Saturday, February 27, 2010

LET THERE BE LIGHTING


“It's raining,” my dog Edward told me this morning.
“I know.”
“And it's Saturday morning and there won't be any yard sales,” he went on.
“I know.” This time I growled it.
“Good, you can stay home with me,” he said, and settled down for a nap.

Dogs generally are philosophical about rain. I might as well be too.

Since it's a dark day outside, I have various lamps turned on in the house, and it made me realize how many of them were thrifted. We have two of these spiffy desk lamps, which we bought at a yard sale over ten years ago.
They were expensive, I think $15 for the pair (that’s expensive to me!) but since we’ve had them so long the Cost Per Wow has become quite reasonable. We originally used them for bedside lamps. When we moved to this house they were both on my husband’s desk until my little Ikea desk lamp died. So I stole one for my desk.

I blogged last fall about giving this lamp a new cover.
The lamp was free, and after much experimentation I used super-inexpensive vintage tea towels to recover it. It lives on the midcentury walnut dresser that we scored off Craiglist.

I love this stained glass lamp, especially since I moved it to the elderly drop-leaf desk in the dining room. Yes, of course the desk came from a garage sale—as did the picture above.


We’ve replaced all of the standard shades on the ceiling lights in our house with more interesting vintage models. This is in my husband’s study…
…in my home office…
…these are in the hallway…

…and this is in the guest room.

I think we have a few more pieces stashed away in the attic. Haven’t found any for a long time; most of the houses in this area are not of an age to yield interesting ceiling glass.

My favorite lamp is this amazing midcentury piece.

It’s made of decorated glass, I'm guessing Danish from the late Fifties, early Sixties. It was taller when I bought it—had a long metal neck piece, and came without a shade. I'm betting it originally sported one of those really tall cylindrical shades. We rewired it and gave it a shorter neck. When I found it at a yard sale, I was iffy about buying it because the price was something like ten bucks. I ended up offering five, they said sure, and I've never been sorry. The guy who sold it to me said it came from the home of a wealthy doctor and had originally cost $500. To myself I said yeah, sure it did, but I've come to believe he may have been close to the mark. I was thumbing through a catalog from Room & Board the other day (if you don’t know their stuff, it’s nice…but strikes me as very expensive Ikea) and noticed that their table lamps generally run from $300-500. (And there’s a desk lamp, not nearly as interesting as mine, for $375. Guess fifteen bucks for the pair wasn’t so bad.) The shade was found by a friend at another sale for a quarter. One of these days I may recover the shade with more interesting fabric. Meanwhile, every time I walk by the lamp I'm entranced anew by the wonderfully silly peacocks parading around the base.


Edward just came in to point out that it's raining even harder. He’s right, as usual. The perfect day to bake cinnamon rolls, turn on a lamp and hang out with the dogs and a novel. There might be something in this rain stuff after all.


20 comments:

  1. I love the frosted ceiling light fixtures! so pretty and all different---especially the polka-dot one!
    your "fancy "lamp looks like Picasso drawing chickens! Great!!!
    we are frugally going shopping today in the rain for a second hand car for our youngest son. Wish us luck....at least he doesn't want a SUV or truck, no, he wants an 05 Mustang....don't think so!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The thing about sprucing up your home with wonderful vintage finds is: you are SUPPOSED to stay home and enjoy it all once in a while. Cherished treasures, baking cinnamon rolls, snuggly dogs, and a good book, it all sounds delightful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have definitely seen the light! I love your vintage ceiling fixture shades. That mid-century lamp will look great in your new house! Hope you have had a great day after all.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The ceiling light fittings are just beautiful. I got just a little flutter of envy looking at them.

    Hope you enjoyed your relaxing Saturday.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Better get used to the rain since you're moving to Oregon! At least you will have super spiffy lamps for those dark days. I sure miss the Pacific Northwest (we used to live on Bainbridge Island in the Puget Sound). Absolutely lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It was seriously over cast today, I ventured out only because I had other errands. Found four or five sales, most of them were not worth the effort or the gas.

    Love the stories about the lamps! They are all attractive and utilitarian...great combination.

    Are you going to take the ceiling light covers when you leave? It would be a shame to leave them behind for someone who doesn't appreciate the vintage greatness.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a wonderful, sensible dog you have! Not only do you stay dry but your home isn't filled with wet dog smells!
    Enjoy your book and your rolls. xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have a very smart dog! ;) I love, love, love your vintage shades! They are all so unique & gorgeous!!! :) I think this is the first time i've commented on your blog, but my dauther & I are hooked on it.. last Sunday we spent a couple hours reading back pages & pages! lol!! I love the way you write and all the marvelous treasures you find! Enjoy your Sunday! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love your blog, love your Fannie Flagg tip that you commented on over at my blog, and I especially love that polka dot light fixture. Jealous!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You inspire me! I wish it was spring right this minute, so I caould go garage sale-ing, but I guess I will have to wait for the snow to melt. I used to be an antiques dealer many moons back, and I can tell you that you have quite a knack for finding The Good Stuff.After reading your blog for the first time last week, I was inspired to check out a local antique shop in my new town of Red Lion. I found a great deal, a 1971 Michael Garman figurine of an aviator for $16.00! After buying it (had the audacity to ask for a better price) I raced home to my computer and looked it up. It goes for about $120 when it can be found. So thanks for my husband's new statue--he was delighted!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is the piano lamp a repro? I can't tell from this distance. It looks very nice--maybe a Pairpoint? Reminds me of one I sold that was reverse painted.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love interesting shades, too! It makes even a humdrum lamp seem ultra fabulous!

    Hugs ~ Angie

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautiful lamps...thanks for sharing them with all of us!

    Blessings,
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love your lamp collection you got going there! Beautiful! Be blessed, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your lamps are really terrific...do you make house calls? Dianne

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love this post! Reminds me to look around my own home for inspiration when this mean winter gets me down. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love your lamps and I love your style! Your house looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, what an interesting read! You truly are the queen of fifty cents. Wish I had even a touch of your ability to spot a bargain.
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete

I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

 
Pin It button on image hover