Updating the nursery ceiling fan with a shade

There have been a lot of nursery posts lately, but I have been focusing most of my energy there these days because I really feel like the room is long overdue to be finished.  Poor Sydney is already 8 months old!  As I mentioned in this post (aptly named “Time to finish the nursery!”), #5 on my list of things to do to finish the nursery is “Do something about the ceiling fan!”  So I did.  And it ended up being much easier than I had expected.

I’ve never liked ceiling fans.  They are not especially attractive to look at.  However, live one summer without central air, and you start to realize that maybe they are not so bad after all.  We have fans in both the bedrooms and pretty much run them all summer long.  We got the least ugly one one we could afford for our bedroom, but we never could bring ourselves to update the one in the nursery because really, it wasn’t that bad.  At least it was just white, which meant it sort of disappeared into the ceiling.  I really wanted to get something that at least had a shade on it, but all the models I had seen were $500 and up, and I really just couldn’t justify that kind of cash when there were so many other projects I wanted to work on.

I had sort of just written it off as just one of those things I’d have to live with until I came across this post in one of my new favorite blogs, thriftydecorchick.com.  I started sleuthing around the ol’ blogosphere, and lo and behold, these are popping up everywhere!  The basic idea is that you use a regular old drum shade to pretty up a ceiling fan light.  Genius.  So I read a few different posts (YHL even did this too!) and decided to give it a try.

Here’s what I’m dealing with:

Again, not terrible, but it does look pretty dated.  Especially that bronze-y part where the globe connects with the fan. Here’s a pic from beneath:

What I realized after taking the globe off and tinkering with the light bulb is that this was a much simpler project that I realized.  On a quick trip to Target, I picked up a fun white drum shade with turquoise trim (size “medium”–whatever that means!).  The important this here is the shade I got is the kind that just sits over the socket, and not the kind that uses a harp or spider or whatever it is called.  This allowed us to easily just install it over the socket and then re-install the bulb.  Since the shade is not heavy at all there’s not really any pressure on the bulb and it feels really secure.  We were very pleased with how it looked too!

Oh, and you can see I also swapped out the black pull for a clear acrylic one, as you can see in the above pic (you can get lots of different pulls for ceiling fans at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s in the lighting department).  The only thing we weren’t thrilled about was once we put the bulb back into place, we realized that without the globe/dome thing over the light bulb, the compact-fluorescent light bulb looked rather strange:

I decided that in order to make it look a little less bare-bulb-y from beneath (a concern DH and I shared) I’d just swapped the CFL out for a regular old large globe-y bulb.  I think it looks much better:

We are super pleased with how this very easy project turned out.  Oh, and did I mention this was very inexpensive as well?  This fun shade only set us back $13.50–certainly much cheaper than most of the shade-included ceiling fans I had been looking at originally!  I’ll leave you with one last before and after shot:

And there you have it.  For once, a project that was way easier than I had expected!  Hooray!  Now for the rest of the nursery projects…

What do you think?  Have you ever tried this before?  How did it turn out?  I’d love to hear about it!


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