, using crystals he ordered from Austria, he would design and build chandeliers. Is that not wild–a farmer whose side hobby was building elegant crystal chandeliers?! I loved that!

As I kept exclaiming over how much I loved the design of his latest chandelier, he shared more about how he came to build it: A customer had shown him pictures of three different chandeliers and asked if he could build a single chandelier combining all the elements she loved from each of the chandeliers. If I could find that other customer right now, I would give her a big hug because the chandelier he built from her pictures was exactly what I had wanted for my dining room, too!

It took him a few weeks to build it, but a month or so later he called to say it was ready. Thankfully installation of the chandelier was included so I didn’t have to find someone else to install it.

 

Over the years I’ve replaced the plastic covers that had yellowed with resin covers that look like real wax candles. (Read more about those in this previous post: Transform Your Chandelier with Resin Candle Covers and Silk-Wrapped Bulbs.)

 

I also did that for the chandelier in my bedroom here: Resin Candle Covers and Silk Wrapped Bulbs for the Bedroom Chandelier.)

 

I still very much love this chandelier and I’ve always thought that one day when I decide it’s time to move, I would like for this chandelier to go with me to my next home. It just holds too many memories to leave it behind. Before I list my home for sale, I’ll find another pretty one to take its place. That way it won’t become a bone of contention during the listing/selling process.

 

There’s one more light fixture in my home that needs to come with me if/when I move one day and that’s the tole chandelier I won in an auction on eBay so many years ago. At that time, I was in the process of turning my son’s old bedroom into my home office, and it seemed like every time I found a chandelier I loved on eBay, I would get beat out and lose it to another bidder.

 

As so often turns out, I was glad in the end that I had lost all those other auctions because the one I finally ended up winning was this charmer and it was my favorite of all the ones I had seen. Meant to be!

tole-chandelier-with-flowers

 

I  have always loved having it here in the office. It’s a tad lower than is ideal in this room since I only have 8-foot ceilings, but it works out great for me since I’m only around 5’4″ tall.

 

I love the faux wax candle covers so much, I ended up replacing the plastic covers on the office chandy, too.

replace-cheap-plastic-candle-covers-with-realistic-looking-resin-covers

 

Once you go with these faux wax/resin covers, you’ll never go back to the plain plastic ones that yellow. I’ve purchased all my candle covers from Lumiere Candles Inc. Here’s their website if you would like to see the many styles they have available: Faux-Wax/Resin Candle Covers.

replace-plastic-candle-covers-with-covers-that-look-like-real-candles

 

When I move one day, it will definitely need to come with me since I do still really love it. I guess I’ll replace it with a more “bedroom appropriate” light fixture at that time since this room will probably be a bedroom for the next person who lives here. (To see more about this office renovation from Bedroom to Home Office, check out this post: Designing and Creating a Home Office: The Journey.)

 

Other than these two light fixtures, I may take some of my draperies/curtains with me–that is if they work in the next home. I would love to take the custom screened doors I had built for the screened porch with me, too, but who knows if I’ll have a use for them in my next home so they will most likely stay.

I still don’t have these doors installed. The local door companies won’t install them unless the doors have been purchased from them since they say they can’t replace them if something happens to them during the installation process, and so far I haven’t been able to find anyone I trust to install them. A screened porch building company I contacted gave me the same answer–they will only install screened doors on porches they have built. I’m going to start working on finding a good carpenter to install them again, once I’m back home. I’m ready to see them in place!

 

So I was wondering, is there something in your home that you would love to take with you if/when you move one day? Have you ever taken a special light fixture or anything else with you from a previous home when you moved?

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Comments

  1. Trish Euler says

    I have a beautiful Pottery Barn shelf I purchased six years ago when I redid both my kitchen and family room. Last year I downsized and moved to Las Vegas to be near my family. That shelf came with me! Sadly, it is no longer available. It had the most beautiful architectural lines. Wish I could post a picture.

