Nate Berkus shares a genius DIY hack for making vintage-inspired table lamps – and it's so simple to copy

Crafting your own table lamps from ceramic vases is the latest interior design hack shared by the prestigious designer

Headshot of Nate Berkus
(Image credit: Getty Images / Daniel Zuchnik / Contributor)

Nate Berkus has revealed yet another clever design hack for the home, and this time it’s all about how to create your own vintage-inspired table lamps from ceramic vases.

The designer and founder of Chicago-based interior design firm Nate Berkus Associates took to Instagram yesterday to share the informative video for the DIY-savvy among us, much like last week's clever space-saving home office turned dining room hack.

In the video, shown above, Berkus explains how to recreate the look of a pair of vintage lamps that are styled in the guest bedroom of his NYC home.

The much-adored lamps originated in the Netherlands, dating back to the 20th century, and they're giving us lots of inspiration for decorating with antiques. Commenting on their hand-crafted design, Berkus remarks: ‘If you look closely, each design is actually slightly different, so even though they’re a pair, they're not exactly the same.’

Nate Berkus for 1stDibs
Nate Berkus

Since Nate’s first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, he has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers. He has authored two New York Times bestselling books and stars alongside his husband, Jeremiah Brent, in HGTV's Nate & Jeremiah Home Project.

Imparting his DIY expertise, Berkus goes on to share how to recreate the vintage and hand-crafted look as a decor piece in your own home. 

'Take a pair of ceramic vases with a big opening on the top,' Berkus describes as the first step in the process. Whilst he notes that you can take the vases to a lighting store to be repurposed, he explains that you can equally purchase a lamp kit and drill a hole into the bottom or back of the vase to fit the cord, if you feel comfortable doing so. 

‘For years, people have turned old Chinese pottery into lamps. Any sort of vase or pair of vases can be turned into a lamp with a simple lamp kit,' he explains. 

You buy lamp kits such as this one like Nate mentions at Amazon.

Whilst you can of course consider the best places to buy lighting, opting to get creative and craft your own promotes a more personalized approach, unique to your own home and design preferences. Allowing you to mix and match design styles by contrasting the lamp base and shade, there’s a plethora of options to cater to all design tastes. Opt for a wicker shade as shown in Berkus's home for an organic modern look, or a refined, plain-colored cotton to embrace minimalist decor.  

DIY your own table lamp

Whether you’re a DIY pro or new to getting creative with home decor, taking inspiration from Berkus to create your own set of lamps can elevate your home with a unique feel. While the vintage lamps in Berkus’ home feature a hand-painted design on the front, you can opt for a wide range of vases spanning different colors, patterns, and textures.

Below, we’ve selected some of our favorite vases on the market to help you on your way to undertaking this clever DIY project.  

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.