My love of symmetry in decorating

April 27, 2015

I don’t shop Goodwill like I used to for so many reasons – the biggies being that I was filling my house with STUFF that I couldn’t pass up (it would be gone if I left it!) and I was tired of that. Also, as I mentioned here, the prices there have been a lot higher over the past couple of years. I think it’s in response to blogs and power of what I’m going to show you today. ;) But anyway, I used to stop in once or twice a week. Now it’s once or twice every few months.

Last week I found a few treasures, including a pair of matching brass lamps for $10 each. I know some of you hate when I paint this shiny brass, but…I don’t like shiny brass. :) I do appreciate an antiqued brass and smaller brass pieces are some of my favorite finds. But this I do not love, so I cover it! Most of the time they aren’t in great shape anyway, especially these:

painting old brass

The finish was badly crackled on both lamps, but I was hoping I could cover that up.

I started with one lamp to see if it worked so I could return the other one if not. :) I cleaned them well and then used a few coats of this primer and a couple coats of the glossy white:

spray painting a lamp

I was nervous at first and was pretty sure this was going to be a fail, because the crackle texture showed through immediately. But I kept on, hoping that my beloved spray paint would save the day yet again. And it did. :)

Why do I doubt you my love?:

white spray painted lamp

The few coats of primer really started to fill in the crackle and by the time I was done I could barely see it. If you look up close there’s a slight texture in some spots but nothing like how it started:

spray painting lamps

I was actually quite impressed and a little surprised that it actually worked. :) I went ahead with the other one and placed them on the front foyer dresser:

foyer table with white lamps

I haven’t done much with it yet other than to put the tray and a few things there, but honestly, that’s how it will stay for some time. ;) Accessorizing usually takes me forever to get just right and the older I get, the less stuff I like around.

Simple is pretty to me:

lamps and mirror on table

Here’s a pic of this dresser at Christmas after I painted it admiralty blue:

You can see that my need for symmetry won out again. I’m not kidding, it’s very hard for me to not have two lamps on a dresser. It makes me a little anxious. :)

This feels and looks SO much better to me: 

admiralty blue

Now I’m on the hunt for two more lamp shades just like these. The ones I have on there are from the family room table: everett table world market

See?? Two lamps. Ah yes.

I LOVE them on these lamps so I am hoping to find two more just like them. Which I’m finding is nearly impossible. (I’ve already looked two places.) For now I’ll leave them on there since they are the first thing you see when you walk in our house:

foyer table decor

I have hated our tile foyer basically since the day we moved in. Our designer during the build process suggested these tiles because of the gray in them, but they have looked 100 percent purple to me since day one. :)

I’m excited that they are finally going, hopefully in May. Can’t WAIT to start tearing them out! It’s going to look so much better when I’m done. Just gotta wait for the budget to allow it. Dang.

Anyway, for now I am soothed by the sweet symmetry of the matching lamps:foyer with table and bench

Here’s another before and after to show you the power of spray paint, yet again:

spray painting metal lamp

Do I need to keep reminding you? Don’t worry, I will. :)

There you go! Quick (it took me about 20 minutes start to finish) and cheap ($20 plus lamp shades eventually). Can’t beat it! Do you crave symmetry like I do? I try hard to fight it (and usually love when I’m able to) but this I like this table so much more this way.

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  1. Spray hides a myriad of sins! So far so good! I think shades with some pattern would be so pretty. Maybe a DIY w/fabric? Can't wait to see how you tackle the floor. We plan on removing "perfectly good" tile this year as well. Trying to see if there are any tricks so as not to strain our older backs so much. Hurts just thinking about it! :)

    1. I know, I'm not looking forward to that part! I've never done it before! I actually was going to do just that with the shades (cover them with fabric) but I tried one out and didn't love it. It was too much with the blue dresser. If I find the perfect fabric I may do it. :)

  2. I have a need for symmetry too! I have found the best and cheapest place for lampshades is Garden Ridge. They are so reasonable and have a huge selection.

    1. I haven't been to Garden Ridge but this is the third or fourth time I've heard about it lately...better check it out, I guess!

  3. We too are undertaking a tyle project as week as cabinets. I'm following your lead. You first!!! Lol

    1. I'm a little worried about the removal -- I feel pretty good about being about to tile, but taking them out is what worries me! :)

  4. The lamps turned out great! I know spray paint is magical but I tend to have a tough time with it and I don't know why. Excited to see what you do with the floor.

  5. I am a symmetrical type of girl too! Love how the lamps turned out. Wishing you luck in finding the shades you want.

  6. I've seen TONS of shades just like that at Ross! Good luck!!

  7. Oh--those lamps really set the blue in a perfect way!!! Love it!!!

  8. I love the white on the lamps, they look fabulous on the blue dresser. I saw some gorgeous blue and white shades at Target. Might want to check them out. They would look amazing.

    1. I saw those and love them! The blue wasn't right with the dresser unfortunately. :(

  9. I love it! I am not very good at decorating but I read so many blogs on decorating and recycled items!

  10. Oh wow! Your lamp makeover is stunning! And that blue dresser is flat out gorgeous! I have two old lamps just like that in my basement, and a boring oak credenza holding the TV in our living room. I was going to donate the lamps to Goodwill but now think I'll follow your lead and spray paint them instead. And I am soooo sick of looking at brown furniture, that credenza in particular...uh oh, there you go giving me dangerous ideas again!

  11. I did exactly the same thing with two brassy thrift store lamps that were $3 each. Their curves were so lovely, but I just couldn't handle the 90's brass. I did the project about four years ago and they are still in great shape! We use them every single night and I haven't had any issues with the paint. Great job and I love them on the blue dresser like that!

  12. I love symmetry as well! The color combo of blue and white is so crisp and fresh. I am still loving the fireplace and new island, looks great!

  13. Completely agree!! Symmetry is queen. The lamps look great!!!

  14. We apparently have the same entry way tile issue. Our entry way and the tiles around the fireplace are both this grey/purple color with touches of brown around the edges. They aren't hideous, but I have a feeling they weren't supposed to read as purple as they do! We didn't pick them out (bought an existing house built in the late 90's) and I've wondered how much it would cost to change them, but I'll probably just leave them.

  15. Those lamps look wonderful! I love a good makeover! Was just at Target, and they have lampshades similar to the ones you're looking for!

  16. I like you lamp decoration lot. Its looking luxurious. Fine decoration.

  17. I remember when I first started reading your blog years ago, how you used to shop Goodwill all the time because I used to as well.
    Now I hardly ever do because I find they don't have as much good "stuff" as they used to and I think it is because of the great blogs that share all these ideas lol!
    No, honestly I am the same way, you can have just too many things after a while and now I look around at all my cool Goodwill finds from over the years and love them as much as I did the day I found them.

  18. Nice sharing!
    Keep spreading good vibes, xoxoxo

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  20. The lamps look great! I like symmetry, too. Do you have favorite Goodwill/thrift shops around the Indy area? I used to know all the best ones around in my old state--which ones had a good selection of furniture, which ones seemed to get new stuff more often, etc. I haven't yet found a favorite here, though.


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