Let there be light!
Sometimes things take far longer than they need to, and prove to be far more effort than you expected. And then after you're done, you wonder what was all the fuss about? Well today I finally got my vintage lampshade up in my kitchen! It's only taken me 6 months, but it's finally up!
So, wind the clock back to the first half of 2012. When I first viewed my flat, it was setup like a show home. It was sparsely furnished with white furniture and fur rugs. There was also a large glass chandelier hanging in the kitchen.
Now, I bought the flat unfurnished, so by the time I was ready move in all my crap, everything had been cleared out, including the aforementioned chandelier, leaving just a wire and an empty bulb holder dangling from the ceiling. I had no idea what I wanted to put up to replace it, although I knew I wanted to make the place my own, which meant adding a touch more masculinity to the place. No sooner had I emptied the van of all my possessions into my new home, I was off to the opening of my friend Jade's vintage store in North London, Scarlet Rage Vintage. Whilst there I happened to notice a collection of rusty vintage factory lampshades... perfect! And even better, she gave me one as a moving in present! I looked like a mental person on the tube home with a large lampshade in my hands.
Anyway, I got it home, and then had the task of fixing it to the ceiling. Problem. I only had a standard plastic ceiling rose on my ceiling, which wouldn't be strong enough to support a large metal shade. It was also just a bare shade, with just a hole in the top.
I spent the next few months searching on and off for the right bits to mount it up, but to no avail. As usual, it's Twitter that I have to thank for my new kitchen adornment. PR guru Gina Sharp noticed my plight, and put me in touch with Lighting Design Studio. They were able to supply a ceiling rose, cable and chain to hang the light from. Unfortunately, they weren't able to supply the bulb holder and hook for the shade. That's where Enamel Shades came in. They supplied a hook, a bulb holder, and an extention tube so that the bulb was positioned lower in the shade. Perfect!
Next problem... When I came to put everything up, I discovered that the hole in the ceiling behind the rose was huge, and bigger than the new rose I was about to fit. It was my dad that came up with a solution. He donated an old metal drinks coaster, which after a few minutes with a drill, covered over the hole nicely!
All that remained for me to do was to get everything wired up with the shade hanging nicely on it's chain, before getting it tested.
And after the electrics were tested, and everything was good, I flicked the switch, and there was light! Now, after having all the parts, and knowing who can supply them, it turns out that this was a fairly simple job. The problem was that no one I talked to initially had any of the answers or any concept of what I was trying to do. So the moral of this story is that knowledge is king, and you need to surround yourself with the right people!