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 shadesoflight.com :
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 . . .