My current obsession these days has been all about the industrial look. Who would have thunk it?! Especially since I work full time in industrial distribution. What I’ve REALLY been jonesing after have been all those gorgeous cage lights. I love an old school looking, exposed light bulb, and those colorful trouble-light-esque cages surrounding the bulb. But the prices?! Have I mentioned that I’m cheap? Like a Ramen noodles every night kind of cheap?! Okay, maybe not that cheap, maybe more like thrifty. So when it came time to light fixture up in the Etsy office, I jumped on the cage light band wagon and DIY-ed my own version which cost a whopping $11.
And before you can truly appreciate the after of our gorgeous cage light, here’s the before.
We call those lights “pig tail lights” and we tend to install them as a temporary light fixture while we’re working on ceilings (sheet rocking, mudding, or painting them) since they stay out of the way. But temporary in this space has turned into a seven-month long lighting solution that had to go.
So when I came across a wire basket for $1 at our local thrift store, I absolutely couldn’t resist. From the moment my eyes fell upon it, I couldn’t help but think, “CAGE LIGHT”!
I had precisely zero point zero idea of how I was going to do it, but was adamant that it was going to turn into one sick light fixture! So I dragged the hubs to Home Depot for an all out search and
destroy purchase mission for a lighting kit of some sort that we could attach the wire basket to. We almost came home with pendant kit until we came across this perfect little shade holder kit for a whopping $6.
So home we came to get to work. The first order of business was attacking the basket. We had to cut the bottom of the basket out to make room for the light bulb and light kit to stick through it. Nothing a pair of wire snips couldn’t handle. We just traced the light socket onto the basket and cut away, making sure the opening we cut out was centered on the basket.
And took the light fixture for a little test run before painting up.
Then out came some left over oil rubbed bronze spray paint leftover from painting a slew of doorknobs in our house. I wasn’t totally digging the white, flush mount part of the light fixture so it had to go. My original intention was to paint it a a silvery color, but alas, I didn’t have any. And since there was plenty of ORB (oil rubbed bronze) to go around we gave the light a little ORB-ing.
And while we were at it, three a little turquoise paint into our paint sprayer and sprayed the cage as well. After both light fixture pieces were spray painted and thoroughly dry, our next step was assembly. Since we were fully on board with the work-with-what-ya-got train and were plum out of plain old wire, we used some flux (typically used for soldering) to attach the light base to the cage shade.
There were three holes in the light fixture base that was meant for attaching the light shade to. So we just snipped off a piece of flux, looped it through the whole, and twisted it around the wire cage using a pair of needle nosed pliers.
And voila…a somewhat assembled, DIY cage light fixture.
That was the easy part. The hard part…installation. After a short battle that I coined “Battle Royale: Colby vs. Light Fixture” (super creative, I know), Colby installed the light fixture. For some reason, the screws that were provided with the fixture weren’t the right size. I guess that’s what you get with a cheap light fixture. But after a couple beers, a few swear words, some new to me, the light fixture was in.
Since the light bulb was totally exposed, I couldn’t just throw any ol’ light bulb in it. I really wanted one of those Edison bulbs but since Home Depot didn’t have any Edison bulbs I settled for the next best thing, a cabinet display bulb.
And done. One DIY cage light fixture for our Etsy office space.
I know it’s hard to tell in these pics since the sun was setting and I was trying to squeak out these pics before losing all light, not just the good light, but I’m loving how the turquoise in the light fixture goes so well with the turquoise in the recently installed shelves. I’m loving the turquoise/green/coral color combo so much that I’m seriously debating spray painting the tractor seat stool the same turquoise color. Thoughts? Good idea? Too much turquoise? Is there such thing as too much turquoise?
Pssst…So I know that’s I’ve been totally MIA these days, but I swear there are good reasons. BIG announcement coming soon along those lines. I can’t wait to share it with you!
The guest room/craft space refresh continues, this time in the form of a little lighting switcheroo. We needed to switch out the black lamp (on the desk in the left pic) since it was too tall for the slanted ceiling. So off it went to thrift store and we replaced it with a brass finish pharmacy floor lamp. Game day bucket go boom (football season is back…I couldn’t resist)!
