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The Goldilocks Pendant Lamp

I’ve been thinking lately that I’m out of step with the rest of society. For example, in the matter of home lighting I find that when I look through the various online lighting catalogs I’m rarely satisfied by what I find.

For example, in the matter of hanging pendant lamps everything is either too modern…

Wofi Sevilla Pendant Light in Black

Too plain…

artemide float suspension lamp

or too ornate…

Arrow Crystal and Chrome Pendant Lamp

I’m like Goldilocks. I want something that’s just right, which I would define as semi-traditional but not boring, a little filigree and folderol but not weighed down with ornamentation. In other words, I won’t really know what I want in the way of lighting until I see it.

Until this, this fairly traditional lamp, the Milord from Korlarz.

Kolarz Milord Pendant Lamp

It’s very attractive, and I’d happily hang it in my house, but it’s not exactly perfect. A little too much gilding, a little too little…what? Verve, maybe.

The Glamour of Outdoor Lighting

You probably didn’t think it was possible for outdoor lighting to be glamorous, but then you probably haven’t seen anything as photogenic as these two pictures from the online catalog of Castlegate Lights:

Konstsmide Fenix Outdoor Wall Lantern

Konstsmide Fenix Outdoor Wall Lantern

Both of these are from a Swedish company called Konstsmide. The top one is the Konstsmide Fenix Solid Copper Upwards Wall Lantern and the bottom one is the Konstsmide Fenix Solid Copper Downwards Wall Lantern.

These aren’t just handsome wall lanterns, the way they’re portrayed in the photos above makes them handsome wall lanterns that promise to transform our surroundings into something special. The autumnal leaves, the ancient wall, the way the shadow in the top photo indicates late afternoon, all of these things combine to make these the most romantic wall lanterns ever.

My friend, the writer Virginia Postrel, has a new book coming out this fall The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion, and as the title suggests part of the power of glamour is that it makes us desirous; the glamorous object, or the glamorous photo incites a sense of longing. Undeniably, there’s a longing to be where these wall lanterns are, which is a pretty great trick when you consider that by strict definition these are just pieces of hardware, but what glamourous pieces of hardware they are!

Eddie Rickenbackers Tiffany Lamp Auction

Wisteria Tiffany Lamp from Eddie Rickenbackers

Wisteria Tiffany Lamp from Eddie Rickenbackers

I apparently missed a pretty good story from earlier this year, when some of the furnishings from one of my favorite San Francisco wateringholes, Eddie Rickenbackers, were auctioned off following the death of the owner. And we’re not talking about just any old bar furnishings, but six, original Tiffany lamps with an estimated value of nearly $2,000,000!

Norman Jay Hobday, the bar’s colorful and dedicated proprietor, died in February 2011 at age 77. He’d spent much of the last 20 years of his life carefully collecting the lamps, which were manufactured around 1910.

The largest and most prized lamp in the group – “Wisteria” – stands more than 2 feet tall and has been given a presale value of $500,000 to $700,000.

Hobday, who adopted the name Henry Africa after he opened a bar in San Francisco by that name, had a good eye for the lamps and culled a valued collection over the years that appeals to dedicated Tiffany collectors, said Sarah Shepard, an account manager with Christie’s auction house in San Francisco.

“The Tiffany lamps are coming with all this history of being behind the bar,” Shepard said. “It’s a really special story. You don’t often go inside a bar and restaurant and get to look at lamps like this.”

I’ll say!

When you went in Eddie Rickenbacker’s what you noticed weren’t the million dollar lamps sitting behind the bar, but the vintage motorcycles which hung from the ceiling in the dining room. That collection of mobile art is expected to fetch more than a million dollars at a separate auction later in the year.

Chandeliers: How Low CAN You Go?

Can those of us with shorty ceilings still hang chandeliers?

