Weekend Inspiration: No. 48

Weekend Inspiration: No. 48

Who else is ready for spring? I was looking back through old photos the other day, and happened to stumble upon these that I took last season with my friend, Bethany. Suffice to say, my reaction to them was instantaneous. I just can’t wait for fresh flowers, green leaves on the trees, and short-sleeve T-shirts to reemerge. What’s your favorite season?

While I may be looking ahead to warmer days to come, I still managed to pick up a whole bunch of creative inspiration looking backward across the week we just had. An Instagram bug that wreaked havoc on my feed actually inspired a bit of housekeeping over in that space, and I’m now following a bunch of new people. If you’re active on Instagram, I encourage you to refresh your following list because you never know what kinds of new ideas it’ll lead to. Evidence below of a few things I picked up on thanks to my own new and improved feed.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 48

1. Studio DIY isn’t a new-to-me feed (I’ve been following along with Kelly for years) but her bathroom renovation reveal is definitely worth mentioning at the top of today’s list. That green tile is so good!

2. Again, this isn’t a new follow for me, but I’m still very into the multiple ways Studio McGee styled out the rooms in this new-build home.

3. I spotted someone wearing these pants on Instagram earlier this week, and now wonder if I could pull them off…

4. Not even thirty seconds after typing the line above this one, I got an email from Madewell saying that you can take an extra 30% off sale items, so now I’m contemplating this, too.

5. Here’s a new account I just started following this week that I can’t get enough of. The DIY wall treatment she finished in her hallway is absolutely mind-blowing.

6. I’m not really a big fan of Instagram ads, but one earlier this week did end up leading me over to World Market because they’re having a big sale through February 18. I ordered this in gray!

Weekend Inspiration: No. 48

Visit the DGD shop to see the updated collection!

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

Question: what’s one project you’ve had in the back of your mind for ages that you’ve been dying to try out? I know you’ve got some sort of creative vision in there! I, for one, have dozens upon dozens of unfinished, not-even-begun DIY ideas racing through my brain at any given moment, but I’m happy to report that that list recently got one item shorter.

Case in point, my latest project for Hunker is something I’ve had on my list to make for years, and I finally had the motivation to bring it to life. Hop over to Hunker here to see the full step-by-step tutorial for my DIY Mod Kinetic Pipe Sculpture, including a linked shopping list to take even more of the guess work out of things.

DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

I know I dub a lot (if not most) of my projects as “couldn’t be easier” to pull off, but I really, truly mean it this time. I was actually a little dumbfounded when I was able to wrap the whole thing up in one short afternoon. I remember setting the finished sculpture on the console in our living room, stepping back, and muttering a quick “Huh!” out of surprised satisfaction at the sight of it. Can you believe it’s made out of a couple of $3 pipes?!

Anyway, visit the Hunker website here for all the DIY details, and then I’d love for you to let me know about the project you’ve been aching to cross off your own list in the comments below.

DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

P.S. Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day this week! In case you need inspiration for a romantic dinner at home, check back here to see the mini meal I pulled together for my own Valentine.

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Valentine’s Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

I’ve said it year after year, and my tune hasn’t changed—Valentine’s Day still isn’t a holiday I get all that excited about. I know, I know…I must sound pretty heartless, but I tend to be of the mind that love should be celebrated every day of the year, and that Valentine’s Day, in general, has gotten pretty commercialized—which is a shame!

Please don’t get me wrong. If you love Valentine’s Day, by all means, do it up! My own sister, in fact, has always been a gigantic fan of the February 14th holiday, so I know I’m probably in the minority here. Despite my feelings about Valentine’s Day, I do look forward to seeing all those warm, fuzzy declarations of love pop up across social media the day of the big event.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Knowing all of this, it should come as no surprise that John and I won’t be making a big deal out of Valentine’s Day this week. There will be the exchanging of cards and “I love you”s, of course, but we’ll skip elaborate gifts and probably won’t be going out to a big fancy dinner to celebrate.

