A Vintage Light Lover's Dream

I found a great site recently called Factory 20, with some terrific antique and vintage lights on it if that’s your style.  I picked just a few that I fell in love with, but check out the site for all of their options. They appear to add new things all the time, so it’s worth keeping on your radar. 


I love the huge clear glass globe on this desk light, and with the right lightbulb would definitely be a statement piece.  A light like this or this would be interesting.  I think the shorter versions of the antique bulbs would be good.  I like the sculptural quality of the second one personally.  I also think the base of this light could easily be mixed in with other styles of furniture and accessories in your home.

I think these pendant disc lights are very interesting for their minimalist nature, but a grouping of them makes a statement (they only have 5 available currently).  In their original life, they apparently hung over shop counters to highlight merchandise. Similar to the lights above, I think these milk light pendants would look amazing paired with interesting bulbs.  You could do a longer Edison/Antique type bulb, or as an alternative, I think a chrome bulb with these would be very interesting and would bring a more modern edge to their vintage nature.


The cobalt blue color on the metal pendants shown below is amazing and gorgeous.  In the close up it looks like the tops need a little dusting, but that’s easily done.   These would be a real statement in a clean, white, modern kitchen as the lights over an island.  But I could also see them as the bedside lights in a bedroom (master or guest) to create a different look for a reading light.


Now the metal expanding shade pendants below give you real flexibility.  Designed to be able to give focused mood or spotlighting in their down position, or offering brighter surrounding light in their up position, these are quite unique.  They were very inventive in the 1960s.

5 of the Pendants in the down position

5 of the Pendants in the down position

The Pendant in the Up Position

The Pendant in the Up Position


A set of the industrial pendant lights so many current companies are designing now, these lights are the real thing with a porcelain coating from the 1940s (and in great shape!).


Described as Deco on Factory20 and from the time period of the 1930s, this pair of vintage floor lamps would be a conversation piece and add a lot of interest to your home.  Especially the detail at the top of the lamp connecting the shade to the base, with the sphinx-like figure.

A Closeup of The figure at the top of the base rod

A Closeup of The figure at the top of the base rod




I could not resist these Vintage Wobble lights designed by George Kovacs - they look great and you can have some fun pushing it over and watching it come back.  Like the old bop bags but better.  


Thanks to the Galerie Sommerlath listing on the site www.ltwid.com, here is the original ad description of these lights:

"No, this is not a picture of two lightbulbs making love. It's a picture of one lightbulb making love. To a polished chrome, weighted base.
Push a Wobble and it snaps right back to attention. So it's a great lamp for people who like to fidget.
Who knows? This little lamp may replace pencil chewing, rubber band twisting, and paper clip bending (Captain Queeg would have had two Wobbles.)
Besides all the excitement, every Wobble comes equipped with a new kind of lightbulb called the Beanie Bulb.
And all this costs a mere $15.90. So the price won't make you nervous. But if it does, at least you'll have a lamp that understands."

How great were the 1970s?  Mr. Kovacs died in 2007, and his obituary is an interesting read.


Capping it off (or now at least) is this Greta Von Nessen Pod desk lamp, which is beautiful in its simplicity.  It would fit well in a mid-century modern house, or in an eclectic home with lots of style.  According to Wikipedia, Greta was an industrial engineer who with her husband Walter, co-founded Nessen Studios.  Her design of the Anywhere Lamp is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. 

LED light bulbs – will you ever spend $50 on a bulb?

Sylvania's 100w Equivalent LED Light Bulb
Sylvania's 100w Equivalent LED Light Bulb

Yes, $50.  I can imagine most of you area saying “never” or “not a chance.”  But don’t dismiss it out of hand without considering the benefits.    (and not all of them are $50)   LED lighting is the next wave of lighting technology, and one of these bulbs might actually be worth it.  Why?

  • It’s LED – so it lasts for years and years.  That means while you’re paying more up front, you’ll save more later (and no changing light bulbs!).
  • It looks like an incandescent bulb - no otherworldly blue tint of previous LEDs or cold white light of the CFL.
  • It doesn’t have the problem of mercury like CFL bulbs do.  No more difficulty in disposing of those old bulbs (because you don’t put them in the garbage, do you?  Find local recycling options at this site: www.earth911.org)
  • You don’t have to change the bulbs as often – terrific, especially for those hard to reach lights over stairwells.
  • It requires nothing other than that you screw it in – no special adapters or anything.  Some are a little longer than most bulbs, but they anticipate it will fit most lamps.
  • You can now find them at hardware stores like Lowe’s  and Home Depot, as well as Amazon. With their economies of scale and improving technology, the bulbs are getting cheaper  (some of the lower wattage ones are $10-$15).   And until it’s as cheap as you would like it, you can get the feeling of contributing to a better planet now…

There are two drawbacks currently:

1)   They don't seem to have produced LED tri-light bulbs (the ones that have three light settings).  LEDs can dim (which is great), but for our table lamps without dimmers, it’s the CFL or the good old incandescent bulb for now.   So for now put these in your pot lights, hard to reach lights, and lights with dimmers!

