Project Restyle: Bedside Lamps

Project restyle bedside lamp

Project restyle bedside lampI recently updated some thrift store lamps for our bedroom that I thought I’d share with you all today. Oh yes, a whole post about lamps. That’s the kind of blog this is. We love “everyday” stuff. 🙂

OK, so, I installed a new light fixture in our bedroom a couple months ago, and I love it (promise I’ll share more on that someday). The only problem is that it’s quite bright.

This is wonderful for getting ready in the morning, or just anytime you want a bright bedroom. But, some nights, like when I’m winding down and reading, I don’t really want a super bright room. I want a little chill, mood lighting, you know? 🙂

So, I realized I needed some bedside lamps.

Project restyle bedside lamp I looked online but wasn’t 100% on what I wanted, so I didn’t want to spend too much. (Guys, I’m sort of cheap… it’s just one of my things.)

I decided to just keep my eyes peeled when thrifting or vintage shopping, and I also kind of thought in the back of my mind I might DIY something if I had an idea.

And then I spotted two cute ceramic lamps while thrifting. They just needed a little sprucing up and I knew they’d be really cute!

Before and after lamp restyleI already loved the shape of the lamps, and I really loved that there were two, as I kind of like matching bedside lamps. 🙂

Used lamp pair Used lampThey were each only $4.48, so I grabbed them up and  just prayed that they worked because I could not test them at the store without bulbs.

My dad has helped me fix numerous vintage lamps over the years, so I figured even if they didn’t work, there was a good chance he could help me fix them. But when I took them home, I promptly cleaned and tested each – and they worked!

Next, I planned my “design” and bought supplies. I decided to do a kind of half and half black and white look. I could have used just about any type of paint, but I used spray paint and just taped any area that I didn’t want painted.

I did decide to paint the cords white so they would blend in with our walls better, in case they peeked out from behind the bedside tables.

Painting the bottoms white Paint the tops blackOnce they were painted, it was time to add shades and bulbs and marvel at my too-easy-and-super-inexpensive “new” bedside lamps.

With the white shadeI bought two of the largest shades they had at the hardware store (same time as I bought the spray paint). I liked the overall shape and size, but when I put the shades on, I just wasn’t that into it.

I decided to live with the lamps for a few days and see if I liked them better. I didn’t. I realized that they’d look SOOO much better with a black shade.

I checked a bunch of stores in my town, but I couldn’t find any black shades that were large enough. I got online and quickly realized that large black drum shades like I wanted were going to run between $45-60 each. Really?! I kept thinking I’d find a cheaper option but didn’t have any luck.

Of course, that’s not a totally outrageous price for a nice lamp shade. It’s just that the lamp bases cost only $5-6 with the paint. So spending way more on the shades just felt kind of silly.

But ultimately I decided to go for it because I really liked the lamps, and I felt that the black shades would make them something that I would love for much longer.

Project restyle bedside lamp Project restyle bedside lamps And for me, I think it was the right choice. I should have realized too that the black shades would soften the light even more, which is exactly what I was looking for with this project functionally for our room. But yeah, I agonized over those lamp shades for a few days. Ha!

Anyway, that’s it. Just a fun little project restyle for you. Take something old/used/inexpensive and turn it into something you love. xx. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.

  • You could go with some hurricane lamp style lights for the side table situations. (After searching, turns out there’s a million different styles, but they would certainly have had some kind of hurricane lamp in the time period you’re looking at so there must be a style to match

  • You can sell these at 5 times more the price that you actually got it in.. It looks really good. No kidding. I really like how smoothly transitioned the colors are on the lamp’s body.. It is not direct but gradual.. that must have been tricky right?
    Really well done. 🙂

  • Beautiful! I love thrift shopping. Was just thinking about doing something similar for my night stands. Good jobs! They look great!

  • Lovely designs…Especially the lamp design is really interesting

  • that’s exactly what I was thinking. kinda negates the great deal on lamps when it’s $120 for lamp shades! i’m in the wrong profession, I need to design lampshades!

  • The lamps remind me of pineapples! They could be painted yellow and fit perfectly in your bar too 🙂 haha!

  • I love these! Your bedroom looks like a hotel room Emma, I love how chic these lamps are 😀

  • I love how you revamped these lamps. They look even more classic.

  • I did something similar with our nightstands. Really cheap wine-boxes and we bought really expensive legs for them.
    10 € boxes
    80 € legs

    but without the legs it wouldn’t have been perfect 😉

  • The macrame curtain lives on! looks great there 🙂 awesome upcycle of those lamps

  • It’s super simple to recover lamp shades with fabric, you don’t even have to sew them 🙂

  • This looks so cool ! I love these kind of DIY posts x

  • These look so good! They make the room, though I’m a total sucker for vintage lamps (especially twins)! I think the shades were worth it because spending a bit more for exactly what you want can save time and money in the long run.

  • What a great idea! I’m kind of (actually, very) cheap too, so I love these kind of posts! 🙂

  • My dear, you did a fabulous job. I need to do something similar, but not MCM. My renovation is more Renaissance–17th century. As they had no electricity back then, I am at a crossroads about lamps. Sure, we have some to die for chandeliers. But what about other lighting? Even the lights in the kitchens are a quandary. Spotlights won’t work with 14-foot ceilings! Sigh. I am working on this. If you have suggestions, feel free to speak up chez moi.

  • I love thrift store shopping. and estate sales. and craft shows. and home improvement stores. lol. You got a great deal with the lamps, but I don’t think I would have spent that much on shades. I’m way too cheap for that. Now $60 for shoes???? on yea.

  • Love them! Where did you get the drum shade? I’m looking for the exact same one and cannot find a black one that shape ANYWHERE!

  • These look great! Sometime I have a really hard time see what something could look like with a fresh coat of paint, so this is inspiring. Also, do you love the Standard Wax candle?


  • Love the contrasting colours on this one!

  • I wish I could see things and realize what you can do with them! I would have

  • I love this – I want to see more people embracing reusing – or upcycling, as it is more chic-ly called lately. What a great way to unknowingly be eco-friendly!!!

  • Don’t you just love it when you do an update on something in your home, and it turns out great? Love your lamps!!! I was originally a follower of your blog, but got a new computer and having to do join everything all over again…blessings!!!

  • I misread the title, looked at the first photo and thought ‘hm, these bed side tables are really nice indeed, but what is this lamp? It looks gorgeous!’ 🙂 Well, I have my answer!

  • It looked boring and you did it again! very cheerful lamps 🙂

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