Out With New and in With Old – a Passion For Antique Lamps

I have to admit that I have always had some odd tastes when it comes to interior design.  Possibly this has something to do with growing up in the seventies.  My parents and grandparents homes were filled with post war utilitarian furniture, chipboard was used to hide any and all attractive antique features; real fires were replaced with state of the art three bar electric fires featuring an allegedly clever little device that made the plastic coals appear to glow and flicker.  Lighting was stark, bright and fuelled by the maximum legally available wattage that could be found.  Even today my parents’ house is littered with single, central light fittings in each room, with inadequate shades that can shatter the mood of even the cosiest, darkest winters evening.

Even as a child I would haunt the local antique shops, although in those days they were better known as ‘junk’ shops as

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they were filled with the cast off remnants and fittings from houses that had been gutted within an inch of their lives in the name of progress.  I guess what goes around comes around, because the hideous furniture of my childhood is now “retro2 and has an increasingly large following.  I even visited a house recently where the owner had ‘gone retro’ and proudly showed me round what I can only describe as a nightmare come true.

Back to the Past

One item of furnishing that was a common purchase in my early forays into antique shop was the occasional antique lamp.  Even then, my love of subtle, occasional lighting was high on my list of must have design features; OK, so I wasn’t a normal teenager.  That particular passion stuck and when I got the chance to acquire my first home – not house, I’d had a few of those – you can guess that it wasn’t a new build!  I was lucky enough to be able to find an old house with plenty of features that had survived the fifties, sixties and seventies without being blocked, boarded up or simply skipped.  The house had been neglected (to say the least) over the years, but that neglect had saved much that would have been destroyed.

Old-Fashioned Looks

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The finishing touches of course, involved quite a number of antique lamps, gathered over the years.  For a period home these occasional lighting solutions are ideal.  I have become something of a collector over the years, and with a naturally eclectic personality, the styles of antique lamps I have collected vary from era to era.  Though many of these specimens seem to suit the traditional look which they now adorn they have, in some cases, followed me for years and been surprisingly well placed in even modern properties.  Single pieces juxtaposed in modern room always work well, and antique lamps have the added advantage of being functional items as well as statement pieces.

Creating a Timeless Look

Antique lamps will work well in just about any room as well as fitting with most styles of décor.  I’ve found that the rooms that they work particularly well in are, of course, living and dining rooms. But hallways and landings feel more welcoming, with subtle low lighting.  Some of the more impressive antique lamps are based Japanese and Chinese porcelain ware – these large intricately patterned pieces work brilliantly in entrance halls, creating a statement as well as an atmosphere.  The real beauty in antiques in general is that you can avoid the vagaries of style and fashion.  Classic antique lamps avoid the changes in taste and fashion that come round every season or so, creating a timeless theme to a home.

Finishing Touches

The functionality of antique lamps is an important point for me, combining my love of all things old and my hatred of

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bright lighting!  Antique lamps can help to create not only a classic look, but just the right atmosphere for those long, cold, winter nights spent comfortably by a real fire.  An atmosphere that beats hands down those single central light fittings and imitation coals of my childhood!

Antique lamps create just the right look and for an antique home.  Long lived (already) fashion-proof and creating atmosphere effortlessly, antique lamps can provide the perfect finishing touches to your restoration project.

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