Monday, February 21, 2011

Owl Lamp: How About Now?

Remember when I showed you this owl lamp I got out of a dumpster in North Carolina?

Owl Lamp

In that post I was thinking of spray painting it ivory and finding a new shade for it. I had reservations, though. I thought it might look a lot less interesting all one color. I wasn't sure what to do with the eyes, either.  I asked for your thoughts.  Click back there to refresh yourself.  Opinions ranged from "Yes! love it! paint it!" to "If you paint it you change the species!" and my favorite, "Put it outside, in a sturdy tree."

I pondered these things in my heart. I was a little daunted by the rewiring so I let it rest down there for a while. Then I was at Pottery Barn with my mother last week and they had a redorkulous sale on lampshades. this huge linen drum shade was sitting there for $11.  Marked down from $59. Good enough that I broke my streak of not having bought anything for myself or the house since Jan 1. It wasn't the solid color shade I'd been envisioning, but I thought it might make the as-is version of the lamp work.  Yesterday I brought the owls upstairs, dusted them off, and gave them new wiring.  Then I put the shade on and sat them in the dining room. Go ahead and tell me what you think.

Owl Faces

Hank Meets Owls

Owl Lamp Wing

Owl Lamp Shade

Now, I had planned to put it on top of Hank's chest of drawers.  The problem is that when he walked around the corner and saw it, he said, "AAHH!"  Then, a while later, he saw it again and said, "AAHH!"  Laura hadn't heard any of that, and when she came home, I said, "Laura, come in the dining room and look at my lamp."  She walked in and said, "AAHH!" I don't think it is really so scary, I mean, look at those sweet faces. I think it is startling in its largeness.  The picture with Hank gives you some idea.

So I don't know. Part of me is curious about what it would look like painted. But it's kind of growing on me as it is.  You know what? If I had a buffet or sideboard in my dining room, I would put it on top and leave it in there. Doesn't it look happy in that room?  Have I lost my mind?

31 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I agree with you completely. It looks fantastic just the way it is. I wish I had the wherewithal to re-wire a lamp. As it is, I could perhaps hook you an owl rug -- I had one hanging in my bedroom back in the seventies -- a big round one.

Kelly said...

That thing is a lot bigger than I realized! I like it as is, especially with the new shade, but I can't picture where it should live.

Amy said...

Okay, okay. With that shade, it has a definite charm as-is. But I don't know where you should put it...the dining room does seem the best place. I don't think you'd want it in a bedroom, y'know?

Go look in the dumpster for a sideboard now!!

AM said...

Oh please don't paint it. It's perfect the way it is. The shade is good with it.

Elle said...

I like the lamp, also the shade, but not the shade with the lamp. The shade looks great in your house & is v reflective of yr aesthetic ... but I just feel like you have to meet the owls halfway, and that shade is not doing that. I think it's too small, like, I want it to be a little lower on them ... maybe a square shade?

Lampshades are hard. I had a lampshade-hunt project a few years ago & eh.

Can you put it in a hallway area, maybe where you will spy it while seated in another room? Or maybe on the edge of two rooms? Did you give them names? The owls? That is what I would be up to, lol.

Becky said...

I see what you mean, like the shade needs to be somehow woodsier if the lamp is not to be made mod white.

I might be able to lower it by putting in a smaller harp.

Good lampshades are impossible. No mass retailer has anything good. Hmm.

jo said...

I think you have lost your mind, that's the ugliest thing I've seen in ages. If you paint it, it might look stranger than it is, it looks like it belongs in a great hall

Mrs. Smith said...

If Hank doesn't want it in his room, I have the perfect place for it in mine. I absolutely love ever bit of it. I had said "paint it" but have changed my mind.

Melissa said...

I think it would be fab painted all white...or a creamy off-white! I heart owls, it is a cool find, maybe a just little dated feeling (and not in a good way) as-is.

M said...

I love the owl lamp as is though I am completely baffled as to why. I understand that the shade could be a tad wider, but right now it looks like an owl umbrella given the way they appear to be crouching on their perch.

I've spent ridorkulous amounts of time shopping for perfect lampshades over the years to no avail. I think you seriously lucked out with this fantabulous stripey one. It will have a life of its own well beyond the owl lamp should you so choose.

Seeing it with Hank does give one a sense of the sheer heft of the thing, so pray it doesn't take flight.

