the renter's challenge: lighting

The secret is out- lighting is the single most important element in decorating, dramatically improving the look and feel of any room from gloom to glow. Here are some simple solutions to light up your drab apartment.

Just Say No to Fluorescent
Yes, its a drug people. Fluorescent lighting sucks the life out of a room. No one gets the warm fuzzies if the only light in your space is a long bulb shining bright blue rays, reminiscent of a hospital. Replace each artificial source with with a warm soft lamp.

I have to say that lamps are my favorite home accessory. Lamps soften a room and add warm comforting lighting- really the key in making your rental feel like a home. A modern lamp base with a chic shade makes me giddy. Budget friendly solutions? Shop at the Teej (TJ Maxx) or Home Goods. Trendy and classic alike, costing no more than $40.00 including base and shade. BANANAS. Can only spend $5.00? Shop GoodWill, Salvation Army, or any other thrift store. Make sure you bring your own light bulb- most thrift stores will not let you test your lamps. No shame here, I totally find a corner with an outlet. Spruce up your cheapie base with Rustoleum or Krylon brand metallic spray paint and viola! Don't forget about yard sales too, its almost in season and I am so excited! 

The cherry on top of the cake, lamp jewelry, the perfect hair-do. I could go on and on about how important a lamp's shade is. The base could be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen but, if the shade is ugly, yellow, and outdated you won't even be able to notice. Before you go tossing out, check out my way of transforming any shade with fabric here. Its a great way to save money and recycle and you can find tons of these tutorials in the blog world. Also, if you spent zilch with your lamp base at a thrift store invest a little more in your shade. Just like jewelry, the shade can really make the outfit or in this case the lamp.

I was recently faced with a challenge. My match- a gold 80's inspired chandelier. I hated this thing. At one point I told my husband it wasn't allowed to be on. Sad I know, but every time I flipped the switch goldie winked and smiled. No joke. I am proud to report ol' golddie was defeated and transformed into a new modern fixture. Lucky for me, our apartment complex is going through a major over haul. Each room is being renovated as people slowly move on, so I took it upon myself do my own reno. Goldie would have eventually passed on so no harm giving her a new look, I was aloud. I used Krylon's Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and went to town. Yes, I actually painted while still hanging. Here is my proof:

How amazing is the transformation! Lovely. My next adventure is updating the shades by adding some jute trim. I was inspired by these little guys over at Pottery Barn.
photo from Pottery Barn
Finally I stumbled upon this genius idea and have decided to create some of my own. So unfortunately, I will have to keep you posted. 
photo from Kaarskoker
Either way you get the drift- all it takes is spray paint, shades, and some effort to update your "goldie". 

Addict. That's right I said it- My name is Meaghan and I am a candle addict. Scent or non I love 'em. Here are some of my favorites:
Pier 1- Citrus Cilantro (smells exactly like the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, TN) and Mango Papaya
Yankee Candle-Autumn Leaves (amazing! smells just like fall)
Pottery Barn- Ocean 
Hobby Lobby- great for your plain, simple, any size white candle on the cheap
Thymes- Fraiser Fir 
These are just a few and if I sit here long enough I could spout off a hundred more. Candles are the ultimate homey-effect fix. You have my permission to light every single candle you own. That's right, go light them! My theory? Who wants candles sitting around that have not been used, use them! Even when its just you and the dog- I promise you and your guest will feel more at home. Place in the fireplace instead of logs for a more romantic look or in the kitchen to make it smell like you are baking. Candles can also be used to display personal items. My husband and I have saved the champagne bottle from our engagement, wedding, and one year anniversary. To make these bottles have a use, I bought bottle candle holders at a local boutique and matching candle sticks. They now fit perfectly in our bedroom. 
Expect the Unexpected 
Bathroom lamp? Yes. Kitchen lamp? Of course! Don't leave these rooms out! Everyone every room deserves a soft light. In the bathroom, the ambiance is transformed to spa like with just a lamp instead of turning on the overhead lights. A kitchen is made more cozy and warm, check out mine here.

Mr. Golden Sun
Open the blinds! Can you really pass up free lighting? 

Please, I beg of you, if you are having people over, eating breakfast at your table, doing the bills–turn on the lamp, open the blinds, and light a candle. It will change your life, mood, and rental, I’m sure of it.

Missed the last Renter's Challenge? Check it out here

Read on, 

Parties Posted:
Between Naps on the Porch, Its So Very Cheri, The Persimmon Perch, Shades of Pink, Thrifty Decor Chick, The Girl Creative, Skip To My Lou, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Keeping it Simple, A Soft Place to Land, Reinvented, A Silly Little Sparrow, Today's Creative Blog, Gypsy's Corner, Tip Junkie, Blue Cricket Design, The Thrifty Home, Domestically Speaking


Kaysi said...

Wow! I love the little shades on the chandelier, they are so cute and give it so much personality!

fawnda said...

WOW! That Chandelier looks 100 times better! great job! I love good lighting! : )

Lisa B. said...

love what you did with the chandelier! great job.

Patti said...

very clever spraying your shade while still hanging...if i tried that I would have paint everywhere, ceiling, floor, on me,etc!! Looks fabulous!

Amanda said...

