Chalkware Japanese lady lamp

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We picked up this lovely lady yesterday!

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

She’s a vintage 1950s Duron chalkware or plaster lamp… and the best example we’ve ever come across. Not only the design, but condition too – they’re often chipped and a bit tatty. The painted decoration is all original. It has twin bulb fittings and works perfectly.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We tend to steer away from what’s termed as ‘kitsch’, but the occasional example sometimes takes our fancy. We like the classic Tretchikoff girl prints… and this Japanese geisha has a similar vibe going on.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

The lamp can either stand on a horizontal surface or can be hung on a wall.

Rear view of a vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

Here’s a view of the maker’s mark for collectors.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We’ll be a bit sorry to see her go actually, but go she must. The lamp is heading to our antiques centre space tomorrow. Sayonara lovely lady!

5 Lighting hacks to make your room look bigger

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small kitchen-diner with white opaque globe light shadescredit

If your home is on the small side you’ll need to be creative to get the very most out of every little space you have. Even people with bigger homes want to make the most of the rooms they have.

There are a wide variety of decorating and lighting hacks & techniques you can use to help you give the impression of more space. Here are just a few simple ideas that can be used to achieve a lighter, brighter and bigger-looking room.

bulb pendant light hanging over table & chairs in a sitting roomcredit

  1. Pendant lights

One simple way to make a room look bigger – and to free up some much needed space – is to replace any floor or table lamps with pendant lights. These can have adjustable cords fitted so that you can raise or lower them for different occasions. Remember to angle your lighting so not to cast shadows over corners of your room. If you don’t want permanently bright lighting you could always have dimmer switches fitted so that you can lower the intensity of the lighting at night.

If you want to keep your electricity costs down then fitting low energy lighting, such as LED spotlights or small ceiling lights, will all help keep the your bills to a minimum. If you use lighting well you’ll feel like you have a big, bright space to enjoy and pendants should help in this quest.

Pair of large angled wall-mounted bedside lightscredit

  1. Wall lighting

Pendants aren’t the only way in which lighting can help to make the most of your room. The use of wall lighting, as described in this Mirror article, can help point light upwards and, if you have a brilliant white ceiling, the effect can be amazing. This not only makes your room look lighter, but it can also make the space look bigger. Up lighting will also free up much needed space.

You could have LED strip lighting fitted to the underside of shelving to give the room a warm feeling and these will also illuminate and show off you favourite books or ornaments – making them into bright features instead of dark ‘space eaters’.

Round convex mirror above a fireplace in a small sitting roomcredit

  1. Mirror Mirror

The use of mirrors hanging opposite the windows in a room can help reflect some much needed light and can give the impression of more space. You should try hanging the mirror on different walls until you get the ideal effect, you’ll be surprised how much larger you can make a room look as they reflect the light in effective ways.
Even a small mirror can make a lot of difference to the smallest of areas and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Another great look using mirrors is to hang two or three side by side this can have a similar effect to purchasing artwork.

Brightly-coloured, wallpapered bathroom wallcredit

  1. Painting your walls

An article on the House Beautiful website explains how you can use different bright colours on walls to help give the illusion of space. Light and bright shades are the order of the day to make the most of this technique.

If you do decide to paint one wall a dark colour then make sure that all the other walls are brilliant white or just have a hint of light colour – and don’t make your dark wall the one that gets the most natural light as this will spoil any chance of making the room feel bigger. You could also experiment with different types of wallpaper to give your room a special look. Some wallpapers have patterns that show up best under lights, pick one that really sparkles for a fun effect.

Some large DIY stores have 3D computer software online that can show you how a space would look once it has certain furniture and décor fitted. Model your colour scheme and see just what difference colour can make when combined with lighting.

Pastel colour painted kid's bedroom with floral roman blindscredit

  1. Changing your furniture, flooring & fittings

You’ll be surprised how much difference you can make to a room by just moving your furniture around or by changing the type of flooring you have. When it comes to furniture, why not try two or three different arrangements over the course of a week and see which works best? Don’t just do this in the day time either. You need to see what the effect of natural daylight and lighting is on these items.

The use of striped carpets or rugs can give the impression that the room is longer than it actually is. If your carpets are looking a bit tired you could either lay new laminate flooring or, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, then you could just lay some new rugs down.

Tidying away any clutter and clearing the window spaces obscured by heavy curtains can also make a room look more spacious. Allow the light to stream into a room by replacing your curtains with blinds.

You can essentially control three elements in your room: the lighting, the colour scheme and what’s inside the room. Tinker with all three of these, while keeping an eye on how to maximise the natural light you get in, to make your room feel as big as possible.

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Watts & Co church candles

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Watts & Co church candles in front of a wood-burning stove

Autumn has most definitely arrived – crisp, misty mornings; the red, russet & golden trees; long shadows and chilly nights. It’s a time for being outdoors, collecting acorns and conkers, kicking fallen leaves, watching migrating birds overhead – in fact, not much beats a long autumn dog walk, then returning home to a hot cuppa.

