Thrifty + Bedroom Plans

January 12th, 2011

I picked up a pair of these wacky ceramic Quartite Creative Corp. lamps at the local Goodwill, and have to admit I was sort of hesitant from the get go. Part of me really liked the shape and the muted colors and strange lava glaze texture and couldn’t just let them waste away at the thrift store. The other part of me, was like gggguuuuurrrrllllll – you are crazy. Those look like floppy condoms hanging from the lamp neck and these things are way too retro for the subtle shapes and clean lines of your ENTIRE HOUSE.

Even Bowie doesn’t know what to think.

Graphic chevron and cool? Way to kitsch? Pottery fun?

Apologies for Bowie overload, but unlike Iggy, he hasn’t learned how to ignore photo shoots. That big black clicking mystery box makes him angry. HULK angry. Devil dog mean wrinkle face – ACTIVATE.

So yeah.

I’m not loving it, but then sort of waffle back and forth since I do kind of love the lamps. They are in awesome condition, are very graphic and have a super sexy shape. Maybe they’re just not right in my bedroom…or house. Just like the bedding is a hot mess and not right for the room. The lamps might just have to be one of those functional things for now.

What really needs to happen is a headboard. Then lighting. Then bedding.

All of which I know precisely what I want, but are sadly waaayyy out of budget.

I want to go slabby, and obviously not like this giant awesome beast from Urban Hardwoods (since I don’t have $10K to throw down on a headboard). I do like the idea of this simple canvas bedding, although it looks like it could be very scratchy and impractical.

This knock off of the insanely expensive Potence lamp by Jean Prouvé is “the one” piece of lighting that I desperately want to install. The Potence Lamp from Atelier, at about $400 and a foot and a half too short, doesn’t look like it will be a realistic possibility.

DIY maybe? I’m not really sure where to start, but it could be a project…

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  1. Chelsea on 01/12/2011:

    New lampshades maybe? I think they are kinda cool, and updating the ‘shades might make a huge diff.

  2. carol on 01/12/2011:

    I like the shape + proportion of the lamps as well- my take on them would be to paint all the multi colored areas a matte black so you will end up with a textured black & white lamp- very graphic with the zigzag design in white. possibly alter the brass finish of the base as well if needed.

  3. Mary on 01/12/2011:

    I love the shape and the giant lampshades but now that you said condom that ALL I can see. Paint over the lamp base in a solid color? Or does that ruin the fun? I still love the lines of the lamps themselves.

  4. mike dg on 01/12/2011:

    i think they’re lovely, but possibly a different shade. something whiter and A-line, a Lotte shade perhaps?
    also looove the wall lamp, looking for something similar i came across this guy, but i need him to be brass or black. not sure if you’re opposed to chrome?

  5. Michele on 01/12/2011:

    I fucking LOVE those lamps, girl. What the the…? I saw them in your previous post and was WILLING you to buy them. Keep them…right where they are, JUST how they are. For god’s sake DO NOT paint them or get new shades. Oh, no, please do not do any of that. If you keep waffling, sell their asses to me.

  6. Tami on 01/12/2011:

    Ooh, love the lamps! It’s the lampshades that need to be changed. Grey, maybe? Brown?

  7. cajeta on 01/12/2011:

    You could def do that headboard and it would really make your room! I like the eye dream of Jeannie lamps but i think the bedding is clashing with the genie lamps.

  8. the vintage cabin on 01/12/2011:

    i like the lamps and agree that you could change out the shades but i don’t mind them as-is (and we all know decent shades are really fucking hard to find even new). i’m digging the mish-mash. i know what you mean about the bedroom crisis though…i’ve been struggling with mine for about 2 months now. i’m almost finished the re-do but i too am struggling with lamps i found at the thrift store that have no shades that kind of go but don’t. anyway, nice score on those. don’t get rid of them despite their retro kitsch appeal. and yea, don’t paint them!