Instead, I thought it would be fun to challenge us to make the holiday feel special this year just by amping up our homemade dinner at home. I experimented with a few tricks in a little trial run one afternoon last week, and it turns out that you really only need to gather a few small pieces to make Valentine’s Day feel grand around your very own dining room table. Keep scrolling for the tips I plan to put to good use this Thursday for our real holiday dinner.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Break Out The Linens

Most days we just use everyday placemats on our dinner table, but for Valentine’s Day I wanted to make the table look restaurant-inspired. To get that vibe, I plan to lay down a white tablecloth that billows down the sides for an elegant look. Luckily, this type of “elegance” doesn’t require any money spent if you already have the cloth on hand!

To create a sense of intimacy between the two place settings I’ll spread a pink runner across the space of the table between our seats. The runner you see pictured in today’s test-run set-up is actually a floral scarf that I already owned but repurposed as a table linen.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Never Forget Flowers

One of the few things I plan to purchase fresh for our Valentine’s Day dinner at home is flowers. Even a tiny bunch of flowers from the clearance section at the grocery store will do. To make them look extra special and restaurant-worthy, just pop a few stems into bud vases and arrange them in the middle of your table.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

**Resources: Floral Runner/Scarf, Gold Floral Dish, Bud Vase, Tray, Terrazzo Jar Candle, Salad Bowl, Black Cutlery

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Candles Are A Must

Of course, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without ambiance, so make sure to pull out a candle or two to light up come dinner time. Most of us keep these types of accents around for special occasions, so it’s another way to save money this holiday. Corral a few lit candles in the center of your tabletop on a nice tray to create a centerpiece.

One trick to make a plain votive feel worthy of the special occasion is to place it on a metallic plate, like the floral dish you see on our own table. By itself the little white candle would have felt lost and unimportant, but setting it on a gold dish instantly made it feel grand.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

As for food, I say don’t feel the need to go overboard! If you try out a few of the decorative tips I shared above, your everyday dinner table will feel anything but ordinary—so much so that even simple chicken salad sandwiches could make you feel like you’re out at a five-star dinner on the town. Cheers!

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Weekend Inspiration: No. 47

Weekend Inspiration: No. 47

Happy Friday! I’m busy, busy behind the scenes wrapping up a big furniture painting project, so I’m going to keep today’s post on the shorter side, but that just means I’ll have word-heavy things to share here on the blog soon. The story should be going live in just a couple of weeks if all goes well, and I think (at least I hope) that you’re going to love the big reveal.

It is such a pleasure getting to stretch my creative muscles again with another furniture makeover project—I need to do these more often! Would you like to see fresh “Before/After” furniture posts on DGD in 2019? At any rate, keep scrolling in case you’re looking to stretch your own creative muscles this weekend.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 47

1. Here’s a cool furniture makeover story that proves distressed wood can find a place in any modern home.

2. These DIY interior window shutters are such a nice upgrade from the dated folding panels a lot of older homes come with. They seem pretty straightforward to make, too.

3. You guys know I’m all about natural soy candles right now, so this tutorial for a Hidden Crystal Candle caught my eye.

4. Here’s a throwback DGD post about making over a mid-century dresser. Consider it a hint for what’s to come later on this month…

5. I still can’t believe that this handy DIY Rainbow Hook Organizer Rack was made using a $3 supply from Target. Which option would you display in your home—the plain wooden one, or the colorful version?

6. In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, I partnered with Oriental Trading to put together a cool and colorful DIY Colorblock Date Night Ideas Board. Click that link to learn how to make it.

7. Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I’ve got a new entertaining post scheduled bright and early for Monday morning. This is another big project that has me excited right now, and I hope it motivates you to plan something extra special for the holiday next week. Stay tuned!

Weekend Inspiration: No. 47

Visit the DGD shop to see the updated collection!

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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12 Bold Patterned Throw Pillows

12 Bold Patterned Throw Pillows

There are a few things I’ve learned about throw pillows over the years, number one being that they’re almost always more expensive than you think they’ll be! The other thing I’ve picked up on, though, is that you can make your investment go much farther by curating a collection that’s color-coordinated and cohesive.

