8 Ways to Hack An Ugly Light Fixture That’s Not Working For You

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Finding the right light fixture is tricky. It’s striking that right balance of “will the light fill up the room,” location restrictions, and, of course, style. Sometimes what you already have checks off those first two, but the third requirement is a little more elusive. Instead of looking for a replacement, check out these ideas to update your existing light fixture instead.

(Image credit: Room for Tuesday)

Sarah’s wood detail addition makes her standard kitchen sconce look like a high-end dupe. Just that small, extra touch elevates the whole look.

(Image credit: The Merrythought)

The power of spray paint is truly amazing. Manda of the Merrythought planned on a small bathroom update, but after updating her sink and mirror, she realized her dated tulip sconce needed a makeover. Off came the shades, on went a new coat of paint and lightbulbs, and now the vanity light matches the rest of her beautiful bathroom.

(Image credit: Salvaged Inspirations)

Denise’s vintage floor lamp was collecting dust as she relegated it to a hidden corner. Now updated with a lamp guard and Edison bulb, it’s a guest room focal point as a modern, industrial cage light.

(Image credit: Crazy Wonderful)

One more cage light for good measure: Shelley updated her box store fan similarly to Denise’s floor lamp for a drastic new style. You can also paint or stencil fan blades for a different look.

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Don’t throw (away) shade, update it. Take a cue from this Anthropologie lamp shade, and add embellished patches, embroidery, or decorative trim to a plain lampshade to give it a second life.

(Image credit: Mama’s Dance)

Blindingly shiny, brass lampstands are a dime a dozen at the thrift store. Make them feel custom with a bit of antiquing wax like Ashlea. I love how the wax treatment brings out the details.

(Image credit: Studio DIY)

Vintage chandeliers are as beautiful as they are pricey. Thankfully, this one from Studio DIY is easy to make yourself. This would be stunning covering up a builder grade “boob light” or perfect for refreshing a tired pendant light.

(Image credit: Vintage Revivals)

If you don’t have an overhead light or the table or floor space for a lamp, you need a modern swag light. Mandi of Vintage Revivals took two lampshade skeletons and created this modern Bohemian rope light ready to light up the room.