September 26th, 2013


One problematic quirk of this ‘ol brick house which isn’t always apparent despite some bold ugliness and a real talent for causing deep boiling frustration inside me. Hey wait, is it that awkward looking ceiling medallion?


Well, sort of.


Nightmare. Electrical. Ceiling. Boxes.

Roughly carved into every ceiling, these 14″ square holes of wires and chaos forever need to be concealed when installing any hardwired light fixture around the house. Lacking any sort of clever or modern option to cover these monster holes, I’ve always grabbed the cheapest and least gaudy ceiling medallion available. Afterwards I’ve tried to ignore how much I hate them and the way they look. Stupid medallions.

So, after five years of endless light fixture swapping, hoarding and medallion tolerating all I wanted was to be free of clutter and simplify down to the basics. This need to minimize down to the simplest base of form and function was how I eventually built the Simple Light. So now that the simple light is being installed throughout the house We need a simple medallion to match. So?




Simply a minimal plywood circle for covering up your holes, you know, modernly.



Drill + Wood Drill Bit
Tape Measure
Pen / Pencil
16″ Birch Plywood Disc
ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape



1. Find and mark the center of the circle. (Here is a guide)

* I used 12″ strips of ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tapeto figure out the center points (aka 6″) of the two sides of the circle. Using that 6″ mark as a guide, I taped two straight lines across the middle of the circle. Where the two tape lines cross is the center point!

2. Drill a center hole through the plywood disc that is large enough to easily accommodate lamp wire or your particular light fixture.

* TIP: apply ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape over the spot you plan to drill through and then drill through the tape. The tape makes it easy to drill a clean smooth edge hole and will stop any splintering.

3. Depending on how your fixture installs, thread the lamp wire or fixture body through the new smooth drilled hole.

4. Install it all up!



I ended up taking the white lamp down and installed a brass one. Why? ‘Cause I’m fickle. I don’t know.

Depending on your fixture and how it installs, you can attach this medallion like most others. I installed these lights per their normal method, but added the medallion by threading the pipe nipple through the center hole and then twisting it into the fixture bracket until everything was tight and flush.



Overall? DIY Medallion? Success.

Modern, minimal, easy and super cheap to do. Simplify covering up ugly holes without making a big fuss about it. So, heads up other lamps around the house, looks like its updated medallion time for you crazy weirdos.



scotchblue, scotchblue painter's tape, painter's tape, tape


This post is a collaboration with ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape. To join the creative community, visit the ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Facebook Page, tweet us via th ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Twitter Page or get inspired by the ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Pinterest Page.




    1. Greer on 09/26/2013:

      Wow! And I thought I was a minimalist.

    2. tracy on 09/26/2013:


    3. darenR on 09/26/2013:

      oh boy.. there’s no way that’s up to electrical code.. it should have a fixture box there.. and the wire sheathing should extend into that..

      looks great though?

    4. darenR on 09/26/2013:

      wait…. i partially retract my previous statement.. looks like that entire casing is some type of other electrical box?

    5. mary on 09/26/2013:

      You have no idea how spot-on timely this is for me. I have the exact same janky set up in my 1933 house and right now the foyer light canopy is just hanging there because I can’t get it attached to the ceiling. I am stopping at home depot on the way home tonight, codes be damned. My house hasn’t burned down in 80 years.

    6. Linner on 09/26/2013:

      I hate to say this, but I loved your medallions. I love them. I love you new one, but your old medallions are the reason I want them in every room of my house. Sorry! :)

    7. ejorpin on 09/26/2013:

      Love it!

    8. Clare on 09/27/2013:

      DIY ceiling medallion—simple elegance. excellent. less IS more.

    9. Clare on 09/27/2013:

      DIY ceiling medallion. simple elegance. excellent. less IS more.

    10. Cheryl on 09/27/2013:

      Fucking brilliant.

    11. Green Key on 09/27/2013:

      Awesome! What a great idea.

    12. Layne on 09/27/2013:

      Amazing. Now I can replace my bathroom lights without patching the messed up ceiling around it. You’re good!

    13. Louise on 09/28/2013:

      Woo-hoo! You’re back!
      Nice work btw.

    14. john on 09/29/2013:

      You’re right DARENR. That stick of 2X4 in the box and the wood medallion are a definite no-no.

    15. Rachel on 09/30/2013:

      Wow. That looks fantastic! Really elegant. I would LOVE to link to your project if you didn’t mind.

    16. Rick Gist on 10/01/2013:

      I love how you describe the process “added the medallion by threading the pipe nipple through the center hole and then twisting it into the fixture bracket until everything was tight and flush” — sounds dirty :)

    17. quadri astratti on 10/03/2013:


    18. Chicago Interior Design on 10/03/2013:

      What was the total approx. cost? Wondering if I could incorporate these into some our interior design projects as an added personal interior designers touch.

