A Simple Light Hack and Progress at White Mountain Cottage

I have a thing with lights, and by that I mean I have a tough time matching my design ideas with my wallet. I ran into this problem in our kitchen renovation and we ended up building our own light for the island. When it came time to shop for a dining room chandelier for White Mountain Cottage I ran into the same problem.  So today I plan to share with you how I overcame my dilemma and updated a basic light fixture to get just the look I wanted.

But before we get into all that… a lot has been happening at the cottage. So quickly here’s a recap of our progress:

In the last update we just installed and painted the cabinets. Over Christmas we hung the floating shelves:

floating shelf installation

And the following weekend we installed the subway tile backsplash:

subway tile installation

While we had the tile saw out, we tore up the bathroom floor and installed a fun new tile:

tiling the bathroom floor

It was COLD the weekend we worked on the tile… and I mean 14 degrees cold. Using a wet tile saw in freezing temperatures was not fun or easy. I needed a break and a simple project like the dining room light to motivate me.

Other than paint, all the dining room needs is new light fixture so it had to make a statement. I wanted a modern black light that would tie in the brass accents from the kitchen like this inspiration light here:


I love the understated gold/brass accent inside the ring. It is affordable at only $170 but it was too big for the angled ceilings and my budget was $150. Plus my sweet husband wasn’t a fan of Edison bulbs because they are expensive to replace (and sometimes I have to let him have one). So I looked and looked but couldn’t find anything that I both liked and could afford. Then I stumbled across this basic black light fixture on Overstock:

dining room chandelier before picture

The shape complemented the angled ceiling but it lacked the brass accents I wanted. But for $99 (sale price + coupon) I bought it assuming I could figure out some way to jazz it up. I picked up Rub and Buff in antique gold at the craft store and came up with a plan to makeover the light.

Here’s what I did:

(1) Remove the candle tubes from the fixture. They basically just slid right off.

simple DIY light update

(2) Apply rub and buff to the tubes. I used my finger and buffed it on until I was happy with the look.

simple DIY light update with rub and buff

(3) Apply rub and buff to the candle cup. I used painters tape to avoid getting Rub and Buff in places I didn’t want it.

simple diy light update with rub and buff

(4) Slide the candle tubes back on:

(5) Hang the light fixture! Step back and enjoy!

simple DIY light update with rub and buff

I am so glad I didn’t settle for something I didn’t absolutely love. With a little creativity I got the perfectly shaped light, the brass accent I wanted and stayed $45 under budget.

Do you ever have a hard time matching your style to your budget? What are some creative ways you’ve styled your home for less money? Share in the comments!


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simple light hack for an updated designer look










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2 thoughts on “A Simple Light Hack and Progress at White Mountain Cottage

  1. Hi Brie,
    Love the light fixture! Your cabin is coming together very nicely! Curious how many will it sleep?
    Your friendly neighbor,

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