Baby Steps

Sometimes I have an idea and it just doesn’t work….

A few weeks ago I figured it would be fun to make my owl into my own version of this owl lamp.  I was so confident it would work I went ahead and bought the light kit.  It took a few weeks to find the right size shade but I finally found one.  I’ve learned to try to rig up the final look of something before I commit so I grabbed one of those plug-in light socket things and a light bulb and balanced it on the head of my owl before I drilled the hole.

I’m glad I did.  I’m not sure I like it.  Actually I do like it but, with this huge shade he’s gigantic and tall and when I turn the lightbulb on the shade become see through and I can see a light bulb silhouette.

But I do think he looks much better without that unfinished canvas behind him.  Now he owns that wall.  I still think he’s large for the scale of the room {although I love playing with scale} and I still don’t like the light bulb but, I’m not ready to declare this decision made.  I’m going to live with him like this for a while, in my room, maybe in the hall, maybe I’ll think about another place to put him.  I might end up keeping him just an owl or maybe I’ll find a shade I like better or maybe I’ll decide I love him like this.  He could very possibly sit around half put together for a month while I decide.  That’s just how I work.

Yeah, someone really needs to put that tree away. 

I have things in just about every room in my house that are in process like this.  I try to live with them or rig it up before I commit.  It’s one of the baby steps of risk.  Like painting a poster board a color and tacking it to your wall before you paint an entire wall.  Or moving an old bookshelf and laying it on its side behind the sofa to see if you like it before you buy a sofa table.

UPDATION:: I wrote this post a few weeks ago and never hit publish.  I’ve since decided that I have absolutely no place in our home to put a three-foot tall owl lamp so I returned the shade and the light kit.  I’m really glad I rigged it up first instead of going ahead and drilling a hole in the top of my owl.   Also, you’ll be happy to know that my husband put that tree up in the attic and it took me about two days to even notice.

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  1. You crack me up! I will have to admit, I didn’t notice the tree at first.
    Glad you changed your mind, I really didn’t like the owl as a lamp. Then again, I just can’t get into the owl trend!

    Can’t wait to see your new bed and what you do in your room!!


  2. I was going to tell you to paint the inside of the lamp shade navy and it should help with the light showing through, but that just seems like a silly thing to tell ya! Love your bedroom. REALLY wish the hubs would let me paint our bed white.

  3. Nester, as always, thanks for sharing more IDHTBPTBB moments with your readers. I play around so much in my house too, I will easily let things stay half finished for at least a month before I commit. Ususally, it is the threat of having peope over that gives me the impetus to decide on a design/decor dilemma!

  4. I love that you could say to yourself, “this just isn’t working for me,” and say good-bye to the lamp. So often we’re afraid to do that because we already spent the money or the time and just don’t want to admit that this isn’t what I was hoping it would be.

    And then we begin to shuffle these unloved things from room to room … but alas … there’s never just the right spot, and it finally adds to the clutter that fills our lives and gives us no pleasure.

    Thanks for giving us all permission to say “adios” to stuff that doesn’t reflect who we are …

  5. I actually liked the owl-lamp! But good for you for knowing it wasn’t what you wanted. On a side note … my boyfriend still has all his Christmas decor up! Yikes! Now it’s March!!! Silly man.

  6. So what you’re saying is… you’re normal like the rest of us? Whew! That is a relief! I once heard someone say, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!” That statement has set millions free. I’m going to go research who that great philosopher was…….

  7. Penelope says:

    The vent in your ceiling is your warm air return for your A/C. Ours is in our entryway and I usually manage not to see it, but it turns up in just about every picture I take! ARGH!
    We really need to add one to our master bedroom, but it would have to be in the ceiling, and it’s really a pretty ceiling to have a big ugly vent in….sigh.

  8. I really like your owl, but he’s too bulky/chunky to live life as a lamp. He just ends up looking like an owl who stumbled into one of your parties and had too much to drink and thought he was being a hoot by donning the lampshade.

  9. I too liked the owl lamp, but if it doesn’t make you happy, back it goes! Sort of reminds me of bringing home a new piece of clothing. Often I love it, until I cut the tag off, and can no longer return it!

  10. It’s so smart to rig it out to see if you like it first. I was thinking about putting yarn around a lampshade and instead of hot gluing it on I just tied it. I lived with it for a week and realized it looked ridiculous and I’m so glad I didn’t have to go out and buy new lamp shades for my lamps. Especially since they were brand new, and that would have been wasteful! Have a fabulous day!

