Tenant Improvement: new (vintage) light fixture!

When Christian and I can get our -ish together on a Saturday morning, we go garage sale hunting. We map out our route the night before (his idea) and get Starbucks in the morning (my idea). This past Saturday we hit up a few in the Pasadena area. He scored a Heywood Wakefield coffee table, a practically untouched specimen found at an estate sale for a retired Occidental professor (estate sales are so weird). I found a Danish rocking chair(!), a tiny vintage task lamp that folds into itself, kind of like it’s giving itself a hug, or crawling into the fetal position–but in a cute way! I also found this fantastic acrylic light fixture for my kitchen to replace the terrible, awful, stupid light fixture that my rental came with, which, Fun Fact!, is the same fixture inside Walter White’s dining room:

(I picked the most intense scene to show you that.)

As much as I love Breaking Bad (and I love it a lot), not even the novelty of sharing a light fixture with Walter White could make me like that stupid Pizza Hut style shroud. It had to go.
new (vintage!) kitchen light fixture

The left is my kitchen when I moved in, as captured by my iPhone. I thought it only right to capture the after photo with my iPhone too, so as not to rig the comparison. :)

I picked up the vintage acrylic light fixture for $3! Three bucks! Christian suggested I buy an 8″ frosted globe to help diffuse the light (about $7) and then he helpfully changed out the fixtures for me. I love it! And him!

Let this post serve as encouragement to all you renting tenants out there: with just a bit of money and the ability to do some things (or the ability to snag a man who can), your apartment can look like you want it to. And don’t worry–I kept the old (stupid) light fixture. Impermanent tenant improvement is where it’s at!

We’re currently brainstorming what to do about the lame, nipple-shaped light fixture on the far side of the kitchen. Maybe one of Daniel Kanter’s DIY hanging lights!

Never mind the misplaced ceramic lamp in the foreground of the after picture. Apparently lamps are my new rugs—I can’t stop buying them and I’m running out of places to put them. A lamp on my bar-cart means it’s really gotten out of hand. Where’s the whisky supposed to go?? Also, that box contains my new garbage disposal, which is going in tonight!!!!!!!

More Tenant Improvements: painting my kitchen black.

3 thoughts on “Tenant Improvement: new (vintage) light fixture!

  1. Do you share your secrets about how to you find these amazing places? Do you have a way of knowing which are “good” garage/estate sales to visit? We’re also renters and trying to make things more livable…I’ve loved your finds but I don’t know where to start for myself!

    • Hey Joy! No big tricks to the trade in particular. We look in the garage sale section on Craigslist for yard sales and estate sales. We plan to check out a bunch but a lot of the sales are busts. We do lots of drive-bys without getting out of the car. :) There’s usually pretty good signage for sales in Pasadena, though recently the city has been cracking down on un-permitted yard sale signs and taking them down sometimes before the sales are even over.

      My best advice is keep at it and you’re destined to find things! Oh, and the PCC flea market is always a good spot!

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