Lamp revamp

Those that follow my mish-mashed Instagram account, may have seen my impulse buy at the Abbotsford Convent markets waaay back in Feb 2013. Some of you also commented on my lovely bedside table lamps from our real estate shots, home open and move. I've put together a quick summary of my DIY lamp update, but scoot down the page further for a bit more detail. Enjoy!

Nickel-plated lamp base with Washi-tape shade. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.

The old lamps from the rooms at the Royal Windsor Hotel in Melbourne had been donated to the Abbotsford Convent following the Windsor’s refurbishment. Very vintage, very brassy and very curvy. I fell for the tall forms but was picturing a little more Hollywood Regency and a little less British Empire. Still, at forty bucks a pop, I couldn’t pass up the bargain, with a bit of history to boot (1).

Abbotsford Convent Foundation sale of ex-Windsor lamps. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.
{Abbotsford Convent Foundation sale of ex-Windsor lamps}

Hotel Windsor in Melbourne, Australia.
{Hotel Windsor, Melbourne}

Lamp bases on display at Abbotsford Convent market. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.
{Lamp bases on display - sifting through to find the perfect pair}

After sitting them and their extremely oversized lampshades on our bedside tables, I decided what we would need to do was update them. Firstly, removing the shade (2). The scale was wrong for the room and definitely too big for a bedside table lamp. The cream, extremely tapered shade is in keeping with its history, but not me. Luckily I made back some of the money spent by listing the shades on Gumtree.

Old lamp shades sold on gumtree. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.
{Original Lamp shades - sold on gumtree}

Secondly, the brass had to go. Although the vintage patina was the initial appeal, it doesn’t really suit my bedroom style and although I could try for eclectic, that doesn’t seem to work for my bedroom. I always end up reverting back to moody blues, dusty greys and deep dark charcoals, on the cool not warm side of the spectrum.

I chickened out of following what is really quite a cool tutorial (via pinterest of course) to rub back the brass plating to the steel below to get a chrome appearance (see here if you are interested). Barely had enough time to buy supplies, let alone find a place to work and time where the kids wouldn’t get in the way. So from there, I decided to look into getting the lamps Nickel plated. I love nickel for lighting and furniture. The polished silver finish with a subtle warmth adds a bit of class and luxury that I find you don’t often get with bright chrome.

After a bit of electrical fiddling and disassembly (3), I took my lamp base parts in to get nickel plated (in a rather cool factory surrounded by car parts, outdoor furniture, sculptures and anything else you could think of metal plating) (4). I love the results.

Nickel-plated lamp base parts. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.

I eventually picked up some simple white shades from Bunnings and then had a bit of fun with coloured Washi tapes in random stripes (5).

Nickel-plated lamp base with Washi-tape shade. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.

The great thing about this DIY is that I can change it to suit any colour scheme or mood, and I was able to make my husband's side lamp slightly different, darker and more masculine, without looking too different (6).

Nickel-plated lamp base with Washi-tape shade. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.
{Nickel-plated lamp base with Washi-tape shade}

Also, because I didn't spend too much on the shades, I can update them at a later date with some quality fabric, or make my own once we have a new house and new bedroom to inspire me.

Nickel-plated lamp base with Washi-tape shade. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.

Completed bedside lamps pictured in our house sale marketing. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.
{Completed bedside lamps pictured in our house sale marketing}

Some might say that I could have sucked it up and bought chrome bases similar from else where, but they definitely wouldn't have that lived in appeal, the thrifty price tag or the story and chance at a second life.
What do you think? Have you done any similar projects, or does this inspire you to try something similar yourself?

xo Romona

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