Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another Bargain at the Bargain Box

The worst feature of my new condo is that there are NO overhead lights in any of the rooms except for the kitchen and that awful pendant light that is still hanging in the dining room. I promise its going to get replaced... at some point. But, until then I had a more pressing issue with needing to be able to actually see what I was doing in the living room. It was so dark in there. I've never been that into lamps, but more and more I find myself admiring them at TJ Maxx and Home Goods. I've got two in the living room but even that wasn't enough. And so, without another table or entertainment center to put them on I've been on the search for a floor lamp. I'm not sure why, but I just don't like floor lamps. And who wants to spend a lot of money on something they don't even like?

I've been paying attention when I went in a store and had told myself I was just going to bite the bullet and spend $50 on a pseudo cute, stand-in lamp until I found something I loved. I did actually find one I loved, but that price tag didn't love me. And I think you and your accessories should have a mutual admiration for each other.

Pottery Barn Online

Thank you Pottery Barn. You've managed once again to show me just how good $179 could look in my house. I loved the shaped of these and the lamp shade, but not the price. I can think of many more ways to spend $179.

Now, back to reality. And the reality is that I work close enough to Cameron Village that I usually venture into the Bargain Box about once a week just to be sure there's nothing new in there that needs to come home with me. Last trip it was the old picture frame. This week it was a lamp. 

At first the lamp didn't totally knock me off of my feet. It looks like many other lamps you find in most living rooms across America. However, the price tag did make me stop to take a second look. Can you say $7? Yep, $7. And it even came with one of those newfangled energy-efficient light bulbs. In case you're wondering, I was that girl that found an outlet and made sure it worked before I swiped it. 

And here it is...

This was right before I got to work on it. Brass just isn't my style. However it did look oddly similar to it's lovely twin from Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware Online

Go ahead and click on the link. Confirm for yourself that I paid $7 and this lovely light from that lovely store also costs $179! Now, do the math really quick... If I had just left it like it was I would have saved myself $172. This is how I sleep well at night. 

But, of course, not wanting to be seen as a total cheap skate, I thought I'd spend another whopping $9 on some primer and spray paint and I'd dress it up a bit. I wanted to make it look a little more like the one I actually wanted from Pottery Barn. 

Who knew you could find the exact color in a can that Pottery Barn used? Seaboard Ace Hardware - that's who.

Step 1: Primer

This is my least favorite part. Primer is boring. Primer needs to dry between each coat and I like instant results. It also requires you to tape things up and make sure you don't paint parts that shouldn't be painted.

But, once you let the primer dry for at least 30 minutes you can get to work on the fun part. Did you know that metallic spray paint shoots millions of tiny pieces of glitter in the air when you're using it? I didn't and I'm pretty sure you shouldn't inhale that stuff, but it does give you a nice party effect while you're outside, by yourself, in the dark trying to finish the project in one evening because you're impatient. (that would be me)

The satin nickel color turned out really well and I love it against my mirror and other fixtures in the living room.   And the finishing touch happened to be my other score of the day at Big Lots. My $7 lamp didn't come with a shade so I had to find something. Lucky me I had a 20% off coupon for this week at Big Lots. I crossed my fingers and went in hopes I would walk right in and find what I wanted. And in true Big Lots form, as I was looking at Halloween decorations and candy I found my shade. You just never know where you might find your treasure in that store. For $10 - my 20% coupon, I brought home my $8 shade.

And, voila - here she is in all her glory.  No more brass and dust - just pretty brushed nickel shining its light on the reading chair. The same reading chair that matched our apartment great but doesn't match a thing at the new place. BUT, that's another blog post very soon, because the upholsterer called this week and said its replacement is ready to be picked up. (insert big grin here)

Here's the rundown:
 Lamp - $7
Paint and Primer - $9
Lamp Shade - $8
Grand Total - $24
(or, $155 savings)

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