Sunday, February 10, 2013

lighting up

This is one of those blog posts that's been in  my head over the summer. It's also the first one I've written dedicated to interior design. So hopefully I'll not bore you with my lights. When we moved into this house 16 months ago one thing that struck me was the totally boring lighting design. It consisted of the hideous inset downlights in every room. The only pendants were two ugly generic things hanging over the kitchen bench. In the kids bedrooms there was only one light switch by the door and no reading lights. Our bedroom was not much better, but at least I had a switch by the bed to turn off the ceiling lights. So something needed to be done, and finally this summer we added some retro character to our house.

The cheapest solution for our bedrooms was to hang lights with long cords that plug into the three point socket. First up was Miss L's. I had the cord and plug from a broken light, and found the red plastic woven lampshade in an antique shop. They only thing we needed to do was wire it all together and add a on/off switch along the cord and hang it from the ceiling.

The photo of the out of focus cornflower was taken by L herself a few years ago, before she learnt about focal length. The greenery is in focus. I framed it as love the colours and composition.

Next up was H's room. He's a bit harder to please (being almost a teenager) and therefore I had to spend a bit more money and brought a funky red cage light off a local website. But when it arrived the cord that wasn't long enough and it had no on/off switch. So a trip to Mitre 10 was needed to buy an extension cord and the switch. By this time H was really enjoying playing the electrician and was doing all the wiring for us.

The photo is of H when he was about 2 and in the collecting-the-biggest-stone-possible-from-the-beach phase. Other artwork is his own, from quite a few years ago, when he still enjoyed his art.

For our room I brought some gold flex on Trade Me, which works well with the brass mesh lightshades I found at the recycling centre. The lamp in the corner was another shade I found at the dump (sorry recycling centre!) which we put onto a lamp that's shade got damaged when we moved years ago. Soon after buying the light shades I also brought two  mid century oak drawers on Trade Me which also happened to have brass handles. I then read in a magazine that brass was 'in' this season, wow I've never been this current in my life!

Note the carefully staged shot to avoid seeing the piles of clothes that are lurking on my side of the bed.

Last up was the kitchen pendants. Again I scored two perspex lightshades at the dump. I had planned on selling them on Trade Me, as the colour is a smoky purple, which wasn't quite me. But we tried them above the kitchen bench, and they are perfect.

More carefully staged shots of kitchen. Although maybe I should have cleared the junk off the top of the microwave. Or better still moved the ugly thing that just sits on the bench because there's no other space. One day there'll be the new kitchen post.

Yes I have been planning this post for so long that those are our Christmas lights along the front of the house. If you look really carefully in the above photo you can see the lights of Nelson and Richmond twinkling in the distance.

Sorry I couldn't stick totally to interiors, so had to throw in some sunset photos for good measure.

I've still got time to join in with Max's Op-Shop Show-Off party.  All light shades (except one) qualify and I'm definitely showing off!

And, thanks for the words of encouragement on my last post about continuing with this blogging malarkey. It's actually a bit of a milestone for me today, as it's two whole (Chinese) years since I started blogging.  So Gong Hey Fat Choy to you all in the year of the snake.


  1. Nice to meet you Sally. And so nice of Kylie to send you over my way. She's so nice, pity she can't crochet though - that's quite big right now. Anyway I'm off now to chase up your follow button. I like what you have done with the lights. Good solution for your son. They are hard to decorate for!

  2. Such cool lighting! My favorite is the red cage light. Love the funky industrial feel to it. Is that a chicken painting in your room? It looks so cute!

  3. i love your view!
    some great finds there sally, i'm hard pressed to pick my fave, but ultimately i think the kitchen shades are so stylish. and thanks for the mitre 11 tip! i used to come up to nelson three times a year at least, every year, love the place, sun, beautiful landscapes, pottery-but not since claud was born. we are long overdue a trip...
    brill to have you linking up x

  4. Hi Sally,
    I love all the lamps you have found at the recycling centre particularly the kitchen ones. Those sunsets are so stunning too. Congratulations on your 2 years of blogging.
    Sarah x