New Hallway Light!

When I set about redoing the hallway a while ago, the biggest point of uncertainty was always the lighting. We started out with matching boob lights throughout, and that just wasn’t going to work in the long haul. The ceilings are nine feet high and the hallway is only a couple feet wide, so having flush-mount overhead fixtures just made the whole space feel really tall and narrow and goofy. I knew I wanted to drop the lighting a bit with pendant fixtures, but I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money or have a bunch of mismatched vintage fixtures. So, for a total of about $60 for all four, I crafted up these guys and called it a day.


These lights are great, but after a while I wanted something a little bigger in the entryway by the front door. It’s the first space you see when you walk into the apartment, and this type of light just felt a little too understated and dinky.


It’s REALLY hard to take attractive photos of a space with zero natural light, but trust: this thing looks great. I found this big globe fixture at Salvation Army for $15 (brand new, with all its parts!), and the huge scale is totally perfect. I have a thing for big lighting.


I love that it’s still simple and plays well with my DIY’d fixtures, but satisfies my  need to have something a little bigger and bolder here.


In other news, I’m finally putting some concerted effort into making the top of the fauxdenza nice. I guess. I don’t like when surfaces get cluttered up with stuff or look over-styled, but a little grouping of oh-so-amateur studio pottery never hurt anyone. Plus some billy balls.


Last year, I kvetched about Max’s obsession with all things seasonal and all things scented. Since I convinced him to forego his seasonal gourds nightmare this fall and he finally stopped buying plug-ins, I had high hopes for this holiday season. That was until shortly after Thanksgiving, when Max came home with a sack of fucking pinecones from the grocery store and threw them into bowl by the entry before I had a chance to light them on fire.

Is this what I get for dating goyim? I was NOT warned about this at my Bar Mitzvah.

PINE. CONES. I don’t know what the hell these things are scented with (cancer, probably), but they stink of some weird mix of spices that I guess translates to “Christmas!” in the pathway between Max’s shiksa nose and brain? I can report that they have been persistently smelly for almost two months now and show no signs of letting up. They’ve really rained on the new-light-fixture-parade.


My failed attempt at a counter-attack was putting these brass pinecone candlesticks out. Max thinks they’re tacky (he’s right), but I pledged to leave them as long as the real pinecones are polluting my air and assaulting my nostrils and…it appears we’re locked in a horrible pinecone-y stalemate of doom from which there is no escape or hope. One of us must cave.


I will never cave.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

Follow me everywhere

Archives: 2010-2022

Popular Categories

This blog uses affiliate links. Sponsored posts are always identified clearly in the body of the post text and by using the “sponsored post” tag.

Leave a Comment


  1. 1.17.13

    Thank you for making my day with this post. I like the new light fixture, but I could not stop laughing when I read about the Pinecone War.

  2. 1.17.13
    Samantha said:

    I think that looks great! I’m not a person who can really *do* style-ey arrangements of objects on horizontal surfaces.

    I’m sure Max will get over it, right?

  3. 1.17.13
    Jensen said:

    You could turn those pinecones into bird feeders and then toss them out a window :) maybe turn him onto the beauty (and good smell) of fresh flowers (and pine branches for the winter, which smell and look much better than pinecones).

    The light looks really great, though!

    • 1.17.13
      Daniel said:

      Oh, Max loves (and often buys!) fresh flowers, too, but…he just doesn’t know when to stop! He loves scents!

  4. 1.17.13
    Dinah said:

    I love the new fixture but I also love the pinecone candle sticks. What does that say about me?

    Also, you are damn hilarious <3

    • 1.17.13
      Daniel said:

      I don’t know what it says…I love them too? They’re so kitschy but I’ve been toting them around for years and I can’t get rid of them!

  5. 1.17.13
    Rebecca said:

    I never comment, but I figured I should get on that shit. Love the pinecone war, and love this blog! Too f’ing funny. Also I am totally going to try to make a fauxdenza. Hello Ikea.

