1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Thursday, December 09, 2004

I Saw the Light

OK, so I was a baby yesterday about the ticket. Forgive me.

I just realized today that I did so much chit-chatting around on the message boards about my examination of the lighting in our house that I never even wrote about it on my very own blog! With the help of my camera's zoom lens and the ever-helpful assistance of the folks at Old House Web and That Home Site, I discovered that two of the lights at our house are - if not original - pretty darn old.

The consensus is that the dining room chandelier is maybe '20s and the hall pendant is maybe 1910ish. I pontificate about this subject (and showed lots more pictures) here.

Today I went on an eBay quest for appropriate lighting for the rest of the house. The kitchen is in desperate, desperate need of some help in the lighting department; the guest bedroom's fixture is downright disturbing it's so hideous and unfunctional; the entry needs something more dramatic; and the porch sconces have little eagles on top of them.

I'm torn about whether to go with reproduction antiques or the real deal. There's not that much difference in price between the two, so why not go for the real thing, right? Weeeell, it's a bit harder to find what you want that way. There are only a few places that sell reproduction lighting (Rejuvenation and J.F. PeGan), so the search is narrower, and you have a good selection - all sorted according to style, decade, etc. It's so much simpler that way.

But the purist in me keeps tug-tug-tugging at me. And then there's the issue of gas vs. electric. I believe that my house was probably built with electricity. The first house built with electricity in Eutaw was constructed in 1889. My house didn't come along till 13 years later ... isn't that long enough for the technology to have caught on thoroughly?

But the fixtures I like best are the gas ones ... they're so delicate and twirly-curly and have such lovely large shades. So I'm torn. Maybe I should just go with the "early eclectic" types that sort of combine the two. Maybe I should quit whining. Maybe I should go to Lowe's and get the cheapy cheapest ceiling fan I can find ...

Strike that, reverse it.

Then comes the issue of installing the new lighting. First, a ladder. Second, someone who isn't afraid of heights to stand on it.

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Anonymous said...


Wow, original (or almost original) lights left in the house - that's awesome. Our previous owners seem to have destroyed or covered up everything original and charming. (Tin ceilings covered over, cheap vinyl windows installed, disgusting shag rugs over all the hardwoods...)

As cool as the originals are, I imagine you'd have a much harder time getting them repaired - so that's something to think about. But for godsakes woman, whatever you do, keep yourself away from the ceiling fans. Unless you do this with it:


~Mindy (http://www.onesmallspark.com/home/)

8:40 AM  
Kristin said...

Believe me, I'm steering clear of the ceiling fans, though they actually do have a few decently cute models out now. The only room in the house with a ceiling fan is the office. In my list of all the rooms desperately needing new lighting, I forgot to mention the office. It is DISMAL in there.

And oh yes, we had green '70s rugs on our heart pine floor in the master bedroom. That was the first thing to go! But we've still got the stuff in two of the bathrooms ... yes, you read that right - '70s green carpet IN THE BATHROOMS.

9:17 AM  

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