While I am far from a home improvement guru, in the past few months of really focusing on fixing up our new home in various ways, I’ve come to learn a few tricks and shortcuts to increase my home improvement savvy and frugality.
I really do wish I’d learned of some of these tips and tricks before moving into our new home! But now that I know where to look for bargains and great finds, it makes beautifying my home far more wallet friendly, and I figured my blog is as good a place as any to pass on my newfound tricks!
In the past nine months, these are the most reliable and – for me – unexpected places to buy affordable light fixtures!
1. Swap Meets and Yard Sales
I never thought about looking at swap meets or yard sales for light fixtures. I’d had it in my head that used light fixtures must have something wrong with them – it never really occurred to me that personal tastes and preferences may move someone to replace a perfectly fine light switch until I was a home owner myself!
I also had the misconception that only used things would be found at a swap meet or yard sale. So you can imagine my surprise when I found brand new, still in the box designer light fixtures that would be perfect for my kitchen for only $2.50 each at a local swap meet! I found these fixtures while waiting for the purchasing of our home to be finalized. It was one of the first home improvement purchases I made for our new home, and they are still one of my favorite!
2. Thrift Stores and Habitat for Humanity ReStore Shops
While I am a thrift store junky, I had never heard of the ReStore chain of home improvement thrift stores run by the non-profit Christian organization Habitat for Humanity. I was discussing upcoming home improvement plans with a friend of mine, and she mentioned how she has a friend who is always making random home upgrades that look amazing with ReStore.
It took me awhile to finally get around to checking out what this store is all about, because the concept – a home improvement thrift store – seemed too good to be true. But when we visited, we were blown away! The variety is amazing, and the prices are unbelievable! I seriously wish I’d learned of this store sooner, it would have saved us SO MUCH MONEY! Check out this New Orleans gas lamp style front porch light fixture we picked up to replace our dim and dull one, so only $8! Pretty adorable, no?
3. Sales and Clearance at Home Improvement Stores
While hunting around for bargains, don’t forget to check out your run of the mill home improvement stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Orchard Supply Hardware. Now only are they a great place to check out for inspiration, but their sales can be off the charts! When we first moved into our home, we needed floor lamps for our living room which inexplicably has NO overhead lighting. We ended up picking up a three piece floor lamp set for only $15, on sale from $90!
But even without finding a killer sale, the going rate for basic light fixtures are not too shabby if you are just looking to replace something old and broken or terribly outdated, like we were with our 1950’s ranch house. For instance, we just needed a simple fixture to replace the ugly 60’s throwback lights in our entryway, so we found this energy efficient lamp (with bulb included!) for only $20 at our local Lowes!
4. Hand Me Downs from Friends and Family
While I haven’t accepted any light fixture hand me downs from friends or family just yet, I would not discount it or fail to ask if I were you! I have found friends and family a great source for advice and help with our various projects! For instance, my parents gave me a TON of objects that range from functional to decorative for my goat barn and pen.
So if you are in the market for light fixtures, let your friends and family know! Who knows? They may be looking for an excuse to upgrade their light fixture, and gifting you hand me downs may be just the excuse they need!
5. Antique Stores
Not only do antique stores offer some unique and rare one of a kind finds for home upgrades, if you are a DIYer like me, you can always create a light fixture with found items for an industrial or chic look. (I have been on the lookout for awhile now for some egg baskets to use as hanging industrial light cages!)
You can also use found objects from antique stores to dress up existing light fixtures. Check out how the previous owners of our house dressed up the kitchen island lighting with this vintage citrus ladder! (We asked them to leave it with the house purchase, and they were kind enough to oblige!)