Of course, the same concept goes for practically any type of decorative accent you bring into your home, but if you focus on purchasing pillows that match each other and feel intentionally collected, then you can move them from room to room and never run out of combinations to try.

One of my favorite ways to update or refresh a space is to mix up the pillows I have out in the room. For example, I’ll pull the pillows I have on our guest room bed and put them on the living room couch (and vice versa) to give both rooms a mini makeover without spending a penny. Keep scrolling for links to a dozen throw pillows I’d love to work into our current rotation.

12 Bold Patterned Throw Pillows

1. Chickamauga Lumbar Pillow

2. Doerun Pillow Cover

3. 18″ Dream Pillow

4. Multi Bubble Geo Lumbar Throw Pillow

5. Dorado Handwoven Pillow

6. Diamond Throw Pillow

7. Crewel Geo Ripple Pillow Cover

8. Triangle Lattice Pillow

9. Sky Blue Throw Pillow

10. Jase Geometric Throw Pillow

11. Vintage Floral Outdoor Pillow

12. Kuba Cloth Pillow

Here’s a bonus trick for you: buy pillow covers instead! That way you can store the covers flat when not in use, and just unzip the old ones from the pillow forms when you’re ready to change things up. This is a game changer for my storage since I’m not trying to stuff a bunch of thick, fluffy pillows into a closet. Instead, I’m able to fold the covers away flat and place them lightly into the drawers of our linen dresser. Got a pillow tip of your own to share? Do tell below.

12 Bold Patterned Throw Pillows

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

I’ve been promising a look into our recently made-over living room, and today is finally that day. Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “How many times can one person redo a room in their house?!” and while I’m personally of the mind that a home is never technically “done,” there was a very specific reason for this most recent update.

You see, John and I had been thinking about investing in a second Samsung Frame TV for our upstairs living room for about four or five months. You may already know about the one we have in our downstairs family room, and that it’s easily our favorite piece of technology in the house. In case you’re just catching up, though, the Frame TV displays a piece of digital art when not in use, so the television literally transforms into a decorative accent the moment you switch it to its dormant art mode. Genius, right?

Well, anyway we wanted to make our upstairs gathering space just as functional as the one we enjoy downstairs, so over the holidays we finally bit the bullet and ordered a new TV (albeit a smaller version of the 55-incher we have downstairs). That’s it right there in the photo below displaying a cool monochrome print.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

With the new TV in place, we decided to turn our attention to the furniture in the living room facing it. You know we’ve always been absolutely smitten with the vintage leather couch we used to have in the space, but it just wasn’t quite comfortable enough for lazy TV watching, so we ended up putting it in my office to turn that room into more of a lounge, and we put the overstuffed tufted couch that we had out in our sunroom in its place in the living room.

Since we had spent so much money on the new TV, it was really important that we find a way to redecorate the living room on a next-to-nothing budget, and luckily we already had that cozy sofa on hand to use in place of the leather couch, which was really more for show than longterm seating, if you know what I mean.

There were still a couple of hurdles to get over, though, which I’ll get to later in this post. The first problem was that I had never really loved the legs of the tufted blue couch as it was. You can see the original chunky block legs in the before/after graphic below. I was all for the cool teal color, the sharp lines of the silhouette, and the tufting—not to mention that it’s the most comfortable couch in the world. But those bulky legs had to go.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

**Sorry the lighting is so off between these photos. I know it’s making the couch upholstery look totally different, but I promise that it’s the same couch in both photos.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

Happily, the changing out of the legs couldn’t have been easier, and I’m now kicking myself for waiting so long. All we did was unscrew the old legs and put a set of new tapered legs that we ordered from Amazon in their place. The entire project took about 10 minutes, but the difference (at least I think) is pretty amazing.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

The updated tapered legs make the couch feel a little sleeker and definitely more mid-century in style. I also love that the richer wood tone of the new legs matches the rest of our wood furniture better than the original almost-black legs did before. See how they’re almost an exact match to the antique teal side chair in the photo above?

