A couple of weekends ago, I spotted a pair of green ceramic lamps at a yard sale. Such a lovely green. Such a lovely shape. So so perfect for my green, green dining room. “How much for the lamps?” I asked. The woman wanted $60, I offered $30. To my surprise, she accepted. (Reason #45 to hit yard sales late in the afternoon).
The lamps weren’t a steal. Both needed to be rewired, and they were shadeless. But I assumed I could rewire the lamps myself and save some money. Besides, I loved them. What’s $30 bucks when you’re in love?
When I took a closer look, however, I realized rewiring these beauties might be more difficult than I anticipated. Like most lamps, the sockets were held in place by a nut threaded on hollow piece of pipe called a nipple (these are the technical terms. I’m not being dirty). The nut on these lamps was at the very top of the skinny base, far beyond the reach of my fingers.
The flash is bright, but can you see how deep that nut is? Deep. Very deep.
Sometimes, DIY is not the smartest option. So I called a local repair shop. But when they told me it would cost $40 per lamp to get them rewired, I got creative. By holding the nut in place with a flathead screwdriver, I managed to unscrew the socket and remove the lamp’s guts.
On Saturday, Soren and I biked to a shop called The Lamp Doctor to see if we could find shades for the lamps. At $35 each, the shades weren’t a bargain either. But sometimes it’s nice to support local businesses. Especially when they’re run by characters. And this one was. We biked home with the shades tied to my backpack, and I got to work.
(Why yes, I am using a headlamp to see up the lamp’s skirt.)
The project took far longer than it should have, and involved a second bike trip to The Lamp Doctor (the clip on one of the shades was stuck together). But all that hard work was totally worth it. The lamps look adorable. And now we have a big blank space above the buffet where we can put more art.
While I struggled to get the lamps working, Soren decided to move the blinds in the living room. Some idiot contractor mounted them on the trim above the window. (Probably the same idiot contractor who heedlessly dripped paint everywhere).
Soren has been telling me for months they would look better mounted inside the window frame. Turns out he was right. The old placement is in the top photo, the new one is on the bottom.
It’s a subtle change, but definitely an improvement. I’m still trying to decide whether I want to make upholstered boxes to cover the tops, like these. If you have keen eyes, you might notice we painted the walls. No more chainsmoker yellow (in the living room, at least)!
On Sunday, I ditched Soren, hopped on the back of my friend’s motorcycle, and headed out to Rockaway Beach. We ate fish tacos, sunbathed, and swam. I couldn’t have asked for nicer weather or a more perfect end to the weekend.