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Decorating with Lamps
by Nikki Willhite - Willhite@aol.com

Description: Tips for decorating your home with lamps.

We all need lamps to read and do other task-related activities. One way to have some frugal fun decorating your home is with the creative use of lamps. Some task lighting is more functional than decorative. In the living areas of our homes, we usually use decorative lamps. With just a little bit of skill and knowledge you can have fun, distinctive lamps that add charm to your home.

When you buy two matching lamps at the store, and place them on tables at each end of your sofa, you are creating a department store look. It's not very exciting, and not very original.

You've probably seen the clear lamp bases that you can buy in craft stores. You can fill these bases with rocks, shells, little cars, or anything else you find esthetically pleasing. However, you can do a lot more.

If you've never made a lamp before, the first thing you want to do is go to the hardware store and check out the wiring kits. Once you understand how easy it is to wire an object for use as a lamp, your mind will begin to fill with possibilities.

After you understand how the electric system works, you need to observe the different styles of lampshades. Walk around a store that sells them, and observe both the styles of the shades, and how they look on different bases.

When you finish wiring a lamp, you should take it with you to the store to buy the lampshade. Unless you have a very good (and incredible) eye, there is no way to pick out the correct size and proportion of the lampshade best for your lamp.

You will also need to make sure that when the shade (or harp) sits on the bulb that it covers it completely.

You also need to be aware of subtle differences of color. A lot of lampshades are white. Be aware that there are MANY shades of white. The walls in my house look white, but are actually have a lot of yellow in them, and are cream colored.

My sofa looks like it has a white background, but it is also cream colored. You put that sofa in a bright white room, and it looks muddy.

The same thing is true with lampshades. If your house has very white walls, a cream lampshade is not going to look good, and visa-versa.

Other favorite colors for lampshades are shades of beige and taupe. Again, some shades of beige have more yellow in them. In the right room with the correct base, black lampshades can be stunning.

There are a lot of things you can do with lampshades to decorate them. You can punch out holes in them that make pretty light patterns when the light is turned on, or you can add things like fabric or paint.

I covered one of my lampshades with fabric from a sheet. The URL to that example (with a picture) is at:

http://www.allthingsfrugal.com/bdrm.htm

If you want to start with a used lamp, that is an easy find. You don't have to worry about whether a lamp works. If you see something you really like at a great price, you will know that it is very easy to swap out the electrical system and change the shade. Many people do not realize that you can rewire a lamp that does not work. If their lamp ceases to function, they just get rid of it.

Have a little fun with it, and make a decorative lamp that is truly your own creation. Develop this skill. It is a fun, and can save money.

Reprinted with permission from:
All Things Frugal
http://www.allthingsfrugal.com


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