Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Live and Learn

I have two old lamps that I am intending to refurbish with new lampshades. Both of the old shades have a metal "spider" stretching across the top of the shade, just below the edge, that is intended to screw onto the socket that holds the bulb. Both of these lamps have bulbs that hang down, as opposed to pointing upward, from the socket.

Not so difficult, eh? You would be wrong. Nobody carries this style of shade. I can find clip on shades, but only for upward bulb sockets. I can find shades that have the right kind of fitting, but only for upward bulb sockets. I can find shades that require harps and finials. I cannot find the kind of shade I need for these two lamps.

So, I told myself, this is a job for the Internet. You can find anything on the Internet, right?

Well, yes. But first you have to figure out what to call this particular kind of lampshade. There are only about a half-million websites that sell lampshades and very few of them are any better than going to your local Wal-Mart and finding out that all you can find are shades for upward bulb sockets or for lamps with harps and finials.

So I tried Google on the phrase "custom lampshade". Finally I found what I was looking for. One very helpful website included diagrams of the various styles of lampshades you might need. The style I'm seeking is called an UNO lampshade. I have no idea why, but that's what it is. And, apparently, they are out of style. I could find no place to buy an UNO lampshade that wasn't stark white and the wrong size.

Except on those "custom lampshade" websites where you can pay a very pretty penny to have one built especially for you with the fabric of your choice.

The project has been tabled for now, because I have a theory that everything comes back around if you wait a year or so and I'm sure that UNO lampshades for downward bulb sockets will be all the rage in a few more seasons.

I'm no better off in the lampshade department, but now you and I share a little piece of esoteric knowledge to amaze our friends at the next dinner party when you spot an old lamp with an UNO lampshade. I'll bet you are the only one present who will know what to call it.


No comments: