Chandilove it!

Much like a new hairstyle on an old head, a new light fixture can do wonders to refresh a room. However, much like a new hairstyle, sometimes you don’t get exactly what you wanted the first time around. Don’t we all know that feeling? But there’s not a hairstylist on earth who wants you to be unsatisfied with your new do; they’ll always tell you to come back for a tweak if it’s not quite right.

Do you let your inner decorator tell you the same thing? You should. Tweak till you freak, that’s my motto. Not really, I just made that up four seconds ago. But you should feel free to tweak. You shouldn’t settle for something that’s ‘kinda ok.’ Or ‘sorta along the lines of what I wanted, I guess.’ NO SIR! You deserve better.

Rebecca has been renovating her dining room and was not at all excited about the chandelier that came with it. But she wanted to save money and make the most of what she had, so she had to either suck it up and live with, it or make it work. Guess which one she chose?

Jute Drum Shade Chandelier Before


Jute Drum Shade Chandelier

She made it work, of course she did! She took four inexpensive wood hoops and wrapped them with jute, then using the thinner pieces of wood as spacers, she created a custom shade to hang over the old chandelier for an entirely new look.  Fantastic!

Rebecca is chronicling her renovation on Pinterest! See it all on her design portfolio here.


Cyndy also had a light-fixture conundrum on her hands.  She was making over her daughter’s bedroom and wanted an empire-style chandelier that was bold, colorful and fun. The best one she could find on a budget was this $79 version from Lowe’s.  It is neither bold, colorful, nor enormously fun. But it had the right shape, and Cyndy had some paint she’d been dying to try, so …


Pink Painted Empire Chandelier Before

Pink Painted Empire ChandelierShe went right ahead and painted each bead exactly how she wanted it. Hot pink, gold and teal? Does it get anymore bold and fun than that? It’s so fun, I’m taking it as my +1 to the next party I’m invited to.

See more of the cute, cute room this chandelier belongs to on Cyndy’s blog The Creativity Exchange.

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Major Chandelier Potential

It’s getting harder and harder to find old chandeliers worth saving anymore. Thrift stores used to be overrun with them, but people are either snapping them up quickly or realizing that they have MCP (major coolness potential) and not getting rid of them at all. It’s the circle of life.

Do you think the ubiquitous boob light will have a renaissance someday and we will wish we had kept them? I doubt it. But you’d better hang on to all of yours just in case.  Make fruit bowls out of them in the meantime or something.

Don’t actually do that.

But if you’re lucky, you can still find a chandelier to transform, like this one from Jennifer at Dimples and Tangles.

Brass Chandelier Before 1

Whoops, this is a clock.  Don’t worry, the clock comes into play here in a minute … hahaha, A MINUTE.

Clock pun.


THIS is the chandelier. A little shiny and dated, and Jennifer didn’t love the swoopy flourishes and white socket covers.

Brass Chandelier Before


Brass Chandelier Makeover

But check this baby out now! Jennifer toned down the brassiness with a satin spray paint and cut the flourishes clean off.  She replaced the traditional bulbs for round ones to update the look, and the clock-turned-ceiling medallion is the perfect finishing touch. Stunning!

HOT TIP ALERT: If you are unsure about painting something that is real brass (and thus more valuable), try to stick a magnet to it.  Authentic brass will not hold a magnet. Most fixtures like this are brass-coated steel (aka fakey fake), so if a magnet sticks, go ahead and paint worry-free!

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Light Delights

This lamp had everything. Scary owls. Creepy eyeballs that looked in opposite directions. Vivid poo color. Turtles. Empty hole to remind you about your fruitless hopes and dreams. I mean seriously, how cool can one lamp not get?

But Lesley saw potential.

owl lamp makeover - before

owl lamp makeover - after

How about that? Paint, a nice shade, greenery and it’s a winner! White paint, you’ve done it again. Now the eyeballs are unnoticeable and the turtles are actually a cute detail. Speaking of details, I especially like the little crystal finial up top. Nice job Lesley!

See more at Chaotically Creative.


But what if you want to get in on the lamp-makeover-ing-fun, but you don’t have a crazy old lamp to makeover? Pshh, that’s fine! Just grab whatever is lying around and we’ll make it work.  Small child? Maybe not. Broken thermos? Great.

Thermos Lamp Before


Thermos Lamp

It’s like it wanted to be a lamp all along! Get the how-to from Pam at House of Hawthornes.


Ok, but what if you have a lamp, you just need a shade? A crazy, one-of-a-kind DIY shade?

Relax hunbuns, I’ve got you covered there too.  Courtney disassembled this clearance shade, wrapped the innards in garden mesh wire, then added the magic ingredient:

zip tie lamp before


zip tie lamp after

Can you guess what it is? Look closely.

If you said zip-ties, ding ding ding ding ding, you are correct! Courtney actually created this way back in 2011, but it was new to me, so I thought you would enjoy it too.

Think of all the possibilities! Besides a lampshade, you could just hang up a rectangle of wire on the wall and make some super cool fringy artwork or a room divider or just go ahead and google ‘zip tie artwork’ if you really want to feel inspired/kinda bad about yourself. Fun!

See Courtney’s how-to on her blog A Little Glass Box.

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Ugly Lamps … Where are they now?

Another friendly reminder that the UGLY LAMP CONTEST is coming! I am still accepting submissions until Aug. 21st, so if you have an ugly lamp in your life, take a glamour shot of that sucker and send it to me!  Details here.

But before I assault your eyeballz with full on fug, lets do a few warm ups with some formerly ugly lamps.  These lamps used to suffer from awkwardness and general unattractiveness, but they are smokin’ hot now. I imagine them confidently strolling into their 10 year reunions all nonchalant while all the other lamps who were mean to them in high school jaws drop.

This lamp from Sonya used to be that hippie girl in school who went barefoot a lot and sewed her own clothes.

Gold, Black and White Striped Lamp Before


Gold, Black and White Striped Lamp

Now she’s a high powered fashion industry executive who moonlights as a back-up dancer for Madonna. (In my imaginary world lamps do these types of things, what?) See more at At Home with the Barkers.


Valerie’s lamp was a bit of late bloomer.

White and Aqua Bottle Lamp Before


White and Aqua Bottle Lamp

She didn’t develop her curves until much later.  (Rumor has it that she’s been … artificially enhanced). Is it true?? Get the scoop on Valerie’s blog at Home Made Modern.


And lastly, Tania’s lamp finally grew up and graduated from her ‘grunge phase.’

Thrifted Lamp Makeover


Thrifted Lamp Makeover After

Who knew she was such a natural beauty underneath all along?! I wonder if she’s single.

See more at Little Vintage Cottage.


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