Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whole New Light

Hard to find that kind of patina 
on any reproduction

These rewired antique railroad lanterns
flank the mirror in our guest bathroom.
Originally oil powered
they had been rewired as plug-ins when
I found them at a junk shop in Vermont.

When we were ripping out
 the 80's style bathroom
 in our 1800s hunting lodge 
and bringing it back to that
 rustic chic 
look we love so much,
 I knew these lamps
 had made their final stop.

We had them hardwired as sconces
controlled with a dimmer switch. 

Those cool tube bulbs
really make it, don't you think?
These are actually appliance bulbs
 you can buy at the grocery store.

These cost less
 than mass produced wall fixtures
and add a real sense
 of history and integrity
to your home.

Don't over look those old oil lamps
or florescent desk lamps at a tag sale or Goodwill.
You can always have them rewired, 

Jeff made this lamp,
that's Jeff Boal, 
my darling husband.

That lamp has his name on it!

His parents had given him a bottle
of 1964 Boal Madeira Port,
 after it was consumed at our wedding
he turned the empty bottle into a lamp.

To forever shine like our union...
sniff, sniff, smile.

It lives in his daughter's room
so I put the silk shade on it,
 I thought it softened it up a bit.

This magnifique chandelier
 hangs over our dining room table, 
it started it's life as an old French gate.

The glow this creates 
when the wood paneled room is dark
and the dimmer is turned down low
is so romantic.
It is at your traditional distance
 from the ceiling now,
but you can also lower it
 to hang a foot over the table,
we have never done this but
we will try it at our next dinner party.
Photos and recipes to follow!

People call our house,
"the house of darkness"
because it is as it was in the 1800s, 
mostly lit with candlelight at night,
or what appears to be candles.
These are wired, on a dimmer,
that you can buy for pennies, click above
It gives off such a delightful glow,
your dinner guests
and even the dust bunnies
 look good.
We put the ginormous pinecones
 up there around the holidays
 and hang ornaments off it too.

Not too shabby,

Here is the latest lamp to reach our shores.

This guy is an old search lamp
 from a nearby junk shop 

My uncle says it's probably off an old
Chris-Craft, would have been mounted
on the roof of the boat
with handle underneath the deck to steer the top,
fashioned with a very high-powered lamp
that would be able to spot something a half-mile out.
Hence the name on the builder's plate,
Half-mile Ray.
I gave this perfectly patina-d
bronze baby to Jeff for Christmas.
I thought it would be great to build it in to the wall
when we renovate our kitchen
~ lamp side outside, handle side inside ~
so that he could 'spot' our dinner guests
 as they come down the drive.
He obviously has other ideas...
when I gave it to him he shrieked
 It will be perfect on the new boat"
New boat?
Didn't we just finish restoring the old one?

reproduction 1930 half-ray lamp, for...gulp... $719

Next time you need to shine some light on something,
considering buying an object you love
and rewire it.

I love the uniqueness
of a one of a kind piece.
You are not only saving money
when you reuse and repurpose,
you are saving the environment.

old gas street lamp, bought at auction in VT for $25, rewired for $100.

Wishing you
 a bright
beautiful day! 

speaking of patina
this beauty is for sale now on Ebay
you could be DIYing in no time!
How chic would that look in your loo?


Willoughby said...

You're lamps are gorgeous! I've been thinking of doing something like that for our stairway. I need to find something with a slim profile to use as a sconce (any ideas?). The current one sticks out too far and gets bumped regularly.

That Janie Girl said...

Loving what you've done with these lamps! They're beautiful!

VictoriaArt said...

You are genius! Love those lamps, especially the chandelier! What more, I love all the stories behind them.
We have an old brass chandelier, which I bought on City Island for $ 35 the year we got married there and is has been hanging over our dining table ever since. The only change I made a few years ago was to paint it red!
It's beloved by everyone!
And many of my table lamps are lucky finds, curb side, vintage stores, great bargains when you can see beyond the first appearance!
Great post, Abby!

Ashleigh said...

So many interesting pieces! How special and meaningful the wine bottle lamp must be, I love that idea!

Stitchfork said...

Those reworked bathroom lamps look perfect. Love when there is a story behind it.
xo Cathy

theLENNOXX said...

Great post Abby! I asked my husband just the other day if he thought I could be a good welder, because I'd love to make my own fabulous chandeliers and coffee tables. I'm always looking for nice lamps to redo at second hand stores and flea markets, so this post really inspired me!

And I'm happy you found some inspiration for your home office on my blog too =)

xo Linda

Rebecca said...

I came over to see YOUR lamps! They're WONDERFUL! I saw a chandelier in a decorating magazine the other day...all the shades were different (same size; different patterns). I don't currently have shades on either of our two...but I'm going to buy some cheap ones and try mis-matching them by covering with fabric. I found it very attractive.

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