Tuesday, March 9

.And while I am on the subject of vintage light fixtures...

Light fixtures in old bungalows provide some of the richest period detail, and collecting them is great fun. Here's an example of a chandelier you might have chosen for your bungalow had you been buying it new a century ago...

Image from Sweet's Catalogue of Building Construction, courtesy of Google Books.

They just don't make house lights like they used to. Try finding something like that today at your local big box hardware store...

So after installing my new prize in the hallway, I figured I'd give a quick tour of the light fixtures that are currently installed in various rooms in the house.

When we moved in, the front porch had a rusty fixture that sported a bare bulb, and had long since lost its glass globe. About two years ago, I removed it and installed a nicer alternative.

This actually came from the front porch of my friend Trent's craftsman style bungalow. It's one of several items that I've purchased from him through his occasional ads on Craiglist. He removed this light to install something that looked more in keeping with the style of his house, and sold it to me for $15.

The entry hall has the best light fixture in the house. It's a spanish revival style pendant with an amber glass shade, and wonderful detail in the styling.

But it's currently removed, awaiting renovation of the hallway.

The second best fixture in the house is the chandelier in the dining room. I love the design of this light, it's pure art deco.

It's worth the extra picture to showcase the detail in the glass insert in the bottom of the chandelier.

It's wired to a dimmer switch on the wall, but the finial on the bottom of the light also serves as a switch. And now that I post these pictures, I also notice it's overdue for a good cleaning.

The front room (otherwise known as the parlor) doesn't have a light.

The cover pictured above looks old enough to be original to the house, and it was stuck to the ceiling by several layers of paint until I pried it loose to inspect it. That leads me to believe that there never has been a light installed here. At some point in the future, I intend to install a vintage ceiling fan here.

Each of the three bedrooms still has the original two bulb sconce. Recently I settled on the short, round bulbs you see in the picture below to best fit the flower motif of the sockets.

None of the remaining rooms in the house had original fixtures. One by one I replaced each of the cheap, big box hardware store el-cheapos with something vintage I'd acquired. The hallway now sports my most recent find, the installation of which I've so recently documented.

The bathroom light is pictured below. For some reason this fixture reminds me of an old doctor's office.

And the breakfast nook off the kitchen, which we refer to as the sunroom due to its southern exposure, has this stained glass pendant light:

I found this at the Brown Elephant, and couldn't resist bringing it home with me. The cost of its liberation was $25. Wherever it came from, it had been exposed to a lifetime of smoke and grease, so I took the lamp out in the back yard to clean it with liberal doses of ammonia based glass cleaner. The smoke and grease had built up as a film on the glass, and when I used a scrub brush to remove it, the glass in the lamp brightened up considerably. I also bought a globe at the big box hardware store to cover the bulb inside the shade, since the original had been lost.

When we moved in there was a ceiling fan installed in the kitchen. I removed it, and for a long time the only light in the kitchen was a floor standing torchier. Eventually I installed a temporary fixture for convenience, which is pictured below.

I found this in the alley behind my neighbor's house. I don't think I've ever mentioned to him that I've repurposed his discarded fixture. It won't be permanent, but it's a nice old thick glass embossed shade, nonetheless.

There was never anything special in the basement, just ceiling mounted porcelain bulb holders.

However, I've made the basement home to one or two interesting things I've found in my travels. I rather like this old pendant fixture.

This light hangs over a table in my basement study. The hook it hangs from as already there
when I moved in; I can only guess what it's original purpose must have been.

And that concludes the tour. I've come a long way from when we first moved in, but I'm still in need of nice fixtures for a few spots, mainly the kitchen and the parlor. And I'm never averse to upgrading any of the non original fixtures, if I run across something really nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment