We rent our apartment, so we're pretty limited in what we can do to customize it to our tastes. Take, for instance, our ceiling fan in the dining room. It is totally not my taste, very traditional and a little country.
Additionally, we finally found affordable dimmable CFLs but the light was horrible, not what I wanted for romantic dinners à deux.
My preference would have been to change out the entire fixture and put in a mid-century modern one, but that wasn't going to work for my budget or my landlord. Instead I had to settle for updating it.
I removed the fan blades and light covers. (I had already removed one light cover in the picture above before I remembered to take a picture for the ol' blog.) I scrubbed the grimy fan blades, but they were permanently stained. I spray painted them white and they looked like new. It only took one coat and even Chuk noticed what a difference it made, and he's not the most observant person in the world.
Then I went to the hardware store and bought come new light covers. They had some beautiful hand blown glass ones, but I chose the colored glass because 1) I wanted to bring some of the yellow I have in the rest of the room over to this side of the room, and 2) the colored glass casts a romantic amber colored light (similar to candle light) rather than making the harsh operating room light we had before.
Although this was a compromise project for me, I'm a lot happier with the fan than I was before and the total came to less than $20.