Today we went looking at bathroom & kitchen fixtures and afterwards were walking down Main St. past all the antique shops as I was describing my vision for our powder room. I picture it sumptuous and rich in colour & texture; a little surprise when you open the door, completely different in feel from the rest of the house (OK, so now it won't be a surprise any more) and said I could even see an ornate little chandelier, something vintage, not new. "So let's just pop into this shop right here & see if they have what I'm thinking of." Big mistake.
We popped in & fell in love with the first chandelier we saw. (Even Kim did, and he isn't usually very enthusiastic about antique or used things unless they have 4 wheels and a powerful engine) Very elaborate, Art Nouveau, with hand-blown glass shades, each signed by the artist - in 1905. Absolutely exquisite.... & right within our budget - our budget for an entire bathroom that is!
The owner was so nice; he already has an offer on it from a dealer but would rather see it go into a home - if we could beat the offer. Fat chance.
He also showed us some more pieces he'd bought from the same private collector in France: a table lamp that matches the chandelier, that he's hesitant to sell because he makes so much renting it to film production companies;
and a set of glass shades by the same artist. Just the glass parts.
They are crying to be made into pendant lamps and hung over the island in the centre of our kitchen. They would be the focal point, I would design the entire kitchen around them.
So organic they remind you that glass comes from the earth: so not-shiny; so not matchy-matchy; so not manufactured-looking; so so beautiful. So so so much money. More than the cost of a really fancy-pants kitchen faucet - each.
The chandelier I can live without (maybe) because it deserves a better home than a tiny bathroom & we don't have another suitable spot for it, but the shades would be so perfect for our kitchen. To be able to look at something in your home every day that an artist put his soul into over a hundred years ago....
I had a brain-wave on the way home: Christmas is coming, there are 4 shades, 4 of us. Do you think the boys would appreciate each getting one 102-year-old, signed, art nouveau glass light shade from France for Christmas? I mean it would be worth 2 or 3-times more than we would otherwise spend on them. Can't Shea use his old, too-small bow a little longer? Cole doesn't really want anything else, does he?
Sorry, not going to happen. And now we're spoiled: no pendant lights, no matter how fabulous, are going to look as perfect as those ones would have.
I'm going to have to stick to shops that cater to my price range. I couldn't take this every time I go shopping.