Lamplady Speaks

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WHILE I’M NOT as schizy as Toni Collette in that new show, United States of Tara, I also have an alter ego.

She’s known as Lamplady, and she is particularly fond of kitschy 1950s lamps. Lamplady even had a space at the Showplace on West 25th Street for three months one winter, where she sold, or attempted to sell, wild and crazy mid-century lamps.

The ‘atomic style’ ones, sputnik chandeliers, and Majestics — those black wooden zig-zags with parchment shades shaped like flying saucers — flew out of my booth. The plaster ballerinas and Asian figures did not. I still have about 40 of them in storage.p1030345

I love all types of lamps and lighting; to me, it’s the most important aspect of a room’s decor. If the lighting is bad in a restaurant, I can’t enjoy my meal. If the lighting is wrong in someone’s home, I think nothing of doing what I can to change it on the spot, switching off a harsh, glarey overhead and turning on a table lamp instead, or dimming a too-bright fixture over a dining table. I don’t care if it’s annoying.

Yesterday I went lamp-shopping at Rico on Atlantic Avenue with my friend Becky, who was visiting from Georgia. We were taken with a shiny red/orange drum shade (under $350) that would totally make her dining room; or perhaps she’ll end up with a ring-type chandelier, an open wheel rim with  trendy Edison-style naked-filament light bulbs evenly spaced around it (about $575).z2091-1

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If you are a lamp-lover, Lamplady recommends these fantastic sites:

RewireLA for vintage modern European lighting, below orange_blk_sputnik1-01

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Lum of New Orleans has vintage lamp bases, below, freshened up with black or white drum shades. Super stylish.175-2175-3

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For shades to match existing bases, I’ve spent many a happy hour in Just Shades on Spring and Elizabeth Streets in Nolita.

You can find reproduction Fifties-style speckled parchment shades with lanyard lacing at Deadly Nightshades.

About cara

I blog for fun here at casaCARA, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here: https://casacara.wordpress.com/recent-articles/
This entry was posted in ANTIQUES & COLLECTING, BROOKLYN, INTERIOR DESIGN and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lamplady Speaks

  1. Tom says:

    Cara has incredible lamps–she was the one to make me appreciate lime green plaster ballerinas with fringed barkcloth shades, not an easy sell. Some other great shade sources:

    http://www.moonshineshades.com/
    (they have the classic laced versions, in my favorite color “nicotine”)

    http://www.found-images.com/lamps.shtml
    (great photo shades and simple lamp bases)

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