Secondhand Surplus

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lights of my life

All of these lamps have been brought home since my blogging hiatus. I have a thing for lighting. I feel like great vintage lamps are easy to come by for a good price, and I've recently had to stop myself from bringing any more home, unless there is something really special about it.

The first is a little guy, that came with a perfect little shade made of a taffeta like fabric.

The second was found at an estate sale, and at some point someone had made this decanter into a lamp, and then painted some sort of landscape scene on it. The paint was flaking off, so I just used some striper and steel wool, to get it back to the simple glass. I also rewired it with a cloth covered black cord.

The next pair I found at a flea market for $2.95 each. I love them! They didn't come with shades, so I topped them with simple linen covered drum shades.

This isn't the greatest shot, but this came from the basement of an estate sale, its some kind of super heavy work light. I had been hoping to come across an industrial light on the cheap, and when this was found for $10, but was too heavy to cart around the rest of the sale, I gave my 4yr old a sucker, and told him to guard my lamp.(bribes always work). It is currently being used as a grow light for all of my succulents that were seeking shelter for the winter.

This sweet guy was also bought at an estate sale, and I feel in love because of 1.) the color 2.)the leaf cut outs 3.) the finial is a ceramic leaf. It wasn't in good shape, besides the ceramic having no chips, so I rewired it, repaint the base black, and added the burlap shade.

This monster was found at a thrift store, its super heavy. I almost squealed when I found it and for $10, it was mine. I also added a modern drum shade, made of linen. I feel that unless a vintage shade has some special quality to it, its best to update with a modern one, and it keeps everything looking modern, and not dated. That's just me, I'm not a purist.

This little cypress knee lamp came from some sale, but I'm having a hard to remembering which one, or what I paid. Its not real big, and super light, and I was having a hard time finding a shade that was the right size, and shape so that it wouldn't cause the lamp to topple over. I finally found this perfect one at the goodwill for two bucks, and I loved the matte black with the shiny gold interior. I think these pieces were made from each other. I really can't tell if the shade is vintage or not, but that's the great thing about modern design.

And last, but not least, this behemoth, Is one that I just made myself. I had seen a huge vintage decanter lamp at Anthropologie, That I loved, but in no way could pay $495 for it. So this is my own rendition. I found this carboy in an alley, and picked it up, since I had never seen such a large one before. We have a few of the 5 gallon ones, but I think this is probably 10 gallons. I used a cork in the opening, used one of those lamp making kits from the hardware store, I had a beautiful brass acorn pull socket made by Hubbell, and then wired it with another black cloth covered cord.I also took a old drum shade and covered it with black burlap,which was a simple way to update this also huge shade. I'm super happy with how it turned out, and its now one of a kind.
These are just the lamps on the main level of my home. We live in an old house, and have very few outlets, trust me, if there were more outlets, I'd have more lamps.


  1. Hey I'm just poppin in to say I love your blog and I hope you keep going with it - you're on a roll! I have a lot of vintage shades and you're right, some do feel a bit dated. Where do you find good quality contemporary shades? Often times they feel so cheap.

    P.S. I'm pretty certain I purchused that "made in Yugoslavia" green tweed lounge chair from you a year and a half ago. Still have it and LOVE it.


  2. Hey phil, i'm glad you like the chair. I the simple linen drum shades i have are just from target, i love them and have 4. I don't think they look cheap, and i think are right around $20. I always think the vintage needs to be mixed with some modern so it doesn't look like your trying to live in a time warp. Thanks for the blot support, its something i love doing, and hope to continue to make time for it.

  3. Those are some gorgeous lamps you have there! I love love love the work light and the burl wood one. I agree about the modern + vintage = gorgeousnous updated. A little mix, a little eclecticness makes everything better. Cheers - CT