I am so excited for my “Revamp Your Rental” Series this week on the blog. The idea for this series came about when I realized that there are a whole lot of blogs that post amazing DIY projects that homeowners can do, but for someone who lives in a rental property, these projects sometimes aren’t feasible. But there ARE ways that you can make your rental feel homey without knocking down walls, installing built-ins or even painting. My goal is to inspire other renters (and homeowners, too) to create a unique space and not feel restricted by what you can’t do but focus on what you CAN do.
My first guest for this series is Jessi from Practically Functional so I’m turning it over to her…
But first, let me introduce myself! I’m Jessi, and I blog at Practically Functional, a blog about simple, practical ways to love your home, no matter where you live!
Renter DIY: Update Your Light Fixtures!
The first thing I noticed about the lighting when we walked into this apartment was that the lights were all on the walls! There is no overhead lighting in the main room of our apartment!!! The next thing I noticed is that the light bulbs were naked! There was no covering or diffuser on the bulbs; they were just bare bulbs in grimy old brass settings! Blech!
So we made a quick trip to Home Depot and found some “rustic” looking wall sconces (with actual glass diffusers this time!) and brought them home. About an hour later they were installed and we had brand new lighting in our apartment! I don’t have a full tutorial for you guys on how to install and wire new light fixtures because I could talk for DAYS about how to do it! I know there are tutorials out there if you want an exact step by step guide to doing your own wiring, but here are a few tips and tricks:
- Turn off the lights before you start! Even better, if you have access to the fuses for your apartment, turn off the electricity to the entire circuit! Don’t electrocute yourself!
- Pay attention as you remove the old light fixtures because chances are, the new ones go on in pretty much the exact same way!
- If your new light fixtures don’t come with instructions, Google it! Someone somewhere has had the same problem, and somebody else has at least attempted to help them out!
- After you get the new light fixture wired, but before you go through all of the work to attach it to the wall or ceiling again, flip the fuse back on and test that you wired it correctly! We skipped this step and got all four wall sconces fully installed only to realize we had messed something up on one of them! At least the other three worked. 🙂
- If you have wall sconces like we do, make sure you know how to level them out before you finish installing them! Sometimes you have to do the leveling before you actually put the fixture on the wall, and if you wait until it’s fully installed, you’re just going to break it when you try to rotate it so that it’s straight! There is nothing worse than a wonky wall sconce tilted off to the side after all the work you did to switch them out! Unless you break it. That’s worse! So just be mindful as you’re installing them.
- Keep your old light fixtures somewhere safe! That way whenever you move out you can just reverse the process, reinstall the old lights, and take your new fixtures with you!