A $50 Light Fixture Is a Total Game Changer in This Dining Room Makeover

published Apr 5, 2024
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Historic houses and apartments often come with charming design features you wouldn’t find in a new build. Renter Kristin Lundeen has a 1927 bungalow, and the dining room has some of those cool features. (Hello, checkered flooring, arched doorways, and built-in shelves!) It just needed a few of Kristin’s own design touches to really feel personal.

“The space felt very white, so I knew I wanted to bring in more color and interesting textures,” she says. “I knew I wanted to swap the light fixture in the dining nook area of my kitchen to a lantern-style hanging pendant to replace the harsh overhead lighting that was previously installed.”

An under-$50 light solution adds drama. 

Removing and installing a new light fixture in a historic bungalow wasn’t exactly easy. It took Kristin a while to locate the electrical box, but once the power was turned off and the old fixture was removed, it took around an hour for her to install the new one. 

It cost under $50 all together, but the new light fixture looks well beyond its price point. The White Oval Paper Lanterns come in a pack of two and cost $39.99, and Kristin says it’s a close lookalike “of the Herman Miller Nelson Saucer Light” which retails at around 10 times the price of the Amazon pick. She used an IKEA HEMMA cord set under $10 to install it. 

 Secondhand furniture fills in the space. 

To keep the project budget-friendly, most of Kristin’s furniture was purchased secondhand — including a chic marble-look dining table and four wooden chairs that she lucked out on while searching through Facebook Marketplace. “I was so excited to find a secondhand option that was more affordable but still looked elevated,” she says, although it was a challenging hunt.  

“I struggled to find a dining table that would fit this space because it is narrow, and I often walk through it to get into the kitchen,” Kristin says. “An oval-shaped table ended up being a great choice and fits the space nicely.” 

To complete her character-rich dining room, Kristin dressed the built-in shelves with stacked books, greenery, and sentimental trinkets, like the vintage ornaments that her grandmother collected during her travels in Europe.

Kristin is thrilled with the results and says the room now feels so much cozier. As for next steps in her home makeover journey, she is heading to Pinterest for inspiration. “I’d love to add even more character in this space by having mismatched, funky chairs,” she says. “I’ve seen this on Pinterest and think it is such a unique way to bring character to your dining space!”