I have this thing about light. We all, do, right? But for me it has all sorts of emotional connections – the way it glances across rust-red Italian rooftops in February, the ache as I watch it soften to indigo from my writing desk, and how it always conjures up memories of my late father.
I'm sensitive to it in interiors, too. In fact, it's become a bit of a joke that each year when the Christmas tree comes down I have to buy a new light source to fill the darkness left by the soft-white fairy lights. So when a friend recently offered me a couple of lamps she no longer needed, I couldn't refuse.
My friend is kind of awesomely steam-punk, so her home is able to rock all sorts of black accessories in a way that my sea-toned flat cannot (these were originally from Ikea). But I love a bit of upcycling. So I headed down to my local Annie Sloan stockist to pick out a tester pot (my nearest stockist has painted wooden spoon heads with all the different shades and it's always a complete treat to hold all of those warm tones in my hands, just like lollipops). I settled on Chateau Grey, a lovely olive-tinted grey that I planned to lighten further with some left-over Old White and that I knew would compliment the existing duck-egg accents in my living room.
Back at home I set about removing the black shades and cleaning all the stubborn remaining glue from their frames – a fiddly but important task – before spray-painting the frames in delicious metallic copper. By the time I'd finished both this and painting the bases, it was, appropriately, dark.
Oh, but then I had to wait! The lamps came with their existing Ikea E14 bulbs, but I knew I wanted lovely vintage filaments to complete the exposed cage lamp look. And here's the thing – vintage filament bulbs with E14 screw bases are actually quite hard to come by. But eventually I found Dowsing & Reynolds – a divine vintage lighting and accessories store. And I am not in the least bit exaggerating when I tell you that the day these babies arrived, complete with their gorgeous vintage boxes, felt just like Christmas.
All of which is kind of fitting, given that the pair of newly upcycled lamps now sit on the piano, with one right next to the gap left by last year's Christmas tree...