IDS12: Part 1

After attending BlogPodium on Friday I went upstairs to The Interior Design Show and walked around, and around, and around. There was SO MUCH to see!

I fully intended to compose an informative post on all the marvelous things I saw, but after looking through the pictures I took, I think I’ll let them do the talking for me. You’ll forgive me right? I hope so. Where possible I’ve listed the website of the exhibitor.


How Do you Live? Exhibit

Gresham House -

AM Studio -

AM Studio -

AM Studio -

 Outdoor Living

How do you Live? Exhibit

Sung Outdoor,

Eliile Lounge,

Andrew Richard Designs,

Hauser Designs,


Dee Dee Taylor Hannah,

Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry,

 I think I give your scrolling finger a rest for now. I’ll post more fabulousness tomorrow.

Shine a light

As part of my ongoing quest to turn my condo into a home, I’ve embarked on the most thrilling of tasks – to rid my home of the overhead lights that were here when I moved in (I need to get out more).

The light in my bedroom was a dreaded ‘Boob light’, and I quickly replaced it with the halogen lamp that I removed from my dining room (it was removed during phase one of the dining room redecoration which occurred 6 months ago – I have yet to move on to phase two). While the halogen light was better than the boob light, it didn’t really convey ‘bedroom’ – more kitchen. Even though I’m still unsure of the ultimate direction of the decor in my bedroom, I know that making it feel like a kitchen isn’t quite what I’m going for.

My old bedroom light

Over the past few months I’ve noticed a pendant light which had a shape I liked at the HomeSense stores in my area, but they only ever had grey or black shades. This colour selection annoyed me to no end because I could see clearly on the box that it was also manufactured with white shade.  As with most things when it comes to my home, I’ve realised that if something is meant to be it will be, or something better will come along. Two weeks ago, I finally found the pendant light with the right colour shade, and brought it home.

I have to be honest here. When I initially brought it home and tested it by holding up the shade I though it was too big. I then realised that while it might be a smidge on the large side, it was an excellent price, and more importantly, returning it would require schlepping it back to the store on the bus. The lamp stayed.

After a couple of false starts I managed to install the light without getting electrocuted (or burning down the building – yay me!!), and I think it looks pretty good.

My new bedroom light

I think the light is reminiscent of the Two-tier round shade pendant from Restoration Hardware which sells from $450 and up.

Restoration Hardware two-tier light

The best part – my new light was only $50!

What do you think? Hopefully it’s a little more ‘bedroom’ than it’s predecessor.

DIY – Rewiring a Lamp

Rewiring a lamp like I did in my last post seems quite intimidating, but in reality it’s rather simple. All you need is a few supplies and some tools, and in very little time you’ll have a lamp that will illuminate your space without the worry of old wiring.

Here’s what I used:

And here are the steps I took:

1. This is the most important – unplug your lamp (This is rather obvious, but I’m going to state it anyway). You’ll then remove the shade and bulb.

2. Remove the socket’s outer sleeve, clip the cord to remove the socket, and then remove the old cord. Throw the old parts away.

3. In my case I was replacing the post to make the lamp slightly shorter. Once I’d reassembled my lamp, I threaded the new electrical wire through the pipe, and left enough wire at the top to work with.

4. Add the harp base and then the socket base to the top of the lamp.

5. Split the wire down the middle, and tie and underwriter’s knot in the wire. This will prevent the wire from accidentally being pulled out of the lamp.

6. At this point you’ll use your wire clippers to remove some of the protective sheathing from the wire. You’ll need to expose about 1/2″ from both wires. These exposed wires will be wrapped around the screws on the socket.

7. You’ll need to use your fingers to feel both sides of the wire sheathing. One side will be smooth, and one side will have some ridges on the wire. It’s important to know which side is which as the smooth wire is the ‘hot’ or positive wire, and will be attached to the brass screw on the new socket. The ridged wire is the neutral wire, and will be attached to the silver screw. To attach the wires to the screws, form a hook shape with the wire and loop it over the screw in a clockwise direction. The wire should just circle the screw once with the wires insulation resting against the screw. Tighten the screw to hold the wire in place.

8. Assemble the socket by twisting on the outer shell, and then tighten the screw at the base of the socket to secure it.

9. Add your bulb and plug-in your newly rewired lamp. Ta-Da! It works! I told you rewiring a lamp was easy!

Let There Be Light

Early last summer I made a concerted effort to visit as many antique and used furniture stores as Toronto had to offer. At the time I wasn’t looking anything specific, but was open to anything that caught my eye in the hopes that it would give me a starting point in deciding how to decorate my condo.

I discovered Douglas Poole Antiques and Collectibles on Queen St. East just as they were closing, but the owner graciously let me poke around for a few minutes. Just as I was about to leave the store I spotted two shade less lamps sitting forlornly on the floor. I’m not sure what about them caught my eye as they certainly weren’t what I would have considered ‘my style’, but I paused to take a closer look. They were made up of white glass speckled with green dots and gold flecks, and were really tall as only older lamps can be. Sounds rather hideous doesn’t it? I was tempted, but the gold flecks coupled with the old wiring scared me off, and I put them back where I found them. As I left the store the owner gave me his card – he must have seen a look in my eye, because early the next morning I found myself pulling out the card and asking him to put them aside for me.

Antique Lamp before rewiring

Fast forward many months, and those lamps were now sitting forlornly on my living room floor where I’d left them to languish after bringing them home. If I had known how simple it was to rewire a lamp I would have done it months ago. All I really needed to do was visit Aristocrat Lighting, and they very kindly supplied with all the parts I’d need. I have to say that this is a neat store – they will rewire any light for you, and their back room is full of light parts.

Aristocrat’s Back room

It turns out I needn’t have been worried about rewiring a lamp – it’s very easy. I decided that I’d use the lamps beside my bed. The ones I was using were okay, but I’d had them forever, and they weren’t very interesting. I’ll describe them as college-chic, which works as I was still in school when I got them.

My old bedroom lamps

Here are my newly rewired lamps in place. There’s quite a lot of work to do in this room (it needs some colour), so hopefully the lamps will serve as a starting point.

New Bedside lamps

Rewired bedside lamps in place

The total cost for these two lamps was just $120. The lamps cost $50, rewiring supplies were $30 and the shades were $20 each. I would have easily spent that much had I purchased two new lamps in any store but mine are unique, and as a bonus the next time I see a great lamp in a store with questionable wiring I’ll know how to fix it.

Linked to: The CSI Project