I have been pretty lucky in the sense that my parents have been willing to pass some of their old furniture on to me. I am also fortunate that a lot of these items can have a second life with a coat of paint of new fabric.
To be fair, I am no professional so they definitely have their imperfections but that also makes them more unique.
It is amazing to me how different a lamp can look going from a dusty brass lamp with an old pleated shade to a more modern, matte ivory lamp with a flat black shade.
The lamp that I spruced up is one that I remember sitting on the table next to the phone in the living room when I was a kid. I like seeing pieces from my childhood in my home, brought into my adult life with a little TLC.
I was a bit of a blonde when I forgot to take a before picture. The lamp was just its base when I inherited it, not even a lamp harp to put a shade on.
I gave it a good wash with a rag & dish soap. The next day I got out a spray paint w/ primer that is specific for metals. Rotating the lamp as I swept the spray from top to the bottom (at an angle) gave it a good first coat. I was giddy with excitement as the appearance changed before my eyes. I am so happy that I went with a matte off white/ivory.
The next day I stopped by the hardware store on my way home from work and picked up at lamp harp for just under $5.00. The lampshade that I got was $19.00 at Wal-Mart. Once I applied a 2nd coat of paint and let it dry, I was able to put all the pieces together.
Overall I ended up with what feels like a custom lamp for around $30.00. There is even paint left in case I find something that I want to match it with.
The more projects that I finish, the more my house feels like a home.