    Pats for Linus and Mekko!

  6. 1.17.13
    Chris said:

    You can send those pine cone candlesticks my way when the war ends! I lurve them!

  7. 1.17.13

    Pinecone wars – that is just awesome. Light looks great!

  8. 1.17.13
    Yenny said:

    DON’T CAVE!!! i hate those smelly pinecone things too! i don’t understand it when people say it smells like the holidays because they literally start to hurt my nose when i’m smelling them for too long! i support you in your pinecone wars!

  9. 1.17.13
    lUCÍA said:

    This abundance of Daniel literature has me over the moon… I’m loving your posts at design*sponge as well as the more frequent updates on your blog! Please keep them coming! :)

  10. 1.17.13

    The pinecone-y stalemate makes me laugh.

    Love the new light! I kind of wonder how it would look with a blue wire like the other hallway lights, but the white is good, too.

  11. 1.17.13
    liz said:

    Love the larger lamp! Looks fuller without being overwhelming :)

    I keep meaning to ask–where is your on the wall coat rack from?

  12. 1.17.13
    Magpie said:

    i loved the pottery! And the lamp, of course! :)

  13. 1.17.13
    Jamie B. said:

    Yeah, I am the farthest thing from – as they call anyone who doesn’t eat red meat in my part of the world – a commie hippy tree-hugger, I don’t go around screaming about all the things that can kill you, but I am legitimately concerned about your health with ANYTHING artificially scented. I vote for natural pine or spruce branches next year too. Tell Max they’re not god for your doggies either, maybe that will help.

    Uh, in non-judgmental news, I want a fauxdenza SO. BAD. Glossy white with dark wood tones is my jam right now.

    • 1.17.13
      Daniel said:

      The health argument seemed to win the plug-in war, so maybe there’s hope? I’m TRYING!

    • 1.18.13
      bliss said:

      I’m not a doctor, but scented with cancer sounds unhealthy. I hope the pinecones leave soon!

  14. 1.17.13

    This is almost as funny as the war waged silently with pot plants. Love the light fixture, like your own personal little sun above the entry. *sigh* you give me such house envy…

  15. 1.17.13
    Mona said:

    Love the light fixture – I never thought of using something big in my “entryway” but you’ve put the idea into my head now!

    Hilarious post by the way! Love your sense of humour – FYI, found this blog via pinterest.

  16. 1.17.13

    LOVE the lights! And I don’t mind the pinecone candlesticks, but please burn the wicks for a few seconds even if I have no creds to be the decor police I must mention that unburned wicks are not so good.

    • 1.17.13
      Daniel said:

      You’re totally right!! I’m so ashamed. (although the unburned wicks DO add to the tacky-kitsch factor…so I might have to just leave them.)

    • 1.17.13
      Kristin said:

      Anne Boleyn… I have never once thought about this, but now I’m ruined forever, and am having intense flashbacks to the ridiculous number of virgin candles in my mother’s home. I’ll be staring at candles in a new way from now on.

    • 1.17.13

      I totally know what you mean! My mother told me about it when I was first married in the mid 60s and I have been trying not to be judgmental about it ever since, obviously with little success. Candle really do look better with burned wicks though.

  17. 1.17.13
    Jay said:

    Am I the only one who likes the brass pinecone candlestick? Cause I think they are very festive.

  18. 1.17.13
    ellen said:

    Dump them and tell him the dogs ate them.

  19. 1.17.13
    Mom said:

    This is the BEST. I love the pinecone war and I’m sorry you didn’t get the shiksa dating notice at your Bar Mitzvah. This gave me the best (and only) out loud laugh I’ve had in days. Does Max know just how stubborn you can be or does he need to learn that the hard way? LOL and loving you.

  20. 1.17.13
    Erin S. said:

    The trick is to eliminate them one by one. Slow and steady wins the race.

    • 1.17.13
      Daniel said:

      hahahahaha. Shhhhh.

