Posts by Amy Gearin
Hi! I am Amy and I am
the Restored Lighting Specialist here at Rejuvenation. Growing up in a family home built in 1893
gave me plenty of time to day dream about design and I began to fall in love
with all things old. After some time in
our wonderful retail store here in Portland, I made the move over to our
Restored Antiques department and have been learning and enjoying every day
Straw Opalescent glass shades
Ever since I started working in the Restored Antiques department, I have been in love with Straw Opalescent glass shades. So much so that I keep all of them right outside my office to drool over every time I walk by. I love them for many reasons – the variation in shape, the quality of the glass, the strange opaqueness, their fascinating history – but mostly because the color is so modern looking. It’s almost hard to believe that this glass was made more than 100 years ago.
I have to admit that while appreciating them is easy, in the past I’ve struggled with where to use them. I grew up in an 1893 Victorian farmhouse, which would be a perfect fit for these highly decorative, turn-of-the-century lovelies. Over the years, I tried to talk my parents into using some Straw Opalescent glass, but the more I pushed it, the more I realized that no matter how “period-correct” the glass was, and how gorgeous it might have looked, it just wasn’t right for them. Note to owners of Victorians: this just may be what you’ve been waiting for to really make your home both period-authentic and unique.
Lately, design and decorating trends have leaned toward the eclectic, and mixing modern and antique pieces in the same space is no longer unseemly. This makes me very happy, because I can now unabashedly recommend Straw Opalescent glass as a stylish accent, not just a historically accurate one. Not to mention, they look a little bit neon when unlit, which is a great way to lend a contemporary or mid-century modern room a fresh jolt of color. Side note: Under black light it really looks neon, though I know chances are good you don’t have a black light.
I love Straw Opalescent glass paired with navy, dark teal, and deep wood tones; as the highlight in a minimal white and gray room; and, of course, in over-the-top Victorian homes. No matter what type of room you use it in, Straw Opalescent is likely to become the focal point. Prepare to be impressed — it’s really quite magical when lit.
I forgot to turn on the flash when taking the photo of this c1905 fixture. This bulb is just a double-loop carbon-filament bulb, but the curves of the shade and variation of the glass bounce the reflections around in a wonderful way.
With a flash, the shade above looks as it would lit during the daytime.
I love the idea of this big, beautiful c1910 fixture over a table in a really industrial and neutral kitchen.
I really wanted to put together this special assortment of Straw Opalescent shades – and the fixtures thats how them off – so you can see this amazing glass in a whole new way
Take care and I hope that you enjoy this glass as much as I do.
Back in November, we restored a ton of antique slipper-shade fixtures and I wrote a little blog post about their beauty, rarity, and unfortunately what happens when a shade breaks. In response, I received dozens of emails from customers looking for replacements, as well as, customers sharing stories and images of their personal slipper-shade fixtures and how much they loved them.
Since it was such a popular subject, we decided to do it again. Except this time we expanded the theme to include a variety of fixtures that were made during the Art Deco era. (Of course, we also released more slipper-shade fixtures – just for fun.) When I started delving into our shelves of catalogs, I was delighted at how many fixtures were made during this era. And although different than slipper-shade fixtures, they were equally as exciting. Below is my favorite from this collection.
Take a look at what our company historian, Bo Sullivan, has to say about this little beauty. His explanation is awesome and made me love it even more, but really I love it because it is super cute. And although green shades sometimes cast a slightly strange hue, this one is warm and fantastic.
This collection of Art Deco lights is really lovely and you can take a look at it on the New Arrivals section of our Restored Antiques. I would love to hear what you think of these fabulous lights and see photos of your own Deco lights. It is always so much fun to see these lights installed in people’s homes and to see images of lights that I have seen in catalogs, but only dreamed of seeing in real life. If you have one of these awesome Art Deco lights and wouldn’t mind sharing an image, I would be so grateful if you would send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all so much, and I really hope you enjoy this collection.
If you’ve ever talked to me about buying one of our antique lights, you’ve probably heard me say, “I am so excited for you, that’s one of my favorites!” It’s true, I say that a lot. And — I know — that’s a lot of favorites, but quite simply they are ALL my favorites for different reasons. Sometimes it’s because the fixture was super challenging to restore, or maybe because it reminds me of my parent’s Victorian home. Sometimes the fixture is really interesting and maybe a little bizarre. Often it’s just because they’re just pretty. Slipper shade fixtures fall into almost all of these categories, but mostly they’re my favorites because they are really stunning.