    19. hazeldazel on 10/08/2013:

      absolutely not to code and is a fire risk, but looks cute.

      please put the wiring in an electrical box and use a face plate. the wood ring can go around that with a bigger hole.

    20. Mr.Mister & Mr. Melker on 10/10/2013:

      Very Beautiful! Whats the lampshades name / where do i get it?

    21. Anna on 10/10/2013:

      Morgan, this is a personal plea. I check your website daily in hopes of finding another short story riddled with sarcasm and humour. My defeat hangs like a black cloud over a prairie of shiny red foxes yelling ring-a-dingding.
      Anything. Just give us something.


    22. Jana on 10/14/2013:

      Yeah, what Anna said … “Just give us something” … please!!! I check your blog often … very often … so often … so very often … embarrassed to say just how often … hoping to find a new post from you. Yes I am a Brick House stalker. Sarcastic humorous text? Pictures of furniture or dogs? Something! Anything! Please!

    23. Jana on 10/14/2013:

      Or at least pin more on pinterest?

    24. Stacey Day on 10/15/2013:

      Okay, that is brilliant. I have the SAME problem in my 60′s house and am super-pumped to steal your idea.

    25. Rick on 10/21/2013:

      I like the old ones as well but this new one is really streamlined so thumbs up to your design and efforts.
      Yeah you really need all those wires in a junction box. Was there a ceiling fan there before hence the block of wood??

    26. Wioleta on 10/29/2013:

      Such great idea! This is brilliant, no, seriously :)

    27. Henry Drake on 11/05/2013:

      I love this diy! Thanks!

    28. Henry Drake on 11/08/2013:

      This DIY is really cool!

    29. Solveig Grøvle on 11/14/2013:


      I hope you will find the time to update soon, missing your posts:)


    30. Adam on 11/20/2013:

      Fantastic, love it!

    31. Renovation Bayside on 11/27/2013:

      Superb, Thanks for sharing this whole process.

    32. Lauren on 11/27/2013:

      Well, isn’t that fun!? I feel like you made that look really easy, when in fact, I will end up crying and yelling at my husband for not taping the right section etc etc… but it looks amazing!

      Lauren | Blissful Happenings

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    34. JAY on 12/09/2013:

      I want to see more from you lady! Your blog is my favorite!

    35. Kirsty on 12/21/2013:

      Agh. We miss you. Write about anything, why stay on theme?

    36. Mel on 12/25/2013:

      I want to see more from you too!!!!
      If you posted more, I’m sure your blog could be a great source of extra funds with all the viewers and ads you can put up? Just thinking any incentive as we love your posts and style and would love to see more of it!!! Be it dogs or daily life or projects or your home or garden or your fav inspo or whatever !!! Love your shit

    37. Layer on 12/27/2013:

      brass! I miss your house

    38. Paula on 12/28/2013:

      It’s a naked light bulb. What does it look like at night?

    39. B. on 12/29/2013:

      This is such a great and simple solution! And it looks fab!

      Breathe Me

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    44. Ryan Hart on 01/09/2014:

      Love the minimal design. What are your thoughts on potential light covers when you can’t find incandescent bulbs anymore?

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    47. goodbye on 01/20/2014:

      What happened to this blog? I used to be an avid reader but you seem to have fallen off the face of the planet. You haven’t posted in ages..I guess I’ll turn to blogs that actually care about their readers & maintain their site.. goodbye BRH and hello, Manhattan Nest and Door Sixteen!

    48. Cori Magee on 01/28/2014:

      Haven’t dropped by in a while, but what perfect timing to see this DIY… This week, I’ve been building up the nerve to lose the UGLY ceiling fan in our apartment dining room…. This is awesome. Thanks!

    49. Christa on 01/29/2014:

      Morgan! What’s going on? I’m guessing either: a) you are working like crazy and have no time for the dying art of blogging, 2) you have become a drug addict/have a terminal disease, 3) you need anti-depressants, 4) you’ve achieved a state of bliss and no longer need anything from the material world. I truly hope it’s #4. Missing you <3

    50. Margaret on 02/02/2014:

      That looks fantastic!


    51. ellen on 02/14/2014:

      omg, i love your blog, but please post something new!!

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    53. Florian on 02/26/2014:

      Poke, poke, poke. You still alive?

      Hey. I miss your blog. Like lots!

      Please post something. Like how the garden is coming along. Or how there have been 500 different coffee tables in your den.


    54. David on 03/01/2014:

      We demand more posting!

    55. E on 03/12/2014:

      Hey Morgan,

      I’m having some trouble with a simple light I purchased (I also emailed you about this issue) . The inner threaded part of the fixture has become stuck so that when I turn the bulb to remove it the entire bottom half of the fixture unscrews. Any recommendations on how to fix this issue?


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