3.12.2009

Let there be light: A before and after lamp redo.

I'll start this post with a caveat: If you like clean, modern, comtemporary, and sleek you will not enjoy the following redo. If you like things that are over the top with just a smidge of too much a the tiniest touch of tacky, you might like it. As Diana Vreeland said, "I'm not against bad taste. I'm against no taste." Or as I put it, "If you never go over the top, you'll never get to see what's on the other side.
Let's start with my problem: an empty console table in the hallway of a client's mostly traditional home. The console table itself is formal, a vintage, possibly even late 19th century gold leafed rococo revival piece (Note: I did not choose the piece. It was from a former residence). It needed lighting, but I did not want to use a pair of buffet lamps for a couple of reasons. 1. The hall is primarily neutral and the table is set against a mirrored wall (Note: the mirrored wall was selected by the previous owner and their architect). My clients were against the idea of hanging another mirror or art in front of the existing mirror, so I needed a large lamp that made a major statement. 2. The house and hall already contains a lot of pairs: pairs of chairs, pairs of lamps, pairs of prints and painting, etc. 3. Those incredibly ugly words: budgetary constraints.
Enter: this tall celadon beauty found for just $10 dollars at a hotel liquidators. It's tall-I didn't measure, but at least 36", and the body was in perfect shape and the perfect shade of blue green to accent all of the cool blue shades the wife loves. It's not apparent in the pictures, but the body has a beautiful crackle finish.

The makeover supplies: harps, finials, and ecru silk lamp shades for Lowes, Modern Masters metallic paint, and the most beautiful trim from Interior Fabrics (also available online here). In an ideal world, I would have had a large oval custom lamp shade made, but: 1. the party is Sat. night 2. If I could have fit a $200-300 lampshade in to the budget, I wouldn't have been looking for lamps at a hotel liquidators.


I agree with I Suwannee here that brass is the new silver, so I didn't mind the shiny brass finish, especially since the house retains much of its shiny brass hardware from the 1980s, and the console table is goldleafed. However, the finish had a few small blemishes, so I lightly dabbed it with a gold metallic paint to hide the blemishes and give the finish a slightly crazed look. I'll bet you're thinking, I didn't know paint would adhere well to brass. Guess what, you're right, it won't, and I wouldn't paint hardware, drawer pulls, etc. that would be used on a regular basis. But for something that will rarely be touched, it will hold up fine.

Next I glued a gimp brad in shades of gold, celadon, and raspberry (an accent color throughout the downstairs) to the top of each of the shades. I used hot glue.



Next, I glued a coordinating tassel trim to the bottom of the shades, trying to finish off the ends neatly. I really hate doing anything like this that requires precision.



Then, the new harps and finials, a little accessorizing the homeowners' things and voila:







A lamp that makes a statement. I'm not really sure what all that statement entails ,but in part, it saying " Look at me. "








3 comments:

Anonymous said...

you are right. I prefer clean, simple and modern. But this lamp is done very nicely never the less.

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SGM said...

Nice work!

(I am giggling at "One day, as God as my witness, I'll gold leaf the dog.")

Design Junkie said...

SGM, the little bitch has it coming.