Slipper shade fixtures were made from around 1929 to the late 1930s, with the peak of their popularity between 1930 and 1935. There were a lot of different styles of lighting at the time — everything from modernistic Art Deco to Medieval-looking Romance Revival fixtures — and slipper shade fixtures really embraced most of the era’s styles.
Although they can really go anywhere, my favorite place for these is in dining rooms with lower ceilings. They really give you the opportunity to have an impressive and often ornate chandelier in rooms that are traditionally too small for such grand fixtures. That’s because they are properly scaled for bungalows and cottages that were built in that era. One of the best parts is that when you are sitting at the dining room table and look up you see lovely detailed shades instead of a light bulb (this is probably why they were originally called ‘shaded lights’).
Over the past couple of years I have been chipping away at organizing our collection of antique slipper shade fixtures. It has taken so long because there were so many manufacturers that produced these fixtures and they all had shades made to fit only their line of fixtures. Part of the reason I made the decision to organize this collection was to restore them and share them with all of you, but the other reason was to be able to help customers find replacement shades. Over the years I have received too many emails to count from customers whose beloved slipper shade fixture was missing a shade. I truly understand how heartbreaking it can be: I still have a tremendous number of fixtures that are missing shades that I would love to complete.
This is one example: super organic and a little weird – I so wish that I had two more shades (by the way, if you have any of these shades lying around, let me know. I would love to buy them from you).
As beautiful and wonderful as these fixtures are, I do have a warning for anyone who falls in love with them. You probably figured it out by now, but finding replacement shades can be very difficult. Luckily, I might be able to help. If you have a slipper shade fixture that was missing a shade when you got it, or which you accidentally knocked with a broom handle, please feel free to email me a photo of the shade and the fixture and I will be happy to see what I can do for you. My email address is email@example.com and I hope that I can help.
Thanks for reading, and I really hope that you enjoy looking at our new group of antique slipper shade fixtures that can be found on the ‘New Arrivals’ page of the Restored Antiques.
Take care, Amy Gearin
In our Old Stuff department we just posted a wonderful assortment of beautiful painted shades with embellished antique pendants. When I start looking through our shelves of old shades and fixtures to restore, I also take some time to look through old catalogues to see what different lighting companies were producing during different time periods. This time I was looking at pendants from the 20s and 30s when I ran across a catalogue page of an antique flush mount fixture with a painted shade and realized I had just the right components to make this fixture a reality. This page is from the 1929 Gill Glass and Fixture Company.
1929c Gill Glass & Fixture Company
The original finish on the fixture I found was, unfortunately, too far gone, but our talented craftsmen were able to repaint it, beautifully and authentically. Thanks to them this is now fully restored, complete with lovely pink sparkles.
The fixture fully restored
If you are looking for a pendant, the New Arrivals page of our Old Stuff Department is full of some of the most lovely painted shades from the 20s and 30s. This one is my favorite, but if you have a chance, please take a look at our other Old Stuff New Arrivals to see just how spectacular these shades (and their fixtures) are and find your own favorite.
Cutest Shade Ever
The question that I am asked most often in the Restored Antiques Department is, “Where do you get all this stuff?” The answer is simple – everywhere. When I first started working in this department I quickly realized that my little corner of our factory held an incredible collection of antique lights. Looking through the racks sometimes feels like looking through history- not only the history of lighting, but also our company’s history. Some of these fixtures were purchased in the early days and have been waiting for the perfect piece or shade to complete the fixture, others have been purchased by Nigel and our salvage department here in Portland. Typically I know what is coming, but sometimes Nigel sends over items that I don’t know about. These are my favorite surprises – it’s like opening the most amazing presents every week. One day a box was delivered from Nigel and when I opened it, I saw the most adorable tiny metal shade ever (thanks Nigel). I think it took me all of five minutes to run upstairs to the product development team holding this tiny shade in my hands asking them to please reproduce this cutest shade ever…
Lucky for me, they did. Our reproduction of this little shade is fantastic and comes in several painted and metal finishes. As great as this new little shade is, sometimes it is fun to have the chance to mix sizes, shapes and the roughness of the old enamel fixtures with these little guys. Now is the opportunity to take a look at an awesome group of Restored Antique enamel fixtures in the New Arrivals Section of our Restored Antiques. Most of these fixtures still have the original porcelain enamel finish and some that we did just for fun.
I hope that you take a look and enjoy this grouping as much as I enjoyed compiling it. -Amy