Jul 26, 2012

Easy ways to update light fixtures.

Many light fixtures can be updated to work with your decor.  Dated colors, shades and details can be modified to create a new look.  One of the first steps is to switch to a compact fluorescent (CF) bulb.  Why?  You'll use 70% less energy and the new CF bulbs have a warm color temperature and are even dimmable.  Next, if you are working with switched fixtures, change the switch to a dimmer. Why?  Mood and ambiance will change as you raise or lower the lighting. Get the right amount of light at the right time.  Take a look at the fixture itself ans see if you can use one of these 5 tips to create a new or updated look.

1) Change the color. Is the old brass chandelier too bright? Try a spray-on metallic finish and make it wrought iron. If nickel is the new color and your fixture is black, try a primer first then one of the new metallic sprays by Rust-Oleum.  Even changing a brass fixture to another color - and moving it to a bedroom - is a great idea and saves on buying new fixtures for every room. Here, an rusted brass entry fixture became a hot new chandelier for the dining room.

2) Update or switch the shade.  The simplest fix is to swap or update the shades...be it for a table lamp or a chandelier. You can purchase a new shade in a different style or color, or dress up the one you have with trim, beads, paint, punch outs and even new fabric.

3) Swap the globes. If your foyer chandelier has cut glass globes, try updating it with a coat of paint and add frosted glass globes in a different shape.

4) Cover naked bulbs. Many chandeliers and bathroom light bars have clear bulbs. Cover the chandelier bulbs with shades and switch your bath bulbs to frosted.

5) Remove or add elements. Have an older fixture with broken crystals, or a newer one with yellow acrylic danglers? Remove them for a new look or replace them with something different.  Hang seashells in a cottage home or glass balls in a contemporary one.  Cover up chains and cords with shirred fabrics.  For fixtures with leaves and other detailed accents, take them off for a cleaner look. Have a plain fixture? Dress it up like this one with crystal beads or items that fit your decor. 

6) Add a ceiling medallion.  Most fixtures look fuller with a medallion or other molding to add to the scale and highlight a chandelier.  If installing one is too difficult, try adding a stencil design around the fixture for a fabulous effect.