  21. 1.17.13
    Florian said:

    Max is a Schickse (german spelling) pine cone purveyor? I’m shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you! In actuallity, I love pine cones, but after the 6th of January – wrong, very wrong indeed! And why are they smelly pine cones anyway? Shouldn’t they smell of pines, like, real pines, not fake pine smell? What did they do to those poor pine cones?

    I’m concerned for your safety! Burn those pine cones, burn them right now!

    • 1.17.13
      Daniel said:

      Exactly, Florian! I honestly don’t know what the smell is. It’s not even a fake pine smell…it’s kind of sweet and cinnamon-y and ginger-y?

  22. 1.17.13
    Renee said:

    Maybe you can sprinkle ‘snow’ in the form of baking soda over the pinecones. Might help absorb some of the stank. And Hey, You were just being FESTIVE GODDAMNIT.

    • 1.17.13
      Daniel said:

      hahahahaha. That’s a GREAT idea.

  23. 1.17.13
    Sterling said:

    Kill them with fire! I got talked into buying a “Cinnamon broom” by one of my former roommates for the ’08 holiday season…I threw it out a window when she was at work. It gave me a migraine. Those scented things are death.

  24. 1.17.13
    Bernadette said:

    “That was until shortly after Thanksgiving, when Max came home with a sack of fucking pinecones from the grocery store and threw them into bowl by the entry before I had a chance to light them on fire.” — I don’t know why I found this so amusing, but I fell off my chair laughing.

  25. 1.17.13
    Ryann said:

    I still can’t get over this hallway transformation-it’s disgustingly impressive.

    What bulbs do you use for the smaller, blue DIY lights? Maybe they are cheap Home Depot bulbs, but they look especially nice and I want to copy-cat.

    • 1.18.13
      Daniel said:

      They’re just big frosted incandescent bulbs (I think they were SATCO brand?). You can still buy them as long as they’re less than 100 W, I believe…

  26. 1.17.13
    Charlene said:

    Two words: Boob lights.

  27. 1.17.13
    Amanda said:

    Love the new light. And don’t cave on the pinecones! Those things smell like death.

  28. 1.17.13
    Phyllis said:

    You could always spray paint the pinecones with a high gloss color. I hear peacock is in! ;)

  29. 1.17.13
    Kate said:

    I hate to tell ya, but I got a bag of probably the same scented pine cones at Home Depot three years ago, and I pack them away and pull them out every Christmas and they STILL smell. You might be in for a long war…

  30. 1.17.13
    Stephanie said:

    Thank you for the laugh. :)

  31. 1.17.13
    Sarah S. said:


    I am completely mortified to admit to such tackiness, especially on THIS blog, of all places, but I couldn’t be silent and let Max hang out there all alone in the fake-smelling-Christmas-decorating camp. I love it, I love it all.

  32. 1.17.13
    Louise said:


  33. 1.17.13

    I had to read the line “Is this what I get for dating goyim? I was NOT warned about this at my Bar Mitzvah” out loud to my 17 y.o. son.

    He loves being Jewish and also feeling superior, so I knew he’d enjoy it.


  34. 1.17.13
    kelly w said:

    ‘this big globe fixture’ is linking to your ‘Face Yo Fears’ post. Is that intentional? (I was hoping to read about you finding said globe.)

    • 1.17.13
      Daniel said:

      Thanks for pointing that out, Kelly! Link is fixed now! No real story…just links to the first time I mentioned it on the blog. :)

  35. 1.17.13
    el said:

    My apartment came with those big globe pendants and they look great, but I have yet to figure out how to change the lightbulb in them! So far, I’ve just begged my super to do it.

    I wish I had a fauxdenza to artfully group my amateur pottery! So far, they’re just haphazardly stuffed wherever I have space.

  36. 1.17.13
    anna said:

    Maybe not right for your space, but j’adore those lights you whipped up! I can’t quite tell from the photo–did you make them out of a bulb socket and giant white light bulb? Or did you actually get round white pendants and rewire them with blue cord? I’d love to make something like that for my kitchen.

