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        Light Fixture Inspiration

        Lighting Inspiration | Sweet Home ChicagoImage via | Shop the look

        Well, it’s probably obvious, but I’ve had trouble keeping up with blogging recently. I LOVE doing it, but figuring out what to do with my life has taken up a lot of time the last couple weeks. I’m hoping to get back to posting every day next week, but would love to hear what you think is working and what’s not!  What do you want to see more of?  Thanks:)

        I’ve lived in my apartment for almost exactly two years and despite the laminate countertops, non-stainless steel appliances and dated tile, I love it. The location is perfect for me and I don’t feel like the closets are completely overloaded (yet). But, for the entire time, one thing has seriously bothered me: the light fixtures. There are three of these. I literally look at them every day and cringe. So, when I think about apartment projects to tackle, replacing them is at the top of the list.

        Now, some people don’t see the point of making their own improvements to a rental. Not surprisingly, I have the opposite view. Around the time I stopped living with roommates, I became obsessed with the website Apartment Therapy (one of the original home design blogs) and happened to read the founder’s book, The Eight Step Home Cure.  The book is full of great tips, but there is one I’ve relied on for the last five years: don’t be afraid to spend the equivalent of your monthly rent each year you live in a rental to make it feel like a home.

        Yes, it’s a way to justify spending money, but it also makes sense. For example, in my last apartment, the closets were terrible. The shelves were sagging and they were so poorly constructed that the doors wouldn’t shut properly. They annoyed me so much on a daily basis that I was tempted to look for a new place after a year. Instead, I negotiated with the landlords to install a new closet system. I designed it, told them what the total price would be and coordinated the installation. All I asked was that they pay half of the total, which was about $500. Even though I several hundred dollars on a closet system I couldn’t take with me to my next place, I still think I ended up with a great deal because I liked the apartment so much that I stayed for two more years (and saved money by not moving to a more expensive place).

        So what does all this mean for the hideous flush mounts? I’m willing to spend a little (but no where near a month’s rent!) to put in light fixtures that will make me love my apartment even more. I’m leaning toward inexpensive (but better looking) flush mounts for the hallway and the kitchen, but I want to do a little bit more in the dining area. So, as I try to convince my landlord to pay for the installation, I’ve been looking at inspiration from around the blogosphere.  I love the look above, but I’m hoping to spend less than $200. What do you like best?

        Lighting Inspiration | Sweet Home Chicago

        Image via | Shop the look

        Lighting Inspiration | Sweet Home Chicago

        Image via | Shop the look

        Lighting Inspiration | Sweet Home Chicago  Lighting Inspiration | Sweet Home Chicago

        Image via | Shop the look                                    Image via | Shop the look (hint: West Elm!)