2) The highest output is equivalent to a regular 100W bulb at the moment.  I am sure it will change quickly as the technology improves, but for now we'll just have to enjoy looking better in low light.

Tips on picking LED light bulbs:

If you want to change but aren't sure what level of bulb you need, manufacturers for the most part have put the wattage equivalent clearly on the packaging.  But in case you run into a website that only talks about lumens (the measurement of light output), I am re-printing below the best selection guide I have found, produced by the Lighting Association.  They haven't published a new one which catches up with the fact that you can get LED light bulbs up to 100W, but it gives you a sense for the lumen output you're looking for.

how to pick a light bulb
how to pick a light bulb

Gummy Bear Chandelier

A quick post for today.  A reader sent me this link (thank you reader) for a chandelier (or as they call it "candelier") made out of 15,000 acrylic gummy bears by the designer Kevin Champeny.   It's certainly on the more expensive side, the large chandelier is $6,500 and a small chandelier is $2,400.  But for those with enough disposable income, it could be a fun addition to a child's room.

Holiday Decorating Ideas

I am officially in the holiday spirit and was looking for some ideas to change things up, and have found some great inspirations for inside and outside the home.  

I love this idea, especially for a holiday party or for Christmas Eve.  I think the candles are so pretty, and especially lighting the way at dusk and into the dark.  I have friends who do luminaries every year on both sides of their street, using paper bags, a little sand, and votive candles.  The pretty site will definitely bring your neighbors outside.

You can find some well-priced hurricanes at Amazon.com - modern straight walled ones, and more traditionally shaped ones with 12 hour votives.


While the holidays shouldn’t be all about presents in my opinion, it’s still fun to see well wrapped packages.   Having them illuminated outside is really fun and special, and a nice addition or change to lights on the house.   I think scale here is important, and grouping them together will make the best impact.

I have yet to find any for sale that look this good, so here are the instructions to make them courtesy of marthastewart.com.


They called this one “holiday fence” and I love the idea.  Simply using plastic garden edgers and white Christmas lights, you can bring the light all around your yard to celebrate the season and welcome guests to your home.  I also love the simplicity of the lights in the windows shown here as well.  So simple, and yet so elegant and beautiful.   Use LED lit candles if you don’t want to worry about the fire hazard.

Moving inside, here is a fun way to create a secondary tree in your house or even the main tree if a full tree isn’t in the plans this year.  They suggest the hallway and I love that idea.   Add a timer, and it will make your life festive and easy.

You can make your own felt stars, or buy them here.


I love pinecones, and making them the centerpiece in clear pedestal hurricanes (or any other glass vessel you have) is a great way to make a statement.  I love the natural look, but for some sparkle (or to fit into a silver color scheme) you could spray paint them with silver paint like the ones in front.

Here are some great hurricanes at West Elm.  For the pinecones, if you can gather them in your area, so much the better.  But if not, Amazon has some.


This one is my idea.  I bought this modern yarn wrapped Christmas tree from West Elm and the mini vintage ornaments from Restoration Hardware.  I love the juxtaposition of the vintage and modern, and the tree has the advantage of being crafted by the fair trade women’s organization Rupalee.    A variation would be putting the ornaments on red ribbon so they hang a little lower (it may yet still happen in my house).


Every year I try to think of somehow creative to use holiday cards in my décor.  For the last few years I have been using pinecones and sticking the pictures in them, but you can only fit so many in each one.  I like this idea of stretching a string or ribbon between two vases or other décor elements and hanging the cards on them by clothespins.


Sleigh or Jingle bells are such a characteristic sound of this season, and I think hearing them upon opening a door puts me in the mood.   You could put this decoration up halfway through the season for a nice addition (and so you don’t go nuts with them before Christmas comes).


An image to highlight the beauty of simple wreaths.  These wreaths are often dried (so they can be used next year as well - a big bonus!), and I love the natural simplicity in the season typical of excess.


I love the sparkle of ornaments, and I do not typically have a full tree in my house.  So I like putting them in some sort of centerpiece (bowl, long tray, etc).  This year I interspersed them with green balls of moss and some twig balls, spread around a red & mercury glass votive.  I love it.





I love this idea for the Christmas tree base, using a basket instead of a traditional skirt.  It’s a neat change, and I have seen it two ways.  In this image they have taken a basket, turned it upside down, and cut out the bottom to put the tree base through.  The other way is to have the basket right side up and put the tree in that way.   It decreases your space underneath the tree for presents, but I like the freshness of the idea.


Happy Holidays!