Monday, March 4, 2013

My Perfect Lamp

Well, perfect for me anyway.  I love how it looks in the room.  It sits next to the couch on a little white plaster column.  The column I've had for over a decade.  It just keeps getting shifted from place to place as I find a better spot for it.   The lamp is new.  Newish.

A couple of years ago I was shopping at a thrift store with my husband when I saw this fabulous cast iron thing.   We had no idea what it was, but we had a great time making guesses.  We finally settled on calling it our "burglar b-gone because it weighs over five pounds (can you imagine getting a blow to the head with this thing?)  It was a drab, dark gray but had such interesting design I had to have it.  I paid seven dollars for it, brought it home, and hid it away in the store room.  I was over six months into the redecorating of the sitting room before I remembered the burglar b-gone.  I needed a lamp but I didn't want to pay the $40 it would take to buy the great turquoise lamp from Target that was too tall and didn't even come with a shade.

The burglar b-gone was perfect.  Just the right height and I already had it.  A quick paint job with a newly mixed paint sample ($1.20) and a lamp kit ($4.50+$4.00 for the harp) and a $10 shade gave me a great new lamp.

Lamp kits are fantastic.  I'm not kidding when I tell you it took me ten minutes to wire this up.  10 minutes.  Super easy.  The directions left a little to be desired, but I do have a bit of experience with wiring.  I have really only replaced old electrical sockets, but it was enough for me to be able to follow the diagram and get this done right.  Just remember when you use one that it is important to get your wires lined up right.  You can get fantastic fireworks if you swap the wires, but most people don't want fireworks next to the couch.  Don't be afraid of it, just test it outside if you aren't sure of your work.

So three lessons from this lamp for me:
1.  don't pass up great things at the thrift store just because you aren't quite sure what to do with it.  Of course, it really does have to be GREAT.  You don't want to fill your home with nice or cute things waiting for a spot.  Nice and cute are easy to find anywhere.  GREAT doesn't come along everyday.

2.  Just about anything can be a lamp and it's fast and easy to do.

3.  Always take before pictures.  Imagine how cool my Pintrest pin would be with a blah thing in the before and my awesome lamp in the after?  You'd think I would have learned after I forgot before pictures of the chairs.  One of these days . . .

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