In the corner of our living room, there sat a tall black, steel floor lamp. The lamp, easily assembled by twisting together the segmented parts of its base, had a large black shade inverted to illuminate a large area in soft light.
Unfortunately, the years and moves have not been kind to this poor living room fixture. For the past couple of years, the lamp has shined a light from an awkward angle due to one of the segments being stripped on the inside. To say it’s on its last and only leg isn’t far from the truth.
While waiting for the next bus, the husband and I popped into a Habitat for Humanity Restore. Being it was my first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I guess I was under the impression that they resold sinks, window frames, doors or even the nuts and bolts. I guess I was expecting more of a Home Depot-ish thrift store. But that was hardly the case.
Restores are , a nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. We found tables, entertainment centers similiar to ones found in hotel rooms, buffet tables and couches in addition to the Home Depot-ish items.
It was here that we were inspired to replace our floor lamp with something higher. In one area of the store, there were pendant hanging lamps swinging from the ceiling beams. These elegant lighting fixtures featured glass lamp shades made from various colors of stained glass wrapped in fine copper/aluminum foil similiar to the Tiffany Style. From flowers to birds, the lamps offered a wide range of styles and colors to blend into any home decor theme.
For less than $40 dollars, the two of us purchased a flower-themed hanging lamp, some wiring and a new inline switch. Using a ceiling hook already in place, we hung our new lamp that not only brighten the room, but also our home decor.
What I learned is that the key to thrift or resale stores is to go in with an open mind. Rather than looking for what you need, the gems are discovered when you are just looking for inspiration. Sometimes it just takes going into a different store.
Go out. Be inspired.