  2. Leslie Alexander says

    We had a blue and white ceramic chandelier in our second home that really was the selling point when I walked into the house. I wanted to bring it with me to our third home but hubs had other ideas. Oh well – it really wouldn’t have worked here anyway.
    Your bedroom-to-office transition posts are still my favorites! Every once in a while when I need a kick in the butt to get started on a really big project I’ll go back and reread all your posts. MAN! the planning and work that involved were amazing! If I came to your house I would immediately go to that room and just settle in – it speaks to me so! I am about to retire and have hopes of using your room to inspire my studio/office.
    And boy could I use your expertise about plantation shutters!

    Sounds like you’re beginning to have some tough conversations with yourself about moving. All the best!

    • Thanks so much, Leslie! I don’t know if I’d take on taking all that furniture apart today–that was a huge job. lol I could see the finished room in my mind though so had to give it a go. That’s normally what gives me the energy and stamina to get through a project like that–holding the finished image in my mind/heart and just moving one step at the time forward.
      Best wishes for your new studio office! Try to not think about all that has to be done, just take it literally one day at a time and you will be surprised how fast you get there. You gather steam as you go along. 🙂
      I think about moving a lot, retiring someplace really lovely/peaceful, but the world is in such transition right now, I think the best thing is to stay put for now. Plus, housing prices have gone sky-high in a lot of areas.

  3. Sharyn Kimbrough says

    Susan, I really enjoyed the story of your chandeliers! Sounds as if you are thinking ahead which is wise to do. Taking care of our homes becomes more of a chore and more expensive as we age. Love your blogs-keep ‘em coming!

  4. You could ask that farmer about installing the screen doors..

    • I’m afraid he’s probably no longer working. He was probably in his 60s when I met him and that was 25+ years ago now. I just need to find a really great carpenter who can cut in the places for the hinges and get them right the first time since there can’t be any do-overs.

      • Connie S. Houchins says

        I work in a historic house museum, wish I could send our carpenter to you. Those who understand and have the ability to do this kind of work are hard to find these days. Best of luck in finding someone, I suggest a restoration/preservation carpenter, they should have the skills you need.

  5. Yes Susan! I took 5 Waterford light fixtures when we moved but we had to
    have them removed because our neighbor’s oak tree fell on our house! We had to move to a rental for one year. Once the renovations were all done, I replaced all light fixtures with new modern fixtures. Glad I did as we
    sold the house. So, yes take what you want. The realtor will let you know what buyers want. Most of the replacement fixtures cost me about $100 including a kitchen and dining room chandelier!

  6. Kelley Gibson says

    I had gone to a local construction resale store and bought this great but neutral dining room light fixture, I thought it added a bit of modern but still keep the feeling of the house ( 1920’s). I almost took it down and put the cheesy plastic fixture back up but felt it belonged to the house… neighbor next door told me that not long after house was purchased, it was on the junk pile out front along with the original wooden cabinets, sigh…

    • Wow! That is painful to hear, I don’t think I would have told you that! Arggg! I have vowed to myself if I ever move, I will never drive back by the house again because I’m afraid of what I might see.

  7. Snowflake281 says

    I am not into light fixtures so much but your chandeliers are absolutely gorgeous & I would agree with you to take them with you should you decide to move one day…..perhaps closer to your grandsons? It just so happens that my husband & I are in the process of moving & we are leaving the furniture. It is all in good condition & some pieces were purchased from Ethan Allen, including a few area rugs. The only piece of furniture we’re taking is a Victrola cabinet that we bought back in the mid-late 70’s. Back then they were more popular than they are today. No chandeliers are coming with us!

