The bulbs look black, but I haven’t changed them because they are still working!
When we first moved into our house, we set-up our dining room in the large room next to our kitchen. This seemed logical since it was close to the kitchen and had a large chandelier in the (almost) center of the room. This always bugged me because it was mounted in a small square section of the ceiling created by the beams ~ so beautiful and yet, not centered! Not only did I not love the chandelier itself, but the fact that it was not properly centered drove me a bit crazy.
To avoid leaving the wire hanging, Tim just put the old bedroom light fixture up until we find a ceiling fan that will suit the space. You can see how off center it is.
Eventually we realized that perhaps this space was better suited for our living room and so we switched the two rooms around. Although we had every intention of replacing the chandelier with a ceiling fan (we have no air conditioning), we didn’t really know what to do with the chandelier and felt a bit bad about getting rid of it as it was original to the home and almost a hundred years old.
I know I might get hate mail for this, but original or not, I hated the brass. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to upcycle the chandelier and make it into a really beautiful piece. One of the first mini-projects we did for my new space was to remove the chandelier from the living room. We carefully took all of the glass pieces off and put them through the dishwasher to make them sparkling clean. I gave the brass a good cleaning and then spray painted the entire thing white. I had the spray paint on hand, so this project cost me nothing! I suppose the can of paint was probably about $6 or so. I absolutely love the transformation and it looks amazing in the spare room. (We will need to purchase a proper fixture for the living room as this looks hideous, but is preferable to the hanging wires from the chandelier. I don’t mind the expense of this because it is something we had planned to do anyway.)
One of the keys to decorating on a budget is to try to find things you already own and make them work in new way. Often paint or even just a fresh perspective can bring new life to an item you already have. For this room, we primarily used items we already had around the house. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts on how we transformed other pieces for this space.
Freshly painted black floor lamp. Ready for Eden’s new room.
The black lamp will look great in Eden’s new room.
A total decor change can mean lots of expense. To keep costs down, I try to be innovative and figure out ways to repurpose, reuse and upcycle items that we already own. Such was the case with this super simple upcycle project. We had bought this floor lamp for Eden in a bright blue to match her previous room decor. It seemed unfortunate that it would no longer work in her new space. The solution was simple…..a few coats of spray paint.
Floor Lamp Upcycle:
Tape off all of the areas that you do not want to be painted. For this project that meant the inside of the lamp shade, the flexible silver portion of the pole and the cord. I simply taped the end of the cord near the lamp pole and then bagged the remaining cord and taped it to the silver portion that I had already taped off.
Spray 2 to 3 thin coats of paint to avoid runs. (Let it dry between coats.)
The original blue worked well in her “old” room, but didn’t fit with the new colour scheme. This was a super simple and inexpensive fix ~ especially since I already had the black spray paint on hand.
The Magic of Spray Paint:
Spray paint is one of the staples that I like to keep on hand. This lamp is simply an example of how you can take something you already have on hand (or an item that you pick-up from a garage sale or thrift store for a couple of bucks) and transform it into a piece that really works for you. My challenge for you is to look beyond the present condition or colour of an item and begin to look at the “bones”…..the size, the structure, the etching/carvings. Very often the ugliest pieces can be totally transformed with the simple shake of a can and press of a button. I have given so many items new life with a simple coat of spray paint!
Before and after picture frame.
Counter top samples spray painted with chalkboard paint make great tags.
Spray painted tin can turned pencil cup.
Avery labels can be spray painted with chalkboard paint.
Spice jar lids.
The frame of this screen was given a whole new look with a coat of paint and new fabric.
An antique heat grate was painted and converted into a mail slot in the kitchen.
An old wooden spoon rack is now a necklace holder.
Thrift store wooden bowl makes a beautiful fruit bowl with a fresh coat of paint.
Wooden alphabet blocks painted white.
Tacky gold garage sale candle holders were picked up for next to nothing and given a fresh new look with white paint.
If you wish to check out the full posts (with before and after shots) for any of the above projects, you can either browse the DIY and Upcyling section of my blog or do a search on my blog using specific key words.