Laurey W. Glenn
I guess you could say that I am a victim of the "That would make a great lamp" syndrome. Whether it's a vase or a figurine, I immediately picture it topped with a shade. It stems from my first apartment, back when I needed a pair of lamps and was floored by the price tags. Instead, I bought candlesticks and turned them into lamps for a fraction of the cost.
Here's an example of how easy it is to turn an everyday item into a useful accessory.
Step 1: Select an item to transform; we chose a wooden planter. For this project, we enlisted the help of a professional, who added the hardware and also topped the planter with a thin piece of painted wood and a metal cap to conceal wiring and to give the new lamp a finished look. (Wiring costs range from $15 to $25, plus the expense of parts. Keep in mind that the more complicated the steps--drilling into a glass vase, for example--the higher the price tag.) Be sure to get an estimate first.
Step 2: Pick the perfect shade--it can make or break a lamp. Don't be afraid to try a variety of styles. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a lampshade.
Step 3: Top your new lamp with the shade, and choose the just-right spot to display it in your home.
This article is from the June 2005 issue of Southern Living.