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

The rest of the room came together from there piece by piece as I continued working to make it as comfortable and cozy as possible in honor of the new TV. I put together a mini gallery wall off to the side above the couch, making sure to balance the traditional pieces out with contemporary ones, and I also added a new wall-mounted sconce. The ultra modern shape of the new light fixture helps keep the couch and art from looking too “Grandma’s House.”

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

You might be wondering where our new leather side chair came from. It’s actually on loan from my parents who are downsizing a lot of things from their home before they move to our area in the next few months. While the piece isn’t exactly 100 percent my style, I do love the retro ’70s feel of it, and it’s beyond comfortable to sit in.

The reason it’s the perfect addition to this particular space, though, is that it swivels, so it can be shifted to face the couch for regular conversation and twisted toward the TV at other times as needed. I might not give the chair back to my parents after all!

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

Truth be told, the room took some getting used to. For the longest time this space was so much about looks. It was where we kept our favorite pieces of antique furniture (whether they were comfortable or not), and although we still spent plenty of time in the room before, it wasn’t exactly my top choice for lounging around any time of day. Now the living room is just as comfortable as the family room, and offers us a lot more flexibility in terms of gathering with friends and family.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

What do you think of the “new” room? Do you like the new art and furniture arrangement, or would you have personally erred on the side of looks over function? My favorite part, of course, is that we didn’t have to buy any new furniture—just $30 worth of new legs for a couch we already had! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Weekend Inspiration: No. 46

Weekend Inspiration: No. 46

Happy Friday! What do you have in mind for the weekend? Are you planning to watch the Super Bowl? My favorite team is the Saints, so I’m kind of thinking about boycotting the whole thing. We’ll see, though. Other than that, I’m planning to work ahead this Saturday and Sunday on a couple of furniture painting projects that I can’t wait to share with you. As always, follow along on Instagram for sneak peeks!

One quick housekeeping note before I launch into today’s link roundup. I’ll be temporarily transitioning to a different posting schedule starting next week in order to get a few big projects underway behind the scenes. I’ll be publishing new content here on the blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This will allow me to alternately post more frequently on social media (where I tend to enjoy more direct interaction with those of you in the DGD community!), and will give me extra time to pour myself into projects that I want to make extra special for all of you as we head into spring.

In the meantime, here’s that list of links I promised to inspire your own projects as you head into the weekend.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 46

1. If I do end up watching the Super Bowl, this is the appetizer I plan to make for our little impromptu at-home viewing party.

2. Please join me in showing my friend and fellow blogger Jeran, of Oleander + Palm, a little extra love this weekend! She has been struggling with the comparison game, which makes me so sad because her work is stunning. She deserves a fresh wave of positivity this next week (and beyond), so let’s send some her way, shall we?!

3. Ever since completing my first-ever macrame wall hanging late last year, I’ve wanted to try again with a different type of knotted accent. I think this DIY macrame plant hanger is the perfect project to try next.

4. Speaking of wall hangings, how cool is this wooden one via Paper & Stitch?

5. I picked up this terrazo-inspired candle the other day for a Valentine’s Day photoshoot, and am smitten with the pattern on the jar. I definitely plan to keep it for storing little odds and ends after I use up the candle.

6. This weekend might just be the perfect time to work on your next decluttering project! Which room, drawer, or closet will you tackle first?

7. For some reason, this airy rattan chair is making me feel so wistful for hotter months to come. Is it summertime yet?!

Weekend Inspiration: No. 46

Visit the DGD shop to see the updated collection!

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

Earlier this year during a particularly crummy workday I decided to hop on Instagram and ask you guys for your tips on beating the blues. How do you go about turning a bad day around? What are your go-to stress relief tips? Within minutes I was flooded with so many helpful ideas, and after trying a few out one hour later, I felt like a brand new woman.

In case you’ve been battling a bad mood at work (or at home!) lately, I thought it worthwhile to share a few of the most-suggested de-stressing ideas that were sent along to me on social media. And, of course, I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments, so feel free to offer your own ideas if I don’t happen to cover it in the list below.

