Light Your Way
May 24
A repeat....
Next time you need a new sconce or dome light, try thinking outside the (big) box (store). Anybody can buy those lights! You want something different. You didn't realize it before, but you do. You want something different. Something old. Something used, refurbished, re-wired.

And I'm here to help you! While new is good and it certainly has its place (new underwear comes to mind), it can lack character. And there's also the danger of new being homogenous. Homogenized milk is good. Homogenized light fixtures are not. They are - what's that word? Oh yeah - boring. Turning to the old stuff will personalize your space, and it's easier on the environment. Where's the downside?

For many, the downside is the search, the shopping. Where do you find these old lights? Garage sales? Your mom's attic? You bet, plus there are physical storefronts in town available for browsing for those of you who like an out-and-about shopping fix. And let's not forget the internet. There is endless cool stuff to buy online. So get ready. Take a look around your house and find your most despised light. It's probably in the entryway - the light guests see first is usually the ugliest. Murphy's Law.

Check out this Ebay store: The Old Above. I browse it regularly and want just about everything listed. Stay on top of this one, and one day you will see the perfect light at the perfect price for your hard-to-light spot. That's my plan for the entryway. It's good to have a plan.

In town I have a few favorites. Let's start with antique stores. Monticello Antiques is large, and it has a wide variety of lights, with a constantly changing inventory. With this one, please don't limit yourself to lights - wander around and take a mental inventory. Next time you need a set of kitchen canisters, this is a good place to start. Grab your favorite person for shopping an afternoon away and check out Monticello. They have a coffee shop too, so you can go hung over.

Next on the list is Old Portland Hardware. They just moved into a new location, and I have not yet checked it out. This is intentional, as this place has irresistible goods. Way too much Old Portland inventory is now in my house (see pics above for a surgical lamp I picked up there).

Don't forget the classics: Rejuvenation.

I wasn't joking about the garage sales and your mom's attic. And please don't forget your cupboards and your garage. A ceiling mounted light can morph into an individualized piece by removing the store-bought globe and mounting any number of things over the bulb - a birdcage, a colander, flower pots, car parts. A friend recently forwarded me a pic of a tricycle mounted over a bulb. It worked - very cool. But - safety first - always check the wiring on old lamps and get them rewired as needed.

Bottom line - you don't need to have generic lights. Now start looking around with your creative glasses on. Forget that boring new stuff!
 

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