I'm being a bad girl today, playing hookey from work. It's yucky cold raining cats and dogs out there and when I rolled over this morning a few minutes before the clock radio clicked on I groaned and pulled the quilt over my head. I knew I was not going anywhere today :)
As you may know, I've been procrastinating like the dickens in the redo of my family room, which was started last year and has pretty much stalled as far as major progress -- meaning, the wallpaper has not been stripped, drywall patched where it came off with the stubborn paper, walls have not been primed nor painted. I get tired just thinking about it, yikes!
Well, I am shilly-shallying -- here's the thing. I could not get that old teal lamp out of my head, it's been mouldering away in the basement forever and some months ago I pulled it upstairs when I did a blog post about how some folks are doing wonderful things with lampshade redos. I inherited the lamp from one of my sisters ages ago, in the 1970s after she went in a new decorating direction and didn't want it anymore. I've always loved the deep color (but never decorated with anything remotely close, so the lamp was usually banished), but was not a fan of the shiny aluminum-colored base and neck:
Over the past few months, that silvery color has - not exactly grown on me (I'm a brass and gold gal) - but what I have come to appreciate is the design of this lamp. Even though it is nearly 40 years old, it could comfortably fit into today's decors and it's color is spot on trend right now. I love its shape, the shine, and the color, and it has great proportions, although perhaps the harp is too tall for it's size (it's about 9" tall) and today's styles. So, going in the new direction that I intend for this back part of the house - celadon - and my celadon turning instead into an adventure of tints and tones of turquoise and varying shades of blue-green (I'll write about that some day), I resurrected the lamp from the basement last weekend and plopped it on the black laquer console table which I no long want but cannot afford to get rid of, LOL! And I - liked it!
It's difficult to get a photo of the precise color of that lamp base! It changes, depending upon the light of the day, and the camera settings:
The top photo is closer to what I see as the lamp's true color, which is a deep teal; in the second photo, the lamp appears more blue than it does to my eye. The second photo does show you the "mottling" of the finish, and the glaze has a crackled finish. I don't remember now if it was always that way, or it has just crackled over time...
In the third photo, you can see the crackled glaze as I was trying to get a close-up view of the mottled finish. It's a shiny lamp, not matte. It really has grown on me :) The color about mid photo is pretty close to what I see when I'm looking at the lamp (like now).
Get this - I still have the original lamp shade!
The shade in the first two photos I borrowed from the tall cream-colored lamp that was on the table before; I've had a pair of those lamps from the late 1990's I think (Penney's) in this room. One is now in the basement in storage and the second one has been moved to my much-neglected study/den upstairs. And notice how in this photo the lamp base appears to be yet another color than in the first three photos! This photo was taken a little while ago, during the day, with natural light pouring in through the window overlooking my backyard, despite it being a dark rainy day, and using the normal setting on my camera. The base looks almost royal blue, but that is not its color at all! The color at the top of the lamp, where the light is shining, that is much closer to its true color.
I like the shape of the borrowed shade but the size just does not seem right, and that shade suffers from the plastic under-shade's interior turning an icky yellow, which I hate. Still, I found it an improvement over the original shade (photo above), which just doesn't seem to "go" with the style of the lamp. I can't put my finger on what it is that bothers me about this shade. The color maybe? The proportions? It just reads "grandma" to me. And the shade has some issues; it has accumulated dust/grime from all these years and I don't know if it can be safely cleaned some other way if vacuuming doesn't work; there are some crimps (dents) here and there in those pleats as well, where the shade was pressed against something or other all it's years being stashed in one closet or another. In a few places, the material has "delaminated" away from the plastic shade. The worst part, though, is the color the inside of the plastic shade has turned - a dingy yellow, like it's been inside a smoker's house for 40 years! Not true!
I figure the easiest thing to do is just get a new shade, if I can find one I like that is a good match for the base.