Vintage pottery candle holder on the arm of a leather club chair in front of a wood-burning stove

But perhaps what we love the most about autumn evenings is being indoors with fires crackling and candles glowing. We think of it as an opportunity to indulge rather than lamenting the end of summer. It’s a time to make the house warm & welcoming, to eat comforting food and revel in the magical nature of the season – making the ordinary & everyday a bit more extraordinary.

Lit Watts & Co church candle in a floor-standing cast iron candle holder

The Danish, who experience a long period of darkness and cold temperatures, have a special word for it – ‘Hygge‘ – pronounced hoo-gah – a difficult word to translate directly – we’ve read a few versions. Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of hygge. It’s all about celebrating the small pleasures in life of which the home is an integral part – especially at this time of year. We’ll be spending much more time indoors in the coming months – and the shortening days means stocking up on the coal, logs and candles to facilitate our Hygge!

Watts & Co church candles and packaging

Watts & Co offered us some of their church candles to try, so of course we were very appreciative. A lovely selection arrived this week, beautifully wrapped in string & brown paper with elegant, lavender-coloured labels.

Watts & Co church candles packaging and label

Tradition and quality are the corner stones of this family-run company. Based in Westminster, they’ve been supplying ecclesiastical accessories since 1874.

Collection of Watts & Co church candles

Their candles are hand made in England using natural beeswax, which burns for almost twice as long as paraffin wax – and they’re a lovely cream colour rather than the stark white of cheaper candles. Beeswax also tends to burn more cleanly, without dripping or giving off smoke or soot – imparting a rich, warm glow to a room.

Lit Watts & Co church candles in an antique mirrored candle sconce

There’s something enchanting about fairy lights, the flames of real fires and flickering candles – they add such a magical atmosphere to the house. They soften hard surfaces such as stone with their glow – and nothing brings out the patina in wood like candlelight.

Lit Watts & Co church candle giving a warm glow to a stone wall

You just want to snuggle in, read a book, watch a film, eat nice food, drink a glass of wine… and generally slow down a bit.

Antique spiral candle holder with antique puzzle jug

We’ve got antique candle holders & sconces dotted all over the house. In fact, we never let a nice ones escape if we come across them at auction or markets these days. We’ve even started acquiring other candle related items such as storage boxes, match holders, snuffers and dowsers – so every room has items easy to hand.

Lit Watts & Co pillar candle with church candles with antique candle dowsers

The holders all take different-sized candles; luckily, all can be found on the attractive Watts & Co website. Amongst the church supplies, you’ll also find other products that will suit domestic interiors – we’ll be trying some of their gorgeous incense for sure.

Lit Watts & Co pillar candle with church candles in an antique mahogany apothecary drawer

We’re prepared, stocked up and looking forward to autumn. It’s a glorious season and we love it!

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In the Spotlight

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Mole Richardson vintage spotlight

We bought this fabulous vintage spotlight this week. It could have been used in the theatre, film or early TV studio. What a great looking object!

Mole Richardson vintage spotlight on a wooden tripod

It combines a Mole-Richardson lamp with a wooden tripod base. They probably didn’t start life together, but they make perfect partners. It has a sculptural presence and is very striking indeed – helped by the huge scale of course. It’s photographed here in our lounge, but it certainly has the size to suit a large loft space too.

logo detail on a Mole Richardson vintage spotlight

We’ll probably put this in our antiques centre space as it’s the kind of thing that needs viewing & transporting in person. Worth a trip to Todmorden?

Light show

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collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

A couple of weeks ago Justin bought one of these vintage industrial lights at Todmorden flea market.

collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

As he turned to walk away someone who’d been standing next to him at the stall tapped him on the shoulder. He said that he had quite a collection of similar lamps at home, would he be interested in buying any more?

detailed view of vintage industrial light

Yes!

pair of vintage industrial lights

He arrived the following week with a cardboard box full of these gorgeous vintage task lights. They’ve got such a great look – industrial & almost sculptural.

collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

They’re well designed, robust and functional – and the grippers mean they’re very flexible with regards to positioning. Perfect in the kitchen, office, craft or sewing area.  Anywhere you need a good, clear task light.

Lavender Lamp

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detailed view of a lavender coloured vintage rocket lamp

We’ve had lots of these 1960s rocket lamps over the years… usually orange or cream.

lavender coloured vintage rocket lamp in Picture House Antiques

This is the first purple one.

detailed view of a lavender coloured vintage rocket lamp showing its pink bulb

The lamp has teak legs and a spun fibreglass shade in lavender/lilac.

lit up lavender coloured vintage rocket lamp in Picture House Antiques

It was added to our Picture House Antiques pitch at the weekend… it’s perfect for that funky bachelorette pad!