Tuesday, 6 April 2010

industrial lighting

I have a fondness for vintage industrial style homewares - simple things with a bit of knuckle. I don't decorate in a particularly feminine way, and some might say my taste is quite masculine or at least utilitarian. I don't do florals, girly colours or that annoyingly contrived brand of shabby chic that appears in so many magazines. It makes me shudder.

I would (ceiling height permitting) like to fit some industrial/café style lamps to hang over my kitchen table or to light a loft space or studio. There are many shops out there who sell light fittings like this, but I like the ones that appear in period hardware shops such as Period Features, Holloways of Ludlow and Willow and Stone. Some of them lean a bit too far in the shabby chic direction - you have to be careful what else you put in the room or it can look a bit twee - but I think they can be used very effectively to give a clean, smart look.

(Clockwise from top left) I'm not too sure about green - I prefer white/grey/raw metal - but these green lamps from Holloways of Ludlow, £89, or (if you're crazy) Pedlars for £175, are suitably masculine.

If you want the real vintage deal, check out these (and other amazing options) from Trainspotters £75 +vat. Or if you are particularly wealthy :-) how about these for £240 +vat?

This cafe style lamp, made in Wales, appears in lots of shops. It is cheapest from Welsh metalware shop, Gwyneira, for £41.10, but is also available for £48.00 at Pedlars again if you're into overpriced goods :-)

There is a particularly good selection of styles at Holloways of Ludlow, including this spun aluminium pendant, £115.00. It also comes in other colours and there are lots of styles to choose from.

You could even fit some vintage style light switches from Period Features if you are feeling particularly retro. Similar available at Holloways.

Gwyneira also stocks this raw aluminium lamp, £46.03, which is available in cream or red too. You can find the same lamp (for a bit more money) at Willow and Stone, but I like the shade of grey on the Battersea light, £50.

I don't mean to write negative things about Pedlars, their products are lovely but I just think their stuff is a bit expensive. Absolutely fine if you are a city-dwelling sort who likes to shop in Notting Hill or Selfridges, where they have shops, and you can't be bothered to hunt around for things or to rummage at antiques fairs, but I like to source my own junk :-)


  1. My old house had lightswitches like that (in the shed and cellars etc.). This was because the circuitry was actually way over the date it should have all been redone...I like the clunk feeling you get when you turn them on.

    Even the normal house lightswitches were sort of curved-hard to describe as I've not seen them in many houses (probably because everyone actually replaced them...).

    The best switchy things are those servants bell systems you see in old houses. I've never felt a desire to be rich or own a big house but those servant bell things and hidden corridors always appealed!

  2. Your old house sounds amazing, if a little scary :-) and I know what you mean about the clunk - that's the joy of them!

    Yeah, I don't really want servants or a massive house either :-) Just one that's big enough for a good party weekend!

  3. I wouldn't say the old house was amazing. I'd say it could have been amazing but my family are not really very good at DIY so it sort of resembled a 70s time-warp crossed with old stone cottage charm.

    It had some features that are very trendy now (cellars complete with stone table and little hollows for wine storage, outbuildings-even an old pig-sty, land with our own hedgerow etc. etc.).

    But it also had some really bad (and very hard to remove) "modern" updates completely out of character-fake chimneys and beams (even though there were also real beams!!!), stairs boxed in with chipboard etc.And our own taste in decor was kinda chintzy.

    I think the guy who bought it is ripping everything out, but he is crazy, so I'm not sure he'll do that great a job really. It was home, but not the best of houses, so I'm glad dad now lives in a new build. Different houses suit different people at different times.

    But yeah, buy somewhere big enough for parties-as if I get anywhere its going to be a studio or 1 bed which will be crap for parties (unless I hang everyone from hammocks). I'll do my best to host stuff for once though!

  4. f*** sorry, I'm virtually blogging on your blog.

    I should probably resurrect my blog (am in two minds about whether it is compatible with my job) or better still, go do some work!

  5. :-) virtual blogging here is fine. I was wondering what happened to your blog.

    Your old house sounds like the kind of thing I'd like to buy. I would probably regret it, though, because whilst I like the fantasy of renovating a house I think the reality might be a lot tougher, and I will find it hard to live with the cold/damp/leaks/crumbling walls/rubbish plumbing/mould...