Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For the Love of Lamps


I was catching up with my friend Kim yesterday and read her post about buying her first lamp. Yes, her first lamp. Kim is great at lots of things, like growing a fantastic garden and sewing cute bags and the progress she and her husband Ryan are making renovating their second house makes me look like a sloth. But she is mystifed by lamps, which is mystifying to me because I love them.

I had the one above, and its mate, for at least two years before we bought the sofa they now sit next to. They lived in my closet for a year after I bought them for $17 each on sale at KMart -- they are of the old Martha Stewart Everyday collection.


She asked her readers to leave a comment with how many lamps they owned. I counted ten in my house, and actually thought for a moment that that number sounded a little low. Until I read the rest of the comments. Many people were in the 3-5 range, and there was just one more double-digit lamp owner like me. So who exactly is in the minority here?

This pair of antique/vintage murano lamps were kind of a splurge for me ($120 for the pair, I think) but I fell in love with them and Wes gave them to me for my birthday. I have just recently found shades to fit, though I think I still need a smaller harp. I hope we will have these forever.



I've heard it said that lamps can be the jewelry of a room and that they can really update a room, and I think that both are true. I always notice a great lamp in a room or in a photo. I also love to use a pair of lamps (on either side of a sofa or bed, or just on a long piece of furniture like a dresser, console table, or buffet) because it's a simple way to introduce symmetry, which can give a room a more finished look. I'm also a big fan of NOT using overhead lights on full-blast (dimmers are your friend!), and just generally think that lamps offer more flattering light (both to you and the room). I could go on an on about lamps, but I'd rather hear from you -- how many lamps do you have?

This lamp is my most recent acquisition. Again, it was love at first sight when I saw it on a blogger's Craig's List round-up, and I immediately e-mailed the seller to see if he was interested in shipping it to me from Minneapolis. I think he thought I was crazy, but it was totally worth it!

41 comments:

Erika S said...

I currently have 10 lamps. I bought my first one at a yard sale and fell in love with them! They are so much fun to dress up with different shades. 8 of the lamps I have were given to me by in-laws, but lucky for me my MIL has fabulous taste! I am picking up a sideboard tomorrow that I found on craigslist, and will be on a hunt for two more to go on the sideboard. I already have the shades, that have been in my basement for over a year now - just need two lamps! I love lamps!

Julie Holloway said...

13 currently in use. No, 14. Just table and floor lamps, right? Have more than that but they are on a shelf. I am glad I'm not the only lamp-a-holic. :)

Southern Exposure said...

I have 12! And I need more :) In my defense, most of the rooms in my house do not have overhead lights so I have to use lamps. And I agree with you that lamps offer more flattering light to a space.

Rachel

Allison Hasel said...

Hahaha! Two lamps?!? Two!?! That is all. I currently have at least 17 lamps in rotation. About 11 of those are actually in use. Our house didn't come with a lot of overhead lighting, which is just as well because I am not a fan, so that only increased my total. But yeah, lamps, I love them and I won't stop buying them!

paula said...

you made me curious so I though I would count mine. 14 not including those in the garage. Lamps are my addiction. I want all of yours :)

Victoria said...

OK, I've got 15 (and that doesn't include sconces or wall mounted lights)! Where are these people getting their light from? I am with you and do not like overhead.

Laurita said...

I have 9 actually... but I can't say I'm proud of them all! Unfortunately we have 4 floor lamps to compensate for no overheads. I could do without those, but I must say there are 2 that I just ADORE. Luke is baffled by my obsession, but I glad you have it too :)

lauren @ gathering moss said...

10 in use, 4 in the attic with no home, and i'm shamelessly always on the lookout for more! a lamp with a textured linen shade is my favorite - such a cozy feeling to the light!

Chelsea Payne said...

Your lamps are all gorgeous and all so reasonably priced! I would love to have more lamps in our house, but tend to fall in love with ones that are WAY out of our price range. You've inspired me to try and find beautiful lamps for a great price! Any other places to find good deals (we don't live near a HomeGoods and our TJMaxx and Marshall's are lacking in selection).

for the love of a house said...

Twenty Nine!!!! (and we've yet to do the barn room!)plus 7 chandeliers and 5 pendant-type and 5 wall lights/sconces! And please don't ask me about lampshades;) I buy lampshades for lamps I do not have yet! I have custom hand-pleated shades that I spent hundreds on, and shades from Homegoods to Lowes! I'll buy a good shade anywhere I find it!! In my antiques business we specialized in lamps from antique objects (which is what all of ours in the house are) and there are definitely rules and be-no's on lamps and shades, so I can see how your friend could be mystified by them! Did I mention we like lighting?!!:)
joan

Southern Lady said...

I currently have 9 lamps in use and 3 in storage. I agree with you...lamps are a good friend when having a party. Low light hides a multitude of sins!! Carla

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Chelsea! I have found some good ones at thrift stores/garage sales, and they are all in the $2-$5 range. Pretty hard to beat that! Look for ceramic ones with a simple ginger jar shape -- they look great with a simple drum shade that you can find at Target or even Wal-Mart for $12-$20. White is usually in abundance, but lots of people spraypaint these.

Here's the idea: http://www.eddieross.com/.a/6a00e55391c48e88330134865c1b69970c-pi

Amber B. said...

We have 7 in use, I think I have 2 or 3 in the attic. I don't have any in my sons' rooms b/c they would break within the hour. Otherwise there would be more! I am like you--always notice great lamps in rooms and photos! :-)

Jennifer said...

Joan -- I think you are the winner! I love your "made" lamps -- making a lamp from an object is on my perpetual to-do list.

Melissa said...

16, I think? Not counting wall-mounted lamps, which we have more of in the kids' rooms. None of our bedrooms are wired for ceiling fixtures, which is annoying, because sometimes you need some general lighting, no matter how unflattering. But we also try to have some kind of reading lamp at every desk, chair and sofa.

Ashley said...

As a lamp expert I would like to ask you--have you ever replaced an old lamp's parts with a lamp kit? I am tempted to do so with a vintage cream lamp I found at a thrift store but am totally intimidated. If you have, I would love to hear how easy/hard a project it is!

Thanks, fellow lamp-lover!

The Gentrys said...

13 currently in use and one or two more looking for a home! I LOVE lamps and most days have only a few lamps on in the house and no overhead lighting.

Jennifer said...

Ashley -- it's supposed to be a pretty easy project. I need to do those white glass lamps, actually. Wes did have to take them apart to fit them with harps (which would have been a good time to rewire them!), and that wasn't a big deal at all.

Sara Mueller said...

10, but sadly only 6 in use. The house we are in now isn't as big as our previous so some are still stored in boxes in our garage.

I love all of your lamps.

Lonely Wife Project said...

I used to be a lamp whore until we moved to a small space with little room for lamps. I currently only use two. What a sad number :( But I fully intend to get another for the office/guest room as soon as my new desk comes in.

Gail said...

Your lamps are gorgeous! I love the ones in the living room and the gold one in your master. Just lovely! I have only 4 lamps in use right now, but I have 2 in a closet (found at a garage sale for $7 for both!) that just need a coat of spray paint and shades, and a shade that I picked out for the nursery will also be adorning a nice lamp within a month. ;0) Gotta love lamps...I'm a huge fan, even if I don't have a ton.

How are you feeling these days!? How many weeks are you? I'm 33 1/2 weeks, so nesting is in full swing. Gotta love it!

Gail

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

HA! We must have a different group of commenters because your readers love their lamps. I like them, too, but I just can't commit.

I have to say, I was expecting more people to scold me for my lack of lamps in the comments, but I was also surprised that many people are also intimidated by lamps like me.

I'm hanging my head in shame. How could I have gone so long without more lamps? I'll be keeping my eyes open for more lamps to add to my collection, now. (I think I can safely call it a collection since I have more than 2 total lamps.)