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

1. Drink Something Warm

Whether it’s coffee or your favorite herb tea with honey, treat yourself to a hot drink. Holding and sipping something warm will almost always do wonders for lifting your mood, especially this time of year when it’s still freezing outside. If your body can’t handle a late afternoon jolt of caffeine, you could try brewing a decaf cup of joe, or split a caffeinated drink with a friend or co-worker so you don’t get hit with quite as much of an energy boost before you have to start decompressing for the evening.

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

2. Take A Nighttime Timeout

Even though you can’t necessarily do this during your workday, I’m of the opinion that a nighttime timeout is essential for curing a bad mood—even one that started hours earlier in the day. Now that it’s winter, that usually means for me a nice long soak in the tub with a glass of wine. During the warmer months, I like to step out onto our porch after dark by myself and just sit with my thoughts. I’m an introverted person, so sometimes I really need to have some good old fashioned peace and quiet to break out of a bad workday mood.

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

3. Read A Book

Many of my own personal workday blues stem from feeling overwhelmed by mounting deadlines and to-dos that I really have no control over. Those types of things take a big toll on my stress level, so when my mind starts racing I often force myself to step away from the computer to lose myself in a good book. Even if I only have time for a speedy 20- or 30-minute read, the activity still has a way of making me forget about anything that’s bringing me down. It also allows me to get back to my to-do list with a much more balanced, chilled-out attitude.

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

4. Take A Walk Outside

I know exercising is good for me and that it’s a pretty popular way for most people to de-stress, but I really hate it. I loathe it, in fact, and walking is my absolute least favorite way to exercise. Trust me…I’m annoyed at myself for typing such a whiney statement, but I figured I’d just be honest! That said, when things get really, really bad and I can’t think of anything else to do, a solo walk around the neighborhood with our dog always fixes my mood. It might be a last resort for me, but I know, without a doubt, that this works. Just try to understand that I’ll be going through tips 1-3 before I resort to walking (wink, wink)!

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

5. Just Breathe

Everybody seems to swear by meditation these days, and I’m sure it’s for a good reason. Learning to train your brain to let go of negative thoughts (or thinking in general if you get that good!) is such a powerful skill, and one that I’ve been meaning to work toward for a while now. Have you tried it? Do you use a guided method? I’d love to hear your meditation tips and tricks in the comments if you’re willing to share.

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

A couple of other stress relief tips that were sent back to me on Instagram? Try starting a new creative project, listen to classical music, burn a sweet-smelling candle at your desk, give yourself a mini hand massage, drink a glass of your favorite indulgent wine once you’re home, and some of you even suggested resorting to a good cry! I don’t mind sharing that I’ve definitely done all of those things in the hopes of turning a rotten workday around, and that each solved at least some of my problems. Do you have other ideas that I didn’t share above? Do tell below!

Beat Workday Blues With 5 Stress Relief Tips

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: Under $20

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: Under $20

Does anyone else feel like today is January 356th? This month has felt immeasurably long for some reason (maybe I’m just mourning Christmas), but we’re finally about to start a brand new month in just a couple days time. Are you as ready for February as I am?

One of the best parts about this second month of the year, of course, is Valentine’s Day! John and I rarely make a big deal about the holiday, but it’s still nice to have something festive and sweet to look forward to after a busy start to the new year. Keep scrolling for a roundup of Valentine’s Day themed gifts to consider in case you’re shopping for the “Galentines” in your life—or, better yet, send a link to this post over to your honey so he or she can shop for you from the collection of goodies!

