Thursday, 29 September 2011

Let There Be Lighting

It is often posited by TV style pundits that the key to creating ambience in a room is the correct use of lighting. To my mind the most stylish way to achieve this effect is by use of vintage lamps. Vintage lighting, adds a unique and stylish touch to any room, and vintage lamps tend to be heavier and of better quality than modern ones. 

I had always been a little unsure of refurbishing electrical items myself, and had generally left this to the professionals. However, a friendly electrician gave me a few tips, and assured me it was perfectly OK for an amateur to replace the flex and light socket - and was in fact as easy as changing a plug!

Armed with this new knowledge and confidence, I set about fixing up a glorious old standard lamp. What’s more, I set out with the intention of doing this using vintage style parts in order to enhance the period charm of the piece. Although being a little daunted at first, this turned out to be simplicity itself. A visit to the Period House shop in Warwick, supplied me with the beautiful vintage style twisted, cloth covered, flex and a perfectly period brass light socket.

The “electrical” work was also very straight forward. The flex, though looking very period, was modern with the standard colour coding. This fitted easily and quickly to the socket at one end and the plug at the other.

What took a little longer was cleaning the lamp itself. The original chinoiserie finish had become encrusted with grime, and needed to be very carefully cleaned with a little warm water and a soft cloth. After this a few light coats of clear wax were applied. The results were stunning. I was left with a shining clean ebonised chinoiserie standard lamp resplendent with its period style flex and fittings.

I fully intend to put my new found skills to good use, and already have my eye on  a few pieces which need a little attention. So Watch this space for more talse of my adventures in vintage lighting!

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