Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Let there be Light!

I love using antiques in furnishing the house, but when it comes to lamps, there aren't alot of options.  Electric lamps really didn't come into common use until the 20's, so antique electric lamps aren't something I would look for.   I do have a few 40's lamps:

The lamp below is a brown transferware.  I snapped it up because it was transferware, although not terribly old.
The glass column below is from the 40's or 50's.   I like the clean lines.   It is a favorite lamp because it throws out a decent amount of light.  

 I love staffordshire.  The figures are whimsical and fun to display.  However I don't like a ton of clutter, so I try to repurpose my collection into lamps when I need something.  The easiest thing in the world to do is to make a lamp by getting a wooden plaque for a base at a craft store.  I usually spray paint it black.  If you don't sand it well, you wind up with a piece of wood your dust rag gets caught on.

If you want to do it yourself, look for a lamp part called an adjustable figurine arm or figurine pipe, on Ebay or a lamp store.  Drill a hole in the bottom of the board, and then assemble the electrical fitting on top of the pipe--and you have a lamp!  I do not glue my object to the base--that would ruin the item.  However, I do use a project called Quakehold so the figurine doesn't get bumped off the base by others.  It's like a gum.  In fact, I periodically replace it, as I found it petrified in my mom's house.

One of my home-made lamps

 The lamp below has a decorative base.  I suppose you can find these vintage  bases on Ebay.  I found mine at an estate sale many years ago.  I like the ones with adjustable necks, so you can play with the proper height of the shade.  I swapped dogs on this lamp,  the original dogs were 3" higher.

Most of the lamps in my house are objects turned into lamps.  Below is a camel lamp.  When I purchased it, it had a tiny riser, which I changed to a 3" riser so you could actually see the camel.  It's a dark linen shade.
Estate sale find
It was  easy to turn this candelabra into a lamp because the center post was hollow.    I used some candles in it.

I have purchased a few other lamps in the past few years.  I don't think I will ever tire of this glass lamp.

In getting ready to furnish the casita for my parents, I have a need for some lamps.   I did some impulse buying over the past few weeks.  Tuesday Morning had a cute pair of lamps that I got for the bedroom.  They are low slung, and perfect for the nightstands that have windows behind them.  They have a nice rustic linen shade which I have been wanting to try out.   It looks more like a burlap shade.  The price was right, $49.

Sometimes Tuesday Morning has cute things.  I also found these chicken wire baskets for $5-$10.   They'll be great organizing the pantry.

I keep trying to buy things on One Kings Lane.  It seems like every time I try to purchase something, it gets sold before I can make the purchase.  Today  OKL had Visual Comfort lighting on sale.  I was hoping to spot a lamp for the main room in the casita.   I sort of hate OKL because you really only have a minute or 2 to make up your mind.  OK, 10 minutes if you put it in your cart.   I spotted this wonderful alabaster lamp.  I just love the neoclassic shape.  Does it seem a little squatty to you?  I am not sure about the shade.  Given the quality of alabaster, I am thinking about the texture and color of the shade.   Sometimes I like using parchment shades.  I am not sure of the exact color of this shade, we will all wait and see.  I know I don't like start white shades.

I was considering a wood baluster lamp below from Pottery Barn, but they are sold out.  It happens alot with Pottery Barn--if you like it, buy it. Don't wait.   They were around $169, a good buy
.Architectural Salvage Turned-Wood Table Lamp Base

OKL actually had a similar lamp in alabaster below, but I fell for the urn shape instead.   I would have gotten a pair if I'd gone with these.  Price was $289/ea

The other lamp I was looking at was at  The price below is $299 at this time.


OKL had another lamp I really liked (below), but I already have a couple of barley twist lamps.

Please read how Delores at Vignette Design did a lamp rewiring project (see below--Thanks Delores)  Click on the photo or link to read her story.
Below is a statue I am contemplating turning into a lamp after seeing her cute project!   

So today I bought the lamp below because I really liked the shape.   I'm not sure if I should have stayed true to my original design and stuck with the wood lamps.  It will wind up in the living room of the casita.  I wanted a natural material, wood or stone.  I am thinking I will go with darker wood tables, and that the alabaster is a safe color choice for me.

I'll let you know when it arrives.

I didn't address lamp shades today.  That is a separate topic I'd love to cover soon!

It's another rainy day in Portland (OR).   At least we didn't have any tornados.  My daughter seems to be spending every day in the basement of her building in St. Louis.   Even California got in on the action.  My parents had a couple of tornado's less than a mile from their farm in Glenn County, CA.     My husband said he was calling the news station to report that his father-in-law's farm looked like it was hit by a tornado... (except it's looked like that for the past 15 years).  Please keep the people in the Midwest and South in your prayers.  

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