Monday, December 9, 2013

Lamps around my house

When I moved to Atlanta, I moved out of a very small graduate school housing apartment in Boston.  I brought a lamp or two with me that had come from my husband’s teenage room, and might have had a few work lamps from Target.   I also had a white ceramic lamp that I had used on my bedside table in college.  In my first house in Atlanta, I still used those lamps, but mainly relied upon overhead lighting and built in sconces on the side of the bed for my lighting. 

This was the first ‘real’ lamp I purchased in Atlanta (I had to take a picture of it in the kitchen as it is SO gloomy here in Atlanta today!).  I remember seeing this lamp in the Plantation Shop, a now defunct home décor store.  I thought it was the most beautiful lamp in such a pretty color, but I debated purchasing it for weeks because I was not used to spending money on home décor.  I went ahead and bought it, and ever since then have used it in one place or another in my house. Its scale and proportions are nice and it has worked in many different locations. In recent years it has been in my middle daughter’s room. The lampshade is original, circa late 90s.

Since then, I have gained much appreciation for the beauty of lamps and the role that they play in adding another dimension of lighting to a room. I also love having lamps on all of the time, especially at night and on gloomy days.  In fact, I would have to say that I have a lamp obsession and I have lamps in every room of my house.  Here are a few of my favorites, in situ.

A lamp on a chest in my master bedroom, made by Zeugma Imports. The shade came with the lamp, and it is a bit casual for the room – I really should replace it.  My bedside table lamps were ordered months ago, and have not arrived yet, but should be here soon.

It’s very tough taking a picture with a window in the background, so this is not the best quality!  This is a Suzanne Kasler for Ballard gourd lamp in the small size. It was going in my oldest daughter’s room, but I ‘temporarily’ placed it in my bedroom a year ago and it has not moved…the pretty French blue color looks great in my room. It is not as dark as this picture appears. I don’t see this color in the small size on the Ballard size, I wonder if the French blue has been discontinued?

I have my Ballard lamp on my favorite table, the Bunny Williams hourglass design in gold.  The painting on the easel is by Christina Baker. I have a few more paintings from this series in the shop, click here to see them.

My Barbara Barry for Baker pleated lamp in peridot. A friend of mine loved this so much she bought two for her bedroom, and two for her dining room - and they look beautiful. 

Although it may be hard to tell from this picture, the light from the bulb is really beautiful light – and it is a dimmable LED bulb.  I have LED bulbs in all of my lamps (one of the best Christmas gifts a few years ago from my brother-in-law – he replaced most of our regular lightbulbs with Philips LED bulbs).  The Philips LED bulbs are my favorite (click here to see examples).  They are expensive, but they are supposed to last for decades and they have a beautiful color to them.  Everyone who sees them is always surprised to find out that they are LED, the color is so nice. They turn on immediately, and they also dim much better than other brands of LED lights. I highly recommend them – and I haven’t changed a light bulb in a lamp in years because of them!

I buy mine on Amazon. Here is a link.  They come in 40 watt equivalent, 75 watt equivalent, and 100 watt equivalent.

The newer ones seem to be all white, and I have a few of these too.  They are sold in 40 watt and 60 watt equivalent. They can be seen on Amazon here.  They are less expensive than the ones with the yellow design, and have the same energy efficiency and long lifespan. I am not sure if there is a difference in light quality, but I have been happy with the ones I am using with this design.

Back to the lamps!  This lamp doesn’t photograph well, but it is really pretty against the window – the light shines through the mercury glass. I love the combination of the silvery mercury glass, the brass accents, and the pattern on the glass. The lamp can be purchased here, but one thing to note is that each lamp is individually made and the pattern is hand created, so the pattern on the mercury glass varies from lamp to lamp.  The inside of the shade has a charming leopard print.

One of my favorite lamps. I love the shape, color, and texture.  This lamp can be purchased here.

I love lamps in kitchens (and wrote a post about this topic here), and I have a pair of triple gourd lamps in green in my kitchen.  They add a nice splash of color agains the white of my marble.

This is another favorite lamp, a Suzanne Kasler design made by Visual Comfort. I swap this with the concrete lamp on occasion just to change things up a bit.

Finally, one of the first lamps purchased for my new house, and a lamp that I truly love. It's a beautiful blueberry color, and it glows in the day and night. The color is quite vibrant, and it provides a great pop of color in my family room. This lamp came from Mrs. Howard, and the pleated shade is perfect with it.

Many of you have emailed me and said how much you enjoy hearing about products that I enjoy. One product that I discovered last year, that is very much on topic with lamps, is the WeMo switch.  It plugs into the wall, and connects to WiFi.  It pretty much makes anything plugged into it controllable with an iphone or ipad (with a free WeMo app). This means that you can turn things on and off with an iphone, ipad, or any smartphone or tablet running Android 4.0 or higher or iOS 6 or higher – even remotely as long as you are connected to WiFi.  There is also a button on the WeMo switch so items can be turned on and off on the switch itself.  You can also create programs to turn items on and off based on time of day, sunrise, sunset, and so on. Apparently the newest version has even more features, such as energy consumption monitoring.

Here is what the latest version of the WeMo switch looks like.  Click here to read more about it.  I have just placed an order for the new version as I use my WeMo switch on many of the lamps in my house – it’s great to set programs for when they go on and off, or just be able to turn my lamps on and off with my iphone.

