Transform a Rental House to Home: About Lighting

Hey all! Hope everyone enjoyed a productive, but FUN weekend! Hubs was off Sunday, so after coffee, paper, and a jolt from Joel (Osteen) I started clearing & prepping space in our dining area / kitchen to complete some more updates. Again - even though we're renting, this isn't just a "house" - it is our home. Along with photos, collections, textiles and paint to make it our home, some simple switches in lighting fixtures were necessary - and better match our style. First to go, but NOT to be pitched was the standard builder chandelier everyone in the community has up... now our is down.


Back in December, I had found a really well priced & simple drum shade chandy on sale for $50 online from CB2 (eden pendant lamp). It's simple enough to work with our decor and other lighting fixtures. It's clean & simple lines are also easy  enough to update with black ribbon trim, or recover later with a pattern or a linen for texture. The catch though was, the chandy was a plug-in fixture. I may know style, but I'm no electrician, so besides asking the lighting specialist at Home Depot for a quick tutorial, I also pulled up one on my laptop for Jeff to refer to when he installed...

post at Mommy Words

One of the other light fixtures we had updated when we first started living here was another standard builders track that was in the kitchen. It was annoying the living crap out of me - off centered and too many dated cans too bright and looking like a Broadway production,  so we found a smaller track with pin spots to center in the kitchen. Along with the track, I was really wanting the repetition of three pendants to hang over the center island.

Wallpapered back splash, traditional styling, minimal to no hardware, 
dated (and blinding) builder install lighting.

Painting helped to update the space, but lighting can be the jewelry to that little back dress - your room. We also updated the light kit on the fan from these (shown) frosted tulip shades to more modern stainless spots (not shown) Changing just the lights to update the fan style was a HUGE savings at only $30 vs. replacing the fan for $100 or more.

I ad spotted this industrial pendant at Ikea while still back in South Florida.
Looks great, but too expensive for our minimal rental updates on a small budget.

These Hampton Bay stainless pendants did the trick, converted to install to a track, and if memory serves me correctly, were only $15 (or $19) each (gotta check).

We had already picked up the pendants back in November, but hadn't quite gotten around to installing them. But after listening to Jeff complain about the lighting (or lack there of) this past week, I made it a point to have those set up and ready to go after the chandy install Sunday...

Before, the chandy had six exposed lights in frosted glass shades - too traditional for our style and WAY to bright!! The down lights of the chandy before were so bright, I had removed at least 3 from the six bulbs from the fixture. Now with the drum shade, and single bulb, the lighting it softer because it is diffused.

Bye-Bye builder grade chandy!
Packed into the crawl-space you go!

Hello CB2 simple chandy!

Rather than YELL to one another to test & check power - Jeff took his cellphone out to the garage for us to communicate safely - POWER OFF - Power On...

And Jeff now has PLENTY of direct light over the island for food prep, and the pendant trio also help better illuminate the kitchen - with style. Since we're renting, we have taped up and boxed up existing fixtures we've switched out, and keep them stored in the garage crawl space.

Pendants over an island help with task lighting...

Viewed from the living room, it's more general and ambient lighting...

And a peak into the Living Room - after the new gallery wall I installed (plus some yellow & white panels I scored thrifting for only $6 each! More about that change this week...)

Night lighting...

Day lighting...

Diffused lighting...

After the fixtures were installed, along with another window rod set put up in the bedroom, Jeff and I headed out & about for a wonderful bike ride - with crisp air, long straight-aways and mountain views :) When we got back, I kicked his butt at the local park shooting some hoops (lol). He didn't realize - I grew up with a park and basketball court directly across the street from me when I lived in New Jersey. After we came back home, Jeff grilled and awesome chicken, and I finished cleaning the house - for a fun & productive slam dunk Sunday!

 How was your weekend? What are your plans this week? 
Hope you have a Marvelous Monday and

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Some of that Hampton Bay lighting is exceptional style. Great tute on upscaling without breaking the bank. ~ Maureen

  2. You are so correct about making a rental your own home...You have to live in the environment and it should be comfortable and an expression of who you are. Your taste is exceptional and it was a good lesson in personalizing the lighting to suite the renter without costing an arm and a leg.



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