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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Light Fixtures

I decorated my husband's bedroom in black and cream toile. He had the dated 1980's plain Jane ceiling fixture in the room. At a yard sale I came across this chandelier for $5. All I did was clean it, buy the black and cream shades and Stan put it up. The porcelain with the black striping makes it more tailored and a tad more masculine. It really dresses the room.

This chandelier was a very dated antiqued bronze 1980's fixture over the breakfast table in our house. We hated it. So dark and unattractive. But I stunned Stan by taking it outside and cleaning it, spray painting it and adding the red and gold shades. He put it up in my bedroom (which is decorated in red and cream toile). I sprayed the chain and ceiling plate with gold spray paint. All it took was 3 cans of spray paint and the shades to give me a pretty, romantic bedroom fixture.

Use your imagination and look around your own house. If you don't find what you need in your garage, basement, storage boxes...then check out yard sales and thrift stores. Think what it could look like with a good clean and some paint!

Here are some more interesting light/lamp ideas:

Western style lamps

Check out their lamps

Some beautiful, romantic light fixtures and lamps

My sister, Elaine, found some church lights at a thrift store that she sold on ebay. If you come across something like this, they are great for high ceilings like an entrance hall, stairwell, etc.

This shade has been dressed up with a ruffle. Ruffles, beaded ribbons, boullion fringe, etc can be found at most craft and fabric stores.

Here is a lucite lamp that has been dramatically dressed up with the shade. It looks like a silk shade and you could add the ribbon roses (you can buy them pre-made) and a beaded ribbon around the edge and have the same thing. I find vintage glass lamps at antique malls and thrift stores all the time. A good clean, some rewiring and a new shade can make a classy boudoir lamp.

This inventive person used a rainbow ribbon on her old lamp shade skeleton! Look for ribbon rolls on sale or at yard sales and voila!

If you have a modern house and/or decor, look for the hip light fixtures of the 1960's!

Here is a 1960's inspired lamp and they just splattered paint on the shade. That should be easy to reproduce! A really cool look.

Here is an old gas light that has been modernized for electricity. In antique shops these are expensive so keep your eye out at the thrift stores and snap it up.

This little Mason jar lamp is as easy as it gets. Someone has put this country shade on it but you can do different things. Remember that Mason jars, jars in general, come in different sizes and you can get an old green one too. Fill it with different things like river rock, wooden thread spools, seashells, beans, marbles, etc. You can buy the jar-to-lamp assemblage at craft stores so it doesn't take an electrician. Get a shade and there you are.

**NOTE** Old lamps and light fixtures probably need to be rewired for safety. You don't want to start a fire by using a lamp that has a frayed, melted, or disintegrated cord, etc. To rewire a lamp is a simple process but get some help the first time you do it. Check online for instructions, videos, go to your lamp store or local Lowe's and Home Depot to see if they offer lessons. If you are still uncomfortable doing it yourself, a lamp store can rewire it for you. Lowe's and Home Depot carries any part of the lamps and light fixtures that you need such as shades, plugs, cords, harps, switches, etc, etc. Overhead light fixtures need a professional for rewiring and hire an electrician to install it, especially if there hasn't been a light there before. It's electrical and the results of an amateur installation could cost you your home and your loved ones in an electrical fire. So when you are considering a purchase, keep in mind any other expenses. If it's going to be more expensive to refurbish an old one, it might be just as well to get a new one unless your old one is a one-of-a-kind, have-to-have piece that is perfect for you.

**ANOTHER NOTE** I make sure that my light fixtures and lamps are easy to clean. Nothing ruins a room like dust. You can decorate in almost any style as long as it's clean but every style is ruined by dust. I like to keep my light fixtures sparkling. So pick out something that you can clean. If you don't know how you would ever clean something that intricate, then pick something else out.

People seem to like houses with these soaring, open ceilings but that also makes it difficult to reach overhead lights, ceiling fans, windows, curtains, etc to clean. Even if you can buy a ladder tall enough to reach these places you have to think...Can I physically lift and drag that ladder inside and out? Am I too afraid to climb that high? Is it safe for someone (me or a hired hand) to climb that high just to clean that window? It would be a disaster if someone climbed up 20 feet on a ladder and fell! These are things to think of when you are buying houses.

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