I have the older version of the WeMo switch, which apparently has been discontinued. It is bigger and bulkier and does not have as many programmable features as the new one (I think the smaller size of the new model is a big improvement).  I have been very happy with my WeMo switches, and now have 5 of them plugged into various lamps and items throughout the house.   This year we even plugged the artificial tree into the WeMo switch and have it going on and off every morning and night, and I love being able to turn the lights of the tree off and on from my ipad when I am downstairs!  Some of the reviews of the older model say that it disappears from the wireless network frequently (although the programs still continue to work), but I have found that if you unplug and replug it the switch reappears on the network. It sounds like this is not an issue with the newer model.

There is a WeMo motion sensor that pairs with the WeMo switch and sends smartphone notifications when motion is detected (such as when a teen returns home), and can turn appliances or light plugged into a switch to turn on or off if motion is detected. I don’t have this, but it looks interesting! Click here for more information and a description.

There is also a WeMo light switch which is great for older homes that are not wired with the latest and greatest wireless light systems. It apparently overlays a legacy light switch (single switch only) and allows the items that the switch controls (overhead lighting and such) to be controlled by an ipad or smartphone app (or set on a schedule). Click here for more information on the WeMo switch – the Amazon page has lots of examples of how it is used (with pictures too).

I have already purchased the new Wemo Switch for several people on my Christmas list – I think it is a very useful and cool thing, and use my WeMo switches every day, many times a day – I love them for lamps in particular!  I even ordered a new one as I have another lamp that I would like to go on in the morning so the kids don’t go downstairs when it is dark.

Is anyone out there as lamp obsessed as I am?  I truly can’t have enough lamps in the house! Initially my husband was annoyed with the increase in lamps in our new house, but once the WeMo appeared on the scene, he was grateful as it meant fewer lamps to switch off at night  (I have four lamps on the WeMo programmable timer).  

Favorite design and architecture books of 2013: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2013/12/books-from-2013.html
2013 books on my Christmas list: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2013/11/books-for-my-christmas-list-2013.html
2012 books on my Christmas list: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2012/11/books-for-my-christmas-list.html  
2011 books on my Christmas list: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2011/12/my-book-list-christmas-2011.html

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  1. You really do have the most beautiful lamps, Holly, and the switch is being ordered. I love this idea!
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Holly, I love lamps too, especially those that are 'interesting'. Really enjoyed seeing yours and the info about WeMo! I'll have to get me some of the plugs and get the app!
    Merry Christmas!

  3. So many beautiful lamps, Holly! I especially love the Regina Andrew piece... its an interesting mix of textures. Oh and I'm so envious of your Bunny Williams' table. What a classic beauty.

  4. Great lamps, but what I want to know is who painted that art. Gorgeous.

  5. You have come a long way since you bought that green gourd lamp! I really like the mercury glass lamp. Pretty details.

  6. Thank you for the Wemo idea. Perfect gift for my brother.

  7. I finally found someone who shares the same lamp obsession with me ... Lamps are decorative, functional, sometimes sculptural and, just like shoes, they can really elevate the look of a room. Love reading this post and thanks for sharing the we mo switch

  8. Just pinned some of your lamps...I am in lamp heaven you have some beautiful ones. Great information on the light bulbs..I have been so resistant to changing to the new bulbs. With your write up I will have to look into these new bulbs.

  9. Hi - I am just as lamp obsessed as you! I can't help but buy them, change them around in different rooms too. I especially love unusual, antique lamps and chandeliers. I had been thinking of doing a blogpost on the lighting in my house...and you have convinced me that I should!

    Thanks for your post!


    PS - Do you have another pic of the artwork in that last photo? It's beautiful...would love to see the entire shot!

  10. Your lamps are beautiful...but the Bunny Williams table....gorgeous! Thanks for the many tips...my "high tech" family is so difficult, for me, (low tech) to surprise at Christmas!! Your photos are "right up there!!" franki

  11. Such an informative post! Thank you.

  12. hello holly from a fellow lampaholic. the good news on this end is i have a shop so can further indulge this obsession. off to market in atlanta shortly and thrilled to see the new lamp introductions!
    great great information on the led lightbulbs and wemo priducts. i am forwarding this post to a client that spends half the year in d.c. and the other half here in illinois.

  13. Thanks for the useful info on WeMos.

  14. WOW...you have some gorgeous lamps...so much better than down lighting. Love the light bulb tip.

  15. Hi there!
    I have been quite pleased to see your posts on lamps lately. I am a ceramic artist in San Jose, California embarking on a journey making lamps and starting a lamp line. I wonder if you would be interested in seeing my work once I am ready.

    free13spirit at gmail dot com

  16. gorgeous lamps Holly! And great advice about the LED bulbs. I need to check that out. and the Wemo thingy. but... I JUST and I mean JUST got my first I-phone. baby steps. lol

  17. ps: I forgot to say that I love lamps in the kitchen too! I have two lamps in my kitchen and sometimes that is all I turn on. (its only about 15 x 7)

  18. Great post and beautiful lamps! Thanks for sharing info regarding the WeMo switch. Question: How do you hide or disguise the excess lamp cord on the lamps on your kitchen counter? I love lamps in the kitchen and particularly on the counter, but don't like seeing or dealing with the excess cord. Thanks.

  19. I really enjoyed this post a lot...your lamps are beautiful! It's so fun to get little glimpses of your beautiful home, and your practical tips are so valuable. Thanks for sharing what you've learned.

  20. Your living room totally rocks! Well done. I can't wait to see the rest of your home. Bedroom Decor ideas

  21. Oh i have an unhealthy lamp obsession fueled in part by Artisan down the street! Other than my under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen and the dining room chandelier every single room is lit only by lamps. You just can't beat the eye level lighting for ambiance - esp lamps with 3 way bulbs and dimmable.


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