Ah! The potent joys of a holiday to Kent, where each time we visit I think I’ve cracked the lack of internet, only to fail miserably again and again..until the only option is to (with natural great regret) down tools entirely and embrace the holiday spirit and a world without computers. Needless to say, it was a walk along the path to bliss! But more on Kent another day..both pre and post trip I’ve been obsessed with the light for our new dining room. Much to my own surprise, having looked at various 1950’s and 70’s lights with their cool drama, I went for this classic flemish brass number. It was the
cost shape that made it stand out..over a metre tall and two tiered, like a Christmas tree (imagine decorating with ivy, fir and baubles. Sigh) but it was in a pretty sorry state and covered in a dark varnish much loved in the 1940’s that now just detracted, like a bad fitting nun’s habit from it’s simple lines and austerity appeal.
But how to clean it? Pinterest proved to be a wealth of info and basically there were two options – making a paste with vinegar and baking powder or soaking it in nail varnish remover. Not being sure how much nail varnish remover would be required to fill the bath and dubious about the effect of remover on electric wiring, I opted for the first choice.
The vinegar and baking soda bubbled up beautifully when mixed together and had the additional benefit of the evocative scent of a down town chippie.
It was slathered on and left to simmer gently.
The result? A huge, stinking, smelly mess…and no noticeable change.
Undeterred, Plan B went into action: Cotton wool pads soaked in nail varnish remover and wrapped around the light like a mummy.
It definitely made a difference, but didn’t shift the deeper stains which even elbow grease couldn’t budge.
Returned to instructions…and to give them their due, they did say to use very fine steel wool with the nail varnish remover.
And when I finally got hold of some (slack..always make sure you have required tools before you start) it was like magic..the black literally evaporated away. From this..
Like Cinders from the ashes, she’s turned into a real beaut! Now I just need to source some of those vintage, edison-like-filament bulbs that have been popping up everywhere..pray they do them in this size…but knowing my luck…they’ll cost more than the light!
Laters, Kate x
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?..
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
In my dreams there’s an Abigail Ahern chandelier hanging over my dining room table. Scrap that – we’re talking dreams..they’ll be two! (and a reinforced ceiling) This one has my heart – it’s made from tiny squares of porcelain that would gently glow on a dark winters night. But at £15,050 a light (the extra £50 tickles my sensibilities) it remains firmly on the once-I’ve-won-the-lottery-lust-list…
There’s also this one (at a mere £2,750) which makes me want to break open the kid’s air-drying clay and get creative. The truth is Abigail’s whole aesthetic has me squealing..the dark, brooding colours with the unexpected pops of colour, the quirky touches and an underlining sense of humour that spontaneously brings forth a smile of pure pleasure.
So it’s rather wonderful that she’s teamed up with Debenhams to design a range especially for them…
For the study?
Guarding the front door?
(This one is on her website but not on the Debenhams one yet..I hope he does appear as I love him and his dark purple lampshade..imagine on two bedside cabinets either side of a glamourous french rococo bed?..sigh)
This is when Designer versus High Street works..when there’s a symbiotic relationship that we can all feel inspired by rather than a parasitical one that destroys as it feeds.
And at £85 a light?
Bring it on!
Laters, Kate x