Another great find from the weekend, this time at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market on 39th, was this 1930s schoolhouse light fixture. I’ve been looking for something like this for my kitchen for quite a while. Problem is, they’re always so expensive! When it comes to lighting, it’s rare to go to a flea market and find multiples of a fixture. They’re usually just onsies or, at the most, a pair. In my case, I only needed a single fixture anyway, so this one was perfect!   


I love the white porcelain base, as well as the shape: it’s vintage, but it feels modern at the same time. When you’re buying an older fixture, just make sure that the mechanisms are good. This one was a little faulty, so on the way home, I did a quick stop at the hardware store to pick up a new porcelain socket. When I got home, I was quickly reminded of how ugly the one I have now is. It’s the cheap fallback favorite of every New York landlord, and I couldn’t wait to get rid of it!



Even if you rent, it’s easy enough to swap out less-than-appealing light fixtures for something better. Just make sure you save the old one to replace it when you move. Now I’ve done this a few times (my father Walter is an electrician!), so I pretty much know how it goes. My advice is to do your homework first. Both Lowe’s and eHow have pretty good explanations. Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time too, including electrical tape and caps. A professional electrician can cost up to $150 an hour, so as soon as you get the hang of it, so to speak, you’ll save yourself a lot of money!


What a difference, isn’t it? I love the white porcelain with all the ironstone china above the cabinets. So, even if you rent, don’t settle for cookie-cutter fixtures! Lighting can make (or break) a room. Find a fixture you love—and if it’s vintage, all the better (and greener!)—read up on how to install it, and I promise you’ll be much happier with the result!


Have you conquered cookie-cutter lighting in your home? Need a suggestion for a fabulous new fixture? Be sure to leave a comment and let me know.