Thursday, November 13, 2014

Let There Be Cool Lights


I'm a sucker for great home decor.  I can spend hours getting lost in the pages of Domino or House Beautiful, and there's been more than one occasion when a simple Pinterest search has taken me down the internet rabbit hole of various incarnations of "white curtains with grommets".

This is a dangerous habit for two different reasons: one, I'm supposed to be making sure that my children aren't drowning in the toilet or jumping off the back of the couch, not perusing home design blogs for the perfect set of yellow tartan pillows; and two, I can't afford my own taste.  Thanks to all those years I wasted pursuing a dead end career, my design budget is more Walmart than Wayfaire.  I would love nothing more than to be able to throw down an Amex card and purchase every single thing that catches my eye, but that's simply not an option.

The good news is that necessity (aka poverty) is the mother of invention.  You'd be amazed what you can find at your local flea market or thrift store or even on Craigslist.  I've picked up some pretty amazing pieces over the past years, and with just a few coats of paint have transformed stuff from shitty to spectacular.

If you follow my antics over on Instagram, you may have seen this photo a few weeks ago:


Every year I participate in Hollywood Housewife's One Day photo essay project, and this image was part of that series.  Aside from the fact that it's a visual record of my alcohol use that my neighbor has probably sent over to DCFS, I got a lot of questions about the horse lamp.

You guys, I have two of these lamps and they are decidedly fabulous.

However, they were definitely not fabulous when I purchased them at the Santa Monica Flea:


I figured for $35 for the pair I could probably make them work.  

I picked up two cans of my favorite white spray paint and got started.  


If you don't have children, a similar painting project will probably take you about two days.  Since I have children and the only free time I have is when they are napping, this ridiculously easy transformation took almost two months.

First, I taped off the cords, bases, and sockets.  
Then my kids woke up, so I put the lamps back in the garage.


Second, I utilized some of my free grandparent childcare and sprayed on the first coat of white paint.  I let the lamps dry overnight (read: for two weeks) until I got some more time to myself.

Another coat of white paint, another few weeks of drying time...


I think the lamps are made out of some kind of resin or plastic, because these suckers took a lot of paint.  Those horses inhaled paint the way I used to inhale cocaine.  

A third and final coat of white paint:


I had originally planned to leave the bases black, but they just didn't look that good with the white horses, so I ended up spraying those three times as well.

Finally, after everything was dry and I did a bit of touch up, I was satisfied that the lamps looked less like my Husband's ex-wife and more Jonathan Adler-esque.

Another hour of free grandparent childcare gave me time to run over to Lamps Plus for shades.  I don't usually love their selection, but for once I lucked out and found two matching shades in the exact color I wanted for a very reasonable price.


I think they turned out really well, if I do say so myself.  

Now if only I could spray paint all those heinous plastic toys cluttering my living room, we'd be in business.

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