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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?


Connie@shabbyforsure said...

Hi, I like the new look for your lamps. I have no opinion on accent walls but I will say it is your bedroom and if an accent wall makes you happy you should have one. Good luck deciding...Connie

Doni said...

Hello there! I'm so glad you joined me for my party! And I'm glad you shared a cool way of using a new shade on an old lamp. I might even need to find one of those new gadgets for a few of my own old lamps....if I can find them!
Great job, and I love the new shade. Shades are always a problem I have to work with, and using a shade like you have there would fix a problem I have...so I will probably have to steal your idea again!! ;)
I had a friend years ago that painted her headboard wall a deep dark green. DO NOT PAINT YOUR WALL a deep dark GREEN!! yuk. She liked it the first few months, then as the room was so dark, she tried to lighten it with other things but that deep dark green just sucked the life out of it. AND it showed every little mark and ding as time went by (4 kids = marks and dings).
SO...if you painted the wall a darker SHADE of a neutral color I think it would look terrific!! And keep a baby food jar of touch up paint handy just in case!
Just my two cents!!

Deborah@Green Willow Pond said...

Great job on the lamp shades! I never heard of this adapter either. I will have to see if I can find some in our neck of the woods.

Thank you for sharing it at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!


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