Great save on that chandelier!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Love the chandlier redo, but you are braver than I am painting it while it is still hanging. I love candles also and have many.
Enjoy your weekend.

Linda said...

What a outstanding makeover...love how you painted it while in place! Come join me at NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS...and while you are there, enter my CASH GIVEAWAY.


The Lam said...

LOVE your chandelier makeover! I am planning on giving our (very similar!) gold chandelier a bath in some white rustoleum, and you've totally inspired me to get to it- thanks!

jennifer said...

I really love the way you sprayed the light fixture while it was hanging. It turned out REALLY well and I know you are pleased.

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Love the houndstooth candles!

(Just wanted you to know that I wasn't the one who deleted the entries on my linky party....some wierd mishap with MckLinky...thanks for relinking!)

Lisa said...

Wow, I'm impressed with your chandelier re-do. Who knew you could paint it while it was still attached to the ceiling. Very cool!

Adrianna said...

This is a great up-do! You did a fabulous job. The chandy looks so chic and is absolutely gorgeous! Everything down to the shades, WOW!

Tammy@InStitches said...

What a great post ! I can't believe you painted that hanging, just awesome. Now you have me wanting some citrus cilantro candles......

Miss Obara said...

very brave of you to paint it while hanging. That would spell disaster for me! I love how it turned out!

abnsigoslady said...

Wonderful! I love the rope of the little shades. Thanks for sharing. laura @ the mansion

Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

Oh my gosh, you have given me hope - we have some hideous light fixtures in our house but we don't have the extra cash to change them out right now. Yours looks awesome! Thanks!

Alissa said...

love your chandelier shades! i have to agree with you on the candles. i light them almost everyday..day or night.

One Cheap B*tch said...

Great makeover! I love chandeliers! New follower too!

Anonymous said...

Hi, you did a beautiful job on the chandelier....Kathy

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

Thanks for linking up this wonderful idea!

Jennifer said...

I love the Oil Rubbed Bronze! Makes me want to go out and find a chandelier for our home!! Great makeover!

Mary Beth said...

Great job! It looks terrific! ...and the fact that you didn't have to take it down is the cherry on top!


Meg said...

Very brave! It turned out wonderful! Love it.

Kirsty said...

I'm so glad you painted it while it was still hanging there! I did that with a ceiling fan! It looks fabulous! And the inspiration photos - you could so use Washi tape to put on the candlestick portion! So cute!

concretenprimroses said...

Talk about 100% improvement! the jute is also a nice touch. I've always wanted to change those plain candle looking parts (forget what they are called). Look forward to seeing what you do to them.


I have the same horredous "goldie" in our house. It was the standard the house came with and I HATE it! I have been begging my husband for YEARS to buy a new one. He hasn't given in and I decided I would just paint it but was always worried about how I would take it down and put it back up. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have a project this weekend now and "Goldies" days are seriously numbered! Thank you so much for sharing.. you did a great job! Have a good weekend! -April

inadvertent farmer said...

ROFL...I had to show my husband this post to prove that I wasn't the only crazy one that would do something like paint a light while it was still hanging!

Great job...I used to love candles too until I had kids and they broke, scratched and colored on them all!

First time visiting...off to peek around some, Kim

House and Garden Boutique said...

The chandelier looks great......thanks for showing the "in-progress" photos of the painting process. I think I'll try to paint mine this weekend!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Looks fantastic....love it...Had a few hours to blog hop. Hope you will stop by mine...I just added some extra giveaways that I am drawing for late tonight.


Andy Porter said...

Seriously bold to paint a hanging chandelier! I'm impressed! It turned out wonderfully! I like the ribbon lined shades. Thanks so much for linking to Creative Cats! You have really fabulous ideas!

Prior said...

Wow I can't imagine painting it while it was still hanging! It looks great I like the design around the candle part.

Its So Very Cheri said...

I Love the makeover--I redid one in white for my little girls room.

I signed up to follow you.

I am working my way through all my old followers and going back and forth between the old blog and the new one so forgive me if you have already signed up to refollow me. If you haven't please resign up. I am not allowed to take my followers with me when I moved my blog to my own site, so to get my updates in your reader you need to re-sign up.
Have you checked out my give-a-way for this week? I posted it on Friday.

Thanks for posting to the party. I am just about done with all of the things involved with the move and I get get back to all the fun blog stuff-visits and crafts.
Cheri www.itssoverycheri.com

AM from White House, Black Shutters said...

Hi, I'm Ann Marie and I'm an ORB addict!

It looks GREAT! I just posted about a chandelier facelift as well! http://whitehouseblackshutters.blogspot.com/2010/03/15-minute-chandelier-facelift.html

Signing up to follow you! :)

Melissa said...

I have done some of my fixtures with that same spray paint. All I can say is I love it! Great job!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Great update on this light fixture! I've done many a spray paint job on them myself. Really gives an instant look. Love the added jute to the shades too. You did great!

Thanks for stopping by & I'm sure we'll run into each other at church again.

Miss Mustard Seed said...

What a great post! I love the transformation of the chandelier as well. You can't go wrong with oil rubbed bronze. And I totally agree about flourescent lights. What are we going to do when incandescent bulbs are banned?

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