On a recent redesign project, a client and I spent an entire day shopping for just the perfect pieces. She’s the kind of person who appreciates when things come with a bit of a history. It’s easier to relax and put your feet up on a coffee table that already has some dings and nicks, after all. To help you find a piece with a history, be sure to enter our contest at the end of this post.
We spotted a pretty little chair that was actually pretty comfy, but it truly needed more than just a light sprucing up, so we had to pass on it.
But the cute little lamp next to it also caught our eye. It has a small bamboo detail on the legs, and there’s just about no greener decorating trend than bamboo and bamboo-look, these days.
Now, I’m pretty sure all of us has seen something like this table lamp in our grandparent’s house growing up, and this may not be your taste. What, you’re not loving the brass filigree trim or the faux burled wood topper?
Consider that the whole thing was only $21, was in great shape, is totally practical, and similar items sell today for around $300 and up, like this one from LampsPlus for $360:
I had fun bringing this one home and creating a little surprise for the client. Here are the steps for you to recreate your own lamp treasure, maybe even from your own home inventory.
1. Protect the electrical. Remove the shade and harp, and tape off the working parts. You might also want to tape off some of the cord at the bottom and protect it from paint spray.
2. Lightly cover the entire piece in a spray primer. Although I don’t love spray paint, it does a nice job on small items like this with a lot of detail. Remember, this is primer, so you just need a light touch, not a heavy coat, which is where drips come from. 3. Next comes the color. Black, white, and cream are all good and safe choices when bringing a vintage piece up to speed. But if your furnishings are neutral, then a fun color could be a good choice as well. You’ll see in a moment why I chose a simple matte black spray paint for this project. I’m always surprised at how bad the first coat looks. Just remember to keep your spray light. More coats in a lighter touch is better for spray paint.
4. Details make the difference. In this case, the original finial (top part of the lamp) had just the shape we needed, so there was no need to buy another one. Just paint it up along with the lamp.
5. Replace the shade if needed. I probably threw out the shad too early, and perhaps could have remade it, but it was worth the $15 or so for a new shade for this beauty. And here she is, all gussied up.
Because she is anchoring a very colorful corner, you can see that black is just the perfect shade. Check out the rest of this lovely room, and how we used second-chance decorating and expertly arranged bookshelves in this updated family room.
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