  9. Julie on 01/12/2011:

    For a look like the Potence lamp, what about rigging up some pipes (a la your bookcase), running some wire through and sticking a bulb on the end? am i crazy?

  10. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/12/2011:

    Hmmm, yeah the shades are vintage and could possibly be updated, but I would feel terrible painting the lamps. Couldn’t do it. If they were all screwed up, then yes – for sure. It’s hard for me to alter things when vintage is in good shape.

    I’m thinking maybe I could weld a long lamp or just keep my eye out for something vintage.

  11. brianne on 01/12/2011:

    Ooh, I love the lamps. They have an almost moroccan vibe. Keep ’em!

  12. Suzy8track on 01/12/2011:

    Those lamps are incredibly groovy! My mom had similar lamps in our rumpus room when I was a kid.

  13. i really like them. the shade is modern feeling so it keeps the retro design grounded. if you ditch ’em, sell them to me!

  14. Sarah on 01/12/2011:

    I agree that you should change the lampshade!!

    <3 Sarah

  15. Nita@ModVintageLife on 01/12/2011:

    Ok, Bowie is super cute. Maybe he likes to get his picture taken. One of my Friend’s dogs is all about it. She smiles for every picture. I like those lamps. I can see why you couldn’t leave them behind. And I don’t think they are so bad in the room. I’d like them a little more polished…but they are still good.

    I think absolutely you ca DIY that last light. Just start browsing the hardware store.

  16. Marie-Helene on 01/12/2011:

    I’m sorry, I won’t be commenting on the lamps (which I think are awesome), I just had to say something about the first picture of Bowie. That is the best quirky, funny, full of character picture of a dog I have ever seen. You’re so lucky to have this in your bedroom!

  17. Tim Young on 01/12/2011:

    Please DIY that Potence lamp. That thing is awesome! Then I can DIY your DIY.

  18. Kat on 01/12/2011:

    LOVE the lamps, just as they are. I think the problem is your bedding with the lamps. I saw this today and thought of you Actually I thought of myself first, then I thought of you.

  19. Justin Cabin on 01/12/2011:

    Have the boy and his welder DIH (Do It Himself) on that Potence lamp. Bending the tube will be hard but I am sure he can manage. The only drawback is most people consider welding beyond DIY, so it may not be worth any internet points.

  20. courtneyoutloud on 01/12/2011:

    i love those lamps and beg you a 1000 times over not to paint the bases. i will pay for you to ship them out to me if you don’t want them. if you do keep them then maybe a burlap shade lined in a contrasting paper?

  21. Lindsay on 01/12/2011:

    Hmmm.. I guess I should preface this with saying that I don’t believe in anything being way too kitsch. BUT that being said I don’t even think that these lamps look like that at all. Maybe in a room with avocado green carpet and an orange couch, but… I believe everything needs to be seen in context and in this sharp room they just look NICE! I think the white looks like a nice clean accent and I would NOT paint them. And I love vintage shades. So warm, with some texture too. KEEP. Love. Dump when new lamps come around. 😉

  22. sudha on 01/12/2011:

    love the lamps…if you r giving them 2 someone..count me first in line 🙂

  23. Bec on 01/12/2011:

    I think the lamps look great. Bowie’s yoga position cracks me up, nearly as much as the photo with the bandage 🙂

  24. lizzie on 01/12/2011:

    i love the lamps, think they look excellent! bowie! so cute!
    that lamp could be a pretty simple DIY project, if you knew anything about electrical sh*t, which I don’t…but I’m sure you could figure it out!

  25. Daniel on 01/12/2011:

    About the slab headboard : couldn’t a similar one be made from a tabletop? Like say a coffee table top?

  26. Lisa on 01/12/2011:

    I too like the lamps, and to me they compliment the great bedspread. The combo burl table+ borderline kitsch lamps isn’t for me, but it wouldn’t be the lamps that would go.