So here’s the obligatory closeup of the too tall desk lamp. I’m pretty sure the lamp shade is permanently bent in that position from being wedged under the slanted ceiling for so long. The lamp also needed to be on the other side of the desk since that back corner is kind of dark and dank. Because of the slant, I envisioned a floor lamp replacing this guy.
And to be more precise, I had envisioned one of these hotties to grace our guest room.
All the lamps are from Lamps Plus and can be found here, here, and here. The only one I could really afford is the $99 dollar guy, because let’s face it, I’m a cheapskate. But even so, the price was still a little high for my cheapskate ways. So I put it off. Put off purchasing the lovely lamp until I got back from the Haven Conference. Just one day after coming back from Haven I had the thrifting itch. That’s what spending three days with 400+ DIYers does to you. And what to my wondering eyes did appear…a brass pharmacy lamp in a hot mess of thrift store lamps.
And for $7.99….really?! How could I not bring it home?! It was just a fraction of the cost of buying it new. So I threw caution to the wind and bought it without even testing it out to see if it worked. I live dangerously. Thankfully, it worked like a charm. It even came with a working light bulb. But the $7.99 lamp needed some work in the refinishing department.
The bottom was a little…well…a picture says a thousand words.
The top part was in better condition but it still could use a little paint makeover.
But it was nothing a $2 can of spray paint from the craft store (AC Moore to be exact….with a coupon) couldn’t fix. Touch ‘n Tone to the rescue! This is where I picture Under Dog swooping in with his cape to solve the lamp refinishing mystery.
Spray painting light fixtures seems to be my latest thing (read about how we spray painted a few task lamps for the Etsy office here) and my go to prep work routine includes wiping down the entire surface with liquid deglosser and wrapping the cord in a plastic bag and taping it up. Works like a charm every time.
Three thin and even coats of paint later…things were looking a little more even and a little less nasty.
Normally I would give the lamp a day or two to dry in the sun or down in the basement but it’s like it’s hurricane season or something AND we live in the South (not in Maine) because it won’t stop raining. But no worries…we’re working on our ark. Actually, we were debating whipping out the plastic sleds today to try riding them down the hill/road as the river of rain runs down it. Now that is my idea of a good time…well…until one of us ends up in the hospital (my money is on Colby injuring himself first).
Anyway, back to the lamp. I love having a floor lamp in here now because of it’s versatility. We can tuck it over by the couch/futon/fold down bed for when guests stay over:
Or we can tuck it over in my little sewing area. Not that I actually sew…but if I ever work up the nerve, at least my space will be well lit and I can’t blame the crooked seamstress lines on lack of light.
So there you have it…an $89 savings on a brass pharmacy lamp for our guest room. Total cost of the lamp project…$10 ($8 for the lamp and $2 for the spray paint). Now that’s what I call thrifty!
Pssst…Alright readers, what have you scored lately at your local thrift store? Any sweet finds? Or cute makeovers? Do share!
Let’s just file this post under random purchases for $100 Alex. Oh…but they changed Jeopardy and there is no longer a $100 category…I rephrase…let’s file this post under random purchases for $200 Alex. Not that I spent $200…more like $66.48. Anyway, after returning home from our Puerto Rico adventure, we’re talking immediately after returning home from Puerto Rico, I settled into the couch for
a long winter’s nap catching up with my shelter magazines that came while we were away. I flipped open the cover of Country Living and was bestowed with a vision of the most beautiful thing in the world…a Threshold Target lamp. For your “ooooohing” and “ahhhhhhing” pleasure:
I love lamp! Have I used that post title before? I’m pretty sure I have…anyway. I couldn’t stand the “should I” or “shouldn’t I” purchase the lamps to replace our too small, temporary $10 lamps in our master bedroom. It was a regular old pink mirror from Home Goods scenario all over again. The lamp was all I could think of. So on my weekend errands I just so happened to traipse into Target to find the lamps on sale. They regularly cost $39.99 but the price was dropped down to $34.99….score! Of course a pair of them just so happened to jump into my cart. Funny how that happens. And we all came home as one big lamp happy family.
So here is one of the two, too small temporary lamps in our master bedroom.
