Lamp Makeover

Remember this picture from the Spring Has Sprung post?

ikea stockholm rug, blue velvet couch, picasso line drawing, silver tray, ikat curtains

Let’s focus on the lamps for a moment. I have had a this pair of lamps (acquired from HomeGoods) for a long time, and I’ve loved them. They’ve been a classic, understated presence in the room. But lately I’ve been yearning to lighten up our surroundings, especially with the weather turning warm. And then I saw the fateful layout in the Wisteria catalog:

Hello Lover.

I’m not going to lie. It was love at first sight. Granted, they have a white couch and white-painted floors, which serve as a bright and fresh canvas for all those glorious shades of blue. But even without replacing the couch (which I absolutely wouldn’t do because I love it) or painting the floors (which Husband has forbidden me to do), I could still strive to approximate the beachy loveliness in that layout. And in an ironic twist, I realized that I could marry my disparate variations of blue by bringing in yet another shade.

Boom. This can of spray paint was the answer to my prayers. For the record this is Rustoleum Painter’s Touch, Ultra Cover Aqua, in a satin finish. Although it’s difficult to see here, it is very close to a Tiffany Box blue. It  is light and bright, with just the right amount of green.



But before I could get painting, I had some prep work to do. As I become more of an adult, I realize how important preparation is to the success of a project. When my Honey and I were first married (almost 8 years ago), I used to slap paint on completely un-prepped walls – often sealing in spiders like little arachnid Hans Solos. Now, I know that your results are only going to be as good as your prep. Oh who am I kidding, I was painting wooden furniture without primer as of a few weeks ago. Anyway, now that I’m officially an adult (as of today) here’s how I readied the lamps for their makeover:

  1. Gave them each a light sanding with a sanding block (with a fine grit).
  2. Cleaned them thoroughly to remove any dust.
  3. Allowed them to dry.
  4. Taped over the bits I wanted to remain unpainted. Wow. I just accidentally typed “repain unmainted.” That’s a sign of genius right? Ha.
  5. Sprayed them with two, nice even coats of primer.

Living in perfect harmony. . .

Then it was time for the fun stuff: COLOR! I looooooooved changing up the look of the lamps, but the moment I had applied two coats of the Rustoleum aqua I started to feel insecure. Was it turquoise enough?? Referring back to the inspiration photo, I wanted something like the light colored aqua lacquer tray. I wasn’t so sure about what I had ended up with. So after the gym, I begged my sweet Love to pull into the fire lane at Lowe’s so I could see what colors they had. In a record 5 minutes later I was back in the passenger seat with a can of Valspar oasis (at least I think that was the name).

oasis on the left, aqua on the right

The lamps got the Valspar treatment, and then I left them in the Sun Room (oh, poor Sun Room- I promise I haven’t abandoned you.) to cure for a day. Unfortunately, upon bringing them in I realized they were way to close to the dining room wall color. (Sad violin music)

Benjamin Moore cool blue

The whole point of this was to bring in a different shade of blue – NOT to play the matchy matchy game with the predominant hue in the house. Alright troops, time to retreat. Since the Valspar came in gloss, I had to completely sand down the finish before painting them, yet again, in Rustoleum aqua. Whew. I’m getting tired just writing this. But it was all worth it in the end! After restoring them to the gorgeous light turquoise color, they got a couple of coats of Valspar high gloss lacquer spray. And here’s how they look now (after curing and off-gassing for a couple days):


And the other one. . . with some lovely Ranunculus in the foreground. Doesn't that flower name sound like a word made up by a rapper? "Man that shiz is Ranunculus." In classier news, I've brought over my beloved flow blue plate into the vignette on the right hand side of the couch.

Here's a little peek at the Roman Shade I've been working on! It is still (I'm ashamed to admit) a work in progress, but I'm going to spill all the details this week. It was inspired by the black edged roman shades from the last House Beautiful.

Click here to see all the inspiration from House Beautiful April 2012. So, far it’s inspired a matte white lamp makeover and a Sun Room facelift.

So, that’s the current state of the living room. Of course you know me I can never leave well enough alone always want to keep zhuzhing and changing things. And one important thing stands out in the inspiration photo.

Lots and lots of delicious, bright white. I know I said I wouldn’t touch the couch and am not allowed won’t paint the floor, but what about slipcovers for the club chairs????

I’m in the midst of exploring if this is even going to be feasible with our high-backed “Hemingway” club chairs, but I’m going to try. And if you want to drool over some amazing slipcover work check out Sherry’s couch over at Design Indulgence. Holy moly. This girl has impeccable style and knows good craftsmanship when she sees it. Plus, she’s hilarious and seems like a fun person with which to share a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

Anyway – I hope I can find slipcovers that will work! Once I get a thought in my mind. . . Of course if anyone has been particularly pleased with a very inexpensive, but high quality white club chair slipcover, please comment with the details. Also, if anyone has found the holy grail, please comment with the details.