Melissa said...

I'm at 10 out in the house-- we are not going to discuss the lamp SECTION (yes, a whole area) of the attic. I think I have a problem.

Your new pair is Ah-mazing.

Katharine Fuchs said...

Okay, am I a freak?? I have 20!!! We do not have any overhead lighting in our house and unfortunately not enough natural light. If it were up to me I would take a sledgehammer and knock in 6 new windows! 20 lamps..geez I'm nuts. Maybe I will post about all them tomorrow! Hand-me-downs, Home Goods, wedding gifts, flea markets, Lowe's....sheesh!

Bridget said...

We have twelve not including four in the garage. :o) I hope you don't feel alone with your double digit number of lamps. Maybe we should all take pics of a few of our lamps that we love to share?! Or maybe not because then we'll all fall in love with each others lamps and have to rotate! Just being silly!

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

I have 11 currently in my house... wish I had room for more!

for the love of a house said...

Jennifer- I forgot to say to mention to your friend that she run to Homegoods if she has one close by... I think they have the BEST lamps and even better prices!

And you're so right about the dimmers! I don't own a lamp/light that's not on a dimmer!!

joan

Laura said...

I have 11-- 4 of them are in our master bedroom (it's a big room).

My friends growing up called my parents house "the house of many lamps" because my mom loves lamps soo much. She must have at least 40. Their power bill is insane but it is worth it!

Anonymous said...

Lamps are really a necessity. Overhead lights are too harsh. I just counted and I have 21 lamps in my home and think I need a couple more.

Erin said...

I am 100% with you. I LOVE lamps and pretty much hate overhead lighting! Whenever we would have company, my mom would always tell me to go turn on all the lamps, so I think that's where I get it from. They bring such warmth to a room!

A.A.B.B. said...

I have 11 lamps and 7 in use. And I am always prying myself away from buying more! Problem - always having a hard time finding the right shade. Nice shades are expensive. Have any suggestions?

Pink Wallpaper said...

Hummmm...so your post made me count...9 maybe I should get more! Love your floral lamps!!!

Rachel said...

8.
But I'm trying to figure out how to put a lamp in our living room next to the sofa, which is floating in the middle of the room.... I'm thinking of running a cord under the rug, but I fear that it will be too noticeable. :-( So sad, because I so agree with you. Lamp light is so much prettier than overhead lights!

Tessa said...

So, I'm thinking the 22 I have in our 2300 sq ft home is probably a little too much, huh?! I suffer the same affliction. I'm a new reader/subscriber, I think this is my first comment. I'm loving your your blog. The pair of brown lamp shades in your dining room - gorgeous. Care to share the source? Thanks!!
Tessa

Jennifer said...

Tessa -- Not sure you can have too many! Thanks for reading. The brown shades are made by Aidan Gray. I'm not sure if they usually sell just shades, or if the shop where I bought them just took them off a pair of lamps. Can't hurt to investigate!

Speaking of shades in general for those who asked, these are the nicest I own. The rest have come from Target or garage sales. Though I do keep an eye on the sale shelf of a local lamp repair/shade shop.

megan said...

I love this post! Sadly I only have six. And I blame it on the size of our condo and the furniture restriction involved. I can't wait to get more!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

I must be a lampaholic too, cause I have at least 20 (counted in my head). I love lamps, all kinds & shapes & colors. It's my weakness at yardsales too! :)

tarheel said...

16. And more in storage, but I don't love those.

3 Peanuts said...

A quick mental count has me at 16 at least...so I think you are good. these are all beautiful

Fran said...

I love your lamps - they're gorgeous! Okay, your post made me count and I have 6 lamps in use and 7 in the attic (waiting to be used).

neelmani said...

hello to all lamp lovers.Add me in ur group coz i am also intrested in
Undercabinet Lighting and i have 6 lamps in my home but not of this kind.so i am very eager to buy these lamps