I get a many emails with questions about items I show – where I got it, or where something like it might be bought. So today, I am going to try to answer the most frequently asked questions. One thing I own that I’m repeatedly asked about is the pair of lampshades in my family room. These paper shades show the famous antique map of Paris and were bought in Houston at Watkins Culver. Unfortunately, they weren’t inexpensive - an impulse buy paid for with funds I had recently made on a design job. In other words, it was money that was burning a hole in my pocket. Sssshhh – don’t tell Mr. Slipper Socks Man!! Truthfully, I’m too embarrassed to say what I paid for these, even though it was two or three years ago – but I suppose they were worth it – they still look brand new and I still adore them. Watkins and Culver had some in stock the last time I was there, but the inventory was very low.
I love these too – they remind me of mine, but I think these are much better looking – this sunroom is in Carol Glasser’s former house.
After this picture was posted last week, I received several emails inquiring about these lamp shades. This room, designed by the incredibly talented and much in-demand designer from Dallas, Shannon Bowers, has shades that are similar to Glasser’s. I’m crazy about these and apparently you were too, judging from the emails. I only wish I knew where they were from, but the answer is – I don’t have any idea. I’m sure they were custom made by an artist working on a small scale and who sold them to an antique or specialty decor store.
Other shades I adore are these Fortuny shield shades. These can be found at Maison de Provence in New Orleans. In Houston, Ronnie Jubula makes fabulous drum shaped lamp shades out of Fortuny (along with the best candles!) If you love Fortuny and need a lamp shade, Ronnie’s the man to call : 713-523-6838.
For clients I usually make custom shades out of a fabric used in the room – like in The Tanglewood House bedroom. I used the toile to cover the drum shade here. I think it adds a custom touch to a room, especially a bedroom. My partner, Monica Hancock, is the one who manages all my soft goods, curtains, bedding, pillows, etc. and she handles the lamp shades. To reach Monica for a fabric shade, call 832-443-1931. Her prices are very reasonable. Hi Mimi!!!
In this bedroom, I covered the Blanc d’Ivoire sconces in the toile fabric for a little extra detailing. Monica Hancock, again, fabricated the shades, bedding, and curtains.
So, what are good alternatives to interesting shades at a great prices? These shades are new at Pottery Barn and I think they are fabulous looking! Made of thick parchment showing a map of San Francisco, they come in three sizes and are just $29 - $49! A steal!
Also new at Pottery Barn are these linen-cotton shades with silk grosgrain ribbon. Again three sizes, and again $29 to $49.
Pottery Barn – these natural fiber shades would be fabulous in a family room or library: three sizes, and yes, $29 - $49.
Target gets into the burlap craze with a lamp shade for just $19.99. Don’t worry, by Thanksgiving, there will lots more burlap goods at Target, but for now, these shades are it. Go here for more information.
And speaking of burlap, of course, Pottery Barn is already well into the craze – these pillows are proof. If you are looking for just a little taste of the trend, this is the perfect way to whet your appetite for burlap without spending a fortune you’ll regret next year.
After the lamp shades, I’ve gotten many emails asking about my new lantern. I bought mine at M. Naeve and she just got a new shipment in, but I think she might have just one left, if at all. They tend to sell very quickly Margaret told me. Where can you buy reproductions of French antique lanterns? I found a few sources:
This is a good size and a fairly good reproduction. From Bellacor, here. It’s hard to find an authentic reproduction lantern that is large and at a reasonable price. This is high at $629, but it is large enough to make a presence. I kept looking for something less expensive.
This is a good looking lantern to bring indoors – from Shades of Light catalogue here. This lantern is less expensive, but it is small. It would be good over a kitchen table or island or sink. It’s not big enough to handle a large family room, though.
From CSN Lighting, here, – this is good looking and very large and at a very good price at $297. After looking at 1,000s of lanterns, this one was probably the best looking for the size and price!
The third item that I get many questions about is my dining room fixture. Not my light fixture in particular – but one like it. What is it exactly? While mine was sold to me as an antique, I have my sincere doubts about that. Whenever any antique suddenly floods the market, it tends to get my antennae up, although this one was bought around 5 years ago. But still. Today, you can find pricey “antiques” like this everywhere you look, whereas several years ago, you never saw these. The style is Italian – if you look closely, the middle is actually a candlestick upside down. Or, that is what it is supposed to be: damaged, burned candlesticks from the churches turned into chandeliers. The true antiques are quite gorgeous, with peeling paint and chipped wood. They are delicate and feminine with all the scrolling iron work and dangling tassels. I bought mine from a friend who was redecorating, so I got it at a good price, but still – how can you get this look without paying a fortune? That’s a good question and one I am asked probably at least once a week. The problem is that even the reproductions are pricey!
Is it old or a reproduction – I can’t tell, can you?
Houston interior designer Carol Glasser had a beautiful Italian chandelier in her former living room. I’m sure hers is authentic.
Gerrie Bremermann’s fixture. Surely hers would be antique, right?
This is being sold on 1st Dibs as a 19th century antique. Yet if you read the description closely – it says:
Antique Elements (antique elements!) A large impressive decorative French 9 arm candle chandelier comprised of antique wooden elements with painted and gilt metal. $7,000.
This just amazes me – it’s not an antique chandelier. It’s elements put together and called a 19th century chandelier. And the price! This is why I would never buy an antique one – they just aren’t! Almost every description of an “antique” says “antique elements!”
Tara Shaw’s – admitted - new chandelier. For much less than the supposed antiques, it does need electrifying. Hers is a beauty – it comes in large and extra large versions. Why pay for an antique that isn’t an antique?
This Curry and Co. fixture, new, of course, is quite beautiful – but even this is expensive for $1,550. Here.
This great reproduction is only $799 here!!! It’s not large, but it is a great way to get the look at a fraction of the cost. Be sure to look at all the Italian chandeliers this company sells.
The only versions I found anywhere that are somewhat reasonable are the Aidan Gray copies. This one here, is $1350, again no bargain but not nearly expensive as the phony old ones.
This Aidan Gray is $1350 retail here, cheaper than the Curry and Co. but still not quite cheap!
We used the Aidan Gray fixture in the Tanglewood House dining room.
Judging by the amount of emails I get about this fixture, and the fact that Aidan Gray is totally sold out of the Italian Chandeliers, someone could make a fortune by producing a chandelier like this for what it really is worth! If someone could make this at a retail cost of $700 or $800, which is probably very reasonable, they would be a millionaire! Artie, from Color Outside the Line is actually making this fixture. He isn’t through with it yet, so he wasn’t ready for me to show it to you, but I can’t wait to see how it looks when he is finished. If he lets me, I’ll show you how he did!
And finally – I buy these silicone tipped light bulbs for all my sconces and chandeliers. They tend to run high, but recently I found these, here, for almost $1.30 each! I stocked up on them. If you go on the internet, you will find these same bulbs for anywhere from $2. up to $6.oo a piece! So $3.94 for three is a really great price. I prefer these bulbs to the kind you get in the grocery stores because with the silicone tip, the bulb is softer looking and more flame like. If you have never used these bulbs, give them a try – you won’t go back to the regular chandelier bulbs again!
I hope these sources help if you are one of those with questions about some of the things you have seen on Cote de Texas. I tried to find realistically priced copies – but it wasn’t always easy! If I missed something, or you have a better source, please send it in to me! Thank you all, as usual for your support!