When we first moved into our home three years ago, we didn’t have any lamps for our room so I picked these up on clearance at Target for dirt chip. It cost me $20 at the time for the two lamps AND the shades. But they’ve worn out their welcome and it was time to upgrade to something beefier. I had been passively looking for new lamps for the past few months but was just waiting for the right lamps to cross my path. Like these guys:
I love the glass and how it seems like it’s bulging out of the wire grid. It reminds me of those West Elm terrariums. Speaking of bulging (inappropriate joke coming…ear muffs), Colby refers to these as the muffin top lamps. I promised I wouldn’t share that. Ooops….bad wife…I love you baby! On a more serious note, I’m digging how the lamps tie into the black hardware on the red nightstand. And their scale is so much more perfect for our bedroom than the dinky lamps they replaced.
The only part of the lamps I’m not a fan of is the shade. I cruised the lamp shades while I was at Target but not a single one spoke to me. Not a word…the shades were all completely mum. So I settled for a pair of plain white ones for now but knowing perfectly well that I’ll probably craft something up to give them a little bit more pizazz. They’re blank canvases just ready for some jazzing up. Lately, I’ve been cruising Pinterest and Anthropologie to scrounge up some inspiration and here’s what I’m thinking:
I love all three of those Anthro shades! But at $90 each I’m not about to purchase a pair of those. I’m too cheap for that! But I’m thinking of trying to DIY one of these beauties. I’m leaning towards the yellow, flowered one but maybe in a different color?! I don’t know. Do you think I can get away with bringing in yellow shades in our bedroom? They would tie into the yellow in the “8-10-12″ wedding table number art hanging on the wall. We’ll see what I decide. I may just cover the shades in some fun fabric instead, kind of like the Anthro shade on the right. But whatever we decide to do, you know we’ll keep you posted.
Pssst…Any illuminating projects going down at su casa? Or jonesing after something from Anthro? Oh how I love Anthro!
The other night, while Colby was away working at a construction show, I decided it was high time for some craftiness. We’re talking a serious impulse craft project going on here. I had a mess of leftover rope from the CD crate project and a boring lampshade that was attached to the hallway light fixture so I decided to go to town.
Sorry for the weird light. It was all twilighty outside…don’t worry…not the vampire variety. Although I would totally welcome Edward with open arms! Shhh….don’t tell Colby. This project was especially special because it was my first craft project in the craft room. Overall rating of the room as a craft room….9.5. It would have been a 10 but I left my scissors down stairs and that damn Russian judge is tough!
Out came the glue gun.
And I began the tedious process of gluing the rope to the shade.
Around and around and around and around. In total, it took me about 30-45 minutes to glue the rope to the shade. And that’s with a quick fold the laundry break in the middle of it. It was super easy too. I had quite the system of apply a dab of hot glue, adhere the rope, slide a couple of inches and repeat. It worked out pretty well by gluing the rope down every two inches or so.
After it dried, I hung it back up in place. That night, when Colby came home I greeted him with a “so….I kind of did something. And if you don’t like it, it’s totally reversible.” I mentioned that it was a house project and he proceeded to stroll around the house looking around and guessing what it might be while repeating the mantra, “something is different….” He finally noticed when he sat down on the couch in the living room.
Here’s the closeup. My only gripe is that I used two different ropes. They looked the same to me while gluing away but apparently they were just a little off in color. Oh well…it just gives the shade some character.
And here is the view from the living room. I love how it breaks up all the white/gray and adds some texture to the space.
And of course the obligatory nighttime shot with the light glowing through the rope.
I love the new rope shade…almost as much as Colby does. Speaking of that, the rope shade has been completely Colby approved so I don’t have to re-do it. Yay! Just have to re-do the floors…le sigh! I have to admit, the sisal rope made the lamp shade a tad bit heavier…and by a tad bit I really mean that I’m worried the weight of the shade is going to rip down the light fixture in a giant, crashing mess kind of way. But it’s been up there for three days now and so far so good. Not bad for a little evening random project using leftover materials.
Pssst…Oh how I love a random sporadic project. What about you guys? Any favorite random projects? Or have you roped anything? Figuratively or literally? I also roped myself up a cake plate this week. Mmmmm….cake! Now I have just the excuse to bake this weekend instead of sanding floors.
