Lighting update: A groovy kinda love

If you’re a regular reader, you know we’ve had a hate-on for this guy ever since we moved in:

original kitchen light

Our kitchen light

It was one of a trio of glassy, brassy lights in our living/dining/kitchen area:

entry light before

This one was hanging in our entry.

brass and glass light fixture

And this one was in the dining room (which we've repurposed into a library).

Ever since we found this one for the library last fall…

70s light fixture

…we’ve been on the lookout for more 70s lighting to replace the other two lights.

Not too long after finding the library light, we found this one to hang in our entry:

entry light

And ever since that we’ve found nothing.

We’ve looked at (and snapped photos of) so many lights they all started to blur in my mind. (Cane shared many of them in this lighting post a while back.) We found some that might’ve worked, but we kept hoping we’d find another salvaged light (at salvage light prices) rather than picking up something from a vintage furnishings store.

It was hard to wait. I thought about jumping at a few not-quite right lights because I couldn’t wait to get rid of that last light.

I’m so glad we didn’t. If we had, we wouldn’t have been able to get this:

light #3

library light 2

We know this wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but we thought she was just right to complete our light trio. She has the 70s vintage we’ve gone for, and we liked the long delicate lines of the spokes and the shiny amber roundness of the globes. Although it doesn’t have the chunky lines of the other two, it does have the same dark brass and wood, which we think ties all three of them together in a nice way.

And she was only $25 at the ReStore. 

However, she didn’t seem quite right for our kitchen.

cane in kitchen may 2012

Our kitchen presents some real design challenges for us. While we like the idea of restoring it to its vintage roots, we’re not going to gut expensive features just because they aren’t vintage. We don’t exactly love our updated-in-the-90s cabinets and counters, but we’re planning to live with them for a good long while.

We thought the light was a little too something to fit in with our kitchen. The amber glass, the delicate lines of it–we just couldn’t see it working there.

However, we could see it fitting into our library/dining room.  That space has a few more period touches–from the furnishings to the accessories to the wavy-gold windows that flank the fireplace.

vintage lamp

white chair

thrift store vintage painting

library chair


library shelves fireplace light

And, we could see the first light working well in the kitchen. The white glass and the chunkier lines seemed like a better fit with the cabinets.

So, we decided to move the first light into the kitchen, and hang up the new light in the library/dining area.

swapping out the kitchen light

We like the first light even better in the kitchen…

kitchen light, facing art wall

kitchen with new light, facing sink

…and we think the new light is great in the library.

library light 3

library with new light

library light 1

 The bottom line

We’re not sure what the best part of these lighting choices is for us. We love their style. We love that we recycled old lights (we always prefer to use previously-manufactured goods when we can). We also love that they were inexpensive.

We’ve spent a grand total of $55 for three light fixtures.

Even if we were going with budget options at the warehouse stores, we don’t think we could have replaced all three for less than $300. And we’d have lights that, in 10-15 years, would probably seem as awful to us as the glass/brass lights do now.

The things you can’t put a price on

It’s been about 6 months since we found the first light, and–yes–it would have been nice to have ditched the ugly lights much sooner. It would have been easier (in some ways) to walk into a store, find three coordinating lights, and swipe a bank card to be done with it.

But we would have missed the thrill of the hunt.

rebuilding center lighting section

And we really, really like that thrill of the hunt. That and all the nice afternoons of looking, which are never just about the thing we’re looking for. (Because they are always more about spending time together creating our home. And eating.)

food cart

While we’re calling this chapter of the lighting saga done, there’s a sequel in the works:

Death to the Boobs

kitchen boob light

But that’s a story for another day. Today we’re going to leave you with this:

old light in garage

Waiting in the garage for our next trip to the ReBuilding Center.

How about you?

Got any projects you’re happy to be calling done? Find any thrifty, vintage goodness lately? Have any great ideas about what to put in the place of the boob lights? (Yes, lights. There are two of them in the kitchen!)

Linking to The William Morris Project over at Pancakes and French Fries:

william morris project
And to Southern Hospitality’s Thrifty Treasures party:

thrifty treasures button