Roughly 10 years ago, I visited my friend Christina at her family's home in San Marcos, TX. We were, er, Juniors in high school, perhaps? I apparently (no personal recollection of this happening) admired two wall sconces she had in her bedroom, which she had fashioned out of antique wire cage light covers.
They looked something like the picture above, only she had the cage open at the bottom, and had flipped them upside down, from what you see here, to hold votive candles. I thought it was brilliant, at least that's what she tells me now. Again, I don't remember any of this first hand, but apparently I raved about them. That Christmas, I gave Christina a gift, and in return Christina tried to give me one of her wire "sconces." I refused, insisting that she then wouldn't have a pair, and they needed to stay together. This is testimony to how awesome I must have thought they were, because I'm a pretty selfish person and usually when someone offers me something I want, I take it. But if I wouldn't allow her to get rid of them, that's saying something.
Christina has felt badly about this for 10 years now. The fact that I gave her a gift, and I didn't allow her to give me one in return has bothered her ever since. This is just testimony to her generous nature, and attention to fairness, because she is still trying to give me things today. Luckily for us both, a few days ago, she finally got the chance to unburden her guilt.
Since that day, Christina has been looking for another set of these wire bulb cages to make it up to me. I had long forgotten we ever had that encounter, but had myself been hunting the past few years for something similar to use in our home. I really love accenting with industrial looking pieces. They have character, without being too prissy, and it works in old and modern homes alike. I also try to be conscientious of not making my home too girlie, for Tim's sake, and touches of steel and exposed wiring certainly help with that! (I might have to devot a whole separate post about my love of the industrial.)
I've seen multiple versions of this popping up all over at places like West Elm and Anthropologie.
Do you see that price tag? There was no way I wanted to shell out that much for just ONE of these babies. Plus, these really belong in a group, as shown above, to have the full effect. That would have been $600 to get the Anthropologie look. West Elm has a different take on this, and I had almost settled on buying it, but it just felt too big for our current home, and again... the price tag.
|via West Elm|
So funny how life makes complete circle around you sometimes. Christina and I made plans to get together a few days ago and she kept saying she had something for me. As we were running around town I happened to start talking about this industrial pendant that West Elm carried, and how I was thinking about buying, how much I loved that exposed bulb look, etc. She just started laughing. And then she told me the story I just told you. Seriously? I couldn't believe my luck!
|via for $14.99|
The cages above are almost identical to the ones she had for me, and that "look" is what I was going for as I hunted down the other pieces. Also thanks to Christina, I located the Edison style bulbs (these are not energy efficient, but create a pleasant glow which is important when you're not shading it in anyway) at West Elm. They were $15.00 which seemed a bit steep. I also found cloth covered black pendant cord sets there, for $30 a piece, which seemed lucky. Since the cords were going to be exposed all the way up to the ceiling and down the wall, I didn't want a cheap plastic cord set. So for $90 and a bit of effort, I ended up with two new pendant lights over my dinning room table. Of course, if this old house had wiring up at the ceiling, the "pendants" would look much better without a lot of extra cordage. But, for us, it will work for now.
And clearly it is time we invested in a halfway decent camera.
I love when things in my home have a great story and remind me every day of people in my life.