Circular Impressions

A few weeks back, I managed to snag the only Nate Berkus brass lamp base in the store at my local Target. I had had my eye on it online, so I was pretty chuffed when I ran across it.
I snapped it right up, even though there really wasn’t a shade that worked with it.

Luckily (M would certainly choose another word…), I am a lampshade hoarder, so I knew I’d have something in my stash that I could use to finish it off. In the end, the only thing I had that was the right scale was a plain white linen shade.
It looked okay. But it was, to be honest, too white for the room.

The search for the right shade was on.
I tried the coordinating Nate shade, in navy. Didn’t suit the room.
I found a burlap-esque one at Homesense and tried it. It was okay, but a bit too small and it made the light too dim.

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Then, I noticed Jana Bek‘s lovely desk lamps in her Instagram feed.

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I’d seen them around the interwebz and liked them, but Jana had made her OWN version and I thought to myself, “Self, this idea could be adapted to solve the lampshade problem….”  I figured I could easily transfer the painting idea from the base to the shade. Why not?

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Out came my favourite new paint and my brushes. I took a deep breath and….painted.
It looked….not too bad!
But the shade was lacking something, so I taped off the top and added a band of gold.

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I’m pretty happy with it. I will (because it’s just the way I roll) probably keep looking for the Absolutely Perfect Shade, but this one works just fine for now. The shade only cost $20, so it’s not a huge investment if I find something better down the line.

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Clearly Curvacious

In the end, this lamp was not at all right for the living room “freshening up.”
But I found two lovely, tall, simple glass table lamps that worked perfectly.
The shape and the shade are classic and timeless; the clear glass adds a bit of contemporary chic to the room.

Untrimmed, the lamps were a bit austere and cold.
The shades looked very clinical in a way that did not contrast well with the curvy bases.

So I added a bit of ruffle trim to the tops of the shades.
It’s a subtle detail, but it ties in with the trim on the sofa throw cushions and draws the eye upward, adding harmony and height to the room.

It was a very quick and easy trick: I used glue dots to stick the ribbon to the top of the shades. It’s a nice way to tart up a simple shade or one of which you are bored.
Into the fancy and the frou-frou? Add some pom-pom trim or fringe!
Is yours a crisper, more modern aesthetic? Grosgrain ribbon is simple and elegant– you can use varying widths of ribbon to add one or more stripes of colour to your lampshade. It’s a little project that has a big impact.

Le Big Reveal

Design Brief:
Unify a jumble of comfy, much-loved bits of furniture,
acquired over time and representing a mixture of styles and eras.

Use the homeowner’s existing pieces, recycling as much as possible
in order to keep room in the budget for her must-haves:

an area rug

curtains

So, without further ado, here it is!

It was the hottest week of the year, but that did not stop me from using the awesome paint sprayer to unify the wicker furniture with a coat of charcoal grey. The 1920s settee, chair and table, in particular, look AMAZING in this new, dark colour.

The rug, from West Elm, brings a hit of contemporary design into the space, to keep it from feeling too girly or too theme-y. We wanted to keep the cottage vibe of the room but with a modern edge.

The Big Stuff made the seat cushions (and they did an excellent job, as usual!) in the gorgeous yellow buffalo gingham check that was our starting point. Once the client saw that fabric, the whole room just fell into place; we let the fabric dictate the rest of the palette.  The grey and creme floral and all the ribbons and trims came from Designer Fabric Outlet, and the polka dots were a twin duvet set from Ikea–thanks to my trusty shears and sewing machine, it is now the upholstery on two of the  dining chairs and has also been transformed into cushions, including some reversible ones, for the rest of the seating. We drew the yellow from the check out to paint a curvy little chair and placed it in the corner, with a view of the garden.

Curtains add some privacy and can be drawn in the evening if it gets cool. The tea-towelling I used along the border of each panel picks up on the yellow and evokes a bit of the south of France at the same time.

Rewiring an old, broken lamp and giving it a coat of the same yellow as the chair brought it back to life.  The other lamp belonged to the client’s mother and sported an antique gold finish; a quick coat of charcoal grey and it was ready to provide some much-needed light for reading in the evenings. I recovered both lampshades and added whimsical oversized pom pom trim in charcoal grey, including a pom on each finial! I think every room needs a touch of something to make you smile, don’t you? Tired of the pom poms in a few years?
No worries– some neutral linen shades are an easy and inexpensive update.

To see more, head over here.