And therein lies my dilemma, because I just can't figure out what might look good. I can recall only one occasion when I purchased a shade separately from a lamp base, and that didn't turn out well. I've ALWAYS bought lamps with shades already on them. So I'm totally clueless when it comes to trying to pick out a new shade. EEK! It probably would just be easier to buy an entirely new lamp. For instance, here's one from Penney's (my go-to place for lamps):
This "light turquoise double gourd" lamp plus textured-looking (linen) shade is a mere $35. Geez, I could easily pay that alone for a new shade, maybe even more -- and so then what would be the point, I ask you! This lamp's dimensions: 13x13x25" H. Cotton/polyester shade is 10"H with 13" bottom diameter and 11" top diameter (semi-drum shape).
Eh, I should give some dimensions. MY lamp is about 16" tall from base to the base of where the harp starts, and the harp is about 9" tall, so altogether, around 25" tall. The original shade measures 8 1/4" top diameter, is about 13" H and about 18" bottom diameter; the borrowed shade is 7" top diameter, about 12.5" H and about 20" bottom.
Is a drum shade the direction I need to go? I just LOVE the shade on this lamp - it's sexy, and am thinking something this shape would look great on my lamp:
I found the lamp (above) at Bed Bath & Beyond, but it's a pricey $211. That's half the cost of my upcoming trip to Las Vegas, people. No way will I pay that for a lamp on my income! The full dimensions of the shade aren't given, only that the shade is evidently 17" diameter, and it's appears to be the same diameter top and bottom.
I seem to recall reading at one time or other that the height of the shade should be about 1/3 the total height of the lamp; with my lamp being about 16" tall from base to the top of the neck, I think that would mean a shade no taller than 8" or 9", but beats me how I came up with that figure -- it just "feels" right. LOL! I long ago forgot all of my Euclidean geometry from high school :) How do you get a third out of taking one-half of 16" (does not include the 9" tall harp)? Half of 16 is 8, and 8 plus 16 equals 24, and 8 is one-third of 24. Got that? Okay, Einstein I'm not!
I like the idea of exposing my lamp's sleep neck with a shorter shade and the look would definitely be more contemporary, but the height of the neck is only about 2 1/2", so the shade would have to be at least 9" tall to cover the harp. Or I could replace the harp with a shorter one, a small but additional expense. That $35 lamp at Penney's is sitting there laughing at me right now...
Because I do not like the yellowing that occurs with plastic hard-backed shades, perhaps a shade made entirely out of fabric wrapped around a frame? Proportions would be an issue. What shape, and what size???
Arrrgh, I'm getting a headache!
I like the idea of a square - pagoda (?) style shade, to contrast with the curvy shape of the lamp itself. something like this:
I also quickly tried out one of the soft back circularbell-shaped shades from a lamp in my front room. It fit very well. I like the soft glow the soft-back fabric shades give at night. That circular bell-shaped shade is similar in size and shape to this one, also from Bed Bath & Beyond, but it is ridiculously priced at $30:
I don't know what style or size to choose.
And let's not even start about color! White or off-white just looks blah to me, but that is what most shade colors are because, let's face it, those tones go with the most decors. And a white or off-white would probably look great against my future-painted dark taupe walls. But I've got this naggy little voice going on in my ear, driving me nuts, let me tell you! It's saying that white or off-white (or varying shades thereof) just do not GO with that shiny silver metal base and neck. Clash terribly, I think.
I'm not even going to consider attempting to paint the lamp and/or the base, that option is OUT. The lamp is beautiful in its own right. But my options are severely limited here. If I get a shade to "go" with the lamp colors, what color do I choose? something in silver (not a fan)? Grey? A more pale version of the teal color? A color-dyed match -- har! -- good luck trying that, Jan.
Well, now I'm thinking I just may banish this lamp back to the basement, and buy a new lamp, but it has to be the right color, and turquoise ain't what I'm looking for!
About now, banging my head against the back of my chair. It's time for a nap. The rain has stopped (finally) and it's brightening up outside. And then - I have to at least START my income tax returns...
July 16, 2017:
Hola! Where does the time go, Geez Louise! Half summer is already gone, and I am first now updating this from last December, tsk tsk. Bad Jan! So, been busy puttering around the yard, as always, and paying more attention than I probably should be to politics. The kitchen "remodel" is on hold due to budgetary constraints, but I hope to have that remedied before the end of the year. And I have yet to paint the guest room - it's only been 3 years now since I moved in to this version of Maison Newton, I'm not lazy or anything, nope... LOL! Take care and have a great rest of the summer. Jan