  8. franki Parde says

    Downsizing from my cherished Tudor, in the city suburbs…to a log cabin on a lake in rural…was one of the most stressful of my current life. TAKE what you LOVE!! You WILL find a “place for it”…IF I had to do it over…ALL my chandies would be here…hanging in trees, in the “she shed,” etc. Just think of the “sparkle!!” franki

    • Frankie
      So love your answer! I have seen chandies hanging in trees around farm houses and in areas of log homes places years ago in magazines and it is so unique and unexpected especially when placed hanging from a live tree limb over the top of a old wooden farm tables. Just breath taking especially when the table is set with Fall in mind!

      I had at one time a crystal chandy almost identical to the one posted, but when downsizing we left half of it there. I had purchased it many decades ago from of all places, Sears! But, it became a very tedious and time stealing pain in the rear to clean the thing. I took off all the tear drops and waterfall crystals from it because the new owner wasn’t interested in the maintenance either. I have yet to use the crystals for anything other than being a bowl filler mixed with antique glass blown Christmas ornaments during the Holidays.

  9. Mandy Williams says

    I remember the tole chandelier from a previous post and it’s what set me on my journey to find one. I want it in my craft room but concerned it may give off minimal light (?). As a crafter, the room is packed so little space for lamps…unless I get rid of some things.

  10. Gayle Kesinger says

    I agree about your light fixtures, they are perfect. I loved one that I found in Italy many years ago that reminds me of your office light. Wish now that I had purchased it. Also, thanks for the update about the screen doors which I love. Came close to investigating them for my home. Wish you had my carpenter, but glad you are cautious because those doors are sooo nice.

  11. Your chandeliers are gorgeous – can see why you want to take them if you move. Only thing we ever took was our outdoor speakers. We changed styles each time we moved so we always looked for something that would “go” with the new place. Hope you get your doors hung soon…they are SO pretty!

  12. Like one other reader found out, we ditched the tin and other fixtures ans my only regret is we didn’t make any money from selling them. I know the rpevious owner loved them, but just not for us. Take it with you or sell it to the new owened!

  13. Martha Karen Lovell says

    I’ve enjoyed many of your posts. I got into this looking at the tablescapes and your porch! However, I’ve been inspired by much you’ve posted. (Like last year when our Pottery Barn was going out of business, I ordered the Bedford desk components for my own office and can’t thank you enough for the idea! I am currently inspired by your garage cabinets and am considering replacing mine with something that has one continuous top for storing decorations and such.) I have not thought about light fixtures as I don’t own any fancy chandeliers – or any neat story attached. But I have a set of Christmas dishes from my mother as well as her 1939 silverware and even a silver tea service which I cherish and which I will keep and move with me wherever.

  14. Those are gorgeous chandeliers! Both of them! If we ever moved I would want to dig up some day lilies and geraniums that I have bought online over the years in special colors. Also I would take the 500 lb. concrete snail we bought for the garden…Lol! We are never leaving here but if we did, I suspect that would never happen!

    • Connie Houchins says

      Love the idea of your concrete snail. Interesting how we get so attached to things, but we do, nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned. It makes us who we are–enjoy! 🙂

  15. Cynthia Barnett says

    I recommend sellers remove and replace anything they want to take prior to showing the home. Buyers don’t like those kind of exclusions, unless it is something personal; e.g., draperies that coordinate with a bed covering, etc. In PA, buyers often state in the contract that all window treatments are included.

  16. I did what you did…. I took my chandelier as well. Also a beautiful stained glass overlay which I usually place over a window in the master bath to give it security. I had it custom made for my 10 wedding anniversary, birthday, and major Christmas gift. I am not about to let anyone take that out of a bought home and put it by the trash. Its my treasure. It s design of a porch screen surrounded by bed of flowers and a bunny at the walkway. Its my keeper,

  17. No chandeliers in my home, just a simple home. I would like some prettier lightening one day though. Not necessarily chandeliers, but more country/farmhouse lightening. I love your chandeliers, so beautiful but they would be so out of place in my simple small home. I will say, take what you love because so many people these days don’t like what other homeowners have in the home and will most likely get rid of what you left behind anyway. So if you love it, take it with you! Hugs, Brenda

  18. I’ve never taken a chandelier but I did take a custom stained glass piece my late father-in-law made for me when I moved from my last house. It was fitted in front of a window and I made it clear in the listing that it was not staying! If I move again I might take my dining room chandelier, it’s not all that valuable but I like it. It’s fairly small, I found it at a second hand shop and added a bunch of crystals to it. I’d LOVE to find one like the one in your office.

