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When content creator and writer Aisha Joshi toured her current one-bedroom rental apartment in Brooklyn, she immediately knew that the existing half-broken pendant lamp had to go. But because she was drawn to light fixtures that were a financial (and aesthetic) commitment, she found herself coexisting with the monstrosity for longer than she would have liked. Until she met the one. Like many modern love stories, this one began on social media. 

Evie Tapestry, Anthropologie

Joshi spotted a chic red chandelier in the background of a video made by a close friend who was working as a private chef (and TikToking along the way). “Like everyone else, I’m just drawn to red this season,” she says with a smile. After a little research, it was clear that the original piece, by Jean Royère, was way out of budget—let’s just say you could send a kid to college for the price of one. So she went searching for something in the same vein and found a silhouette on Amazon with similarly curved arms and tall skinny shades. The only drawback was that the frame was brushed brass rather than cherry hued. Challenge accepted, she thought. 

After a trip to the hardware store to pick out the perfect shade of spray paint, Joshi went to work. She started by laying down a cardboard surface outside, where she covered the frame in three coats of paint. A point to note: Employees at the store advised that primer wasn’t necessary with this formula but that it was important to let it fully dry between each coat to avoid chipping. The construction had a surprising amount of nooks and crannies, which did make the process a little more tedious. 

The project didn’t end there, however; Joshi wanted to install the fixture from start to finish all by herself. That meant balancing on a step ladder to reach the ceiling and watching YouTube tutorials on how to hardwire lighting. After some trial and error, she was delighted to flip the light switch and see her living room illuminated. The lamp has become its centerpiece, offsetting cottagecore toile wallpaper in her bedroom with a modern accent. And if you squint, it looks just like that one in the fancy apartment on TikTok.  

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