Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lamp Shade Project

When we moved into the blue house one of the things we decided we wanted was to use the Pax system from Ikea to help us with storage.  One of the downfalls of this decision is those things take up space so Brian lost space for his end table.  There is still space for an end table but it has to be very narrow and I'm still on the look out for that.  Because of that he didn't have space for a table lamp on his side of the bed so I decided to use mounted wall lamps.  I spent a lot of time searching and trying to make the right choice.  I was highly in favor of the Pottery Barn Chelsea swing arm lamp, but I had trouble picking a finish.  I really wanted either black or white, I might consider a shiny metal but antique nickel wasn't doing it for me.  Bronze was too brown and didn't feel modern enough.

So, I kept looking.  I found myself on Lamps Plus and I found a lamp designed by Robert Abbey part of the "Real Simple Collection."

I happen to like Robert Abbey lamps and I like the magazine real simple.  The lamp kind of looks like me, it's all white, the only problem I saw was the shade was paper and I don't really like paper shades.  I couldn't seem to find a white lamp with a white linen shade, the mixture of the Lamps Plus and Pottery Barn lamp for the price that I wanted.  I did find other lamps I liked for $200+ each, that just wasn't in my budget.  I decided to go with the Lamps Plus Lamp (I guess I was tired of spray painting things and really I don't like to spray paint brand new things that cost $100).

(That lump is Andy under the covers)

And I really like them, they are solid and clean and don't feel wobbly against the wall.  But they look so plain.  Oh my god, boring-ville.  I was going to replace the shade but the damn thing is a uno slip shade, the kind that meets at the bottom not the top like a normal lamps and finding replacement shades (in white linen) proved down right impossible.  I did find a place that took special orders for shades, each shade would cost $40 each plus shipping but I've been on the fence about putting more money into this project.

Then I had an idea.  What if I took grosgrain ribbon in a fun color or patter and glued it to the top and bottom of the shade.  Maybe it would give it the extra kick it needs to not look so boring.  So I went to Michaels where finding 3/8 inch aqua or gray grosgrain was not to be found.  I'm stunned by this as a side note.  Maybe they were just out.  So I hit the internet.  I found a place to order ribbon and the ribbon was cheap but the shipping was pretty high so I only ordered two colors, a gray and what they called an antique blue, I was worried her turquoise would be too bright.  When I received the ribbon the gray was more brown and the antique blue obviously wasn't an aqua color.  So I set out again and found a cheaper place where I ordered 3 aqua ribbons and 1 gray ribbon with dots.  I liked them all when they arrived!  I decided to go with the gray.

Today I sat down with my glue gun and gray ribbon and here's the finished product.  I'm so happy with how they turned out.


  1. Lori, I love the look of the decorated shades, a really effective and simple way of prettying them up.

    I also wondered if you had a Pinterest board for house inspiration or styling you feel you could share with us? I found Pinterest a while ago and spend far too much time on there now.....

  2. I do have a pinterest account:

    I'll get something put up on my side menu bar as well.