Monday, September 17, 2012

Vintage Lighting

Hold on to your hats folks, it's time for another design post.  As y'all know, we are devoted to keeping our home historically accurate (within reason, we're not living in a museum here).  So when it came time to choose lighting, I wanted to go for actual antiques whenever possible.  We searched in a lot of different places both online and here in Atlanta for just the right fixtures, and finally we stumbled on to this great online shop, Retropolitan.  They have this collection of awesome vintage lighting, and as you are about to see, we went a bit nuts there.

On the front porch, we will be hanging this lovely light:

ca. 1905 Arts and Crafts hanging light with beveled glass and jewels

I always wanted something unique on our front porch, but I never thought we'd be lucky enough to score such a beauty.  And yes, I know 1905 is a bit early for our house (it was built in 1911) but the Arts and Crafts style is spot on for the time period and very popular in our neighborhood.

What you don't see much of any more these days is Art Deco.  I've always liked the smooth, sleek, futuristic lines of Art Deco, but it's not something I ever really envisioned using much in our house.  As a matter of fact, the hubby and I spent many an hour pouring over tons of Victorian chandeliers trying to find the right one to give us the perfect wow factor in the front hall (you want a little wow when people first walk in).  Then we saw this Art Deco wonder on Retropolitan, and we just knew we had to have it:

Art Deco chandelier with green and caramel slag glass slip shades, ca 1920s

I think it's going to look simply stunning in our hall, and the green slag glass sort of reflects the green glass that we have framing the owl in the front door.
The stained glass looks much more vibrant and colorful in real life.  It is really, really, really fricken' hard to photograph stained glass and have it look right.

Because we have such a long central hallway, I thought we really needed some Gothish sconces illuminating it's dark depths...beckoning you onwards towards your doom (muahahahaha).  Maybe I rode the Haunted Mansion one too many times when I was little.  Sadly I got outvoted for the actual Haunted Mansion sconce.

What?  Every day is Halloween in my head...

Instead we decided to opt for a pair of these Art Deco sconces, scored from, you know, you love it, Retropolitan!

ca 1920's

We're still looking for one other sconce in the hallway so maybe I can work in that Haunted Mansion skele arm after all...

Moving on into the master bath we really wanted to keep the historical vibe going, so when I spotted a pair of these sconces at Rejuvenation (an online antique and reproduction lighting shop) I knew they'd look great:

Yes they are Art Deco too, ca 1920's.  Apparently we really, really love Art Deco and just never knew it.

To go with the sconces, our designer Karen suggested we put a chandelier over the tub.  I was resistant at first because I feel the whole chandelier-over-the-tub thing has been done to death.

Elegant, but a bit much...and just not my style.

Karen persisted, and I'm so glad she did, because otherwise we never would have gone for this French beauty at (can you guess it?) Retropolitan!

 Try not to be shocked, but this is also Art Deco ca 1920's

So our new tub chandelier is called an ice berg chandelier (I guess cause the main part does look a bit like it could sink the Titanic) and it's made by this famous French Art Deco glass designer called Degue.  He even signed each individual glass piece.  Kinda cool eh?  At any rate, it should look quite spiffy hanging over the tub, and not like your usual dripping-crystal-tears-meant-to-be-in-the-dining-room chandelier.

For the hall bathroom and the laundry/pantry room, we decided to go ahead and go for a reproduction of the American classic schoolhouse light.

We found this one on etsy.

Also in the hall bath we decided to go for these sconces from Pottery Barn:

Yeah, it's not vintage...nor is it even a reproduction, but it's got a cool vintage vibe to it.  Which is the same reason why we went for this track lighting in the hall, also from Pottery Barn:

I'm not a huge fan of track lighting (I actually fought against it), but we are treating the hallway as a gallery of sorts where we will hang all of our funky artwork.  It's going to need the kind of movable, directional spot lighting that only track lighting can provide.  Besides, this version looks kinda cool, like it was maybe used in a studio in 1930's Hollywood or something.

The kitchen is going to have all sorts of under cabinet lights and ceiling cans to make sure that we have plenty of working light....but we wanted a bit of a neat vintage feel to it, so we decided to use these cool mason jar lights we found on etsy:

 We'll be hanging 15 of these suckers over the kitchen island!

Of course they didn't really use mason jars as light fixtures in the good old days, but it looks really retro so we're rolling with it.  What's neat about these lights is that, not only do they hang down and look all vintagey, they also cast a pretty pattern on the ceiling:

Some day I will look up and see this in my kitchen.

And last, but certainly not least we have the back porch.  I found this cool Beaux Arts reproduction sconce at Rejuvenation:

They call this one the Bridgeport, not to be confused with the Cascadia...which is the exact same one flipped upside down.

I had never even heard of Beaux Arts before this, but apparently it was an artistic style that become popular here in America in the 1890's.  I just thought this light was pretty.  Also, I have always loved the look of Chinese lanterns, and thought we might put some in our bedroom for soft light.  But Karen thought that they might look better on the porch, and when I saw these autumn leaf lights at Pottery Barn, I knew I had to have them.

Yes, I like to shop at Pottery Barn.  What of it?

So that's it folks.  This is our lighting plan to date.  We still have a few details to work out (bedrooms, living room) but those will mostly be lamps that don't involve construction and can be bought further on down the line.  Tune in next time for some more construction photos- we've finally gotten rid of the ugly 1980's splatter ceilings!


  1. I always wanted something unique on my house so getting your collection of vintage lighting was really stunning for me. I really like to your blog very well and they really useful for me.

    1. I'm so glad you are enjoying the blog Harshal. We feel very lucky to have found such wonderful vintage lights. I can't wait to see them finally up and in the house.

  2. Hi Chris,

    I came across your blog while researching for a vintage/retro style track lighting fixture. The one you have here is very nice and what we need for our museum project. Would you mind sharing where you found it and any information you have about it? Is it real vintage fixture or a recreated retro inspired? Hope your restoration is going well! Thanks.