28 July 2010

Lighting the Living Room

The bungalow came with two of these light shades. One in the entry, one in the living room. I don't think they are from 1930, more likely the 60s, but I'm not sure. I think they were the only light fixtures in the whole house that I liked. When construction began, we carefully removed the shades and fittings and put them in a box. The box went onto a shelf where it sat collecting dust for something close to three years. After the electric, new plaster, priming and painting were all done, it was time to get the shades out of storage and put them back up where they belonged.

And that is when I broke one of them. Dropped that fancy end nut thingy right on the large part. I didn't break the fancy art glass around the edges, but that is more durable. The center looks like regular frosted glass. And while installing the second one, I managed to put a small crack next to the screw hole. Thankfully it is not noticeable.

I've been meaning to take them and get both repaired. Some day. The slightly cracked one has been left up and the really broken one has been packed back in that same box. So, that's 7 years now? It is amazing the little stuff you learn to live with, and even forget until someone points it out.

Nearly all this time the living room fixture was just 3 bare bulbs. It was so off my radar, but it drove Lewis crazy. He wanted to go pick out new shades, but I really wanted to keep the ones I had. Plus, I don't like to spend money on temporary stuff.

So, back in the spring I took my friend Josh on a door-hunting excursion for his house. We had already looked through the antique door stash in my basement. He has made use of two so far, but I didn't have anything else he could use. So we headed to Lancaster and York counties to two wonderful architectural salvage shops I knew of.

Our first stop were these two great old barns in Manheim, called Echoes from the Past. They don't have a web presence at all, this is strictly architectural salvage, old school. Josh scored a couple doors there and was pleased as punch. We went on to the antique shops in Columbia, saw lots of cool stuff (including a beautiful green glass lamp I would love to have it is hasn't sold yet, hint, hint) but no doors for Josh.

We ended our shopping excursion at Historic York's Architectural Warehouse. This place is also loaded with great stuff. It is indoors, the temperature was comfortable, and it is pretty well organized. Josh actually found two doors there that would work, but they needed a bit of tlc and were priced a bit high. The guy at the counter said that prices were negotiable on donated items, but unfortunately not on the consigned items.

This whole long, rambling story does have something to do with my light shades. I found this little lovely in the York store for just $5. It may not even be old, it certainly isn't fancy, but I love starbursts and the price was right.When we got back to my house at the end of the day, Josh put it up for me, then we made Lewis figure out what new thing I bought. "I'll give you a hint. It is something you have been wanting for a long time and you can see if from where you are sitting." He was very pleased.

As you can see, they should both match, or at least coordinate. These two are practically in the same room. But for now, and the foreseeable future, I can live with mismatched shades.

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