My Thrifty 50s Kitchen Renovation: The coolest lighting ever!

There have been some big changes in my kitchen this week and it’s made a huge difference to the feel of the room. Yes, I’ve installed some new lighting and I honestly think they are the coolest mid-century style lights you’ll ever find…Well, anything would have been better than the light fitting we previously had in the kitchen. It was one of those old office-style flourescent tube-lights. I think it might have been there for about 30 years – would the mid-80s be the right kind of era for that style of lighting? Just look at the colour of the ceiling beneath the strip light when we moved it! Yes, that was the colour of the whole ceiling when we first moved into our house and it took about 3 coats of good base-coat paint to cover it up. It had been so long since we painted the ceiling (over a year now) that I’d forgotten how bad it was. There’s nothing like uncovering a manky bit of ceiling to make you feel like you’ve already come a long way.The new light that we’d got to replace it was one that actually made me squeal when I opened up the delivery. It’s a super-shiny copper multi-spot fitting and I found it reduced in the Iconic Lights sale. It’s such a cool atomic shape – just right for the kitchen of a 1950s house. Of course, with all electrical wiring, you should get a professional to attach the light for you. But it doesn’t take much time and is simply a case of fixing a base-plate onto the ceiling (thankfully we knew where the wooden beam was after removing the old tube light) and screwing the pendant fitting into place (after it’s wired in). The light comes with a much longer flex that we’ve used, so you could have it hanging much lower over a dining table. Plus, it would suit rooms with higher ceilings too. Can you imagine how cool this would look in an ornate high-ceiling-ed Georgian kitchen?? The success of this light installation spurred me on. I loved just how 50s my thrifty kitchen makeover was becoming and I started to think about ways that I could make it look even more diner-esque. A neon light was the answer! I’d been admiring neon lights for years but always thought that they’d be waaaay out of my budget. After all, I’d seen so many photos on instagram of God’s Own Junkyard and I know that those neon lights are a small fortune! So I thought that I’d probably never have the chance to own one, until I discovered GetGingersnap.com, that is!I found my dream neon light – a shooting star – on their website, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price (considerably less than the lights I’d seen online so far!). I’d describe this company as a neon and LED (and letterboard) specialist so you can imagine how many items I wanted to add to my shopping basket while I was browsing the site.Remember my DIY kitchen chairs makeover? I chose an aqua coloured oilcloth fabric to re-cover the seats solely for the pretty all-over star pattern. I’ve got a bit of a thing about stars (but I don’t need to tell you that if you’ve seen my home office, haha!) so my heart skipped a beat when I saw a neon star light on the website. And to top it all off, it was a rather swish light with blue AND white neon elements.I was so excited when it arrived and I had it up on the wall within minutes. My it-sometimes-keeps-time-clock that had once hung in the mini alcove was replace with my glorious glowing star light. It was the perfect fit for the space. The acrylic back-board reflects the light a little which makes it seem even brighter.I love turning the light on in the evenings and imagining that I’m eating my dinner in a 50s diner. The cool glow of the neon mixes with the warm light from the atomic light and creates a rainbow-esque light effect in the room. I love it!What do you think of my new lighting solutions? Let me know if you too have a ‘thing’ for neon lights (or stars, for that matter) in the comments below 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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