18 In our home

side entrance makeover: the lighting issue

So before the holidays, I shared with you guys the first couple of steps of our side entry makeover: the uuuugly before, painting the space aqua and yellow, and adding some artwork.

Still on the to-do list for this phase 1 makeover? Addressing the lighting. It had a bad case of dated lighting syndrome. Not only was this was one of those small brass glass-covered chandeliers, but the glass was actually etched with some sort of floral design. Barfity barf. Let’s take a look back at where we started.

Since we were trying to keep the budget to the bare bones for this project, I had to get creative with the lighting. Imagine my delight when I uncovered this oversized pendant at the thrift store. My sister, nieces, and Mum looked at me with a bit of a puzzled look when I was totally squealing, but I knew this guy had potential. Plus, at $4.99 I couldn’t beat the price.


Although I’m kinda digging brass and gold tones these days, this brass was scratched pretty badly and beyond repair (it was worse in person than how it looks in the photos). Spray paint for the win! It took several thin and even coats, but I turned this bad boy into a matte black beauty.


Hubby got up on a precarious ladder (leaned up against the door – giving me a heart attack), to remove the old fixture.


I was in charge of shining the flashlight (and taking photos – ha ha). What would I do without my handsome man?



Bye bye dated lighting, hello sweet pendant. It sort of has a schoolhouse vibe, don’t you think?



I like the way the black sets off the space and doesn’t try to compete too much with the other stuff going on. It would have been totally fun to spray the pendant a bright yellow or electric blue, but it would have been just too much with the aqua wall and yellow door.


And although we moved from the four chandelier bulbs to the one in this pendant, it still provides tons of light.




So phase 1 of this little makeover is officially complete. We’d still love to tackle the stairs (new paint + runner), paint the handrail, spray the door hardware and other little tweaks. Another phase for another day. I think we’re putting a cork in this one for now!

 What about you guys? Had any great lighting finds lately? Other fab snags from the thrift store? Or get up to something fun over the weekend? Do tell.

Want to create a blogging biz?


Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons delivered straight to your inbox. We'll get your blog and biz up and running in no time!

Powered by ConvertKit

You Might Also Like

  • Michelle @ Sweetsuite10

    Wow! your new light looks great! I’ve been looking for a new light for my foyer, but so far no luck while out thrifting. Hopefully I’ll soon spot one that can be redone as nicely as yours has been!

  • Jeanette @ This Dusty House

    I think the light looks perfect with the matte black finish. It definitely pulls the whole entryway together really well! Love it!

    I spent all day Saturday couch shopping for my mom-in-law’s living room! Fun, but exhausting.

  • jackie

    Love it to death. Fantastic!
    I have a couple questions. We’re planning an addition with a similar set-up to make stairs with a separate entrance. Our kitchen door is above ground too, just like yours. Could you send me any photos you have of the outside of your house showing the footprint of that staircase, or any other info about it? Trying to design it is rough. And is the landing shared with your tenant or does their suite start at the bottom of the stairs? I’m not sure if their stairs should be messy outdoor stairs, or nice, indoorish stairs. I think yours are for outdoor shoes right? Since you don’t have boot storage on that landing of course? Any info you could afford would be so helpful. And you did a wonderful job with that hall, I’ve been excited everytime you post about it!

    • gemma

      Hey Jackie! Sounds like you have a big project coming up! In terms of how that space works, our tenant comes in that side door and walks down the stairs with her coat/shoes on (so the stairs have to be pretty durable). She then walks through the door at the bottom of the space, into our shared storage/laundry area, and then goes through another door into her apartment. You can see some photos of that part of the house in our house tour page (though they are a bit out of date!). We keep quite a few throw rugs down in that walkway to keep any rain/snow/dirt at bay.

      Hopefully that helps! Don’t hesitate to email me if you need any more info!


  • Amelia @ House Pretty

    Love it! I feel like I’ve seen this style light fixture a lot lately (I mean that in a good way) – can’t believe you scored one for $4.99! Nicely done! And yes, my husband is my official light installer too :)

    • gemma

      Handy to have those light installers around, huh? :)


  • Mandolyn

    I have been so enjoying this makeover as you’ve been updating us—love it and it looks great, but I’m sad it’s over. Can’t wait to see what you tackle next—thank you for such great inspiration!

    • gemma

      Thanks Mandolyn! Don’t worry… lots more makeovers and DIY projects are on the to-do list! :)


  • Kim @ Painted Love Blog

    Definitely a school house vibe! I like it! Your tenant must be super happy to enter such a fun space.

    • gemma

      I hope so!! :)


  • Dacia @ Lemon Drop Life

    I agree, the black helps ground the space..it looks great!

    PS – I still swoon over that door..so lovely!

    • gemma

      Haha – thanks Dacia! There’s not much that beats a yellow door :)


  • jackie jade

    great easy update! i really need to peruse the thrift store more for some easy and cheap updates!!

    • gemma

      It really is the best!! You’ll be amazed at what you can find :)


  • ali thompson

    the light turned out perfect! and what a steal for $5. can’t go wrong there. well done!

  • Shannon(8footsix)

    LOVE the new light!!!!

    • gemma

      Thanks Shannon! It was definitely such a good thrift store find – one of those lovely successful trips!