Two Savvy Solutions for Ugly Rental Kitchen Lights

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

Considering the amount of spectacularly hideous light fixtures in rental kitchens around the country, it’s almost as if installing the ugliest, most unflattering light fixture was at one time the law. That’s of course not true, but for anyone who’s ever walked into their rental kitchen, looked up at their light fixture and wondered “why that?,” this post’s for you.

These two rental homes below had a lot going for them, but unfortunately this didn’t include attractive kitchen lighting. But, the crafty renters living in these units weren’t content with cringing every time they decided to cook a meal. They took matters into their own hands and devised attractive, temporary, DIY-able solutions for their ugly kitchen lighting. Who knows — their solutions might be just for your own lighting woes.


A California rental kitchen’s lighting gets back on track

Lauren has a “less is more” approach to decorating and Danny likes things clean and simple. They both like kitchen lighting they can stand to look at.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Though the looks of the ’90s are becoming popular again, the dated track lighting in Lauren and Danny’s kitchen was the opposite of cool. They wanted to rip out the track lighting, but because they rent, that wasn’t an option. So they found a way to incorporate a bare-bulb pendant look with the existing track that was already there. Their solution is smart and simple.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

The couple simply researched the type of adapter that might work with their existing track lighting — a small element that can be inserted where the track lighting bulb would go, but also allow for an electrical cord to be plugged in on the other side. Then, they simply plugged in bare bulb hanging pendant lights, like these from Home Depot.

When they’re ready to move, Lauren and Danny can unplug the pendant lights (and take them to their next place) and replace the track lighting that was there.

You can see a full tour of their California home: Lauren & Danny’s Calm, Comfortable California Cottage.


Unsightly rental kitchen lighting is no match for plants

Joe and Kim refuse to let a boob light in the middle of their rental kitchen get them down.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Joe and Kim’s kitchen in their rental had one of those flush-mount ceiling fixtures that’s supposed to be nondescript, but actually sticks out like a sore thumb. Well, until their beautiful DIY makeover. Their solution, while unusual, is a great way to hide that ugly flush-mount light and add more plants to a space!

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

What they did: Used an adapter to turn the light bulb sockets of the light fixture into electrical outlets, then hung two plug-in pendants (they bought theirs at CB2, but you can find affordable pendants at places like IKEA) into the adapters. They screwed in a couple of white hooks into the ceiling and wrapped the excess cord neatly.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

The real brilliance of this project is how they covered the flush-mount fixture’s innards and the hanging accessories of the pendant lights: They hung chicken wire in a frame and covered it with the vines of a happy pothos plant. Simple but very successful!

You can see the rest of their plant-filled home: A Bright Organic Modern Apartment in Chicago’s Logan Square

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