when we first looked at our house, i really appreciated that fixtures, albeit some of them on the cheap and ugly side, matched. we had the same builder’s grade nipple lights in both bedrooms and a classier version (more swirls) in the entryway. these fixtures will run you about $20 at home depot and are the 2010 equivalent of that frosted glass square found in every rental property ever. but, they matched. the only thing worse than cheap and ugly is cheap and ugly and random.
but up until now, two and a half years in, i hadn’t been able to find any replacement fixtures that were cheap and not ugly. if you’ve ever searched “surface mount” options at home depot, you’ll know why. i found about a hundred lights i loved at schoolhouse electric when i was sourcing bathroom fixtures, but one $500 light in the house is quite enough.
i’ve slowly replaced all our light fixtures — ugh, actually there are more like three $500 lights in the house now that i think about it — and the two bedroom nipple lights are the last to go.
i found these vanadin lights at ikea for $24.99 and kind of love them a lot; they’re a little art deco and have a real milk glass quality to them. best of all, i didn’t have to pay a c.o.d. fee or retrofit any wiring. despite being brand new — i’d never seen them before this past weekend, but i bet they’ll turn up in the 2014 catalogue — i think they really suit the age of the house, which was built in 1941.
excuse the “before” shot — apparently i hated the nipple light in the master bedroom so much i excluded it from most photographs and i didn’t have many to choose from.
late sunday night — after dark — pierre decided he’d hook one of them up for me. not really thinking about having to turn off the power (his source of light) until after he’d already removed the old fixture from the ceiling. so, shirtless, wearing cut-off jean shorts, a flipped-up baseball cap with a miner’s light attached to the brim, he hung this light in 45 minutes. no photo unfortunately; he’d only let me take one for “private use.” but, a far cry from the five hours it took us to replace the nipple light in the foyer a year and a half ago, especially considering he did it in the dark this time!
we’re also continually grateful that when we remove fixtures of any kind we find neat, tidy, new wiring awaiting us. kind of amazing in an 73-year-old house and not a nicety we take for granted.
you can just barely see its teat in these ones…but yes, we also replaced the nipple light in the studio.