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As tempting as it may be to scoop up an entire apartment’s worth of decor in one go mere days after signing a lease, it’s a better idea to hit the brakes. Decorating slowly is likely to save you money (and heartbreak) in the long run—but don’t just take our word for it, take Nate Berkus’s. There’s one purchase, especially, that Berkus believes you shouldn’t rush into: lighting.

“I’m a bit of a lighting snob,” he says. “I’ll look for a while to find the perfect lamp or the perfect lantern or the perfect sconce…with a little bit of effort, you can find a vintage piece or a beautiful fixture online that really does elevate the space.”

His favorite spots to scour? 1stdibs, Chairish, eBay, and Etsy. It’s not about splurging, it’s about taking your time to find the very best piece for your style. And if that piece happens to be a cool secondhand score—well, that’s just an added win for Mother Earth.


Etsy is your place for unearthing handmade fixtures and one-of-a-kind vintage bargains. Just be sure to read the reviews of the seller before buying to avoid any snafus down the road. 


If you have a bit more cash to spare, head here first. This online marketplace may be more expensive than most, but it’s where you’ll find incredible designer lights without much effort. Look out for the gray “negotiable” text at the bottom of certain product pages; it indicates you can haggle (within reason) for a better price. 


Maybe you thrive in a flea market setting, in which case eBay should be your go-to. Set up alerts for the styles you’re after and be prepared to do a good bit of legwork to acquire your dream sconce. But it will all be worth it—the prices for antiques on this platform are generally super-reasonable. 


We get why this site is one of Berkus’s favorites; with professional edits, a helpful app, and a fairly wide range of prices, Chairish is a vintage lover’s dream. Check out the monthly curated picks to stay on top of new arrivals, and get your hands on that Paavo Tynell pendant before anyone else does. 

See more from Nate Berkus: Why Nate Berkus Doesn’t Recommend Following Trends The One Item Nate Berkus Swears By for Making a Space Bigger Nate Berkus Can’t Get On Board With This Popular Kitchen Trend