Sunday, May 24, 2015



My mom suggested a floor lamp would be a nice addition in our bonus room in the cottage.  This made sense to accommodate a nice reading spot.  However, I was not looking forward to purchasing a floor lamp at retail prices.  I could get a cheap one for around $70. . . but then it would be "a cheap lamp".  I could spend a $200 or more on a better quality lamp. . . . but then I would be spending $200+.  The next option was to keep an eye out at local thrift stores and Craig's List.  Ideally I was picturing a white lamp base to go with our cottage style d├ęcor.

My patience paid off, as I found this one for $25 on Craig's List.  It was in working order (the wiring was good), it came with the harp, a compact fluorescent bulb, and a rather dated lamp shade.  I liked that it was a substantial and sturdy lamp.  Never mind that the base started to fall apart when we were putting it in the car right after purchasing it.  No worries, some duct tape and glue fixed that with minimal effort - easy-peasy, and I must point out once again. . . . $25.

Floor Lamp - BEFORE

My plan is to donate the lamp shade and get a slight tax deduction.  I had a couple extra lamp shades at home that I thought would work in it's place.   So after some swapping around shades on lamps in our home - I chose this wicker one for my "new" lamp. It's from Pottery Barn.  I had purchased it a while back because it was 50% off so I got it for about $25.00. 

Lamp Shade

The wicker casts a strange light as you can see through the spaces in the shade to the hardware, so my solution was to line the shade with crinkled craft paper. (NOTE: this is not the heavy craft paper but the lightweight gift-wrap weight of paper).  It worked well to mitigate the strange lighting affect.

Wicker lamp shade lined with craft paper.

Because I knew I wanted a white lamp - I needed a can of primer and a can of white high-gloss spray paint.  Luckily, I had enough of a can of white primer leftover from other projects and an unused can of white high gloss spray paint (not sure why I had that one).  Score!  No need to spend money on the paint!  I decided not to sand the lamp before painting since I was going to use primer and the existing finish on it was not overly glossy.  (I hope I don't regret skipping this step later.)  I plan to be careful when transporting the lamp down to the cottage.  It will probably be a good idea to let the paint cure a good long while before moving it to help avoid scratches.

Floor Lamp - AFTER

So - the grand total for a new floor lamp was - $25!  (If I had to buy a shade and a couple cans of primer/paint I would likely have had to spend another $25 or so).  The moral of this story - thrift store and Craig's List finds can be up-cycled with just a little effort.  I often tell people - imagine what a piece will look like if it was simply repainted a high gloss black or high gloss white.  Some really outdated pieces can be transformed with this simple change.

Here's the lamp in it's final spot in the bonus room at the cottage... (I think it works nicely with the white trim; and relates well with the rope boat oar hangers and the light brown stripe in the pillows)

For more beach cottage posts see my Beach Cottage page.

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