Rental Re-do: Lighting Switcheroo

The crown jewel of our former apartment, a reminder of how our rent was cheap, and what made us stare and wonder, “What were they thinking?”

This chandelier:


It was enormous, it was at face level, and it was a mesmerizing amount of brass. Thanks to the mirrored wall behind it, we got to see it twice.

It may have worked in someone else’s house, but it was way too much for this little dining area.

Sometimes you have to put up with old floors and crazy bathroom tile, but lighting is something you can change. In a rental, you simply take it with you when you move. You don’t have to leave it behind. A couple of table lamps are an easy addition for ambience.

This lighting change made a big difference.


So much better.

It’s been fun to think about decorating lately. Here are a few places I look to for inspiration:

Where do you turn when you want new ideas for decorating your home?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I’m in the same boat as you at the moment. We have a chandelier in our tiny dining room that really doesn’t go with the overall feel of the place. We’re still looking for its replacement though!

    For inspiration I love flipping through magazines (House & Home and Real Simple, occasionally) I also find Ikea to be full of good ideas too! I like the replacement fixture you chose…very cool!

    Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post..Frugal Friday At On Simplicity

  2. You’re right on how easy changing the whole look with lighting can be. I still have all the builder brass up in our house and light fixtures are at the top of my list for my upcoming yard sale season.

    So much inspiration in blog land – it’s amazing!! :)

    Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam´s last blog post..Building a Core Wardrobe – Frugally

  3. You’ve got to love brass – I just can’t figure out why that look went out of style! :-)

    Two great spots are:

    LaughingFamily´s last blog post..A circle of quiet

  4. You MUST check out
    John & Sherry are hilarious and post lots of DIY ideas, before and after pics, and even do custom design consultations!
    Hands down one of my favourite blogs!

  5. I sympathize from the opposite end of the spectrum. We’ve got all cheapo, generic builder-installed fixtures. You know, the ones that look like boobs? Yeah. When we took out the pseudo-silicone wonder in our family room and put in a fan (dude, I like ceiling fans), the room suddenly looked like a home instead of a rental.

    But I really don’t see the problem with that fabulous chandelier. I mean, brass is *it.* ;)

  6. LOL! The thing is a parody of itself.

    The previous owners of my house had installed a truly banal fixture over the dining room table, but in the WRONG PART of the dining room. It was off-kilter from where the table might reasonably be expected to go. Then they hung it up close to the ceiling — possibly because they were both fairly tall folks? — so that when you turned it on, the light from its tulip-shaped fixtures glared right onto the ceiling…where it stayed.

    The overall effect was very strange.

    I like to visit open houses (well…I did, when real estate was still a business). If a house is appealing on the outside, chances are the people have nice decor on the inside, too. It’s a great way to get ideas.

    Funny about Money´s last blog post..Layoff: Getting by in unwilling retirement

  7. I get a lot of my “inspiration” from Goodwill. If that counts…haha. But really, some of our best rental home improvements have come from Goodwill. Our little home had no doors…until we found some cheap curtains at good will, now it has curtain-doors. They made it feel much cozier!

    Indeeds´s last blog post..Croutons

  8. Thanks for the mention! :-)

    The Lettered Cottage

    Layla Palmer´s last blog post..Quote Jars!

  9. I just wonder where you stored that monster of a chandelier while you hung the other one.

    Jessica´s last blog post..Free Yoplait Kids Activity Kit Review and Giveaway