LIGHTEN UP

Vintage light illustration from a vintage book 'Your Own Room', 1960.

Vintage light illustration from a vintage book ‘Your Own Room’, 1960.

Pendants and lamps from the 1950s and 1960s were often more like pieces of art or sculpture that added much more than just light to a room. Rooms wouldn’t just have a single light on the ceiling in the center of a room, there would also be cool lamps sometimes built into side table and colourful pendant lights hung over chairs or desks in corners of a room often in a cluster like in the photo below.

Example of accent lighting in a mid century room, photo from 1965 book Interior Decoration by Betty Pepis.

Example of accent lighting in a mid century room, photo from 1965 book Interior Decoration by Betty Pepis.

You can still find a great selection of original mid century lighting in antique shops and online on sites like Etsy and Ebay but unfortunately most of the amazing lights I would love to have for the new place are out of my budget (although well worth the money if I had it.) I did manage to pick up this lovely pendant light a few years ago at a barn sale. It has rounded wood sides over a white globe light – I’m thinking it’s teak but I can’t say for sure. The base and hardware were spray painted silver by the previous owner but were originally brass which is visible in spots. I’ve had it in storage because it wouldn’t have looked right in my current home. I am very excited to finally have a place to hang it. I am envisioning it above my vintage tulip table in the dining room. The wood matches nicely with my fifties teak stereo credenza that will also end up the dining room.

 

mid century pendant light.

mid century pendant light.

I also had a 1960s pole lamp given to me a few years ago that is stashed somewhere in the basement that will finally come out of storage and a few spaghetti lamps (I just can’t pass up a spaghetti lamp) that will also have a place in the new house.

My turquoise spaghetti lamp.

My turquoise spaghetti lamp.

 

We got some 1960s lighting catalogues in the pile of house stuff we acquired from the previous owners which has some beautiful examples of mid century lighting. The house we are renovating had rather plain lighting so we will be replacing most of the lights with new vintage lighting, possibly with some of the styles below.

 

Mid century lighting  from Virden Lighting.

Mid century lighting from Virden Lighting.

These pretty pendants could have a place anywhere in the home. The ad reads ‘dramatic in any room…entrance hall…corner of living room…in a row over planter, breakfast bar or buffet…in a cluster over dining table or coffee table…flanking a mirror in the bathroom, bed or dresser in a bedroom.’

Mid century pendant lighting  from Virden Lighting.

Mid century pendant lighting from Virden Lighting.

I love the cluster of three hanging from the walnut spreader. I would love to find a light like that in my budget.

 

Vintage bullet wall sconces from Virden Lighting.

Vintage bullet wall sconces from Virden Lighting.

How stylish are these classic mid century bullet sconces. They would look great in a hallway or bedroom.

 

Vintage globe lights from Virden Lighting.

Vintage globe lights from Virden Lighting.

My parents had a similar round globe light in our hallway growing up. I have always liked the simplicity of these. I picked a small one up recently that I’m hoping to put in our front entrance. This classic style of light is still available – I saw them not too long ago at Rona, Home & Garden store and they can likely be found at other big box and lighting stores.

Vintage pulldown lights from Virden.

Vintage pulldown lights from Virden.

I see these pull down lights in vintage magazines and advertisements often. They were obviously a popular style. Both stylish and functional, they could be left closer to the ceiling or could be pulled down closer to eye level. They would work great above a desk in a common living area like in the room below. I also love the colourful cluster pendant in this room…and the curtains…and the painting…the planter…the chairs – I would like one of everything please.

Lovely bright colourful room, from 1965 book, Interior Decoration A-Z by Betty Pepis.

Lovely bright colourful room, from 1965 book, Interior Decoration A-Z by Betty Pepis.

And for a more 60s mod look check out these Scandinavian style fixtures that you ordered and made yourself. Each kit contained polystyrol shade components, wire, fittings and instructions. Kits were $12.99 – $18.99.

 

Make your own fixtures, from an early 1970s Eaton's catalogue.

Make your own fixtures, from an early 1970s Eaton’s catalogue.

I know I’ll be adding to this post when I find more lighting for our house. There is so many beautiful vintage lights out there just waiting to add light and character to a room once again.

 

 

 

 

 

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