    If you had Bowie in your next garage sale I’d be on the first flight from Europe. The last picture of him is awesomely gremlin-cute.

  27. Gwen on 01/12/2011:

    I love the lamps! They don’t fit well with the bedding but I think they look fantastic with the burl table! I wouldn’t paint or change the shades.

  28. J on 01/12/2011:

    I’m liking the lamps, too. There is something about them. Good find!

  29. Juliab on 01/12/2011:

    Your dog is just too cute, especially because he gets angry at the camera! I like the lamps and think they look great in your bedroom. I love the throw too.

  30. kristina on 01/12/2011:

    OHMYGODTHATDOG. your lamps are cool, but bowie is about the cutest thing i have ever seen.

  31. ModFruGal on 01/12/2011:

    I think the kitschy lamps are a nice surprise with all your sleekness elsewhere in the house. I like the shade shape too…and would love it even more if were were gold foil lined inside. I’m a ho for a little glam.

  32. Cheryl on 01/12/2011:

    I really love the lamps, although I may be biased since I grew up with a pair of them in my grandparent’s house. I like the shape and pattern of them in your room, but the color throws me off. I think if you were willing to paint the brown/blue part of them another color they’d rock.

  33. erin@designcrisis on 01/12/2011:

    Maybe spraypaint the outside of the shades white white and the inside of them gold?

  34. rivka on 01/12/2011:

    the lamps look fantastic in what you are trying to do with that room! they read very graphic to me with the white design. i also like vintage shades….but you might want to at least try something different and see what you think. that slab headboard is way scary. i do love the coffee table top idea though….how about a bunch of coffee table tops?

  35. jennifer on 01/12/2011:

    score again.

  36. mags on 01/12/2011:

    another delicious tree to rest your head upon… or whatever else tickles your fancy:

    commence drooling.

  37. Angie on 01/12/2011:

    Gurl, I have a place for those lamps…in the trash. You have a stylish Nelson lamp and these two ugly 70’s grandma lamps (no offence to grandmas).Look at Bowie I think he would agree! Okay ask me how I really feel about them lamps…eww…

  38. jg on 01/12/2011:

    you probably know this already but..i looked into the atelier lamp a few months back they had a 48 inch one but also said they do custom lengths and color….
    btw… love those lamps the way they are!

  39. susan on 01/12/2011:

    Oh gawd. Now all I can see when I look at the lamp bases are floppy condoms! Great imagery. Gah.

  40. I really like them! I have been stalking our local thrift stores and I have NOT seen any lamps this cool yet. Keep them for a while and let them sink in then try new shades only don’t trash them yet!

  41. Julie @ Chapman Interiors on 01/12/2011:

    A few notes; there are totally condoms on the lamps. but I still like them a lot! And the latex adornments make them especially bedroom appropriate, no? But again, I think they look abs fabs and work in your bedroom (in the perfect bed, not hot mess??!)

    And I’ve seen your DIY skillz. Dude, you’d kill (in a good way) your own version of Prouve lamp. Do it! do it! do it! (picture cheerleader with ribbons in her hair waving sparkley pom poms in your face. And then knee-drop and jazz hands.)

  42. Monica on 01/12/2011:

    Umm those lamps couldn’t feel further away from the industrial Potence or that slab headboard…the Nelson, right on, but those lamps…. eick!

  43. Jen on 01/12/2011:

    I like the lamps, too.

    I like the bedspread even more. Where is it from?

  44. dawn on 01/12/2011:

    the lamps are dy-no-mite.
    keep them.

    the simple shades work well on them since they are all business on the top and party on the bottom!

  45. Natalie on 01/12/2011:

    Lovely lamps and your dog is ADORABLE!


  46. Erin on 01/12/2011:

    What are you talking about??!! ‘Unsure of the lamps’. They are TOTALLY awesome! As is the bedding. It loots AMAZING. Amazing.

