How to Transform Vintage Treasures Into Beautiful Light Fixtures
Take your vintage finds and give them a whole new life by repurposing them into one-of-a-kind chandeliers, pendant lights, and more.
It’s no secret that lighting is a crucial detail that cannot be left out when designing a room. Light fixtures do more than just illuminate the dark; they are often the first thing you notice when entering a room. Pendants and chandeliers have the ability to make a statement that defines the entire space.
If you are someone who enjoys incorporating antiques and flea market finds into your decor, then repurposing vintage items into custom fixtures might be the perfect option for you. It allows you to get creative, express your own unique style, and is an affordable alternative to pricey fixtures found in big box stores. Here are eight ideas to choose from.
When making your own pendant lights from vintage objects, you’ll need to look for something to use as a shade. There are many types of small baskets, barrels or interesting containers that will work. Try to find one that features a somewhat tapered shape so that the light from the fixture is guided down and outward. To attach it, simply cut a small hole in the bottom and turn it upside-down.
When searching for a container to use with your lighting, try to find something that goes with the other decor in the room. For example, a metal clam basket with lots of patina is an ideal choice for a room outfitted with rough wood ceiling beams and rustic bronze hardware.
Pie Plate Pendant
It’s important to develop the ability to see beyond an item’s original purpose in order to come up with really interesting light fixtures. One example is transforming a set of old fluted pie plates into playful kitchen lights. The ribbed edges provide the metal fixtures with an unusual shape, which adds character to the room and inspires conversation.
Update Existing Fixture
Do you have an old light fixture you adore that doesn’t operate as it should? No problem, simply give it an update. Rewiring or reworking a light is typically much easier than trying to find a comparable replacement for it.
Rustic objects, or those that are discolored or patinaed, make great light fixtures for those looking to inject some character into a more contemporary style. The imperfect texture of old galvanized metal, for example, creates a strong contrast for an otherwise streamlined space. Aged metal lighting also provides a feeling of warmth and history.
Group for Effect
A natural choice for light fixtures, eye-catching vintage metal lanterns can make a small statement when used singularly, or a dramatic one when multiple pendants are grouped together above a kitchen island or dining table.
Old Mason jars are ideal to convert into pendant lights for a farmhouse-style home. Simply install a lightbulb inside the glass jar and hang it from a store-bought pendant lighting kit. This is another lighting idea that works well in groups. Try hanging a cluster of them in a bedroom, living room or dining room.
Mixing Bowl Shade
Vintage mixing bowls make a clever light shade idea as well. Available in several different types of metal — copper, stainless steel, aluminum — they’re stylish and effective as task lighting for the kitchen. Pick one type of metal or mix it up.
Retro Wire Basket Pendant
Wire baskets used as pendant lights have the ability to distribute lighting generously across a room. Use them to reinforce a farmhouse-style design in your dining room or kitchen. If you prefer a more refined look, try painting the wire baskets a color you love before hanging.