Swing Arm Lamps

Once upon a time we were having dinner with some friends and one of these friends asked me if I had any use for a pair of lamps she didn’t need anymore.  She had seen what I had done with some hand-me-down lamps before and thought maybe I could work wonders on these.  But before I could even get a word in, Anthony piped up with a resounding “NO”. 

So maybe at the time, we had too many lamps.  I was going through this cycle, which really wasn’t a big cycle, of rehabbing a couple of lamps, finding more lamps to rehab, and listing the former ones.  So sometimes we really had a bunch of ununsed lamps sitting in our house because some were awaiting a little love and some were awaiting a new owner.  And I was totally ok with it. 

Anthony though, well, he was not.  Understandable.

Why do you care?  Well because one day during those lamp-hoarding days I was walking through Goodwill with all (three at the time) of the kids and what did I spot?  These:


They were marked at $8 for the pair.  Argh, I had to have them.  But I resisted the temptation because I love my husband so much.  But then those lamps haunted me and the headboard was a dream waiting to happen and I thought they might look so great with that headboard and so…I went back to Goodwill the next day, bought them, and immediately stuffed them under our bed when Anthony wasn’t looking.

And they stayed there for the next couple of years.


Out of sight, out of mind?  Maybe.

EITHER WAY, when we moved they came out of hiding and once we got settled, the perfect spot for them arose out of a little furniture arranging, and…


Our kids now have their own personal light sources over their art desk.

And I’m justified in my lamp hoarding once again.  (Note:  I am currently hoarding zero lamps so we are doing pretty good over here.)

They went through a little bit of an upcycle, as you can tell.  The white paint wasn’t in bad condition at all but it just wasn’t quite pretty enough.  So, I spray painted them gold – first I wiped them down, gave them a quick sanding, sprayed them with primer*, and then a few coats of gold.IMG_9069
To top them off I added a couple of clearance shades I found for $4 each at At Home.  I had plans to probably recover them with white and maybe add a couple of elastic stripes but I’m not totally minding the green and so green we’ll live with for now.

(Pssst, if you’re local thrift store isn’t stocked with them, these swing arm lamps are very similar and these* are a little different but cheaper.)


They’re pretty in the daytime but the dreamy light they give off at night, especially in our little reading corner is cuddle-up-with-a-mug-and-a-book good.

As far as the kids table goes, it was a generous hand-me-down from a family in our parish who wasn’t using it anymore and thought of us.  :)

IMG_9178When Anthony first brought it home I was like “Holy cow!  It’s huge! Where the heck are we going to fit it?!”  I mean, right?  When you think “kids table”, do you think one of those small, square, rinky-dink ones like me?  Not this one; we hit the kids table jackpot and I had no clue where it was going to live in our little house.  But, a lucky coincidence, this window is the same width as the desk and so it seemed meant to be that the kids could color and imagine while being able to gaze beyond to the great outdoors.  It’s solid wood and, I think, maybe begging to be sanded down and restained.  And the chairs are wood too but a little worse for wear as far as paint is concerned and so they might be in the mood for a more neutral tone.  Maybe a stained wood and painted base for the table and white chairs?  Black chairs?  I don’t know.  Whatever happens, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon because I’m on a wall painting streak and not going to stop until every single one is covered.

Back when we were reconfiguring the living room to something less stuffy, we moved one of our cranberry chairs into the corner in this room and I added a fun a collage that’s nestled in the corner.
I thought that hanging frames in the corner would balance out the storage cabinet living in the opposite corner and I think maybe they at least help.  The frames are all filled with art the kids made that can be swapped out as the wind blows.  That little corner has become a great reading corner/blog writing corner during the day (and night with that mood lighting!) since the room gets filled with sunlight all afternoon.  And, I’ve got to say, as much as I really don’t like those cranberry chairs, they are the most comfortable pieces of furniture we own which is why we’ll never get rid of them.  I have slipcover plans but they’re way down the line.

This is the last post I’ll probably write about our multi-purpose room for a good long while because I’ve got some more rooms I’ve been working on to reveal and then of course, we’re pecking away at the kids’ room for the One Room Challenge.  But, I’ll leave you with one last before and after for kicks.


It’s much happier (and busier!) and, considering the kids use their imaginations the most in this room, that’s a very good thing.

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I’ll be back sometime in the next couple of days to give an update on the kids bedroom!  If you have Instagram, I’ve been posting some peeks at it on there.  Things are starting to get cute.  :)

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