Cheap Light Fixture Updates when Renting

I love renting. It makes sense for this time in my life. And I always come to love my rental homes. Quirky and older.  I love the challenge of arranging the furniture each time.  But, my limit seems to be the ubiquitous outdated ceiling fan. No amount of surrounding decor can mask it. Too complicated to temporarily swap out in a rental home. Too expensive to replace anyway. Tacky pretend wood, and flowery glass globes all against that dingy cream rental living room paint.

As an aside, why are landlords so allergic to white? I love the rental homes I have lived in through the years, but always, always, the living room is either mocha, or beige, or cream, or worse yellowish-brown-cream. I like cool colors and white; they are crisp and make the room look clean. They make me happy.  But landlords do not like them.  So I get by with bright colored furniture, crisp white furniture, unfinished pine or very dark stained woods. And I sort of squint my eyes to the walls. You know that I’m-going-to-pretend-they-aren’t-there look.

The house we are currently renting is old. And while I do love so much about it, the dated (70’s and 80’s) stuff about the house, I do not love.  Every time I’d step into the living room or bedrooms, the first thing I noticed it seemed were the overhead light fixtures, and they made me wince. But I could not change them much; primarily because the landlord loves all things old and he has an emotional attachment to the home. No doubt his grandpa put in these light fixtures and I’d hate to mess with his property. But secondarily I follow a strict budget and there is little room in my budget for updating a rental home’s light fixtures( even if I dream of it).

So what to do. I went to my local home improvement store and bought some cheap supplies. To update the living room overhead fan, I bought 4, $2 clear glass shades and a roll of white washie tape. All total it cost about $11 to update the fan. I wrapped the faux wood blades in white washie tape and I swapped out the flowery 80’s glass shades for simple modern ones. This way everything is removeable and replaceable for when we move and really affordable to boot. Here is the fan before:

And here is the fan after my $11 update:

Mostly I can say it disappears now: it is no longer the first thing I see when I walk into the room and that makes me happy.


Next, for the bedroom I found a big drum shade on clearance for $10. I simply swapped the old glass square dinner plate that was in place for the new drum shade. It casts a nice golden glow come bedtime in my children’s bedroom and I think “Beam me up Scottie!” every time I pass under it 😉




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s