The Background

Last year, my husband and I bought our first home.  Ever since then, I’ve been on the hunt for ways to decorate our humble abode that won’t break the bank.  Most of our savings went into the down payment and closing costs so the past year has been spent slowing decorating our house with clearance and thrift store finds. We have a red theme we have going on in our den.  We chose red for the room because we have a framed picture in that room with bright red and thought it was a fun accent color.  We added in a few red shelves to contrast with our predominately white décor as well as a red throw blanket and clock.  I generally follow the same rules for decorating my house as I do picking my outfits: I choose a color palate with at least two neutrals and add one or two complementary accent colors.

The Find

Recently, I found a great red lamp at the Glebe Road Goodwill.  I was thrilled because it matched the red in the den perfectly.  If you’ve ever tried to rock a red lip, you know all shades of red are not created equal, and I was excited to find a perfect red match!


The Problem

However, when I got it home and plugged it in, I realized the lamp didn’t have pull chain!  I thought about returning it, but the red was the perfect color and I didn’t want to try and find another.  I decided to try and come up with a DIY solution.


Plan A

I decided to keep the lampshade and headed back to Goodwill to look for another lamp base.  I couldn’t find one I liked, so I picked up a couple other things, including a large glass gallon jug.  I was thinking it would be fun for summer parties, better than my boring Brita. When I got home, I remembered I had an old hanging light cord that I wasn’t using.  I had used it in my old apartment and hadn’t needed it in our new home.  When it comes to décor, I rarely get rid of anything so I have the option to reuse or repurpose it later.  I dug out the cord and realized that while the gallon jug I got was pretty, it wasn’t super practical for daily use.  Then, I remembered a lamp I had seen with a clear bottom and decided my gallon jug could have another purpose.


The Steps

First, I removed the lampshade from the light.  Then, I connected the light cord to the lampshade.  They weren’t a perfect fit, so I used some clear tape to connect them.  Next, I put the cord in the top of the jug.  I didn’t want the cord to be visible through the jug so I put just enough of the cord in to anchor the lamp to the jug. The lampshade kept leaning in the jug, so I used more clear tape to attach the lampshade to the jug and the light cord.  It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s hidden by the shade, so no one but me (and you) know it’s there.Viola! A perfect Goodwill DIY lamp for my den.


The Style

When it comes to adding bold accessories to a room, you can either go classic or dynamic.  I love combining neutrals with a bold accent color. The splashes of color catch the eye, but aren’t overwhelming.  In this set, I chose the colors black and white and added in just a few red items.  I think if I were going to add this lamp to the set, I’d switch out the jug for another base to match the more modern décor of the chair and mirror.  I’d probably get a metal lamp base and spray paint it matte black.  My friend turned me on to spray painting and I’ve used it religiously since I became a homeowner.

Fashion and interior design are two sides of the same coin.  Both require a keen eye for color and an understanding of proportion and harmony.  How have you used Goodwill finds to decorate your home? Have you had any DIY success lately? 

Share your experiences in the comments!