    • 1.18.13
      Daniel said:

      Yes, they’re just a ceramic socket and a big frosted bulb! Nothing fancy. :)

  37. 1.18.13
    sara said:

    Hah! Loved hearing about your pine cone “war.” I’m so on your side on this one. On a visit to the supermarket over the holidays, there was a huge display of scented pine cones near the entrance. The smell was so overwhelming, I remember marveling, “There are people who pay money to experience this in their home?” Apparently so. :)

  38. 1.18.13
    Gillianne said:

    Funny, I was sitting in a favorite diner this morning admiring similar oversized globe lights. Add me to the admirers of your candlesticks. They’re not really that all kitschy, y’know. Also, pine cones in their natural state don’t generally have that much piney scent. Perhaps the supermarket variety was artificially inseminated with olfactory assailants? Ugh. Keep us posted on the Battle of the Pine Cones. ;) (Re: fauxdenzas, have you seen the specimen just posted at

  39. 1.18.13
    Amber said:

    Wow, the scale is REALLY perfect. Great find!

  40. 1.18.13
    Phyllis said:

    Thanks for fixing the globe link. I have the same problem with lighting! I have a whole closet devoted to amazing lamps/pendants/floor lamps, etc., that I’ve found in my travels. I’m obsessed!

  41. 1.18.13
    Lauren L said:

    Hi. You’re great. I came here via Design Sponge and I’m definitely bookmarking this blog.

  42. 1.18.13
    joy @ OSS said:

    Love the new lighting. It really does look amazing. Your pine cone stalemates is FUCKING HILARIOUS.

  43. 1.18.13
    Rebecca said:

    I’m pretty sure essential oils of pastrami and gefilte fish neutralize artificial pine scent.
    Great post, great lighting!

  44. 1.18.13
    Ellen said:

    Didn’t your bubbe teach you that shiksa is female and the male form of the word is shaygetz? Or, maybe you intended to call Max a girl on account of the home fragrance debacle. Be careful: now that you have the vestibule battle going full throttle in plain sight, people may think you have a thing for pinecones and start bestowing you with gifts emblazoned with your “favored” new theme. Better than Ziggy figurines, I suppose. Nice light fixture, too.

  45. 1.19.13
    Lilly said:

    I don’t get why the pine cone candlesticks are tacky. I like them.

  46. 1.19.13
    nicolezh said:

    Get some decent expensive scented candles from Byredo or Diptyque. They smell is divine, they use natural ingredients and the price will prevent Max to burn them too often or to long.
    (Plus: They don’t smell when not lighten!)

    • 1.21.13
      runswithscissors said:

      I mis-read that as “some decent explosive candles”
      So relieved the pine cone war hasn’t escalated in the past few days!

  47. 1.19.13
    Monica said:

    The lights are perfect. As for the pine cones, I say gradually switch them out with the none smelling variety when Max is not around. He doesn’t read the comments does he?

  48. 1.19.13
    marta said:

    The light looks fantastic – so simple, but absolutely makes the hallway.
    I have to say, your post on Max’s home-scent obsession had me in knots – hilarious!
    You should put all your posts together in a book and publish it. I’d be the first one to buy it :)

  49. 1.20.13
    Rachel said:

    You are hysterical! You made me chuckle when you referred to Max a Shiksa. Too funny! Love the light too!

  50. 1.21.13
    AmyA said:

    DANIEL! OMG! I just told Max that he deserves breakfast in bed after this! Seriously though, we just all read our favorite parts aloud and laughed. Too funny. If this decorating thing doesn’t work out, I think you have a future in comedy. ;) xo Amy

  51. 1.21.13

    Too funny about those pine cones. I see them every year at our local grocery store, and I walk the long way around them. They sure do stink! But don’t let it spoil what you have done with your entryway and light. The large globe is simple, sophisticated and whimsical, all rolled into one. Good luck with your Max. I never gets easier!