  11. Yeah, that comment about the drunk owl donning the lampshade was a good one!! Ha!!
    I personally like him just as an owl – as a lamp it was a bit over the top, but then again, everyone has their own taste. I am glad you came into your own here!! Good for you that you have learned so much about decor and your self to test it out first!! Once again, great job!!

  12. You are so real! I think the owl lamp would have been very dramatic, but the shade needed to be higher up to show off his head. You could have used a lower watt bulb to eliminate the glare and, my final bit of knowledge….the shade could have been larger and perhaps covered in a modern graphic fabric. I enjoy reading what you are up to everyday!

    • That’s exactly what I thought, the shade needs to be higher and larger. And can lampshades be copperish? Copper silk?

  13. I do this all the time- think an idea is good until I get going on it and realize, not so much! Thanks for showing us the Christmas trees can still be up (I still have a few decorations in my living room- not so Christmas-y as they are holiday-y). Now that March 1 is here I’m ready to bring on Spring!

  14. You are cracking me up!!! Love that it took you two days to notice the tree gone. I think it’s because we move on in our heads, and get SO focused on the “new” things that we are busy creating, we no longer see any remnants of holidays gone by, or projects in progress. That’s how we are able to function with rooms and decor in transition. If not for tunnel vision, I know that I would go crazy!
    BTW, I had the same issue with a pair of burlap shades I brought home from World Market. The darn light bulb silhouettes SCREAMED at me every time I turned on the lamps. Those went back after two days. I don’t need to see through a shade!
    Thanks goodness you did not drill a whole in your owl’s head!

  15. I love that you didn’t notice the tree’s lack of presence! Haha.

  16. Our house is in a constant state of movement. My peeps never know where something will been when they return home. Been feeling like I never finish a thing! Perfection is pervasive!

  17. The surprised look on his face made it seem like an idea or “light bulb” had just gone off in his head. Hahaha. :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    what color is on your walls ?

  19. Whew…for a moment there I thought you meant you were getting rid of Mr. owl…..I was like WHAT? Thank goodness I read wrong. I actually thought he looked cute as a lamp…not to big for my taste.

  20. That’s funny. I do the same thing. In fact it has taken me 16 years to decide to paint my bookcases. I painted them black and just this week painted them a creamy white. My daughter says I just like to paint. Just posted on them today it?

  21. Kimberley says:

    I like your owl lamp BETTER than the one on West Elm. To solve your light bulb dilemma, try a GE Reveal brand light bulb–although do so with caution because in case you don’t know, they are more expensive and totally addicting! The light they cast is beautiful and soft for any light fixture and hopefully won’t show through the shade. I swear by these bulbs, and no, I do not work for GE! :)

  22. Haha…I love this post. LOVE.
    Constant projects, Christmas in February…
    You know …it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful…

  23. Julia P. says:

    Would your husband come put my tree up…March 1, HELLO! and by the way, all the ornaments need to come off first?!!

  24. I think your owl would have more presence if he was painted a darker color. A dark brown or eggplant. . .

  25. My Granny was into ceramics and made a huge rooster lamp that lived in the guest room; it always scared me in the middle of the night! I bet a basket of birch logs would look nice with him during the fall/winter months.

  26. Sometimes you just have to try out your idea. And if it doesn’t work, no biggie, the process was fun. I’m a big fan of mocking things up. I wrapped my fridge in paper and mocked up a butcher countertop using painting panels and cardboard.

  27. Nester…I do the same thing…rigging stuff up and living with it for a week or a month before I commit. Amazing how much that helps and how much angst/money/time is saves.

  28. I love the owl, I agree though, quite ginormous. IF it was a tad smaller, and the shade was a really neat charcoal gray color, I think it would have been stunning as a lamp.

  29. My aunt is a decorator and she always has “rigging” tricks. She told me about piling things up and using a big tray to help me decide what height I wanted my dad to make my living room tables. I like the rigging practice.

    My theory on the outlet: to hang a tv from the ceiling, like at a hospital. Nothing says master suite sanctuary like a dangling TV.

  30. I would like to say that I think it just needs tweaking. I would say find a nice colored lamp shade. I am thinking light blue, something like that. Something that will give a nice contrast to the white. Ok, also, the shade needs to be up higher then it is. Also, did you consider the shape of the shade may be what is throwing it off? A large rectangular shade would give it a nice balance.

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