Despite loving high ceilings, some of us are forced by circumstance or budget or whatever to reside in dwellings with low ceilings, and when those low ceilings are especially low, that can limit lighting design options. Now as I enjoy my summer vacay and finally spend some real time working on my own home, which has felt terribly neglected these past months, I’m finding that my lighting choices feel quite limited by my own low ceilings. Recessed lighting? I can’t say I dig it. Our current lighting is comprised mainly of those flush with the ceiling lights shaped like boobies, complete with nipple, and they’re not my favorites. Which is why I’ve been wondering, and thought I’d ask you, how low do you think you can go with hanging lighting in a space with low ceilings? Are chandeliers paired with low ceilings just ridiculous? What about when they’re over a table or piece of furniture that guarantees no one will bang their heads? Leave your thoughts below so I can use your help to decide what I really think about big dramatic lighting in wee unassuming spaces!

Inspiration: Mason Jar Lights, Y’All

If you drink homemade iced tea from a mason jar, you may be from the south. Or you may just be visiting me, since a good portion of our drinking glasses actually started out as pasta sauce jars. Surely, mason jars aren’t everyone’s cup… of tea? But I like the way they feel: not delicate, but not particularly heavy, either. Substantial, you might say. And that heft is precisely what makes them good for using in DIY projects. Like mason jar centerpieces, for example. Or how about lights!

Easy enough to do, I should think, and virtually free with the right sauce.

Design*Sponge has an easy tutorial (though it does require an electrician)

Well, y’all, what do you think? Oh so awesome, or way too rustic?

Naked Light Bulbs All the Rage (Apparently)

So I just found out that barely-there lampshades – wire lamp… shades? – are totally a trend and super hot and everyone must have them now now now. Good to know, I guess. But seeing as that naked light bulbs make my eyes really sad, I think I’ll just be letting this one pass my by. What do you think?

Seen on Skona Hem

Buy it at Ruby Roost

Industrial Grade Good Looks

Industrial chic can mean so many things, from the upscale repurposed factory loft with a trend-conscious price tag to a simple bed with plenty of storage. Exposed brick? Recycled pipe furniture? Lots of metal? Or maybe the original lino floors and metal cabinets. Whatever it means, it’s good to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And this girl’s eye has spied some fun industrial chic things for the home on her recent travels… things like:

A low, locker-like metal sideboard – in a gorgeous red, zow – seen in Marie Claire Maison and elsewhere.

Factory-friendly pendant lamps in cool colors from West Elm.

And the Travail Quatre Office Organizer by Aidan Gray – it’s made of weathered, recycled sheet metal for a broken in, well-used look.

Speaking of this girl, she likes the industrial look best when it’s softened with stuff that doesn’t fit that aesthetic. In other words, I don’t want to live in a factory; I just want a few pieces of the factory (useful ones, especially) giving my space a bit of spark. What’s your favorite distopian indulgence? A brushed metal step-stool flecked with paint? A worn metal cabinet in your craft room?

Pink Plastic Fantastic!

Plastic cheap? Perish the thought! Sometimes plastic can be downright pricey.


Kartell Frilly Chair by Patricia Urquiola


Pink lucite tables


Tube Top Colors Table Lamp by Pablo


Pink lucite tray via Living Etc.


Pink table by Yuka Izutsu for MoCo Loco

A Whole Lot of Light

Who else thinks one could easily whip up something very much like Rody Graumans’ 85 Lamps using only things purchased at Home Depot? Because I think as DIY projects for the home and lighting specifically are concerned, this is one of the easiest I’ve seen. Too bad Graumans thought of it first, which is why he gets to charge $3,700 for the thing.

Droog describes 85 Lamps thusly: “This lamp uses only what is necessary to create light: bulbs, wires, connectors. By multiplying these essential elements an opulent chandelier is created. Less and more are united in a single product.”

And here are my thoughts:

Pros: 85 light bulbs equal a whole lot of light!

Cons: 85 light bulbs will generate a whole lot of heat!

Other: So many wires! Say hello to my friend the knot!

Lighting That Wears Many Hats

Here’s a little antidote to the colorful interior shots that had some of you covering your eyes because oh my gosh, the brightness!

pendant lighting bowler hats

Jake Phipps Jeeves & Wooster pendant lights are made from authentic bowlers and top hats, and are British to the core. Forget fun and funky, these lights will imbue your dining room or other space with a somber seriousness fitting your station in life.

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