Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ugly Light Fixture Fix

When we moved into this house the kitchen was awful.  But so was the rest of the house, so...  Getting money together for a kitchen remodel is daunting so I've just tried to make it more agreeable.  One of the things I've hated from the beginning has been the light fixture.  It's white and brass, shiny brass, with upside down lampshades on 5 octopus arms, sooo not my style.  It probably wasn't that attractive from the beginning but after hanging for years without ever being cleaned, it was far from attractive.
 But, it did have the benefit of putting out a lot of light, and a fixture I could afford would probably not put out as much light.  The other day it started to eat away at me, this light, in my kitchen, mocking me.  And I decided on a solution, I would do a lamp shade fixture.  All I would have to do is buy a swag lamp shade kit, some other stuff would happen and I would have a lamp shade over my table that put out lots of light and I would love it!  In my head this fix was going to be inexpensive, easy, and elegant.  Alas, these things always go so much easier in my head than they do in real life.  Lamp shades are really expensive for you what you get and the kit itself was more than I thought it would be.  And then there would be rewiring of something, either at the ceiling, because the part where the electricity comes out of the ceiling is not in a convenient place.  So I went back to the drawing board and decided that maybe I could buy a lamp shade that just fit over, or under or maybe sideways on my existing light fixture.  After doing a bit of googling, I found a lampshade that might work, at Ikea.  And with a little modifying it did work.

The lamp shade came in a box with some assembly required, Ikea, remember:)  The top and bottom are separate and the fabric of the shade clips onto the frame.  The idea was to have the shade rest on the existing light fixture, so we didn't lose any light, but it looked more attractive.
To begin I took the fixture down, and cleaned it up a bit. We also took the bulbs out while we futzed with it.
The next step was figuring out how to get the cord to come out the top of the shade.  After some discussion we cut the frame of lamp shade so the cord would go through the middle as well as the outer ring of the lamp shade.  That meant cutting the center part as well as the top ring.  Not rewiring the lamp was the priority here. A hack saw worked to make these 2 cuts.   

After making the cuts we put the cloth on the frame of the lamp, this took both of us to accomplish, so no pics of it happening. When we were done the shade balanced on top of the fixture.  It can be knocked a little bit off center, But a little nudge fixes it. 
It worked!  The light is more focused and not as bright as it was before, but if you don't look under the lampshade the end result is a lot more attractive than it was before. Although it does need to be moved over a few inches to hit the middle of the table...

It really helped the whole kitchen look better.
Now about that floor...

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