Blending the old and the new

vintage drum shade floor lamp

This picture is intended both to motivate me and to show off this cool vintage lamp I found.

I now have all the materials and instructions necessary (I hope) to sew pinch pleat drapes for my living room. The fabric is Del Hi by Valori Wells. When I saw this fabric I knew right away this is what I wanted for my living room drapes. Warm grey and dark brown graphic flowers, avocado trailing vines and a sleek brown fleur-de-lis silhouette of a stripe against a khaki ground—a bold pattern in a neutral colorway. And despite my previous aversion, after reading the highly informative and funnyRetroRenovation blog and studying pictures of other houses similar in style to ours, I finally decided that nothing else would complement our ’50s ranch interior as well as pinch pleat draperies. And I love the fact that they can be opened and closed so easily and still look good. There’s really no other style like that.

But back to the picture. Here you see just the unsewn fabric hanging over the current poor excuse for a curtain rod. Because I haven’t gotten up the courage to start working on these drapes. Humongous pieces of fabric and a fair amount of math will be involved. Not that I have an aversion to math, I used to be quite good at math. I just don’t usually care to involve math in creative matters.

I am not one to buy antiques but I fell in love with this vintage floor lamp at our friend Rick’s barn, a.k.a. the Potato House, in Houlton, ME just off Route 95 before you get to the Canadian border. Usually open on weekends. If you like old stuff, you can spend hours going through old books and records, decades of furniture, knick knacks and doodads of every sort. The lamp bears no indication of when it was made or who the maker might have been. It does appear to have been rewired at some point. The metal parts need cleaning but the wood is beautiful and the drum shade is in great condition. It works well as a reading light and also casts a warm glow over the rest of the room.

Rich is “trusting” me on this one, the drapes I mean (oh, maybe the lamp too?). And I know it’s off my usual quiet track but I like where it’s headed. It’s going to be a comfortable, good looking room . . . little by little.



  1. Snippety Gibbet’s avatar

    Oh, I love this lamp. What a great find. There are few modern lamps that i would pay good money for. My favorites in my house are ones I grew up with in my parents’ home….and one that matches it that someone else gave me recently. jan

  2. Ellen’s avatar

    These will be awesome when they are done. That fabric is devine. I find when I need motivation, I plan an event at my house, like Easter maybe. I have a deadline to get a lot done by June. I have agreed to have my house on the local house tour this year. I work better under pressure and this will be some craazzy pressure for me. I haven’t even thought about all the work I am going to want to do outside when it warms up. oh-no! Get them done and you’ll feel great about it. good luck

  3. Naomi’s avatar

    Can’t wait to see the finished product. And it made my day that you feel daunted by the project. I was a math major but I am no seamstress. Still, the price of drapery inspired me to just go buy a simple sewing machine. And yet when I tried to get help with the math, I felt like everyone was trying to confuse my poor addled mind even more! In the end, it didn’t seem all that difficult to do the math but working with all that fabric was a lot. Ironing is the worst. No….working with linen is the worst. There are many more windows that need coverage but that will have to wait until the memory of last time fully fades.

Comments are now closed.