The living room lamp situation

Living room, Nov 14

I’m the opposite of homesick right now. Jamie and I are in New York, and concepts like “summer” and “Australia” feel so distant and foreign. Not in a bad way, mind you. I’m just so immersed in my immediate environs (which is: my friend Stephen’s teeny-weeny NYC apartment) that it feels weird to think that I have this whole house, waiting for me, existing.

Loveseat nook

I like our living room, but there’s always more we want to do. Jamie wants floating shelves that’ll give our cat a fun place up high to explore. I want a new media console because this one is junky laminate. We want modern light fixtures. One day, I’d like to add a brick or stone veneer column around the gas heater. Et cetera. That’s all just part and parcel of having our place.

Contemporary Living Room modern-living-room

Living Room eclectic-living-room

I don’t want a time-capsule midcentury-style living room — which is good, because that’s obviously not the sort of house I live in — but they inspire me regardless. The graceful, streamlined forms speak to me, as do the warm colour palettes of the ‘50s through ‘70s. Yet I also love the minimal white space in the second photo, which has enough raw material (wood, stone) to provide a sense of warmth. They’re both lovely.

Living room, arc lamp

When your home doesn’t have interesting architecture, as mine doesn’t, it becomes all about the colours, materials, textures and objects. Which brings me back to my living room.

One thing I wanted to change was the floor lamp. This corner needed an arc lamp, since there wasn’t enough breathing room behind the giant comfy couch. But I didn’t want something too large, nor something too cliche. What’ll it be? I dislike the overwhelming majority of lights out there, so, thanks to my entirely arbitrary fussiness, it took a while to come to a decision.

Arc lamp options
1 / 2

These guys were on my shortlist. 1. The basic chrome dome. I like it. 2. A shorter arc lamp with a shade. I liked its shallower profile and midcentury-inspired base.

Black arc lamp and palm

Ultimately I went with this matte black guy, the Oriel Dome Arc Lamp. The size is great. I’m not trying to sell product, I certainly didn’t get comped on this, but I’m happy to say that this lamp has done well. The dome lighting is obviously directional, not ambient, but it provides enough light on its own for TV time in the evenings.

It’s sleek, even sexy. It also keeps my kentia palm Clive Palmer company.

Dining table area

The original floor lamp moved to the other side of the room, providing ambient light to that area, which didn’t have it before. It feels more complete. I don’t know. Yes and no.

NYC apartment

So yeah, the living room is my happy, chill-out space, and bit by bit it’s coming along. Meanwhile, here’s a photo from my current digs: Stephen’s adorable apartment, in a turn-of-the-century building in Manhattan. I have so – much – more to share about traveling, but I can process it all later. My house will be waiting for me.

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