Little Bird

August 24, 2011

Over the past little while I've noticed a trend in stores for white ceramic birds as decorative objects. I resisted valiantly until I saw this one: 
White bird sitting on a art book

The reason I caved is quite simple, this particular bird has storage which is perfect for holding my individual serving bars of British Cadbury's chocolate (Yes, it's better than the Cadbury's on this side of the Atlantic). Also, apparently in Feng Shui, having a bird in the room can bring good luck. Hopefully the amount of luck isn't directly related to the value of the bird, as this little guy only cost $7.
White bird with hidden storage


DIY - Rewiring a Lamp

August 18, 2011

Rewiring a lamp like I did in my last post seems quite intimidating, but in reality it's rather simple. All you need is a few supplies and some tools, and in very little time you'll have a lamp that will illuminate your space without the worry of old wiring.

Here's what I used: 
Tools needed to rewire a lamp
And here are the steps I took:

1. This is the most important - unplug your lamp (This is rather obvious, but I'm going to state it anyway). You'll then remove the shade and bulb.

2. Remove the socket's outer sleeve, clip the cord to remove the socket, and then remove the old cord. Throw the old parts away.
How to rewire a lamp - part 1
3. In my case I was replacing the post to make the lamp slightly shorter. Once I'd reassembled my lamp, I threaded the new electrical wire through the pipe, and left enough wire at the top to work with.

4. Add the harp base and then the socket base to the top of the lamp.
How to rewire a lamp - part 2
5. Split the wire down the middle, and tie and underwriter's knot in the wire. This will prevent the wire from accidentally being pulled out of the lamp.
how to rewire a lamp - part 3
6. At this point you'll use your wire clippers to remove some of the protective sheathing from the wire. You'll need to expose about 1/2" from both wires. These exposed wires will be wrapped around the screws on the socket.

7. You'll need to use your fingers to feel both sides of the wire sheathing. One side will be smooth, and one side will have some ridges on the wire. It's important to know which side is which as the smooth wire is the 'hot' or positive wire, and will be attached to the brass screw on the new socket. The ridged wire is the neutral wire, and will be attached to the silver screw. To attach the wires to the screws, form a hook shape with the wire and loop it over the screw in a clockwise direction. The wire should just circle the screw once with the wires insulation resting against the screw. Tighten the screw to hold the wire in place.
How to rewire a lamp - part 4
 8. Assemble the socket by twisting on the outer shell, and then tighten the screw at the base of the socket to secure it.
How to rewire a lamp - part 5
9. Add your bulb and plug-in your newly rewired lamp. Ta-Da! It works! I told you rewiring a lamp was easy!
A newly rewired lamp


Let There Be Light

August 10, 2011

Early last summer I made a concerted effort to visit as many antique and used furniture stores as Toronto had to offer. At the time I wasn't looking anything specific, but was open to anything that caught my eye in the hopes that it would give me a starting point in deciding how to decorate my condo.

I discovered Douglas Poole Antiques and Collectibles on Queen St. East just as they were closing, but the owner graciously let me poke around for a few minutes. Just as I was about to leave the store I spotted two shade less lamps sitting forlornly on the floor. I'm not sure what about them caught my eye as they certainly weren't what I would have considered 'my style', but I paused to take a closer look. They were made up of white glass speckled with green dots and gold flecks, and were really tall as only older lamps can be. Sounds rather hideous doesn't it? I was tempted, but the gold flecks coupled with the old wiring scared me off, and I put them back where I found them. As I left the store the owner gave me his card - he must have seen a look in my eye, because early the next morning I found myself pulling out the card and asking him to put them aside for me.
antique white lamp with green polkadots
Fast forward many months, and those lamps were now sitting forlornly on my living room floor where I'd left them to languish after bringing them home. If I had known how simple it was to rewire a lamp I would have done it months ago. All I really needed to do was visit Aristocrat Lighting, and they very kindly supplied with all the parts I'd need. I have to say that this is a neat store - they will rewire any light for you, and their back room is full of light parts.
The back room at Aristocrat lighting

It turns out I needn't have been worried about rewiring a lamp - it's very easy. I decided that I'd use the lamps beside my bed. The ones I was using were okay, but I'd had them forever, and they weren't very interesting. I'll describe them as college-chic, which works as I was still in school when I got them.
Old paper shade bedside lamps

Here are my newly rewired lamps in place. There's quite a lot of work to do in this room (it needs some colour), so hopefully the lamps will serve as a starting point.
Newly rewired antique lamp
 White antique bedside lamps

The total cost for these two lamps was just $120. The lamps cost $50, rewiring supplies were $30 and the shades were $20 each. I would have easily spent that much had I purchased two new lamps in any store but mine are unique, and as a bonus the next time I see a great lamp in a store with questionable wiring I'll know how to fix it.


Coffee Anyone?

August 05, 2011

If you read about my Jonathan Adler-esque lamp you'll know that for months I'd been living in a home with no livingroom tables. This wasn't a problem when it was just me at home, but it was hard to be a good hostess when guests were forced to hold any drinks in their hands when visiting.

Shortly after I purchased the lamp/table I was visiting one of my favorite furniture consignment stores in Toronto when I saw this:
Rectangular coffee table at Frontier Sales

Frontier Sales had this piece in their front window so I spotted it as soon as I walked in. Before even looking through the rest of the store I put it on hold so I could go home to make sure it would fit. At 2'6" x 4' it's quite a bit larger than most of the coffee tables I'd seen in stores - they're designed for new-build condos that have small living rooms, where as my living room is a rather large 12'x16'.

Luckily for me the table would fit, so next came the task of getting it home. I recruited my boyfriend D to give me a hand, but while we could get the glass top into the back seat of his car, the base wouldn't fit. Handily his brother owns a pick-up truck, so the next day he very kindly helped me move the base home.

Here's my new living room addition (which you might have spotted in the mirror in my last post):
Rectangular Brass and glass coffee table on rug

There are a couple of scratches on the glass,  but given the table only cost $65 I'm not worried. I figure I can place a book or something on top to hide the imperfections. Also, as it's already marked I won't freak if I accidentally scratch it myself.

The one small issue with the table is it's HEAVY, so if I want to use the pull-out couch I need to recruit my guests help to move the table before I can set the bed up, which I think moves me back in to bad-hostess territory. 
Brass and Glass coffee table

recent posts

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Pinterest