M

Char said...

i agree the shade is perhaps too small. and if it was me, i would paint them, but that's my kind of style so i wouldn't impose that on you. the current is very vintage and fun. i like the idea of perhaps a rectangular shade.

Camp Papa said...

Have you consideed the little table that your Uncle John made for you?

Jenni said...

I was just thinking about your owl lamp this weekend and wondering what became of it; painted? Not painted? My in-laws had their barn re-sided/roofed this fall and my FIL put a large faux owl on the outside of the barn, presumably to scare away mice, though it looks quite decorative.

Anyways, I was thinking you should put that sucker right near mouse poop central to get rid of those suckers for good.

Also, HOLY HELL that thing is huge. It's almost as large as Hank.

Michele said...

I agree that the shade is too small. My first thought was, "she put a pillbox hat on him". I can't stand shopping for shades. They are impossible to find the right one without taking the lamp in and I'm pretty sure you don't want to have to lug that monster into the store.

David said...

My two cents: as is. I think I like it so much because it's about equal parts kitschy and genuinely nice. If you paint it white, you risk making it a little precious or, worse, over-ironizing it? But if you use a more traditionally-scaled shade, you risk maybe taking it a little too seriously?

kylydia said...

No opinion on the lamp, but the shade debate in the comments reminds me of the commercial for a local lamp store. They say, "Remember, shopping for a lampshade without your lamp is like shopping for a hat without your head."

It cracks me up, every time.

Julie at ModernDayMiddleAge said...

That is a big ass lamp. I agree that the shade is a bit too small (pillbox hat is a very good description!) but a shade that is commensurate would make the whole shebang larger than either of your children. And I did kind of say, "AHHH!" when I saw it next to your son, too. It's really not NOT scary ...

Megan said...

The variance in opinion here is fascinating! I agree with David, though. Also, I'm not sure a lampshade exists that wouldn't look like "object hovering above two owls." The pillbox hat works nicely.

puncturedbicycle said...

It's a TRIUMPH! Even I, champion of old and weird stuff, wondered how you would make it more palatable without blandifying it, but even if this doesn't turn out to be exactly the right shade, it is really an excellent step in the right direction. And I LOVE the scale of it. I'm really quite envious now.
I am about to get rid of a lamp because I am just sick of the lampshade project that has grown out of it.
I do hope you find a great place for yours.

Heidi said...

Based on the first post, when you first got it? I went out and bought spray paint and painted a bunch o' stuff just based on interesting shapes and sizes and textures and SO HAPPY.

PAINT IT. Please. All of it. It will look capital A-Awesome.

Elle said...

Yah, exactly, Becky. I feel like if it were a rectangular/arboreal-shape shade in the same fabric/colors as you have there, it would be a good meet-up. Or, if it were a woody-ish color/texture (I'm thinking of a dupioni, if you want to know) in whatever shape you wanted.

But I like the lamp, a lot. Name those owls!

Casey said...

Oh, I've been eying this cool owl lamp that Urban Outfitters USED to have and now Target has a similar one but my kids are lamp breakers so we had to install recessed lighting in every room and now I don't need any lamps but you do. I say paint it ivory as originally planned.

Cassie said...

Wow! It's so much bigger than I initially thought it was! Which makes it even cooler. And I do think it looks great in the dining room.

I'm with the leave it/love it camp. You have such a knack for effortlessly incorporating whimsy into your decor. I need lessons.

Messy Mom said...

I love it! The shade is perfect and what a steal. I would NOT paint it personally, but you do what you feel is right with this little treasure.

gretchen said...

I stand by my previous comment. And if it scares the children, tell them it's an owl from Harry Potter. It's all about the spin.

christina said...

this is the craziest lamp i've ever seen and i love that you have it.

Becky said...

It is a conundrum. Thank you for your input guys. I do think that this might not be the exactly right shade. But it will have to do while I look for the right one, which could take years. Really the issue is that there's no home for this right now. Unless I really do purchase a new piece of dining room furniture to hold it. We'll see.

KathyS said...

Woman, I love your big hooters.

Fantastic Forrest said...

That lamp - like you - is a total hoot. Whatever you decide will be perfect because you are perfect.

I am sending my friend Shana over here to admire all your owl goodness.

Carrie said...

Well, your house is a lot more beautiful than mine so you know better about these things, but ... to me those owls look hideous and I don't blame your kids for screaming. I would have dreams of being a hunted prairie dog if I had to sleep in a room with those big red eyes.

Crystal said...

I eat my words, love the shade with it! You have a good eye.