Archives for the month of: May, 2015

Our music room, as you may remember, was almost completely finished last year: the shelving went up, the rug went down, the boxes of CDs and books were emptied and rehoused.

Everything in its place

Everything in its place

Dark woods make it cosy

Dark woods make it cosy

There were however a couple of things which we put on hold until we could amass further inspiration/finance. One was wallpaper for the chimney breast wall, and the other was a statement pendant light.

Because Tim likes large drum-style shades, I bought him this lovely shade from Ikea:

Ikea's NYMÖ shade in wine red and copper

Ikea’s NYMÖ shade in wine red and copper

It’s large (59cm diameter) and a warming pinkish red which incidentally fits perfectly with our Kattrup rug:

Kattrup warms the boards

Kattrup warms the boards

We also invested in a longer cord to bring the pendant down a little. Lowering your lighting works really well in rooms where you would like to create a gentle atmosphere with light pools rather than a bright flood — which is, granted, functional but can be rather stark. The cord set from Ikea, Sekond, was only £4, and runs to 180cm if you need it. We set the base of our shade just a little higher than the tallest person we know, and despite our high ceilings the room feels instantly cosier when the light is on.

But perhaps the most exciting thing about this new light is this:

Pattern springs forth

Pattern springs forth

The perforated shade creates a fabulous retro pattern on all the walls — who needs wallpaper now?!

Magic lantern

Magic lantern

We have a warm glow from the central light — reflecting brightly against the copper inside — and the walls are also lit up with images.

Playing with shadows

Playing with shadows

With our shelving lighting aglow, the contrasts of light and dark are heightened.

Now our lighting is getting really interesting

Now our lighting is getting really interesting

As statement lighting goes, this really does fit the bill. We have created a touch of coppery glamour, some magic lantern inspiration, and instant cosiness at the cost of £35 for a shade.

So, are we done here? Well I still think that this room can take a standard lamp in the corner near the armchair, and possibly a simple desk lamp for focussed work. But we may park the wallpaper plans for a while.

Caspar is sad. He’s normally really happy all the time, and can find a cheerful positive slant on nearly any misfortune or drudgery. So it’s a bit of a shock when he gets sad, and also very hard to predict.

The last time he got sad (apart from when Manchester United lose against anyone) was when we had to do the inter-seasonal clothes transfer, and handed down his old winter coat to Malachy. I had pre-empted the potential emotional descent by buying Caspar a really nice, new, RED coat (team colours) which was extremely cosy.

But it wasn’t the Old Coat and Malachy was very victorious in his inheritance.

It took a lot of time and diplomacy to make it ok.

Then, the little glass bedside light in Caspar’s room got smashed. No-one quite knows how, but it left a nasty shard-like edge on display, which was just too tempting to fiddle with, and so I went on a search for a replacement — little knowing the distress that awaited.

Here is the lovely light which I got.

Lekaryd LED light in red. Part bedside light, part gaming icon

Lekaryd LED light in red. Part bedside light, part gaming icon, part small item storage

I had browsed the Ikea website with Caspar a few days before and we liked the look of this because it looks a bit like Pacman — you can open and shut its mouth by sliding the top up and down. In addition, the lower section has a little hollow which is perfect for keeping teeth in for the tooth fairy (and also toenails for the toenail fairy but that’s another story). Also, as you can see, it is RED. What’s not to like?

Well, apparently, a lot.

I had not learnt my lesson from New Coat-gate and blithely introduced New Lamp with a big ceremonial plug-in at bedtime. Caspar’s face was stony and glum. I pointed out the little tooth/toenail hollow. He turned his head away and stared soulfully at the remains of Old Lamp.

“What are you going to do with my old light, Mum?” he asked quietly.

“Oh, well, I suppose I could put the glass in the recycling if I’m careful, and the rest of it will just go in the bin.” My voice had taken on a brittle, sensible tone.

But Caspar didn’t want to say a proper “goodbye” to Old Lamp. He wanted it to rest in the cellar with all the less-loved toys and the cardboard boxes and the camping equipment. He felt that would be less final. I was concerned about that jagged edge lurking in the cellar for an unsuspecting child to discover.

So we compromised. We decided that the heart of a lamp is its bulb.

Now you can see the read me...

Now you can see the real me…

That the outer shell is simply armour, clothing which you can replace or discard.

Don't judge a lamp by its shade. Even if the shade is not fit for purpose and frankly dangerous

Don’t judge a lamp by its shade. Especially if the shade is not fit for purpose and frankly dangerous

The lamp still remains a lamp if you have the light bulb and socket.

I'm still a lamp

I’m still a lamp

And so it does remain, nestled safely in the lightbulb box down in the cellar, enjoying its retirement in peaceful darkness.

A tooth came out the other day. We celebrated by hiding it in the tooth/toenail section of the lamp, and the tooth fairy was remarkably (uncharacteristically) prompt with her visitation. Maybe a New Lamp isn’t all bad.

*With thanks to @MYSADCAT for the inspiration

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