See How I Transformed My Kitchen’s Whole Vibe with Just 1 DIY Find (It’s on Sale!)

published May 24, 2024
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Flush mount kitchen lights before being replaced.
Credit: Jada Wong

When my husband and I moved into our home, we knew that it needed some DIY cosmetic upgrades, especially in the kitchen. We’re lucky to get a good amount of light thanks to French doors and skylights, but the light fixtures themselves were giving nothing. 

In particular, the dome-shaped lights above the kitchen table reminded me of submarine portholes, and the frosted finish cut down on the amount of light coming from the bulbs — which is the exact opposite of what you’d want in a light

Credit: Jada Wong

So we started searching for fixtures that would complement the rest of our space, and since we needed three of them, they also needed to be easy to install and reasonably priced. Enter: the Nathan James’ Jace semi-flush mount light.

Credit: Jada Wong

How we decided on the light fixture 

Executive Home Director Danielle Blundell put me onto this brand earlier this year, and the Jace light caught my eye instantly so I reached out to the brand about trying it out in my kitchen. True to the brand’s mid-century modern style ethos, the Jace features a sleek conical shade and vintage gold hardware. The linen shade diffuses light while the gold hardware helps reflect and bounce light around, too. I also loved the size and scale — it was just the size to complement the skylights right next to it and the kitchen table underneath. 

It’s also a reasonable $110 per fixture at full price, but it’s just around $80 now during Nathan James’ Memorial Day sale. It’s a solid discount on an easy DIY project that’ll instantly upgrade any space — especially if you need three like I did.

Looking for more great deals? Check out our complete Memorial Day sale coverage, and be sure to sign up for our new Deals & Steals newsletter for the latest sales and must-have home finds.

Credit: Jada Wong

How we upgraded our kitchen light fixtures 

My husband and I have upgraded enough light switches around our house to know that the brand’s claim of a 20-minute installation time is fairly accurate. After you turn off the power at the circuit breaker box, you disassemble your previous light fixture, connect the new wiring, add a new bulb (our previous one was very warm and yellow), and mount the new fixture. There are a few more steps in there, but they’re all pretty simple and straightforward.

However, as we’ve learned from previous DIY home projects, the 20-minute estimate doesn’t include the time it takes to angle and re-angle the mounting plate so the hardware eventually matches up across all three fixtures. Or to run back and forth from your breaker box after you think you’re done to confirm that you’re actually done. Or to double-check and redo the wiring when the light doesn’t come on. All things that we accounted for and encountered — thank goodness we set aside an afternoon instead of just an hour. 

Credit: Jada Wong

But even though the project took longer than promised, it was still super worth it and our kitchen looks so much better. The linen shade, gold hardware, and scale of the light fixture makes the space feel more welcoming and thoughtfully decorated. And because the lights actually provide light now, I use them much more regularly instead of our usual overhead lights. 

Now, time to upgrade the lights in our dining room. 

Buy: Nathan James Jace Linen Shade Flush Mount Ceiling Light, $80.99 (normally $109.99)