Valentine’s Day Gifts Under $20

1. Pair of Mugs ($11.99)

2. Violet + Vanilla Candle ($14)

3. Hello Love Warm Blush Art Print ($16)

4. Floral Satin Kimono ($16.69)

5. Love Knot Bangle Bracelet ($9.28)

6. Je Na Sais Quoi Journal ($18)

7. Gourmet Cooking for One or Two ($14.57)

8. Heart-Shaped Coconut Dish with Spoon ($10.99)

9. Macrame Heart-Shaped Square Throw Pillow ($19.99)

10. The Astrology of You and Me ($16.50)

11. Bath Salts With Dried Flowers ($5.99)

12. Monochrome Tassel Drop Earrings ($12.99)

What caught your eye from the list above? I personally would love to unwrap that pretty bracelet or heart-shaped pillow come February 14. Oh, and don’t worry if you’re more of a “no gifts” Valentine’s Day participant because I’ve got plans to share a super low-key dinner-for-two type of post next week that should give you lots of lovey dovey inspiration for celebrating at home on a budget.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: Under $20

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

If I were asked to pick one favorite type of thing that I love to search for at a thrift or antique store, my immediate answer will always be furniture. There’s just something so thrilling about being able to pick out a big statement-making dresser, cabinet, bed frame, or side table for our home.

The only problem is that we’re pretty close to set on the bigger furniture pieces we already own. Over the years we’ve been extra thoughtful about the items we’ve purchased, which means that we’re leaning more toward rearranging what we have when we want a refresh as opposed to going out and buying something new.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Since that mindset has put a hard stop on my time hunting for large furniture, I’ve had to shift my attention to smaller items that we have more room for—namely lighting. So, now every time I go to some secondhand shop I always keep a sharp eye out for pendants, chandeliers, sconces, and table lamps that we can switch our mass-produced fixtures (read: Target lamps!) out for.

Like furniture, though, there are certain things I need to keep in mind when purchasing vintage lights. Scroll on to peruse the little mental checklist I always go down before handing my credit card over to the store cashier, plus I’m offering a closer look at the antique lamps I bought for our dining room over the Christmas holidays.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Does it work?

Of course, the very first thing to check when considering a vintage light fixture is make sure it works. If it’s not plugged in already, take it over to any nearby wall outlet for confirmation. You could also bring the lamp up to the front desk, and ask the cashier to test it for you. If it doesn’t work but you think you might be able to fix it at home, ask for a major discount. Otherwise, it’s best to pass.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Is the cord in good shape?

The other absolutely critical thing to watch out for is a frayed wire. Unless it has already been through the hands of a skilled DIYer or electrician, chances are good that your old lamp comes with old wiring, too.

Put your fingertips on the wire right where it meets the base of the lamp and then pull the cord through your fingers until you reach the end. Did you feel any breaks in the wire? Do you see any visible kinks in the cord? You’ll also want to look the plug and its prongs over, and make sure the connection between the plug and cord looks good.

It’s not difficult to rewire a lamp (here’s a tutorial in case you want to learn how!), but if you’re not comfortable with the idea of doing that, maybe leave that particular lamp to the next potential buyer.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Is it stable?

After double (and triple!) checking that the lamp is in good working order and safe to use in your home, the next thing to check out is stability. When my sister and I were little kids, she was severely burned by a table lamp that fell onto her leg while she was reading one night, and that harrowing experience has taught me that a stable lamp is really important.

To check this, grip the neck of the lamp in question and see how easily you can wobble it around with a gentle side-to-side movement of your arm. If the lamp is broken or off balance, you’ll be able to tell right away, in which case it’s not the lamp for you.

Also take the time to inspect the bottom of the lamp where it meets the table, looking for any visible cracks or chips. Cosmetic scuffs are one thing, but you definitely want to steer clear of vintage fixtures that are too delicate to use everyday if that’s your intent.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

I had actually been thinking about purchasing these two ceramic lamps for months after spotting them at a local antique shop back in October. I thought long and hard about buying them because they were on the pricier side, but a quick and encouraging poll on Instagram convinced me that you guys were right—I needed to have them!

They might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but in my opinion, that rich marbled green color and the deep texture on the sides (not to mention those extra tall custom shades!) was all just too good to pass up.

What do you think? And are you just as into retro lighting as I am? If you have vintage lamp shopping criteria of your own to share, do tell in the comments below. Oh, and stay tuned for a larger look into our recently revamped dining room, including the new Asian art I bought from Etsy and vintage dining room chairs we picked up locally (my one furniture splurge for the year!). I can’t wait to spill the beans.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

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