Monday, February 8, 2010

More Light !

As I reminded you in my last post,"lighten up" is my resolution, my words to live by, my singular yet multi-faceted goal for 2010. I explained what those words mean to me in this post. To keep myself accountable, I'll give you an occasional update. Last post was about my lightened-up attitude (Hooray for Mary Poppins!). This one is about actual light.

First, a new lamp, above. From HomeGoods, a very simple brownish/bronzish candlestick to replace the squatty blue and white ginger jar that used to sit on this table. New lamp's taller, slender profile suits this corner better as the ceiling height here is about 11 feet. I should tell you too that this lamp came with a stark white drum shade. Nothing against drums—love them—but I hoped when I bought the lamp that this ivory silk bell I already had would fit and look good. It did and it does. I'll save the drum for a future project—it's the perfect type to wrap in decorative fabric or paper and convert to a pendant. Like these from :

Interested in more shade-swapping ideas?
. . .
Next, a bit of ambient light in the entry that I concocted myself using a wood lantern (from a crazy gigantic home decor store nearby that I'll give you a tour of soon) and the bulb from an old nightlight. I love the shadows it casts on the wall and that it lights up some of the details on the antique secretary. This area near the front door needs just a bit of light because ten or so feet further along the same wall is that new table lamp I just showed you.

In case you're wondering, here's how my lantern became a lamp: Lucky for me, the top comes off. But any lantern with a door like this one also has can be reached into for rigging. The nightlight bulb and socket are attached to a plug-in cord with a thumb switch already in place. The clips on the sides of the socket are what kept it in place inside the figural ceramic lamp that was discarded long ago. (was it a lighthouse? I think so.)

Here's a close-up of my masterful installation, below. See that paper clip bent open and wrapped around the base of the socket? Its other end is hanging from one of those little dowels around the cupola of the lantern. Yep, I'm pretty sure that's how the pros would do it too. Tucked up under the lantern's roof and with the cord twist-tied in place so it's less obvious, all you notice is the warm glow of light, not the hardware.

Last but definitely not least. . . a lighted coat closet! (how long have I lived in this house and only did this now?) I found this fluorescent fixture at Target. I had seen a similar one at Lowe's but the installation involved some sort of double-stick tape or maybe velcro. I could just see it falling on my head (or, better yet, my husband's—he'd love that) after one too many flips of the switch. The Target model came with mounting screws and keyholes cut into the back of the fixture which allows it to sit very securely flush against the wall. Those are the kinds of details that can make or break a project for me—and getting those details just right can make what seemed like a simple job take much longer than expected.

But all the trouble is worth it when, in the end, you get this :


. . . in our dark little hole of a coat closet. Which recently underwent a much-needed (and very successsful, I might add) makeover. More about that next time . . .


Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

You would think that coat closets would come with lights in them. Ours goes back very deep and hobbit sized, by the time you get all the way in, but it is great for out-of-season storage. Of course, I can only get in there during daylight hours and still have to use a flashlight. Love your new lamp Tracy. I just repurposed one I found in our basement; I'm just waiting for a new shade.

Nate said...

The lantern with the nightlight is genius! Really pretty - I want you to make me one!

Nate @

the gardeners cottage said...

Hi Tracy,

Love the lantern/night light, pretty darn cool.

Love the light from Target, I really need that for my one and only!


Lavender and Lilies said...

I am loving decorative shades right now. There is something about them that makes a lamp pop in any room.

Maria Killam said...

You are so organized, wow! Love it!

SogniSorrisi said...

The lantern is great.

Kathy, our coat closet is rigged so that when the door opens the light goes on. Quite useful.

Anonymous said...

I like that lantern lamp transformation. It really adds a nice cozy glow along with decorative interest. I'm loving drum shades right now and have some that I need to transform but haven't. I'm seriously tempted to swap out every shade in my home for them, I love them so much. :-)

Looking forward to the closet reveal!

kayellen said...

I need to do the same thing in our coat is like a cave!
I think of few things are hidden in the back because I can't see them! lol

Thank you for stopping by~~


Angie said...

That lantern light is great!

Melanie said...

You won't believe this but I have an antique table that looks just like yours. I should take a picture and send it to you.

AB HOME Interiors said...

Love those lamp shades! Light is great. Makes life beautiful, and fun with those shades!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Very, very clever!!!

zees5 said...

Wow! I love wiring stuff. Too bad my kids broke the lantern I had like that - drat! Have you done the tour of the crazy big home dec store yet? I just found your blog and it is a definite keeper! ~Page