  47. meg on 01/12/2011:

    someone said it already, but you could knock that lamp off with one visit to the plumbing section. when you figure it out, please tell me how to do it, because I want one too.
    Also, I say no to the lamps. Mostly because they cheapen the burl and I love the fucking burl.

  48. Kris on 01/12/2011:

    Lovely lamps indeed, maybe the pair of them is what is overwhelming, send one to the living room to live and the other one to some good friend of yours to enjoy.

  49. pianoarthur on 01/12/2011:

    I like the bases, not the shades.
    BTW, that ‘slab’ headboard looks like Alien, fresh outta the stomach!

  50. A Merry Mishap on 01/13/2011:

    Oh, Bowie!
    I still liked the old headboard/sidetable piece you had a while back, you really do destroy everything I love. Black chair…?

  51. The brick house on 01/13/2011:

    I destroy everything. It’s a sickness.

    That Danish headboard had issues, hard to explain…

    Black chair is in my garage currently.

  52. helloshiella on 01/13/2011:

    genie in a bottle! i think they’re a little too exciting (busy) for my taste. i would probably spray paint them and tape off the condom part to keep a cool print on them.

    also, i like the canvas idea. i think if you sewed a sheet liner on the ‘touch my body’ side it would be less scratchy and be warmer!

    DIY a headboard because youre magical and can probably pull off something AMAZING.

  53. modernhaus on 01/13/2011:

    Prediction: the lamps will not last longer than a month.

  54. bianca on 01/13/2011:

    i dig the lamp shades but LOVE LOVE LOVE that headboard. it is so so so worth it.

  55. Anna on 01/13/2011:

    I don’t hate the lamps at all and I could totally see you making them work. if not, sell them to Ms. Emily Henderson. Seems like you two have a strategic business partnership goin’ on!

  56. Jen on 01/13/2011:

    Um, any idea who manufactured/sold those lamps? They would be absolutely perfect for my bedroom!

  57. Suzanne on 01/13/2011:

    What a find! It’s wise to follow your inner bird on thrift store finds. I like many others, would just change the shades. Good work.

  58. Cassie on 01/13/2011:

    I like the lamps, but they don’t quite work in the room. Also, Bowie is adorable!

    Can I ask, where did you get that blanket? (Apologies if you’ve answered this in another post.)

  59. allie on 01/13/2011:

    The lamps are S.I.C.K.

  60. Mary on 01/13/2011:

    I saw a similar blanket on recently.

  61. Tamoto on 01/13/2011:

    The lamps, maybe if you were ten years younger and your tastes were not as refined. Little too atomic or something. I do like the zigzag, but not the texture and weird colors. you can do better! Although everyone else loves em so there you go.

  62. Laguna Dirt on 01/13/2011:

    the lamps look awesome, especially from a distance. great, bold graphics, voluptuous shape, maybe lose the old-lady shades, at least take them down a notch? could you do something with the base, maybe paint it an off white or beige for a cleaner look…can’t stand that massive burled headboard. it looks like it’s going to pull down the entire wall. as much as i love that gnarly slab look, kind of seeing it everywhere…you, brick house, are on the mcm crest!…to whom more is given (including good taste), more is expected…

  63. Cynthia Wig on 01/13/2011:

    LOVE the lamps! And shouldn’t all lamps wear condoms in the bedroom? I’m thinking that a shade mod that would make them more friendly with the Nelson pendant would be a good thing. Keep the old shades, of course. Nice score!

  64. Rhonda35 on 01/13/2011:

    The lamps are PERFECT! Don’t change them at all. I think you need a simply-shaped headboard – perhaps covered with a fabric that carries through the colors of the lamps and walls – and then a monochromatic spread with a geometric stitching design. But that’s just me!

  65. Tonia on 01/13/2011:

    I love the lamps. Love seeing Bowie too.I have a few sugesstions on the headboard but I’m sure you have something fabulous you’re considering.