Psssssst….I linked this post up at Tip Junkie:
Psssssssssst…..I also linked this post up at Home Stories A To Z:
I love a good photograph. Especially a well framed photograph. I’ve become a master of framing my photographs during the craziness that has been our home remodel over the last couple of years. Typically, just outside the photograph is a giant stack of papers, trash bag full of construction debris, pile of paint cans, and a ginormous hole in the wall (or missing wall altogether). The parlor has been no such exception. Most often, when I take photos of the parlor, they look like this:
In reality, the parlor looks more like this (note the light fixture):
A proper light fixture in this room has been missing for well over a year. The old, dated fixture was removed when Colby deemed all the old electrical work in the house “unsafe” and cut all the old wires (for the most part) and we brought in an electrician to help us rewire. That left a few light fixtures, such as this one with a pig tail light.
These lights were something that we learned about when our electrician came in to help us out. They’re fully working lights, just a very basic ones. The beauty of a pig tail light is that you can hook up a light bulb and properly light a room without installing a more permanent/traditional light fixture. This leaves the ceiling open so you can paint it and work around the light. It’s a beautiful thing, the concept that is, not the look. So I was very excited when this weekend rolled around and we finally broke down and bucked up a few dollars (more like $88) for a fancy new light fixture from Lowes.
Oh, and before we get into the new light, can we just take a moment to pay homage to owning an old (100+ years old) home. Our ceiling has layers, several layers. Four to be exact. Here’s the proof:
In the grand master plan for our house, we have every intention in the world to gut out this room, and pretty much every other room in the house. It’s mostly for insulation purposes. As in, we pretty much don’t have any insulation in our walls which makes for a really awesome heating bill for these Mainers. I mean that sarcastically. Very sarcastically. So someday, our four layers of ceiling will come down and be replaced with a traditional sheet rock ceiling. The task should make the room a little taller too. But that’s down the road…several thousand miles down the road we’re crawling along.
So back to the light. I just have to point out how the light was packaged. With lots and lots and lots of shredded foam. Goose enjoyed it. I however, did not enjoy picking up the stuff throughout the house.
After Colby shut off the power to the whole house (it was very captain safety of him), he installed the light box into the ceiling and then installed the light. This left us with a GORGEOUS new light fixture on our previously naked parlor ceiling.
So much improved! The crazy thing about this light fixture is that it’s still a boob light. It seems like the only kind of flush to the ceiling lights you can get these days is a boob light. I can’t stand boob lights. We have a couple in our home which we use as temporary lighting until we decided on a permanent light fixture. They were cheap, $10 lights that have been like nomads in our home traveling from room to room. But for some reason, the beading in the new light fixture makes it feel like a much fancier, blingy boob light. I love it! And while we’re on the subject of boob lights, this one:
He’s one of the $10 nomad boob lights in our home. He lives in the living room (Is it appropriate to call a boob light a he? Shouldn’t it be a she?):
Because our living room and parlor are practically one room, we’re trying to make the two rooms flow into each other better. We’re hoping to refinish the floor and paint the walls/trim in the living room to match that in the parlor. Well, it felt weird having the $10 boob light in the living room, against the fancy tin ceiling, when there was a fancier, classier boob light in the parlor. So the cheap boob light got the ax this weekend too in lieu of an upgrade:
I love how fancy the beading looks up against the tin:
So pretty. It’s such a major improvement and I absolutely adore the new lights. Having the pair really helps unite the two rooms since both are simultaneously visible to someone in either the living room or the parlor. I tried to capture that photographically, but the angle is a little funky. But I thought I would share anyway.
These light fixtures are not only really pretty during the day, but they cast some amazing light in the evenings. Some of the shadows are really interesting looking thanks to all the beading. Here is a closeup of the shadows on the ceiling:
And another view of the ceiling shadows and the wall shadows:
So I’m very pleased with our upgraded office space and the quick fix that made such a huge impact. So what’s next on the office space/parlor update? A gallery wall just to the right of my desk chair. I can’t wait to get started on that project. I’ve already ordered a couple of prints from Etsy and have been “shopping” our home for other art pieces. But until then, I’m enjoying working in our new space.
Pssst…Anyone else upgrade their light fixtures this weekend? It’s such a quick project but makes a HUGE impact. I’m also curious, has anyone found a flush light fixture that’s stylish yet not a boob light? Why are those lights so hard to find?!