  19. Claire S Hallman says

    My mother bought a beautiful crystal chandelier in the 60’s, she moved it 4 times then gave it to me, I moved it 2 times and it now hangs in my sister’s house, so glad the people that bought our last house contacted me when they replaced the fixture, I had told them the story of the traveling chandelier and they remembered.

  20. I’ve often thought about this if we ever move. Building our home was a true labor of love that took 4 yrs back in late late 80’s into 90’s so it will be hard to move should that day come. The one thing that is a must go with me will be the inside wood framing from our back hallway entrance into the kitchen because one side has our children’s recorded height through the years and the other our grandchildren’s. Our grandchildren get just as excited to record their growth as our kids did, so it holds memories for all of us.

  21. When we close my parents home after dad passed I got the hanging lamp that was in all the homes I grew up in. Nobody else (including my husband) like it but I was so happy it came home with me. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I refurbished it and it is hanging in my living room. It makes me happy. I remember that beautiful flower lamp post. I love that thing!

    • Connie Houchins says

      Happy to hear that you took what gave you happiness, no one else’s opinion counts in regard to one’s memories as far as I’m concerned.

  22. Your dining room chandy is gorgeous! I love the story of how you acquired it. As for your porch doors, you can Google “Handyman Services in Atlanta” and you will get a list with references. Make a list of other things that need to be done while the handyman is there. Another source is asking at Lowes or Home Depot for a reference for a handyman.

    • Someone else mentioned I should do that and I never got over to the HD close to my home to ask. Thanks for reminding me of that, Gail!

  23. I have a crystal dining room chandelier that has been moved three times. Always take it down and replace it before listing your house. In the past, the chandeliers taken down were saved and put back up. In my current home, I finally discarded the old one when cleaning the attic, it was too outdated. My plans are to watch for a good sale to buy the replacement.

  24. When we added a master bedroom suite to our home in NY over 20 years ago, I bought two beautiful chandeliers, one for the bedroom and one for the bath. When we sold the home in 2012 we rented in the area for a year (we still had a business that we needed to sell) and they were stored in boxes. I didn’t really know what I would do with them because we were moving into what had been a weekend home, a log cabin that had nice fixtures of its own and the chandeliers would have looked out of place. But I just couldn’t part with them. Three years later we decided we didn’t want to live there full time and bought a home where they are now placed…one in a sitting room adjacent to the master and the other in the breakfast nook.

    I agree that it’s a good idea to remove whatever you know you want to take before you list your home. We didn’t do that but did stipulate in the listing what wasn’t included, but your way is easier.

  25. cleo headley says

    Take what you love, you will find a place for it !!!

  26. Agree..take what you love. My friend sold her house and took not only the chandies but her mirrors from the bathroom (2) and the tub fixtures that she spent a fortune on! lol

  27. Linda Practical Parsimony says

    I wanted to take my crystal chandelier, but somehow it got a crack in the top. I was not sure it would ever come down in one piece and go back up in one piece, so I decided against it. However, when my house was for sale, on the contract the claw foot tub was excluded. I was even willing to put in a modern tub.

