If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably already seen this vintage 1960s ceiling lamp. I found it in a dusty corner of a junk shop, and it inspired the design of my small space living dining room.
A Reclaimed 1960s Ceiling Lamp
It was filthy, cracked, and in need of a new cord, but I had to have it.
I negotiated the price down 50% to 50 kr. (about $7.50)!
I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to clean it up to a usable level, but it was just too cool to pass up.
Hallway to Small Space Living Dining Room
One of the problems with this tiny apartment and its galley kitchen, is that there isn’t an obvious place for a dining table. So I’ve realized that I have to drastically change the way I view and use the space. My first challenge was to dismantle the room that was being used as a combination living room, dining room, and office. Making that one room serve three purposes made it feel suffocatingly small and cluttered.
My solution to this small space city living dilemma was to move the dining table from the living room/dining room/office into the hallway, which is a pretty good size—and had been wasted space. This small change gave me a separate small space living dining room that surprisingly doesn’t feel awkward or cramped.
I painted the hallway turquoise, repaired and re-wired the lamp, and created this cozy little dining space. Painting such a strong color in a space that gets very little natural light was a leap of faith, but as you can see in that before photo, white wasn’t doing it any favors. I’ve always thought that hallways are perfect places to go bold with color—a theory I proved in my last apartment.
In my signature style of pairing secondhand finds with designer goods, I’ve paired this junk shop lamp with an original George Nelson Sunburst Clock. I’m so glad this lamp found its way to that junk shop instead of the trash. All it needed was a lot of bleach and some TLC, I can’t imagine a more perfect lamp for my small space living dining room.
The table and chairs are a set I brought with me from the States, it was made by one of the main manufacturers of 1950s diner furniture. They’ve since gone out of business, and I’ve been lugging this set around with me since the late ’90s. Coincidentally, the seats were upholstered in yellow vinyl, a perfect match for that awesome 1960s ceiling lamp, and a great excuse to choose turquoise walls! I only have room for the three chairs, but the table expands to seat a cozy party of six to eight in random chairs harvested from around the apartment.
The coat rack is repurposed from the hallway of my old apartment, and I picked up the shoe rack secondhand for 60 kr. (about $9), which was a major score because I was planning to pay several times that for the same one from IKEA. The shoe rack has made a huge difference in keeping the entryway clutter under control.
I saved about $45 by ordering the clock from Germany instead of buying it locally, and it’s a classic piece that will hold its value. I’m thrilled with how the room turned out, and budget-wise, I think I did pretty well.
Lamp: $7.50 (I re-used the cord from a lamp I already had)
Shoe Rack: $9
Dimmer Switch: $38
Total redecorating cost: $525.50
I think I’ll eventually hang some photos or artwork on that big bare wall, but I haven’t quite made up my mind because it has the potential to look cluttered. I love the idea of a gallery wall of photos I’ve taken—but that might work better in the living room. Other than that, I consider this project finished and have moved on to redecorating my small space living bedroom.
What do you think of the transformation? Tell me in the comments :)
It looks amazing. Wish I had some of your decorating skills.
WOW!!! ~me too~
Amanda @ Adorkablii says
Love this! The modern look fits so well in the space and I am involve with the lamp. I don’t blame you as I would have wanted it too! I am always inspired by funky pieces! And your walls… My favorite color!!! So very jealous! <3
Barbara Paola says
It looks great Sage! you have such a talent for decorating!
Love it! So creative.The turquoise is perfect.
Joely Smith says
Gorgeous transformation! I don’t know how you do it! I have so many things I want to change in my home, so many ideas, they always seem to cluster and get messy in my head lol. I seem to have a juxtaposition in the way I want to design and style. I know a GOOD designer could make that work but I just can’t seem to do it. I need to follow your blog for more inspiration.
Joely Smith says
PS that is the color I want to paint my living room by the way – sort of a tiffany blue – my ABSOLUTELY FAV color! With that said my house has tons of dark wood, vaulted ceilings with wood beams all the way through – do you think this color would fit with all the dark wood? Thanks!
Wow, what a redecoration job! That light was an incredible find. Sometimes, those old things are better than modern styles.
Making do what you have in front of you & then with whatever you find = thumbs up in my book…
If you’ve got a good one ( a happy hubby that is ) “happy wife = happy home” gives you a lot of leeway… Keep him happy & he will do his best to keep you happy too. Because happy = most important. My 2 cents worth. Be happy.
Good going and keep on going, Sage! (– Wildside, BTW)
Such simple fixes but what an amazing transformation for very little money. I love, love the paint color! It really makes the area pop! The hanging lamp looks amazing! You did such a great job bring it back to life.
WOW! I love this! Such a small space but with a little redesign you not only made the space full of great colors and creative design but also made it look bigger. Well done!! Also the yellow and turquoise look perfect together.
Gwendolyn Mulholland says
I love the transformation and it just goes to show how big of an impact you can make on abudget. My two favorite changes are the wall color and the lamp. It looks amazing and was such a great find.
What a great transformation! I love everything about your space. I love finding sad little pieces from thrift stores and giving them a new life. I’m also a huge fan of bold walls. My husband wasn’t sure about my decisions when we were redoing this house, until it was all said and done.
Bites for Foodies says
Wow! You did an amazing job…and I love that colour! What a cute little room and so reminiscent of the 70’s! A fresh coat of paint and unique light fixtures makes all the difference!
Very cute makeover. I totally would of bought that light too. So fun! Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on Twitter! Have a great week!
Farrah Less says
Oh wow I super LIKE the paint color you nailed it! I like minimalist rooms, clean and cozy. You did a great job can’t wait to see the other parts of your apartment.
Tiffany Haywood says
What an amazing transformation!! That light fixture and the wall color are everything!! Love it!
Hannah Spannah Coco Banana says
You have done an amazing job! You obviously have such a good eye for these things. I would have probably never noticed that lamp and if I had, I would have not seen it as more than broken junk. However, I absolutely love it. The wall colour is a big improvement. Thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare