Kitchen Living Room

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

$25 Dining Room Light Upgrade

Take a peek at my dining room (ceiling):

Hooray for 1980s light fixtures! (Full disclosure: I have no idea if this light fixture is from the 1980s. A Google search for '1980s ceiling light' yielded a lot of neon.) Anyway, I'm only kidding. I hate this light fixture (sorry, light fixture).

Of course, being the girl with expensive tastes that I am, I trolled the internet for (inappropriately priced) inspiration.  Here is a little Jonathan Adler number for a measly $600:

Robert Abbey Jonathan Adler Meurice Pendant in Polished Nickel

And a much more affordable Laura Ashley piece ringing in at $200:

Laura Ashley Cooper Pendant Kit

Although that guy is referred to as a 'pendant' so who the heck knows what size it is.

Soooo, to give my poor credit card a break (and to lower my chances of being electrocuted) with a quick and cheap and not-so-dirty fix, I purchased this Barrel lamp shade in Cream (size large) for $25 at Target.

I've admired it ever since I helped my boyfriend's mom pick it out along with this surveyor light base (currently sold out online) for her condo:

Well, in the interest of not leaving out any juicy detail, first I bought a lamp shade similar to this one (but without the squiggly embroidery) from Target on clearance for $10.39. However, it was a few inches too small and wouldn't fit over what was left of the light fixture after I removed the original large flat chrome and white (chrome on the top, white on the bottom) metal 'lamp shade.' About $15 later and I arrived at the correct size.

My first step in this process was to remove the original metal lamp shade, which just involved a few turns of some bolts with my hand and a bit of help from a wrench. This is what was leftover:

After that, my next step was to simply attach the new lamp shade with picture hanging wire (mine was silver and it is simply very easily bended/thin wire in a large coil that you unravel).

I wrapped the wire around the metal frame inside of the lamp shade (check out a lamp shade to see what I'm talking about) and then looped the same wire through the holes leftover from where I removed the bolts on the old metal lamp shade. Then I adjusted and readjusted about 500 times. Stand on the table. Adjust. Climb off the table. Look. Turn the light on and off. Look again. Repeat.

So here's the big reveal! Again, 1980s:

And, TA-DA! 2011!

A brand new light that completely changes the look of the dining area for $25 and about 1/2 hour of effort (not including buying the wrong size lamp shade at first!). My take-away from this project is that transformations do not have to be expensive or a struggle. Sometimes you can totally work with what ya got! When I first did a walk through of the condo, I immediately thought, "Oh man, gotta replace it." So, give your Stuff a second look and you might find that there's hope for it yet.

Next time on 650 square feet, I will be discussing the circle of hell that is devoted to choosing paint colors.

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