  66. Georgia on 01/13/2011:


    I recently did a post on Wo+Wé Collection – could be exactly what you’re looking for in terms of the Prouvé-like lamp:


  67. debbie on 01/13/2011:

    the lamps plus the bubble lamp are too much midcentury…you are going for more organic or the other not both. they dilute each other.

  68. JB on 01/13/2011:

    LOVE the lamps. You must keep them. They go stunning with that bedspread you have. Maybe go black shiny on the shades, though. I bought a huge slab headboard at Cleveland art in LA for $300. Fits a queen bed. Looks just like your pic. Goggle it. Love your blog!

  69. lisa w. on 01/13/2011:

    You must get that huge triangular string art for your headboard.
    Love the lamps as is.

  70. Amanda on 01/14/2011:

    No. No. No. Nuh uh!

  71. Angie on 01/14/2011:

    Exhibit 1: (Case in point)

    lisa w. on January 13, 2011:
    You must get that huge triangular string art for your headboard.
    Love the lamps as is.

    Final argument: The ugly lamps need to go (they aren’t sophisticated enough for your space). I’m just stating the facts, nothing but the facts! he-he

  72. b on 01/15/2011:

    as for the slab, go to ebay and find slabs in the 500.00 range and have them shipped. cherry is a good walnut substitute and MUCH less. i made a desk for my wife out of a cherry slab that is sick!

  73. Jenny F on 01/16/2011:

    I’m feeling the base, hesitant to the shades though. I kind of want them to be wider somehow… But hey, you’ll figure it out. When I’m hesitant towards a piece of furniture or whatever I put it somewhere where I walk past it like 25 times a day, eventually I either freaking love it or can’t stand one more glance at it.

  74. Kate O on 01/16/2011:

    I love those lamps!!

    May I ask what paint you used for your bedroom? I am on the hunt for the perfect gray.

  75. onehsancare on 01/16/2011:

    1. I understand the attraction of the lamps–they are something else!–but I do not see them working in your bedroom. Maybe the guestroom?
    2. PLEASE, no burl headboard!!! Enough with the burl already! There isn’t enough space in that small room for such an overwhelming headboard. Go sleek and sexy and modern.

  76. Jillian on 01/20/2011:

    I agree with the commenter who said the rest of the space isn’t quite organic enough for the lamps and table but I wouldn’t give up on them. I really love the lamps and think they are a great find. I think they look awesome with the nightstand and would probably benefit from a barrel shade in a textured linen (Target occasionally has good ones). I think that maybe they might look better against a slightly deeper, slightly warm toned wall like a pale greige or warmer white. You could use the lamps as the inspiration for the rest of the room.

  77. Ann W on 01/23/2011:

    Hate the lamps, but then I lived in the 50’s and 60’s. I think you need something will more visual weight. I love the bedspread or blanket . If you want a headboard like the big one, why don’t you make one out of mdf or plywood, or somethings and gesso it, or paint it to look like a slab of a tree. It won’t be perfect, but you can get the approximate look. Then you can sleep under it and dream about the universe bringing you the real thing. The lamps might be better in a different room with colored shades like the blue or green in the pattern. Sorry, but your living room is so clean and bold, that the lamps don’t look up to your standards.

  78. Logan on 02/01/2011:

    I like the lamps but you’ve inspired me to try and make that wall lamp. It looks cool but too expensive to consider buying. If I can, YOU can! cause I’m a self-taught DIY’er too. That slab headboard would be very cool btw.

  79. Saro on 02/09/2011:

    hi, i’ve been trying to find some bedding just like yours for ages – something geometric (or so it looks from the picture) – just wondering where you purchased yours from, it’s grand!

  80. WeirdGuy on 03/04/2011:

    Somebody’s DIY Prouve lamp:

    I did not read alle the comments, maybe other people posted it already.

  81. brutalux on 08/06/2011:

    J’aime beaucoup cette tête de lit…

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