Sunday, January 9, 2011

Let There Be Light

… in our entryway!
The entryway and living room of our house doesn’t have an overhead light, which quickly turned into a problem when the sun would set and the entire front of the house was pitch black. Having the Christmas tree up for a month definitely helped the lighting situation, but since we are not the type of people that keep Christmas décor and lights up year round (not that we have anything against people that do; to each their own!), we decided it was time to “let there be light”. We rounded up a few floor lamps from our old apartment (they’re black with the clear plastic bowl shades – yes they’re cheap and yes they’re from Wal-Mart or Target, I can’t remember, but they work for us) and placed them in the corners flanking the fireplace. It really helped to lighten up the room. Well, the far side of the room, anyway. Here they are with the Christmas tree up.

After a few days with the new lamps we realized it was still really dark on the other side of the room, near the front door and dining room. Even if we had the dining room chandelier on full-blast (it’s on a dimmer, which we love), the front door was like a big black hole in the room… not exactly the most welcoming way to enter (or exit) a home. Luckily, we have our new sofa table (although ours isn’t anywhere near a sofa, but maybe in a future casa) up against the big wall in our entryway, providing prime real estate for a nice lamp. Over the long NYE weekend Caton and I stopped by the Salvation Army down the street (it’s really becoming a once or twice a month event that I can see us carrying on for… well… ever; you just never know what treasures you will find!). The hubby headed straight for the vinyl records (no joke) and I made a B line for the lamps. I was ecstatic to find one of the ugliest lamps I had ever seen with a price tag of $4.00. And as if that wasn’t enough to make me yell across the store to Caton about my great find, it ended up being “white tag Friday” so I got the ugly duckling for a grand total of $2.00!

Once we got it home, I taped up the cord and top of the lamp base (as shown above) that didn’t need a nice new coat of paint. My first coat of spray paint was a primer that was sure to stick to wood and metal (and pretty much everything in between). I went with Krylon's Indoor/Outdoor Primer in white. After the recommended drying period, I went back at it with Krylon's Indoor/Outdoor Paint. (Are you sensing the theme yet? I’m a big fan of Krylon spray paint and craft products. They’re awesome and super reasonably priced at Wal-Mart.) The red was a bold choice for me and honestly one that Caton and I are still surprised I made, but so glad that I did. It’s a far stretch from my beloved (and slightly obsessed) blue theme throughout, oh, every other part of my life, but stepping outside of your comfort zone is good, right?! I love the finished results and couldn’t be happier to continue our red accent theme throughout the living room. 

I love love love that bright red! I found the lamp shade on sale at Target and think it complements the base perfectly. I debated with the square versus round shade, but decided to keep the theme cohesive with the round/circular base. (Come on, you knew I couldn’t stay outside the Type-A box too long, right?!) It wasn’t until after I got home with the shade that I learned a bit about lamps. See that big circle on the top of the lamp in the first picture. That is called a harp. You learn something new every day! Anyway, those are useful (and necessary) for certain types of lamp shades, but not the one I purchased. All we had to do to get that sucker off, was pull up the little covers where the harp connects to the lamp, push the harp together and pop it out of the sockets. It took a whole 2.5 seconds and voila! The harp was gone and my shade fit perfectly on the base.
I know, I know, everyone wants to know the important stuff… how much did this project cost? Well, the shade was on sale at Target for $9.99 from $14.99, and you already know that the lamp base cost a whopping $2.00. We already owned the painter's tape, spray primer and spray paint, so I’m super happy to announce our grand total to "let there be light" in the living room was $12.00!!! Not bad at all considering the mix and match shades/bases at Target are going for $14.99-49.99 (shades) and $29.99-69.99 (bases).
$12.00 is sounding like a pretty sweet deal to me… and our bank account!

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