Creative Ways to Use Decorative Bulbs

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Design & Image: Urban Chandy

Now and then I’ll see a photo on some site or other that shows something interior design related that I think is so AWESOME and I CAN’T WAIT to try it myself. Recently I saw a terrific kitchen renovation online that had lighting consisting of simple sockets hanging from black cords; what made them AMAZING was the decorative bulbs used with the plain fixtures. Those bulbs made all the difference in the world and I COULDN’T WAIT to give that a whirl in my own home. (Okay, I’ll stop with the yelling; you just need to know how exited I get some times about this stuff.) Problem was, I didn’t have any fixtures that would lend themselves to the extra cool factor of using decorative bulbs. So, as usual, I decided I wanted to post about it so that all of you could benefit from my excitement, even if I can’t.

Use them in an Industrial Fixture

This fixture in the first image above shows a variety of decorative bulbs, used to get somewhat the same effect as the single cords with simple sockets I’d seen that got me started on all of this. If you have a cool industrial fixture like this and are not using decorative bulbs, please give that another thought. You’ll be glad you did.

Use them to Make an Awful Fixture into Something Awesome

Creative Ways to Use Decorative Bulbs

Design & Image: EcoTrashTreasure

Most of us tend to wind up living in places that have the opposite of cool industrial fixtures—rental apartments, for example, have some hideous lighting. But with a little imagination and the right decorative bulbs, you might be able to turn your awful fixture into something amazing, like is shown above.

Use them in Just About Any Fixture

Creative Ways to Use Decorative Bulbs

Image: British Design on Nest UK

The bottom line is, with the kinds of decorative bulbs that are available today, you can turn just about any old (or new) fixture into something really special. A basic shop light in a cage probably costs less than the fancy decorative CFL bulb I’m showing here—but the two items together are a lot more reasonable in price than a lot of fixtures you might want to buy. And twice as cool.

Use them Inside Your Old Bulbs

Creative Ways to Use Decorative Bulbs

Design & Image: Julee Dyer on Warm Hot Chocolate

And, if you’re a DIY-er (love y’all, but you know I’m not one), you can even use decorative bulbs—in the form of string lights—to turn old burned out standard light bulbs into something special, like this center piece.

Aren’t decorative bulbs something you CAN’T WAIT to try yourself?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.