We made it to Wednesday! Holla y’all!


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About C.A.

I'm the daughter of a Marine and a "Bond Girl" type of mom who bestowed upon me a wealth of wisdom. I want to bring that courage, purpose, intelligence, resourcefulness, glamour and joie-de-vivre into every aspect of my life.
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19 Responses to Lamp Makeover

  1. keri says:

    “Sealing in spiders like little arachnid Hans Solos”…HAHAHA!!!!!
    Love it C.A! The room looks so fresh and current now. It’s inspired me to lighten things up in our living room. I’m about to paint the back of our bookshelves the Farrow & Ball “Pitch Blue” to add a punch of color, and am looking for a marlin to hang up above the fireplace(thoughts?). I am also looking for slip covers for my settee’s so if you do come across some well priced ones, let me know.

    Keep it up Agent 99! Your shiz ranuculus!!!

    • C.A. says:

      Just Googled the paint color. GORGEOUS!!!!! That is going to look so amazing with your ikat pillows! And I absolutely LOVE the idea of a marlin above the fireplace. Shake things up! I think mixed with your antiques it will look dynamic and amazing!!! :)

  2. susan seagroves says:

    spent a wonderful evening with your parents last night:) beautiful outdoor setting!!!

    another idea for inexpensive lamps is to go to michael’s craft store, buy two large
    woven basket vases…and make them into lamp bases…lafaye’s lamp shop in
    myrtle beach can help you make this happen…next trip home:) also, a white linen
    shade adds just the right lighting…darker shades cast a dim glow, and make it hard
    to read…especially at my age!!! your rooms are all darling!!!

    favorite french green color is benjamin moore “basil green” 2029-10

    • C.A. says:

      That’s an awesome idea about the basket lamps! I love the idea of bringing in more texture. I want to work in more things like baskets, rope etc, especially for the summer season! As for the lampshades: it’s like you read my mind. I’ve been perusing the pottery barn white linen drum shades online. Maybe I can work them into next month’s decorating budget! :)

      Oooooh! What a pretty green color! I could see that on a front door of a stone cottage, surrounded by boxwoods and peonies!

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  4. Karen says:

    So, YES the club chairs would look awesome in white! Love the color detail of the lamps. And, can I please fly you up to help with my guest room. I spent lots of time last summer making it look wonderful, then just as you’ve mentioned before, I tend to pull, change, steal things from one room for another. So chairs, pictures, paintings, pillows, and objects have been moved around, thus moving the room back to dullsville. I need your help!

    I second Keri…your shiz is def ranuculus!

    • C.A. says:

      Haha! You make me laugh. :)

      So, yes – I’m totally obsessed with the idea of transforming the chairs into something white and summery! I just had an awful experience with the first pair of slipcovers I ordered (more on that soon).

      If I had a limitless airfare budget (and a nanny) I would be up for design consultations quicker than you could say “mocha latte.” Sigh. That would be so fun. I guess I’ll have to settle to emailing back and forth. :) xoxo

  5. Erin says:

    Ok first off, you are HILARIOUS. I adore your writing style! I’m pretty sure it’s YOU that would be a fun person with which to share a bottle of wine! But back to the lamps, I cannot believe how much they changed the look of the room. Seems like such a small thing, but they truly make an impact. All of that spray painting was worth it! GREAT JOB!!! (And that Wisteria room…wow…that’s a dream right there!)

    • C.A. says:

      OMG! I’m kind of freaking out that you actually commented on the blog! is one of my favorite sites of all time. House of Turquoise is, in fact, more important in my daily life than the White House. So you checking out my site is cooler, to me, than if Obama were reading it! ;) Beyond honored. Thanks for your nice comments about the lamps! xoxo

  6. Hatton says:

    Gorgeous! I’m a sucker for aqua. I am pretty sure it’s my favorite color. I love the room! As an owner of a white couch and one 2 year old, a slipcover is definitely the way to go – make sure it’s machine washable!

    • C.A. says:

      Yes! I think we are color soul-mates in that way. :) It’s just the most soothing, inspiring, tranquil, energetic color there is! It’s such a paradox! Good to know about the slipcovers – I am keeping my eyes peeled for washable ones!

  7. Anastasia says:

    I love, Love the lamps…pillows….art work. It’s so inviting =) I wants to have tea on that lovely sofa with sister..ands niecies! xo

    • C.A. says:

      Thank you!!! The living room is a work in progress, but I’m already liking the look of it more and more. As for sister teatime – I neeeeed that today! It’s dark and gloomy here (but not nice and stormy) and the petites are acting wild. A nice chat and a pot of Earl Grey would be just the ticket! xoxoxo

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