Brain Storming..


I think it’s something in the air, but there’s an itch I need to scratch..three projects are calling my name and it’s got to the point when every time I close my eyes, I see them..

Let me run the first one past you…it involves lights: I’ve got the bug to re-do our kitchen, which would be a fairly mammoth job and isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but it would mean our dining room table would move to a place where it could have two (sigh) chandeliers above it.  Just designing the chandeliers would be a great starting point don’t you think?..My heart loves the Abigail Ahern light above, but unfortunately The Bank doesn’t (a mere £11.000 a pop)..but then the brain thinks could I make one myself? I’ve made a light before..


…So I’m running with the conundrum..I was thinking maybe the really cheap and cheerful Japanese lanterns would be the perfect base?..have three together, a large round one on top and attach smaller ones below, then cover them all in rectangles of tissue paper like fishes scales…if it goes tits up, the initial outlay is pretty low…


The second option is this more expensive light from John Lewis and use the same technique…at £120 for the shade it’s a bit more of a risk cost-wise if it goes wrong.. I suspect the cylindrical shape is better? But I do rather miss the drama of the three levels..


Or – just to throw something extra into the mix..what about something with the japanese lanterns based on this idea?..


Cunning eh?

The Easter holidays are fast approaching..if I can do the ground work now and make a decision it would be the perfect project to do with the kids…what are your thoughts? Any of them grab you? all suggestions are very welcome as I’m at the point when I’m going round in creative circles!…

Laters, Kate x


  1. rubyfoot

    Oh yes!
    This looks like one of those projects that might just grow into something quite wonderful. What about scouring the local charity shops for cheap tatty lampshades in different sizes and stripping the fabric off to just leave the frames. Wire them together to make an ever decreasing base frame as in the madly expensive Abigail one and let your creativity flow wild for the O.T.T. trim

    • Maison Bentley Style

      Oooh – you’ve reminded me of those wonderful bird cage chandeliers Graham and Green sell – Do you know the ones I mean? stripped back lampshade with birds sitting inside?? Really big….hmmmmm – even more food for thought! xxx

  2. KerryCan

    I think Rubyfoot nailed it! Start with an inexpensive option and experiment. If you simply can’t make it work then you could always go to the John Lewis light and apply what you’ve learned. And I think, for a dining room, the Abigail style is more in keeping. The doilies would look more at home in a bedroom, maybe. Looking forward to the outcome of all this!

    • Maison Bentley Style

      I think you’re right about the was good to see them being used in something so beautiful. Was looking for the bird cage chandeliers I was talking to Ruby about above and saw you can buy (make?!) the lanterns covered in feathers!!..another thought to add..or silk flowers?! xxx

  3. dievca

    It depends upon how high your kitchen ceiling is — you may need a great deal of height with the Abigail Ahern 3-tier lamp. I like the idea of the 2-tier, but my new apartment ceilings are lower (1928) — the other would have been better in the loft I moved out of (location, location, location). Ruby’s idea of the Charity Shop trial sounds like a great idea — then you can play with size and various fish scale shapes and colors without the big outlay. XO

    • Maison Bentley Style

      You are absolutely right…height/size is vital..I was looking at lanterns on line and it was incredibly hard to judge the sizes and which would go together without seeing them. The Ceiling where they would go is pretty high..3 metres? The two things I’m worried about are 1. Getting two the same! 2. Making sure enough light shines out! (there are some hidden spots in the room too..) xxx

    • Maison Bentley Style

      Oooh! I like!! And reminds me I was fascinated in finding a really large pickle jar to turn into a light..sometimes the simple things are the best…..and NOW you can get all sorts of coloured flex and those amazing light bulbs with the elements that light up like old-fashioned bulbs…!! xxx

  4. vintageattitude

    Have you seen the wire frame lampshades in Libertys?…. Birds perched on them…..adorable. Great fun project to share with the kids too. I am nicking the lace wrap idea…..ta very!! Xxx

  5. Anonymous

    Since time began, human beings have thrived by gathering around an open flame. We are still drawn to the fire – though now it’s evolved to a rather sophisticated convection oven! Conversation flows easily around a kitchen table from topic to topic, one plate to the next. A kitchen re-do is time well-spent.

    • Maison Bentley Style

      My only concern is that I’ll get all precious and want it done ‘properly’..pray I can keep my cool and go with the flow! I’ve ordered some lanterns..still not sure of sizes, but I thought..what the hell..starting is the hardest thing! xxx

  6. The Fashion Huntress

    Beautiful! I really like the idea of the tissue one- I’m wondering if there’s a way to use some sort of pre-formed ball as your shape? I also love the idea of using old bird cages- super cool and unexpected! Let us know what you end up doing!

    • Maison Bentley Style

      I’m hoping that the structure of the wired lanterns will provide the shape..though Lord knows what will happen when they’re covered in glue! If doing the doilie idea it’s recommended to use a balloon, then pop it when you’re finished – a bit like papier mache..would be beautiful for a bedroom… xxx

    • Maison Bentley Style

      I’ve got three lanterns on their way to experiment with..and if I spot any old shades charity shops..I’ll be there trying the bird idea as well…possibly slightly less messy!! xxx

  7. jackiemallon

    For me, It’s the doilies all the way, babes! So special. Also if you get tired halfway through, you can take shortcuts and it will still look good whereas the scales, cutting all those squares, lining them up…#who’s lazy bastard? :-0 Love your flower lampshade! xo

  8. Maison Bentley Style

    I know the kids are going to abandon me with the fish scales! But I am pulled to that one as I can just imagine the glow through the whole thing when the light goes on…….If it does work, I may yet give the doilies a go..would be nice to find a use for all the handwork that’s seeped into those stitches now they’re so out of fashion… xxx