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Custom Lighting on a Budget – How To

Custom Lighting on a Budget – How To

The more I immerse myself in interior design, the more I become aware of what distinguishes a well-designed home from an average one. In particular,  I have noticed that most mediocre interiors skimp on lighting. Not only do I see many homes with boring, builder-grade  light fixtures. I also notice, from a practical perspective, many rooms are insufficiently lit.

When renovating our 1980’s rancher, I was sure to swap outdated, ugly-ass chandeliers and pendants for more updated statement pieces. However  once all of the natural light had subsided at dusk,  I noticed  I was not getting the ambiance I wanted. Regardless of the chandeliers and table lamps, many rooms became dark and unwelcoming.

boho chic summer decor

Being too much of a cheapskate to hire an electrician to install custom lighting, I picked up on a budget-friendly alternative – plugin wall lights. How did I never think of this before?

My first experience using plugin wall lamps was when I mounted an art light  over my bookshelves in the living room.

custom lighting on a budget

It makes such a difference! Not only does the wall lamp illuminate a dark corner of the room, the light also beautifully showcases the decor on the shelves…allowing for a more elevated look. At night, my bookshelves become a beautiful focal point. To hide the wiring, I simply tucked the cord behind the trim of the bookcases. Even better, many art lights are battery powered so that you don’t even have to worry about hiding cords.

Plugin wall lighting is also ideal for smaller spaces which may not have enough floor/furniture space for table lamps. This was the case for my mudroom/office combo. My desk was simply too small for a lamp, so I opted for a plugin wall sconce.

custom lighting without an electrician- how to


Not only are these wall sconces ideal for compact spaces, they can actually add more drama and interest to a room than if one were to simply use the standard table lamp as beautifully demonstrated by my talented buddy Karrie from Maker of Home.

I love how she worked with the lines of the light cord to emphasize the vertical space- establishing drama. I don’t believe the space would have had as tailored of a feel if it weren’t for the pendants.

So now that I have rambled about how great and cost effective plugin light fixtures are, I thought I would round-up some budget-friendly options for you. Simply click on the item to be directed to the source with purchase options.

For your convenience, I have included affiliate links. That simply means if you click on one of the links and buy something, I receive a small commission, but don’t worry… you won’t pay a dime more. 

Affordable Plugin Wall Lamps:

And if plugin wall lamps are not a new concept for you, I am sorry. They have been a game changer for me.

Now get out there and design some good vibes!



My journey in interior design and home improvement began with transforming my first fixer-upper home, all while managing a budget and raising two young boys. My work, a reflection of my passion for creating beautiful, uplifting spaces, has been recognized by top publications like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, HGTV, and more. I invite you to explore my site and witness the transformation of my home and the vibes we've designed.Read more...


Saturday 29th of July 2017

Ok, I had NO IDEA that battery powered art wall lights existed! This is a total game changer for me! I have an art wall that is so high I had no idea what I was going to do for lighting- it was the last piece of the puzzle. Thanks so much Erica!

Designing Vibes

Sunday 30th of July 2017

Yay, Beth! I am so happy I could help. I bet it will look awesome. :)


Tuesday 18th of July 2017

OMG!! You are too stinking sweet! I love your round up too.. I have the World Market one in our office and I love it. I also have a vintage glass pendant in there... You can never have too many lighting options! Great post girl, and I love your photos from your house! xoxo

Designing Vibes

Wednesday 19th of July 2017

Thank you so much for letting me use your photo....I am still so in love with that room and those lights are just like the icing on the cake. You are so talented, Karrie!