June 13, 2012

Tween Room on a Budget ~ DIY Cage Lights
and saving money with GE Engergy Efficient Lightbulbs

Our eldest daughter is turning eleven and starting Middle School in less than 8 weeks.  So for our first project of the summer, my husband and I decided to give her room a tween upgrade.  We live in a wonderful, but very old and quirky Victorian home which presents plenty of decorating challenges.  Our three biggest challenges with this room were lack of space, lack of storage, and outdated lighting.

It must have been the exploding down comforter that finally pushed us over the edge!
Her room was very sweet before, but not at all practical.  The limited storage made it difficult for her to keep the room tidy and properly display her cherished collections.  The dated light fixtures were shabby (and not at all chic).

The timing of this project was perfect because I had just signed on with Collective Bias to do a DIY post featuring GE Energy Efficient Light Bulbs with supplies purchased from Walmart (#GELighting)!  You can see a full gallery of my path to purchase in my Google+ post HERE.

Solution #1: Storage ~ by making a few simple modifications to a set of bunkbeds and a dresser that we already had, we were able to create this custom loft bed without spending a dime. Now our daughter has a place for all of her clothes and accessories, and is able to store all of her big stuffed animals out of sight behind the dresser.

Solution #2:  Update ~ For the cost of a gallon of paint, we were able to transform the the mood of the room from faded and drab to cheerful and fab!

Solution #3:  Lighting ~ We were able to create our own vintage-style cage lighting using our existing fixtures and two hanging plant baskets from Walmart.  The only cost was for the blue spray paint, wire baskets ($1.84 each) and some new GE Energy Efficient Bulbs!  

Cage lighting has seen a resurgence in the design world, showing up in kitchens, in the office, bedrooms, bath and outdoors!  Here's how we created our version of vintage industrial chic lighting for less than $8. 


If you don't already have a globe light fixture, you can pick one up at most home improvement stores for around $6

($1.84 at Walmart)

Metal Snips (optional)

Paint (optional)

(To save money on electricity and change your bulb less often)

$12.96 for the 2-pack at Walmart, this 5-year bulb breaks down to less than $2 per year!  Plus, you'll save money on the cost of electricity!
 Step 1:   Remove coco lining and chain from the wire basket.

Step 2:  Test basket up against your light fixture.  If the basket fits in your fixture, you won't need to make any modifications.  To fit the basket in my fixture, it was necessary to use metal snips to remove the small center ring.

Step 3:  Paint  (optional)

Tape off the fixture and spray with paint (paint screws as well).

Step 5:  When paint is dry, remove tape from fixture and insert a GE Energy Efficient bulb.  You can see how much money we'll save over the life of the bulb in the chart at the end of the post.

Step 6:  Place painted cage around globe.  Place in the fixture.  Insert and tighten screws in place.  

This shoppertunity with GE and Walmart was perfect for my family since we've set a goal to replace all of our old incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient CFLS by the end of the summer!  What's not to love about CFLS (Compact Flourescents) -- they use less energy, don't run hot like incandescents, and save you money.  GE has a huge line of energy efficient bulbs at Walmart with special bulbs for ceiling fans, vanity fixtures, outdoors, and more.  Their "Bright from the Start" line features bulbs that have the look of incandescents (rather than the CFL coil), and are instantly bright from the moment you turn them on!

By using the GE Energy Smart® CFL Savings Calculator  we were able to instantly see how much money we were going to save simply by replacing those two bulbs in our daughter's room!

Find out how much money you can save HERE!
For the latest in lighting technology, energy efficiency and savings, stay connected with GE on Twitter and Facebook

Discolsure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE Lighting. #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own.

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  1. Very nice! Great ideas to use, thanks.

  2. Great job - I love the new look of her room!

  3. You are such a good mother! This looks great, and I am sure she is so excited! What a great way to celebrate going into middle school!

  4. What a cool idea to turn those baskets into lights! Her room looks great now and so "grown-up!"

  5. Wow, the room looks great! I love the bed and dresser storage idea, and the cage light rocks. We use these light bulbs too. Thanks for sharing!

  6. The room came out great! Very smart decisions for saving on space, and displaying her prized possessions. I really love the cage lighting too. I've always wanted to see the inside of a Victorian house. I wish I could look around some more. lol

  7. Oh, too cool! What a neat project. :) The room looks fantastic!

  8. Wow! Love that light fixture. Great job! And I recently started using the GE bulbs too. It's amazing how much money you can save.

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

  9. Love that cage light! So cheap!!

    We switched to the fancy new bulbs a few months ago too and I'm floored at how much money we are saving! The electric bill for our family of 7 is under $200 a month and we've got the A/C running constantly here in TX!!

  10. I LOVE THIS! What a fantastic idea! And her room looks fabulous. I am sure she adores it!

    Natalie @Sippycupmom

  11. What a great transformation - I bet she loves her new room.

  12. What a beautiful room and so creative!

  13. Great transformation and the light is really cute!

  14. Jenn, her room looks awesome! Love the light fixture...you are beyond clever!

  15. Hi I'm concerned about saftey of the loft bed? Could I possibly see more pics of how big the dresser was because I really would like to do this, thank you!

  16. Hi I'm concerned about the safety of the bed on top of the dresser? Could I possibly see more pics on how big/wide the dresser was because I'd really like to do this in my son's room! Thank you!

  17. Hi I'm concerned about saftey of the loft bed? Could I possibly see more pics of how big the dresser was because I really would like to do this, thank you!

    1. Hi Lauren, the dresser doesn't actually support the bed. It can be slid in and out, although it is solid ash, so it is rather heavy. Likewise, the bunkbed frame that my husband converted to the loft is also solid ash, which is a hardwood. I definitely wouldn't recommend it with one of the softer woods like pine, and it also depends on how well the frame itself is constructed. I hope this helps.



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