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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Easy Lampshade Conversion

I do love learning something new, don't you?  As part of my bedside table redo which I wrote about here, I had a pair of lamps that were beginning to look a bit the worse for wear.  I had picked them up at Pottery Barn years ago. They were good quality, they still worked and the bases were a neutral silver tone nickel so I decided to keep them.  However, the parchment shades that they came with had yellowed slightly over time and I was tired of the cone shape.  I searched high and low for replacement shades but the wire frame of the old ones were unusual and I could not find any shade with a similar frame.  Have you ever seen a frame like this?

I discovered that, nowadays, most lampshades have a "spider" frame which requires a base with a harp and a finial to secure the shade in place.  Obviously, my lamps didn't have a harp and finial.  I tried recovering them but that was a disaster.  I won't show you what happened because you'd probably fall off your chair laughing.  I jumped online (as one does) to see if I could find lampshades with the weird configuration that mine had.  No luck.  As I was moodily searching around online, staring at countless lovely lamp shades that would never fit onto my lamps and contemplating having to throw away perfectly good lamps, quite by accident, I saw something that made me sit up.  This something was called a clip-on lamp shade adapter!

What!  Why had I never heard of such a thing?  It would have saved me hours of fruitless searching.  This deceptively simple piece of hardware allows you to convert a lamp without a harp to one that fits a lamp shade with the ubiquitous spider frame.  Plus if you are like me and have a fondness for vintage lamps, you know that a lot of vintage lamps don't have a harp and require a clip on lampshade.  The lamp shade adapter allows you to convert such lamps as well.  No more being stuck with a fantastic vintage lamp that's crowned with a tattered ugly shade.  I ended up rushing out to Rona to get mine but I'm sure you can get them at any hardware store.  They are so easy to install.  Just clip them on to a lightbulb (not CFL bulbs with the twisted shape) and that's it!  Next step was to find new lampshades.  I wanted something rectangular or square as they were going on bedside tables.  Rectangular shades have a smaller footprint as they can be butted up against a wall.  I wanted a bit of colour as the wall behind the bed is light and I wanted them to stand out a bit. I ended up finding the perfect ones at Walmart of all places.

This is "his" side of the bed.  It's hard to see but the shades are a natural, sand toned linen with a rough texture.  I was looking at shades with colour and pattern for a long time but ended up with fairly neutral ones. 

You'll notice the adapter is a brass tone and the base is nickel silver.  I did think of spray painting the adapter silver but wasn't sure if that was a good idea as the clip-on part is in direct contact against a very hot bulb.  I would like to find a nicer finial at least but as it is somewhat hidden, it isn't a priority for now.  I am thinking of painting the wall behind the bed an accent colour so a neutral shade would "pop" against an accent wall.  I know that accent walls generate divided opinion and much heated discussion in the decor world.  What do you think of accent walls?

I am so pleased that I was able to rejuvenate the lamps.  I adore the rectangular shape as I think it has a more modern look.  Plus if I am ever brave enough to attempt recovering a lampshade again, I think the straight lines of a rectangle will be a lot easier to handle.  I love a quick and easy DIY, don't you?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Playing with Colour & Pattern in the Menswear Department Plus Blogiversary Giveaway Winners

Are you a colour and pattern scaredy-cat?  I am!  There are lots of tips and suggestions out there on how to incorporate colour and pattern into one's decor scheme.  But, if you are like me, it all goes out the window in a huge incoherent mess when you are standing in the decor department staring at shelves of cushions.  Then, when I was out browsing in the menswear department of Banana Republic with Monsieur, it occurred to me that inspiration was right in front of me.  Trying to pair a tie with a shirt verges on the realm of a mystical science but there is method to the madness.  Let's take a look at how they style their mannequins.

Do you see how the striped tie is layered on top of the plaid shirt?  It seems like a bold move but  because both are in the same colourway, it looks chic, classic, almost conservative.  Here's another example,

Above, Banana Republic has layered a lilac polka dot tie on top of a lilac gingham shirt and a solid lilac sweater.  Again because it is all in the same colourway, the polka dots and gingham play off each other and works wonderfully.  What do you think?  Below is an example of using bright and dark colours against each other to make the bright colour really pop.

