Spending time in the showcase room of a home improvement center or wondering through a dedicated lighting boutique can be lots of fun but frankly it’s a pain in the neck. I mean this literately because you end up spending so much time looking up!
Shopping for light fixtures is not unlike shopping for fabric, it’s just easier to settle for something that you can readily spot, rather than dig through countless catalogues or swatch books.
Fortunately our lives are much easier and extensive searches on the internet can deliver remarkable discoveries. I kind of liken it to my impatience of going into brand name discounter shops. Even though countless clothes racks may hold incredible discounted designer finds, I frankly don’t take the time flipping through hundreds of shirts to find the right ridiculously priced coup.
When it comes to searching for home décor, especially when you really, really want to find that incredibly unique piece, why not let your fingers do the search? Let’s take home lighting for example. Other than the truly vast selection, it’s a good example because finding something to fit is easier than picking out clothing. In fact, each lighting piece will be listed with the specifications including dimensions and weight. That’s far easier than hoping that the size 12 pants you order are the same size twelve you wear.
To test my theory, I imagined transforming a spare quest room into the home office I have always dreamed about. It’s a quiet retreat with heavy silk drapery to close when the sun is too bright or I can’t be distracted by my swimming pool. Personal touches from years of global business travel adorn heavy furniture of recycled teak. My desk contains all the accoutrements needed to expand my laptop and watch my daily stock market reports on a 22 inch flat screen. An overstuffed recliner is the perfect spot for curling up with a good book, sipping a glass of wine, or watching the latest in my favorite television series.
My internet search begins with something simple, ‘Tips for lighting a home office.’ The instant search engine results in lots of great information I need to understand about task lighting and how to avoid strain on my eyes. There are lots of pointers to read about ambience and accent lighting. I’m intrigued with the massive list of chandeliers, pendant lighting, mini pendants, flush mount fixtures, semi-flush fixtures, wall sconces, outdoor lighting, bathroom lighting, ceiling fans, green lighting, the list is endless.
I decide to narrow my search to lamps; this should be simple, right? Seems I need to consider table lamps, desk lamps, floor lamps, accent lamps, and let’s not forget lamp shades. Other suggested search items include, cheap lamps, novelty lamps, discount lamps, and antique table lamps.
Antique usually means a higher price tag but I’ve always wondered about Tiffany Lamps; perhaps this is my time to learn something. So a few more fast searches and I learn that Louis Comfort Tiffany was the inventor behind some extraordinary glass products, the opalescent glass being one of many. Apparently Clara Driscoll, the head designer at Tiffany Studios, was really the creator of the famous leaded glass design. It should be noted that this style is associated with Art Nouveau or the ‘new art’ movement, so we’re talking early 20th century creations.
Not going much beyond ‘astronomical’ as the price to procure an original Tiffany lamp, I decide to better understand the options for reproduction versions. I learn that, generally speaking, ‘Tiffany lamp’ really is a term used for a Tiffany style or something called a Tiffany Reproduction lamp. Seems that the original Tiffany Studios went bankrupt after making their hand crafted pieces between 1900 and 1932.
These reproduced or Tiffany style stained glass lamp are known for the dark, rich colours and have shades containing many pieces of stained glass held together by a soldered web of copper. Although not all, most of the lamps have bronze bases. I think that works for me but can I find something in an affordable price range and will the style really fit my decor?
The Tiffany lamps seem to be grouped by four major categories with many subgroups:
• Geometric Designs
• Dragonfly and Peacock
• Wisteria, Fruit, and Vine
I decide that geometric should be my place to start. Although I find offerings for table lamps, ceiling lights, floor stands, and wall lights, I keep to my mission for a table lamp. With a momentary divergence to understand light fittings, I’m now looking at hundreds of breathtakingly beautiful lamp options. I find a Mission model, stylish and richly coloured supported on a base with bronze antique finishing, which catches my eye. The dimensions clearly indicate that the lamp would fit nicely on my round side table and with shipping I’m under £60.
The price is right. The size is perfect. And without leaving my home, I can have a new table lamp within a week. This was so easy, do I buy now or search some more?