Give it Light! (A Semi-Reveal of Our Midcentury Built-ins)

One of downsides I’ve learned from living in a 1948 home, that there is a severe lack of lighting.

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Especially the midcentury built in we’ve been attempting to restore. However I have been hesitant to install permanent light fixtures to highlight the built-in.
What if we move or change our minds? What about cutting or ruining more vintage details just to hang a light? To say the least we were in a bit of a quandary…In the end hubby was the brilliant one and said,”what if we’re living in a rental, how would we install a light fixture or run cable?”
STICKY BACK CORD COVERS!

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We figured we could run the conduit down the sides and paint it to match the built-in. Also there are two working outlets on either end, perfect for light cords. Next we settled on two Ikea Hektar work lights. Then using rustoleums gold spray paint, color matched, to the built ins original brass fixtures, we changed them from ugly brown to a soft gold.

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Next we primed the conduit by painting them with some of the leftover shelf paint. Once dried we cut the conduit to size. We then installed the two Hektar lights; 1) on the wall with wood paneling, light 2) was screwed into the brick fireplace wall. Quick tip, if you have to use screws that do not match your light fixture, (like the blue masonry ones we had to use) keep a gold or silver sharpie around. You can color the screw to match your brass or nickel fixture.

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Once lights and conduit were installed I protected the built-in with painters tape and gave the conduit another coat of paint.

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Last step, I tucked and hid cords away, (painters taped the excess cord, so they’d be out of sight).

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Once conduit paint dried, we pulled off the painters tape, and, “Let there be light!”

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I still need to learn how to style a built-in properly (I’ll admit “styling” is not my strong suit) Nor do I really want to fill it with knick-knacks, I’d rather fill it with vintage records. Someday I’ll figure it out, but for now we’re just happy for the added light and a 1948 home feature restored to its original purpose. Happy Sunday everyone!

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