  52. 1.22.13
    Simone said:

    Sorry, had no time to read all the other comments. Just wanted to say that when you can’t recognize your house on a “scent-level” it is actually a very strange unsetteling experience. My sister in law lived with us for a while, whenever she had gone to the toilet for a number 2 she sprayed the thing with perfume until the entire toilet and a circumference of about 2 meters reeked of the stuff all the time. Since our toilet was near the entrance of our house, it made me feel completely unsetteled in my own house every time I came home. I just read an interview with Ilse Crawford (who I love) and she talked about how things have to be congruent on all levels when you design something. An example she gave was a country inn where they wanted to do things in a “green” way. She urged them to consider what cleaning products they used because in that environment it would be disingenious if it smelled like something like bleach (for instance). Have a wonderful day.

  53. 1.22.13
    Mal said:

    Where do you hide all these bits and pieces you buy and store and then pull out months later?? Do you have a warehouse somewhere? Your house is always so pristine! :)

  54. 1.22.13
    Nicole said:

    Love the light! And the arrangement on top of your lovely fauxdenza! Where did you get your craspedia/billy balls??

    • 1.25.13
      Daniel said:

      We picked them up at a flower shop in Williamsburg…unfortunately I can’t remember the name! They aren’t super uncommon or anything, though.

  55. 1.22.13
    Dianne said:

    Your blog cracks me up. Sometimes I laugh outloud while I am reading it. You have a way with words and great “putting things together” and “getting things done” skills.
    Another fun blog is where two young professionals are taking on the redo of an old house.
    Love their Seattle post and their old sideboard turned into bathroom redo. I love blogs!

  56. 1.24.13
    Jack said:

    Oh those candlesticks are the cutest thing.

  57. 1.24.13
    Nicole said:

    Those scented pinecones are atrocious. They always display them front and center in the supermarket during the holidays which is a terrible idea (it only gives you a headache and makes you want to *leave* the supermarket), and it takes a week to get the smell out of your nose. They remind me of this old cinnamon candle my gram kept by her front door as a fixture until the day she died, which is literally what the candle progressively smelled like… Death.

  58. 1.24.13
    melissa said:

    Do you have a diy for the original light you made? I like them alot

    • 1.25.13
      Daniel said:

      Not a very good one, sorry! It’s just a cloth-covered cord and a ceramic socket. There are tons of tutorials online for how to wire lamps and other fixtures, though!

    • 1.27.13
      melissa said:

      Thanks! I’m loving your design sponge posts, btw. Oh I feel your pain about old beautiful things being underappreciated and painted over!

  59. 1.25.13
    nicole said:

    how do you replace the boob lights with other fixtures?

    • 1.25.13
      Daniel said:

      I just took them down and put new ones up! I just learned how to replace light fixtures by watching a couple youtube videos…it’s pretty easy!

  60. 1.25.13
    Rachel said:

    love the little golden pinecones!

  61. 1.29.13
    Rosie said:

    I love your new light fixture… I’ve been looking for a hanging lamp like that… tried to win one a few times on ebay but the price got outrageous… you’re a lucky guy!

  62. 2.1.13
    Bridget said:

    Hi Daniel,

    I just moved into a white box apartment and had bought a pair of Seagull globe pendants to hang but I was scared to do it!. Your post got me stripping cord and up on the ladder with a current detector. I put my last one in last night, replacing a boob dome light in the foyer. I’m so into it! Thank you for making this project approachable.

    • 2.4.13
      Daniel said:

      YAY! I’m so glad anything I said/did was helpful! The lights look great!

  63. 2.4.13
    Ashley said:

    I think I clicked over from Design Sponge. I laughed out loud about the pine cones and not being warned at your Bar Mitzvah. Ha!
    I say you call a truce and remove both sets of pine cones from your apartment. Never. to. return.

  64. 2.5.13

    You are so right about big light fixtures, the bigger the more dramatic,hope you win best blog on Apartment Therapy.

    Best to you and good luck