Put up a parasol

Unattractive ceiling fixture and hanging bulbs with no shade are too often a feature of old apartments or temporary living quarters. But without installing new fixtures, these can be transformed with a bit of TLC -- tender loving camouflage.

One suggestion is to hang an open parasol or pretty umbrella below the light, as a change from the more ordinary bubble light of Japanese lantern shade. Just hook the umbrella into the fixture chain, or a loop in the light cord. Choose a parasol or umbrella color that will give a soft glow to the lighted area, or select a pattern that will make it an attractive daytime accent as well.

If your decorating taste is in tune with high-tech treatments, perhaps you'll want to use an umbrella straight from a photographer's supply shop. Mount it on a shiny metal light stand for high-level lighting when the existing fixture is too near the ceiling to hold the umbrella.

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