Now, let's go for a virtual walk in the mall and check out how the menswear department in J. Crew styles their mannequins.  See how on the left mannequin, there is a purple paisley handkerchief (or pocket pouf) tucked into the breast pocket which is playing off the purple gingham shirt?

Here is another J. Crew mannequin.  Monsieur wouldn't be caught dead in these Post-It note yellow pants and, if he ever did wear them, I would cross the street and pretend I didn't know him.  But, you can see that J. Crew is using the same strategy of making a bright colour pop even more by pairing it with a dark jacket.

I decided to foof my nightstand (which is a work in progress) with my takeaways from the menswear department.  I had recently thrifted a watercolour painting and a very large brass pineapple which I was just dying to display somewhere.

It is the first time I've ever bought original artwork and I was so nervous about it. But, looking at the watercolour just makes me happy as there is such a peacefulness about it.  And it reminds me of the Canadian wilderness. 

I like how the gold glamminess (is that a word in the decor world?) of the crazy pineapple plays off the gold tones in the painting and in the frame.  It is just so Hollywood Regency.  The blue egg crate pulls out the blue sky in the painting.  Plus it is very useful for holding jewelry.  I haven't been able to identify the artist as the signature is a little blurred.  If you have any information, please let me know.

I'm a very visual person and having the mannequins in front of me providing visual cues really helped give me lots of inspiration.  Who'd have thought there could be so much to learn in the menswear department for those of us who don't wear ties?  I'm working on the lamp so there will be more photos to come.
Now, let's move on to the Blogiverary Giveaway winners!  I did the draw using a vintage pink Pyrex bowl (as one does).

First prize winner of the Austrian kitchen set is:

Congratulations Six Balloons!
Second prize winner of the vintage handkerchiefs and vintage Boucher brooch is:

Congratulations Jill from A Little Bit of Everything!

Please contact me with your address so I can get your prize in the mail.
Thank you to all those who entered.  I had so much fun putting together the prizes that I'm definitely going to do more in the future.  So watch this space for more Giveaway fun! 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Blogiversary Giveaway

Do you find that life slips by in a blurry stream and that days just meld into each other?  I don't really keep track of the passing of time.  I used to keep a journal as a child but stopped in adulthood.  Do you journal or scrapbook?  I've come to realize that blogging has become a wonderful substitute for journaling.  It's such a great avenue to record certain events in my life and fulfills a lot of creative outlets.  Recently, out of curiosity, I checked to see how long I've been blogging.  I was absolutely staggered to find that I've been doing it for a little over 2 years! 2 years!  If you've been reading my blog, you'll notice that I've changed the design a bit.  After 2 years, I was feeling the need for a new look.  So to celebrate the new look and the passing of 2 years, I think a blogiversary giveaway is in order, don't you?  And because I talk a lot about using vintage in the home, of course the giveaway has to feature vintage goodness.  First up is what I'm calling a medley of Austrian kitchenalia.  The winner will receive an Austrian wall hanging featuring a recipe for apple strudel with a border featuring peasant/folk art/country life, an Austrian oven mitt with a recipe for Farmer's Feast on the back, and 3 cloth coasters.

Second prize is a collection of 6 vintage handkerchiefs tied with a chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon and pinned together with a vintage Boucher bow ribbon brooch.  Boucher was a Canadian costume jewelry company which I think is appropriate as I'm based in Canada.

All the hankies have some sort of white detail such as embroidery or trim.  To enter the giveaway, leave a comment.  Which prize is your favourite?  Like L'Heure Bleue At Home on Facebook for an extra entry.  Just come back to the blog and leave another comment letting me know that it's your second entry.  I'll keep the giveaway open until Sunday April 7, 2013, Midnight EST.  And yes, the giveaway is open internationally.  Here's to another 2 years!

This Giveaway Contest is now closed.

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