    Did you ever contact Southern Accents in Cullman and talk to Garlan Gudger? He would not disappoint and only hires specialists. He has a degree from Auburn in restoration or something like that

  28. this is the third home where I have brought a trompe l’oeil cabinet door which was hand painted like a glass window featuring several of my dishes and artifacts. It is about 12 x 40 and opens to a depth of about 6 inches to reveal several of the actual pieces. More importantly it contains a little tin box marked special treats for good girls and boys, (therefore meaning treats don’t have to be sweets…and could be stickers, bracelets, dollars, etc) Through the years my grandchildren have raced into my home to what they call the magic fairy box discovering the contents. So I’m glad the box is tin and not breakable in their inbounding enthusiasm! I could attach photos but don’t see a way to post here.

  29. SharonFromMichigan says

    I’ve lived in many houses over the years (I moved from Chicago to Detroit for work & here I stay). I have one chandy that comes with me to each house 🙂 I bought it many many years ago at a primitive shop in Indianapolis while there on a business trip. It was several hundred dollars then, I’m sure its worth more now. But I love it and it goes with me to each new house. Before selling those other houses I found replacement chandys at Lowe’s or Home Depot to put in its spot. I’ve also taken expensive window treatments down and put up inexpensive homemade window treatments before selling. I have to admit I did drive by my last house (wish I didn’t). The person I sold it to had the curving sidewalk of tumbled brick pavers removed & put in a straight narrow strip of concrete for the front sidewalk leading to the front door. The house was very small (cottage like) & the tumbled brick pavers with a winding curve made all the curb appeal. Turns out that person foreclosed on the house & someone else is in there now. Take everything you like out of your house before listing & don’t look back after selling.

  30. Susan, I have 2 beautiful chandeliers that my parents had in their homes. One of them was in my childhood home and one my mother bought in Italy in the late 1960’s. I’ve moved those 2 chandeliers half a dozen times and intend to keep them with me until my daughters inherit them. Wouldn’t be my house without them!

  31. My mom took the chandelier we had in the dining room in the house we lived in when I was in Jr. High and High School. My parents built a house but my mom loved that chandelier so much it went in to the new dining room. It was white porcelain and they had it shipped over from Italy. It really was beautiful.

  32. I found that when you move to a different home the things you have in the last one do not fit or look right. Sell to the new owners of your home what they like.
    Everyone has their own ideas what the house is whether it’s a family heirloom or expensive chandelier.

  33. Tina W Reynolds says

    Yes! Take your chandies! In my old (1886) Italianate there had been 3 matching, crystal prism, tiered chandeliers in the entry, living room and dining room. When the previous owners built a new home in 1974, they barged in on the folks who were leasing at the time, carrying ladders, wire cutters and a contractor. They cut loose the living room chandy and just like that*took* it!!! They just left the wires hanging! Now, it may never have looked good in their modern, new home and I have been told that it is no longer in that home! I sure would love to have it back here where it belongs. If I take something when I leave, I will replace it ahead of time with something nice so it is not a problem during negotiating the sale. Martha Stewart took some chandeliers from her Turkey Hill home when selling it. I will be very tempted to do so here as well. I have cleaned all of those prisms for 33 years. I have given them loving care and cannot bear to think of someone throwing them on the junk heap!

  34. Susan you truly are a lady after my own heart. My dressing room chandelier
    is very old crystal from a long ago Chicago restaurant because that city was a major part of life for both my husband’s & my family’s history. My tall
    hallway chandelier was brought from an historical home we once owned because all of our now deceased parents have walked beneath it. My kitchen
    crystal chandelier is designed to feature Chanel’s logo as a treat from
    my husband when I was having surgery. As they were hanging it they dropped it but all parts have been replaced. That accident was a blessing in
    disguise as it led them to take the mounting back down and discover a live wire the contractor had left in the ceiling. God truly does work in mysterious ways.
    Your chandeliers are lovely. Take them with you if you ever move.
    Stay safe & well.

  35. I hope when you move, it is closer to your grandchildren, son and DIL. Mine moved a mile from our house and it has been a joy and blessing being a part of their daily lives. No matter where you move, your home will be calm, peaceful and charming.

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