Palm Beach Sparkles with a Thrifty Crystal Chandelier


Do you still have the builder-grade fixtures in your home?  Old, outdated fixtures are one of the first things people notice when they come into your home.  However, picking the lighting for your house can be challenging and expensive.  I tend to love some glamour in my house and the perfect thing to add was a pretty chandelier.

Below is the fixture from Home Depot that I put up 11 years ago when we moved into our house.  Although it’s not totally outdated, I wanted something with more sparkle.  I had attempted to add some “bling” by adding some crystals to the bottom of it, but it was definitely time for a change to add some more glamour.  But my question was, “Can I really afford one?”

BEFORE New Lighting

I started the search for a fixture.  I went to Capitol Lighting, Home Depot and Lowes (all the typical places to find fixtures).  First of all, I knew the prices at Capitol Lighting would be high but WOW I wasn’t expecting those price tags.  They are quality and you pay for that with about $1200 and up!  Anyway, that place was definitely out of my Practically Palm Beach budget but I still wanted a crystal chandelier that wasn’t whimpy in size. I checked the box stores but just did not like anything.

I discovered this one below on  Although it doesn’t have authentic Swarovski crystals, I thought I’d order it and give it a try since the reviews were fantastic on it.  I couldn’t believe the low price of $159!

I ordered this Amazon chandelier and it arrived quickly.  I am blessed to have a husband that can put up light fixtures so the process began.  He had to literally build the fixture with the detailed instructions.  Here are some photos from the process where we put out all the pieces on the dining table.  All the bubblewrap below contained the millions of crystals that would later make me want to hire someone to finish hanging them.  It took some sorting and guessing to get them all on.  We also ordered a large medallion from Amazon to put on the ceiling.  Every chandelier must have a medallion in my opinion.

The first step was to turn off the breaker for that area and remove the old fixture.  Then we attached the medallion that I had already painted a few days before to the ceiling with two screws.  Since I had the white paint that I used to paint it, touching up the screws would be easy.  We have put up enough medallions over the years that we have learned it’s easiest to attach it to the ceiling before trying to hang the light fixture.

Hanging a chandelier is much easier with two people so we worked as a team on two ladders while my husband attached all the wires and attached it completely.  Below is the chandelier early in the process when I was trying to figure out how to hang all the crystals since the directions were not the best.  I think it actually took me about 5 hours to get them all on correctly!  It’s very tedious work but worth it in the end.

After attaching all the crystals, here is the chandelier.  I also added a chain cover (also from Amazon) which is a bit long so I’ll probably shorten it a bit eventually.

After it was all put together, I’m really happy with the look and all the sparkle it added to the room.  When the sun shines through the window, it creates a lot of little prisms around the room too.  For only $159 plus a medallion, I think it’s definitely “Practically Palm Beach!”

Did someone say “Beach?”!!!!!!

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Adding an Iron Gate Looks Like Palm Beach

Creating a Palm Beach Look With an Iron Gate

Several years ago after we moved into our current home, my husband and I were out driving in Wellington and I noticed a home that had an iron gate on the exterior of their front door. It wasn’t just a “functional” gate that looked like it would keep out criminals, but a very beautiful wrought iron gate. I loved it and decided at that moment that I would have to look for something like that for our house.

If you drive around on Palm Beach Island you will also see a lot of iron gates around the mansions that look like these below.  The gates are both decorative and functional to secure their properties.  They remind me of a French Chateau gate.

They add such a huge statement to a home. These gates stuck in my head for years.   Because I am so practical, I would check places like Craigslist to see if anyone out there was selling an iron gate that could be used outside of my house.  Nope, I wasn’t finding a thing.  In the meantime, I had found these decorative matching iron wall pieces at a yard sale in Wellington and fell in love with them at $40 for both!

Garage Sale Iron Gate Wall Art $40

I can’t believe I almost didn’t buy them because I didn’t know where I was going to use them.   Something told me to purchase them anyway.  I went home and  took down what I had on my living room wall and put them up above my couch.  I have always loved the scrolls and curves that they have.  Little did I know that they would become my inspiration for another project.

A few years went by and I started thinking about the exterior gate again. In 2016, I found a guy who lives in our area who manufacturers all things iron called Calabrese Creations in Iron.  One day I gave him a call and he made an appointment to come by our house. He really listened to my idea as I showed him my plan based on the two iron gates hanging on my wall. He took some photos of the wall gates and measured my outside entrance and he was on his way to make my gate.  Below is a photo that he sent me during the process before it was powdercoated.

Before getting a powdercoat

It took a couple of months but the day finally came and he installed it a few days after Halloween 2016. I think it is my favorite thing about my house now and I get lots of comments about it from visitors and neighbors who are in love with it just as much as I am.  See more photos below.

The scroll work is beautiful!


Time for a beach day!
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